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10 Ways to save gas on your motorcycle

One of the many reasons we love motorcycles is because they don’t burn gas like crazy, well some do but at least they are capable of achieving impressive fuel economy numbers under certain circumstances. Texas Rider has a few tips on how to keep more money in your pocket and not in the gas tank.

 Don’t Lollygag During Warmup

Warming up a bike’s engine is part of the riding ritual, but most fuel-injected motorcycles are actually ready to ride instantly, making the warm-up routine a bit of overkill.

If you’re confident the engine won’t stall or rev sluggishly, riding off without waiting will not only avoid wasting fuel while idling, it will enable the motor to reach operating temperature more quickly, which will enhance combustion efficiency and allow you to achieve better fuel economy.

Don’t Let Your Tire Pressure Drop

One of the quickest and most effective ways to boost your MPGs is to check your tire pressure. Find the pressure rating for your tire on the sidewall or owner’s manual; not only will hitting the correct PSI boost your fuel economy, it will also improve your bike’s handling. And while some hypermilers swear by running on higher-than-recommended PSIs, we recommend you stick to the recommended figures for maximum safety.

Take Care of Your Baby

Motorcycles run best when their engines are maintained, and that includes making sure the air filter is clean, the spark plugs are fresh, the fuel filter is free, and the timing/valves are adjusted.

Some economy-minded riders even use lower friction, energy saving oil for lubrication. Whether or not you’re interested in going that far, some basic maintenance can make a surprisingly big difference in fuel economy.

Smooth it Out

Focus on maintaining constant speeds, smooth throttle inputs, and avoiding unnecessary slowing, and you’ll watch your fuel economy rise. Not only does even-keeled riding allow you to stretch your gas budget, it makes for smoother and potentially more enjoyable rides.

Lower Your Cruising Speeds

Motorcycles offer amazing performance that fits between your legs– hence the term “crotch rocket”– and the rush of acceleration and high-speed cruising can be addictive. But twisting the throttle hard quickly kills your fuel economy, as does high-speed cruising.

Think of it this way: highway speed limits were created partially in order to conserve gas, and following the rules will not only enable you to ride farther, it could help keep your DMV record clean.

Get That Junk Out of Your Trunk

The more weight your motorcycle has to haul around, the harder the engine has to work. If you’ve got saddlebags on your bike, empty them out if you can afford to do without extra junk. Even better: if you’re not using the saddlebags all the time, remove them for a relatively quick and easy weight loss tactic.

Practice Your Aim

When you’re in a hurry to fill up and still wearing a helmet and gloves, you’re probably not paying much attention to your refueling tactics.

Take some care while positioning the nozzle into the fuel filler, and you’ll not only save a few cents by avoiding spilling, you’ll also protect your paint from the damaging effects of stray fuel. Also, avoid the temptation to overfill your tank, as the spillover will create a mess and waste fuel.

Think Aero

Aerodynamic drag has a serious effect on fuel economy, and pushing a higher profile shape through air will make your engine work harder.

If you’re interested in short term gains, consider making a more compact shape behind your windshield; if that’s too much of a bother, you might think about how your bike is configured, and make changes like removing saddlebags or other drag creating accessories.

Cruise it if You Can Use It

Constant speeds improve fuel economy, and relying on your internal speedometer is an easy way to go farther on a tank of gas. But if your bike has the luxury of cruise control, it will do a better job than any human at sipping fuel while cruising along the highway.

Set it and forget it, and watch your MPGs rise!

 Keep it on the Road

We should all be so lucky as to have the option of riding on dirt when we want to; riding offroad offers a refreshing take on the terrain around you, but it also requires significantly more fuel than riding on pavement.

If you’ve got the choice between a paved and a gravel or dirt road, pick the former and you’ll use less fuel getting from A to B. Also remember that a motorcycle with knobby offroad tires won’t get the same fuel economy as street biased rubber.

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Source: About (Wasef)

The Nordic Hamstring Curl: Best Hamstring Exercise You are Not Doing!

There are many different hamstring exercises including variations of leg curls (seated, prone, and standing) along with several different hip hinge exercises that target the hamstrings (RDL, Single Leg RDL, etc).     These are all great exercises, but none of them can touch the Nordic Hamstring Curl for building eccentric strength and preventing hamstring injury in sprints and sport!
This is a tough exercise so warming up the hamstrings is essential.  Using other hamstring exercises first such as bodyweight hip hinges and light leg curls on a machine prior to this exercise do the trick nicely.   It is also a good idea to do some static stretches for anterior hips and hip flexors to shut them off which helps to allow for maximum hamstring activation.
To perform the Nordic Hamstring Curl you need to find a place to hook your heels under when you are in a double leg tall kneeling position so you will also need padding under your knees.     If you have a workout partner you can have them kneel behind you and hold onto both your legs right above the ankles keeping their arm straight so they can use their bodyweight to apply load as you let your body fall forward like this:   http://willlevy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Nordic-Curl.jpg.     You can also find something to hook your ankles under like the horizontal bar from a weight machine or barbell like this:   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/f_GdZKdwovA/maxresdefault.jpg or  this:   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/29/04/34/290434956cdd220cc8d6e0b18948cf3c.jpgor this:  https://www.t-nation.com/img/photos/2013/13-775-04/Nordic-Start.jpg
Keeping your hips flat (straight line from knees through hips and shoulders) – you lower your body down slowly until you can no longer hold your weight then catch yourself in push-up position and push back up:  https://simplifaster.com/articles/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/03/GHR.jpg.       You can also use a band during the exercise which provides progressively more assistance as you go lower towards floor to allow you to potentially perform the full range of the motion and come back up with the assistance of the band.    Then over time you gradually decrease the assistance of the band by user smaller and lighter bands.      This provides a good video of how you can do this by attaching a band overhead and behind you:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQm9rdzZlRk
There are also numerous machines designed for this exercise including:
http://www.roguefitness.com/floor-glute?prod_id=15905&gclid=Cj0KEQjwnazLBRDxrdGMx-Km4oQBEiQAQJ1q68P3rah0ZwofpsxOA-xSYl5_v9mtTSxSmuG5zIW1KUYaAvPW8P8HAQ
http://www.speedbottraining.com/glute-ham-machine/
http://www.gluteforce.com/
Here is a 6 week progression:
Week                   Sessions/Week                  Sets                       Reps                     Rest
1                                           1                            2                            5                            2 min.
2                                           2                            3                            5                            2 min.
3                                           2                            3                            6                            2 min.
4                                           2                            3                            7                            2 min.
5                                           3                            3                            8                            2 min.
6                                           2                            3                            9                            2 min.

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: Dream Wheels’ Honda CLR125

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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As far as we’re concerned, small capacity bikes don’t get enough love. They’re frugal, cheap to run and can go about anywhere (if you have the patience). So they’re usually relegated to commuter or courier duties. Hélder Moura of Dream Wheels Heritage sees potential for more—especially in Portugal, where Dream Wheels is based. There, you can ride anything up to 125cc with just a car driver’s license.

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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“This is definitely a new market that could become quite interesting,” says Hélder, “and so far we have not seen many examples in the world of custom builds.” Dream Wheels’ latest foray into the little bike scene is this 2001-model Honda CityFly CLR125. The CityFly shares the popular XLR125’s ultra-reliable 124cc power plant, but it has slightly more ‘urban’ styling.

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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This particular CityFly was acquired from a pizza delivery guy, before Dream Wheels set about transforming it. “The style we want to give this build was a scrambler for the city,” says Hélder. “We wanted functionality, and lines that are a mix of new and old.”

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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This meant a pretty radical transformation. For starters, Dream Wheels straightened out the CityFly’s awkward lines with a 1990 Yamaha FS1 tank, and a custom-made subframe and seat. The tank needed some restoration work, and its filler cap’s been customized further with an old fridge magnet.

custom-honda-cityfly-4

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Dream Wheels also fabricated a set of fenders and side covers, and a new battery box (there’s a small gel battery inside). The inverted forks are from RMX50; they’ve been rebuilt, re-sprung and lowered. And the rear shock’s been lowered to match. A Yamaha XS400 donated its 18” front wheel and disc brake, while an 18” Rexfelgen rim (a brand made by Excel) was laced up at the rear. Both are wrapped in Heidenau K67 trials rubber.

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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On the maintenance side, the CLR’s engine needed a bit of a refresh and a new coat of paint. There’s a new transmission, new brake and spark plug lines and a K&N air filter. The chunky silencer is a rebuilt, second-hand FMF Mega Max II unit, fed by a hand-made header. Scrambler-esque running gear includes a set of Renthal bars, and an enduro-style headlight, with a yellow lens and a number board. Dream Wheels also fitted a LED taillight, a smaller speedo and a set of mini-switches from Blitz Motorcycles.

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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Pitta Designs executed the skate-influenced paint job on the tank and side covers, offset by the brown saddle, and brown finishes on the engine, brakes and forks. As a finishing touch, Dream Wheels used red spoke nipples for the rear wheel, a red plug lead, and painted the rear shock spring.

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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As if this little CityFly wasn’t cool enough already, it also comes with a removable skateboard rack. Perfect for lazy rides down to the beachfront.
Dream Wheels Heritage |

Pretty Fly for a CityFly: a cute Honda CLR125 scrambler from Portugal.

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First published on bikeexif.com

STEAMPUNK’D: URBAN MOTOR’S JAWA SPRINT MOTORCYCLE


Glemseck 101 is just around the corner. Set in southern German town of Leonberg, it’s a two-wheeled celebration of gasoline and good taste.
It also attracts some of the most outrageous customs on the planet. We’ve seen everything from turbocharged boxers to fire-breathing Yamaha XJRs. But a 350cc Jawa with a steampunk vibe? Now das ist different.

This is what Berlin-based Urban Motor have built for their entry into Glemseck’s inaugural Essenza sprint.
Sixteen teams will compete—a mixed bag of manufacturers and custom builders. The bikes are limited to two cylinders and a 1200cc maximum.

But it’s as much about style as it is about speed. A panel of judges—and a public vote—will determine the best-designed bike, to be crowned alongside the fastest.
No prizes for guessing which category Urban Motor are gunning for. With a whopping 18 horsepower on tap, this little 1964 Jawa 350 will be racing against 21st century machinery like the BMW R nineT and Triumph Thruxton R.

Shop boss Peter Dannenberg’s hardly fazed: “Those who sprint slowly are seen longer!”
We love the elegant minimalism at play here, which belies the inordinate amount of work that went into the build. Everything wrapped around the Jawa’s two-stroke mill is—quite obviously—completely custom-made.

“If essence is the key, then we want to do it right,” says Peter. “We want to make a statement.”
Urban Motor tossed all but the engine, before building a whole new chassis from steel tubing. The design of the alloy bodywork was a collaboration with Marven Diehl of KRT Framework, who fashioned the metal himself.


Marven was also responsible for the Jawa’s quirky front suspension design, with its integrated handlebars. And no, we don’t know how it works.
Everything’s book-ended by two skinny, 23” alloy SM Pro rims. A solitary drum brake (at the back) handles the stopping duties.

On the engine side, Urban Motor have installed a Jikov carb, and fabricated a pair of short, graceful exhausts. With no need for lights or turn signals, the wiring’s been stripped down to the bare essentials.
The Jawa now weighs a svelte 90kg, with finishes as tasteful as its silhouette. Sven van den Brandt handled the only paint on the project: a touch of matte gold on the forks and swingarm.

The grips are wrapped in leather from Red Wing, and the seat was made to spec by C. Benda. There are some smaller details to digest too: from the exposed throttle assembly, to the direct-mount rear sets.
Urban Motor have given their build an appropriately quirky name: ‘EASY (…like Sunday morning).’


“We are not dogmatic about competitions and rules,” explains Peter. “We like to see the big picture and enjoy divergence with humor, fun and the winking of an eye.”

Will it win the races? Probably not, but you can bet it’ll win hearts.
Urban Motor | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Tim Adler | Essenza [In German]
 first published by www.bikeexif.com

‘Fast N’ Loud’ and ‘The Devil’s Ride’ start new seasons Monday

Weekly dose of reality: The Discovery Channel hits the road tonight with the second-season premieres of its two fast-and-loud reality shows, “Fast N’ Loud” and “The Devil’s Ride.” The motto behind these blood, sweat and gears offerings is “restore the roar.” Like that’s a problem in the noisy universe known as reality television.

First up at 9 tonight is the second season premiere of the aptly named “Fast ‘N Loud.” This is the domain of car fanatics Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman. Motor mastermind Richard and mechanical prodigy Aaron scour the junkyards of Texas in search of buried automobile treasures. The plan is to unearth forgotten and neglected vintage cars, then restore them at their Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas, Tex.

This season, the “Fast ‘N Loud” duo are searching for one of the rarest of all finds, the Ferrari F-40. The goal is to take one from rust bucket to gold mine.

The next stop is the 10 p.m. season opener for “The Devil’s Ride,” Discovery’s look into the world of motorcycle clubs. This season promises to take viewers to the San Diego front lines of a brewing biker war between the Laffing Devils, once the city’s fastest-growing motorcycle club, and the Sinister Mob Syndicate (Sin Mob, for short).

When the engines get revving on the second season, the leadership of the Laffing Devils is in a complete uproar. Founding member Danny Boy is butting heads with Sandman, and Billy hte Kid is missing. To make matters worse, Sin Mob’s president is an ousted founding member of the Laffing Devils.
You’re thinking subtle and refined? I’m thinking you’ve got the wrong night on the Discovery Channel.

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Source: Cleveland (Dawidziak, 2/18)

‘82 Yamaha XV920 – Hageman Motorcycles

GreenXV01
Written by Martin Hodgson.
In 100 years time when they write the history of the current custom motorcycle renaissance that we are living through you can be sure that Greg Hageman will be one of the leading names credited for spurring the revival. He can turn out a mean Harley, cafe a Honda and build just about any style of bike but it’s his incredible work with Yamaha Virago’s of the early ’80s that have really won him acclaim around the world; from magazine covers, to TV features and the trophies to match. But not only has Greg inspired a new generation of XV builders keen to tackle the old V-Twin he’s also produced a range of quality parts for his fellow customisers and without him leading the resurgence of the models popularity you have to wonder if the all new Yamaha “XV950” Bolt would ever have eventuated!

It was no surprise that when the Bolt was released and Yamaha arranged a build off between ten workshops that Greg took out the top prize with a vintage scrambler take on the all new XV. This latest build however is a little of the old and new, based on a 1982 Yamaha XV920 with a modern twist, the running gear is taken from a 1998 XV1100. “This bike was built for the perfect customer, someone who was more interested in performance, function and reliability than budget. He asked for a classic scrambler look that would mainly be ridden on road, but have the ability to occasionally stray off into the back pasture to check on his horses,” explains the main man from Hageman Motorcycles. Greg’s bikes are always picture perfect, like something you would expect to find on a new bike showroom floor, so the 82 frame might be thirty odd years old but you’d never know now that it’s had the Hageman treatment and is finished out in all black.
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The standard subframe is gone and bolted to the back is one of Hageman’s own straight from his parts catalogue, these have become a must have item for so many Virago builders and while many have tried to imitate there is nothing like the real thing! With the customer wanting the option of taking short rides two up the subframe was modified to accept this seat that provides plenty of comfort and practicality without taking anything at all away from the looks. If Greg’s subframes provide part of the all-important skeleton of a world-class Virago build his fabrication skills have also stood the test of time making beautiful Benelli tanks fit perfectly on the Yamaha frame. This bike is no different with the classic tank getting a pair of Yamaha badges and a flip style fuel filler. “As you can probably tell we were really going for a British look, the owner had the tank painted by Moecolors of Tampa to match an old MG he was rather fond of.”
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To let the paint work really stand out the front and rear fenders are not only exceptionally practical but have been polish to a brilliant shine. The addition of racing side covers is another Hageman signature that gives you more than a subtle hint of the inspiration of this classic Scrambler. With the Green Machine now looking a treat it was over to functionality as Greg’s bikes are built to ride and the suspension has come in for a thorough overhaul. The stock forks are swapped out for a late-model HD entire 39mm front end. Not stopping there the forks have been rebuilt with improved springs and preload adjusters. Out back the unique in frame mono-shock has been swapped out for a Hagon unit that also features a remote adjuster. Arresting forward momentum is done courtesy of a single drilled disc rotor up front and the beefy Yamaha drum at the rear.
GreenXV11
But getting that momentum well and truly underway is the very clever engine swap that Hageman has performed mating the ’82 XV frame with the newer and bigger capacity ’98 engine. Before the big block 1063cc engine was fitted into place Greg treated it to polished stainless fasteners and a thorough detail. With just 2,000miles on the clock it was in brilliant condition and the far superior ignition and starting system leads to a classic bike with modern reliability. The standard carbies have been ditched for Mikuni VM items that add even more torque and top end performance. Given the owner wanted the ability to go off-road to check on his horses Greg had to come up with an exhaust system that looked good, was performance orientated but didn’t put a fright up the ponies. “The exhaust is something I made using Cone Engineering “Quiet core” mufflers, making the secondary baffles removable. It’s a two into one, into two system.”
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With the major components taken care of Greg spent a good deal of time piecing together all the little parts of a motorcycle that turn a custom into a truly functional machine you can ride daily. “I added a Motogadget M-unit, Motogadget bar end turn signals for the electrics. The Speedo is Acewell, I like the simplicity of using and installing this speedo.” The flat track bars keep the look spot on and with just the small Motogadget switches, master cylinder and a single mirror result in an extremely clean look that is still utterly practical. The headlight gets protection from a mesh stone guard while an old school taillight sits out the back on the rear fender. There is passenger fold up foot pegs for the pillion and Greg put in special effort on the riders peg placement, as the customer is 6’4″ and wanted a comfortable ride that was still sporty in nature.
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Finishing up the build are the excel alloy rims with stainless spokes that have been laced to the standard hubs. Rubber comes courtesy of Kenda dual sports “less aggressive since it’ll spend the majority of time on the pavement.” Which is yet another reason a Hageman build is such a work of art; they look good enough to enter any show and take home the trophies, yet never compromise on being a useable motorcycle. “The bike runs, rides and handles very well, mission accomplished.
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The bike is most of all, very fun to ride, comfortable and dependable unlike so many customs on the market I see being built today. I like to emphasize both functionality as well as the cosmetic look.” Greg’s longevity and success is simply a commitment to delivering in every area a motorcycle should, with no corners cut and an end product straight from the top shelf!

GreenXV07
  First read on www.pipeburn.com

Fabulous Fiber!

Everyone has heard that they need to eat fiber, but few people really know what it is and why it is so important.     Fiber is a form of carbohydrate along with sugars and starches.      Unlike sugars and starch fiber cannot be used for energy because it cannot be broken down into sugar.     Starch and sugars both end us as blood sugar aka glucose.
Starches are simply multiple units of sugar hooked together, and we have enzymes that break them apart so we can use the sugar for fuel.   Fiber is also multiple units of sugar hooked together, but humans lack the enzymes necessary to break it down into sugars so it is not absorbed.    This is very important when thinking about carbohydrate containing foods because they are NOT all the same.
For example, a glass of fruit juice is essentially a glass of sugar water with some beneficial plant chemicals and in many cases a nice dose of vitamin C.    It can dramatically boost blood sugar, and if you consume too much it can definitely drive weight gain.     While a large serving of brocolli is mostly fiber with little sugar and starch and is also chock full of beneficial plant chemicals, but with almost no effect on blood sugar!
There are two main types of fiber – soluble and insoluble.    Ideally you want to eat both.   There is also a third type of fiber called “Digestive Resistant Starch” (see https://workoutanytime.blogspot.com/2017/10/digestion-resistant-starch-all-starch.html)
Soluble fiber, found in foods such as cucumbers, blueberries, and beans, has a gel-like consistency and slows down your digestion.     This helps with satiety (feeling satisfied).    It also slows the break down and absorption of cholesterol and other nutrients like starches and sugar which can help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar.    Some foods with soluble fiber also help feed the good bacteria in your digestive tract.
Insoluble fiberis found in foods like green, leafy veggies, green beans, and celery.    It does not dissolve to a gel and stays intact as it moves through your colon.   By adding bulk, it helps food move more quickly through your digestive tract reducing transit time.  Insoluble Fiber is sometimes referred to as “roughage”, and it along with soluble fiber can help with constipation.
Benefits of High Fiber Intake
Fiber intake is very important for keeping blood sugar levels under control, and studies have shown that people who take in at least 26 grams of fiber per day had a much lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
There is also an inverse relationship between fiber intake and heart attack, with research showing that people eating a high fiber diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease.    High fiber diets may also help lower blood pressure.
Another interesting research finding about fiber is that for every 7 grams of fiber you consume each day your stroke risk is decreased 7 percent.      To put this into perspective this equates to about 2 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Fiber, and psyllium in particular, can help move yeasts and fungus out of your digestive system which may help prevent them from triggering acne and rashes.
Fiber can also provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome in many people.
Fiber intake may also help reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones probably through its action in controlling blood sugar.
Sources of Fiber
Contrary to popular opinion grains are probably not your best source of fiber.    Unfortunately, non-organic grains are chock full of glyphosate which is pesticide banned in most other countries outside the US because they have no allegiance to Monsanto who produces it.    
A high grain diet promotes insulin and leptin resistance thereby increasing your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer. 
Better choices of fiber includes Organic Whole Husk Psyllium.     If you use this supplement it is critical to get organic psyllium as non-organic psyllium is heavily sprayed with chemicals.     Other great sources include chia seeds, berries, root vegetables such as sweet potato, peas and beans, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and celery.
How much fiber?
Experts recommend that woman eat a minimum of 25 grams of fiber per day and men consume 38 grams per day.     However higher intakes may be more beneficial.     
It is important to SLOWLY increase your fiber intake and keep your water intake high to prevent potential issues caused by eating fiber without sufficient fluid.
Low-Fiber Diet
There are circumstances where high fiber intake is contraindicated and timing for fiber intake relative to drugs and supplements is important.   People with chronic digestive issues may need to remove fiber for some period of time because fiber feeds the bacteria in your gut.    Although as a general rule this is highly beneficial there are circumstances where high fiber intake can feed the wrong microorganisms such as pathogenic bacteria.

Fiber can also bind certain medications and minerals dramatically reducing their absorption so many drugs and mineral supplements should not be taken at the same time as fiber.

Modern Motorcycle Diaries: Man Captures His 500-Day Trip Across the Americas

If you feel feelings of wanderlust and jealousy easily, you might want to stay away from the story of Alex Chacon. He’s a guy who recently completed a 503-day solo journey on a motorcycle. He rode 82,459 miles across 22 countries in both North and South America. Chacon also captured photos and videos throughout the journey in order to document his experience.

Here’s a 9-minute video Chacon put together after returning to his home in Texas. It shows highlights taken from over 600 hours of video, and has gone viral with hundreds of thousands of views in less than a month:

The journey started shortly after Chacon graduate from the University of Texas with a degree in biomedical sciences. Prior to starting his graduate school studies, he decided to follow through with his longtime dream of exploring the world adventurously while supporting a worthy cause.

Starting from his home in El Paso, Texas, Chacon rode south until he hit Ushuaia, Argentina, the “End of the World.” He then rode up to Brazil, then all the way up the Americas to Alaska before finally riding home to Texas.

Chacon says he sold everything he had prior to embarking on this ambitious journey — one that was inspired by Che Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries — and used the trip to raise awareness and money for the charity Children of Uganda. To raise money, he worked for two months, sold his car, sold his clothes, gave blood, and took every opportunity he could find to make and save money.

Over the course of the trip, Chacon passed through interstates, highways, dirt roads, no roads, mud, rivers, through hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, rain, hail, sun shine, snow, ice roads, and more. Every night he would stay at whatever shelter he could find: gas stations, parks, couch surfing, hostels, or anyone willing to take him in. His meals would often consist of various canned foods.

As his story began spreading on the Internet, fans became donors and contributed food, money, and gas. Even the bike company Kawasaki contributed $1,000 toward a new bike, and GoPro joined in as a contributor as well.

Video and images during the trip were captured using a Canon DSLR, GoPro camera, and a special monopod Chacon designed for himself. The GoPro would often be fixed to the side of his helmet and the side of his bike.

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Source: PetaPixel (Zhang, 5/10)

Indian Motorcycle reveals new line-up in Sturgis, SD

STURGIS, SD— Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced the highly anticipated details for the all-new 2014 Indian Chief family of motorcycles. Before thousands of motorcycling fans at the site of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in downtown Sturgis at 9 p.m. Mountain Time on Saturday, August 3, Indian Motorcycle unveiled the three models that comprise the Indian Chief line up. The reveal ceremony and party signaled an inflection point in motorcycling history with the renewal of America’s oldest and most legendary brand.

The new Indian Chief Classic is a pure, powerful cruiser forged from key heritage design elements yet wrapped in advanced design, engineering and technology. It features iconic styling like valanced fenders, rich genuine leather saddle, classic tank-mounted instrumentation, tear-drop fuel tank design, and sculpted and lighted front fender war bonnet. The 2014 Indian Chief Classic comes standard with a host of premium features including endless chrome, keyless ignition, ABS, cruise control, throttle-by-wire, true dual exhaust, high quality chrome laced spoke wheels, brake caliper covers, cast aluminum frame with integrated air intake, and much more.

The Indian Chief Classic, like all 2014 Indian Chief models, is powered by the all-new, clean sheet design Thunder Stroke™ 111 engine. Offering 111 cubic inches of pavement pounding power and 119 ft-lbs of torque, this class-leading power plant draws powerful design cues from heritage Indian Motorcycle engines merged with brilliant engineering and advanced technologies. The Thunder Stroke 111 is a 49-degree, air-cooled V-twin with 6-speed overdrive transmission, and features unmatched premium exterior finishes and touches. It offers owners the peace-of-mind that comes from over two million miles of on-road and test-lab verification and Polaris Industries’ 60 years of engineering prowess.

The new Indian Chief Vintage is a soft bagger that takes iconic Indian Motorcycle styling to a whole new level with handcrafted detail and a signature heritage aesthetic. The Indian Chief Vintage offers top-quality quick-release soft-sided leather bags, leather fringe, chrome fender tips, vintage chrome badging on the front fender and a quick-release windshield for easy installation or removal. It includes the same premium standard features as the Indian Chief Classic, and sports the same iconic design elements like valanced fenders, laced wheels, whitewall tires, tank-mounted instrument cluster and extensive chrome finishes throughout. It is also powered by the new Thunder Stroke 111 engine.

The first Indian Motorcycle of its kind, the 2014 Indian Chieftain maintains the legendary Indian Chief styling, while taking this progressive machine to new heights with advanced features and premium comfort. Unlike any Indian Motorcycle ever made, the Chieftain features a fairing with integrated driving lights, and its power windshield is an industry-first for a fork-mounted fairing. Standard features include hard saddlebags featuring remote locks and quick-release anchors, a high-output audio system featuring integrated Bluetooth® smartphone connectivity, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

“When we acquired Indian Motorcycle two and a half years ago we set out to capture the heart, soul and legendary heritage of this iconic American brand and then infuse it with unparalleled design, engineering and state-of-the-art technology,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Indian Motorcycle parent company Polaris Industries Inc. “On Saturday night we revealed three stunning new Indian Chief models that represent the results of our journey and the future of this brand. It was a triumphant day for all of us, and I know motorcycling fans around the world proudly join us in celebrating Indian Motorcycle and the realization that choice in American motorcycles is here to stay.”

The First 1901

To pay tribute to Indian Motorcycle’s past, the first 1901 Indian Chiefs to roll off of Indian’s assembly line in Spirit Lake, IA will be identified with a limited-edition badge. Numbered between one and 1901, these rare bikes will reflect the year of Indian’s inception by Oscar Hedstrom and George Hendee in Springfield, MA. “We have been very conscientious about honoring Indian Motorcycle’s storied history while establishing a foundation for what’s yet to come,” said Polaris Vice President of Motorcycles, Steve Menneto. “The lucky few who purchase these limited number bikes will truly own a piece of history, concurrently representing Indian’s rich past and its limitless future.” More information is available at Indian Motorcycle dealers across the country.

Availability

 Indian Motorcycle is adding dealerships across the US and globally, and is on plan to have 125-140 North American and 70 international dealers by year end. The full line of 2014 Indian Chief models are available for order now and will arrive in dealerships in September, along with an extensive array of apparel, parts and accessories. Indian Motorcycle demo rides will be available at dealer events across the country starting later in August.

________________________________________
Source: AMA (AP, 8/05)

The Truth behind 5 Food Myths

The Truth behind 5 Food MythsBY ALAN ARAGON

IMAGE FROM THINKSTOCK

It goes like this: A client looking to lead a healthier life hires me, a nutritionist, to help him improve his diet. I analyze what he’s been eating, factor in his food preferences, and together we create an eating plan that fits his lifestyle and goals.
Soon after, he’s noticeably leaner and more energetic—a happy customer.
That’s when the trouble starts. After a coworker asks him for the details of his diet, my client suddenly finds himself in a heated interrogation. Doesn’t your nutritionist know red meat causes cancer? And that potatoes cause diabetes? Shouldn’t he tell you to eat less salt, to prevent high blood pressure?
The upshot: Myths just made my job a lot harder.
That’s because nutrition misinformation fools men into being confused and frustrated in their quest to eat healthily, even if they’re already achieving great results.
Thankfully, you’re about to be enlightened by science. Here are five food fallacies you can forget about for good.
High Protein is Harmful
Myth #1: “High protein intake is harmful to your kidneys.”
The origin: Back in 1983, researchers first discovered that eating more protein increases your “glomerular filtration rate,” or GFR. Think of GFR as the amount of blood your kidneys are filtering per minute.
From this finding, many scientists made the leap that a higher GFR places your kidneys under greater stress. 
What science really shows: Nearly 2 decades ago, Dutch researchers found that while a protein-rich meal did boost GFR, it didn’t have an adverse effect on overall kidney function.
In fact, there’s zero published research showing that downing hefty amounts of protein—specifically, up to 1.27 grams per pound of body weight a day—damages healthy kidneys.
The bottom line: As a rule of thumb, shoot to eat your target body weight in grams of protein daily.
For example, if you’re a chubby 200 pounds and want to be a lean 180, then have 180 grams of protein a day. Likewise if you’re a skinny 150 pounds but want to be a muscular 180.
Go here for more on The Truth About Protein.
Sweet Potatoes are Better
Myth #2: “Sweet potatoes are better for you than white potatoes.”
The origin: Because most Americans eat the highly processed version of the white potato—for instance, french fries and potato chips—consumption of this root vegetable has been linked to obesity and an increased diabetes risk.
Meanwhile, sweet potatoes, which are typically eaten whole, have been celebrated for being rich in nutrients and also having a lower glycemic index than their white brethren.
What science really shows: White potatoes and sweet potatoes have complementary nutritional differences; one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
For instance, sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale, but baked white potatoes typically aren’t eaten without cheese, sour cream, or butter. These toppings all contain fat, which lowers the glycemic index of a meal.
The bottom line: The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a processed potato that’s used to make chips—is more important than the type of spud.
Red Meat Causes Cancer
Myth #3: “Red meat causes cancer.”
The origin: In a 1986 study, Japanese researchers discovered cancer developing in rats that were fed “heterocyclic amines,” compounds that are generated from overcooking meat under high heat. And since then, some studies of large populations have suggested a potential link between meat and cancer.
What science really shows: No study has ever found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red-meat consumption and cancer.
As for the population studies, they’re far from conclusive. That’s because they rely on broad surveys of people’s eating habits and health afflictions, and those numbers are simply crunched to find trends, not causes.
The bottom line: Don’t stop grilling. Meat lovers who are worried about the supposed risks of grilled meat don’t need to avoid burgers and steak; rather, they should just trim off the burned or overcooked sections of the meat before eating.
HFCS is Fattening
Myth #4: “High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is more fattening than regular sugar is.”
The origin: In a 1968 study, rats that were fed large amounts of fructose developed high levels of fat in their bloodstreams.
Then, in 2002, University of California at Davis researchers published a well-publicized paper noting that Americans’ increasing consumption of fructose, including that in HFCS, paralleled our skyrocketing rates of obesity.
What science really shows: Both HFCS and sucrose—better known as table sugar—contain similar amounts of fructose. For instance, the two most commonly used types of HFCS are HFCS-42 and HFCS-55, which are 42 and 55 percent fructose, respectively.
Sucrose is almost chemically identical, containing 50 percent fructose. This is why the University of California at Davis scientists determined fructose intakes from both HFCS and sucrose.
The truth is, there’s no evidence to show any differences in these two types of sugar. Both will cause weight gain when consumed in excess.
The bottom line: HFCS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.
(You may be shocked at the sweet stuff hiding in some of your favorite foods and drinks. Get The Truth About Sugar.)
Salt Causes High Blood Pressure
Myth #5: “Salt causes high blood pressure and should be avoided.”
The origin: In the 1940s, a Duke University researcher named Walter Kempner, M.D., became famous for using salt restriction to treat people with high blood pressure. Later, studies confirmed that reducing salt could help reduce hypertension.
What science really shows: Large-scale scientific reviews have determined there’s no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake.
Now, if you already have high blood pressure, you may be “salt sensitive.” As a result, reducing the amount of salt you eat could be helpful.
However, it’s been known for the past 20 years that people with high blood pressure who don’t want to lower their salt intake can simply consume more potassium-containing foods.
Why? Because it’s really the balance of the two minerals that matters.
In fact, Dutch researchers determined that a low potassium intake has the same impact on your blood pressure as high salt consumption does. And it turns out, the average guy consumes 3,100 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day—1,600 mg less than recommended.
The bottom line: Strive for a potassium-rich diet, which you can achieve by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
For instance, spinach, broccoli, bananas, white potatoes, and most types of beans each contain more than 400 mg potassium per serving.
Source

Happy Landings: Clockwork’s CB750 custom

A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.

Samuel Guertin used to spend his days wrenching on choppers—the kind that fly. But after a decade working as a helicopter mechanic, he decided that customizing cars and bikes was more fulfilling.
So he changed his flight path and Clockwork Motorcycles was born, with a base in the countryside half an hour east of Montréal, Canada.
A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.
This CB750 custom is called Fury, and it’s Clockwork’s fourth build. “When I found the donor—a 1971 model—it was pretty funny to look at,” explains Samuel. “It was a weird, failed attempt at a gothic bobber-slash-chopper. It deserved better fortune.”

Samuel decided to make the CB750 a little more chunky and curvaceous. It was time for a well-judged series of subtle nips and tucks.
A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.
That meant shortening the frame at the rear to a more bobber-esque length, while the swing arm was extended by two inches and hooked up to a pair of Progressive Suspension rear shocks.

The extra visual bulk required more meat up front, so Samuel has installed a set of Suzuki GSX-R600 forks. They’re non-inverted units for a more period correct feel, and fitted via a custom-made aluminum triple tree and front hub. The GSX-R also donated its front brakes—now fed by a Nissin master cylinder via braided stainless steel hose.
The modified oil tank (below) is an especially neat touch, appearing at first glance to be a stock side cover. There’s custom fabricated panel on the lefthand side to match.
A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.
The wheels are 16-inch Harley-Davidson items, laced with stainless steel spokes and nipples, and wrapped in Firestone Deluxe Champion rubber. (Samuel knows he’ll get flack from some quarters for his tire selection, but that’s okay).

For the seat, he settled on a shape that would complement the bike’s beefy new demeanor. Ginger at New Church Moto was responsible for the upholstery: a classy mix of leather and suede.
A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.
Clockwork’s mods are more than just cosmetic though. The engine has been completely stripped down and rebuilt, fitted with CNC-cut valve seats and bored out to 836cc with a Wiseco kit. A stunning set of Keihin CR29 race carbs handle the fueling, with a four-into-one stainless exhaust system providing the soundtrack.

A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.
Samuel has thoroughly reworked the wiring too, with a full Motogadget installation that includes the m-Unit control unit, a Motoscope Tiny speedo, m-Switch handlebar switches and an m-Lock keyless ignition. It’s all powered by a small Lithium-ion battery stashed in a hand-built electronics box.

The cockpit is equally tidy, with custom-bent clip-ons, leather-wrapped grips and a small headlight. Bullet turn signals were installed, and the quirky taillight is from Prism Motorcycles.
A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.
When it came to the CB750’s final paint scheme, Samuel had little interest in bright colors or complex designs. “I didn’t want anything flashy or shiny to steal the show,” he says. “It’s all about lines, shapes and curves—so all the colors are muted tones.”

The final color scheme is sublime, flattering the Honda’s brawny new lines just as intended. Monsieur Guertin has certainly found his calling, and thankfully it’s nothing to do with choppers.
 Images by Photos by Cimon B Photography
First published in www.bikeexif.com

A bobber-influenced Honda CB750 custom from Canada's Clockwork Motorcycles.

Accurate Description – Kawasaki Vulcan Cafe Racer



The Vulcan S ABS Café is Kawasaki’s “learner approved” cruiser. It’s styling is typical of all cruisers that follow in Harley’s footsteps with its laid back riding position, wide handlebars and over inflated bodywork (in my humble opinion). However, at it’s heart is an engine that uses the same configuration as some of the first motorcycles to ever be used for Cafe Racer conversions, a parallel twin. Granted the liquid cooled, Kawasaki 650 may not have the same aesthetic appeal as a pre-unit Bonneville, but to a romanticist the Vulcan engine is, in a roundabout way, a hommage to the legend. At least that’s how Mário of MRS Oficina felt about it when he was given the opportunity to customise one himself.



The project began when Mário was approached by Kawasaki France to undertake a commissioned project in 2015. They had recently released the ‘Vulcan S ABS Café’ and wanted to see what Mário could make of it. Knowing that Kawasaki’s claim to have been influenced by cafe racer styling when designing the Vulcan S was a bit of a stretch, he decided to follow their lead and build a bike worthy of the cafe racer moniker.



Despite being the lightest of the bunch in Kawasaki’s cruiser range, the Vulcan S is no feather weight tipping the scales at a hefty 498 pounds (226kg). Mário was going to have to shed some serious pounds from the Kwaka if it was ever going to perform to his expectations. The weight reduction regime began by discarding the bikes fuel tank, seat and fenders. This was followed by the removal of the rear half of the frame, the cast wheels and any components that complimented the cruiser configuration such as the handlebars and forward control footpegs.



Stance was the next challenge to overcome. The Vulcan needed a less slouched, more aggressive posture if it was to have the geometry of a cafe racer. This required raising the rear significantly using a single, custom made shock absorber from Ohlins and modifying the swingarm to suit. The triple trees were then slid 20mm lower on the fork tubes and stiffer springs installed for optimum handling. A set of classically styled, laced rims with slick rubber donated by Pirelli were then bolted in place.


Mário wasted no time discarding the Vulcan’s highly adjustable riding system, which Kawasaki had no doubt spent millions developing. In it’s place he installed a single piece tank and tail that floats above the rear wheel and mounted the quintessential cafe racer control configuration of clip on bars and rear set footpegs. To continue to enhance the cafe styling the triangle headlight was also replaced with a yellow lensed Bates style unit, colour matched to the new bodywork and Ohlins shock reservoir. A slimmer custom front fender was also bolted in place for everyday riding practicality.



Reverse megaphone mufflers were the obvious choice for the exhaust system, mounting 2 of them using a custom made pair of stainless steel headers. Finishing touches were then mounted such as the cross stitched leather seat, the matching white faced Motogadget dials, Beringer brake reservoir assembly, Monza style filler cap and frame mounted, custom made indicators. 



Being a Kawasaki the obvious colour choice was always going to be green and Mário has smashed it out of the ballpark with a two toned, metallic scheme. Amazingly this entire build was packed into 4 short months leading up to the 2015 ‘Salon de la Moto Paris’ where punters were lining up to place their deposits. Alas, much like Kawasaki Italy’s 40th anniversary Z1000 from 2013, this bike will remain a one off, but here’s hoping this won’t be the last time we see the green team commission a build of this calibre.



MRS Oficina
Photography by Antoine Sayn

first read on returnofthecaferacers.com/


Foam Rolling aka Self Myo-Fascial Release

Using a tubular foam roller to literally roll over tight areas of muscles and tendons is known as “Myo-Fascial Release”.    While it seems counter-intuitive applying steady pressure to muscles and tendons with an emphasis on trigger points (areas of tightness and soreness) has been proven to be a highly effective method for improving mobility.    
Since you are in complete control of the amount of pressure applied and how long it is applied you can customize the experience based on your level of sensitivity.   Key areas to focus on include the hamstrings, calves, gluteal muscles, latissimus dorsi muscle, and even low back and hip flexors if done with caution.
You can use a tubular foam roller, and they are made in varying levels of firmness from soft to very firm.   In addition, there are variations that include a textured surface of varying levels from small to large finger like projections.  You can also use balls such as a lacrosse ball, baseball, or tennis ball in a similar fashion.     NOTE:  the smaller and firmer the object the more pressure it will tend to apply so proceed cautiously.
The technique is to position the foam roller on the floor (on a firm but not hard surface is best).  Then position the muscle/s you are targeting on top of the foam roller.     For example, for the calf sit on the floor with your target leg extended so that it is on top of the foam roller with the lowest portion of the calf on top of the roller.    
Use your hands to lift your butt slightly off the floor to allow you to apply pressure down onto the foam roller.    Then literally roll forward slowly over the foam roller paying attention to any trigger points where you notice sensitivity or tightness.   
When you find a sensitive area slowly roll back and forth on the spot until you feel it release.   With a little experimentation you will learn how much pressure and speed work best for your physiology. 
Self Myo-Fascial Release/Foam Rolling is a great way to start a workout and does a great job of safely improving mobility before a workout and is also great to do between workouts.
Contraindications to Foam Rolling
Pregnancy – during pregnancy ligaments become lax and pressure anywhere on or near the abdomen is to be avoided at all costs so best to skip foam rolling when pregnant.
Osteoporosis – soft bones and additional pressure are not a good combination so best to avoid foam rolling without a physician’s permission if you have moderate to severe osteoporosis.
Intervertebral Disc Issues – anyone with disc problems in their spine should be cautious with foam rolling because pressure in the wrong areas can create problems so again get guidance from a medical professional if you have an disc issues in your spine.
Inability to support bodyweight on arms or legs – foam rolling cannot be done safely if a person lacks the strength to support their bodyweight on their arms and/or legs.
For a pictorial guide of various foam rolling exercises to target specific body parts click here:   https://www.pinterest.com/explore/foam-rolling/  

The 2017 Extra Life 24-Hour Gaming Marathon, In Support of The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals [Post Updated All Weekend]

Wow, it’s that time again – time to try to play some games for a cause – in my case, I play as much as I can through the weekend for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (as I was born and raised in the province of Alberta, Canada).

This year actually ‘sprung up’ on me, as I haven’t been feeling well these past few weeks… I have had a bit of a fever [38C/100F+]  the entire time and have been extra sore and slow (I say ‘extra’ as I myself have a condition, called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – which is basically an infection of the brain and spine that causes Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue symptoms (pain and tiredness, respectively) – a condition I have had for 12 years now [wow it’s been that long]). So, playing for this charity every year is special to me and something I have tried to do every since I heard of Extra Life back in 2015.

Image Link to The Extra Life main website, where you can see all of the other wonderful people participating in this event, many of them streaming their marathon Live on Twitch and other streaming sites! (Link opens in a new window)

Due to my own illness then, I cannot play 24 hours straight through, but I count my gaming hours Playing For The Kids™ over the entire weekend of the event (in this years’ case, Saturday November 4th and Sunday November 5th), hopefully tallying 24 hours in total.. (in the case that I am not ‘up to it’ for that long, I allow myself to count my wife’s gaming time, as she generously tries to play beside me and add hours, for a “Total Household Hours” amount). [I always hope that in the spirit of the event and the intention, that my dear readers and those at Extra Life find this acceptable]

As has occurred in past years, I do not have the ability/energy to set up and maintain a constant Stream of some sort yet (through Twitch, YouTube and other streaming services); but what I do is I share some details and Screenshots (and Videos if I can) of what I am able to play, here at The Blog, in an ongoing and updated post – one that I will be adding to as the weekend progresses (including Sunday Night), right here!

So, follow along with me as I Play For The Kids™ all weekend, updating this very post as I go – and if you wish to take part, you can Pledge/Donate directly to the Extra Life charity via the Logo/Image just below or through this link for 2017: https://www.extra-life.org/participant/247989 – and whether you pledge anything or not, feel free to just return to this posting for gameplay time Updates, Screenshots, some Video Clips from the weekend – and more!

See You In The Game!

Update, Saturday 12:30PM MST: Beginning The Marathon, with the initial post above and gathering snacks and drinks to start Playing For The Kids™!

Update, Saturday 7:30 PM MST: As usual with this event, I always try to play some good’ol Minecraft Hardcore Mode (you only get one life!), to see how far I can get during the marathon.

Usually, I don’t get too far and starting out this year was no exception. I spawned in a new Hardcore world – in a wintery biome which I found out later was “Cold Taiga” – which meant, although there were plenty of Trees for Wood to use, there were no seeds to find and plant right away for food, there were no large hills in sight (for easy access to Stone and Coal to cook any foods I might come across) except in the far distance – and as night fell, I died right away to a band of two skeletons and a zombie that came out from behind one of the many, many trees…. Wow what a harsh start!

I began another Hardcore world, hoping to spawn in a relatively easier biome – and I did… I quickly collected Seeds from the Grass around me and began a Garden to grow Wheat RIGHT AWAY, heh. I had to cull some of the many Pigs I found around me in order to eat, planning on replenishing their numbers later on. I then carved out a little Mud Hut in the hillside nearby and settled in for the night…

Updates on that World as I play more – but for now I have to stop and take another break. More to come!

Total Gameplay Time: ~2.0 hrs

Update, Sunday 10:30 AM MST: I played last night right up until I fell asleep, starting a “Just One Life™” character in Fallout 4 (where I stop playing and delete that character upon dying just once), and was popping into various games for short periods of time, like Marvel Heroes (which has Daily Login Rewards, with small ‘gifts’ every few days you enter the game – and a Free Hero available at the no doubt-difficult-to-get-to, Day 300) [Even if I do not have the energy to play for a while, I try to pop in to register a login, heh – to see how far I can go].

I also popped into The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a Virtual Collectible Card Game based on The Elder Scrolls series [a good game for slow-paced-yet-still-kinda-flashy-and-enjoyable gameplay that you can play against the CPU/AI only, if you desire to]. I also ran a few Benchmarks and did a few quick driving tests in Grand Theft Auto V, trying out some settings I saw in YouTube videos online (to see if I get the same framerate with the same hardware) – but I felt a bit weird at the concept of playing GTA games for this Event [shouldn’t I be playing games kids would play, or at least Family-Friendly games? lol], so I didn’t stay in Los Santos very long.
Today, I plan on playing as much as I can, continuing my Minecraft: Hardcore Mode world, and my Fallout 4 “Just One Life™” character, along with some Elder Scrolls Online gameplay, hoping to get up to 24 hours in Total. I’ll also post more Screenshots next Update. Here I go!
Total Gameplay Time: ~ 5.0 hrs


Update, Monday 9:30 AM MST: Well I played as much as I could… 
In Minecraft, I continued my Hardcore Mode world (actually Marathon 2017 World 2.0, as I died without even leaving the first Biome in the first one (above)), making a nice Garden along the shore of a River nearby…
When night fell upon the world, since I was out on a ‘walkabout’, looking around the Biome, I quickly dug into the nearest hill, making myself a small mudhut house to Craft and Cook in… I should have maybe stayed in it all night, but I thought I would get started on collecting more Food, by killing a few Spiders and using their silk to make String, crafting a Fishing Pole.. And what happened? Two Skeletons came out from behind a tree and as I ran back toward my little ‘second mud hut’, they cornered me and filled me full of arrows, as I weakly flailed my Rock Sword back and forth… I hope my ‘Deeds Will Be Remembered’ [hehe Diablo2]
To make myself feel better, I popped in an out of a few games for the next few hours… I tried out Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which seemed like an open-world racing game, with good graphics.
Playing that game reminded me of a ‘test’ I wanted to do (I love running Benchmarks and Tests, heh) with Grand Theft Auto Five (GTAV), where I saw a video of someone running it on High Settings, to test out the differences between how it performed on two different CPUs (Processors, referring to the ‘main engines’ of a computer). So I started up GTAV and ran the Benchmark (to see if I got similar results) and drove around the city a bit.
While the game looked good, I felt a little weird playing such a ‘mature’ game during a Marathon for children’s charities [lol shouldn’t I be playing ‘family friendly games’? or does it matter?], so I just took a few Screenshots (of course), and then left it for now, for something else.

The Beta for Paladins, a MOBA-slash-FPS game by the makers of Tribes:Ascend and Smite, was going on, so I popped into that game, going through the Training and playing for a while afterward.


Total Gameplay Time: ~ 10.0 hrs

Alas, just like before, I couldn’t quite make the 24 Hours on my own… My own illness [where I am sore a lot and get tired easily] keeps me from playing for very long at one time. However, as I stated earlier, what I like to do, is include the game playing time that My Better Half does alongside me, as part of a “Household Total”… If I include her generous contribution, the new total becomes:

Total Household Time: ~23.0 hrs


Haha – even with her inclusion, I did not ‘quite’ make the 24 Hours in total… But, as stated above, I hope that in the spirit of the Marathon and its’ intention – and mine – I hope that what did accrue would be acceptable… In fact; I do not think that ‘total game time’ is the main goal of this Marathon… This time is perhaps to literally ‘take time’, to think about those that are much more unfortunate than us, and in the case of this Charity, much younger than most of us… During this Day or Weekend, whichever it is, I think, we remember those out there, those that are in need. In this spirit/state-of-mind; I thank you Dear Reader, for following along in this small adventure. Whether you donated at all or not, I hope that you played a little bit of some game, took a little bit of time, to think about those that are in much more pain and need than most of us are. And I thank you for following me on this small journey. Take care, my unmet friend – and perhaps See You In The Game.

FHA and VA Loans – Charging Notary Fees

QUESTION
We need some assistance regarding our ability as a lender to charge the borrower notary fees on FHA and VA loans when it is an employee of the lender who is acting as the notary. Can you please provide some guidance?
ANSWER
With respect to a VA loan, the lender may not charge the borrower a separate itemized notary fee, regardless if the notary is an employee or not. All such fees are intended to be covered by the 1% flat fee charge. 
[VA Lender’s Handbook Ch. 8.2-d]
With respect to an FHA loan, the current handbook provides that the lender may charge the borrower “reasonable and customary fees that do not exceed the actual cost of the service provided”. 
[HUD Handbook 4000.1.II.A.6.a.x(A)] 

The italicized section of the previous sentence implies that a lender may not charge for services provided by its employees as the lender did not incur any costs, as the employee’s salary is part of the lender’s overhead.
A prior version of the HUD handbook specifically delineated allowable fees which included a notary fee if notarization is required by the state and the notarization is performed by a notary who is not employed by the lender.  
[HUD 4000.2 Rev-3 Ch. 5-2(O)]  

HUD Handbook 4000.2 Rev-3 was superseded by Handbook 4155.2 which did away with the specific categories but stated that the cost for any item charged must not exceed the cost paid by the lender or charged to the lender by the service provider, thus making it impermissible to charge for services provided by the lender’s employees. Handbook 4155.2 has been superseded by Handbook 4000.1 discussed above.
Pertinent sections of the Handbooks cited above are set forth below.  
HUD Handbook 4000.1.II.A.6.a.x(A)
x. Closing Costs and Fees
The Mortgagee must ensure that all fees charged to the Borrower comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and disclosure requirements.
The Mortgagee is not permitted to use closing costs to help the Borrower meet the Minimum Required Investment (MRI).
(A) Collecting Customary and Reasonable Fees. The Mortgagee may charge the Borrower reasonable and customary fees that do not exceed the actual cost of the service provided. The Mortgagee must ensure that the aggregate charges do not violate FHA’s Tiered Pricing rules.
HUD Handbook 4155.2 6.A.3.a Collecting Customary and Reasonable Fees

The lender may only collect fair, reasonable, and customary fees and charges from the borrower for all origination services. FHA will monitor to ensure that borrowers are not overcharged. Furthermore, the FHA Commissioner retains the authority to set limits on the amount of any fees that a lender may charge a borrower(s) for obtaining an FHA loan.
Aggregate charges may not violate FHA’s tiered pricing rules, per ML 94-16.
Additionally, FHA does not allow “mark-ups.” The cost for any item charged to the borrower must not exceed the cost paid by the lender, or charged to the lender by the service provider.
Only the actual cost for the service may be charged to the borrower.
HUD Handbook 4000.2 Rev-3 Ch. 5-2(O)
CLOSING COSTS AND OTHER FEES (05/04)
Listed below are the customary and reasonable fees and charges that may be collected from the borrower by the lender and used to meet the minimum investment requirement for purchases and added to the existing indebtedness for refinances. The cost for any item charged to the borrower must not exceed the cost paid by the lender or charged to the lender by the service provider.
* * *
O. Courier/Wire/Notary Fees. Courier fees and wire fees may be charged only on refinances and only for delivery of the mortgage payoff statement to the lien holder and for closing documents to the settlement agent. The borrower must agree in writing to pay for the courier and wire fees, prior to loan closing. Notary fees may be charged if notarization is required by state law and is performed by a notary who is not employed by the lender.
VA Lender’s Handbook Ch. 8, 2-d: Lender’s One Percent Flat Charge (11/08/12)

In addition to the “itemized fees and charges,” the lender may charge the veteran a flat charge not to exceed one percent of the loan amount.
Calculate the one percent on the principal amount after adding the funding fee to the loan, if the funding fee is paid from loan proceeds (except Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs).
Note: For IRRRLs, use VA Form 26-8923, IRRRL Worksheet, for the calculation.
The lender’s flat charge is intended to cover all of the lender’s costs and services which are not reimbursable as “itemized fees and charges.”
The following list provides examples of items that cannot be charged to the veteran as “itemized fees and charges.” Instead, the lender must cover any cost of these items out of its flat fee:

  • notary fees

Joyce Wilkins Pollison
Director/Legal & Regulatory Compliance
Lenders Compliance Group

Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor

As of late, Royal Enfield has been in the news for all the good reasons. The Indian owned British-marque is grabbing the limelight and chewing into newsprint for their massive expansion plans, and of course, for their exciting launches up ahead. However, now we have got a hold of a piece of news that speaks of an all-original 1A Interceptor bike from the 1960’s.

Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor0007

To the uninitiated, the Interceptor was made by Royal Enfield from 1960 to 1970 and during that period they even tinkered with the powerplant—kicking it up to a 750cc unit. The 1A Interceptor was launched back in 1967 and is still a rare piece of classic bike machinery to obtain. Those who succeed in finding one will always be inclined to restore it to its previous glory.
READ MORE: Royal Enfield Now Sells More Bikes Than H-D | RideApart
So when Charlie Giordano, who owns Tailgunner Exhausts, found one such 1A Interceptor in desperate need of some tender love and care, everyone hoped to see the bike getting a thorough restoration job. Well…it did get a new lease of life, but it wasn’t what everyone expected to see. The result was mind-blowing.

Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor0006

Giordano chose to get a fresh sheet of paper and start from scratch in terms of the styling. It did have to feature one of the finest of his Gatling Gun-inspired rotating exhaust systems, which we think is the one of the most ridiculously awesome things that can be retrofitted on to a motorbike. It’s more like Pacific Rim – dumb, but rad!
READ MORE: 8 Signs You’re a Biker N00B | RideApart
But the sheer lunacy of this 1A Interceptor doesn’t end with its tailpipe that will surely make the cars behind you swerve off the lane. Giordano has borrowed cues from England during that era where this bike belonged once. Sample this: It has a wax-sealed “Boston” liniment bottle attached to the fork leg—filled to the brim with “a sailor’s daily ration of rum” per old Royal Navy Tradition.

Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor0005

The battery box is made from wood cigar boxes and embellished with hand-hammered copper strips. It also has a pedestrian slicer on the front number plate. This bike has café racer genes written all over it—from the fender devoid wheels to the Manx-style fuel tank. And that gorgeous tail section! All of it was crafted using old techniques with the help of hand tools.
When asked about choosing to go all-out mental with this build instead of doing a more composed restoration, Giordano said, “I felt like a politician: No matter which way I vote, I’m going to displease about half the constituency.”
We are the half that is very pleased.

Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor0004

Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor0003

Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor0002 
Royal Enfield Tailgunner Interceptor0001
 First published in rideapart.com/

Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Fudge

My hubby loves fudge, so I always include it in my Christmas cookie baking especially since I’ve found this amazingly simple and easy recipe. Remember, I’m a lazy baker? 🙂 I love this recipe because you can add just about anything you want…marshmallows, extra chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, etc.

Easy Fudge
From Busy Cooks

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cream
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, if desired


Place chips and milk in microwave safe bowl. (You can use just the one package of semisweet chocolate chips, or add the milk chocolate chips for a fudge that is slightly sweeter and creamier.)

Microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Microwave, stirring at 1 minutes intervals, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in butter and cream until combined.

Pour into greased 8″ square pan and cool. You can also melt the chips and milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat.

You can add just about anything to this easy recipe. Stir in a cup of chopped nuts, add a cup of marshmallows after the cooking time is done, stir in chopped dried fruit or some white chocolate chips. Have fun with the recipe!

How One Weekend on a Harley Nightster Converted me Into A Harley Fan

How One Weekend on a Harley Nightster Converted me Into A Harley Fan

You know the old expression, “Don’t knock it ’til you try it,” right? Harley-Davidsons are often surrounded by haters, mostly comprised of those who’ve never ridden one. There are Keyboard Warriors attacking H-D based primarily on their spec sheets, high price tags, and low performance. I’ll admit it, I used to be one of them. That is, until a Nightster changed my mind.

I fully expected to hate this motorcycle. My brother expected me to hate this motorcycle too. It’s too loud and too flashy; it’s too “image-driven” and contains antiquated technology. I could come up with a million insults and at the end of the day they’d all boil down to, “It’s a Harley-Davidson.” But you know what? Believe it or not, it’s fun!

2016 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty

2016 Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty

My Riding History

About a year ago, I received my first taste of Project Livewire. Yes, yes, I know, it’s not exactly a big thumpin’ V-twin, but it was the first time I’d ridden a H-D product. I rode a Sportster Forty-Eight (which is essentially the same bike as the Nightster), but I didn’t understand Harley-Davidson then. Riding a Sportster immediately after what I still believe is the future of motorcycling only accentuated the different eras I was experiencing. Because of that contrast, I guess I didn’t understand what the “normal” H-Ds brought to the table.
MUST READ:  The Realities of Riding | RideApart
A couple weeks ago I took a 300 mile road trip on my Triumph Bonneville. When I got back, my brother offered to loan me his Nightster. This let me do a direct comparison of two very “image-driven” motorcycles.
Both motorcycles are starting points for self-expression. While I feel like the Triumph is a completely blank slate, the Harley is drenched with decades of “biker” imagery. However, I (surprisingly) had a great time on my brother’s Nightster. Granted, I don’t fit that Harley Davidson bike mold at all, especially when riding it with my full face helmet and head-to-toe textile gear.

Nightster-02

Personality Counts

If I were to make a pros/cons list, a Harley is the bike I shouldn’t buy. But at the same time, it’s like my Ducati and a few cars I’ve owned in the past; its personality shines through in an unexpected way. The Nightster quickly became endearing. I’m not sure if it could ever be my only bike, and my brother’s ownership experience seconds that notion, considering how little the Nightster gets ridden while living next to his R1. With that said, each day I had the H-D, I wanted to go for a ride, and I came home happily exhausted. I’ve certainly owned bikes I can’t say that about.
MUST READ:  Why I Bought a Kawasaki Ninja 650 – My Second Bike | RideApart
The suspension isn’t top of the line, but it still manages to be gentler on me than a day on the Bonneville. The motor? Well, it shakes everything and everyone around. Surprisingly, not a ton came through the bars. The bike was nowhere near as fatiguing as I expected it to be, and because of that I found myself filling the bike up multiple times throughout the day. (The fuel tank is small, so the range isn’t awesome.)

2012 Harley-Davidson Nightster 1200cc

2012 Harley-Davidson Nightster 1200cc

Despite the fact that the bike doesn’t meet my image, I had a ball riding it and found one thing that really surprised me. Anyone who’s ever ridden behind me on a bike has to give me the flashy-hand signal. Not with the Nightster, however. It had me covered with self-canceling blinkers! I’m looking for how to retrofit that system to every bike I own right now. I spent days looking like I knew where I was going, and I just can’t put a price on that!

There’s Always Something…

There’s one downside though. That clutch was terrible, although I’m not sure if it was because of my small hands or the oversized levers. All I know is that my clutch hand was on fire after a day of riding around town. With such a stiff and long pull, I know that if I owned this bike, I’d be shopping for ways to mitigate that before I even bought an exhaust. Maybe I’ve just been softened by the other bikes I’ve ridden, but this clutch is in another world from anything else. All a part of the experience, I guess.
Despite the clutch, I’m surfing used-bike sites looking for a Nightster of my own. They hold their resale value really well and the temptation is real.

First published by rideapart.com/

Promotional Rates

QUESTION
In designing our new ad campaign, we have to decide whether to offer a promotional rate or a discounted rate. But we are unsure if these two rates can be one and the same thing. What is the difference between these rates and if they are the both in a transaction, do we need two different disclosures for each one?
ANSWER
This is most certainly not a distinction without a difference! A “promotional rate,” in connection with a variable rate plan, is an APR that is not based on the index and margin that will be used to make rate adjustments under the plan, if that rate is less than a reasonably current APR that would be in effect under the index and margin that will be used to make rate adjustments under the plan. [12 CFR § 226.16(d)(6)(i)(A); 12 CFR Supplement 1 to Part 226 – Official Staff Commentary § 226.16(d)-5.i]
A “Discounted rate” is an initialAPR that is not based on the index and margin used to make later rate adjustments in a variable rate plan. [12 CFR § 226.16(d)(2)]
Therefore, a discounted rate encompasses only an initial rate, whereas a promotional rate encompasses a rate that could be in effect any time during the life of a credit transaction.

Thus, a rate can be both a discounted rate and a promotional rate and subject to the disclosure requirements for both types of rates.

Jonathan Foxx
Managing Director
Lenders Compliance Group

Men’s Body Click Diet part 1

In the summer the men had to cope with constant daylight, so they were missing the normal cues to go to bed. ‘When it’s daylight, even though it’s midnight or one o’clock in the morning, you don’t think of it as being the time to go to sleep,’ says Dave. ‘Your mind just says, hey, there’s work to be done. I may be tired but I’m not recognizing the need for sleep because it’s daylight.’

Already lacking the strong time-giving effects of light, the men could not set their body clocks by what they were eating, either. ‘We had four meals a day. Two of them occurred at noon and midnight, the other two at six in the morning and six in the evening,’ continues Dave. ‘One of the difficulties in telling what time it was, was that the 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. meals were powdered scrambled eggs and the other two meals were stew. So if you woke up at six o’clock and went into the galley for a meal and you had powdered scrambled eggs, you didn’t know whether you were having breakfast or dinner.’

Despite losing the signals that are normally provided by the cycle of light and dark, the timing of activity, intake of food, reasonable work shifts or even simple obedience to the clock, most of the men managed toget through without becoming acutely sick or injured. But some of them developed a condition they called Big Eye, in which they became stuck in a sleepless state. Almost everyone had duties that required exhausting physical labor, but even so, the men with Big Eye failed to sleep for days.

Diet Start

The men with Big Eye demonstrated that the body’s flexibility is a double-edged sword. The loss of essential time givers easily disrupted their circadian rhythms, probably setting them up for health problems if they continued down that path. On the other hand, proper application of some fairly simple rules for circadian health could have rescued them. And the same rules can rescue you from a potentially perilous state of disorganization.

The Body Clock Prescription reinforces strong circadian rhythms; produces better sleep, enhanced moods, alertness and energy; and reduces the risk for reproductive cancers for everyone. In addition to these overall improvements in health and well-being, there are specific aspects of the diet that have a favorable impact on prostate health, a subject that provokes anxiety for many men.

Prostate Ailments: The ‘Male Problem

There is certainly cause for concern. Prostate ailments are an almost universal threat to men in Europe and North America. Among men in the United States, prostate cancer is the most common cancer; it is also the second leading cause of cancer death.’ In addition, countless men suffer from other prostate problems. This phenomenon represents a kind of `male problem‘ corresponding roughly to what used to be called ‘female problems’, a much less specific collection of gynecological woes that were lumped under this heading in the mid-1900s. The notion of female problems embraced excessive menstruation, infertility, irregular periods,cramps, vaginal discharge and other kinds of medical mischief that women endure.

The male problem is more localized in the prostate gland, the part of the male reproductive system that secretes fluids that help transport sperm. Nevertheless, it is a fairly complicated picture, which includes inflammations of the prostate, a common condition known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer.

What’s more, prostate problems may lead you to needing a cystoscopy, where a narrow flashlight is inserted into the hole from which you pee until it arrives in your bladder. On the way, it passes through your prostate gland. Cystoscopy is a procedure that causes ‘big eyes’ in the bravest of men.

Besides cystoscopy, the other method often used to examine men with prostate complaints is digital rectal examination, in which the examiner can feel the profile of your prostate gland. (Digital refers to the doctor’s finger, not his computer.) Both give much less information than you would expect to get from such relatively invasive procedures. Opening your mouth and saying Ah’ discloses much more about your teeth, gums, tongue and throat than any rectal exam reveals about your prostate, unless you have a huge lump. Ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans are necessary to get a good picture of what’s happening to this gland, whose actual location on the floor of your pelvis seems mysterious to anyone who has not studied anatomy.

Diet and Prostate Health

If you look around you, especially as you get older and start hearing stories from men who have prostate trouble, you may wonder if there’s something simple you can do to avoid it. I’m not talking about early detection, which is mentioned frequently these days. (Of course, most men’s idea of early detection is that early next year or the year after would be just fine.) Nor am I saying that a good history, physical exam, measurements of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a common blood test used to screen for prostate cancer and other indicators of your underlying health, prostate or otherwise, are not a good idea.

But you’re misplacing your priorities if you go through those procedures without making some modest changes in your diet now to prevent troubles in the future. Most men who have a reasonably healthy personal and family medical history and who don’t abuse themselves with excesses of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, other risky activities or excessive inactivity can probably remain free of obvious symptoms even if they don’t implement all the points of the Body Clock Prescription. Some of these pointsare aimed at people who are trying to get out of serious medical trouble or who have risk factors that call on them to follow the diet very strictly.

Naturally, the more closely you follow the Body Clock Prescriptionthe better, but if you do nothing else, I urge you to consume soy protein and flaxseed powder daily to prevent prostate problems. By making these simple dietary changes and keeping your mind open to the possibility that fungal infection, intestinal overgrowth or allergy might have a hand in any prostate inflammation that is not otherwise easily diagnosed by a physician, you can go a long way toward avoiding the possibility of getting prostate cancer, as well as the other problems that frequently lead men to undergo cystoscopy.

Men’s Body Click Diet part 2

What I’m giving you here is a chance to climb the ship’s mast with me so that from its top we can see far over the horizon of medicine. The view from the masthead is based not so much on my daily activities as a practicing physician but on my mission to search the seascape of scientific research for courses that can help prevent my patients from developing prostate trouble. What I see from the top of the mast is a body of evidence that is solid enough to support these simple changes in behavior, especially considering that there’s zero risk in consuming flaxseed and soy protein.

The best evidence is based on studies done in a couple of places in the world, where prostate troubles are rare. Solid epidemiological studies that show a lower incidence of prostate cancer in men consuming foods popular among Finns and Chinese — rye bread for Finns and soy for Chinese.2 And he has carried out elaborate chemical analyses and experiments to show which substances in these foods provide the protection.

For years before his research was done, it was assumed that the Finns’ genetic history accounted for their lower incidence of prostate cancer. Most modern Finns come from a small number of people who migrated to that part of the world many years ago, so they are a rather distinct linguistic, racial and genetic group. It turns out, however, that it’s not their genes but their diet that protects them against certain cancers. And the dietary factor that is most significant is a sourdough rye bread that is eaten by people consuming a traditional Finnish diet. This whole-grain, heavy- duty bread is made out of ground whole rye seeds without anything removed. The leavening is provided by lactobacillus (acidophilus) instead of yeast, which is used to leaven almost all bread consumed in other parts of the world. What’s key is that the rye fiber contains lignans that modulate hormone chemistry and reduce the risk of reproductive cancers.

Diet Start

Eastern Europeans have traditionally used flaxseeds as a source of food and medicine. Flaxseed oil, which makes up about one-third of the weight of the seeds, has extremely healthy properties that also provide particular benefits for the prostate gland. But here we’re talking about the fiber in the flaxseed. The best way to use the seeds is to grind them in a coffee mill. You can then consume the fine, fluffy powder as part of a shake or add it to a variety of other foods. Your aim is to eat a heaping tablespoon per day.

Besides rye and flaxseed, there are other foods that contain lignans. Some of the best sources include legumes (especially lentils, kidney, fava and navy beans), seeds (like sunflower seeds), seaweed, cereal brans and whole grains.

There is also a solid body of evidence supporting the role of soy protein in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. For example, research has shown that isoflavones, substances contained in soybeans, modify testosterone metabolism, decreasing the risk for both benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer.3 Incorporating soy protein in your diet doesn’t require you to change what you eat, although it’s fine to eat more tofu, miso and other soy products if you enjoy them. The simplest, quickest way to consume soy protein is by stirring soy protein isolate, a relatively tasteless substance, into some of the food you are already eating.

Foods like soybeans, flaxseed and rye contain information derived from phytonutrients, which keep animals in synchrony with the rhythm of the seasons and which have profound effects on our own reproductive systems.

Prostate Inflammation or Nonspecific Prostatitis

Your prostate gland usually doesn’t speak to you until it’s in some advanced state of trouble. When it does, it has only two voices. One is expressed through pain or difficulty with urination and the other is just plain pain, which is almost invariably felt in the midline of your body. The spectrum of difficulties includes inflammation, enlargement and cancer. While there are more or less pure representations of each one, the lines between them are often blurred. All three, but particularly enlargement and cancer, are addressed by the preventive measures included in the Body Clock Diet.

Let’s start with inflammation, which is the medical term for some combination of redness, pain, swelling and heat that almost always accompanies infection but may also represent your body’s reaction to noninfectious irritants or allergens. The flame of prostate inflammation is experienced as burning with urination. This is as much a result of inflammation of the tube through which the urine passes out of the penis (the urethra) as it is due to inflammation of the prostate, per se, which lies astride this tube, just beneath the bladder. Germs that infect the urethra, such as the gonorrhea germ, may ascend it and get into the prostate gland. There, the alkaline environment and blood supply, which are conducive to bacterial growth, make it much harder to treat the infection with antibiotics than, say, a sore throat, a boil or an uncomplicated pneumonia. Because the germs that infect the prostate are difficult to extract from apatient for a culture it has become a common practice for doctors to treat symptoms of prostate inflammation with antibiotics without knowing what germ, if any, might be there.

The diagnosis in this situation is ‘nonspecific’ prostatitis, which is a well- accepted medical term. But when you stop to think about it, it’s peculiar. According to medical principles, when there is an infection, the perpetrator is almost always a particular germ. The prostate, like all internal tissues, is not likely to be infected by more than one germ at a time. The implication is that if there’s an infection, it’s quite specific. How then do we come up with the diagnosis ‘nonspecific’ prostatitis? It’s a result of several factors; efforts to recover a germ are to no avail, the prostate acts as if there’s an inflammation — with swelling, pain, difficulty urinating and sometimes cloudy or pussy urine — and antibiotics are at least temporarily soothing. But after antibiotic treatment, this problem recurs more often than other infections.

“Path 22” BMW

Munich/Biarritz. From June 11th – 14th 2015, the Wheels & Waves Festival celebrates for the fourth time a unique meeting of custom bikes, surfing and art in Biarritz. The festival is a great event that provides a straightforward opportunity for people to get together in a unique atmosphere and express their lifestyle of freedom and individuality. In this special setting, BMW Motorrad presents the BMW interpretation of a scrambler for the first time: the BMW Concept Path 22.




Expression of a Lifestyle. The first scramblers in the 1950s were modified road machines with deep-treaded tyres, somewhat increased spring travel and a raised exhaust for off-road riding. These features gave the bikes a characteristic appearance that came to symbolise an attitude. “A scrambler is the perfect match for Wheels & Waves. It’s the epitome of a motorcycle beyond established standards and conventions. Performance specifications are not so much of interest – style and originality all the more so. Scramblers express passion and are as varied as their owners. The Concept Path 22 is our own interpretation based on the R nineT. The latter is the perfect basis for a scrambler conversion”, explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design.



Cooperation with Southsiders MC, Ornamental Conifer and Dyer Brand.
The BMW Concept Path 22 is the result of a collaboration that goes far beyond the motorcycle itself. At the initiative of the Wheels & Waves organisers, the motorcycle club Southsiders MC – in particular their member Vincent Prat – BMW Motorrad invited the artist Ornamental Conifer and the surfboard shaper Mason Dyer of Dyer Brand to design the BMW Concept Path 22 together. “Based on our scrambler interpretation, we wanted to create a kind of projection of the particular blend of people and cultures to be found at Wheels & Waves. And we found the perfect partners to do just this. The BMW Concept Path 22 captures everything that makes the Wheels & Waves people, festival and lifestyle so special”, says Edgar Heinrich. For this reason, the BMW scrambler interpretation is presented to Wheels & Waves Festival visitors in its own distinctive paint finish complete with BMW leather jackets designed especially by Ornamental Conifer and two surf boards created exclusively by Dyer Brand. All these various facets go together to reflect the creative scene that assembles every year at Wheels & Waves – a constantly growing community.


The name “Path 22” refers to one of the insider secrets among Europe’s surf spots. This particular stretch of beach is inaccessible to cars, located on the Atlantic coast of southern France, half an hour’s walk through one of Europe’s biggest pine forests. The path leading to this spot bears the number 22.

The Motorcycle – The Expression of Freedom.
“The BMW Concept Path 22 stands for freedom – freedom of thought and its expression. There are no boundaries. Whatever you like is allowed – as at the Wheels & Waves-Festival. The Concept Path 22 is based on the BMW R nineT, which we see as the epitome of a custom bike. It is actually designed to be modified – customised according to individual preferences. The idea of a BMW scrambler is not new to us. Now seemed to be the right time to present our interpretation of this legendary vehicle concept,” says Ola Stenegard, Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design. At the heart of the BMW Concept Path 22, there is a powerful two-cylinder boxer engine with cardan drive – as is typical of BMW. The single-sided swing arm makes the five-spoke rear wheel visible, again a familiar BMW feature. The remainder of the bike is equally genuine and down-to-earth. The classic circular headlamp, the fuel tank and a short seat ensure clear, agile proportions. The body finishes visually above the rear hub, thereby promising versatile handling. Typical scrambler features such as studded tyres, a large front wheel, slightly extended sprint travel and a raised exhaust mean the bike moves effortlessly over gravel and sand. These elements also create a striking appearance, instantly suggesting the kind of experience the BMW Concept Path 22 is able to offer.



Riding fun in its most original form.
The BMW Concept Path 22 is stripped down to the essentials. Every element and surface has a function. At the same time, each detail expresses both aesthetic appeal and consummate craftsmanship. In addition to the rustic elements such as the studded tyres and the protective grid in front of the headlamp, there are also high-end details such as the stitched leather seat, the handles with leather inserts and the typical scrambler-style Akrapovic tailpipes in high-quality stainless steel that add a touch of exclusive flair. High performance parts by Öhlins and Gilles Tooling, clever solutions such as direction indicators integrated in the handlebar ends, the MotoGadget instrument panel and the contrastcut milled parts created by Roland Sands Design further emphasise the bike’s quality detail. The milled aluminium wheels – likewise contrastcut – were produced exclusively by BMW Motorrad, rounding off the motorcycle’s minimalist appearance in top-class style. All parts of the concept bike are necessary essentials and offer the very best quality. In this way, the BMW Concept Path 22 perfects the art of reduction and harks back to the very essence that gives motorcycling its underlying appeal: the unity of man and machine.




Artwork by Ornamental Conifer.
The headlamp pan, fuel tank and mudguards of the BMW Concept Path 22 bear the artwork of Ornamental Conifer, alias Nico Sclater. He has been part of the Wheels & Waves movement for a long time and is co-founder of the scene’s graphic identity. Stylised lettering and graphic ornamentation are key to his work. The mischievous style of his typography is typically combined with profound and pithy puns. In addition to his work on vehicles, signs and windows, Nico Sclater is especially famous for his graphic enhancement of leather jackets. He not only created the concept bike’s special paint finish but also painted a number of exclusive BMW leather jackets for the Concept Path 22 team- each one a unique specimen.



Riding the Waves – boards by Dyer Brand.
A particular highlight of the BMW Concept Path 22 is the surfboard holder on the right-hand side. Specially developed by BMW Motorrad, it is as reduced, functional and high-quality as the bike itself. Made solely of machined aluminium and leather, it is highly variable and can be adapted to different board sizes. When not required it can be folded down to disappear into the bike’s silhouette or else simply dismounted. The boards to suit the holder were made by no less than leading shaper Mason Dyer himself of Dyer Brand in San Diego. He is famous for his high-quality custom boards that draw their inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s. Dyer has made two custom boards exclusively for the BMW Concept Path 22: a longboard (9’4) reminiscent of the period when scramblers first emerged and a shortboard (6’8) which meets the needs of modern surfers.






The graphic design of the bike, jackets and surfboards express individual style and creativity. Each one a unique specimen, they also feature a matching colour scheme. This gives every element its own distinctive character while highlighting the core of the Wheels & Waves philosophy once again: joining together to celebrate Surf, Art, Motorcycles and the Freedom to do it your way.

First read on ottonero.blogspot.co.uk

Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Sugar Body Scrub

Like I’ve mentioned before, I want to start exploring all-natural body products, so along with the lip balm, I made homemade sugar body scrub. The scrub was super easy…if you can stir two ingredients together you can make sugar scrub 🙂 Not only does the scrub work just as well as expensive store-bought brands, it was significantly less expensive. Here’s what I spent…

Kroger brand Turbinado sugar $3.50
Kroger brand baby oil $1.99
Essential oil $4 (but I only used 1/3 of the bottle so $1.33 worth approx.)
Jars $6

Total spent…$12.82 which made 6 jars, so $2.13/jar 
I could have probably made them even cheaper, but I went with the nicer glass jars since I was giving them as gifts. 

Here’s the recipe I adapted from Martha Stewart
Homemade Body Scrub
Body oil (I used baby oil, but you could use any kind of oil you want)
Epsom salt, sea salt, or organic cane sugar (I wanted a sugar scrub, so I used turbinado sugar)
12 oz. jar with cap
Lemon zest or 9-10 drops of your favorite flavor of essential oil

Combine 1 cup of body oil with 2 cups of Epsom or sea salts or organic cane sugar (depending on how fine a grain you like). Add lemon zest or essential oils for color and fragrance. Package in jars.

Workout Anytime in Louisville Business First Inbox

Workout Anytime in Louisville Business First

Workout Anytime of Louisville, KY was recently in Louisville Business First. The article features Louisville resident, Bobby Paisley. Paisley brought Workout Anytime to the Louisville market, and has been with the brand for four years now. Bobby has been able to successful build the brand and will be opening his third Louisville location this March. Along with fellow fraternity brother from WKU and Regional Developer Greg Parker, they have built the brand in Louisville and surrounding areas in Kentucky.
You can read the full article here. 

It’s Not Just You™ – Battle.Net Issues with Logging In Today [Notification]

Just a quick post to let others know that if you are having logging in to Battle.Net today (August 1st) that lots of people have been having problems as of this morning. Blizzard has addressed this with a quick note via their twitter, seen at:

https://twitter.com/BlizzardCS/status/760100687111938048

Retry or Go Back To Bed? Hmmm….

For those playing Blizzard/Battle.Net games this weekend, hopefully it will be up soon – just letting you know, It’s Not Just You™ !

My Trip to Baticaloa

On my way to Baticaloa, This was taken on the Polonnaruwa Habarana Road today (12/06/2011) @ 2.00 PM. Wow what a Jumbo!

“Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From?”, The Game Tips And More Blog’s Game Screenshot Identification Contest, Re-Happens Again Today! [Updated 2018-03-02 with Answer Image]

It’s the 15th of the month – and it is time for something that I re-re-started up, just last Month – The Next Installment of The Game Tips And More Blog’s ‘New-ish-sorta-but-not-really’ Contest:

“Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From?”

(A Game Screenshot Identification Contest)

Having its’ Fifth Edition now, today – February 15th, 2018!

All you have to do to win this contest, is contact me in any way you can (eg. Comment on this article
below, Twitter profile tweet, email me or Comment/PrivateMessage TheBlog’s Steam Account by the end of the month, with these two items within your message:

1. Your guess for the game the image is from.
2. Information on how to contact you back (to receive Steam game gifts, etc) if you win.
That’s it!
**[Just a quick note to be careful not to include any information you do not wish to share ‘publicly’ when posting in the Comments area below or at Steam or sending a Twitter profile Tweet, as these messages are seen by ‘everyone’]


The first correct answer submitted by a Skillful Identifier/Gamer will receive this month’s contest prize – which is: a gifted game from the Steam online store!

[Note: Although I have been collecting Games on Steam over the past few Years, during Steam Sales,
due to how Steam has changed Gifting games through Steam recently, you will have to temporarily become a Friend
of TheBlog’s Steam Account (to receive the game – after receiving your Gifted Game, you may Unfriend of course)]
Winners will also be announced in bold, large lettered-text, here on this posting and will thereby be immortalized on The Intertubes in perpetuity, proving to all other comers that you were “The Ultimate Game Screenshot Guesser Thingy Person” [aka. Gamer]!

Previous Editions of this Contest [to ‘see how it works’] can be found at TheBlog, here:

Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From – Contest #1
Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From – Contest #2
Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From – Contest #3
Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From – Contest #4

Are you ready? Here then, is the Screenshot image for this month, below:

[As you can see, the image is a portion of a full screen capture; but don’t worry – the image used for the contest will never be ‘too’ obscure or small (for example, it will never be ‘just the end of a wooden log’ or anything like that)]

After a week has gone by, if there is no correct guess as to what game the Screenshot is from, I will return here and put up a ‘Hint’ image – a larger portion of the Screenshot – to assist in Game Recognition-ing-ism…

Update!

A week has gone by and there have been no correct guesses received yet… So, here is a HINT image; (an enlarged area portion of the already-slightly-larger-than-normal CONTEST Screenshot for this month’s Contest)! Ready?

Here is the HINT image (with enlarged portion revealed), below:

[Click the Image to see it at a slightly-larger Full Size – and as you can see, the image is still a portion of the full screen capture; but don’t worry – the image used for the contest will never be ‘too’ obscure or small (for example, it will never be ‘just the end of a wooden log’ or anything like that)]

At the end of the Month, if noone has guessed correctly by then, I will return here and reveal the full Mystery Screenshot and the Game it was from – Good Luck, Gamers!

Update!
It has been two weeks since the Contest began and there have been no correct submissions! Aww….

To end The Mystery, here is the answer for February’s edition of
‘Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From’ (2018-02):


The Answer for this month’s Contest was: Just Cause 2!
[Captured in 2014, this Screenshot I took was back when I was playing games at 1600×900 – which is a ‘sweet spot’ I personally recommend [by my own testing] for Mid-Range GPUs (VideoCards). This was JC2 being played with a GTS 250, the ‘Black Knight Edition’ from ASUS which I paired at the time with an AMD X2 245, iirc**. Wow, I have been planning this identification game a long time – never getting around to it for a while of course – haha]
Click to see Full Size
Come back next 15th-of-the-month friends, when you can have another chance to be a Digital Screenshot Sleuth in the Sixth Edition of ‘Can You Guess Where The Screenshot Below Is From’ – and a chance to win the Prize that will be carried over to next time: a gifted game from the Steam online store!

See You In The Games!

[**Note: I am not affiliated in any way or degree with NVIDIA or AMD, and I have not and will not receive any compensation of any kind, for mentioning them here. I am merely an enthusiastic user of both companies’ products. I have utilized both and will continue to use both in the future ((on a personal note, I find I usually am ‘stairstepping’ with their GPUs, purchasing from one manufacturer, then the next ‘upgrade’ purchasing from the other, heh. I always Suggest to people who ask; to get whichever has Features you like – and only what you can afford at the time – it will be outdated in 3 years or so anyway; Enjoy what you have and be thankful because there are always people who have less!))]

(The Game Tips And More Blog Contest Game #2018-02)

Kneeling High to Low Chop – The Best Core Exercise You are Not Doing!

Core stability is a big buzzword in fitness, and for very good reason.     The ability to keep the core stable is essential for proper movement and prevention of injury.      Stability has three aspects related to the planes of movement:
Sagittal Plane Stability– is the ability to prevent flexion and extension of the core from the low back to the top of the head.
Front Plane Stability– is the ability to prevent lateral flexion of the core from the top of the head to the low back.
Transverse Plan Stability – is the ability to prevent rotation of the core from the top of the head to the low back
Stability is about preventing movement – not creating movement!   All muscles can act as stabilizers, movers, or absorbers, but the muscles of the core spend a lot of time preventing movement in many activities from running to walking to jumping.    This is why exercises like the plank are considered functional because the plank is about using core muscles to prevent movement of the core as opposed to exercises like a crunch which is about creating movement.
To have a strong and stable core it is important to perform stability exercises in all three planes of movement.     The plank and side plank do a great job of challenging muscles to prevent movement in the sagittal and front planes, but that leaves the Transverse Plane.    This is significant because the vast majority of injuries occur in the Transverse Plane with Frontal Plane injuries close behind.
It is also important to note that rotational movement (movement in the transverse plane) is fundamental to human movement in general and the generation of explosive force in many activities from Golf to Tennis to Boxing.
One of the best ways to develop rotational stability in the Transverse Plane is doing high to low anti-rotation chops in a half kneeling position using either resistance bands or cable resistance with a rope handle or pole attached.
Execution

The anchor point of the resistance band/location of the cable handle should be position up high.     Your body should be facing perpendicular to a line from the handle/anchor point straight down and across your body.     You should be in a half kneeling posture down on one knee (the leg closest to the cable/band should flexed with foot flat on the floor and hip and knee bent at 90 degrees.   
The other knee should be down on the floor (use a cushion or mat!) with shin and top of foot along the ground directly behind the knee.   It is important that the knee is directly under the hip.  It is also important that the spine be held straight with a straight line from top of head through the spine and hip to the knee on the ground.    Extend the spine fully and keep your spine fully elongated throughout the exercise.
Reach across the body and place both hands on the resistance band/rope spread apart with hands shoulder width apart.gripping the band/rope.
Keeping the shoulders and hips facing forward the entire time pull the rope/band directly down and across the body and pause in the bottom position making sure there is no movement to in the shoulders or hips while maintaining a fully lengthened spine.   Then slowly return to the starting position.    Form is VERY important in this exercise.
Here are two great instructional videos:
http://www.stack.com/video/3730538400001/elite-performance-with-mike-boyle-increase-core-strength-with-anti-rotation-exercises

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/abs-and-core-exercises/videos/half-kneeling-stability-chop

Fla. motorcycle racer dies after hitting 285 mph

LIMESTONE, Maine — A motorcycle racer trying to top 300 mph died Sunday after losing control and zooming off a runway at a former air base in northern Maine.

Bill Warner, 44, of Wimauma, Fla., was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control but it was unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling when it veered off the paved runway and crashed, said Tim Kelly, race director the Loring Timing Association, which hosted “The Maine Event” at Loring Air Force Base.

Warner was conscious and talking after the crash just before 10 a.m., Kelly said, but he died about an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou.

“No one will touch Bill’s achievements or be the type of racer he was. He was a personal friend and the land-racing community is less for his loss,” Kelly said.

Riding his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, Warner previously hit 311 mph on the same course in 2011, using 1.5 miles of pavement. That’s considered to be the world land speed record for a conventional motorcycle, Kelly said.

This time he was trying to hit 300 mph using just a mile of pavement, and he’d made several passes before the one in which he crashed, Kelly said.

The Maine Event is an annual timed speed event that utilizes the 14,200-foot-long runway at the former Strategic Air Command base that closed in 1994. The Loring Timing Association uses 2.5 miles of the runway for its events, and there’s an additional buffer of 2,000 feet, Kelly said.

On Sunday, about 400 spectators watched as Warner began veering right after passing the 1-mile mark, traveling upright for another 2,000 feet before exiting the runway and crashing, Kelly said.

The remainder of Sunday’s event was canceled. The Limestone Police Department and Maine State Police were investigating the crash.

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SOurce: Yahoo News (AP, 7/15)

Norton Atlas – Machine Shed

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Written by Martin Hodgson.
The custom motorcycle business has a hierarchy that is more organic than most; it’s not about money or ego but sheer ability. At its most pure form it is simply about the quality, creativity and workmanship of the bikes you build. Australia’s Matt Machine is one of the builders at the top. Living an idyllic life in the bush, his creations are as real and honest as the environment around him and this Norton custom was deemed so good it won “Best British” at the Born Free 7 show.
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But this Norton didn’t come together like most builds, it wasn’t a customer order or a bike planned out and built from predetermined parts but a culmination of more than a decade of Matt’s life and evolution as a builder. “I went to a clearance sale of an old motorcycle workshop around the early 2000s and I picked up a late 30s Norton rigid frame and girder front end by chance” says the man who also happens to be an architect by trade.
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At the same time Matt was stilling living in the city, Newtown, Sydney and on the living room floor of his small terrace home was screwing together a ’66 Norton Atlas motor. With two lots of classic British machinery in his possession one night he had an idea, a little bit of fun, “measure up the crankcase mount holes and the frame cradle holes to see how close a match they were and there it was, the motor fit straight into the frame and sat in the cradle.”
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From there the Norton was slowly pieced together over the space of a year, it was featured in a magazine, ridden by Matt to a number of shows and moved with him to the country where it got a good flogging up and down the dirt roads. For years to follow it would sit in his shed, collecting the dust that is swept in when the winds blow or a car comes up the driveway and Matt focussed on other projects.
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Then as he was considering a full refurb Mike and Grant the men behind Born Free in the US suggested he stick it on a plane and take it over for BF7. That honour was all the motivation that was needed and the bike that is now pictured before you started its final journey. The frame is a 1937 Norton ES2 rigid with the exquisite girder front end from the same year. It not only looks the business but the triangular design provides impressive strength for its light weight and the anti-dive nature of a girder fork provides great feel even under hard braking.
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The paint work comes courtesy of the exceptionally talented Victorian painter Karl of KDS Designs who laid down the black enamel with the tank getting a hand-lettered Norton logo in an old English white that works beautifully with the less is more design of the entire build. The black paint work extends to pieces like the new rear fender that sits over the back tyre perfectly following its contours and finishing in a flip-up duck bill.
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The new oil tank is one of many of Matt’s creations, originally he felt the bike ran hotter than it should and the increased capacity has solved that problem. But it’s the craftsmanship combined with the function that makes it such a work of art. Sculpted from steel it sits perfectly in the frame, the filler neck cut from exhaust pipe and the feed pipes curves not distracting from the bikes flowing lines.
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That Atlas 750 motor is a 1966 unit that’ll shake, rattle and roll you all the way down the road and in a lightweight ‘30s frame it is a sheer brute! The top end breathes easy thanks to a well ported head and the addition of a high lift cam. Tipping in the air/fuel mixture is a beautiful old Italian, a single Dell’Orto PHF 32 A carb for which Matt fabricated a new inlet to support the change. Those stunning exhaust pipes are handcrafted by Matt from stainless steel, internally baffled, multiple diameters were tried and tried again until Matt had the exact form and function he was after. Shifting through a Norton 4 speed box with an open primary it gives you a distinctly mechanical visual look to match the thunderous roar of the engine.
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Sending that barking mad power to the ground, or trying to anyway, is an Avon MkII tyre that provides the vintage look and is fitted to a 16 inch rim in a satin nickel finish. The hub and brake are Triumph items that have been stripped and overhauled with black enamel to finish. The front is a Norton hub and brake, Triumph conical brake plate and the massive 21 inch rim also receives the nickel treatment and is wrapped in another Avon product the popular Speedmaster. Steering the Norton was once left to a set of flat bars but for the trip to the US it now features a more bobber like pair mounted to the risers, with black grips and just the levers and throttle assembly for the ultimate in minimalism.
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Then there are the little items that you appreciate the more you look over the bike, the handcrafted engine plates, BCM taillight, the alloy pegs from Throwback Cycle Parts and the Magneto with total loss battery system. But perhaps my favourite part of the build is Matt’s variation on a chopper seat, yes it is sprung like a unit you’d see on a bobber, but both the base and foam extend over the tank and to the rear over the fender. With the ultimate Australian finishing touch a Kangaroo skin cover sourced from the nation’s capital just a short drive from Matt’s farm.
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Just writing about Matt Machine’s creations is an intimidating process; I spent hours looking over his Instagram account getting a feel for what inspires him and analysing the progress pictures of the build to see how he works. A world-class builder, architect, fabricator and show winner; he also happens to be a hell of a nice guy from the Australian bush who is not even close to done when it comes to taking on the challenges that await. Just be sure to follow the ride.

First published by pipeburn.com/

First Impressions – Google Play App: “Screen Recorder” by Kimcy929 [App Mini-Review]

This article has been initially posted as Text-Only at this time, to speed up publishing, focusing on a certain issue. I will return to this posting and add more data on Quality and Performance, Screenshots and then eventually Share it on Twitter/Google+/etc… Soon™

[This past Christmas, my father gave me a neat little tablet to play on – Thanks, Dad! I have been enjoying the heck out of it, learning what it does (cough how to use a tablet cough), what applications it can run (I can write a Blog Post laying down!) and of course, what games I can play on it, heh. I hope to give some Tutorials/Walkthroughs and Reviews on Games and Apps from it sometime… Oh wait, here’s one now! haha]

The Google Store page for the app, with the ‘Play’ button removed [I felt it was a bit distracting, making people think there might be a ‘video to play’ here at The Blog], replaced with The Blog’s ‘G’ brevity logo version.
The Google Play logo in the upper-left will be used to denote images that come ‘directly’ from the Google Play website/page for the app for these types of App Reviews/Posts (Unedited other than logos or helpful arrows/etc added).

Google Play App – Screen Recorder by Kimcy929

Straight to it: while this app did in fact ‘record the screen’, it could not record the game sounds themselves (‘internal’ gameplay audio), it only recorded microphone sounds (‘external’ audio outside the device). While this is useful for some, especially Vloggers, I was personally looking for a screen recorder for my tablet that recorded gameplay and the audio from the game, for Tutorials, Walkthroughs, etc.**

Also, an issue arose where ANY video I viewed after installing this app (even videos I had on my device BEFORE installing it) only came up as a black screen, with the message:

“…Video Is Playing On External Display…”





Now, I had not enabled any such option, nor did I connect any External Displays…

I did some research online and found many people running into this issue with various apps and devices (tablets, phones, etc). Looking at the App configuration in the Settings of my tablet for Screen Recorder, I found this app giving itself the ability to ‘draw over other apps’ (which it can do to create on-screen writing, or arrows, which it advertises that it can do on the Google Play Store page for the app).

This is fine and these features are no doubt useful; however, I could no longer view any videos with the built-in Video Player (“complete action using > Video”) – I literally could no longer view any videos I had on my device, at all. [Even with third-party Media Players, such as VLC Media Player, simply viewing any videos was now ‘broken’…]

Video playing of the Video portion of Videos on the Video Player that
plays Videos was like, really broken now

Even after disabling this option that it gave itself without prior warning (found in Settings > Apps > ScreenRecorder > DrawOverOtherApps), all videos still came up with just a black screen and that message – that is, just Disabling the Setting did not ‘undo’ the inability to no longer watch videos in the Video Player. Disabling this setting, then Uninstalling this app, then Restarting the Tablet, fixed the issue [in my case, the only way it was fixed].

While this app does record the screen, allows for microphone use, doesn’t seem to affect gameplay performance very much, and seems to have a decent selection of Resolutions and Bitrates (eg. 1280×720, 8000kbps), also having some additional helpful things like drawing arrows on the screen, etc; it does not record ‘built-in’ gameplay audio – which I personally was looking for** – and it gave itself a power which interfered with normal tablet video viewing afterward… Not only that, but it only recorded a few videos before no longer working, with a message just repeatedly showing up stating, “Unfortunately, Screen Recorder has stopped”.

No changing of Settings (of my tablet or the app itself) was able to remedy this or get past it [the message coming up and no video being recorded]. Reinstalling the app made it work again, but after a few recordings, only that message repeating on the screen was the result, once again. Therefore, considering all of the above [but including the fact that the app must have worked for other people, that is, those not running into this ‘Screen Recorder has stopped’ message problem], this app earned Three Stars at Google Play from me, as of the time of this writing.

Being ‘completely free’ (No Fee and No Ads), and having a nice selection of ‘standards’ like Resolution and Bitrate choices, and having ‘extras’ like being able to draw on the screen; perhaps with some improvements to bugfixing, enhancements to how it handles itself (asking/warning what would happen before utilizing the “Draw Over Other Apps” ability would be helpful to users that might run into a problem with it) and adding the ability to record internal gameplay audio**, Screen Recorder could potentially be a very capable and ‘feature-rich’ screen recording application.

3/5 Stars
★★★☆☆


This app (and a shortened version of the above Review by The Blog (to fit on Google Play’s Review area)) can be found on Google Play, at:

Screen Recorder by Kimcy929
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kimcy929.screenrecorder

[Note: I am not affiliated with Screen Recorder or Kimcy929 in any way, and I have not and will not be compensated by them for writing about them here. I am merely a user of their application and like to help others with helpful information, when I can. The information in this post was obtained on an LG G Pad IV, and therefore might vary slightly from your own experience (Settings, Menus, Performance, Problems, etc) – but I hope that it was still found useful in some way.]

** More on this later… I have recently found out that Google has taken away the ability [temporarily?] to record game output AND game audio at the same time (“internal audio”) in the latest Android versions – save for a small number of possibilities on LG and Samsung devices. But, I’ll cover this at a later time, when I find out more solid details…

Sacrilège: A Kawasaki Z1000ST Of Biblical Proportions


Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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Ed Turner is one of Europe’s most extreme custom workshops. Owner Karl Renoult has a very clear and unapologetic vision: he builds each bike with “the sole purpose of giving it character and attitude.”This is Karl’s most outré creation yet, a Kawasaki Z1000ST heavy on biblical references and christened Ezechiel 21, ‘The Sword.’

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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The Z1000ST is interesting enough in its own right—35 years ago, it was Kawasaki’s first shaft-drive motorcycle, and pumped out a solid 93 horses. But it was also a little staid. And that’s like a red rag to a bull for Karl.The project was commissioned by Grégoire, a man counting his blessings after surviving the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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“He decided that his dreams had to be achieved in his lifetime,” says Karl. “After two or three phone calls, we had the outline of the project.”Grégoire wanted a machine with a powerful-looking frame, a springer front end, and beautiful finishes. The Z1000ST was chosen, largely for its powerful engine—this allowed Karl to devote most of the budget (“not crazy, but comfortable”) to the design.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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The chassis took shape rapidly, with a sleeker profile at the back. But Karl resisted the temptation to mess too much with the stock wheels: “I find them pretty cool when polished and adapted to the CBR forks.”The Honda forks have been ‘emptied and springerized’ using custom dampers built by Shaft Racing. It’s a most unusual setup; the suspension duties have been moved from the fork springs to the shock nestling between the yokes.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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“For this step, I admit I used some sketches—and even some math,” says Karl. “Not my habit!”“But as usual, surrounded by my mates Joe, Mikael and Gael, we tinkered with this thing and it works pretty well.”

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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Other cues come from the American vintage drag scene. Notably the proportions of the tires: an Avon 5.25/5.50 17-inch car tire at the rear, and a 3.25 18-inch Speedmaster Mk II rib tire at the front.Everything else is kept to the minimum—specifically, a tank that does not exceed five liters in capacity, and a microscopic brake light and flashers under the custom saddle, masterfully crafted by Red’s Leather.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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“Restricted by the wallet, we were unable to satisfy all our pretensions for the preparation of the engine,” Karl says. “We had to play another card…”It was time for divine intervention, so Karl chose a few lines of Ezekiel 21 from the Old Testament to decorate the tank. “A rather creepy passage which speaks of a sword sharpened and polished—and a God who, for once, seems really pissed off and ready to fight.”

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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To complete The Sword, Karl called in extra manpower from the Breton artisans at Stick Your Cycles. They helped fabricated the bars and the stainless steel exhaust, and refinished the engine cases in green.After several months of work, the Kawasaki was finally ready to hit the autoroute.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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Karl handed it over with a message to his client: “Greg, you run faster than bullets. Now let’s see what you can do behind the handlebars.”Amen to that.
Ed Turner | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Francois Richer

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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First read on bikeexif.com/

LIVING ROOM DESIGN IDEAS GET COMFORT

LIVING ROOM DESIGN IDEAS

Living room is the most popular rentals for guests and where families come together to end their days of rest after a long week at work or enjoying a TV program together. In most cases, this room is on the floor of a house and is very active. It is therefore essential that this area is decorated in a pleasant environment to ensure the comfort of visitors. When planning a room design, the main and most important factor to decide is the purpose of the room. One thing to remember when designing your living space is that you should feel comfortable in the room and the style, since they will likely spend most of their time in the room. Finally, here are some design ideas that show really got in touch with the style you want.

LIVING ROOM DESIGN IDEAS

LIVING ROOM DESIGN IDEAS

LIVING ROOM DESIGN IDEAS

LIVING ROOM DESIGN IDEAS

968 Triumph Daytona 500 by Origin8or

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Some builders have a distinct style you see in all their bikes, Rob Chappell of Origin8or is not one them, he can take the same two bikes and deliver totally different builds, the one constant however is always quality. Just six weeks ago we featured another Triumph Bobber build by Chappell, a springer wearing, orange flake painted Bonnie that screamed look at me. But this 1968 Triumph Daytona 500 is an example of how less can be more and custom cool can still stay true to classic style.
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Like any high end restoration and rebuild of a vintage vehicle, either car or motorcycle, this is a full frame off build with absolutely every part removed and stripped down. To give the classic bobber look Rob fitted the frame up with a The Factory Metal Works 4 inch stretched and 2inch drop hard tail. The frame, suspension components, pedals and the various bits and pieces that keep them all together were sent off to be sandblasted before being treated to some silver powder coat for a durable and clean finish. One of the few matching features to the previous Triumph bobber build is the timeless rear fender, narrow and shortened to display as much rubber as possible.
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The front suspension is stock, all be it renewed to function just as well as it did when it rolled off the factory floor. New fork tubes, new fork legs and 10wt oil were just some of the items that went into the full rebuild of the front end. Once completed the forks were also treated to the same colour as the frame, plus minimal use of raw polished metal to further accentuate the silver paint scheme. The brakes remain the stock 8 inch leading shoes at the front with polished hubs and a single 7 inch out the back. The hubs are laced with new spokes and the tires were something new for Rob, the ever popular Firestones. “I had to see what all the fuss was about and it suited the era of the bike.”
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The engine fitted to Triumph’s Daytona is a special little beast, designed to take on the Japanese at the Daytona International Speedway. When Triumph won the 1966 Daytona 200 race with American Buddy Elmore aboard the Daytona name found its home on the Triumph the next year and a race winning average speed of nearly 100mph tells you this little thing can get up and go! The 490cc parallel twin engine featured new heads and twin AMAL Carbs for more top end power, both of which have been rebuilt by Rob. In fact the whole drivetrain has been rebuilt, not a bad decision when it was discovered the previous owner had used what looked like axle grease as their lube of choice for the transmission. Rob was nearly finished piecing together the rebuilt lump when he discovered the “full gasket kit” he’d bought didn’t include a head gasket, more than a minor issue. But a few emails and a two hour trip to a vintage bike show at a flea market, turned up just the right item and the rebuild was completed.
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An engine this good deserves an exhaust to match and on a bobber the pipes become part of the look. With straight right side pipes on the last build Rob ran the twin pipes on the left side on the Daytona that are bent down and kinked slightly out to clear the oil tank. What makes Chappell such a great builder is his eye for detail, not only are the pipes ceramic coated to avoid pipe burn and an adverse effect on the oil temp the downward bend of the pipes exactly match the lines of the hard tailed frame. The oil tank itself is a TFMW item that has been painted silver, which next to the velocity stacked carbs and polished cases gives the engine an old school minimalist look that I personally could look at and appreciate for hours… imagine how good it sounds!
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The “pristine” tank that came with the bike turned out to be a total nightmare, sandblasting revealed a wreck, dings and dints had been filled and one lump of bondo measured four inches deep. For a builder of Chappell’s quality there are no cutting corners, so an expensive session on eBay had a much better condition unit on its way. Factory badges and a lightly sparkled silver paint with black stripping over both the tank and fender are understated but enough of a detail to give passers-by a hint that this is no factory restoration.
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The bobber seat is from the Chappell brothers company Tuffside, black with white diamond stitch and old school spring struts. There are no ape hangers here; a build of this quality doesn’t need anything over the top to the catch attention so Biltwell risers hold some flat track bars with Biltwell kung-fu grips and polished stock controls. Rob always gives his bike a full rewire for flawless operation and a small headlight and side mounted tail light do their job without interfering in the ultra-clean classic lines.
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With the Triumph Daytona 500 finished it’s no surprise to see Rob sit aboard with a proud, broad smile. Many builders choose a bike and then throw a whole catalogue of parts at it, but Origin8or Cycles and Rob Chappell can make a crazy custom or like this build pay tribute to a classic in a subtle way that screams the sort of understated craftsmanship that makes him one of the best builders around.
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First published on pipeburn.com/

WORKOUT ANYTIME in Journal & Topics Newspapers

WORKOUT ANYTIME in Journal & Topics Newspapers in an article titled, “New 24-Hour Fitness Facility Opens In Buffalo Grove.” The article begins with information about the new club and then gives some details about the grand opening. The article ends with information on WORKOUTANYTIME’s plans for expansion in Illinois and some background on Jeff.  Click here to read more or begin below.

New 24-Hour Fitness Facility Opens In Buffalo Grove

A new 24-hour fitness facility recently opened in Buffalo Grove.

Workout Anytime opened at 700 Buffalo Grove Rd. The facility is open 24 hours a day to members with staff on site from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Members receive a special key card to unlock doors when staff is not present.

(Read More)

Brandon Miller attempts to set electric motorcycle speed record

The Electric Cowboy and Foxy Cleopatra

A few days ago, Brandon Miller, a.k.a the Electric Cowboy, set out to Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to attempt to set both world and national records for partially streamed and non-faired electric motorcycle under 150 kg. Yes it may seem a bit geeky, but it’s also exciting because it is very new motorcycle technology, and so it sounds like science fiction.

His attempt is going to be performed with two electric motorcycles: the Zero S Zf6, and his famous “Foxy Cleopatra,” Zero S ZF9 model that anyone can buy in any store. Foxy has had a few modifications done by Hollywood Electrics, such as the single bar end mirror and the tail chop; a change made for a more effective and faster speed, even though it is somewhat unnecessary, since it’s already super light and fast. For the Zero ZF6, he will tweak the race setting and have custom made race upgrades and hardware modifications, since the original speed for the Zero S Zf6 goes up to 88mph. By making the modifications the bike can go up to 100mph.

The Electric Cowboy and Foxy CleopatraFor the first few runs, Brandon plans to attempt setting both records using the bike’s default settings. If he fails during the first attempt, he will make some “modifications to the software and hardware settings on both bikes” to determine the power and speed they give out.

Some of the records he has achieved are: being first person to get their racing license on an electric motorcycle, and being the first rider with any no-gas experience. After his record setting attempts, whether he succeeds or not, he plans next year to set a FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) world speed record.

As of Sunday, via an update to his fund-raising website, Miller claims he has set a new speed record for electric motorcycles with a speed of 98.87mph. But that’s not good enough for the Electric Cowboy, in his own words “I wanna break 100 so bad I can taste it! Or maybe that’s just the salt on my lips…”

__________________
Source: Gas2 ( 9/17)

‘Snipe’ Yamaha SR400 – Old Empire Motorcycles


The Snipe. A well camouflaged but otherwise nondescript bird that is native to the old world. But for such a seemingly average little fellow, it has sure inspired a hell of a lot of things to be named in its honour. The dictionary defines a ‘snipe’ as the act of ‘making a sly or petty verbal attack.’ That act is named after the military tactic of ‘sniping’, or shooting at the enemy over a long distance. This in turn took its name from the difficulties involved in hunting the bird with a rifle as its flight patterns are erratic, making it almost impossible to hit ‘on the wing’. But most importantly to this story, the bird also gave its name to the Sopwith Snipe, the replacement aircraft to the now famous Camel. And while it’s service began only a few short weeks before the end of WWI, it was renown for its rate of climb and manoeuvrability. Now fast forward to South Eastern England in 2016, where to likely lads with a fascination for old British aircraft have decided to build themselves a custom motorcycle…


“Our last thumper was the ‘Osprey’ which was based on a Suzuki GN400,” says Old Empire’s Alec. It proved quite the hit with the British public and off the back of that particular build, the boys had an enquiry about building something similar but unique in its own right. They decided, as they have done with other builds, to start with a new donor motorcycle so they could focus on improving the aesthetics and upgrading the components rather than restoring worn, broken or just plain skanky bits. Nowadays, the SRs are the only real big, air-cooled singles that builders can get new. And with the experience the boys had working with older SRs, they knew their way around it.


To get all important ‘stance’ sorted, the forks were shaved and lowered by an aggressive 3 inches – an act which also necessitated modding the yokes. “They were our first set of 3D-machined upper and lower yokes, and they were created specifically for this project with a 1″ offset to keep the fork travel sensible and to help us get that line.” After looking around for suitable bars and coming up unimpressed, they sketched up some custom examples. The final product is made in three parts; they are fully adjustable and are screwed into position then locked off; an idea intended to imitate the ‘sleeved and brazed’ bars of old.

“To set them off we couldn’t just use any old switch gear, and again after looking around and seeing some really nice, functional and aesthetically pleasing pieces of engineering, none would really suit. The idea behind these mark 1 versions is a blend of the shapely old Japanese switch gear with newer push-button functionality. “I’m all for minimalism,’ says Alec. “If we can get away with no switches at all, then that is probably the best option. However, if the bike is intended to be a daily rider, then we’ve learnt to make them as useful and usable as we can.”


With help from their mate Willy, some foam models were shaped for the front cowling, rear section, and tank. It was soon realised that the new tank’s design almost exactly replicated the profile of the original tank, just shifted forward and lower. “So we took the original tank, scalloped it and moved it to suit the lines, and then a new aluminium version was slowly wheeled, hammered and welded into shape.”


The front cowling took inspiration from classic aviation and automobile designs that recessed a vinyl-covered dash above a smoked visor. The dash houses all the warning lights, a mini speedo and a tacho. The headlight is a simple Bates unit, while the rear cowling is made to be removed, revealing a small pillion seat. “The seat’s design came from the idea that we wanted something slim, but with a gap down the middle under which we’d mount the electrics.” The fuel tank also benefited from all the internals being moved, as it was a lot easier to fit it properly. Then one of Old Empire’s custom-made fuel caps was added into the mix. Nearby, a simple aluminium cover hides the injection unsightlies and the ignition switch has been relocated in another vinyl-covered panel under the airbox.


The only work done on the frame was to carefully remove the rear rails at a specific point. Then aluminium extensions that integrate the rear LED lights were machined and slotted into place.“The effect is really minimal, but you can see the lights a mile off!” Road-worthy legalities were taken care of in the form of small Motogadget indicators mounted front and back alongside a rolled black and silver tin number plate mounted low and tight. The Tyres were changed to a more aggressive (but still quite classic) pair of Dunlop K70s. “At the back-end we run a smart-looking set of Ketch Bullet shocks. Usually reserved for bigger twins, a little tinkering and tweaking got them working for the lighter SR and allowed a visual match with the front forks, too.


A simple stainless exhaust was order of the day. “It’s short, it’s loud and it took quite some work to get the bike to perform properly and sound decent – but with the right baffles, we got there in the end.” Then all the unnecessary intake and exhaust gizmos and gadgets were duly removed and the ignition was upgraded with a Power Commander unit. The airbox was then drilled and the intake ducting was removed to free up space and improve airflow.


The air box and electrical covers were ditched and then machined wooden formers were used to press and mould the satchel’s leather side panels. “We are well-known for our leather work, and the Snipe deserved some nice touches; so our machined and laser cut leather grips, pegs, kick starter and foam-moulded knee pads all got some attention, as did the seat which is specially prepared and hand-dyed to get just the right colour.”


The final piece of the puzzle was the coatings. A lovely drop of Jaguar E-type grey was gilded with gold pinstriping and some airbrushed shading ties everything together perfectly. Other neat little details include machined and finned brake calipers, a custom Harrison floating brake disc, upgraded rear sprockets and chain, an oil temperature filler cap and some very nice K-tech brake and clutch levers. All up, you’d have to admit it’s one very original Snipe. We can only hope that this particular example chooses to migrate close-by us this summer. Anyone got some bird seed?


THE URBAN TRACKER – HONDA CBR250R ’13

CBR250 - 4B

For two-wheeled Rakesh Kapoor is one of love for many decades, even as a child his parents are introduced and instill to the man who has 11 years of living in Indonesia is about two-wheeled world. Even so until now when Mr. Rakesh settled in Jakarta love of two wheels do not fade, especially with traffic conditions in Jakarta accompanied by a flurry of men who worked at one of the group‘s property even makes choosing a motor as a mount option hariannya.Boleh spelled as two-wheeler users and lovers not just Mr. Rakesh let mount perform standard. Coming to the workshops STUDIO MOTOR with a Honda CBR250R alerts in 2013, Mr. Rakesh want besutannya made with Scrambler style that became his dream. Comfortable Riding position is needed to penetrate the congestion in Jakarta “, he said during a discussion on the bike change later. Of course, the original form of the motor is produced at Honda Factory Thailand with model number MC41 brings sporty style with a 249.5 cc engine configuration (15:23 cu in) four-stroke single cylinder 4 valves PGMFI will be changed completely after this custom project.

Early work focused hand down all parts of the body and legs of innate motor and install the sector further with new legs were already prepared. Shock front shock swap places with Upside Down copotan Kawasaki XZ6, combined with the rim spoke wheel wrapped 18X3.00 Inch Deluxe Champion 4.00-18 Firestone tires. While the rear own original swing arm Honda CBR250R is maintained, only adopts a suspension that had been turned into a double shock monoshock using YSS shock 360 mm ZSeries. Rear wheel itself nudged TK Japan 18X3.50 Inch wheels with round rubber Firestone Deluxe Champion 4.50-18. Finished work the legs up to the cultivation of the body. Relying 1.2 mm galvanized plate material around the part of the body is formed as desired concept Mr. Rakesh. Slightly many forms Triumph Scrambler inspired him to apply to the bike this time. Anticipate the shape of the frame congenital Honda CBR250R, the entire subframe cut and reshaped by using seamless pipes of 23 mm with a thickness of 3.5 mm. Stages of replacing the entire subframe is intended to provide a harmonious look and be able to display the classic impression that thick. When choosing colors that will whitewash the new body to his motorcycle, Mr. Rakesh directly thrusting classic colors Red Burgundy Khaki Brown combined with a dedication to the father who never had a variant of the BMW R25 motorcycle with these colors. The highest dedication to my Dad for custom work we do Bro “, he said the process was interrupted when he saw this custom. For paint and varnish materials Comet Studio still choose output Sikkens to get maximum results. Ultimate support multiple devices installed during the process of finishing. Headlights 7 inch belongs Suzuki Thunder 250 chosen for the sake of showing muscular impression when viewed from the front. Stang Fatbar Scarlet output, Daytona air filter and exhaust system custom made 2 silincer left and right are increasingly adding frightening impression on the motor, dubbed THE URBAN TRACKER this.

Completed a whole series of workmanship really make the original form of the Honda CBR250R changed completely. Scrambler typical classic retro look with modern elements in some parts bandage supporter and also forms the engine delivers its own harmony formed the motor end of Mr. Rakesh this. When the session is done several times a test ride another motorcyclist who see giving a positive appreciation of the changes Honda CBR250R is. So also with the mpu his motorcycle, excited with the results of this bike make it a custom to prepare a new project to change the look of the new Kawasaki ER6N this month has.

CBR250 - 2B
CBR250 - 8B
CBR250 - 5B
CBR250 - 1B
CBR250 - 6B
CBR250 - 3B
CBR250 - 10B
CBR250 - 7B

First published in http://www.studiomotor.com
Translation Google translate 

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3 Favorite & Underappreciated Apps

I recently stumbled on an adorable blog called “Thirsty Firsties,” and Kelly, the author, is hosting a linky party about iPad apps.

The rules are to share three apps – one free for classroom use, one paid for classroom use and one favorite app for personal use. She’s also giving away an iTunes gift card as part of the linky, so be sure to check out her blog and join in the fun!

I’ve already shared many of the apps that I love and use in the classroom. See, for example, my list of favorite paid apps and my list of favorite free apps. So today, I’m branching out to share some of the apps that I’ve used and enjoyed this year that I haven’t really talked about before.

Favorite Free App – Spelling City

Vocabulary Spelling City is a great app for teaching students vocabulary or spelling words. It has a variety of engaging games, and it can be used by students at all levels. The app itself is free and has a lot of functionality on its own. If you are a premium subscriber to Spelling City, however, it’s a great complement to the activities you assign your students each week. I had my students doing activities on this app almost daily, and our differentiated weekly spelling tests were done entirely through this app (with the teacher premium subscription).

Favorite Paid App – Marble Math

Marble Math is a fun and challenging math game that addresses a broad range of math computation skills. I’ll confess that I’ve even found myself playing it far longer than a typical “teacher test-drive” would require. The object is to navigate a marble through a maze by solving a variety of problems. It includes fractions, decimals, equations, and negative numbers, so this is probably best for grades 4 and higher. Of all of the apps on our iPads this year, this was the one that students seemed to gravitate toward most in their free time.

Favorite Personal App – Feedly

In the debate between Feedly and BlogLovin, I’m coming down on the side of Feedly for one major reason — I LOVE the iPad app. It’s really easy to flip through and navigate, it rotates, and it doesn’t seem to crash as much as BlogLovin did. In fact, I’ve never had a single problem with it. I don’t tend to comment on blogs as much from my iPad, so I can’t speak to that aspect of comparing the two. Usually if I’m browsing blogs on my iPad, I’ll mark the blogs that I want to comment on and comment through my computer later on. So for the sheer visual appeal of the app for reading blogs, I’m a big fan. This has become one of my favorite go-to apps on my iPad.

Now it’s your turn. What are your three favorite apps? I’d love to hear about them, and be sure to link up with Kelly over at Thirsty Firsties if you get a chance. She’s running the contest for the iTunes gift card through Monday.

And don’t forget to link up with my Teacher Toolbox Trio celebration as well! I can’t wait to discover more awesome classroom resources from TpT!

Wheel Jockey® a Handy Tool for Safer Motorcycle Rides

The anticipation of a well planned ride almost always makes the ride more enjoyable. The riding season arrived early in the Carolinas and I looked forward to getting my gear on and heading out into the chilly morning air—away from the traffic for some fun in the “twistys” just outside our little town. Tank is full of gas… tire pressure checked…heart racing just a bit… all is good! While rounding the first left hand bend, the rear end of my old BMW suddenly wants to be in front! The dreaded “tank-slapper” makes my heart rate jump instantly. Thanks to no cars coming from the opposite direction, we stay upright and head for the shoulder. A sheet metal screw buried in the tread close to the tire’s edge is found to be the culprit.

Virtually every motorcycle rider has had a close call—a close call that might have put them on the pavement with little or no warning. With motorcycles having only two wheels, both of them need to be in proper working order if the bike is to maintain an upright position on the road. A flat tire leaves only half of your wheels functioning properly and decreases the odds of keeping control, avoiding disaster. Suddenly, the riding gear you (and your passenger) are wearing may be the only thing to prevent an ugly injury…or worse.

Flat tires on motorcycles usually come from road debris—nails, glass, screws, staples etc. This is the same kind of debris that flattens car tires. An underinflated tire can also cause an unanticipated loss of control. Every motorcycle manufacturer recommends that the tire pressure be checked before each ride. When the air pressure is checked, it does give the rider a quick look at the tire while getting the valve stem in place. However, unless the bike has a center stand that elevates a wheel so it can be rotated, it is extremely difficult to do a full tire inspection. To make matters worse, the fenders on many bikes can cover up to 75% of the tire. That means having to stand up and roll the bike slightly forward 6 or 7 times to expose another small section of the tire. Needless to say, this is a hassle and keeps most people from doing a proper inspection very often—if ever.

Wheel Jockey is a compact portable tool that many riders carry with them when traveling. It allows them to easily get the wheels slightly off the ground on ball bearing rollers so that the wheel can be turned for checking air pressure, cleaning, and maybe most important of all, inspecting the tire for hazardous debris; debris that could be forced into the tire while leaning into a curve, puncturing the tire and leaving the rider in a serious bike control situation.

Cleaning the chain, inspecting the tires, and even checking the air pressure is, to many riders, like cleaning toilets or windows. You do it when you have to—not one minute sooner. Whether a bike is brand new or ten years old, if it does not have a factory installed center stand, (the vast majority don’t), the compact, patented design of Wheel Jockey Sport and Big Boy models take a painstaking, but risk reducing, job and make it easy for men and women riders of all ages and experience.

Wheel Jockey’s owner, Bill Kniegge, shares that while leading a private tour of German enthusiasts for (www.bluestradatours.com ), a casual look at the rear tire of a guest’s bike while lubing the chain revealed that a large staple had pushed its way almost clear through the tire. “I was just spinning the wheel around several times, checking both sides and the middle, when it jumped right out at me. A freshly installed Stop & Go (www.stopngo.com ) plug and an occasional check of the air pressure turned what may have been a bad day into a great day. Several of our Wheel Jockey customers have shared similar instances that also, turned out fine.”

___________________________________
Source: Motorcycling (AP, 1/10)

Franchisee Profile: Marc Flame

Franchisee Profile: Marc Flame

Marc Flame is originally from the Bronx in New York, specifically Riverdale. Growing up, Marc spent every summer on Long Island at his grandmother’s beach house and loves the outdoors. After graduating from JFK Highschool, Marc’s parents moved to South America where Marc learned to speak basic Portuguese. After living in Brazil for a while, Marc moved back to New York where he attended New York University. He graduated in 1981 with a degree in Economics and International Business. Upon graduation, Marc spent much of his time on Wall Street starting his career Bankers Trust Company. Marc eventually became Chief Financial Officer at the banks Technology subsidiary. During Marcs’ tenure he established a successful record of improving operational efficiency and profitability. After fourteen years at BTCo, Marc left and joined Citigroup. Marc spent ten years within the Finance Organization of Citigroup. He then joined the CBS Corporation where he served as CFO of the CBS Technology organization.

After doing some traveling, Marc decided to relocate from Chicago to Atlanta where he began researching franchises to invest in. After much research Marc decided that Workout Anytime was where he wanted to be. Not even three weeks after watching the Workout Anytime franchise video, Marc signed for his first franchise. He now owns the first Workout Anytime located on the South side of Atlanta.
How did you learn about the brand? 
I was researching different franchises and was heavily focused on the fast-food industry when I came across Workout Anytime. I watched the franchise video and was immediately hooked. I knew right then that was what I wanted to invest in. Not even three weeks after seeing the video I met with Randy the entire senior WOAT team. It felt like a family and I signed with Workout Anytime after that meeting.
Why did you choose an opportunity with Workout Anytime? 
I’ve always wanted to own my own business. I worked at a Baskin Robbins in high school and it was some of the best times I’ve ever had. I have always enjoyed doing my own thing which is why I started looking into franchises. I chose Workout Anytime because I am very interested in the Workout Anytime model and I really wanted to do a franchise in a market that really needed it. 
Do you have any development/extension plans? Add units? Timeframe? 
I would like to eventually expand. I do not have a multi-unit sign at the moment, but the goal is to have 3-4 locations within 4-5 years. I am trying to open one every year and a half. Currently, I am working to be the most successful location rather than building out more units. When you talk about franchises people have glass ceiling expectations with what you can achieve with any one location. The Workout Anytime model allows me to push the boundaries, and ensure the opportunity for many members to enjoy all the advantages provided to Workout Anytime members.
Are you involved in any charities or involved in the community in any way? 
I am learning more about the Riverdale area each day and would love to work with charities and get involved with the community once I get to know it better.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?
I love spending time outdoors. Anything outdoors such as going to the horse stables with my daughter, 
watch my son dirt bike on the trails, and go to the beach as often as possible.

Buell M2 Cherry-Salt

The Buell M2 Cherry-Salt is the ultimate go-fast machine, built to race on the 1/8 mile at the 2015 Glemseck 101.  Here all the work in progress. As with previous years the event of 2015, which has been hailed as one of the biggest custom and classic motorcycle gatherings in Europe, was on September 4th, 5th and 6th in Leonberg, Germany and was huge. This years 1/8th mile ‘Sprint’ race competitors started to surface around the web and although it’s not quite complete, I couldn’t wait any longer to feature this beast of a bike from Italian workshop Plan B Motorcycles. Inspired by the Lucky Cat Garage Sprintbeemer and determined to give them a run for their money this is the Buell M2 “Cherry Salt”.


Cherry Salt started out life as a ’99 Buell M2 Cyclone that had undergone a few performance “tweaks” during it’s lifetime. Although the Buell’s frame and engine set up didn’t offer up the easiest base for a build of this kind, Plan B owner Christian Moretti saw the bikes potential and was prepared to invest the time and effort to achieve the desired result. “I was deeply in love with the Lucky Cat’s SprintBeemer, so I started wondering if it would be possible to build something good enough to race against it.”

With the Lucky Cat Sprintbeemer sucking down nitrous oxide Christian needed to look at ways of getting the most out of the Buells 1203cc, 93bhp (stock) engine. Reducing weight was the top priority so Aluminium was used to fabricate the bikes custom fuel tank. Sitting low on the frame the tank has a 12 litre capacity and features a large top recess and a narrow profile to allow its rider to tuck in around it to reduce wind resistance.

Hidden beneath the fairing you’ll find a set of Suzuki GSX-R forks wearing 4 pot radial calipers with ample twin 320mm floating discs. It’s almost too much braking power for a straight line racer, but there’s a valid reason for it. As Christian explained “The quite unusual inverted Buell monoshock setup left me enough room to add a trick suspension system that’s quite elaborate, but easy at the same time. An electric actuator changes the position of the monoshock letting you decide, with the flick of a switch, the overall height of the bike. This changes the center of mass, the rake angle and the trail at the front. So you can have it slammed down for racing on the straight, or rise it up for some corners on the road.” As for cornering that’s not really this bikes main concern, it’s grip that’s a priority. To limit traction loss Christian has fit a “big fat slick” tire from drag greats Hoosier on the back wheel adding plenty of additional grip and loads of visual attitude.

So what does it take to race against a lucky cat? How about an angry dog?

“Fitting a “universal” dustbin style fairing to the Buell was the huge challenge. I started working on the fiberglass fairing by cutting, stretching and slimming it down. I then redesigned the front upper section from scratch shaping it to resemble a Bull Terriers head…yes, it will be a true cats vs dogs race!”

Eat Carbs, Lose Weight: It’s All About Timing

Eat Carbs, Lose Weight: It’s All About Timingby Lizzie Fuhr


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Glen Giffen


Despite what popular diets say, carbs are not the enemy. But if you’re on a weight-loss mission, a diet that’s heavy in calorie-dense carbs is not going to support these goals. Luckily, many experts agree: you can have your carbs — and eat them, too! — just make sure it’s for breakfast.

Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper tells his clients on the ranch to “front load their carbohydrates.” Many people ask Bob if they should be cutting carbs entirely, but he completely disagrees, since “your body needs carbs for fuel.” When you eat carbs earlier in the day, however, “you’ll know you’ll have time to burn them off” with exercise.
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson also recommends that his clients skip carbs later in the day — especially if they’re getting ready for an important event! Foods like rice, grains, pastas, oatmeal, and potatoes make your body retain water, “which blurs, to a certain degree, definition and muscle separation,” he says.
Manhattan-based nutritionist and registered dietitian Shira Lenchewski explains the science backs up these celebrity trainer claims. Our bodies’ circadian rhythm, or “internal time-keeping system,” plays a huge role in “metabolic and hormonal changes over 24-hour cycles.” Carbohydrate metabolism fluctuates around the circadian cycle, meaning that “[carbs] are burned more efficiently in the morning than at night.” For clients trying to lose weight, she recommends that the largest meal (higher in carbohydrates) is breakfast; the rest of your meals should be “trending smaller as the day goes on.”
Not sure what constitutes a healthy carb-laden breakfast? Keep reading for some of our favorite recipes.

Apple-Quinoa Bake: 44.3 grams

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Whip up this gluten-free quinoa bake featuring soft, cinnamon-spiced apples; plump raisins; and crunchy almonds. Bake a batch ahead of time, so you can enjoy this healthy breakfast all week long.

Superfood Pancakes: 58.6 grams

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Inject some greens into your favorite breakfast! These spinach, banana, and blueberrysuperfood pancakes might have an earthy hue, but don’t fret — they do not taste too “green.” Even better, they’re full of fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate.

Harley Pasternak’s Breakfast Smoothie: 71.9 grams

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Michele Foley

It’s not just about the bread — smoothies can be a healthy source of carbs from all that fresh fruit. Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak recommends this apple smoothie made with just a few ingredients to many of his clients. This recipe packs major nutrients and vitamins to get your day off to a good start.


Source


Ten new motorcycles we are dying to ride 2013!

Large press conferences from Honda and Ducati held right before EICMA 2012 may have stolen a bit of the thunder from Milan’s annual motorcycle show, but we still came away impressed with the variety of significant new bikes on display. Although finding the 10 motorcycles that we’d most like to ride in 2013 certainly qualifies as a tough task.

1. Aprilia Caponord 1200 This adventurer-tourer, developed from the supermoto-inspired Dorsoduro 1200, is a versatile machine, fun in the city yet big enough for a two-up ride into the country, aided by good wind protection and that large, 1197cc V-Twin. In addition to a ride-by-wire system with three maps (Sport, Touring, Rain), the Caponord 1200 boasts ABS and traction control, both of which can be defeated. The available Travel Pack offers active suspension damping, cruise control and color-matched panniers.

2. Bimota BB2 Bimota already has an abundance of Ducati-powered offerings, so it was refreshing to see this BMW S1000RR-engined bike on display, although situated behind glass. Designed by the folks at sak_art design, the BB2 uses an aluminum chassis and bodywork that recalls some of the Bimota shapes from the ’90s. With its 193-horsepower, BMW-sourced powerplant, however, the BB2 will undoubtedly possess hyperbike performance more fitting for 2013 and beyond.

3. BMW F800GT This full-dress version of the F series parallel-Twin replaces the F800ST. Although it’s fitted with a sporty, new fairing, it does retain the ST’s 4.0-gallon tank and stepped seat. Most important, the dohc, 798cc engine generates a claimed 90 hp at 8000 rpm and 63.4 foot-pounds of peak torque at 5800 rpm, which is said to accelerate the bike to 60 mph in 4 seconds and to speeds in excess of 120 mph. Taller riders will appreciate the higher handlebar and the protection offered by the fairing.

4. Ducati Hypermotard 821 Offered in two versions, Base and SP, the latest Hypermotard is powered by a superb engine: the brand-new 821cc Testastretta V-Twin with 110 hp at 9250 rpm and 65.8 ft.-lb. of torque at 7750 rpm. Not only that, but the 821 has the most advanced ride-by-wire electronics, with three selectable power maps, traction control and Brembo brakes with Bosch ABS that offers three selectable levels of intervention. Perhaps what we like most of all: a valve-adjustment interval of 18,600 miles.

5. Honda CBR500R The emphasis is on sporty affordability with the all-new Honda CBR500R, a fully faired sportbike with a strong resemblance to the rest of the CBR family. Powered by a liquid-cooled, 500cc parallel-Twin with a counter-balanced 180-degree crank, the 500R is perfectly positioned to introduce a new crop of young buyers to the sportbike world, aided by a rigid steel frame that has been tuned for excellent handling response. Perhaps most important is an entry price of only $5999, with ABS likely costing an extra $500.

6. KTM 1290 Super Duke R The good news first: Although the 1290 Super Duke R is just a prototype, KTM says it will build a production version, with first test rides taking place sometime in 2013. We can’t wait to ride this latest naked KTM, which is fitted with a bored-out, liquid-cooled, RC8 R V-Twin engine, chrome-moly steel chassis, single-sided swingarm and WP suspension. KTM hasn’t shared many details about this bike, but the Austrians have told us it will have ride-by-wire throttle with ABS and traction control, both of which will be made “disengageable” to allow for stoppies and wheelies. Very thoughtful.

7. Moto Guzzi California 1400 This large bike, available in Touring and Custom versions, traces its lineage to 1970, when the LAPD chose the Moto Guzzi V7 Police over Harley and the Japanese to be the agency’s patrol bike. Now, more than 40 years later, we get the California 1400, considered by many to be the star of EICMA. Taking center stage is its air-cooled, 1380cc V-Twin, which features a Y-shaped manifold with long runners that help it produce 96 hp and 88.5 ft.-lb. of torque at only 2750 rpm—quite helpful in an 743-pound machine. Officers Malloy and Reed of Adam 12 fame would approve.

8. MV Agusta Rivale 800 With engine and rolling gear from the F3 and Brutale 800, the aggressive new Rivale 800 is impossible not to like. The Triple, one of the best in production, puts out 125 hp, backed by 60 ft.-lb. of torque at 8600 rpm and managed by a ride-by-wire throttle that offers traction control and selectable power mapping. Although some say the Rivale 800 is a tad too aggressively styled, it benefits from beautiful detail work in areas such as the tank, seat, lights and mirrors. With a claimed dry weight of only 375 lb., this thing should fly.

9. Triumph Daytona 675R With a larger bore and shorter stroke, the high-revving Triple in the 675R now spins to 14,400 rpm. Horsepower is up by only 2, but Triumph has produced a cylinder block that’s now separate from the upper crankcase and lined with ceramic-coated aluminum bores. The most obvious change on this significantly updated bike is a low-mount exhaust that centralizes mass and shifts weight forward for sportier handling. Replete with new slipper clutch, the 675R will set you back $11,599.

10. Vespa 946 Okay, we know, we said this was a list of 10 motorcycles, and this Vespa clearly is a scooter. But we can’t keep our eyes off the 946; it’s the best-looking scoot we’ve seen in who knows how long, its 946 name a reference to the first Vespa of 1946. Based on the Quarantasei concept unveiled at EICMA 2011, the handsomely curvaceous 946 is available initially in classic 125cc form, although a 150cc model (and others) will follow soon. The frame is made of steel, but for the first time in Vespa’s history, it incorporates some aluminum alloy sections.

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Source: Cycle World (Bornhop, 11/20)

15 Painless Ways to Crush Sugar Cravings

15 Painless Ways to Crush Sugar Cravings

By Debra Goldstein
Tips to cure your sugar addiction
Thinkstock

These research-backed tips will suppress your sweet tooth for good

A mouth full of fudgy frosting on your birthday, a fork full of toasty pecan pie at Thanksgiving, a cold bowl full of cookies ‘n cream on a hot August afternoon: These time-honored treats are among life’s sweetest pleasures, meant to be savored and enjoyed.
Problem is, for many of us, sugar has become an overwhelming daily temptation that we feel powerless to resist. Instead of occasionally indulging in special-occasion desserts, many of us are straight up hooked on sweets, needing a daily (sometimes hourly!) fix to satisfy our sugar addiction. If you’ve ever found yourself in a sugar-trance, locked onto a doughnut like a heat-seeking missile, you know how potent sugar cravings can be.
But no matter how severely you’re strung out on the sweet stuff, there’s hope! In her new book The Sugar Smart DietPrevention Editor-in-Chief Anne Alexander argues that the key to reclaiming sugar’s simple, sweet pleasure is to take back control by first breaking the powerful hold it has on your body and mind. Breaking your addiction leads to what Alexander calls “sugar freedom,” a state in which you call the shots—not your cravings. Not Krispy Kreme. You.
Ready to adopt a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward the cookie tray? Try these Sugar Smart tips to crush your sugar cravings faster than you can scarf down a Snickers:
1. Eat a protein-packed breakfast. Research shows that protein in the a.m. makes it difficult for sugar cravings to take hold later on. Lean protein options like Greek yogurt, peanut butter, eggs, and low-fat cheese produce less of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin and more PPY, a hormone that signals fullness. MRI scans of high-protein breakfast eaters in a University of Missouri study showed reduced activity in areas of the brain associated with cravings. Can’t stomach food too early in the morning? No problem. Eat it by 10 a.m. and you’ll still help quell that late-day sugar yen.
2. Never go hungry. Meal skipping is a guaranteed way to fire up sugar cravings. Skipping meals lowers blood sugar levels and causes you to overeat the rest of the day to make up for missed calories. Keep things steady by eating five times a day – three meals and two snacks of nourishing and delicious whole foods such as whole grains, beans, lean meats/poultry/fish, nuts, unsweetened low-fat dairy, eggs, and veggies. They’ll fill you up and give you the ideal balance of lean protein, energizing carbohydrates, and healthy fats to steady your blood sugar and insulin levels and extinguish cravings for sugar.
3. Suss out secret sugars. True to their name, secret sugars lurk in foods you don’t even think of as sweet: Everything from ketchup to crackers, salad dressings to pasta sauce. The problem with these secret sugars isn’t just that they put you on sugar overload (which they do; the average American takes in a whopping 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day—the ideal is 6). It’s that added sugars stoke appetite and beget more cravings, trapping you in a vicious cycle of wanting more, more, more. Search your fridge and pantry and read every label. Find the foods with sugar listed in the first few ingredients and seek out low-sugar alternatives to dial down your sugar intake.
4. Pump up the flavor. Sugar may be sweet, but there are plenty of other fabulous tastes out there that you may be missing out on. If you’ve ever seeded a fragrant vanilla bean for a special dish or topped a sliced tomato with fresh basil leaves, you know how much flavor herbs and spices can add. Experiment liberally with spices of all kinds (added bonus: warm spices like cinnamon and ginger can quell a sweet tooth). And don’t forget other flavor boosters like balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon and orange zest, and hot sauce to perk up your taste buds. Stir your coffee with a stick of cinnamon…toss plain, air-popped popcorn with smoked paprika…the more adventuresome you are, the more you’ll grow to appreciate flavor, and put sugar in its rightful place in the process.
5. Sleep more, crave less. The key to stopping sugar cravings in their tracks is balancing the hormones ghrelin (an appetite trigger) and leptin (which signals satiety), along with insulin. Get these hormones working in harmony and you’ll experience fewer cravings—and less fat storage. But if you get less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sack time, you may be undercutting this goal. In a University of Chicago study, a few sleepless nights were enough to drop levels of leptin by 18 percent and boost levels of ghrelin by about 30 percent. Those two changes alone caused cravings for sugary foods to jump 45 percent. Sleep deprivation not only makes sugary foods more appealing, it may also lower your ability to resist them. The parts of your brain that usually put the brakes on cravings aren’t as active when you’re tired, research conducted at the University of California, Berkley found. The upshot? Get your zzz’s to strike the all-important hormonal balance and boost your craving-crushing stamina.
6. Rev up your movement to dial down your cravings. If you’re plagued by strong sugar cravings, getting your body moving may help deactivate them. According to a study published in Applied Psychology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, the more you sit, the greater your appetite – even if your body doesn’t need the calories. Moderate exercise also helps keep muscle cells sensitive to insulin. Strength training builds stronger muscles, which in turn use up more glucose. Any physical activity that you enjoy will help get sugar off your brain—and belly.
7. Soothe what’s really bothering you. The link between emotional comfort and sweets is primal – and persistent. Rewarded with candy when growing up? You may still treat yourself to dessert for a job well done. Did you push back the confusion and loneliness of adolescence with candy bars? You may still be doing that as an adult. To break the cycle of reaching for sugar when you are emotionally cued to, you have to have something that will short-circuit your reflex response. The first step toward breaking the emotional connection between emotions and food is to become aware of the feelings that drive you to crave sweets. Not after the fact – the very moment you reach for sugar. To get a split second of clarity as your fingers close in on your co-worker’s candy dish: Why am I reaching for this? In those moments, remember this simple but powerful catchphrase: “Stop. Slow down. Think.” That will enable you to determine whether you really want the sweet or whether you are just feeding your emotions.
8. Pinpoint your sugar pitfalls. Do the doughnuts in the coffee room at work every morning call out to you? Think through your day and identify where and when you are most susceptible to sugar’s lure, and ask yourself why you “need” sugar in those moments. Is it because you’re starving when you get to work and the doughnuts are just too tempting to resist? Empower yourself with new, positive alternatives you can use to meet that need. Perhaps it’s making sure you eat a healthy breakfast and bypassing the doughnuts on your way to your desk. Fill your need in healthier ways and sugar loses its power over you.
9. Find healthier rewards. Instead of treating yourself to sweets, treat yourself to pleasure! Often we reach for sugar when we’re stressed, lonely, or bored. But there are far better ways to turn around a bad mood or energy lull. Make your own personal “rewards card”—a list of nourishing activities that you can whip out any time you find yourself reaching for sweets. Your rewards should be things that elicit the same pleasure you feel when you indulge in a favorite dessert. Think of things you can do instantly and that last for the 15 to 20 minutes you otherwise might spend lost in a sugar episode. For instance: listen to music, dance like crazy, call a friend, paint your toenails, go for a bike ride, pet the cat, watch junky TV, plan a dream vacation, or just lay down and look at the sky. This strategy of pleasure-focused redirection will work like a charm to keep you focused on nonfood sources of happiness.
10. Supplement with calcium and vitamin D. Are you taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement? Good! Several studies suggest that multivitamins that contain vitamin D and calcium can potentially lower cravings and promote weight loss. Extra body fat holds on to vitamin D so that the body can’t use it, and this perceived deficiency interferes with the action of leptin (the hormone that signals your brain that you’re full). If you’re deficient in calcium, your body can experience up to a fivefold increase in the fatty acid synthase, an enzyme that converts calories into fat. While a multivitamin can’t replace a healthy diet, this bit of extra nutrition “insurance” can’t hurt—and you might just find your cravings lessen while your weight loss speeds up.
11. Snap out of temptation with a photo. Research shows that people who keep a food diary lose more weight. But that doesn’t have to be limited to just writing down what you eat. In a study published in theInternational Journal of Consumer Studies, volunteers recorded what they ate on paper and in photos. They all reported that the act of taking the photos—and the photos themselves—raised their awareness of what they were eating. By taking pictures of your food before you eat it, you give yourself that crucial split-second pause that enables you to reconsider your selection. Seeing that softball-ball size cinnamon bun in a photo before you down it may jolt you into making a healthier choice.
12. Relax with a cup of tea and a novel. We all know that stress powers sugar cravings. And there’s nothing new about advice to carve out “me time” to combat stress. What is new is a study from England’s University of Sussex that found reading can slash stress by a stunning 68 percent! Other methods the study tested that also work are listening to music (61 percent) or sipping a cup of tea (54 percent). It’s a great way to divert yourself when you get that urge to munch. Pick a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted and brew a cup of calming tea, such as chamomile, to sip while you turn the pages.
13. Stay hydrated. If your sweet tooth is on overdrive, turn on the tap and drink up. Dehydration can spike cravings for sugar and junk food dramatically – and may take a toll on your mood. Recent studies have linked mild dehydration to fatigue, anxiety, poor concentration, and even your cranky midday slump that can send you lunging for the vending machine. The latest guidelines from the Institute of Medicine recommend that women get 91 ounces of water a day, but you’ll be happy to know that not all of it has to come from the tap. At least 20 percent can come from food. So eat lots of fruits and veggies to make a hefty dent in your water needs.
14. Soothe with scent. Self-soothing techniques help you tolerate strong or overwhelming emotions, so you can manage them in a positive way, rather than reflexively reaching for a sugary treat. Inhaling a pleasant scent is a helpful reminder to enter the present and literally bring you to your senses when you’re in a cravings spiral. Try this exercise: Add 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to 1 cup of water in a bowl and stir. Soak a washcloth in the scented water. Squeeze out the excess water, then roll it up neatly and place it in a plastic bag in your fridge. The next time a craving hits, retrieve your scented washcloth and drape it gently over your face. Focus your full attention on the sensations—the texture of the cloth, its coolness, its scent—as you inhale the calm, and exhale the powerful emotions.
15. Savor life as much as sugar. Take a moment to think about your schedule. Does include an activity that really does it for you? That puts a curl in your toes, a little flutter of anticipation in your gut? We’re not talking downtime in front of the tube. We’re talking pleasure. The more you indulge in it in healthy ways, the less you’ll look for it in sugar. And the more pleasure, joy, and laughter you add to your life, the less you feel the need to derive pleasure from food. Savoring an experience—whether it’s a walk in the woods or a movie marathon with your best friend—means to enjoy it thoroughly, wringing every drop of pleasure from it. And while cookies may taste momentarily sweet, they can’t provide true and lasting satisfaction.
Source

THE 1 MOTORCYCLE SHOW

We knew it had to happen. The generation-long “Easy Riders” orthodoxy of custom-bike design has finally sputtered out, setting people free to build whatever they like. Remember that word, freedom? It means no one laughs and points if you fail to include a bellowing Harley-Davidson engine in the middle, with a Schwinn wheel way out in front and a Buick tire in the back. Anything goes.

The idiosyncratic bikes in these photos appeared at the “1 Motorcycle Show” in Austin, Texas, the same weekend as the nearby MotoGP event at Circuit of The Americas. Austin is the state capitol, an arty town that calls itself “the live music capital of the world” and is willing to try anything.

Like simplicity? Take pride in your sheet-metal skills? Or perhaps you see the motorcycle as “Death Star”? The “Art of the Motorcycle” at the Guggenheim Museum in 1998 was just a beginning. Start noodling with tools and see where it takes you.

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Source: Cycle World (Cameron, 5/3)

2013 Honda CB 1100 Motorcycle Review

It’s easy to label the new 2013 Honda CB1100 motorcycle as “retro,” but to younger riders, which also can mean “for old guys,” that must be a bit off-putting. So let’s put that image aside for now and look at the CB1100 for what it actually is: a great street bike in its own right that doesn’t need to lean on past glories to be appealing.

Physically, the 2013 Honda CB1100 is quite a large motorcycle, so it looks and feels substantial to sit on – like you’ve got some real value for money. The bars are a little high rise for my taste, so I’d put slightly flatter (read: sportier) bars on. Otherwise, the rubber covered footpegs are nicely positioned and the overall riding position is upright, but slightly leaned forward – just right in other words. The clocks are large and easy to read, and everything works as every Honda always does.

The CB1100 is noticeably unencumbered by acres of plastic wrapped around it, so the powerful-looking 1140cc air- and oil-cooled DOHC motor is fully on display. The engine itself also looks substantial, and as the centerpiece it gives the bike a very appealing, muscular look. 

Feel is as beautifully smooth as you would expect from a Honda inline four, and although it don’t put out superbike numbers on the dyno, the 2013 CB1100 feels sporty and with a strong mid-range – exactly what’s needed on the street.

The motor pulls well from low-down, and it never feels buzzy. If you thrash it to the redline, then it produces very acceptable thrust; it feels like it is punching way above its weight limit. When an insider hinted to me that the CB1100’s horsepower is in the 80s, I was very surprised, as the feel of the bike isn’t lacking at all. The 5-speed gearbox is smooth and seamless; the lever throw isn’t particularly short, but clutchless upshifts are an easy no-brainer.

Suspension for the Honda CB1100 is handled by standard forks at the front and twin shocks at the rear, with spring preload being the only available adjustment. The ride is supple and quite sporting, but the suspension is also very compliant and handles the real-world surface with aplomb. Handling is well balanced, neutral on turn-in, and stable; even fast sweepers couldn’t upset the chassis, it felt that planted.

Brakes are twin discs up front and, although they’re not the latest radial set-up, they handle stopping adequately. As an owner of a 2013 Honda CB1100, I’d probably experiment with different pad grades to get a little more bite for fast riding.

I’ve refrained from using the word “nice” in this brief ride review, but I can hold off no longer. The CB1100 is a very nice bike; it does everything it should and looks great while doing it. Younger guys looking to trade up to a big, muscular bike, and who don’t want an uncompromising supersport machine, should look hard at the CB1100.

The $9999 price tag is very appealing, and passengers will dig the accommodations – for the rider, this bike will do it all and in style. Yes, it’s retro and hearkens back to the old days when one bike did everything – and that’s no bad thing – but I’m excited to see Honda bring a good-looking, strong performer, at a reasonable price to the US. 

The 2013 Honda CB1100 is a great alternative to the racetrack refugee machines that don’t fit a lot of people’s needs and new owners will not be disappointed.



2013 Honda CB1100 Specs:

  • Model: CB1100
  • Engine Type: 1140cc air- and oil-cooled inline four-cylinder
  • Bore and Stroke: 73.5mm x 67.2mm
  • Compression ratio: 9.5:1
  • Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
  • Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment circuit, 32mm throttle bodies
  • Ignition: Digital transistorized with electronic advance
  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Final Drive: #530 O-ring-sealed chain
  • Suspension Front: 41mm fork with spring preload adjustability; 4.7 inches travel
  • Suspension Rear: Dual shocks with spring preload adjustability; 3.5 inches travel
  • Brakes Front: Dual four-piston calipers with full-floating 296mm discs
  • Brakes Rear: Single-caliper 256mm disc
  • Brakes: Optional Honda ABS
  • Tire Front: 110/80-18
  • Tire Rear: 140/70-18
  • Wheelbase: 58.7 inches
  • Rake (Caster angle): 27.0°
  • Trail: 114mm (4.5 inches)
  • Seat Height: 31.3 inches
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.9 gallons, including 0.9-gallon reserve
  • Estimated Fuel Economy**: TBD
  • Color: Candy Red
  • Curb Weight*: 540 pounds

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Source: The Ultimate Motorcycling (Coldwells, 11/12)

Honda CB750 by Vibrazioni Art Design

The Honda CB750 has become the go-to bike for customization. It has been chopped and molded into countless cafe racers, scramblers and some cycles we’re not even so sure about. Most of us here at Selectism are not gear heads — but we find redeeming qualities in aesthetics. That’s where this beautiful custom CB750 comes into play.Meet Vibrazioni Art Design, an Italy-based boutique firm with a knack for creating pieces like furniture from repurposed branded oil barrels. Their latest endeavor is this reworked CB750 featuring original logos from Pennzoil.







First published by http://gascapkustom.

H Garage Honda Gold Wing


In 2012 Scott Halbleid left his career as a graphic designer to focus his efforts on building custom motorcycles. As a trained, multidisciplinary artist his skills already included sculptural and fabrication techniques which when combined with a lifelong love of motorcycles had him positioned perfectly for the transition. Since he opened the doors of his ‘H Garage’ workshop he has amassed an impressive portfolio of custom builds, but this ’78 Honda Goldwing, his latest creation, is the icing on the H Garage cake.




Scott acquired the Gold Wing when an acquaintance stumbled across it decaying in a barn and offered it up for sale. He had already been tempted by another Gold Wing he’d seen at a swap meet months before so convincing himself to lay down the cash was an easy task. After taking ownership of the ageing GL1000 it was decided the bike would be his next workshop project with an aim to transform it into a fully faired bagger. Thankfully after some deliberation while observing the stripped down Honda the bagger theme was ousted in favour of a Hot Rod/Mad Max themed bike, naked, raw and packing plenty of attitude.



With the beast of a bike taking up a large chunk of real estate in Scott’s 2 bench workshop the Gold Wing build had to be prioritised and completed as soon as possible. Over the following 6 months he transformed the 1800cc behemoth into his minimalistic road warrior named No. 5 to commemorate his fifth H Garage workshop build.

After the initial tear down the Gold Wing’s frame and its water cooled, flat 4 engine were cleaned and painted before being reunited once again. Hot Rod parts manufacturer Mooneyes supplied a set of solid alloy “moon discs” to conceal the bikes cast wheels and the stock Honda fenders were stripped to bare metal. In the rear he trimmed the fender and rolled it around to sit over the rubber at 5 minutes past twelve and tucked an integrated brake/signal LED strip beneath the lip of the fender.



With the removal of the bikes faux fuel tank (on this model Gold Wing the real fuel tank lives under the seat) a new air filtering system was required, so Scott once again looked to an aftermarket manufacturer in the Hot Rod scene for a solution. Performance carburettor specialists Holley had the perfect solution in the form of a large billet filter that perfectly fit the top of the frame so he mounted it using a custom made inlet system, feeding all 4 of the bikes carbs.



When it came to the bikes exhaust extra time was spent refining its design prior to fabrication. A pair rectangular tips were underslung on the frame to visually draw the bike lower to the ground. Shooting out horizontally from either side of the bike the mufflers were welded to the stock headers and produce an exhaust note that’d put most Harley Tourers to shame. With modifications to the flow of gases through the carbs and out of the engine some tricky tuning was required. For this Scott enlisted the help of Chad Francis of RetroWrench who solved the problem with careful synchronisation, jetting and a bit of needle drilling.


The bikes factory controls were swapped out with MotoGadget switches, new cables and hand levers mounted to a set of drag style bars. To help keep cables to a minimum a GPS speedo with integrated tacho sits on the backbone of the frame. The headlight has been replaced by an alloy framed, mesh faceplate and a pair of high intensity LED Fog lights perched atop the engine guard rails provide enough light to illuminate a small stadium.   



Suspension has been upgraded with Progressive rear shocks and rebuilt fork internals and all of the tired old brake lines have been replaced with braided ones. The seat pan was designed to wrap over the fuel tank which protrudes out from the top of the bikes frame. Using several welded sheets of steel it hugs both the frame and tank perfectly allowing easy access to the tanks filler cap.

The final finish on the bike was achieved by applying a custom paint colour to the face plate and the fenders before laying down a satin clear coat which gives them the appearance of raw steel. The gas tank, radiator surrounds and various brackets were stripped bare before being clear coated in a heat proof clear coat while the frame, drivetrain and forks were finished in satin black.


There are so many incredible details on this bike that I had to ask Scott what he likes most about the No. 5 Gold Wing to which he replied… “Riding it! It’s loud, obnoxious and fast. People seem to dig it too which is always a plus.” What’s your opinion?x

(H) GARAGE     |     Photos by Craig Schneider


first published by returnofthecaferacers

The Auto Fabrica Type 6: Reduced to perfection

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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In Japan, there is a design theory called Kanso (簡素)—meaning simplicity, or the elimination of clutter. And every time I see an Auto Fabrica bike, I’m reminded of that fine principle. The machines that roll out of the English workshop are reduced to the bare minimum, but beautifully finished. And this extraordinary build, called simply Type 6, is Auto Fabrica’s best work yet.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

Full Size

Most shops have a bike that’s been kicking around since the beginnings of time, and that’s the story with this Yamaha. “It’s one of four XS650s we rescued from a farm in the depths of rural Cornwall,” says shop owner Bujar Muharremi. “A lucky find that effectively kickstarted our company.” We’ve come to expect stellar levels of craft and finish from Auto Fabrica, but the Type 6 adds impeccable industrial design to the mix.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

Full Size

“We strived to achieve a bike which was executed perfectly and epitomizes what we see as a ‘real’ custom motorcycle—simplicity in form, complexity in detail.” Bujar and his crew spend a huge amount of time on preliminary design before they pick up the grinders. Starting with hand sketching and moving on to Photoshop renderings, they create the bike in the virtual world before turning the vision into metal.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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This time, the objective was to push the physical limits with panel beating. “We spent a lot of time trying to balance clean graphics with highly complex and organic surfacing, to achieve a clean yet interesting design.” Much of that cleanliness comes from the tank and seat base, a single elegant unit formed from 2.5-millimeter aluminum. The XS650 frame has been modified by lowering the headstock two inches and moving it back slightly, creating the strong top line that flows from the headlight to the rear cowl.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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The forks look especially sleek: they’ve been overhauled and fitted with stainless steel covers that conceal the bottom yoke and add a touch of Art Deco style. The engine of the XS650 was pretty handsome straight from the factory, but it’s been elevated to a whole new level here.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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“Inspired by some other great builds, we took time to design a single carb conversion. We continued the line of the exhausts all the way through to the filter,” says Bujar. “You can trick the eye by placing the single inlet on the opposite side to the exhaust outlet positions, to create an asymmetric balance.” It might be a trick, but it works well.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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The engine has been fully rebuilt with 0.5-oversize pistons. It looks just as good on the outside as in, with a textured paint finish for the top and raw metal lower down. Auto Fabrica love the matte finish that aqua blasting gives to bare metal, so the engine casings and aluminum parts all went into the blast cabinet.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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The exhaust pipes are handmade in stainless steel, and bent into perfect curves. They look like unmuffled pipes, but have custom baffles hidden inside. “We could have kept them straight through and raw, but with the refinement of the bike as a whole, we needed a more refined exhaust note—as well as the correct back pressure.”

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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The rear wheel is built on the standard hub, but it’s now laced to an 18-inch alloy rim with stainless spokes. Up front is a beautiful Laverda SF750 twin leading shoe hub laced to a 19-inch alloy rim, with a custom brake switch located on the TLS arms. The bodywork is almost impossibly sleek, so it’d be a shame to have clunky bars up front. To maintain the theme, Auto Fabrica fitted slim clip-ons and then created a custom wrap that forms a smooth loop. It’s a neat solution that matches the inverted stainless steel brake and clutch levers.

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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We’ve only the skimmed the surface of this build, because it’s often the ‘simple’-looking bikes that involve the most work. (As Mark Twain famously said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”) The Type 6 is for sale. If you’d like to examine it at your leisure in your own garage, contact Auto Fabrica via their website.
Auto Fabrica | Facebook | Instagram | Images: Julien Brightwell, Bujar Muharremi

An extraordinary custom Yamaha XS650 built by the English workshop Auto Fabrica.

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Interested in opening your own WORKOUT ANYTIME?

Think big. Keep it simple. Do it with integrity.”

Those are the guiding words of John Quattrocchi, co-founder of WORKOUT ANYTIME. Together with Steve Strickland, John and Steve have drawn from their 40 years of industry knowledge to create a proven, ready-to-run business opportunity for your success.

Proven Formula – The WORKOUT ANYTIME system operates with low-overhead and delivers high customer satisfaction. Our clubs fit into a range of retail spaces, can be run by a tiny staff, and offer the best workout per square foot in the industry. Unprofitable amenities like the pool, spa, courts, aerobics classes, and childcare have been eliminated in favor of a $15 no-commitment price that keeps members onboard month after month after month.

“People join a club to lose weight, build strength and feel better,” explains CEO Steve Strickland. “But eventually, they fall off because of two things: high price and inconvenience. We built a system that offers an unbeatable workout, an inexpensive recurring payment, and 24-7 neighborhood convenience.”

Matrix Equipment – Top equipment is a crucial component of the WORKOUT ANYTIME formula. Steve Strickland’s career experience in both the equipment and club sides of the industry has guided the equipment selection and floor plan. The WORKOUT ANYTIME fitness layout ensures that members never have to wait for the much-desired Matrix treadmills (10+) and cardio gear.

Easy to Get Started – Franchisees usually join WORKOUT ANYTIME with little or no experience in the fitness industry. Some even keep their existing jobs. Yet, our turnkey systems, vendor agreements, equipment sourcing and leasing support make it easy to get started and easy to succeed. Here’s how our ready-to-run approach guides you every step of the way:

Site Selection and Lease Negotiation

– We maintain a network of experienced real estate brokers nationwide who specialize in tenant representation
– Site selection/lease negotiation service offered at no-cost to franchise owner
– In most cases WORKOUT ANYTIME Franchisees receive a generous tenant improve allowance (cash), and up to 6-months free rent per deal
– WORKOUT ANYTIME’s site criteria includes demographics, access, parking, visibility, tenant mix, competition, and the economics of your club

Find out more here. 

Revving to roam for Ronald’s house

CORPUS CHRISTI — In 2001 motorcycles revved their engines to ride for Ronald McDonald House following a family’s stay for their 6-year-old’s open-heart surgery.

“He’s now 20, attending Texas A&M University, and doing well”, his father said.

“Staying at Ronald McDonald House was an eye-opener to us,” said M. Randall Hicks, whose son required the heart surgery.

Hicks and two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte were Carroll High School classmates and friends. After learning of Hicks’ experience, Labonte was moved to endorse the nonprofit Terry Labonte Roam for a Home Foundation, which launches its 12th annual ride this week to give back to Ronald McDonald House.

The ride has raised more than $500,000 for the local Ronald McDonald House, which provided accommodations last year for about 1,000 families with sick children at critical times in their medical treatment.

“If we raise awareness and let this spider web grow — good things come from that,” said Hicks, now president of the foundation.

A kickoff party Wednesday night at Corpus Christi Harley-Davidson serves as a meet-and-greet for about 140 riders whose 80 motorcycles will roar at 8:30 a.m. Thursday into a 714-mile roam. First-timers join the ranks of more than 1,000 past participants who have collectively roamed more than 376,000 miles. The foundation has raffled two trucks, three trailers and nine motorcycles along the way, raising more than $106,000 in its top year, when organizers accepted 152 motorcycles with some 350 riders.

“These rides are a great example of third-party fundraisers allowing us to do what we do best,” said Mark Avelar, executive director of Ronald McDonald House in Corpus Christi. “It has created excellent momentum for validation of our mission focused on families.”

Labonte’s bunch also has garnered support for other Ronald McDonald Houses in Texas.

“It’s something that’s really important to all of us,” Labonte said Friday from his North Carolina home. “It’s especially touching to visit families at a house, the way we have been allowed, and to learn what it means for them. Unfortunately a lot of these people don’t have great outcomes. But when you see the children smiling, it reinforces the importance of our continued support.

“Our goal is for everyone to know they can help, even $10 helps the children.”

Labonte arrives Wednesday for the ride, he said.

Organizing the roam is challenging.

Consider plotting a route for 140 people to use bathrooms, eat and sleep all at the same times and locations, Hicks said.

“It’s a logistical nightmare,” he said.

To ease congestion, riders are divvied into six color-coded road groups. Each has a designated team captain and road committee leader to guide riders to fuel stops, oversee meal and hotel arrangements, and direct parking.

“This isn’t a typical motorcycle ride,” said Andy Felkner, 59, caption of this year’s Team Ironman. “It’s a great cause. We have always had a good time, but it’s not like you’re beating the bushes trying to run hundreds of miles a day.”

It’s about safe fun, he said.

There are quirky games along the road.

“It’s a variety of crazy things,” Felkner said. “We’ve had a basketball shootout during lunch, and contests to see who can put on chaps fastest, or how many team members can stand in a certain square.”

Some years there have been egg toss competitions for couples, and rope tug of wars among ride groups.

This year’s activities haven’t yet been divulged, because part of the fun is not knowing everything, Felkner said.

This year is sold out. Each rider paid $1,000, or $1,600 for couples, and everything’s provided. Somewhere along this year’s route there will be a motorcycle auction. Everyone gets a ticket, but it’s the last ticket drawn that wins.

A recent pre-ride by organizers helped establish this year’s roam, with fuel stops and lunch places en route to Galveston. A two-night stay is planned at The Tremont Place, a European-style hotel in the island’s historic district. On Friday night a dinner and live auction are planned to bolster fundraising. On Saturday teams take a Port Bolivar Ferry ride to roam north into Texas for lunch before looping westerly to return to Corpus Christi.

A support group roams among the teams with comfort items, snacks and drinks. And there’s a wrecker for breakdowns, which also has extra motorcycles in case needed.

Safety is paramount. All participants must wear helmets, keep pace with road leaders and abide departure and meeting times.

“Everybody follows what we tell them or they don’t go,” Falkner said.

No alcohol can be consumed during ride times and the foundation reserves the right to oust anyone who doesn’t abide its rules.”
No alcohol is allowed until bikes are parked”, Falkner said.

“We will even take a bus sometimes.”

________________________________________
Source: Caller (Baird, 3/25)

Unique motorcycle safety device aims to reduce rear-end collisions

Look ma, no brakes.

But slow down anyway!

California startup Vectolabs has developed a new type of safety light for motorcycles that illuminates when the bike slows down, regardless of whether or not the rider is using the brakes.

Called Vololights, the device is comprised of two sets of LEDs built into a license plate holder that’s fitted with an accelerometer and CPU. When it senses that the motorcycle it is installed on starts slowing down, a pattern of blinking lights goes off to get the attention of following vehicles.

Since motorcycles decelerate much quicker than four-wheel vehicles when you let up on the accelerator or downshift, many riders don’t use the brakes to slow down as often as car and truck drivers do. Doing either of these things will cause the Vololights to flash twice per second, while using the brakes will flash them five times per second to indicate a more severe stopping event, augmenting the motorcycle’s stock lights.

Many motorcycle organizations and state departments of motor vehicles already encourage riders to flash their brakes when slowing, a step Vectolabs is simply looking to automate. It is also aimed at owners of some classic bikes, including 1960s Vespa scooters where the hand grip for the front brakes isn’t even connected to the lights, only the brake pedal is.

A number of electric cars, including the Tesla Model S, illuminate their brake lights as soon as you lift off of the accelerator, as their electric motors instantly start generating electricity and forcibly slow the car down in the process. Even more so than with motorcycles, you can drive these kinds of cars much of the time without using the brakes at all.

Vectolabs says Vololights fits a variety of motorcycles and is confident that it will conform to state and federal legal requirements for lighting, but will recommend users check their local laws. A ‘stealth mode’ turns off the system if you drive somewhere they are not allowed.

But don’t mount up and head to the motorcycle shop just yet. Vectolabs is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign that aims to raise $50,000 by June 12th in order to put the Vololights into production. A number of pledge levels are available, but it’ll cost you at least $69 if you want to get on the list for a kit.

In the meantime, watch out behind you.

______________________________________
Source: Fox News (AP, 5/29)

The Saint Kawasaki W800


Deus Ex Machina are continuing to expand their footprint by opening flagship stores around the globe. Since their first store appeared in Camperdown, Sydney in 2006 they’ve opened 6 other international locations and although apparel may have become the biggest sector of the Deus business they’ve never lost sight of their beginnings as a custom workshop. Each store has its own team of talented builders who continue to produce great looking custom motorcycles while still retaining that unmistakable Deus style. Out of the Dues Milan premises, otherwise known as “The Portal of Possibilities” comes this latest custom build they’ve coined ‘The Saint’.


The Kawasaki W series is an old favourite of Deus ex Machina. The 650 version of Kawasaki’s ultra reliable, parallel twin was the subject of many of their first builds and they’ve done everything with it from hardtailed Bobbers to Cafe Racers. When the W800 was released a few years ago I felt that some of the W soul had been lost with the move to Efi and the removal of the kickstarter, but despite this The Saint has a timeless appeal to it. Looking like a bike that would have been at home in Bruce Brown’s original ‘On Any Sunday’ the team at the Milan based Deus have put together a custom that any classic bike lover could appreciate.


The Saint was built for one of the heads of the Deus Milan store, Santiago, who despite being a long time bike lover and rider was yet to own a custom. Looking back over the Deus portfolio it was the blacked out,  “Le Gicleur Noire” that appealed to him the most so it was decided this would be the template for the build, however it would need modifications to suit Santiago’s personal style.


The build began with the customary removal of superfluous parts to start the custom work on a blank canvas. Next step was to slim the bike down by adapting an original Yamaha SR tank, positioning it on the backbone of the frame to follow the curve of the cylinder heads and fuel pump was integrated to work with the bikes fuel system. To keep the handlebars looking clean a Daytona Velona speedometer was then mounted where the SR oil filler would usually sit at the top of the tank tunnel. A set of clubman style bars came next with with classic Beston style grips and a single low slung clubman mirror.


With the factory 2-into-2, chrome exhaust system gone a new, blacked out, 2-into-1 unit from SC-Project was added along with a set of new black rims wrapped in chunky rubber. To continue the  Tracker styling the bulbous airbox covers were replaced by hand shaped alloy plates with indents to allow the fitment of K&N pod filters. High mount fenders were also added to clear the rubber and all new lighting added to the front and rear.


The Saint was finished with the addition of a custom made seat and a slick paintjob by Kaos Design in Milan. If you happen to pass by ‘The Portal of Possibilities” chances are you’ll spot it parked out the front where Santiago admires it from his desk.

DEUS ‘PORTAL OF POSSIBILITIES’


First published by returnofthecaferacers.com/

Tips To Find The Best Auto Insurance Companies

There are many auto insurance companies in the market which promote themselves as the best auto insurance companies, but actually they are not. To find the best car insurance companies car drivers have to follow these tips.

The Best Auto Insurance Companies, Car Insurance Companies, Auto Insurance Tips
3 Tips To Find The Best Auto Insurance Companies
If you are a new driver you can get advice from the people in the industry. There are many parties like car agents, car dealers, mechanics and car sellers those who are dealing with the companies in regular basis can give you concrete information about choosing auto insurance companies.

Having strong financial stability is the indicator of the best auto insurance companies because if the company doesn’t have enough assets, it cannot provide compensation for its clients. Check which insurance company has greater financial position.

You should seek the reputation of insurance companies in the market because cost is not the only factor you should always consider. An auto insurance company with high market reputation handles the customers’ claims in a better way than others.

Which Are The Top Rated Auto Insurance Companies?
Another way to find the best auto insurance companies is to justify which auto insurance companies have higher ratings from both customers and independent rating organizations. Independent rating organization like A. M. Best and J. D. Power analysis the auto insurance companies and rate these companies. From their report you will get additional ideas which is the best auto insurance companies.

Getting insured means getting protection not just paying premiums and getting claims. The best auto insurance companies sell not only just the insurance policy but also the protection, value, service and care. Best car insurance companies will be the one that offers the best insurance quote and the best customer service.

MODERN SWEDISH BEDROOM DESIGNS GO SROP

Although they are all unique, and I noticed that some of the same elements that deserve to be underlined. First of all, all the bedrooms the images below, with large windows, which are usually thin stylish blinds or curtains. On both sides of a king-size bed is a traditional bedside tables, shelves or chairs for the original. The walls are painted mostly white, but here and there, you will find an interesting color interference: some of the rooms are nice backgrounds to illuminate the room. Details of lighting are particularly interesting to observe. Please take a look at this beautiful gallery bedroom and tell us what information you will find interesting.

modern swedish bedroom designs

MODERN SWEDISH BEDROOM DESIGNS

modern swedish bedroom designs

MODERN SWEDISH BEDROOM DESIGNS

modern swedish bedroom designs

MODERN SWEDISH BEDROOM DESIGNS

modern swedish bedroom designs

MODERN SWEDISH BEDROOM DESIGNS

modern swedish bedroom designs

MODERN SWEDISH BEDROOM DESIGNS

Integrating Peer Feedback

Sometimes my students surprise me.

We’re studying the Measurement and Data standards right now in math, and we were struggling a bit with 4.MD.2 – the measurement word problems standard. We’ve been using some of the free math units from Engage NY (a resource I highly recommend), and we were on day 3 of working through word problems, and I knew I had to mix it up a bit. Here’s what we did.

First, students worked through 6 word problems from module 2. The word problems were multi-step and used many different types of metric measurement. They completed these problems independently, but they could consult other students if they got stuck. Once everyone at the table finished, they checked their work with each other to make sure they agreed on the same answer.

Next, I assigned each table a different focus problem from the 6 that they solved. They had about 10-15 minutes to work together to design a poster that explained the problem and solution. They could represent their work any way they wanted, but the work had to speak for itself — they wouldn’t be there to explain the poster to anyone else.

Once the posters were completed, I gathered the students together on the carpet, and we reviewed the Standards for Mathematical Practice using these posters I’ve made:

We talked about using these standards as opportunities to give feedback. We also discussed how effective feedback needs to be specific and constructive. If you like something, say what, specifically, you liked and how it helped communicate an idea. If something needed to be improved, explain what and how that could be done.

Once I felt like the students had some ideas for ways to give good feedback, I had the students do a gallery walk around the classroom to look at the other posters. In a gallery walk, students use sticky notes to comment on other people’s work. They can leave positive and/or constructive feedback. I let the students comment anonymously if they wanted, and they were able to reference the SMP posters if they needed ideas (I gave them access to a digital copy on their iPads). I used a timer, and they spent 5 minutes studying and commenting on each poster before rotating.

Once they’d rotated through all of the posters, the returned to the poster their group had made, and they took a few minutes to read the feedback. I had them work together to sort the feedback into the categories “helpful” and “not helpful.”

We shared a few examples of helpful comments with the whole class:

  • “I like how the team drew pictures to represent the problem, but I think the team could have explained what each picture represented from the problem.”
  • “The pictures aren’t in proportion to one another. The drawing of 1,500 mL is much larger than 3 L, but really the 3 L should be larger.”
  • “Something I really like about your poster is that it has pictures to represent the problems. One thing that you could have done differently is represent the subtraction and addition with a tape diagram.”
  • “You could have represented the answer in mixed units to make your answer clearer.”

We then talked about unhelpful comments — one word comments or feedback that focused more on style than substance.

Overall, this lesson was very helpful in getting the students to think about the Standards for Mathematical Practice and how to give effective feedback. Each group had ideas for things they wanted to change on their posters based on peer comments, and some groups even asked to work on it more during recess! It was also a good reminder for me that students can give each other powerful feedback, and I need to provide them with more opportunities to do this across the subject areas.

If you’d like to get a copy of my student-friendly Standards for Mathematical Practice posters, they’re available in my TpT store by clicking the image below.

What are some ways you incorporate peer feedback in your classroom? I’d love to hear more ideas in the comments section!

Knoxville News Sentinel featuring Kurt and April Nitzsche

Knoxville News Sentinel featured WORKOUT ANYTIME owners Kurt and April Nitzsche.
The online article includes a great picture of April showing one of her clients, how to use one of many exercise machines at the Maryville location. The story also ran in the print edition on the front page of the business section with a large two picture spread of Kurt and April.
April Nitzsche explains to Robert Ridenour how to use one of many exercise machines at the Workout Anytime in Maryville on Thursday, January 16, 2014. April and her husband Kurt Nitzsche are the franchise owners of the Workout Anytime in Bearden and are now expanding into Maryville with their second location.         (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)
You can view the online article here. 

And More: Deals and Sales – End Of The Month Specials (February)

The transition from February to March this year isn’t seeing a ‘ton’ of games on special sales, but there are a few deals on almost every gaming/dealer website (some are only on for the weekend and some last until the middle of March, see each sale you are interested in for details):

Steam, Valve’s storefront has a Spotlight Sale of Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army (1 & 2), which can be purchased together in bundles or 4-Packs to play with your friends and is their Weekend Deal:

Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army Sale Page
Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army 2 Sale Page

also on sale
Trine is on sale for only One Dollar (90% off), or get Trine 1&2 for $3.74
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II: Retribution is on sale for $7.59 (75% off)
Alternativa is on sale for only $1.29 (90% off)
The Sims 3 is on sale for $7.99 for those who haven’t played it yet (60% off)
Kung-Fu Strike: The Warriors Rise is on sale for only $1.99 (80% off)
Moto GP 13 is $12.00 (70% off)

Gamefly, the storefront that you can also subscribe to (that took over Direct2Drive in 2011) has a few sales going on, one featuring all 2K Games titles at 75% off:

(click image to see Full Size)

also on sale
Bioshock is $4.99 (75% off)
Bioshock 2 is $4.99 (75% off)
Bioshock Infinite is $9.99 (67% off)
Borderlands, Game Of The Year Edition is $7.49 (75% off)
Borderlands 2, Game Of The Year Edition is $19.99 (50% off)
Duke Nukem Forever is $4.99 (75% off)
Civilization V is $7.49 (75% off)

GamersGate, the storefront formerly part of Sweden’s Paradox Interactive has a bunch of sales going on as well:

(click image to see Full Size)

also on sale
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is $9.72 (46% off)
with Battlefield 4 is out, Battlefield 3 is on sale for $4.99
Sniper Elite V2 is on sale for $7.50 (75% off) or get the
Sniper Elite V2 Collection (which includes: Sniper Elite V2, the Sniper Elite V2 Kill Hitler Pack, the Sniper Elite V2 The Neudorf Outpost Pack, the Sniper Elite V2 Original Game Soundtrack, and the Sniper Elite V2 The Landwehr Canal Pack DLC) all for $13.75 (75% off)
The Tropico Trilogy Bundle (which includes: Tropico, Tropico Paradise Island, Tropico 2 Pirate Cove, Tropico 3, Tropico 3 Absolute Power) all for just $4.99 (75% off)
and last but certainly not least
The Total War Master Collection bundle (which includes: Empire: Total War, The Medieval 2 Total War Collection (M2TW and the M2TW Kingdoms Expansion Pack), Napoleon: Total War™ Imperial Edition
Rome: Total War Gold Edition, Total War Battles: Shogun, Total War SHOGUN 2, the Total War Shogun 2 E-Guide, Total War Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai, and Viking: Battle for Asgard) all for $25.00 (80% off, regular price $124.99!)

Once again, some of these are only on for the Weekend and some last until the middle of March, so check out the sale you are interested in for details. I hope you catch something you want – and See You In The Games!

Low flyer: Yamaha XS650 by Clutch Custom

Low flyer: a cafe-styled XS650 from Clutch Customs of Paris.


We’ve probably used every superlative in the book to describe the Clutch Custom style by now. Propriétaire Willie Knoll builds bikes that we just can’t tear our eyes away from.

As we’ve come to expect from the Paris-based builder, this XS650 is low-key and refined. But it’s stacked with hand-made bits and pieces—details that M. Knoll prides himself on, but claims won’t be noticed at first glance.
Low flyer: a cafe-styled XS650 from Clutch Customs of Paris.


For starters, the XS650 now packs an extra wallop thanks to an engine rebuild with a 750cc big-bore kit. Helping the extra cubic centimeters do their job are a pair of Dell’Orto carbs, K&N filters and classy Spark mufflers.

The front-end has been thoroughly re-engineered too, with a set of Yamaha SR500 forks mated to custom-made triple trees.
Low flyer: a cafe-styled XS650 from Clutch Customs of Paris.


The front drum brake is also from an SR500. Like the stock XS650 rear hub, it’s laced to a new 18” rim, wrapped in Avon Roadrider rubber.

To clean things up visually, Willie’s cut the wiring right down. (Since the XS650 has a kick starter, he’s also eliminated the battery.) The stock fuel tank has been re-tunnelled to accommodate the remaining electrical components.
Low flyer: a cafe-styled XS650 from Clutch Customs of Paris.


The café-esque seat unit and cowl are hand-made, perched on top of a re-worked subframe.

Other one-off bits include new clip-ons, foot pegs, exhaust and headlight brackets and a very neat gas cap. Minimalist lighting rounds off the package.
Low flyer: a cafe-styled XS650 from Clutch Customs of Paris.


Willie has kept the finishes on the XS650 raw and industrial—with just a splash of color on the fuel tank and headlight lens.

We applaud Monsieur Knoll for his impeccable taste. And we’re intrigued to hear that what started out as a personal project is now for sale.
Would it fit in your garage?
First appeared in www.bikeexif.com
Low flyer: a cafe-styled XS650 from Clutch Customs of Paris.

Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) continue…

Adding a Label

MPLS is a method that takes the best of both worlds and creates a concept that allows IP packets to travel through the network as if IP were a connection-oriented protocol (which it isn’t). Using special routers called Label Switching Routers (LSRs) does this. These routers connect a traditional IP network to an MPLS network. A packet enters the MPLS network through an ingress LSR, which attaches a label to the packet, and exits the MPLS switched network through an egress LSR. The ingress LSR is the router that performs the necessary processing to determine the path a packet will need to take through the switched network. This can be done using traditional routing protocols such as OSPF. The path is identified by the label that the ingress router attaches to the packet. As you can see, the ingress router must perform the traditional role that a router fills. It must perform a lookup in the routing table and decide to which network the packet needs to be sent for eventual delivery to the host computer.

Internet 2010

However, as the packet passes through the switched network, it is only necessary for the switch to take a quick look at the label to make a decision on which port to output the packet. A table called the Label Information Base (LIB) is used in a manner similar to a routing table to determine the correct port based on the packet’s label information. The switch doesn’t perform IP header processing, looking at the IP address, the TTL value, and so on. It just spends a small amount of time doing a lookup of the label in the table and outputting the packet on the correct port.

When the packet reaches the egress LSR, the label is removed by the router, and then the IP packet is processed in the normal manner by traditional routers on the destination network.

If this sounds like a simple concept, that’s because it is. MPLS still is in the development stages, so you’ll find that different vendors implement it in different ways. Several Internet draft documents attempt to create a standard for MPLS. Other features, such as Quality of Service (QoS) and traffic management techniques, are being developed to make MPLS a long-term solution.

Using Frame Relay and ATM with MPLS

One of the best features about the current design of MPLS is that it separates the label-switching concept from the underlying technology. That is, you don’t have to build special switches that are meant for just MPLS networks. MPLS doesn’t care what the underlying transport is. It is concerned only with setting up a path and reducing the amount of processing a packet takes as it travels through the circuit.

Because of this, it’s a simple matter for an ATM or Frame Relay switch vendor to reprogram or upgrade its product line to use MPLS. For ATM switches, the VPI (virtual path identifier) and VCI (virtual channel identifier) fields in the ATM cell are used for the Label field. In Frame Relay switches, an extra field is added to the IP header to store the label. However, don’t get confused and think that an MPLS network is an ATM network or a Frame Relay network. These switches must be reprogrammed to understand the label concept. It’s even possible, for example, for an ATM switch to switch both ATM and MPLS traffic at the same time. By allowing for the continued use of existing equipment (and

these switches are not inexpensive items), large ISPs or network providers can leverage their current investment, while preparing to install newer MPLS equipment when the standards evolve to a stage that makes it a good investment.

For the long term it’s most likely that MPLS will be implemented using technology similar to Frame Relay instead of ATM. This is because of the small cell size of the ATM cell (53 bytes) combined with a high overhead (the 5-byte cell header). In a small network with little traffic, this 5-byte cell header seems insignificant. However, when you scale this to large bandwidth network pipes, this amount of overhead consumes a large amount of bandwidth given the small amount of data carried in the 53- byte cell. Thus, variable-length frames are most likely to become the basis for MPLS networks in the next few years.

How to Get Rid of Cellulite

Although the vast majority of woman have some cellulite somewhere on their body – nobody likes it!   So what the heck is cellulite anyway?  Cellulite is pockets of fat that have squeezed between bands of tissue, called septae, that are located below your skin.

Women of all races get it, while virtually no men do. That’s because the septae of men are different from women. Men have stronger bands that are cross-hatched allowing them to keep fat in place more effectively. Women have weaker, vertically oriented septae that allows fat to squeeze through easier.

Both thin and heavy women have cellulite. However the higher your level of body fat the more noticeable the dimpling will tend to be.  Unfortunately dieting does necessarily help eliminate cellulite. Losing weight helps sometime, but in some cases weight loss makes cellulite worse.   This occurs when skin becomes saggy after significant weight loss.

There is a definite genetic component to cellulite which does run in families.
Hormones also are part of the equation with cellulite, but science has not figured out exactly how hormones contribute to cellulite.  What is known is that cellulite starts at puberty which is a time that many hormone levels change significantly in females.

Getting Rid of Cellulite

Getting rid of cellulite is easier said than done.  Even treatments like Liposuction are not necessarily effective.    In fact Liposuction often makes cellulite worse by leaving your skin even more puckered looking than it was before.

Dermatologists are quick to point out that there is no magic cure for cellulite, but there are ways to make it look better!   Two of the keys are working out and dropping excess weight sensibly (1lbs per week! – faster weight loss can exacerbate the problem!)

Resistance training is key.   As you increase your muscle size and decrease body fat your skin looks smoother.     If you lose fat while you simultaneously build muscle your cellulite will improve.
It is also important to work on the health of your skin as you age to make it more elastic so that as you lose fat the skin pulls tight rather than sagging.    

Certain topical treatments that increase collagen in the skin, like Retin-A or creams with retinol or vitamin C, cannot hurt and may help.   

Maintaining adequate water intake is also key for skin health and elasticity – 6 – 8 glasses of water per day is key.

If you have faithfully tried everything and your cellulite is driving you crazy and you are prepared to spend some serious dollars – Cellulaze – is an FDA approved therapy.  Cellulaze involves inserting a lazer under the skin and projects heats in three directions and literally liquefies fat as it cuts the septae around fat cells which can reduce the puckering while also encouraging collagen regrowth.

Cellulaze claims a 70 – 80% improvement in cellulite that lasts a full year.  It is most effective for active women with mild to moderate cellulite who are not significantly overweight and who also have good muscle tone.

Unfortunately, Cellulaze is not cheap – costing $5,000 – $7,000 depending on the size of the area being treated.

FOUR AFFORDABLE MOTORCYCLES FOR CITY COMMUTING AND CROSS-COUNTRY ADVENTURE

Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS

If you were going to Alaska, you’d want the V-Strom. Its torquey V-Twin runs dead-smooth at 5500 rpm and 80 mph. Its reasonably quiet windscreen provides the most protection, its seat is the most comfy. And judging from its stately highway ride, you’d never guess it’s the next-to-lightest bike here, at just 442 pounds. That’ll come in handy when you’re axle deep in the spring thaw in Moose Jaw or wherever.

ups 
• Feels most substantial under way
• Smooth, revvable powerplant
• A few battle scars will only improve its looks
downs 
• It doesn’t feel cheap, but it looks it
• ABS is great; bummer you can’t switch it off
• Why do I have to pay for the lower seat?

At 48 mpg, the V-Strom comes closest to the Honda at squeezing out miles, and its 5.3-gallon tank gives it true 250-mile range. Its trick instrumentation serves up all kinds of useful information including air temp, rate of fuel burn, freeze warning—also a big digital gear indicator. What’s wrong with the V-Strom is almost nothing at all. Two items, though: If you do wind up in the dirt, you can’t switch off the ABS (not on the Honda, either), and if you’re short, its seat is the tallest (optional taller and shorter seats are available for around $200).

Other than that, it’s really against our code to disrespect motorcycles for aesthetic reasons, but we don’t picture Peter Egan lovingly contemplating the graceful countours of any of these bikes while sipping a beer in his garage. Like the other machines here, the poor Strom looks like it’s designed to travel in space, where there is no atmosphere, and its Sputnik interior and cheap black heat-tile plastics make it impossible to escape the fact that you married for convenience. Then again, if you’re already equipped with a happy spouse who likes to ride on back, the V-Strom is most likely to keep the peace, with the most comfortable back seat.

It’s easy to see how guys who pile on tons of miles and wear socks with sandals love this bike.

Kawasaki Versys

The Versys is the yapping lap dog of the group. It’s the lightest bike here and serves up the tautest ride. Its 55.8-inch wheelbase is 4.7 inches shorter than the next-shortest Honda’s, and its tallish seat, long-travel suspension and 17-inch tires make it the preferred mount for wheelies, stoppies and late-night yard crossings—things its ABS and traction control won’t interfere with, since it doesn’t have them.


ups
• It’s the most “exciting” bike here
• Lightest and most nimbleous
• 5.0-gallon fuel tank

downs
• Not the slickest gearbox
• Not the smoothest running
• There’s nothing else not to like

As for power, it’s slightly down vs. the V-Strom and the BMW, with a peakier, buzzier and more rambunctious feel that’ll have you shifting more and giving the tachometer needle a bigger workout. For all those reasons, the Versys is the best sportbike of the group—but those characteristics render it slightly hyperactive for everyday and long-haul use.
Having said that, any of the four 
bikes here are so superior in such a 
wide range of environments and 
usages—compared to a Panigale or a Tuono or a V-Rod—that it’s sometimes hard to remember they all fall under the genus “motorcycle.” The Versys is just as capable of a late-night high-speed San Diego-to-L.A. freeway run as it is wheelying through Forest Lawn or dropping off your mom at yoga.
If you’re young enough at heart to like its bike-of-the-future looks, chances are you’ll like how the Versys rides. A 5.0-
gallon fuel tank and mileage in the low 40s is pretty dang good. And Kawasaki is, of course, standing by with all sorts of accessories for its bike also. (Grip Heater Kit: $229.95. Always our first stop.)

BMW F700GS

With this one, BMW does its best to provide access to the GS line for short people and, dare we say, chicks. Replacing the front 21-inch wheel with a 19-incher and shortening the suspension gets the seat down to 33.4 in., and it’s possible to go all the way down to 30.1. The seat in question is hewn from BMW’s excellent, fleshy-feeling foam and provides superb long-range support for riders on the shorter side of 5-foot-8. Some, not all, on the taller side complain that the bolster the short folks love restricts them and pushes them forward into the gas tank. You can’t please everybody, especially Don Canet.

ups
• Most powerful
• Sweetest gearbox
• Short people love its ergos and seat

downs
• Kind of appliance-like
• Loses a lot of the 800’s rugged adventurey look
• Are we really seeing so many BMWs on the road?!

The ESA option allows toggling among Comfort, Normal or Sport settings on the fly via a handlebar switch. This adjusts 
only the rear rebound damping, and there’s a notable difference between Comfort and Sport. Overall, the GS combines light steering with good stability and a generally well-planted feel.
That short flyscreen means there’s no turbulence at all, since your head is above its shadow. On a hot day, that’s a good thing. On a cold day, shut up and enjoy your heated grips. This engine may have “reduced” peak horsepower that’s left it neck and neck with a 650, but that displacement advantage results in the torquiest motor of the group and an engine that’s already making 45 foot-pounds at just over 2000 rpm and 52 ft.-lb. at peak; none of the other three engines here ever even gets to 45 ft.-lb.
The six-speed gearbox and clutch are likewise low-effort and silky-smooth. Speaking of smooth, there’s still a bit of handlebar buzz, but it’s much more subdued than on some BMWs that use this engine (F800R, for example). Brakes are powerful and tactile (the second front disc was added this year), and, as on all BMWs, ABS is standard.
Everything’s nicely finished, buttoned-down and bolted together. The clocks and dash are comprehensive and modern. Too bad the parallel-Twin looks so industrial down there. Makes us pine for the smaller Boxers of yore.
Overall, you’re left with the impression that even though the BMW’s the most expensive bike here, it’s worth it.

Honda NC700X DCT ABS

The Honda NC700X DCT ABS is not perfect; it won’t wheelie. But it will do tremendous smoky burnouts, so it is a legit motorcycle you could ride to Sturgis or Daytona, turning over a steady 4000 rpm and easily getting 60-plus mpg the whole way. It’s way down on horsepower: We can’t run our DCT on the dyno (the bike’s ECU won’t let it), but the manual NC we tested for the November issue made just 48 horsepower at 6140 rpm.
What makes the NC so rideable anyway is the area under the torque curve. Like the BMW, the NC is already up and working hard producing torque at just above 2500 rpm. Unlike the BMW, it doesn’t rev on to make 62 hp on top. Strangely enough, though, it hardly seems to matter. That’s because in everyday use, you almost never rev the BMW to its 8500-rpm redline. Or the V-Strom to its 10,000-rpm max. Or the Versys to its 10,500 max.

ups
• Built-in stowage
• Eager beaver tree-chewer fuel-efficient engine
• Clean, crisp styling that doesn’t look cheap

downs
• Maybe hold off on DCT ’til next year
• 1000 more rpm wouldn’t be a bad thing
• ABS should be its own option

In the real world, it’s all about grunting away from stops and right-now midrange—and the Honda has that covered. Accelerating from zero is a hoot; whether you’re in Drive or Sport (the right-thumb switch lets you toggle between them instantly), DCT knows you’re in a hurry if you whack the throttle open and spits you away like Shirley Muldowney in slow-mo, grabbing instant upshifts at the perfect time every time.

What DCT is less good at is deceleration; once below about 20 mph and coming to a stop, there’s enough jerkiness to induce helmet tapping with your passenger as the gearbox shifts to second then first and you wish there were a clutch to pull in. And you don’t want to be going balls-out around big, fast sweepers in Sport mode: Halfway round, you will get an unwanted upshift that will widen your trajectory. (No worries: Use the other right-bar button to go from “AT” to “MT.” Then use the thumb/trigger shift paddles on the left bar.) It all works great, but with the brain cell you use to master all that, you could learn to use a clutch and save yourself $2000. On top of that, the DCT ABS model (replete with our added long-term gear) gains 51 lb. compared to the base model. At 502 lb., it’s the porkiest bike here by a big margin.

Just as with the base model, though, the NC doesn’t feel that heavy when you need to push it around or zip through a gap in traffic. At the same time, it has a nice hefty stability when you’re cruising at 80, on suspension that’s soft enough for a smooth ride while being stiff enough for reasonably serious sport riding under a wide size range of riders. All four of the bikes here provide stellar ergonomics; the Honda’s firmish seat and slightly more rearset pegs move it just a smidge to the sportier side of the dial, but it’s still a motorcycle you can do long days on,
 provided you stand up once in a while.

__________________________
Source: Cycle World (Allen, 12/31)

Harley-Davidson RR350

Harley-Davidson RR350


The Harley-Davidson RR350 is the enlarged version of the RR250, a motorcycle built from the ground up by the Italians that was essentially a Harley-Davidson in name only (Harley took a majority stake in the Italian manufacturer in 1974). The men from Milwaukee were facing increased competition from light, fast Japanese bikes and the first investment into Aermacchi in 1960 was designed to combat this and introduce some fresh engineering talent to the company.
The success of the Aermacchi racing program reached its peak in the mid-1970s when the Harley-Davidson RR250 took the world championship for the ’74, ’75 and ’76 seasons with championship wins in 1976 in both the 250cc and 350cc classes thanks to the model you see pictured here.
It’s unusual to think of Harley-Davidson dominating a road racing championship and we haven’t seen the marque seriously contend any major road-based Grand Prix championship since the sale of Aermacchi in 1978, which seems like a shame as it could have done the marque a world of good from an engineering perspective.
The RR350 (and RR250) is widely considered one of the most beautiful racing motorcycle designs from the 1970s and I’d personally go so far as to say it’s one of the most stunning race bikes ever made. The Italian design cues are clearly apparent and it leaves you wondering what direction Harley-Davidson might have taken if they hadn’t sold Aermacchi on to Cagiva in 1978.
The stunning, restored Harley-Davidson RR350 you see here is due to be sold at The Las Vegas Auction on the 8th of January 2015 by Bonhams, its estimated value is between $25,000 and $30,000 – which actually doesn’t seem like a whole lot considering the fact that only about 26 RR350s were ever made.
If you’d like to bid or read more about this particular motorcycle’s history you can click here to visit Bonhams.
Harley Davidson RR350 3 1480x684 Harley Davidson RR350
Harley Davidson RR350 1 1480x1318 Harley Davidson RR350
Harley Davidson RR350 6 1480x683 Harley Davidson RR350
Harley Davidson RR350 2 1480x1155 Harley Davidson RR350
Harley Davidson RR350 5 1480x1399 Harley Davidson RR350
Harley Davidson RR350 4 1480x964 Harley Davidson RR350 First read in http://silodrome.com

WORKOUT ANYTIME Featured in Black Enterprise

WORKOUT ANYTIME Featured in Black Enterprise

Zelly Wesson of WORKOUT ANYTIME was recently featured in Black Enterprise. The article discusses Zelly’s opening of his second WORKOUT ANYTIME location. Wesson has been playing professional basketball overseas for the past 15 years, and during his off seasons Wesson has been back managing his WORKOUT ANYTIME locations. Wesson discusses his role in his locations and how he has been successful. 
You can view the full article here. 

My Trip to Dhaka Bangladesh

I arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh on the 24th of March for my next assignment on Financial Management Systems. The organization contracting me has some issues with its financial management system and has received recommendation from the auditors to fix these issues. Further they want to conform to the South Asian Federation of Accountants Standards. So my task is simple. Document the existing practices at the organization and get agreement on the current practices and then recommend changes and improvements to the system.

Well even though it is simple there can be quite a few things that can pose a challenge to this type of assignment. I already encountered one on the first day of my assignment (25th); which is, in a group of around 20 finance staff it was quite difficult to plot the current financial practices using flow chart symbols as non of them knew the current system in its entirety. It is still work in progress and I hope to have it pinned down during the next working day which is Saturday (Bangladesh uses the Islamic calendar); where the staff have agreed to come to work.

The last time I was in Bangladesh was way back in January of 2008; so it was good to come back to Bangladesh and to see how things are. I must say that the only thing that looked to have changed is in fact the increase in motor traffic. It takes for ever to commute on Dhaka roads. I am staying at the Ambrosia guest house in Dhanmondi where I stayed during my earlier visits to Dhaka. It felt good to be here where the staff recognize and remember you after a long absence; it really does feel like home when you are greeted by familiar faces.

Looking forward to the next few days of the assignment; it is scheduled to end in early April and then I have another assignment lined up in the Philippines.

Zadig MC R60/6 Johnny Cash

Zadig Motorcycles walks the line with another fabulous custom build. ‘Johnny Cash’ is the latest bike to roll around the bend out of the Zadig garage. They seem to be getting rhythm instead of the blues, as this is their second Bike of the Month in a row here on Wind-blown. For those of you unfamiliar, Zadig is a custom shop that produces bikes based on pop-culture icons, and then sells them for charity. Their previous build, ‘One Punch’, was based on a character from the movie, Snatch. This BMW is based on none other than the man in black himself. Like the artist that inspiration was drawn from the bike has a somber tone, is a little rough around the edges, and of course, is dressed in black. I’d only have to assume that this Beemer was built one piece at a time, but I can be certain that Zadig’s customs have got me falling into a burning ring of fire.

Published first on thebikeshed.cc

Sunburst: NYC Norton’s dazzling 1972 Commando

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

If you live on the east coast of the USA and you need work doing on your Norton, there’s only one person to call: Kenny Cummings of NYC Norton in Jersey City, just outside Manhattan. Kenny’s a household name on the global Norton scene. It’s not hard to see why—his builds are an exquisite blend of performance and style. And, as with most old British iron, there’s usually a good story too.

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

“Sunburst started with a call from an overseas number on the shop phone,” Kenny tells us. “On the other end was a pleasant voice with an unidentifiable accent. It was Joe, calling from a small country in the middle of the Mediterranean.” Joe had just bought a pristine Norton Commando in the States, and asked Kenny if he could add some performance and reliability mods. “We love that kind of work,” says Kenny. “But Joe’s Commando was just too nice to tear down.”

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

A new concept was required, and a ratty 1972 Commando appeared on the radar. It had lived a rough life: the crankcases even had a sloppy weld on the drive side half, a telltale sign a rod had broken through. Kenny decided to use as much of the donor as he could, while fitting some robust and reliable racing parts. He sourced a Maney lightweight crank, alloy cylinders, a Fullauto head, and JE 73mm forged pistons. The crank was balanced to 74%, the same factor used by NYC Norton’s championship-winning Seeley Commandos.
Other goodies include a Webcam racing cam and one of the last Maney exhaust systems ever to be made. “We kept the compression close to 10:1,” says Kenny. “High enough so the bike can be ridden on the street, while still being able to run on hi-octane pump gas.”
Carbs are Keihin FCR35s, with manifolds adapted to the Fullauto Norton cylinder heads. “The heads are the single biggest boost of power you can add off the shelf for your Commando. Proof is in the pudding, and the eating is good.”

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

Metal-bending artist Roger Titchmarsh supplied a mint Seeley Mk2 replica chassis from the UK, and Kenny started fabbing up custom engine plates. “We spent a lot of time spacing the AMC gearbox over to the left, five millimeters from the motor centerline, to give better chain clearance for the back tire.” A pair of custom alloy fork yokes went on, set up with a pinch-bolt top for quick geometry changes. Falcon shocks were fitted to the rear.
For the front wheel, Kenny bolted twin Hemmings 11.5-inch disks to a 6-bolt hub using AN aircraft bolts. The fork sliders are Norton Production Racer items and the disks have been drilled—removing 1.3lbs from each rotor. The calipers are AP Racing, pumped by a 16mm Brembo master cylinder.

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

The rims are 18-inch unflanged alloy, WM3 at the front and WM4 at the back. A neat touch: the rear wheel was built using a two-piece Triumph T140 replica billet hub, along with a Maney cush drive to give the gearbox a little relief from quick shifts and injudicious throttle use. Tires are Bridgestone BT45 Battalaxes. The primary side of the bike was built using a 30mm belt drive that increases the primary ratio—meaning less torque shock to the gearbox. There’s also a trick high-output alternator, keeping a low profile behind the alloy belt guard cover.

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

The bodywork is equally divine. “Joe turned us on to FlatRacer in the UK and their Sprint 1/2 fairing,” says Kenny. “It’s heavier than the racing bodywork we often use, but that allowed us to alter the shape of the fairing to get the custom fit we needed.” The vibrant color scheme is certainly a departure from the more conservative natural alloy or black and gold chosen by most of NYC Norton’s Seeley customers.
“Joe knew he wanted something bold, but he wasn’t sure exactly what. After much back and forth, we seemed to stall a bit.

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

“Later, while sitting in my home studio, an idea dawned on me as I sat plunking out some parts on my guitar. I realized this was a motif that was very important to me—the cherry sunburst of my favorite vintage Gibson Les Paul. Joe was 100% on board. “This made it very personal. The last philosophical hurdle had been cleared.”
Kenny’s go-to guy for paint is Brent Budgor from the Vintage Vendor. “As we worked through the shading process of the sunburst motif, I learned that Brent too had a Les Paul that he’d stripped and painted—so he understood the concept from the get-go.”

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

Brent laid out the Norton logo and pins in a gold undercoat, then sprayed the major color over. Once the bodywork was back, the bike was buttoned up in short order. Kenny called his old friend and fellow racing competitor, the photographer Doug MacRae. It was time to shoot. “This is a serious bike,” says Kenny. “It’s pretty, but its foundation is a top-spec, competitive 750 racer weighing 300 pounds, adapted for the street.
“The bike starts on first kick and is an absolute blast to ride. It has the famous Seeley handling and Commando torque, without any sacrifice. No, it is not Papa’s Norton, and perhaps the cobblestones of NYC streets might rattle its tight suspension a bit.

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size

“But there’s not a back road in the world this bike can’t eat alive.” The NYC Norton site has a wealth of riveting detail on this build. But don’t head over there unless you’ve got time to spare—and a firm grip on your credit card.
NYC Norton | Facebook | Images by Douglas MacRae | Instagram

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

Full Size
 
First published by bikeexif.com

1972 Honda CB450 Raffle Bike




Raffle Bike by GT Moto – Honda CB450 1972



Powertrain


Fully rebuilt CB450 engine
Dyna Tech Electronic Ignition
GT-Moto’s Custom Exhaust: Stainless Steel and Ceramic Coated Inside and Out.


Suspension & Brakes

Continental ContiClassicAttack Tires
18” Excel Wheels Front and Rear
CB550 Rear Swing Arm
GT-Moto’s Custom Mono Shock Suspension
Hagon Rear Shock
’69 Fork Legs and outer springs, ’77 Triple Tree, Billet Aftermarket Black Anodized Aluminum Top Clamp, ’72 hubs, and GT-Moto’s Custom Aluminum For Cups
Stock Rear Drum Brake




Electrical & Lighting


Harley 5in. Head Light using an LED with Integrated Front Turn Signals
Rear Turn Signals are Integrated in the Tail Section Under The Frame Seat Loop

Chassis & Paint

GT-Moto’s Custom Aluminum and Black Anodized Knurled Ride Hight Adjusted and Foot Pegs
Hand Built Custom Aluminum Tank
Hand Built Custom Aluminum Seat with brass overlay
Brazed Welds
Frame is Raw Metal with Clear Powder Coat and Clear Coat Paint to Prevent Yellowing
Paint is a Pearl, Arctic White with Black Pin Stripe
Reflective Pinstripe Around the Front and Rear Wheels




First read on http://rocket-garage.blogspot.co.uk

How Much Exercise Does It Take To Burn Off These 15 Foods?

How Much Exercise Does It Take To Burn Off These 15 Foods?

18 oz Chocolate MilkshakeIt would take 65 minutes on the treadmill running at 6 mph to burn off the 780 calorie shake. As delicious as it is, is it worth running for an hour?ONE M&MJust to burn off a single M&M you’d need to walk about the length of a football field. It may not seem like much, since an M&M is only about 3 calories, but nobody in history has ever eaten just one M&M.Small Buttered PopcornGoing to the movies may be a time to splurge on treats, but just a small bag of buttered popcorn will call for over two hours on the elliptical. Just imagine the exercise costs of adding drinks and candy.Grande Caffe MochaNot just 87 crunches, but 87 MINUTES of crunches. You may have to consider that the next time you’re craving Starbucks.Slice of Pepperoni PizzaOh, the dreaded gym class exercise used to torture poor students. Just one slice of pepperoni pizza will call for nearly 300 of the awful burpees we all hate.1 Cup GranolaAlthough granola may be healthier in terms of nutrients, it does have a high calorie content. It would take an hour and a half of vigorous boxing to burn off the nearly 600 calories.Glazed DonutLike the crunches, it’s not simply 53 lunges but 53 minutes of lunges to burn off a single donut. Your quads will be burning but your taste buds will be happy.12 oz Can of CokeMany of us will indulge in a can or two of soda a day, but those calories can come back to bite us. Just one can of Coke will require a brisk jog for 17 minutes to burn off its 140 calories.12 oz MargaritaOn the topic of drinks, a margarita is even worse calorie-wise than soft drinks. The whopping 540 calories in a 12 oz margarita would require a full hour of basketball to burn off.Chocolate CupcakeCupcakes look so small and innocent, but they can pack a calorie punch. You’ll need to play beach volleyball for nearly a half an hour to burn off a single cupcake’s 240 calories.2 Small PancakesOn lazy Sunday afternoons it’s so tempting to lie in bed with a stack of pancakes for brunch, but it’s dangerously easy to overeat them. Just 2 six inch pancakes with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup will have you vigorously swimming for close to an hour.5 oz Glass of WineIt’s nice sometimes to come home from a long day of work and relax with a glass of wine, but those extra calories come at a cost. To burn off the 125 calories in a 5 oz glass of red wine you’ll need to jump rope for over 10 minutes straight.Medium French FriesAlthough french fries are well-known for being unhealthy, most people probably don’t think of them as being an-hour-on-the-stairmaster level of unhealthy.CinnabonCinnabon cinnamon rolls are heaven to the taste buds, and it’s easy to forget about the 730 calories while you’re indulging. But nearly an hour and a half spent cycling will definitely remind you.Cobb SaladProbably the most upsetting item on this list, the cobb salad has one of the highest calorie contents (more than the cinnamon roll and almost as much as a chocolate shake), despite looking so healthy. If you add two tablespoons of ranch dressing to your salad, you’ll need to do aerobics for two hours to burn off its 760 calories.Source

cool little trailer with a hinged top

https://www.instagram.com/bikergeardotstore/

The Benefits of Jump Training

Watch a group of kids and you will likely see bobbing heads – kids love to jump and there are good reasons for them to jump.   A key aspect of human movement is learning to store energy and then reclaim it as part of a movement cycle. For example up to 40% of the energy required for movement during walking and running is created by storing energy in the leg muscles as the foot lands and then using it during the push-off phase.  The technical name for this cycle is the “Stretch-Shortening Cycle” or SSC.  The SSC takes advantage of the fact that muscles can act as springs:  they store energy as they are lengthened then rebounding in the opposite direction as they get shorter.

Efficient movement takes advantage of the stretch-shortening cycle and muscles are designed to store and release energy in a rhythmic pattern of loading and unloading just like loading and unloading a spring.  In addition, power for all athletic movements is generated by taking advantage of the SSC.     A key aspect of getting the most from this cycle is rhythm and timing which are learned through repetition.
  
There are three distinct phases to jump training:

The Loading Phase – such as landing phase of walking and running where the muscles lengthen under tension to absorb the landing.
The Amortization Phase – where the muscle transitions between loading phase and the Unloading phase.
The Unloading Phase – where the muscles shortens and transfers the stored energy externally like a spring recoiling such as the push-off phase of walking and running.

Jumps can be little – like jumping rope or big – like box jumps.  Start with little jumps.  A great place to start is jumping rhythmically in place with both feet with short fast jumps.   You want to land on the ball of the foot and flex your knees when you land and let your heels just kiss the floor then jump up again and repeat.  Start with really tiny jumps and try to let the elasticity of your calf and quad muscles do the work – done properly it should feel relatively easy.   It will take several weeks to condition the muscles of the foot and calf to be able to do longer sets so take your time.  In addition there are many benefits to performing this training without shoes so the muscles of your foot get conditioned and you have a better feel of the ground.

It is also important to insure your knees track over your toes and do not collapse inward so do short sets (30 seconds or less) of low, fast jumps on both feet and learn to feel the rhythm of the cycle of landing and push off.

Once you master this you can add more height to your jumps after you are warmed up.   Stop each set if you start feeling tired or feel unstable, and recover completely between sets.  Do NOT do jump sets to failure. Eventually you can progress into full squat jumps.   However remember the key to capturing the benefit of the stretch-shortening cycle is a quick rebound after landing.  So if you go too low in the loading phase the pause between landing and rebounding will be too long and you lose the benefit of the stretch-shortening cycle.

Over time you can even progress to single leg jumps or box jumps where you jump down off a height to the ground/floor then land and rebound up.  Take these progressions SLOWLY – it is important to build the elastic strength of the muscles in your foot, lower leg, and thighs over time and stopping BEFORE you are exhausted will prevent injury.  This is why kids naturally like to do short sets of jumps repeatedly – it feels good when done properly!

There are many benefits to jump training including:

Toning the lower body – jumping recruits all of the major muscles of the lower body while at the same time being the ideal stimulus to build bone strength.

Jumping burns lots of calories – once you can build up to being able to do 1 – 4 minutes of continuous jumping like jumping rope you can really rack up the calories!

Jumping pumps up the cardiovascular system – as above once you can jump safely and in good form for 1 – 3 minute sets you will not believe how high your heart rate gets!

Jumping also demands great balance and stimulates fast-twitch muscle fibers.   Fast-twitch muscle is the type of muscle we lose quickest as we get older.   Fast-twitch fibers are not just important for athletes – they are important for preventing falls because the ability to produce force quickly is important to be able to react quickly when your balance is unexpectedly challenged like stepping off a curb you do not see!

Jumping is the best way to build the strength of bones – bones need impact and force to stay strong. The key is starting with small jumps and gradually building the height of jumps and time spent jumping.

There are many ways to build jumping into a workout such as doing some skipping drills which can even be done on a treadmill safely once you get the hang of it.


It is also worth working with a trainer to help you develop proper jumping mechanics and the stability you need to land properly which are pre-requisites for safe and effective jump training.

It’s Not Just You™ – The Elder Scrolls: Legends A.I. Seems Pretty Hard To Beat Now [Noticed]

Just a little notification that, if you are playing TES:Legends recently and find it’s quite a bit harder to beat the computer opponent (AI/NPC)… It’s Not Just You™

I was in the Beta for The Elder Scrolls: Legends; but never got around to finishing my “First Impressions” article on it [as is how it usually goes for me and posting, heh]. Legends has been out of Beta for a few months now, and if I could summarize the game in one paragraph, I would say that Legends is a Virtual Collectible Card style game, that is ‘both Single-Player and Multiplayer’ (you can play against other human opponents, in matches and “Arena” rounds – but you don’t have to, you can entirely play against the computer AI both in single matches and in ‘Arena playoffs’, if you desire). It is actually more of a “Card Collecting” game than a “Trading Card” game – as I have not seen a way to trade with human players yet – but that is similar to other ‘virtual card games’ of this genre, like Hearthstone and Gwent (“World Of Warcraft” Lore and “Witcher” Lore -based virtual card games, respectively). The game cannot be played Offline and you don’t actually get any ‘Real Life’ Cards of any form; but that again, is the same for the other virtual card games mentioned.

After playing a little bit when it was first Released, I didn’t play Legends for a few months, only recently picking it up again to play a bit – and boy was I in for a surprise!

The computer AI as it is now, offensive and ticked off
(Cropped Screenshot of art by Bethesda Game Studios)

Perusing the Updates for the game (which there seems to be one of every few weeks, a nice thing to see for a game!) – there was an Expansion for the game released at the end of June 2017 (Heroes of Skyrim) – but nothing that says, “We felt the AI was a little too easy to beat, so we beefed it up a bunch and it also will pull cards out of it’s butt hat, getting exactly what it needs at times, to win!” – so I’m not sure when this AI change occurred… [I didn’t play for a good few months or more, so sometime around mid-2017, I reckon].

Judging by the recent changes to the Computer Opponent A.I., get used to seeing this screen more often…

Legends is a fun game still, with it’s flashy effects and nice sounds, not to mention the wonderful Elder Scrolls-style ‘realistic’ art on everything; I personally don’t mind if I am going to be losing to the Computer a lot more; but it would have been nice to see a more obvious notification of it somewhere – or a way to perhaps adjust it (via a Slider or Dial or anything..).

I do think the AI was ‘just a little too easy’ at first, making simple moves and not many combos, losing a lot more than it won against me – but now it seems pretty darn hard – almost too hard, pulling multi-combos everywhere and buffing cards a lot more and getting ‘the perfect card’ or ‘just what it needs’ at times, to pull off a win (as though, instead of the AI having a prepared set of cards, cards seem now ‘generated as the game goes’, to “keep it competitive”). I can still win once in a while against the AI in Solo Play and Solo Arenas – and I understand that Bethesda might want to make things ‘a bit difficult’ to encourage selling Card Packs; but… Dearest Beth: It’s “Just A Little Too Much” Now… [in my opinion]

The ‘new’ Computer Opponent A.I. at work, busy buffing its’ cards to no end

I won’t stop playing, of course – and I won’t stop getting Card Packs once in a while (for all three of the Collectible Card Games mentioned above, when I can) – but I just wanted to mention this, for others too; that if you noticed the Computer seemed ‘tweaked’ lately and is now pretty darn hard to beat as an Opponent in Legends – It’s Not Just You™…

If I play some Versus matches, which I do from time to time – See You In The Game!

Addendum
Changes Seen:
– Increased Combination plays (Buffs, Debuffs, then Attacking)
– Increased Healing cards (Health added to Opponent)
– Highly Increased ‘instant-kill’ or ‘unsummon’ type “Destroy A Creature” cards (Piercing Javelin, Lighting Strike, Execute, Cast Out, etc)
etc.

WORKOUT ANYTIME in Club Industry

WORKOUT ANYTIME in Club Industry

In an article titled, “Reaching Landmark 50 Gyms Open, Workout Anytime Prepares for Rapid Acceleration in 2014” features WORKOUT ANYTIME’s 50th club opening. Along with opening their 50th location WORKOUT ANYTIME is looking at rapid growth acceleration through the 2014 year. WORKOUT ANYTIME’s CEO and co-founder Steve Strickland outlines a few important development metric’s of the year such as in 2013 WORKOUT ANYTIME doubled in locations.
You can view the full article here. 

Sleeping Tips

Sleeping Tips

by Dave Asprey

9 Tips To Hack Your Sleep And Wake Up Feeling Like A New Man


Quality sleep is one of the most important variables to improve your brain function, longevity, and performance in all aspects of life. We all know this but so many people have trouble getting quality sleep. If you’re struggling with getting enough rest, I’ve come up with 9 ways for you to measure and hack your sleep for the best performance.

Track Your Sleep Quality
Often when people are having sleep trouble, they don’t know what’s going wrong. That’s why I recommend you start by using a sleep app like SleepCycle on the iPhone. This app simply requires you to put your phone on your mattress under your top sheet and set the alarm. It will then track your sleep patterns and quality using the microphone on your phone.
It’s best to do it for at least a week so that you get a sense of your baseline sleep quality. Once you’ve tracked your sleep, you’ll have all the data you need to hack your sleep. This will ensure that what you’re doing is actually working and allow you to make adjustments along the way based on how you’re feeling when you wake up and what the numbers are telling you.
Wake At The Top Of A Sleep Cycle 
As we sleep, we go through different cycles. When you wake up at the top of your sleep cycle, you’ll feel great, whereas when you wake up in the middle of a deep sleep, you’ll feel groggy for hours. SleepCycle can also solve this problem. It will act as an alarm clock and wake you at the top of a sleep cycle instead of letting your alarm jerk you awake when you’re in a deep sleep. This will leave you feeling more refreshed and awake all day.
Fill Up With Fat At Dinner
Fat is a long-burning fuel for your mind and body. Grass-fed butter, animal fat, and coconut oil are all good choices, but extra concentrated MCT oil is my personal favourite. The shorter fats of MCT oil are converted into ketones that are immediately used as fuel for your brain, and MCT oil also helps you burn body fat while you sleep. I’ve noticed that I think more clearly the next morning if I have 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil the night before, with dinner or even right before bed.

Prime With Protein
Our bodies use protein for muscle repair and immune function. The muscle repair happens at night during deep sleep, so you want to make sure your body has all the raw materials it needs at night to heal and grow new tissue. The problem is that most forms of protein are not well digested before bed. A lot of protein powders and even most sources of animal protein take a lot of work to digest and can leave you with a heavy feeling during the night.
Too much protein also raises an alertness chemical in the brain called orexin, which can disrupt your sleep. The solution I recommend is taking 1-2 tablespoons of hydrolyzed grass-fed collagen peptide before bed. Hydrolyzing the proteins makes them more digestible so they don’t cause the problems listed above.

Turn Down The Lights
For at least a half-hour before going to bed, try to avoid bright lights. Dim your office lights if you absolutely must be working this close to bedtime and kill the unhealthy fluorescent ones. Don’t stare at your TV, phone, or tablet until you’ve dimmed it all the way, either. Even five minutes of white light from a screen shuts off your melatonin production for four hours and can wreck the quality of your sleep, so it’s best to avoid screens in the evening entirely.

Don’t Exercise Near Bedtime

You should not exercise for at least two hours before going to bed, unless you count restorative yoga and breathing exercises as exercises. Exercise is highly energising and raises your cortisol levels, which interferes with sleep.
Don’t Drink Coffee In The Evening 

Coffee puts your mind in an amazing place where you become more productive and perform better. However, you need to let your mind rest after its high output performances. In general, don’t drink coffee after 2 p.m. or at least eight hours before bedtime, whichever comes first.
Go To Bed Before Your Second Wind

There is a window from 10:45 and 11p.m. or so when you naturally get tired. This moves a little bit based on the season. If you don’t go to sleep then and choose to stay awake, you’ll get a cortisol-driven “second wind” that can keep you awake until 2 a.m. You’ll also get better sleep when you go to bed before 11 p.m. and wake up feeling more rested than if you’d gotten the same amount of sleep starting later.
Bring Down Your Stress
Perhaps the most common reason people report not being able to sleep is that they don’t know how to clear their minds and stop worrying. Deep breathing exercises like Art of Living, pranayama yoga, and meditation can do wonders for helping your brain shut down, recuperate, and prepare for another day of Bulletproof high performance.
Don’t let poor quality sleep hold you back any longer. By taking advantage of these tips, you should have the energy you need to finally feel Bulletproof.
Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $300,000 to hack his own biology, losing 100 pounds, upgrading his IQ, and lowering his biological age. He runs the No. 1-ranked iTunes health podcast and The Bulletproof Executive blog about using biohacking to increase human performance — and he invented Bulletproof Coffee.

Source

Ride “The Dragon”

The Dragon is know for its 318 curves that stretch for 11 miles. The curves the dragon has are more like fiction, since riders don’t usually try to count all 3018 of them.

If you are an adventurer the Dragon is for you. Located in Deals Gap, North Carolina, in the southern terminus of this storied stretch of US 129 stretching from the Gap back into Tennessee. Despite the reckless corners, it’s still fun to ride. If not, you can find a parking spot and watch a parade of “Dragon Slayers” which are riders who fearlessly ride down the Dragon.

The Dragon is connected to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and runs into beautiful forest areas.

The Dragon is one of the best known roads in America. The Dragon used to stretch from California to Chicago, to this day the Dragon has shrunk.

If you are planning to tackle the Dragon, here are some safety tips:

Be Cautious and no stunts!

Focus. Try not to get distracted by the amazing scenery.

Stay in your lane close to the right. If you try to ride straight you can loose control and crash.

There is wild life in the wooden parts of the Dragon so BEWARE.

Distance yourself from other vehicles.

Ride the Dragon between 11 am and 5 pm. During these hours there’s barely any traffic.

and most important tip of them all, Always wear protective riding suit and gear.

The Dragon is a thrilling adventure for experienced riders. Enjoy the road and its scenery…But BE CAUTIOUS.

Proposition 2 Amendments to Texas Constitution

QUESTION
I know there have been changes to the Texas home equity laws, but do not know the specifics. What has changed?
ANSWER
Proposition 2, passed by Texas voters on November 7, 2017, amends sections 50(a), (f), (g) & (t) of Article 16 of the Texas Constitution, making changes to requirements for Texas home equity loans. These changes are effective for loans or refinancings made on or after January 1, 2018.
Among the significant modifications to § 50 are to the fees associated with the loan, removal of the prohibition on agricultural loans, making lending available to certain bank, savings and loans, savings bank, and credit union subsidiaries, and allowing a home equity loan to be refinanced as a traditional mortgage. The relevant changes are described below.
§ 50(a)(6)(E) – Fees:
The existing cap on fees and charges associated with a home equity loan has been 3%. This has now been changed to 2%. Although this would at first appear to be a win for consumers, the amendment also now excludes from fees (1) third-party appraisals, (2) surveys, (3) title insurance premiums, and (4) title examination reports, unless the cost is equal to, or greater than, the title premium. Because the addition of these fees might otherwise break the 3% cap, it is also a win for lenders. 
§ 50(a)(6)(I) – Agricultural Homestead:
The amendment removed the prohibition on home equity mortgages for agricultural homesteads. The new § 50(a)(6)(I) simply reads “Repealed.”
§ 50(a)(6)(P)(i) – Subsidiaries of Certain Financial Institutions:
The new constitutional amendment specifies that subsidiaries of banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks and credit unions, are now permitted to engage in home equity lending. 
Changes were made to other portions of Section 50 as well.
§ 50(f) Refinance:
Section 50(f) (“Once a HELOC, Always a HELOC”) has been amended to allow refinances of home equity loans as traditional mortgage refinances with specific conditions:
A.    the refinance is not closed before the first anniversary of the date the extension of credit was closed;
B.    the refinanced extension of credit only includes the actual costs of refinancing and does not advance the borrower any funds;
C.    the refinance does not (with all other loans on the homestead) exceed 80% of the fair market value of the property;
D.    the lender provides the owner the specific written notice included in the provision not later than the third business day after the date the owner submits the loan application to the lender and at least 12 days before the date the refinance of the extension of credit is closed.
The Notice under 50(f)(ii)(D) states that the borrower has the option to refinance as either a home equity loan or a non-home equity loan, if available, and contains warnings as to rights which may be waived by refinancing as a non-home equity loan. Specifically, warnings that a non-home equity loan:

(1) WILL PERMIT THE LENDER TO FORECLOSE WITHOUT A COURT ORDER ;

(2) WILL BE WITH RECOURSE FOR PERSONAL LIABILITY AGAINST YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE; AND 

(3)  MAY ALSO CONTAIN OTHER TERMS OR CONDITIONS THAT MAY NOT BE PERMITTED IN A TRADITIONAL HOME EQUITY LOAN. HOWEVER, A HOME EQUITY LOAN MAY HAVE A HIGHER INTEREST RATE AND CLOSING COSTS THAN A NON-HOME EQUITY LOAN.

 § 50(g) – 50(a)(6) Notice
The 12-day notice which is currently required by Section 50(g) has been amended to reflect the fee cap and agricultural homestead changes to 50(a)(6).
§ 50(t)(6) – Repeal of the 50% LTV cap on HELOCs:

The existing constitutional provision prohibited advances on HELOCs if the total principal amount outstanding exceeded 50 percent of the fair market value of the homestead. This provision has been repealed by the new amendment, so that the 80% LTV cap provided in § 50(t)(5) and § 50(g)(6)(B) applies to such advances.


Brennan Holland
Director/Legal & Regulatory Compliance
Lenders Compliance Group

Deals and Sales: Saints Row 2 and Syberia II, TotallyFree™ [Notification]

Update: As of Sunday, April 23rd, Saints Row 2 is no longer available for Free, but Syberia II still is

I haven’t been feeling too great lately (hence my not posting for a while) – but I wanted to make sure and come and get a quick notification out, for those that don’t know and are interested – that I saw two games being given away TotallyFree™ right now:

Saints Row 2, the open-world, GTA-style Action game is at GoodOldGames (now just GOG, they also offer newer titles these days), found at GOG.com

and

Syberia II, the third-person, mouse-driven Adventure game is being given away at Origin’s “On the House”, found at Origin.com

Both are completely free, so go get them now! GOGOGO

[Note: I do not get any compensation in any form for mentioning these games or companies here (there are no ‘referrals’ or ‘trackbacks’ in the links above); I am just a gamer who likes to share things I figure out and find on my own here, with you, other gamers… Have fun!]

Health Concern: FAT?

The term “fat” includes fats from meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products as well as vegetable oils and the nuts, seeds, and grains from which they have been extracted. There are two basic kinds of fats—saturated, occurring mostly in animal foods (although some vegetable fats such as the kind that coconut contains fall into this category too), and unsaturated, in the form of vegetable oils such as safflower, corn, and sunflower, and in seeds and nuts. Fish tends to contain more unsaturated than saturated fats, meat more saturated than unsaturated.

Whether saturated or unsaturated, all the fats you eat rapidly form a film around blood cells and platelets, creating a kind of sludge which causes them to stick together. This clumping significantly interferes with circulation by clogging blood vessels and even temporarily closing down small capillaries. As a result, your cells do not receive all the oxygen and nutrients they need to function efficiently. They only run at about 80 percent capacity. This interferes with cell metabolism as well as with the efficient elimination of cellular and tissue wastes.

Diet Start

The chemical structure of an unsaturated fatty acid differs from its saturated brother in that at least two of the carbon atoms in its formula are free. This means that they have no hydrogen atoms attached to them, as the molecule of a saturated fatty acid does. It was long thought that while saturated fats were bad for you, unsaturated fats were good. For unsaturated fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, and therefore were believed to be helpful in preventing arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease. That is the reason we have been encouraged in the last thirty years or so to include plenty of polyunsaturates in our diet by switching from butter to margarine and vegetable oils. The catch is that although unsaturates do this, like all fats they still raise triglyceride levels (another factor linked with coronary heart disease) and they also create the same clumping as the saturated fats do, which leads to tissue anoxia.

Women have also lately been encouraged by poorly informed writers to include lots of polyunsaturates in their diet for their beauty’s sake. Unsaturated fatty acids are an important constituent of skin and muscle tissue and so it was thought, quite wrongly, that we need more of them. For what we have not been told is that the chemical structure of unsaturated fats with their free carbon atoms makes them extremely unstable compounds, and that when an unsaturated fat is exposed even to the smallest trace of a catalytic agent it begins a process of autooxidation which results in the fat molecule’s breaking down to produce what are known as free radicals.

Free radicals are highly reactive particles which, if left unchecked in the presence of oxygen molecules, will form toxic peroxides. These peroxides can damage and destroy cells. They have also been implicated as a primary cause of the aging process itself. When a cell, or the genetic material of a cell, is destroyed by free radicals, the result is something known as a lipofuscin pigment granule—often referred to by biochemists as a “clinker.” With age, ever more cells are damaged or destroyed as tissue degenerates, leading to increase in the number of these pigment granules. This is something you want to avoid in every way you can if you don’t want to look and be old before your time.

To some extent, the presence of sufficient amounts of an antioxidant such as vitamin E in the system may prevent this from happening, because it minimizes the damage done by free radical chain reactions by breaking the chain. Vitamin E, like other antioxidants, helps block the oxidation that turns fatty acids into harmful peroxides. The more unsaturated fatty acids in your diet, the greater will be your need for the vitamin.

An interesting dietary survey that was done at the University of California at Irvine looked at over 1,000 patients and examined the degree of wrinkling and crow’s-feet, frown lines, and other indications of skin degeneration such as damage to the collagen and elastin fibers and the irregular pigmentation characteristic of old skin. The subjects ranged in age from seventeen to eighty-one and 76 percent of them were women. Cadvan Griffiths, M.D., the professor of surgery who carried out the study, discovered that there is an undeniable link between marked clinical signs of aging and the intake of unsaturated fats in one’s diet. Those who regularly and frequently included polyunsaturated fats and oils in their diet had marked signs of premature aging. Some looked as much as twenty years older than they were. Very few of those who had made no special effort to eat more polyunsaturates showed any clinical signs of premature aging. Evidence is also accumulating that links free radical reactions to the etiology of cancer, senility, atherosclerosis and hypertension—all of them disorders generally associated with aging. This is all the more reason to limit the amount of every kind of fat you eat to no more than you actually need.

3 Reasons Why All Calories Are Not the Same

3 Reasons Why All Calories Are Not the Sameby Robert Lustig

Cutting-edge experts say the “calories in, calories out” philosophy is oversimplified and inadequate.

Quality of calories determines the quantity your body burns or stores, says Robert Lustig, MD, author of the recently published book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Foods, Obesity, and Disease. He shares these fascinating examples of how calorie quality affects your weight and health.

Fiber

Fiber delays the absorption of calories. For example, when you eat a 160-calorie portion of almonds, you absorb only 130 because some calories are delivered to your intestine, where your gut bacteria burn them for their own energy source.

Protein

You use twice as much energy to metabolize protein as carbohydrate—due to the thermic effect of food. Protein also reduces hunger hormones more than carbs do

Carbs

Starches (like potatoes) contain mainly glucose, which every cell in your body uses for energy. Fructose—found in soda and candy and added to most processed foods—is metabolized in your liver as fat, which drives chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Source

It’s Not Just You ™ – Heroes Of The Storm ‘Screen Shake’ = ‘Motion Sickness’ (Dizzy, Nausea, Headache) [Notification]

Just a quick post to let others know that – if you are experiencing this phenomenon – getting dizzy or even nauseous while playing Heroes Of The Storm lately: It’s Not Just You™… I even whipped up an Example of the effect, for those that aren’t quite noticing it:

Example of ‘the screen shake effect’ I made, in GIF format
(Click to see slightly larger Full Size)

I first came across this in the Official Heroes Of The Storm Forums at Battle.Net. It was originally posted by “Phoenix” a couple of weeks ago, here. Although I have seen it personally in-game (noticed it), I have not suffered the nauseating effects that many may/do suffer with this Special Effect the game offers – even though I have experienced ‘game motion sickness’ from other games. [I did notice when testing and creating the above Example, that it made me slightly queasy however..]. Mainly, I have ‘been lucky’ with not experiencing it because I do not normally play the Heroes that have/produce this effect (the ‘screen shake’ effect). Here is a list of all the Heroes and Spells that can produce this effect, thanks to a helpful post by “Hatsoz” on the Official Forums:


Spells with Screen Shake
Zagara – Nydus Network (R)
Genji – Swift Strike (E)
Sgt. Hammer – Concussive Blast (W), Blunt Force Gun (R), Napalm Strike (R)
Gazlowe – Deth Lazor (W)
Lucio – Soundwave (Q), Sound Barrier (R)
Valeera – Blade Flurry (W)
Zul’jin – Twin Cleave (W), Guillotine (R)
Ragnaros – Sulfuras Smash (R)
Alarak – Lightning Surge (E)
Cho – Upheaval (R)
Karazhim – Radiant Dash (Q) (Only with Volley of Blows Talent Lv. 16), Seven-Sided Strike (R)
Anub’arak – Burrow Charge (E) (Upon resurface)
Li Li – Water Dragon (R)
Diablo – Shadow Charge (Q), Fire Stomp (W), Overpower (E)
E.T.C. – Face Melt (W), Stage Dive (R) (Landing only)
Falstad – Hinterland Blast (R)
Kerrigan – Impaling Blades (W)
Muradin – Thunder Clap (W), Dwarf Toss (E), Haymaker (R)
Sonya – Ancient Spear (Q) (On Hit), Leap (R)
Stitches – Slam (W)
Tyrael – El’druin’s Might (Q) (On sword landing), Angelic Flash (Q) (Teleport to sword), Judgment (R)
Uther – Hammer of Justic (E), Divine Storm (R)





Heroes with No Screen Shake
Valla
Tyrande
Lunara
Kael’thas
Zeratul
Cassia
Probius
Varian
Samuro
Zarya
Auriel
Gul’dan
Medivh
Chromie
Tracer
Dehaka
Xul
Li-Ming
Greymane
Gall
Artanis
Lt. Morales
Rexxar
Leoric
The Butcher
Johanna
Sylvanas
The Lost Vikings
Thrall
Jaina
Azmodan
Chen
Rehgar
Murky
Brightwing
Tychus
Abathur
Arthas
Illidan
Malfurion
Nazeebo
Nova
Raynor
Tassadar

I experimented with every single Graphic Setting available in the game (eventually running it on the Lowest Possible Settings) and could not find a Setting that disabled this effect…. I first tried Physics, then other effects-affecting settings, such as Shader level, and more, until everything was at the lowest possible Settings and still the effect appears in-game.

I even looked through the game directories (folders) for some sort of editable configuration file, but the only ones present were ‘protected’ by Blizzard, by being compressed or encrypted in their own proprietary encapsulation of some sort (which renders the files not easily readable or editable by normal means – this is understandable, as they do not want their game easily ‘hacked’ or negatively affected by end users).

So, for now – unfortunately – there is no solution for this, for sufferers of this effect. The only recourse, until Blizzard puts in an option to Disable Screen Shake, is to avoid the Heroes that produce this visual effect.



Just letting Sufferers know: It’s Not Just You™!
[I will try to remember to return to this Post and Update it once Blizzard adds this option – or a workaround is found]

Guild Wars 2: How To Ride “The Train” of Queensdale (Champion ‘Farming’ Runs As A Group) Tutorial with Map

[NOTE*** As of April 15th, 2014 the changes to the game with the April 2014 Feature Pack update have altered The Train route somewhat – these changes will be updated in this map and article as they solidify into a commonly-agreed Route…
FURTHER UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARICLE]

Ah, Guild Wars 2… I’m having so much fun with you, I can barely stop to start typing helpful Tips for others to read! Why are you so awesome? Oh, that’s right, your creators and other ArenaNet buddies heard the nighttime wails of MMORPG players from other games around the globe and listened intently to our cries, wanting to soothe us softly by satisfying requests we players have made of all of those other games, didn’t you? Oh, yes you did.  The result: a game I wish I had gotten into a lot sooner… Thank you, ArenaNet.


For those new to the game (or those who haven’t done this before), in the beginning area of the Human lands of Kryta, there is a phenomenon called “The Train”. After asking a few questions in-game and watching it a while, and then joining in on it off and on, on my own, I feel I can now safely share a simplified Tutorial on ‘The Train’ and explain to others (mainly newcomers to Guild Wars 2) what it is and how to be a part of it, if you wish to be.

Loading Screen for the Queensdale region, where ‘runs’ of The Train take place
(Click to see Full Size)

What is The Train?

‘The Train’ in Queensdale is, essentially, a cooperation of players moving and killing together as a group [in an MMO game?Whoknew?lol]. The Train targets a small number of Champion-type mobs [MOBile monsters], killing these same ones in a repeating cycle, again and again. The pattern [the “Route that The Train takes”] has evolved over time and differs little, no matter what server/shard you are on. Traveling and moving in collaboration with each other gives the result of faster kills, experience and loot for all those taking part (and sometimes the groups can get quite large). In Guild Wars 2, one does not need to ‘Party’ or form an ‘official’ group of any kind, in order to benefit from conquering enemies together [even when not following The Train]. Merely join alongside and help out a bit, and you too are now part of the Clique of Killing and can reap the rewards.

Even though The Train runs in the first leveling/adventuring area of the Humans (called Kryta), you can play any Race you wish, and then run/travel to the Human lands and be a part of The Train. There are no restrictions on Race interaction (no ‘sides’; no factions, no clans, no tribes [to restrict players]) in Guild Wars 2. Any race can be created and interact with any of the other Races in Guild Wars 2. So, be whatever race you want to be, you can still head to Queensdale and get on The Train!

When ‘on The Train’ (following the group around and helping to kill the Champion monsters), you do have to be a high enough level to ‘hit’ the enemies in order to register as a ‘contributor of the group’ and benefit from the encounter (get experience, be able to loot, etc). With the Champion mobs being ‘farmed’ [by The Train] averaging Level 10 in this region (these are the only mobs that The Train goes after, remember), you may not be able to actually hit them until your character is about Level 7 or 8; so if you are playing a brand new character, do some starting Quests, World Events or your character’s Storyline for a bit first.

Killing the Boar champion while on the Train in Queensdale
(Click to see Full Size)

If you are a ‘Brand New’ Player to Guild Wars 2, I strongly suggest doing that for the most part anyway (Quests and Storylines), as doing so, you will more easily learn how to control your character, fight battles, use your skills as you learn them, and learn to navigate the territories and develop your character as a whole.
The Train is, for the most part, a repeated cycle of killing [almost absolutely nothing but] a small number of Champion ‘boss’ style monsters (as in 5-6 of them, depending on the route The Train takes on your Server/Shard, remember it differs little) – and there have already been arguments all over forums and other websites as to whether relatively New Players should take part in it at all (and if it harms the gameplay/environment of newer players). I believe that this decision is up to each individual, as some people might eschew the practice completely until Level 80 (the current maximum level as of the time of this post), while other people will love the camaraderie and easy access to loot (you always get items comparative to your current level, whatever that may be, when the Champions die).
As with any game, there will always be people that will say a certain activity is too repetitive and boring, and there will always be people that will say it is a good source of ‘loot’, and there will always be people that will advise doing something else (like playing PvP or more PvE). I like to suggest, if people ask, that each person try Taking A Ride On The Train for themselves at least a few times, then judge whether they wish to continue doing it or move on to other things, leaving the choice up to each player.

[On a personal note for a moment, merely to address this matter that many people seem to argue about and state my own personal opinion, I myself enjoy roaming the lands of GW2 randomly, helping out NPCs and doing the little events found around the world. I play usually always play solo and that affords me the ability to change it up and do whatever activity I want, stop whenever I want (or if I get too tired physically and have to stop, due to my illness) and roam around taking [way too many] screenshots of the environs, gathering resources as I leisurely explore and discover the countryside. I often forget about the Storyline for my character – there is so much to do in the world; but I try to get in on it as I remember to and develop my character along with the story that is tailored for each Race. I do take a ride on The Train, but only as a ‘something else to do for a change’, not as my ‘main leveling mechanic’ or my ‘main source for items’. I like to think this off-and-on approach allows me to enjoy The Train while not getting too bored of it too quickly, all the while being able to enjoy the game at the same time, and it is just ‘another thing that I can do’ in the huge game world of Guild Wars 2.]

Killing the Troll champion while on the Train in Queensdale
(Click to see Full Size)

How does one ‘get on’ The Train? 

First, I always suggest to others, to get the Waypoints that The Train uses first. This will allow you to quickly relocate and follow The Train, travelling to the next Champion that is to be killed. If you did not create a Human, travel to The Human Lands and simply run to the Waypoints to open them up on your map and register them so that they can then allow you to return to them/use them in the future and for Riding The Train.

Don’t worry, there are only three main waypoints used in The Train’s generally-used rotation (and it differs only slightly on some servers/shards [for instance, on Eredon Terrace, “The Bandit” is very rarely killed by The Train – which seems to be the main difference for The Route from other shards – however, since I have created my character on ET, this is the example I will use]). The waypoints used and the route generally taken are all shown in this graphic I have created of the map of Queensdale below.

The Game Tips And More Blog’s Map of Queensdale and The Train Route as of April 2014 [Old Version]
(Click to see Full Size)

The Route that The Train takes usually runs like this (repeatedly):

  • Begin the Route from the upper right [the Double Orange Arrows on the map I created, above]
  • Kill the Boar champion in the hills there, NW of the Hunting Lodge
  • Fast Travel to the Vale Waypont and head into the caves just to the west
  • Kill the Troll champion inside the caves of Altar’s Windings
  • Fast Travel to the Phinney Waypoint and head NW to a glade at the edge of the trees
  • Kill the Rotting Ancient Oakheart champion at the forest’s edge
  • Fast Travel to the Krytan Waypoint and head NE, towards two large hills
  • Kill the Forest Spider champion on the larger hill, SE of the Hunting Lodge in a grove of trees
  • Run NW past the Hunting Lodge and up into the hills and wait for the Boar event again
A couple notes about the map: I made ‘tick marks’ (they look like little orange hyphens/dashes) that remind you of the order the champions are killed in and which Waypoint to take [-, –, —, etc]. I managed to capture and keep the ‘white dotted-line of travel’, running around following The Train, so if you are a bit lost, try to re-create the white dotted path that you see on my map. To help with finding the Forest Spider champion on a hill SE of the Hunting Lodge (and NE from the Krytan Waypoint), I put a small orange “S” where it is normally encountered. Lastly, my server/shard does not kill The Bandit Lieutenant champion [and we may be the only shard that doesn’t apparently], but if you wish to find him, he is in the Bandithaunt Caverns, N of the Vale Waypont.

The champion Boar shows up only after someone talks to Lodgemaster Carthage at the Hunting Lodge. There is a short event waiting period, then two hunters come out and slowly stalk their prey. Everyone usually waits in the hills to the NW of the Lodge and this can be a good time to go through your inventory, unpacking any goodies, salvaging, organizing, etc. There may even be some Banners nearby that can give beneficial Boons [“Buffs”], usually placed by some friendly Guild Member. Take a short break, get a drink – and get ready to jump back on The Train!

When you sit down and start to play a new gaming session, or if you have lost track of where to go next, you can always ask in Chat (/map) where The Train is at that moment, to know where to ‘get on’ (to join in). Most people simply type, “Train?” or ask “Where is the train now?”, and usually some kind soul will answer and state what stop The Train is at (what champion they are killing), or where they are heading to, at that moment. Common answers are, “Boar” or “Spider is up” or “waiting on Troll” or “at Oak”, for the various champions (it may differ slightly on your server, but not by much). Sometimes, a helpful person will suggest, “Head to __some champion__”, which means that the one they are currently fighting is almost dead, so you ‘might as well head to the next one’.

Killing the Oak champion while on the Train in Queensdale
(Click to see Full Size)

A few things to keep in mind as you ride The Train are: you have to be able to hit the mob in order to be able to loot it at all, therefore you may have trouble if you are much lower than level 7 or so (the mobs are Level 10). Loot will drop that is around your character’s level, no matter what it is, so you can usually use it right away or soon. The Boar portion of the Route takes a little bit to get started and sometimes people will say phrases like, “Boar is Walking” or “Hunters are Walking” or “Boar Starting” and so on, to let everyone know, who were most likely just standing around waiting or AFK, that the event is beginning. You can gather Resources that are around (mine veins, gather plants/food, cut down trees) or that you pass by, on your way to the champions, just don’t fall too far behind if the group is large – they can start to kill these Champions pretty darn fast – and you might miss out on the Loot Drop entirely!

Killing the Spider champion while on the Train in Queensdale
(Click to see Full Size)
That’s it! Try not to bore yourself with repeating this excessively, by the way. Have fun, enjoy the loot and camaraderie of fellow GW2 players; but if it starts to become boring, go back to your character’s story, pop in for some PvP or even do some Gathering, enjoying the landscape and beauty that is Guild Wars 2.

[UPDATE 1*** As of April 23rd, 2014 there seems to still be a lot of confusion as to the accepted/overall Route that The Train should take. There have been many arguments over what order the train will travel in and opposing groups will perform the run in awkward manner to each other. As a result, ‘finalized’ changes to this map and article will be delayed, until the community can solidify a pattern/route for The Train.
For now, “the basics” of what the Train is and does are secure and remain the same as this article. The Train may still run on your server/shard in the same manner, in general. Enjoy these aspects of this post, for now]
[UPDATE 2*** As of May 3rd, 2014 although there is still a bit of debating as to what should be a ‘standard route’ for The Train to take, a general consensus seems to be forming and this map and article will be redone and/or updated Soon™]
[UPDATE 3*** As of June 2014, although there is still some debate that occurs (mainly because someone gets to Oak ‘early’ and kills it on the group), most of the consensus appears to be this route: 
Boar-Troll-Bandit-Oak
I am working on a new, updated version of the map and will insert it here when finished.
For now, the rest of the information of this post (how to follow the train, etc.) is still valid and hopefully found helpful, for those who are interested in knowing what The Train Of Queensdale is and how to do it]

See You In The Game!

Turning The Harley 883 Into A Scrambler- Bi

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


It looks like 2015 is going to be the Year Of The Scrambler. It’s fast becoming the dominant genre on the new wave custom scene, and manufacturers are getting into the act too.

As everyone knows, Ducati has joined Triumph in offering a factory scrambler—and Moto Guzzi has just released a kit that converts the popular V7 into a machine capable of light off-road excursions.

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


Milwaukee is unlikely to join the party, but that hasn’t stopped inventive custom builders from doing the dirty on Sportsters. The latest is Benjie Flipprboi of BCR, with this heavily modified 1999 Harley 883 called ‘American Scrambler.’

“For years we had an old 883 in the shop,” says Benjie, who works out of Edison, New Jersey. “It was a small, beat-up bike with a chromed-out engine and mismatched wheels. For a long time, we didn’t know what to do with it.”

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


Benjie considered turning the 883 into a bobber or a cafe racer. “But we build bikes to stand out and be ridden hard. So we decided to turn the old cruiser into a bike that could be ridden everywhere.” And here we have it: the ready-for-adventure ‘American Scrambler.’

The first step was to get rid of the cruiser ergonomics—the high front end and low seat. On went a set of late ‘90s Suzuki GSX1000 forks to lower the front. “We kept the Harley front hub but machined a new front axle and an adapter to accommodate the GSX’s double disc brakes,” says Benjie.

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


To prop up the rear, Benjie used longer shocks (and raised the mounts by an inch). Then he installed lightweight aluminum Borrani wheels with raised-center ‘dirt catcher’ rims and fitted Shinko 705 Trail Master dual-purpose tires.

Next step was to figure out the tank. Typical scrambler-style tanks wouldn’t fit, due to the shape of the Harley top-end. So Benjie fabricated a tank that follows the curve of the cylinder heads, adding a stainless steel rack and positioning a Monza gas cap off-center. Aside from a black flame graphic, the finish is bare polished aluminum finish.

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


“That gave us a beautiful curve to play with when building our seat,” says Benjie. “To maintain the natural flow of the lines, we got the front of the seat to follow the tail of the tank, and then curved the seat up at the rear.” To further abandon the bike’s previous life as a cruiser, the cowhide leather seat is as narrow as you can get without exposing the frame rails.

There’s a custom oil tank slotted inside the frame midsection, with a notch to hide a gel-cell battery.

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


The fenders and number plate are aluminum to match the gas tank, and held in place by stainless steel mounting brackets. The front skid plate is also aluminum, with ventilation slots to help cool the voltage regulator. A small mild-steel dashboard houses the stock tachometer & warning lights.

Chrome engines do not generally look attractive on scramblers—or indeed any motorcycle—so Benjie sandblasted the side covers and the top end to get a pitted matte finish. Then the internals were treated to a 1200cc piston kit and there’s a custom air filter box with stainless wire mesh covering the inlet.

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


The usual Sportster belt drive was ditched in favor of a chain and Benjie’s cut out the side cover of the engine, exposing the front sprocket and gold chain.

The only thing left to fit was an aftermarket headlight bucket and taillight. But nothing seemed to look right, so BCR built their own.

“We wanted to tuck the headlight bucket between the fork legs, so we designed it to be as narrow as possible. The taillight is bare aluminum and wraps around the frame end loop.”

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


The defining element of any scrambler is invariably the exhaust system. “We wanted to stay true to the signature scrambler style, but as always, we also wanted to give it our own unique twist. So we fabricated our own 2-into-2 exhaust using stainless steel and mounted the mufflers high, in the vein of old school scramblers.”

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.


With adventure in his veins and his eyes on the horizon, there was one last detail that Benjie needed to add: an all-purpose road kit. So he designed a detachable leather bag that matches the cowhide leather of the seat. There’s even a protective aluminum plate to help keep the bag clean during the scrambler’s (hopefully) muddy future ventures.

BCR’s ‘American Scrambler’ is both functional and fun. Unlike most Harleys, this 883 can handle a stretch of hard-packed dirt as well as ribbons of asphalt.

And damn, doesn’t it look good?

Benjie’s Cafe Racers website | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Ben Chan

Benjie Flipprboi of BCR has turned the Harley 883 into a super-stylish, high-performance scrambler.

Trip to Hyderabad Cont……

Today I am leaving to Hyderabad for the assignment. Funny, there seems to be a lot of things that we do when doing an overseas consulting assignment but don’t really talk about it. The stuff we do for preparation has two parts

Things considered as part of consulting process
Marketing, prospecting and selling
Proposal, budget & contract
Invoicing and receiving advance payment
Preparation / Intake

Things that are part of the consulting process but gets taken for granted
Requesting Invitation Letter to process visa
Applying for visa
Travel & Medical Insurance
Foreign Exchange
Transport to and from Airport – in your country and the country you are visiting
Travel advice regarding security, weather etc

I addition it is up to the consultant to find out about interesting things in the city s/he visits. In my experience some assignments will give you a bit of time in the evenings and it can be boring to be stuck in a hotel all the time. Suggest the web or lonely planet for this.

Also rule of thumb is exchange a bit of money at the airport itself. Trust me you will spend more time and money in trying to look for better exchange rates.

Workout Anytime Featured in Franchise Times

Workout Anytime was recently featured in the Franchise Timesin an article titled, “Nest Eggs: Done right, a rollover of retirement funds can be smart option”.

The article is a trend piece on franchisees using their 401(k) to purchase their business. John Heifner, Workout Anytime franchisee, gives great insight into how he went about purchasing his Workout Anytime with the use of his 401(k). He went on to say “Starting our third year, I can start thinking about funding a retirement again instead of keeping my money more fluid for cash flow.”

Click HERE for the full article or begin reading below:

Nest Eggs

Done right, a rollover of retirement funds can be smart option

By: Jeffrey McKinney
More franchisees are using their 401(k) retirement funds to finance the purchase of a franchise. Who should consider the move? Experts explain the do’s and don’ts, including warnings about strict IRS rules.

Jeremy Turner’s decision to pretty much tap out his retirement funds to buy a Lawn Doctor franchise was very clear: He calls it the best option he had after banks would not lend him the money.
Turner withdrew $70,000 from his 401(k) plan and another $30,000 he and his wife had in savings to start the lawn care business in St. Louis in 2010. Turner says he discovered companies charge around $5,000 to help complete the financing process. “I would not suggest that someone try to do this on their own because of tax and other risks involved,” he says.

Quick Tip: Planetside 2 – Medic Revive Not Working [Note]

Just a quick tip for those who have recently jumped back into playing some frantic Planetside 2 and thought there was something wrong with the medic tool, being unable to revive, thinking they can’t revive, etc – there was a patch a bit back that changed the Medic Tool so that Left-Click will Heal and Right-Click will Revive. Although changing such a long running/’staple’ operation is a little lip-pursing, it should have the overall positive effect of assisting with attempting to revive within a tight group of teammates (instead of your tool randomly healing someone close, it should more effectively target the face down teammate on the ground). Just a note.

See You In The Games!

Mission R Electric Racer

Steve Rapp’s visit to Laguna Seca in 2011 was more successful than his 2012 visit—where, despite a valiant effort, he failed to qualify the Attack Racing CRT bike for the MotoGP event. In 2011, aboard the Mission R built in a converted fire station in nearby San Francisco by Mission Motors, he won the TTXGP e-Power race for electric bikes so convincingly he finished the eight-lap race an impressive 39.9 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

It’s clearly a fast, capable motorcycle. But does it work in the real world? Finding the answer could be interesting, and here was Mission making the offer to let me ride a street-legal version. I couldn’t refuse.

First impressions: You feel part of the bike rather than perched atop an angular-shaped battery pack, as on the Mission R’s predecessor, the Mission One. Once you’ve switched the bike on and its systems are ready, there’s nothing more to do than twist and go. In doing so, I immediately noticed there wasn’t the same humungous hit of torque found on the Mission One. The Mission R’s pickup is far more progressive thanks to remapping of the ride-by-wire throttle over the first 5–10 percent of available revs. Still, the Mission R can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds, according to the company. This literally awesome performance off the line comes in spite of the bike’s hefty weight of 545 pounds wet.

The only sounds the Mission R makes at slow speeds come from road noise and a hint of chain whir, plus a subdued whine from the straight-cut primary reduction gears. But get out of town and see the road unfold ahead, and that whine becomes an utterly thrilling speed scream.

The motor is connected to the primary gear reduction via a small single-speed planetary gearbox. So with no need to worry about selecting the right gear for a given turn, you can focus on braking where you should, picking a good line and feeding in the power on the way out. The Mission R has regenerative braking—using the motor as a generator on deceleration to partially recharge the batteries—and the Mission’s aggressive regen meant I hardly ever needed to use the brakes to slow down for a bend.

Apart from the improved throttle response and torque delivery, the most significant difference between the R and the Mission One was the much superior handling of the James Parker-designed frame. Whereas the older bike felt much more top heavy, the Mission R is more neutral steering and considerably more precise.

These are impressions confirmed during a late-afternoon stint around Infineon Raceway.

Preparing the bike for my evening run on the scenic, switchback Bay Area center of speed involved backing the regen right off as Rapp had requested for Laguna Seca. There was still a little left in, which helped stop the bike on the downhill stretches. But except for its hefty overall weight, which I definitely became more aware of on the racetrack compared to the street, the Mission R now resembled a 500GP racer of the 1990s.

On the Mission R, this meant I could focus on braking as hard and late as I dared, knowing there was no electronic impediment to keeping up my chosen turn speed. The bike felt balanced and relatively agile considering all the weight it was carrying. I especially liked the way it was so stable under braking. There was zero instability even stopping hard into the Turn 7 and 11 hairpins, where the extra pounds made sure the rear tire stayed glued to the track.

The creation of the Mission R is a further key step in the evolution of the sportbike. E-bikes have seen some resistance in the marketplace, but there’s no denying that electric drivetrains are part of motorcycling’s future. “What sold me on coming to work here was not zero emissions, but a recognition that the world has changed very much in the past ten years,” says Mission’s Jit Bhattacharya. “We’re looking for alternatives to oil, coal…simply as an availability issue, before considering emissions or the environment. And electricity is one answer, irrespective of what we use to generate it in future. For so long we’ve associated electric drive with sacrifice. The public needs to have its perceptions about electric drive changed. And the best way to do this is to build something electric that blows their mind and performs in a way they didn’t think was possible. That’s the Mission R.”

Yes, indeed. But this motorcycle is far too good to remain a race-only wonder, a Mission Motors calling card to its future e-customers. Someone, somewhere—please pick up this project and bring it to market. You’ll be reducing the world’s carbon footprint in addition to inventing a new kind of production motorcycle with built-in thrills.

________________________
Source: Motorcyclist (11/11)

And More: Deals and Sales – Guild Wars 2 is $24.99 Right Now

Woohoo! I have no idea when it started and no idea when it will end, but I just saw this with my own two eyes… if you are looking for one last reason to get GW2, it is now on sale for just under $25 American Dollars. That’s about £15 British Pounds if you are from the UK, руб890 Rubles if you are from Russia, 1500 Rupees if you are from India and what works out to be about $10,000,000 Canadian Dollars:

I just might get my own copy finally and be able to stop begging others to play theirs (you know who you are)… Go to http://buy.guildwars2.com/ to get it while it’s On Sale and See You In the Game!

WORKOUT ANYTIME on FOX 56 Lexington

WORKOUT ANYTIME on FOX 56 Lexington

Head Trainer Carl Flotka of WORKOUT ANYTIME Lexington was recently featured on FOX 56 Lexington. In the segment Carl talks about how to portion control during the holiday season and highlights a few exercises that viewers can do to stay active.
View the full segment here.

Teachers’ voices matter, and I want to hear from you!

Hi bloggy friends! I know it’s been forever since I’ve updated this blog, and trust me — lots of ideas are percolating in the hopper about my flipped(!) fourth grade classroom and other things I’ve tried this year. I promise those posts are coming! But in the meantime, I need your help!

As some of you may know, I’m working on my PhD in addition to teaching fourth grade full-time. The work-life balance has not been an easy thing, and now, I’m really working hard to finish as much coursework as possible in the short term because baby #2 will be arriving in November! (So while you all are hanging out by the pool having tasty margaritas, I’m crunching numbers for a stats class and reading about how to write ethnographic fieldnotes. Good times, I tell you…)

This summer, I’m starting to work on my dissertation, and I’m testing out my ideas in a pilot study. I’m planning to write my dissertation about the amazing elementary blogging community and the ways that teachers use blogs for professional development and personalized learning. I know that reading other teachers’ blogs has been hugely inspiring for me as a teacher, and I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t have access to so many great teaching minds across the globe. Shockingly, however, very little has been written about these great online communities and their benefits, and I want to explore that further. Scholars, politicians, and administrators need to know how much teachers learn from each other! Which is why I need your help.

I’m looking for a few teachers who would be willing to be interviewed about how they use blogs to support their work in the classroom. I want to talk to both bloggers and readers, so even if you don’t have a blog of your own, I’d still like to talk to you. This first wave of interviews will take place next week (June 20-26) and they will all be done online via Skype or Google Hangouts. I anticipate that each interview will last 45-60 minutes.

If you are willing to participate, could you please fill out this form so I can contact you directly? In exchange for your time, anyone who participates in an interview will receive up to $20 worth of free products from my TpT store.

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Once you fill out the form, I will be in touch to arrange a time that will work best for the interview. I need to conduct (and transcribe!) at least 3 interviews next week to fulfill the requirements of my current coursework, but don’t let that small number deter you — I will need many more interview participants once I move beyond my pilot study and begin work on my actual dissertation, so I’d love to have a list of possible interviewees already started. And my offer for the free products from my TpT store will still stand.

I hope that you will consider participating! I look forward to talking to you and learning from you.

Astaxanthin – Anti-Oxidant Superstar

While many antioxidants can be obtained by eating organic fruits and vegetables, astaxanthin is derived only from a specific microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis.  The algae uses astaxanthin to protect itself from intense sunlight, ultraviolet radiation and low nutrition.

There are two natural astaxanthin sources: the microalgae that produce it and the salmon and krill which consume the algae directly. The best resources for these foods are wild-caught Alaskan Salmon and Krill Oil Supplement, which offer many other nutritional benefits.

Research indicates astaxanthin may benefit those suffering from inflammatory conditions including arthritis, rheumatoid disorders, metabolic disease, as well as cardiovascular, neurological and liver diseases.

Astaxanthin can also help to increase your muscle capacity and stamina, decrease workout recovery time, and decrease muscle pain.  Other proven benefits include:

Reduction of Inflammation
Protects Vision
Enhances Heart Health
Decreases Oxidative Stress
Protects Against Sunburn
Boost Your Immune System
Helps Prevent and Fight Cancer

Astaxanthin and Eye Health

Astaxanthin is an extremely powerful anti-oxidant:  65 times more powerful than vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than Beta-Carotene and 14 times more powerful than Vitamin E.
Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier AND the blood-retinal barrier which is a huge deal for your brain AND your eyes!

Astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family of anti-oxidants that include beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.   Of all the carotenoids, only zeaxanthin and lutein are found in the retinas of your eyes.  This is because your eye is a highly light and oxygen rich environment, and it needs a large amount of free radical scavengers to prevent damage. 
Scientists have specifically studied astaxanthin for its effects on the eyes and discovered that it is completely safe, and much more potent than all the other carotenoids.   Specifically it has been shown that astaxanthin supplementation can be effective in preventing a whole list of eye diseases including:

Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Diabetic Neuropathy
Cystoid Macular Edema
Central Retinal Arterial and Venous Occlusion
Glaucoma
Inflammatory Eye Diseases including retinitis, iritis, keratitis, and scleritis

Astaxanthin is one of the few anti-oxidants that you should consider supplementing because you cannot obtain the recommended dosage from your diet alone.      The good news is that there are excellent Astaxanthin Supplements available from companies like Jarrow, Doctors Best, and Swanson to name a few.   It should be taken with a meal with fat because it is fat soluble with dosage from 4mg – 12mg per day although there are no harmful effects from higher dosages.

In One Sentence™ – Heroes Of The Storm – Hero Overviews [Very Short Reviews Of Each, Currently Text-Only]

[In light of the recent ‘Heroes Of The Storm 2.0’ release – even though this was a ‘work in progress’ since I started playing ‘Heroes’ again a bit ago and it is not fully compiled yet – I wanted to get this hopefully-slightly-helpful information up right away for everyone… So here it is – being added to as I complete it but without any Screenshots yet – I am collecting some together and plan to place them in-line within …Soon™]


Update: Last Added – Arthas on 2017.05.04



In One Sentence™


A Heroes Of The Storm

Hero Thingy Overview  


By: The Game Tips And More Blog


Presented in Alphabetical Order, in a Document-sorta-but-not-really format



[Initially, was invited to the Heroes Of The Storm Beta; but was not able to play much at the time and so I didn’t write about it much back then. I did work on a few articles, such as this one, adding to it the bit that I did play. Only recently (before I knew about “Heroes Of The Storm 2.0”) I got back into this fun game, tallying up my own opinions and favourites, of each and every hero in the game. Seeing “Version 2.0” come along, I felt that, even though I have not fully compiled every singly hero yet, I wanted to share what I did have done, so that everyone – and especially newcomers to the game – could get a quick idea of each Hero and how they played in the game, helping them make a choice as to which one to try. I will be returning to this post and adding more Heroes as I play them… I hope you enjoy these little snippets of info for each one – and See You In The Game!]




Rating Key (if applicable to Hero, when used):

* = Heroes I ‘Liked’ (fit my personal playstyle(s), or is unique in some way)

** = Heroes that are A Personal Favourite (I myself would play often or ‘mainly’ would use (may not match your individual preferences dear reader, this is just a Personal Rating of mine))






Auriel = Finding myself playing more offensively than defensively with this Hero, I enjoyed her AOE and healing capabilities.
Alarak = With skills focusing on mainly attacking Heroes, in the right hands this high-damage-potential Assassin could be quite deadly.

Artanis * = Another Hero with skills focused on killing other Heroes, Artanis comes with high damage output potential – and although I was left feeling oddly ‘limited’ playing him, Artanis was fun to play overall.

Arthas = A mobile tank – big, tough, but a little slow [in my opinion] – with some light healing (and the possibility to heal yourself) and some nice offensive moves as well, Arthas can become quite competent in The Nexus.

Azmodan ** = This large and lumbering behemoth is capable of dealing out huge damage as a “Ranged Specialist” – just be careful as you have fun creating your own armies on the way to dish it out on the enemies’ base, as you are also a ‘heavy target’, so to speak. A Personal Favourite.

Dehaka * = With deceptively simple gameplay [or is that ‘deceptively difficult’?], high damage output potential – and with the ability to ‘tunnel to any bushes on the map’ instead of a mount [with a cooldown], this Hero has some nice unique gameplay to fiddle around with in The Nexus.

Diablo = Huge and tough – as he should be – with some care taken and strategy used, this “Melee Warrior” will be a force to be reckoned with.

E.T.C. * = With strong yet simpler gameplay, ETC and his unique ‘rocker’ attitude is a fun handful of Tauren to Melee with.

Gazlowe ** = With the ability to plop down temporary turrets and shoot what eventually becomes HUGE DETH LAZORZ – not to mention being able to recover Scrap Parts for mana – Gazlowe The Goblin Engineer, though more complicated than many Heroes, was a joy to play and kill with. A Personal Favourite.

Jaina * = With straightforward damage and easy gameplay, Jaina The Mage is fun to use and fun to take out other Heroes with …if mages only had Unlimited Mana [in any game]…

Johanna = Johanna The Paladin is a little more difficult than most melee Heroes – she is far more offensive than defensive as I first thought she might be – with many life-saving capabilities, in the right hands she could be quite a formidable Hero to run with.

Leoric * = With the unique ability to ‘remain undead’ and re-spawn wherever you desire after a time, along with simple melee gameplay, this Hero was neat to play – in the right hands perhaps this one could do a lot of damage in The Nexus.

Lunara = With mainly indirect damage (DOT or Damage Over Time), this Hero was difficult to gauge; with the ability to always move faster than most Heroes (not needing a Mount) and her ranged attacks, perhaps in the right hands she could be quite effective.

Malfurion** = A multi-faceted Support Hero with both healing and offensive capabilities, if you like to play Support in other games (such as an Engineer, or Medic/Cleric), this ambidextrous Hero should be fun for you to play in The Nexus. A Personal Favourite.

Probius * = If I had to sum up Probius I would say words like ‘difficulter’ (because I say that’s a real word now) …and ‘cool’ …and ‘overpowered’ …and ‘work’ …and ‘cute’ …and ‘fun’ …and…other words like that with ellipsis between them.

Raynor = With simpler gameplay and the ability to buff any allies around you – along with the possibility of some light self-healing – Rayor the “Ranged Assassin” is a helpful addition to play in The Nexus.

Rexxar ** = If you’ve ever wanted to handle two Heroes at once, now you can with this ‘hunter-pet’ combination which promises good damage output and a lot of fun – if at a slight cost of easier gameplay. A Personal Favourite.

Samuro ** = If you like to be stealthy, confusing opponents and striking from the shadows, this is a fun Hero to do all that and more with. A Personal Favourite.

Sgt. Hammer ** = This spunky Ranged Hero in a Siege Tank has huge long-range capability – if she can be handled with caring hands. A Personal Favourite.

Sylvanas * = Capable of not only high damage but also ‘converting’ mercenary units to your side, this “Ranged Specialist” also has sleek gameplay and a powerful (translation: annoying to other people) Mind Control ability.

Thrall ** = Fast melee and a bit of spellcasting – along with being easier to play – makes this Hero a fun brute to run with. A Personal Favourite.

Tychus = With good offensive capability, this Hero is easy to learn and practice with.

Valla ** = With fast and smooth gameplay that is fun and easy to get used to – especially if you have played The Demon Hunter in Diablo III as many of the Demon Hunter ‘basic moves’ come into play in The Arena. A Personal Favourite.

Zul’jin ** = Focusing on Ranged damage and even doing more damage as his health lowers, this Assassin felt like it could take out both Heroes and swaths of mercenaries with ease, thanks to his light self-healing – just don’t get caught surrounded while trying to do the highest damage possible! A Personal Favourite.





Repeat  of top comment: [In light of the recent ‘Heroes Of The Storm 2.0’ release – even though this was a ‘work in progress’ since I started playing ‘Heroes’ again a bit ago and it is not fully compiled yet – I wanted to get this hopefully-slightly-helpful information up right away for everyone… So here it is – being added to as I complete it but without any Screenshots yet – I am collecting some together and plan to place them in-line within …Soon™]

Blind woman becomes first to travel globe

Cathy with husband Bernard

55 YEAR-old Cathy Birchall from Warrington, riding pilion with her husband Bernard, has become the first blind woman to circumvent the globe on a motorcycle.

Cathy suffers with retinitis pigmentosa and has been blind for much of her life. She met husband Bernard Smith seven years ago, while he was working as a teacher for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and she for charity Action For Blind People. She had never been on a motorcycle before she met Bernard, who, long harbouring a desire to travel the world on his 1990 BMW R100RT, convinced her to take a year-long sabbatical.

Their journey began in August 2008, but now, with the release of their book ‘Touching The World: A Blind Woman, Two Wheels and 25,000 miles’, her extraordinary story is coming to light.

The couple’s travels encompassed Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and North America and took a year. In Peru, Cathy also became the first blind woman to climb Huayana Pichu, Machu Pichu’s sister mountain.

Cathy recorded her experiences on a tape recorder as she went, describing the pair’s experiences. Using an intercom system, Bernard would describe the scenery through which they passed. Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Cathy described her experience of the journey:

‘I could smell the heat of the deserts, the cool from the mountains. I could hear the silence when you are up in the mountains. I could hear the hustle and bustle as we were going through street markets. I could feel the temperature. All the other senses kicked in and gave me a full picture.

“And I spoke to people – the everyday people we came across. That made the trip.’

Sadly, six weeks after their return from the trip, Cathy was diagnosed with breast cancer for which she is still being treated. Writing the book, she says, has given her focus throughout the treatment.

In publishing the book, Bernard and Cathy hope to get visual impairment literature ‘into the mainstream in a positive way.’

_______________________________
Source: VisorDown (Dodd,9/19)

MMI Grad builds motorcycle shop from ground up

When Bret Sealy set off from his small Central Texas hometown for Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) Orlando, he had little more than his Harley, a toolbox and the goal of owning a motorcycle business. Since then, Bret has worked hard as a student struggling to make ends meet, a machinist serving the U.S. Army and National Guard, and a one-man construction company to earn his most prized possession – his own motorcycle repair shop.

Today, he’s back in Richland Springs, Texas, pursuing his passion for motorcycles as president and owner of San Saba Ironhorse, Inc. But achieving this childhood dream hasn’t come easy.

“From the time I watched a friend ride his dirt bike around our neighborhood, I knew I wanted to be in this industry,” explained Bret. “Whether I was working odd jobs or serving on Army convoy missions, I never lost sight of that goal.”

Though his jobs have varied along the long road to entrepreneurship, Bret’s work ethic has remained strong. While studying at MMI, he earned $100 a day tiling pools. After graduating in 2007, he briefly worked as a technician for a Harley-Davidson dealership, but he couldn’t ignore the desire to be his own boss. To help save enough for startup costs, he joined the Army and trained to be a machinist.

“Besides the chance to serve my country in Iraq and Kuwait, the Army prepared me for the motorcycle business,” said Bret. “When I got back to Texas, I expanded my skills by making wheels and axles for rail cars at machine shops, and fitting pipes for oil and natural gas drilling. Between working as a machinist and my training at MMI and in the military, I feel like I can make just about anything.”

Despite his growing mechanical expertise, Bret still needed to boost his savings to start the business. He joined the National Guard for the weekend drill pay and slowly began laying the foundation for his new motorcycle repair shop … literally. He dug trenches for plumbing, poured the building’s concrete foundation, erected its steel structure, wired electrical systems and painted it inside and out. Until the shop really got off the ground in 2012, his do-it-yourself approach raised more than a few eyebrows around Richland Springs.

“It’s a small town – there were just 16 in my graduating class,” said Bret. “I’ve known lots of people who talk about their dreams, but never do anything about them. I knew I wanted to be different.”

At 27, Bret has developed San Saba Ironhorse into a burgeoning business. Specializing in Harley-Davidson and Yamaha motorcycles, the shop also services other bike brands and ATVs used by hunters who visit the area. He’s boosted profits by fixing wrecked motorcycles he buys from insurance companies and selling them online. MMI’s entrepreneurial training has come in handy as the business has evolved, too.

“Right now, I’m still just a one-man show. But Ironhorse is growing and I hope to hire a team someday,” he said. “If you want to build your own business, you have to understand it’s not going to happen overnight.” Brett would like to express a http://www.sansabanews.com/news/110717/special thanks to his friends and family who helped along the way to make everything possible.

“People had all kinds of negative things to say when I told them about my goal for this shop,” he added. “But if people tell you that you’re just dreaming or being unrealistic, they’re wrong. Don’t let other people’s opinions get in the way of what you want to achieve. It’s all up to you.”

_________________________________________
Source: San Saba News (AP, 9/7)

Battlefield Hardline: A Double XP Boost is Currently Active! [Notification]

Just a quick post to notify those interested in Hardline that a Double XP Boost is Currently On! GOGOGO http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bfh/

See You In The Game!

Peanut Benefits for Health

PEANUT BENEFITS FOR HEALTH

Peanut Benefits for Health – Peanuts are legumes that take the benefits to the area of the roots are forming pods, do you know if the bean plants it has the advantage of a very remarkable in the area of agricultural land, the reason is because the beans are plants that collaborate with types of mycorrhizal fungi to synthesize N in the air become available to the plant, N that includes nutrients that are needed by plants in large enough quantities, land former planted beans have levels of N were pretty much up intake N for the next crop is still there. Not only useful for agriculture, but peanuts also have benefits for our health.
Peanut Benefits For Health - 1
Now let us try to discuss specifically about the benefits of the bean plants to our body and how much is the benefit that we can take from this pod peanut plants. Consider the benefits of peanuts below:
Peanut Benefits for Health
1. Helps To Increase Fertility
For you are the woman I’m sure you’ve got the point. Peanuts contain folic acid, according to research women who ate peanuts 400 micrograms of folic acid have a lower risk of having a baby born with a serious neural tube defects up to 70% at the time before pregnancy and early pregnancy
2. It Can Prevent Painful Gallstones
During 20 years of research have shown if by consuming 1 ounce of peanut butter a week can reduce the risk of developing gallstones by 25%.
Peanut Benefits For Health
3. Can Help Reduce Depression And Stress
Peanuts are a good source of tryptophan, the role of these substances can increase serotonin antidepressant effects (which can affect the atmosphere in the heart) if there is an increase in the amount of serotonin in the blood.
4. Can Improve Memory
The beans have a content of vitamin B3 or also often called by naisin content is also beneficial to maintain the health of the brain and improve memory.
5. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Peanuts contain cholesterol substances that are good for our bodies, as well as the good cholesterol can reduce cholesterol levels and can control the evil by means of dominating it.

Hopefully article Peanut Benefits for Health can we share today can be beneficial for you. Do not forget to always visit the website abouthealthbenefits.xyz to seek other health articles. Thank You.

Tickets For 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix Of The Americas Go On Sale December 5

Tickets for 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas on sale Thursday, Dec. 5 New in 2014: Free motorcycle parking for early birds, single-day tickets available, reduced parking prices, kids 12 and under receive free general admission to MotoGP

AUSTIN, Texas  – Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the motorcycle enthusiast in your life? Circuit of The Americas™ (COTA) has the answer, as tickets for the 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at COTA go on sale Thursday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. CT online at www.circuitoftheamericas.com/and at www.ticketmaster.com. COTA will host the first of only two MotoGP contests in the United States next year and welcome the best motorcycle riders in the world to Austin April 11-13.

COTA’s 2014 MotoGP event features many new fan-friendly options, including FREE motorcycle parking for fans that purchase their tickets by Dec. 31, 2013; Three-day weekend passes and single-day ticket options for fans; A new dry camping option for fans who want to stay close to the circuit all weekend; and Kids 12 and under receive FREE general admission with a ticketed adult.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Single-day general admission tickets start at $39 for Friday’s practice sessions, and single-day reserved seats start at $59. Three-day weekend passes start at $89 for general admission or $139 for reserved seats. Three-day dry camping passes are available for $150 per space.

MotoGP Ticket and Parking Prices – Circuit of The Americas – April 11-13, 2014

Seating Type, Single-day Ticket/Person, Three-day Weekend Pass/Person

General Admission, $39 to $59, $89

Reserved Seat, $59 to $109, $139 to $199

Kids 12 and under, FREE GA with ticketed adult, FREE GA with ticketed adult

Dry Camping Space (20’x20’), N/A, $150/camping space

Parking Type, Single-day Parking/Vehicle, Three-day Weekend Parking/Vehicle

Cars, $20, $45

Motorcycles*, $10, $20

*NOTE: Motorcycle parking is free for fans that purchased their MotoGP tickets by Dec. 31, 2013.

MotoGP, the pinnacle of all motorcycle World Championships, consists of 19 races in 14 countries on five continents with pan-global television coverage. The world’s most skilled riders, including current U.S. riders Colin Edwards of Texas, 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden from Kentucky and reigning World Champion and winner of the 2013 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas Marc Marquez, compete with cutting-edge, prototype motorcycle technology produced by Ducati, Yamaha and Honda, as well manufacturers supporting the new Open class. The series traditionally holds three races, including Moto2 and Moto3 competitions, during each event for various classes of motorcycles based on engine size. Fans watched MotoGP’s new phenom, Marc Marquez, sweep the three U.S. races in 2013, including COTA’s inaugural event, and will be eager to see if he returns to the winners’ podium in Texas next year.

“The on-track action at this year’s MotoGP Championship race at COTA was incredible, and our mission for 2014 is to elevate the fan experience at the track and in downtown Austin,” COTA Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Geoff Moore said. “Our team will be throwing an even bigger party at the track next year, with a larger entertainment portfolio of live music, interactive displays, games and fan activities. We’re also planning a downtown Fan Zone that will give visitors and residents lots to see and do throughout the weekend.”

“Making our MotoGP race one of the must-attend sports and entertainment events of the season is a priority, and we’ve enhanced our customer offerings to ensure that happens,” COTA President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Dial noted. “We’ve added single-day tickets to the mix for 2014, giving fans greater flexibility, and we’ve reduced on-site parking prices to enhance the value and make it easier for fans to access the circuit. In addition, we’re offering free general admission to kids ages 12 and under to make it more affordable for families to attend the races.

“With the holidays just around the corner, tickets to the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas make a great gift for the motorsports fans in your household, and next year’s event will be the perfect opportunity for an entire family to spend a weekend at Circuit of The Americas.”

For individuals, groups and companies looking to experience the MotoGP race weekend in a special way, Circuit of The Americas™ Official program, Circuit of The Americas Experiences , is offering racing enthusiasts a turn-key elevated race weekend experience to the Circuit’s 2014 MotoGP event.

________________________________________________
Source: RoadRacingWorld (AP,11/26)

My Trip to Batticaloa

This assignment required me to travel to Batticaloa which is in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. The drive to Batticaloa is long (About 320 KM) but the killer is that it takes nearly 8 hours to get there. I left at 6.15 AM from Colombo and arrived at 2.15 PM in Batticaloa; stopping only for Breakfast and a cup of tea.

The assignment was 10 day evaluation of the management capacity of an organization who was delivering services to the people of the eastern province. The unique aspect of this assignment was that the client wanted to evaluate very specific aspects of its organization management structure, financial management, HR management, monitoring and communication systems. Therefore I had to customize the tools we used to a very high degree to ensure that the tools we used were compatible with the specific need. It also meant that this level of customization was a green field (Not done before so don’t know the pitfalls) this was further complicated by the fact that the execution of the assignment had to have a tri-linguistic person to facilitate the field work as well as translate at the synthesis workshop.

The assignment went in a smooth manner and it was well received by the employees of the organization. Generally management capacity evaluations can get tricky as some managers take it as a personal weakness and get very defensive.

I was surprised at the weather in Batticaloa and the amount of water on the ground. The roads that went through the lagoon were nearly inundated. Some of the shorter routs to Batticaloa were flooded so I had to travel via Polonnaruwa. In terms of the post war development in the east; I must say that all the reports regarding infrastructure development are correct and perhaps under reported. Road, bridge and utility projects are still going on and the whole of the eastern province looks like one giant construction site.

The fishing industry is booming in Batticaloa and the seafood prices are less than half of what it is in Colombo. So the team had seafood at every opportunity. The tourism industry has a demand but the number of rooms available seemed to be inadequate for the demand. There is a dire need for quality hotel rooms in Batticaloa. The availability of jobs would be the main social issue in the coming months as the construction industry starts to finish the construction projects.

I have to travel to Wadduwa (from Batticaloa) to attend the 6th South Asian Regional Workshop on Resource Mobilization which starts today; so will be on the road for the rest of the day.

Cellulite Breakdown and Essential Detoxification part 1

Waist Disposal

`Excess fat is nothing less than a poison depot in an over-acid organism.’ These words were uttered half a century ago by Danish physician Kristine Nolfi — an expert in healing the body through diet. They lie at the core of the cellulite phenomenon. One of your body’s most effective ecological mechanisms for protecting itself from excessive poisons taken in through food, air and water or produced from within as a by-product of metabolism is to lock these toxic materials into fat cells. In the case of cellulite this natural protective mechanism goes one stage further — encasing these wastes in the interstitial fluids and ground substance by binding them within hardened connective tissue. There they sit year after year producing jodhpur thighs.

Diet Start

Personal Energy Crisis

This whole self-protective process is perfectly normal and, all in all, functions rather well, except for two things. First, in the presence of a high level of female hormones it tends to turn intocellulite. Second, it tends to deplete your energy — not only on a cellular level so metabolic processes don’t function in an optimal way but overall so you are prone to fatigue and need stimulants such as coffee to get you going and to keep you going. For in any body which has a high level of waste stored in its cells, much of the available energy is channelled into trying to cope with these wastes instead of being used to keep metabolic processes functioning at a high level of efficiency. In broad terms you sense a lack of overall vitality and over the years develop a tendency to become chronically tired — sometimes so much so that it can even become very difficult to make the effort to help yourself. To shed cellulite you need first to help your body detoxify itself and eliminate the pockets of static tissues where, like stagnant ponds in a meadow, toxicity has been allowed to accumulate.

A lot has been written in recent years about detoxification. Some of it can sound quite mystifying. But the whole process is really quite simple. The reason you have built up these pockets of wastes is simply that your body is continually having to cope with more poisons than it can eliminate in the normal day- to-day course of events. Remove some of the burden of what is creating this excess toxicity in your system by laying aside coffee, alcohol and over-processed foods complete with chemical additives for a time, and you are halfway there. Add to that a very simple and temporary regime designed to trigger rapid detoxification, some movement and some external help, and quite naturally you trigger your body’s own mechanisms for clearing out the junk. This is the first step in the Cellulite Revolution. There are lots of ways you can do it but the simplest of all to begin with is to go on a two-or-three-day applefast.

Applemagic

The apple has long been valued as health tonic, medicine, cosmetic and bowel-regulator all in one. Apples are low in acidity to help balance stored bodily wastes which tend to be acidic. They stimulate the flow of saliva in the mouth and clear away debris from the teeth. Eating raw fresh apples stimulates circulation in the gums too. In folk medicine the apple was traditionally used for eliminating obesity (in part no doubt because of its detoxifying ability) as well as for the treatment of skin problems, bladder inflammation, anaemia, insomnia, intestinal parasites and even bad breath. In recent years we have come to appreciate the kind of fibre apples contain. In addition to cellulose (the most common variety of fibre such as that in bran which binds water and increases faecal bulk), apples are also rich in pectin — a special form of fibre with exceptional detoxification properties. Unlike cellulose, pectin does not bind water. It is water-soluble. Pectin has no influence on faecal bulking, but it can be an excellent substance to help lower cholesterol and for eliminating bile acids from the intestines. Also, and in many ways most important of all for keeping cellulite away, pectin is a natural chelating agent for binding dangerous heavy metals in the body such as aluminium, cadmium, mercury and lead, and eliminating them.

My trip to Hanoi, Vietnam

I returned to Vietnam to facilitate a 2 day planning workshop for the 6 organizations that I did the capacity assessments in January. It felt good to meet everyone and catch up. The workshop went smoothly and I had very positive feedback from the participants.

I was happy to see people genuinely interested and participating / contributing towards the workshop. This ensured a high quality of the results and the buy in by the participating organizations. I put the success of the workshop down to the following:

  1. The CEO / Executive director (ultimate boss) of the organization participated
  2. They had read the organization capacity assessment report and were familiar with the contents.
  3. They were guaranteed of a tangible workable plan at the end of 2 days.
  4. Being open and willing to learn

There is a chance that I may be requested to do some more work for them in the near future; however it seems that this is the end of this phase and the client is happy with the results.


The view from the roof top restaurant near Hoan Kiem Lake.

I stayed at the Trang An hotel; It’s in the center of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake, so quite convinient for walking around, shopping, finding nice restaurant, etc… Had a good time too.

The carb connection

Carbohydrates are a vital part of the human diet – they are our primary source of energy, and in their natural state they are turned into glucose to provide fuel for all the organs of the body.

THERE ARE THREE MAIN TYPES OF CARBOHYDRATES:

1. Simple sugars, or monosaccharides: glucose (blood sugar), and fructose (fruit sugar)

2. Double sugars, or disaccharides: lactose (milk sugar)

Diet Start

3. Complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides: starches and cellulose (potatoes, rice, grains and dietary fibre).

The simplest carbohydrate of them all is glucose, which is assimilated immediately by the body. The more complex the carbohydrate’s structure, the longer it takes the body to convert it into energy – so ‘complex’ carbohydrates are the slow burners, because they are higher in more complicated sugars and fibre and thus take longer to break down into energy-giving glucose.

So why are carbs the bad guys?

Even though carbohydrates are a vital component of our overall health, there are certain carbs that serve no nutritional purpose whatsoever, and can even cause us harm if consumed too regularly and in large proportions. They are also the main contributors to the escalating obesity problem. So who are these enemies of our health and weight? They are known as refined carbohydrates.

The problems started the minute we began to process our food and strip out the fibre and nutrients from flour and sugar, to make them look appealingly white. In so doing, we made them nutritionally redundant. Food processing removes magnesium, zinc and chromium from flour and sugar – the three minerals that the body needs to metabolize carbohydrates properly. It also drastically reduces vitamins B1, B2, B3, calcium and iron.

Junk foods made up of refined flour and sugar, plus nutritionally empty processed fats, colourings, flavourings and preservatives, make up 75 per cent of many people’s diets. These so-called ‘convenience foods’ are ’empty’ calories, which hurtle into the bloodstream, play havoc with insulin and blood- sugar levels and actually deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals that are needed to perform other important bodily functions. Processed foods have also been stripped of their fibre content, which is essential for controlling insulin production and protecting the body against diseases such as diverticulitis and colon cancer.

Workout Anytime in Citizen Tribune

Workout Anytime in Citizen Tribune

WORKOUT ANYTIME was recently featured in the Citizen Tribune. The article explains the newest WORKOUT ANYTIME location coming to Morristown, Tennessee this October. It gives background on Steve James and Scott Elliot and how they came about the WORKOUT ANYTIME brand. The article also goes into further detail on the services at the gym and the owners planned community outreach.
You can view the full article here. 

XLCR Reborn – Jamesville Shovelhead Cafe Racer



Back in 1977 Harley Davidson unveiled their American cafe racer, the XLCR Sportster. On paper and in the flesh the bike was certainly appealing. It was draped in black, had a unique siamese exhaust system, was powered by a torquey 997cc v-twin and wore bodywork unlike any other Harley. Unfortunately the press slammed the bikes performance and poor sales resulted in it becoming a rather famous flop for the Milwaukee manufacturer. Despite all of these factors the XLCR has become an iconic model in HD history and today they fetch high prices at auction. Not having ever ventured in to cafe racer territory before James Roper-Caldbeck of ‘Jamesville Motorcycles’ in Copenhagen used the XLCR as his inspiration, but paid careful attention to not repeat Harleys mistakes.




“Last year I received a rather sheepish email asking if there was any way I would ever build a café racer” recalls James. James’ portfolio is almost entirely made up of Harley Davidson builds with Chopper and Bobber styling being his usual forte. For an outsider it might seem that he is set in his ways, but when the opportunity presented itself, he was more than willing to take it on.

“It can sometimes become a little monotonous always building bobbers and choppers so I gladly said yes. I have always loved the XLCR 1000 and that bike became my inspiration, right down to how we photographed it.”



Rather than heading down the same route as the XLCR and using a Sportster as the starting point James opted to use a 1974 Harley Davidson FX Shovelhead. “I found a fairly stock FX that had an S&S 80 cubic inch motor and a 5 speed transmission, which is very nice.”

With a powerful donor selected James started penning down some ideas. “To be honest I had no idea what I was doing when it came to building a Café Racer, but I knew I wanted it black with a fairing and for it to look F#CKING mean!”



The build began with the bikes new bodywork. Influenced by the design of Super GP bikes James fabricated an entirely new seat pan and tail from scratch, integrating a Triumph tail light at the rear and mounting it as high as possible on the frame. Surprisingly his front fairing was an aftermarket unit sourced on Ebay. James purchased the unit unsure if it was going to fit his headlight, but much to his surprise it was the perfect fit. For the fuel tank he decided the stock unit looked right for the build and so he stuck with it. “Everyone always asks what it’s from and are shocked when I tell them!” jokes James.



To get the bike sitting right James designed a Progressive shock and spring package that lowers the front end and raises the rear, creating a more aggressive riding position. Taking cues from his favourite Ducati exhaust set up he handbuilt a 2-into-1 system that runs high before exiting beside the tail. Two well placed heat shields sufficiently protect the rider from burns (tried and tested by the man himself) and the hotdog muffler lets everyone know to make plenty of room as the Shovelhead approaches.



With loads of power on tap and a great suspension set up James knew he’d need to upgrade the bikes woeful stock brakes for it to be worthy of its cafe racer status. Using a configuration similar to the XLCR that inspired the build he mounted a set of twin drilled discs up front and a drilled disc with custom mounted, daisy chained twin calipers at the rear. Due to the Harley’s dimensions it still runs mid controls, but they are custom made units that keep the rider’s feet up high for improved cornering clearance.



Taking a measly 5 weeks to complete James finished the bike using a paint scheme inspired by 80s and 90s GP Super Bikes. Touches of XLCR can also be seen on the engine where black has been liberally applied to those distinct Shovel shaped heads, the lower barrels, oil bag and various covers. Then to liven up the monotone theme touches of red were added to the seat and front fairing.

Knowing full well that Harley’s aren’t often the first choice for cafe racer conversions,  James has done his best to create a bike with the right look and performance to be worthy of the title. “I’m not sure how the Café racer guys will like this” says James. “But I can tell you it’s awesome to RIDE!” 


JAMESVILLE MOTORCYCLES

Photography by Mark Dexter of THE LAB Copenhagen

First published by returnofthecaferacers

Nate’s Burly CB – PopBang Honda Cafe Racer

This little Honda CB400F ended up with me after an impulse buy at the Mudgeeraba swap meet in Queensland. After a bit of haggling, I handed over $350 and it was mine. It was reasonably stock other that a rattle can paint job on the tank with bashed in knee wells. The motor had been pulled out and the top end lifted off, but it was all there. I got it back to my workshop, basically stuck it up on the mezzanine and forgot about it. It wasn’t until a couple of big burly looking fellas came in wanting me to build a couple of bikes for them and asked what I had. All I had was a CX500 in a million pieces and this 1974 CB400f project. They argued over who would get which one and the one that ended up choosing the CB was none other than NRL superstar and just general legend Nate Myles.

Obviously Honda’s little 400 four isn’t the biggest bike around. So the plan was to make it larger while retaining its original proportions. The rear of the frame was cut off at the back bone and swing arm mounts and a raised floating seat section with mono shock mount was fabbed up to replace it. The swing arm was extended 50mm, bracing for the mono shock was welded in and the shock from a late model Triumph holds it all together. I then found a really nice Ducati Monster front end that had the perfect dimensions for this project. The neck of the frame had to be dropped about 20mm lower so the Ducati top clamp could sit closer to the bikes tank.

The bikes tank and tail are modified versions of a fibreglass Cafe Racer kit I make for the CB400f with a 3″ longer tank. On this one I added knee wells, scallops to accommodate the Ducati triple trees, a flush mounted pop up cap and I separated the seat from the tail section. Carbon fibre strips were also added down the back bone of the tank and tail for additional strength and aesthetics. Once it was all mocked up with a set of clip-on handlebars the bike was looking much more aggressive.

Nate came in to try it out for size. I have to admit, I was a little scared it was still going to be too small, especially when he stood next to it. But once he sat in the saddle it fit him like a glove. I then had to think about moving this bulk of a man along at a reasonable pace.

The motor was fully rebuilt with a Yoshimura style big bore kit, Dyna ignition, freshly rebuilt carbs wearing K&N filters and lots of new internal parts. I made the custom exhaust out of stainless steel including the mufflers. Each side is made out of 22 pieces welded together. They give the bike a mean super bike sound, but it doesn’t pierce your ear drums. You could say it sounds a lot bigger than what it is.

To keep it sticking to the road a 17″ x 5″ rim was polished up and laced to the original rear hub. The front wheel however, was a little more complex, and soon became my favourite part of the bike. It’s a CBX550 twin ventilated inboard disc brake hub. It took me forever to find it. It had to come out of England and it was a mess. I completely rebuilt it and smoothed the outer plates of any unwanted excess. As these hubs were originally mounted to an ugly ComStar style rim I had to CAD design the two rings that bolt onto the hub to adapt it to spokes. I had it water jet cut, machined the taper and countersunk all the holes. It was then laced to an Excell 18″ x 3.5″ rim with stainless spokes. Both rims were wrapped in Pirelli Angel GT rubber

Then it was time to add all the fancy bits. It’s running a 4″ GPS speedo/tacho custom made by SpeedHut in the states . It was sunk into the 7″ headlight that’s mounted using custom stainless brackets and wrapped with a one off stainless grill. It also has customised hydraulic brake and clutch masters with hidden reservoirs. Flush mount handle bar switches, CAD designed, one off foot controls, custom polished linkages, stainless steel etched logo on the points cover, keyless ignition system, custom made tail lights, custom made seat trimmed by Hotel & Club Decor in Burleigh, hidden AntiGravity Battery, wiring run through the frame and electrics hidden under the seat in a custom flush mount box.

I was given strict orders that the bike had to be maroon, so I found a deep burgundy to keep it classic,  adding in a little modern flare with layered graphics on the side including Nate’s state of origin number and the iconic Honda wings. The real carbon fibre on top was outlined in an off white and cleared over. The motor, brake plates and master cylinders where all painted a custom mix of pewter and satin cleared to mix it up a bit. The frame was totally smoothed over and freshly coated in gloss 2 pack black.

At the beginning of the build I had convinced Nate we’d end up with a 70’s styled street fighter, and I think that’s what he got. It was a huge project and I want to thank Nate for putting up with how long it took me to finish! Hopefully there’s another project between us  down the track!
First read on www.returnofthecaferacers

Story by Justin Holmes

POP BANG CLASSICS

Photography  by Kenny Smith

Surprisingly simple tips from 20 experts about how to lose weight and keep it off

Surprisingly simple tips from 20 experts about how to lose weight and keep it off by Julia Belluz

If anyone knows how difficult it is to lose weight and keep it off, it’s me. My struggle took off as soon as soon as I entered adulthood. At 18, in my last year of high school, I moved to Italy. In six months, in a town near the Adriatic sea, I managed to put on 25 pounds.

The reason for my Italian waist expansion was clear: I ate ice cream, bread, andmozzarella di bufala like I’d never see it again. Before school, it was not uncommon to stop at a cafe and gossip over cappuccinos and bomboloni — custard-filed donuts. After school, gelato. Dinner usually featured plates of pasta, cheese, and bread. Who needed vegetables when you had fresh mozzarella?

The stay in Italy was delicious. I made friends. I learned the language. I studied the streets, squares, and galleries of Rome and Florence. I also got fat. It took about three years to return to my pre-Italian sojourn size. And keeping the weight off since then has required daily thought and effort: avoiding sugary drinks and late meals, preparing food at home whenever I can, keeping running calorie counts in my head or iPhone app, and regularly weighing myself. When the number on the scale goes up, I try to figure out where I’m going wrong and re-focus. I don’t view these efforts with disdain; I accept that they’re a necessary part of staying healthy.I did more than 20 interviews with leading nutrition researchers. I distilled what they told me, for you.

It is with this context that I give you what I hope is a helpful guide to thinking about weight loss. Again, I know how difficult it is to manage one’s weight, and how annoying it is to see articles about “10 tricks” that will help bust your belly fat or promises about magic diet-pills and potions. I know from personal experience that there are none, and I wanted to offer you an alternative, something that actually reflects clinical experience and what science tells us about keeping healthy.

I conducted more than 20 interviews with leading diet and nutrition researchers, registered dietitians, physicians, and evidence-based thinkers on weight loss from across North America. Together, they’ve written or reviewed hundreds of studies and treated thousands of patients. I asked them pretty basic questions: based on the best-available evidence, what advice do you have for people who struggle with their weight? What do your patients who lose weight and keep it off have in common? Where do people go wrong? I distilled what they told me, for you.
1) There really, truly is no one “best diet”

The experts I spoke to all emphasized that science has now shown us, pretty much unequivocally, that all diets — low fat, low carb, Weight Watchers, Atkins, etc. — have the same modest results in the long run, no matter their macronutrient composition.

Consider the findings of Dr. Mark Eisenberg, who looked at the research on the South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for his recent review. He and his co-authors found that no matter the diet, people tended to lose about five to seven pounds in a year, eventually regaining some of that weight later.

This latest bit of research follows other large-scale studies that have come to the same conclusion. This randomized trial involved 300 women on either low-carb, high-carb, or low-fat diets. The researchers found that, while women on a low-carb diet (specifically Atkins) lost a little more, weight loss through this diet was “likely to be at least as large as for any other dietary pattern.” In other words, there was no “best diet.”

Weight change on various diets over one year

(JAMA)

Instead of studying the effectiveness of one diet over another, the researchers I spoke to said they were moving toward trying to understand better how individuals — with their varied personalities, preferences, and genetic makeups — respond to different lifestyle changes. The future is in figuring out more tailored alternatives to the current one-size-fits-all approach, they said.

Until we have that answer, the findings from the literature should be liberating: they mean that we’ve been sold this idea that if we just buy into one particular diet, we will walk the path to thinness. But science (and experience) have shown us that that’s not true. You can save your money, and tune out fad diets that will inevitably come in and out of fashion. There’s no need to wedge your habits and preferences into an unreasonable or unsustainable diet plan that time has shown will fail. Instead, the experts suggested cutting calories in a way that you like and can sustain, and focusing on eating more healthfully.

As a guiding principle, Dr. Arya Sharma, director of the Canadian Obesity Network, simply tells patients, “The first thing you want to do is eat regularly. If you’re starving, you’re not going to make sensible choices.” That doesn’t mean snacking all the time, he added, but just making sure you don’t arrive at your next meal hungry. Then, he tells patients to eat more fruits and vegetables, and fewer “empty calorie foods” such sugary drinks and processed snacks.

That’s similar to the approach Matt Fitzgerald, author of the book Diet Cults, takes. He told me he ranks foods on an evidence-based quality hierarchy, from more healthy to less healthy:
Vegetables
Fruits
Nuts, seeds and healthy oils
High-quality meat and seafood
Whole grains
Dairy
Refined grains
Low-quality meat and seafood
Sweets
Fried foods

Eat more of the foods at the top, and fewer as you run down the list.

If you need an even simpler guide, there’s the “half-plate rule”: make sure half of your lunch and dinner plates are composed of vegetables and fruits; the other half, protein and starch. These are reasonable approaches to eating more filling and fibrous foods that aren’t calorie dense — which is what everyone I spoke to recommended.
2) People who lose weight are good at tracking — what they eat and how much they weigh

Some of the best research on what works for weight loss comes from the National Weight Control Registry, a study that has parsed the traits, habits, and behaviors of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a minimum of one year. They currently have more than 10,000 members enrolled in the study, and these folks respond to annual questionnaires about how they’ve managed to keep their weight down.

The researchers behind the study found that people who have had success losing weight share a few things in common: they weigh themselves at least once a week. Theyexercise regularly at varying degrees of intensity with the most common exercise being walking. They restrict their calorie intake, stay away from high-fat foods, and watch their portion sizes. They also tend to eat breakfast. But there’s a ton of diversity as to what makes up their meals. (Read: again, there was no “best” diet or fad diet that did the trick.) And they count calories.”Start with a food diary. You need to know where you’re at to know what you should change.”

That last point is one that obesity physician and Diet Fix author Dr. Yoni Freedhoffdwells on. “The most important thing to start with is a food diary,” he said. “They aren’t sexy or fun, but before you start a diet, you need to know where you’re at to know what you should change.”

The food diary should be used before you begin changing your eating habits, to reflect on where you’re at, where you may be going wrong, and where you can cut back. Then as you go along in your weight-loss quest, he said, the food diary can help you stay focused. “Keeping a food diary in real time reminds you that you’re trying to make healthful choices and change.”
3) People who lose weight identify their barriers and motivations

The National Weight Control Registry is not a controlled experiment; it does not randomize various weight-loss interventions to groups of people and then see which ones lose weight. Instead, it takes people who are already successful and examines what they did to be so. One thing that this group has in common is that they’re clearly highly motivated: they continued weighing themselves, tracking their calories, and limiting their diets — long after they lost weight.

A number of the experts I spoke to said the people they’ve seen experience a sustained weight loss identified their goals and motivations and hung on to them for the long period it took to slim down and keep the weight off.

To tease this information out of patients, Dr. Matthew Gillman, director of the Obesity Prevention Program at Harvard Medical School, said he always starts by interrogating people about their weight-loss intentions. “I will ask someone what are their goals, and how they envision themselves getting there, and what types of things would allow them to make changes, and then how confident they are in making those changes.”

Cornell professor Dr. Brian Wansink said that when people ask him about how to lose weight, he counters with a series of questions. “The most important thing you want to figure out is whether somebody really wants to lose weight,” he said. He explained that people might think they want to slim down, but when they actually reflect on the sacrifices and commitment required — realize they aren’t ready.

Equally as important, said Dr. Sharma, is to identify barriers to weight loss. “The first thing you want to address is why you’re gaining weight in the first place. It could be genetic. It could be stress, having a chronic illness, a medication you’re on.” There is also a clear correlation between obesity and other social-determinants of health, such as income and education. Obviously, some of these barriers will be easier to overcome than others. But isolating and addressing them wherever possible, he said, is really important for making any sustained lifestyle change.
4) Diets often fail because of unreasonable expectations

The message I heard from doctors was remarkably consistent: people who go on diets often set themselves up for failure by expecting results too quickly, picking a plan that either doesn’t fit with their lifestyle or is impossible to maintain.

Dr. Maria Collazo-Clavell, a Mayo Clinic obesity specialist, said people go wrong when they think about weight loss on a short time horizon: for a summer holiday, an upcoming wedding. “These short-term approaches do not work,” she said.

More on weight loss

The right way to count calories, according to weight-loss experts

Everything you wanted to know about obesity and weight loss

21 maps and charts that explain the obesity epidemic

“The biggest pitfall is trying to lose too much weight too fast,” said Canada’s Dr. Sharma.

Harvard’s Dr. Gillman took a commonsense approach: “People have gained weight over a period of years. They are not going to turn it around overnight. If you try to do that, you’re more likely to regain.”

Dr. Freedhoff said he sees people “under-eat, over-exercise, or both at the beginning of weight loss. It’s seductive to see the scale go down.” But they inevitably fail at maintaining an impossible and unrealistic regimen. “Trying to be too perfect is a huge problem for people in diet world,” he added.

“You don’t need to be a saint; you need to be a smart sinner,” said Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center.

Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietician at the Mayo Clinic, also said unreasonable expectations — and the self-berating that often ensues — just makes weight loss even more difficult. “When people try and fail, their confidence is so low, and they just lose the confidence to believe they can really sustain even a more reasonable change, or they don’t think the reasonable change is going to do much.”

Again, these insights should be liberating: change a little at a time, and think long term. Patience, these doctors promised, will pay off.
5) People who lose weight know how many calories they’re consuming — and burning

Another weight loss pitfall people make has to do with the lies we tell ourselves about how much we’re eating and burning off.

Studies have found that people very often underestimate how many calories they eat and overestimate how many they use up during exercise. This is easy to do even when you’re keeping a food diary.

We play other tricks on ourselves, too: healthy foods sometimes have a “halo effect” and when added to a meal (i.e. cheeseburger with a side of salad) cause people to believethat the overall calorie content of the meal somehow, magically, decreases.

“The halo effect”

(Journal of Consumer Psychology)

This study found people vastly misjudge the sugar content of fruit juices, believing they are healthy. Dr. Frank Sacks, who has conducted several pivotal studies on diet at the Harvard School of Public Health, said he’s seen people make these misjudgments when trying to lose weight time and again. He had a friend who complained about his recent weight gain, and when Dr. Sacks asked him about what he was eating, the friend admitted to drinking the equivalent of 1,000 calories worth of orange juice every day. “That was the biggest single source of calories in his diet,” said Sacks.

To get a sense of what you’re truly eating, measure your food for a period, suggested Dr. Freedhoff. Use scales and measuring cups in your kitchen. At restaurants, use your handto help you estimate portion sizes. You won’t always need to do this. But you’ll quickly learn how much you’re actually consuming. And it’ll help you to make sure you’re not wasting your time with that food diary and delaying the results of your efforts.
6) There are ways to hack your environment for health

The weight loss experts all described to me how they trick themselves and engineer their environments so that maintaining a healthy weight is easier.

As Dr. Sacks said, “In the home, I’ve gotten rid of stuff that I’m likely to overeat. I don’t have boxes of cookies on the dining room table that I can just eat. I don’t have that stuff around.”

Echoing Dr. Sharma’s earlier advice, Dr. Freedhoff believes in hunger prevention: he often pre-eats before a meal — usually a small serving of protein, because it’s more satiating than carbohydrates — to avoid over-indulging later. He also tries to stay away from alcohol before starting a meal, since there’s good evidence that alcohol stimulates appetite and leads to overeating.

Dr. Wansink, of Cornell, is the master of hacking your environment so that healthier choices are easier to make. In his latest book, Slim by Design, he outlines his findings from his behavioral research: he has found that people served from their stove or counter ate 19 percent less food compared to those serving themselves right off the table. He has found that food placement matters: you’re three times more likely to eat the first food you see than the fifth one. In another study, he found that people tend to eat about 60 extra calories per meal when they eat off larger plates, so he suggests replacing 12-inch plates with 10-inch ones.

Now, some of these tips might sound ridiculous — who wants to throw away their plates? — but the underlying theme is sound: environmental cues, not hunger cues, often cause people to overeat.

We might not have control over the temptations we’re exposed to outside the home (the cakes and muffins on display as we line up for our coffee in the morning; the giant portion sizes at our favorite lunch spot), but making subtle changes to our surroundings — keeping cookies out of sight, serving ourselves off the stove instead of the dinner table — can nudge us in a healthier direction.

“It’s easier to become slim by design than slim by willpower,” Wansink said. “Design you change once; willpower you have to do every day for the rest your life.”
7) Exercise is surprisingly unhelpful for weight loss

This review of studies on exercise and weight found that people only lost a small fraction of the weight they expected to given how much they were burning off through their new exercise routines. Some overweight people even gain weight when they start exercising.

This is mostly due to the fact that people develop “compensatory behaviors” when they exercise, thinking they can have those extra treats because of all the work they did, said Tim Caulfield, author of the Cure for Everything. “They go for a run, and then eat a high-calorie muffin, and completely neutralize that run. You’re not going to lose weight.”

This isn’t to say that exercise isn’t hugely beneficial for health: it raises mood, protects against disease, boosts energy, and improves sleep quality, just to name a few well-documented benefits.”I don’t have boxes of cookies on the table that I can just eat. I don’t have that stuff around.”

Physical activity is also extremely important for weight maintenance. In one study, which looked at 20-year weight gain in over 3,500 men and women, those who were physically active gained less weight over time and had smaller waist circumferences compared to inactive people.

But exercise alone isn’t going to lead to a great slim down. When a bunch of studies on the question of weight loss and exercise were taken together, researchers found that,overall, exercise led to only modest weight loss. When compared with no treatment, exercise helped people lose a small amount of weight, and when people started to exercise and cut their calories, they lost more weight than with a diet alone. Again, the health benefits of exercise came through in this study: even when exercise was the only intervention for weight loss (so no diet) study participants saw a range of health benefits, reducing their blood pressure and triglycerides in their blood.

The take-home message here: science has shown us that slimming down by exercising alone doesn’t work for most people. Physical activity is more important for weight maintenance than for weight loss. What matters most for weight loss is controlling calorie intake.
8) Weight loss medications aren’t very useful. Neither are “metabolism boosting” supplements.

Overall, the obesity doctors said they were unimpressed by the prescription weight-loss medications that are currently on the market, though some think they might have a role to play in some cases of obesity, particularly when used to complement other lifestyle changes.

Dr. Collazo-Clavell, at the Mayo Clinic, reviewed the literature on diet drugs, and said, “There have been a couple of recent studies, where the people who tend to do best with prescription medical therapies for weight loss are the group initially focusing on lifestyle changes, and lose weight, and then go on to a medication to help.” She added: “I do believe these medications have a role but I’d strongly discourage saying they’re the quick and easy fix.”

Other doctors were less hopeful. “I’m not using any of these in my practice because the results and/or side effects haven’t impressed me,” said Dr. Donald Hensrud, who co-chaired the American Heart Association’s obesity guidelines. “There’s just not a lot of benefit and too many risks.”

Dr. Sharma said the medications might be helpful for people who are suffering with other health problems as a result of excess weight, and that interested patients should discuss the harms and benefits with their doctors.

As for supplements that claim to “boost your metabolism” for weight loss, you can just ignore these outright. Nothing you eat can speed up your metabolism to the point of slimming down. What’s more, obese people don’t necessarily have slower metabolic rates than thin people, so that whole notion is bunk.

“We’ve measured the resting metabolism in lots of skinny people and in lots of people with serious weight problems, and everything in between,” said Dr. Michael Jensen, an expert on metabolism at the Mayo Clinic. “Whether you’re above or below average, skinny or obese, as a rule you cannot say obese people have lower metabolism rates than lean people. That’s just not true.”

“We do know obese people tend to be up and about about two to two-and-a-half hours a day less than lean people,” Dr. Jensen said. “My take is the amount of physical activity we do and the amount of calories we take in is far more important than what we do at rest.”

Even though you can’t control the speed of your metabolism, you can control how many calories you eat and what you burn through physical activity. When people ask Dr. Jensen how to boost their metabolisms, he tells them “go for a walk.” That’s something supplements like green coffee beans or raspberry ketones just won’t do. And it’s free.
9) Forget about “the last 10 pounds”

People who lose weight but don’t quite make it to their goal often complain about “the last 10 pounds.” Surprisingly, the obesity doctors I spoke to said you should just forget about them if they are that hard to take off.

“If the last 10 pounds are more difficult to lose than the rest, that suggests to me they will be regained,” warned Dr. Freedhoff. “If you need to try harder to lose that weight … the pounds will just come back.”

Dr. Cheskin put it even more simply: “It’s not worth it for the last 10 pounds. You’ve gotten almost all of the health benefits and probably most of the social benefits of losing weight if you’ve got two-thirds of where you’d like to be.”

He said even losing five percent of your body weight is great for your health. “People should be very pleased with getting partway there.”

Source

Texas Daredevil Spends nearly $1M for Evel Knievel Jump Reenactment

BOISE, Idaho • Last December, Big Ed Beckley walked to the edge of the dirt ramp where Evel Knievel attempted in 1974 to jump the Snake River Canyon.

“I sat on the end of that take-off ramp, looked out across that canyon and felt icy fingers come up my back,” he said.

“It said, ‘Go for it.’ I know that was Evel.”

On Friday, Beckley — a motorcycle stuntman from Texas — said he felt altogether different knowing he was one step closer to pulling off what no stuntman ever has.

He threw his arms in the air and shouted after securing his winning bid of $943,000 for the right to land his motorcycle across the canyon from where Knievel attempted the stunt 40 years ago.

The launch nearly killed Knievel, but on Friday Beckley smiled and joked wildly through the hour he bid against four other groups at the Idaho Department of Lands building in downtown Boise.

Beckley beat out Twin Falls BASE jumper Miles Daisher, who said it was his dream to attempt the stunt. Also skunked were locals Scott Record and Scott Truax who built an exact replica of the steam-powered rocket Knievel used.

“We are going to turn this into something huge and I’m expecting to be elected the mayor of Twin Falls, not burned at the stake,” Beckley said.

A life-long Knievel fan, Beckley said he watched the Butte, Mont. native’s historic attempt on pay-per-view television. He said he plans to jump with a rocket-powered motorcycle — not a steam-powered rocket with wheels — over the canyon at 230 miles an hour. A parachute will carry him to safety, he said.

“I’m the one who can get this done,” he said moments after winning the auction.

Beckley said he was confident in his team of engineers.

“I’ve always wanted to make my mark in life, but not on the north side of that wall,” he said, sweat rolling down his forehead.

The final price on the lease surprised many in the audience. What Beckley bought was a two-year lease on the 1,147 acres north of the canyon rim. The lease is $50,000 for two years and stipulates that the state gets a small percentage of what he makes on the event. Proceeds from the auction and lease will benefit Idaho public schools.

Beckley claimed he would pay the bill out-of-pocket.

Twin Falls Bidders

Record and Truax tried to silence the room with a $750,000 bid at one point. Their final bid was $880,000, which was much more than the $200,000 they thought would be reasonable, Record said.

“We thought we had that in the bag,” he said.

Record said he doesn’t think Beckley’s idea is feasible, he “can’t fathom” how he is going to make that money back and expects the Texan’s permits to be turned down based on his idea.

The two aren’t giving up, however. Record said he is in contact with Hollywood producers.

“We’ve got all kinds of plans — a Plan B, Plan C and a Plan D,” he said. “This thing isn’t over yet.”

Daisher said he grew up watching Knievel and sees the famous mound of dirt in the distance each time he BASE jumps from the Perrine Bridge.

Daisher, who partnered with the Chicago-based REO Development Group, said he wasn’t comfortable starting a project nearly a million dollars in the hole. He wasn’t ashamed after his team surrendered with a final bid of $658,000.

“As an athlete, I’m not afraid to walk away from some jumps if they get too scary,” he said.

Although he had worked for years on the project, Daisher said he wasn’t ready to “lay over and stick my legs in the air just yet.” He still hopes to dazzle his hometown.

“That’s my home team right there,” he said of Twin Falls. “My heart is beating fast and I hope this will be a catalyst for me to do a bigger, better project.”

Knievel’s Legacy

Evel’s son, Kelly Knievel, now a Las Vegas resident, said he wasn’t sure how he felt about the news of a jump moving forward. Whether Beckley’s attempt is successful or not will never change his father’s legacy, he said.

“There’s only one Evel Knievel and there will never be another Evel Knievel,” he said in a telephone interview.

Regardless, Kelly, 53, said he was excited to hear about the attempt and would try to attend if it moves forward.

“I’ll be the first guy out there putting a shovel in the ground and cutting the ribbon,” he said jokingly. “Nah, I’ll wish whoever flies over the canyon the best of luck.”

What’s Next?

Twin Falls City Councilman and Chamber of Commerce President Shawn Barigar looked a bit starstruck after the auction ended.
“Wow,” he said. “I did not anticipate that number today.”

City personnel have waited to see who won the state’s land permit before finishing its permitting requirements, he said. Barigar said the city will have a “thoughtful process” to ensure public health and safety from the event that’s likely to draw thousands of spectators.

“We’ll be looking at how we can ensure the city capitalizes on an event like this while mitigating those potential negative impacts,” he said.

Beckley will also need permits from many other state and federal agencies, Barigar said. When discussions about reenacting the jump come up periodically, about 30 different agencies are in the room, he said.

Whether or not Beckley will successfully navigate the permitting process remains to be seen. But he is now closer than any other person who has been interested.

Beckley said he would have loved to see Robbie Knievel — one of Evel’s sons who still performs motorcycle stunts — try the jump.

“I just don’t think he is physically able right now,” Beckley said.

When asked if he would have liked to see a reenactment stay in the family, Kelly had a quick answer.

“No one is saying that a Knievel won’t re-attempt it,” he said.

Bill Rundle, a Butte man who was one of Evel’s mechanics and watched the canyon jump when he was 16, was skeptical of the event. He said the only way the jump would “mean anything” was if Robbie was in the drivers seat.

“Will it ever be what it was? I don’t think so,” he said.

Chad Harrington, who runs the Evel Knievel Days in Butte, Mont., agreed that a successful jump would not change how Evel’s attempt is remembered. That, he said, was Evel’s brainchild and that it has been 40 years since anyone has mounted the ramp is a testament to his bravery and genius.

But Harrington doesn’t see the jump quite like Rundle — those who competed for the lease Friday were not hoping to best Evel.

They were paying for the right to pay their respects.

“It would be a hell of an achievement,” he said. “… A tribute.”ok/ata

Big Jump, Big Money

Texas daredevil ‘Big Ed’ Beckley spends nearly $1M on lease for Knievel jump reenactment

Pull quote:

“We’ve got all kinds of plans — a Plan B, Plan C and a Plan D. This thing isn’t over yet.”

– Scott Record, Twin Falls resident who lost bid to attempt Evel Knievel’s jump

BOISE • Last December, Big Ed Beckley walked to the edge of the dirt ramp where Evel Knievel attempted in 1974 to jump the Snake River Canyon.

“I sat on the end of that take-off ramp, looked out across that canyon and felt icy fingers come up my back,” he said.

“It said, ‘Go for it.’ I know that was Evel.”

On Friday, Beckley — a motorcycle stuntman from Texas — said he felt altogether different knowing he was one step closer to pulling off what no stuntman ever has.

He threw his arms in the air and shouted after securing his winning bid of $943,000 for the right to land his motorcycle across the canyon from where Knievel attempted the stunt 40 years ago.

The launch nearly killed Knievel, but on Friday Beckley smiled and joked wildly through the hour he bid against four other groups at the Idaho Department of Lands building in downtown Boise.

Beckley beat out Twin Falls BASE jumper Miles Daisher, who said it was his dream to attempt the stunt. Also skunked were locals Scott Record and Scott Truax who built an exact replica of the steam-powered rocket Knievel used.

“We are going to turn this into something huge and I’m expecting to be elected the mayor of Twin Falls, not burned at the stake,” Beckley said.

A life-long Knievel fan, Beckley said he watched the Butte, Mont. native’s historic attempt on pay-per-view television. He said he plans to jump with a rocket-powered motorcycle — not a steam-powered rocket with wheels — over the canyon at 230 miles an hour. A parachute will carry him to safety, he said.

“I’m the one who can get this done,” he said moments after winning the auction.

Beckley said he was confident in his team of engineers.

“I’ve always wanted to make my mark in life, but not on the north side of that wall,” he said, sweat rolling down his forehead.

The final price on the lease surprised many in the audience. What Beckley bought was a two-year lease on the 1,147 acres north of the canyon rim. The lease is $50,000 for two years and stipulates that the state gets a small percentage of what he makes on the event. Proceeds from the auction and lease will benefit Idaho public schools.

Beckley claimed he would pay the bill out-of-pocket.

Twin Falls Bidders

Record and Truax tried to silence the room with a $750,000 bid at one point. Their final bid was $880,000, which was much more than the $200,000 they thought would be reasonable, Record said.

“We thought we had that in the bag,” he said.

Record said he doesn’t think Beckley’s idea is feasible, he “can’t fathom” how he is going to make that money back and expects the Texan’s permits to be turned down based on his idea.

The two aren’t giving up, however. Record said he is in contact with Hollywood producers.

“We’ve got all kinds of plans — a Plan B, Plan C and a Plan D,” he said. “This thing isn’t over yet.”

Daisher said he grew up watching Knievel and sees the famous mound of dirt in the distance each time he BASE jumps from the Perrine Bridge.

Daisher, who partnered with the Chicago-based REO Development Group, said he wasn’t comfortable starting a project nearly a million dollars in the hole. He wasn’t ashamed after his team surrendered with a final bid of $658,000.

“As an athlete, I’m not afraid to walk away from some jumps if they get too scary,” he said.

Although he had worked for years on the project, Daisher said he wasn’t ready to “lay over and stick my legs in the air just yet.” He still hopes to dazzle his hometown.

“That’s my home team right there,” he said of Twin Falls. “My heart is beating fast and I hope this will be a catalyst for me to do a bigger, better project.”

Knievel’s Legacy

Evel’s son, Kelly Knievel, now a Las Vegas resident, said he wasn’t sure how he felt about the news of a jump moving forward. Whether Beckley’s attempt is successful or not will never change his father’s legacy, he said.

“There’s only one Evel Knievel and there will never be another Evel Knievel,” he said in a telephone interview.

Regardless, Kelly, 53, said he was excited to hear about the attempt and would try to attend if it moves forward.

“I’ll be the first guy out there putting a shovel in the ground and cutting the ribbon,” he said jokingly. “Nah, I’ll wish whoever flies over the canyon the best of luck.”

What’s Next?

Twin Falls City Councilman and Chamber of Commerce President Shawn Barigar looked a bit starstruck after the auction ended.

“Wow,” he said. “I did not anticipate that number today.”

City personnel have waited to see who won the state’s land permit before finishing its permitting requirements, he said. Barigar said the city will have a “thoughtful process” to ensure public health and safety from the event that’s likely to draw thousands of spectators.

“We’ll be looking at how we can ensure the city capitalizes on an event like this while mitigating those potential negative impacts,” he said.

Beckley will also need permits from many other state and federal agencies, Barigar said. When discussions about reenacting the jump come up periodically, about 30 different agencies are in the room, he said.

Whether or not Beckley will successfully navigate the permitting process remains to be seen. But he is now closer than any other person who has been interested.

Beckley said he would have loved to see Robbie Knievel — one of Evel’s sons who still performs motorcycle stunts — try the jump.

“I just don’t think he is physically able right now,” Beckley said.

When asked if he would have liked to see a reenactment stay in the family, Kelly had a quick answer.

“No one is saying that a Knievel won’t re-attempt it,” he said.

Bill Rundle, a Butte man who was one of Evel’s mechanics and watched the canyon jump when he was 16, was skeptical of the event. He said the only way the jump would “mean anything” was if Robbie was in the drivers seat.

“Will it ever be what it was? I don’t think so,” he said.

Chad Harrington, who runs the Evel Knievel Days in Butte, Mont., agreed that a successful jump would not change how Evel’s attempt is remembered. That, he said, was Evel’s brainchild and that it has been 40 years since anyone has mounted the ramp is a testament to his bravery and genius.

But Harrington doesn’t see the jump quite like Rundle — those who competed for the lease Friday were not hoping to best Evel.

They were paying for the right to pay their respects.

“It would be a hell of an achievement,” he said. “… A tribute.”

_____________________________________________________
Source: Magic Valley (Smith, 9/28)

How Much Protein Do You Need Each Day?

One of the most controversial and confusing aspects of nutrition is how much protein people should consume each day.    There are several factors to take into account to get a good answer to this question, and there are potential problems with eating too much protein.   There are also definitely problems with not eating enough protein.  It is also important to consider what type of protein is being consumed.
Height, weight, age, sex and activity level all factor into your protein needs.   Obviously the larger you are the more protein you need to take in to support structural proteins throughout the tissues of the body including the muscles, bone, skin and organs.  In the same way the more active you are the more protein you need to consume.  In addition, protein is used to create enzymes, and enzymes are critically important for all cellular function.
Protein is made up of amino acids and there are essential and non-essential amino acids.    Essential amino acids MUST be consumed because they cannot be made by the body.    Complete proteins contain all the amino acids and come from meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy.   While vegetarian proteins are not complete it is not hard to combine different plant protein sources to obtain all the protein the body needs to function.
Other factors which influence how much protein is required is overall caloric/energy status.     If you are eating enough calories to maintain bodyweight or gain bodyweight you require less protein as a percentage of overall calorie intake while those people in caloric deficit require a higher percentage of their overall calorie intake to maintain lean tissue mass (losing lean mass like muscle is usually NOT a good idea so this is important).
How much is too much?

In large amounts and for certain populations (such as those with compromised Kidney Function) excess protein can cause problems.    That being said, for the normal healthy individual, the body can easily and safely process and use a lot of protein.    A portion of the protein you eat is frequently converted to glucose (blood sugar) and if your overall calorie intake is too high you will convert excess protein into fat like ALL unused excess calories.
Another potential problem with too much protein is that high protein intake stimulates the release of mTOR which stands for Mammalian Target of Rapamycin.    mTOR is a key regulatory protein that signals for cell growth through the creation of new proteins. Consider protein building similar to a race car. The larger the engine, the greater potential for speed. Similarly, the more mTOR present in any given cell, the greater potential for more protein construction. And just like the gas pedal fuels the engine, mTOR is a signaling protein, and can be various levels of active (like a pedal’s ability to regulate speed). If a number of different processes all signal for ‘Go’, then the cell builds as much protein as it can, as quickly as it can. So just as a souped-up car takes off rapidly, a muscle cell can signal for tremendous muscle growth very quickly, given the right conditions.   n
For this reason, mTOR is a good thing when you are looking for muscle-building!  However, there is a potential dark-side to mTOR.   Cancerous tumors are designed to grow as fast as possible, and they rely on mTOR signaling to build proteins just like healthy cells.   So too much mTOR could theoretically put people at a higher risk of developing rapid and serious cancers.  In fact, a lot of cancer research is based around slowing down and minimizing mTOR activity in tumor cells (the exact opposite goal of muscle research).
 
This doesn’t necessarily mean that eating more protein for muscle building is going to cause cancer. Numerous other proteins and factors come into play, and some may respond differently in muscle cells than in cancerous cells.
Safe and Adequate Protein Intake

The Institute of Medicine’s protein RDAs are calculated using 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means an adult who weighs 68 kilograms needs at least 54 grams of protein each day. The RDA for pregnant and nursing women is 71 grams of protein per day.  Keep in mind the RDA is a MINIMUM and does not mean this is ideal!   This also assumes you are sedentary!   So, if you are exercising and trying to build muscle or older and trying to prevent muscle loss higher protein intake is better.  To determine your minimum daily intake, divide your body weight by 2.2 to determine your weight in Kilograms and then multiply by .8 to get your minimum daily protein intake.  
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that although athletes only need about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to maintain muscle mass, they require 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram to build muscle mass; this is equivalent to about 0.64 to 0.82 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.

Franchisee Profile: Bill and Bob Aicklen

Franchisee Profile: Bill and Bob Aicklen

Bill Aicklen and his brother Bob, who is currently based in Texas, will be opening their fifth Workout Anytime gym in May. The brothers opened their first gym in Decatur in November 2009; bought the company’s flagship store in Dunwoody in 2012; purchased the brand’s first franchise location in Douglasville in 2013, and built their fourth store in Rome in June 2013. 

Bill, 63, received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Old Dominion University in Virginia, and landed his first job in the banking industry working in the operations and financial systems department. From there, Bill moved on to spend the next 30 years of his career in the computer software business, performing various roles including post-sales, training and support. 

In 2006, Bill decided that he wanted to get out of corporate America and Bob, who was interested in investing in businesses, invited Bill to manage the operations. 

The first business that the brothers partnered in was an express oil change franchise. They built and operated two stores in Woodstock before selling in 2012 to focus their time and effort on Workout Anytime. 
How did you learn about Workout Anytime? 
We were looking for other business opportunities, and Bob came across Workout Anytime on the Internet. A business broker also presented the concept to us. 
Why did you choose an opportunity with Workout Anytime? 
From a franchise standpoint, it’s an easy business to get into; it’s simple. There’s not a lot of moving parts and you can staff the gym with just one or two people. Also, we both have strong customer service backgrounds and understand the importance of hiring the right people and providing excellent service. 
How has business been since joining the brand? 
We have between 1000-1700 active members at each location. Since we took over the Douglasville store and invested money into upgrading the equipment, we have turned it around. Our club in Rome is based in a small city with very little competition in terms of big name brands, and we have been very successful there. I expect Suwannee to also do well because it’s in a highly concentrated residential area. 
Are you involved in any charities or community outreach?
We localize our charity work depending on the club, and we usually donate free memberships for silent 
auctions. We also partner with Red Cross by allowing them to park their blood drive buses in our parking lots every quarter – the next drive will be in Douglasville at 3pm on May 12. We have also previously put buckets in our gyms for people to donate pet supplies for the Humane Society.

Weight-Loss Motivation: 9 Reasons to Reach Your Weight-Loss Goals

Weight-Loss Motivation: 9 Reasons to Reach Your Weight-Loss Goals

By Carey Rossi
SHUTTERSTOCK

You’ll Be Less Likely to Get Inflammatory Conditions

Your weight-loss motivation: Fat—especially belly fat—is filled with cells that release pro-inflammatory substances into your body, which means your immune system is too busy to fight off other types of inflammation. This increases your risk of anything with an -itis (arthritis, dermatitis, colitis): “If you’re genetically predisposed to these conditions, obesity puts you at a higher risk,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women. Lose weight and you’ll see many of the aches, pains, rashes, and other discomforts subside.

You’ll Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

Your weight-loss motivation: Being obese increases your risk of at least seven types of cancer: bowel, breast, gall bladder, kidney, pancreatic, throat, and uterine. In fact, your risk of developing one of these cancers is approximately 40 percent higher than if you maintained a healthy weight, according to Cancer Research UK. The reason? That same chronic inflammation we mentioned before.

Your Heart Will Be Stronger

Your weight-loss motivation: Excess fat around your heart or lining your blood vessels makes blood flow difficult and increases your risk of a heart attack. “Every 5 point increase in BMI increases mortality from cardiovascular events and diseases 30 percent,” says Peeke. But as you lose weight, blood flow becomes easier, lowering your risk of heart disease

You’ll Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

Your weight-loss motivation: “If you eat an unhealthy diet, and you’re lucky, you just keep making insulin as you need it, and you keep getting heavier and heavier,” says Roxanne Sukol, MD, a specialist in Preventive Medicine for Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. “But when you can’t quite make enough insulin to catch all that sugar, then your sugars stay a little too high, a little too long, floating around in your blood steam waiting for more insulin.” Eventually, your body can’t make enough insulin, causingdiabetes. “But start eating a healthier diet (unprocessed foods high in fiber) and you’ll reduce your insulin load and risk of diabetes,” says Sukol. “And when you do, your pants will fit better, too.”

You’ll Sleep Better

Your weight-loss motivation: Weight loss lessened the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (a sleep disorder characterized by the stopping and starting of breathing) in a study published in Sleep. “Once you drop enough weight, you’ll notice changes in the ability to breathe easier,” says Peeke. (Belly fat pushes your diaphragm up, decreasing lung volume.)

You’ll Boost Fertility

Your weight-loss motivation: Wanna be a mom? Women with BMIs between 35 and 40 have a 23 to 43 percent decreased chance of getting pregnant compared to women whose BMI is 29, according to Peeke. Not to mention, being overweight during pregnancy increases your risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia—and your child’s risk of heart disease later in life, according to research presented at the American Heart Association 2014 Scientific Sessions in Chicago. “Don’t consider getting pregnant until you’re at a healthy weight,” says Peeke.

You May Live Longer

Your weight-loss motivation: “A grand majority of researchers found that being 80 pounds overweight can shorten your life expectancy by 10-plus years,” says Peeke. “And 14-plus years if you’re 100 pounds overweight.”

You’ll Have a Better Quality of Life

Your weight-loss motivation: A healthy weight doesn’t just increase the amount of years you’re on this earth—it makes you better able to enjoy them. “Forty to fifty pounds of excess weight can rob you of two decades of healthy life,” says Peeke. That means two decades of doctor’s appointments, medical treatments, living with pain, and being out of breath—instead of, say, running around outside with your kids.

One Last Thing…

Just like you can’t spot-train, you can’t determine the specific health benefit yourweight loss will produce. Everything in the body is interconnected, so losing weight isn’t just going to help your heart, just your brain, or just your immune system, says Peeke. Your whole body is going to reap the rewards. Convinced? Check out these 10 Strategies to Lose Fat and Keep It Off.
Source

Fixing Common Diet Mistakes

Fixing Common Diet Mistakes

by Jeff Angus

Fix These Common Dieting Mistakes To Hit Your Goals Without Ruining Your Health

Common Diet Mistakes
© Getty Images

As a species, humans have evolved largely through successfully finding the path of least resistance. Physiologically, the human body also operates this way. This is why a marathon runner can cover 20 miles without breaking a sweat, while a rugby forward would have significant difficulties doing the same thing. The body likes to do what it is good at doing.

However, when it comes to diets and nutrition, the path of least resistance is rarely the recommended route to take. Doing what is easy involves quick meals, short-term solutions, and processed and packaged foods that take little to no time to prepare. It is very difficult to create effective and impactful health changes in a few days or weeks, which is exactly what many miracle diets promise to deliver. Looking good and feeling good over the long term requires discipline, but the process of getting there should — and can — be an enjoyable one.
I don’t particularly like the word diet, more for how it is used than for what it actually means. Simply put, your diet is the food you consume. Here are three very practical and simple fixes you can utilise to correct your past (or current) diet mistakes.
1) Cleanses are bad (very, very bad) 
At the very least, juice/health/detoxification cleanses (whatever you want to call them) are very expensive. And they are also ineffective and potentially very bad for your body, too. Sounds like a lose-lose situation, right? So why do so many people continue on with them? The reason for the popularity of cleanses is threefold — effective marketing and celebrity endorsements, a short-time duration before promised success, and ease-of-use. How hard can it be to only drink juice or a specific concoction of bizarre ingredients for a few days to rid your body of all unwanted toxins?
Cleanses are a great example of the dangers of human psychology and the “more is better” principle. If something (in this case, fruits and/or vegetables) is good for you, why shouldn’t you exclusively consume them? Cleanses “work” in the sense that you will lose weight not because of what you are consuming, but because of what you are not consuming. That is, food and nutrients required to function as a human being. Quick science lesson: most of the weight lost during short-term cleanses or calorically-restricted diets is simply water that your body has stored up. You will gain this weight right back (and often at an increased rate) when you go back to eating regularly. This, in a nutshell, is why crash diets and cleanses don’t work and end up doing more damage than good in the long term.
You don’t need an expensive collection of unnamed liquids to detoxify — our bodies and internal organs have been doing this task quite well for a long time. Andy Bellatti, a doctor and the author of Small Bites, has this to say about short-term diet fixes:
“Nutrition and health is about the big picture. What you do for five or seven days out of the year is pretty inconsequential.
Rather than worry about ‘detoxing,’ people would be better off thinking about eating nutritious, health-promoting foods on a daily basis. Think leafy greens, beans, whole fruit, nuts, and seeds. The idea that six months of unhealthy eating can somehow be remedied by drinking nothing but green juice for 72 hours is erroneous.”
Erroneous is a fancy word for stupid. Your body needs fat, fibre and protein to function, regardless of whether you are a professional athlete or someone who never steps foot in the gym. Without protein, your muscle tissue begins to break down after a few days. That sure sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Quick fix: avoid cleanses. Eat real food. Think long term. 
2) You don’t need to skip meals 
While there are many potential health benefits to fasting, developing a habit of skipping meals in order to lose weight or hit a short-term health goal is not an advisable strategy. A recent study from Finland has linked skipping meals with childhood obesity, and nearly one in 10 people skip breakfast each day. I’m not advising eating a big breakfast or emphasising that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (it isn’t). But if you are eating the right foods, you shouldn’t have to skip meals or create a love-hate relationship with food through a very rigid punishment-reward cycle. The aforementioned “more is better” mentality is so pervasive in our culture and it is to blame for many of the health problems nowadays. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t make up for a lifetime of bad eating habits by “forgetting” to eat.
Quick fix: if you are hungry, eat (preferably healthy and whole foods). Skipping meals is a band-aid solution.
3) Counting calories is a lot of work 

What is the real problem behind the obesity epidemic? Is it the amount of fat we are consuming? Maybe. How about the amount of sugar in the average diet? Very likely. The 21st century North American is, on average, incredibly resistant to insulin, and that is largely because of the amount of sugar and highly-processed carbohydrates available to consume. Can counting calories fix these issues? Should we, as a society, be acutely aware of the exact amount of calories we put into our bodies every day?

I think it is a good practice for people to spend a few days counting calories if they have never done so before. The only real goal with this exercise is to gain an awareness of what you are actually eating on a daily basis (and I guarantee that the results will surprise you). However, people that focus their diets completely around hitting certain caloric goals are, once again, attempting to find a short-term fix to a long-term issue.
At their very core, no two calories are the same. Nutrition-dense foods (fruits, vegetables) compared to foods that are largely processed (packaged goods) will impact your health in different ways beyond just the amount of calories they contain. Counting calories can increase awareness, but beyond that, it opens up the door to a bevy of potential issues — information overload (which can lead to stress and burnout), an obsession with reduced fat or fat-free products (which are generally unhealthier than their full-fat alternatives), and a general lack of enjoyment related to foods and eating.
And beyond being extremely tedious, calorie counting may not even be very accurate.
Because of incorrect labelling, laboratory errors, and differences in food quality and preparation, calorie counts recorded on food labels and websites — even those within the USDA’s nutrient databases — can be off by as much as 25%.
Let’s take a brief step back and think about health philosophically . The real reason that many of us strive to live a healthy and active lifestyle is to look good and to feel good. Feeling good and looking good often support each other. And so much of feeling good (and, naturally, looking good) relates to minimising stress. Counting calories is stressful. So by taking a long-term view of your health, you can see that what seems like an effective solution with counting calories could actually be contributing to your unhealthiness in the first place.
Here is some sage wisdom on health and nutrition from Dr David Ludwig, a professor at Harvard Medical School.
“Very few people can lose weight over the long term with low-calorie diets. And those who can’t are blamed for lack of discipline and willpower. So, according to an alternative view, weight is controlled like body temperature and a range of other biological functions. Eating too much refined carbohydrate has, by this theory, raised insulin levels and programmed our fat cells to suck in and store too many calories. When this happens, there are too few calories for the rest of the body. So the brain recognises this and triggers the starvation response. We experience that as becoming excessively hungry and our metabolism slows down. … Eventually we succumb to hunger and overeat.”
So a better approach, if this theory is correct, is to address the problem at its source by cutting back on the foods that are over-stimulating our fat cells: the refined carbohydrates like grains, potato products and concentrated sugars — especially the refined grains. And by eating this way, we can basically ignore calories and let our body-weight control systems do the work.
Don’t take a hard line approach to anything related to diet or nutrition. What works for other people may not work for you, and vice versa. Always be thinking long term. Short term solutions often lead to problems down the road. Unlike cleanses or quick fix diets, none of the above tips will help you in the short term. But, also unlike cleanses or quick fix diets, all three of them will work.
Source

Paperless Mission #9: Setting Up Your Class with Evernote

This is the ninth installment in my Go Paperless! Challenge Series. You can check out the other entries in the series here. Also be sure to link up with my Paperless Challenge Linky!

Mission #9: Set Up Your Class with Evernote

Today’s mission assumes that your class has easy access to technology. I teach in a 1:1 iPad setting, but I realize how blessed I am to have this and how few people — especially at the elementary level — get to do this. For those of you who have less access to classroom technology, I’m including modifications that you’ll be able to use at the end of the article.

It’s been a couple months since I started drinking the Evernote Kool-Aid, and I’m still loving it. I don’t have to worry about losing papers or information, and it has become my repository for just about everything. For the first time in my professional live, I feel like I’m getting a handle on organization. But then I see this:

And I’m reminded that just because I’m organized, doesn’t mean that my students are. In fact, all year long my fourth graders have been struggling with keeping track of class notes, transporting work between home and school, and remembering what materials to use to study for tests and quizzes. Part of that unquestionably comes with the age and maturity levels of 10-year-olds, but given how awesome technology has become, I knew there had to be a better way.

Enter student Evernote accounts. My students used Evernote on their iPads for the last 6 weeks of school, and I’ve been very pleased with the results. Here’s how we set it up.

Step #1: Register for new Evernote accounts.

This step can be done on either a computer or an iPad. (My pics will show the iPad view.) Students will need to have an email address in order to complete registration, but this can be tricky with students who are under the age of 13 since many of the students don’t have email yet. One work around that we found was to set up a class email address on Gmail (ex: [email protected]). Then, you can add the “+”symbol to the end of the username along with a string of letters and/or numbers before the “@gmail.com” ending. Evernote thinks all of these are different addresses, but Gmail doesn’t pay attention to anything after the “+” symbol, so everything will go back to the “fakeeberopolis” account. This lets students register without ever giving them an email address.

I had students put their lunch account numbers after the plus symbol, but names or other number combinations would work too. You just have to have the info after the “+” symbol be unique to each student so Evernote doesn’t think they’ve already registered. 

I let the students choose their own usernames and passwords, and I had them record those in a safe place so they could share them with parents. Next year, I’m likely to collect the information as well so I can easily help the students recover it. They don’t sign in and out of Evernote usually — they just stay logged in, so many of them forget.

Step #2: Build Notebooks for the Subject Areas

My students created notebooks for Reading, Writing, Word Study, Math, Science, and Social Studies. They later added notebooks for their Spanish and Music classes. During the set-up phase, we talked about the differences between notebooks and notes and how to move notes from one notebook to another. Next year, when I start this from the beginning of the year, we’ll also talk a lot about tagging notes to make them easier to find.
 

Why Student Evernote Notebooks Rock

1. More instructional time because transitions are so easy. Transitions between subjects used to take us forever because students would forget to grab a notebook or not have all the materials ready on time. Now transitions are just a quick stretch or brain break. They have all of their notes right in front of them already. We’re abandoning the cluttered bins and drawers.

2. Students are more accountable and prepared. We don’t have to worry about forgetting work at home or getting lost between home and school. It’s all in one place. In addition, students are able to create more comprehensive class notes. If we read an article using GoodReader, students can save it to their Evernote notebook. If we develop an anchor chart as a class, students can take a picture of it and add it to their notes to refer back to long after it’s gone from the classroom display. If they make a model of different types of triangles using toothpicks, they can photograph their work and add in captions later. More learning gets archived than we’d ever accomplish with a paper model.

3. Everything is portable between home and school. Students don’t get to take their iPads home, but as long as they save their work in Evernote, they can access it from any computer or mobile device. It also means that students aren’t leaving important readings or materials at school when they need to study for a test. I’ve had many frustrated parents complain that their child wasn’t bringing home the right materials to review for tests this year — especially because we don’t use traditional textbooks at my school — and this remedies all of that.

Another portability example is that I’ve also had students use Evernote as a word processor when they’re working on longer writing assignments because they can pick up their work between home and school. (In the future, I’d like to use Google Drive as their word processor, but until we get there as a school, this is an acceptable alternative.) Once students are ready to turn in a finished piece of writing, they copy and paste it into Pages, clean up the formatting, and turn it in through Edmodo. It has worked brilliantly this term, and I’m seeing much longer, more developed pieces of writing at all stages of the writing process now. I really think the ease of this process has played a role.

Now that we’re using Evernote regularly in the classroom, I can’t imagine ever going back. While I will miss the massive influx of office supplies (composition books, notebooks, etc) at the start of the next school year, I’m falling in love with the fact that the only things I take home with me each night are my laptop and iPad. Going paperless has been a glorious thing.

What are some ways you could use Evernote with your students? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

1948 Packard woody station wagon and matching teardrop trailer

https://silodrome.com/packard-eight-station-sedan-teardrop-camper/

Just For Kicks: Macco Motors’ XS400

Less is more: Macco Motors' custom Yamaha XS400 is so minimal, it's even lost its electric start.Most custom builders don’t enjoy messing with electrics: they’ll install a lithium-ion battery to save weight and leave it at that. More adventurous workshops might rip out the fuses and install a control box like the Motogadget m-Unit.
Jose and Tito of Macco Motors have just gone one step further. To satisfy a client’s rather odd request, they’ve removed the entire electric start system from their latest build. To fire up this XS400, you need good old-fashioned muscle.
Less is more: Macco Motors' custom Yamaha XS400 is so minimal, it's even lost its electric start.
“Hans wanted a café racer based on the three-cylinder Yamaha XS750,” explains Jose, “but he was having a tough time finding a suitable donor. A lot of classic bikes didn’t make it to Spain in the glory years.”

The Macco lads settled on a 1978-spec XS400 A2A in good condition, and fitted a XS750 fuel tank. Then came Hans’ unusual request. “He wanted us to replace and relocate the battery,” says Jose, “and a few days later asked us to remove the starting system electrics—leaving only the kick start. He wondered if it was possible, and we said yes.”
Less is more: Macco Motors' custom Yamaha XS400 is so minimal, it's even lost its electric start.
Macco called in a friend to help: ex-MotoGP mechanic Sergio Pitencel, who worked with Carlos Checa and Roberto Puig in the Honda team in the ’90s. “He’s a wise man from whom we learnt a lot.”

The battery was removed and the circuit converted from DC to AC. Two control modules were then made up: one for the starter system and another one for the lights, which are powered by a small 8Ah Lithium-ion battery from Ballistic.
An adjustable voltage regulator also had to be made up, and the coils were replaced with smaller items taken from a jet-ski. (That’s not even the full list of mods, but the rest will only be of interest to electricians.)
Less is more: Macco Motors' custom Yamaha XS400 is so minimal, it's even lost its electric start.
After clearing the electrical obstacles, the rest of the build was pretty straightforward.

Spoked wheels were on the brief. So the standard 18-inch mags were ditched, replaced by SR250 rims—19 inches at the front and 18 at the rear. After fabricating a new front axle, Macco installed classic Hagon shocks and fitted Metzeler Lasertec rubber.
The tuned engine now breathes through a pair of K&N filters and shorty mufflers. There’s a chopped subframe and a very neat fiberglass tail section with a license plate support.
Less is more: Macco Motors' custom Yamaha XS400 is so minimal, it's even lost its electric start.
The finishing touches are typically classy. Inverted Tarozzi semi-elevated clip-ons are wrapped in brown leather grips to match the seat—a detail that’s repeated on the kick-start lever and gear shifter. Hooked into the new electric circuit are a new analogue speedo and tacho, mini turn signals and a 6.5-inch headlight.

Less is more: Macco Motors' custom Yamaha XS400 is so minimal, it's even lost its electric start.
The XS, now christened “Dark Bullet”, was then finished in a typically Macco fashion: matte black and raw steel, punctuated by gold pinstripes. Everything has been refinished, including the engine, wheels and frame, and it’s right on the button.

Except there’s no button. You just have to use your leg to start it.
Macco Motors | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Sergio Ibarra from Semimate.

First read on bikeexif.com
Less is more: Macco Motors' custom Yamaha XS400 is so minimal, it's even lost its electric start.

And More: Deal and Sales – Battlefield 4 Expansion, Second Assault is Free from EA – Two Days Left [Notification]

Just a quick mention, for those who didn’t catch it yet or for those who play [or never stopped playing!] Battlefield 4Second Assault, the Expansion pack that adds Four Maps, Five Weapons, Ten Assignments and more, is currently being given away Free from EA/Origin until the 28th – that’s only two days left to go get it!

Battlefield 4: Second Assault Expansion Pack Information Panel
in the “On The House” Section [ Free Games > On The House] in EA’s Origin Game Client (Click to see Full Size)

Note that you need to already own Battlefield 4, as this is an Expansion Pack, but you can still get it now – even if you don’t own BF4 – and play it later. Go and Download it now! GOGOGO

Battlefield 4: Second Assault Expansion Promotional Wallpaper by EA, Unedited
(Click to see Full Size)

See You In The Game!

Long Bean Benefits For Health

LONG BEANS BENEFITS FOR HEALTH

Long Beans Benefits For Health Long Beans are vegetables that very often we encounter in everyday dishes. Whether it’s for home cooking and restaurant cooking. There are also cook it in a way sauteed, but some are making to raw vegetables.
But despite the long beans so popular for the food, I’m sure not everyone knows about the nutritional value as well as the nutrients found in these vegetables. In fact, long beans have vitamins and minerals also are quite high which is also beneficial to health.
Long Bean Benefits For Health
So, to increase your knowledge about health, here we present an overview of the nutritional content of beans as well as health benefits.
Nutrient Long Bean
Long beans contain a variety of essential nutrients for your body, including:
As a Source of Protein
With a protein content that is at least 8.3 grams per 100 grams chickpea stew, the bean vegetable vegetables long become a source of vegetable protein in our body needs protein for every day.
Vitamin B Complex
In every 100 grams of beans boiled which contains 146 mcg of folate (37% requirement), 0.2 mg of thiamin (14% requirement); 0.1 mg vitamin B6 (5% requirement); and 0.1 mg of riboflavin (4% needs); 0.4 mg of pantothenic acid (4% requirement); serta0,6 mg niacin (3% requirement). Various vitamin B complex contained in the long bean is an essential nutrient for our bodies.
In general, vitamin B complex plays an important role in energy production and nerve function in our body, so vitamin B deficiency is usually characterized by fatigue and lack of energy.
Contain High Fiber
Long beans are vegetables that are rich in fiber. In every 100 grams of beans boiled, no fiber content up to 4 grams and meet 15% of our daily fiber needs. Fibers on long beans are available in the form of pectin, which is a soluble fiber, to very good in helping keep blood sugar at normal levels, as well as for normal fat metabolism.
Mineral content of Long Bean
Long Beans are also rich in various minerals, among others :
Containing Calcium
In Every 100 grams of beans boiled which contains 42 mg of calcium (4% requirement). Calcium is an essential mineral for the formation of bones and teeth healthy and strong as well, also for nerve and muscle function optimally.
Containing Iron
In Every 100 grams of beans boiled which contains 2.6 mg of iron (15% requirement). Iron is an essential component for the formation of enzymes for a variety of chemical reactions in the body, and forming the main component of red blood cells and cells
muscle.
Contains Magnesium
In Every 100 grams of beans boiled which contains 98 mg of magnesium (25% requirement), where the mineral content is very important for healthy bones and teeth, muscle and nerve function, as well as the activity of enzymes in the body.
Long Bean Benefits For Health
Containing Manganese
In Every 100 grams of boiled string beans also contain 0.5 mg of manganese (24% requirement). Manganese is essential for enzyme activity, and also for the metabolism of carbohydrates and joint health.
Containing Phosphorus
In Every 100 grams of beans boiled which contains 181 mg of phosphorus (18% requirement), which is also important in energy production and the formation of bones and teeth.
Containing Copper
In Every 100 grams of beans boiled which contains 0.2 mg of copper (11%). Copper is important for skin health, it also increases the body’s resistance to stress and disease.
Containing Potassium
In Every 100 grams of beans boiled which contains 315 mg of potassium (9% requirement), which is important for nerve function and also our muscles.
Containing Zinc
In Every 100 grams of boiled string beans also contain 1.1 mg of zinc and zinc (7% requirement). Zinc is a component of enzymes involved in the formation of red blood cells and bone.
Containing Selenium
In Every 100 grams of boiled string beans also contain 2.8 mcg selenium (4% requirement), where selenium is an essential mineral in the synthesis of the enzyme, which also acts as an antioxidant against free radicals in our bodies.

Well, that’s what some of the vitamins and minerals contained in the beans. For you who like to consume either in the form of beans and vegetables stir fry, continue the positive trend.

WORKOUT ANYTIME in the Cincinnati Enquirer Community Press

WORKOUT ANYTIME in the Cincinnati Enquirer Community Press in an article titled, “Mercy Health’s new hospital could be economic boon to township.” The article focuses on the opening of the Mercy Health – West Hospital in Green Township and how that is creating an opportunity for businesses in the community including the new Cincinnati WORKOUT ANYTIME. The article begins with details about the new hospital, then goes into the economic development going on in the area. The article then details some of the businesses opening in the area, including Tony Petrocelli’s Cincinnati WORKOUT ANYTIME. The article includes this information provided by No Limit Agency: “Cincinnati resident Tony Petrocelli is opening the first Workout Anytime in Ohio near the hospital, in a space that was previously a WesBanco and had been vacant for six years.” The article ends with info on other businesses and plans for development in the area.  Click here for the entire article or begin below.

Mercy Health’s new hospital could be economic boon to township
By: Kurt Backschneider

GREEN TWP. — While township leaders are excited about the state-of-the-art medical services Mercy Health is bringing to the West Side, they’re also looking forward to economic development opportunities the new hospital will help attract.

Mercy Health – West Hospital, a 250-bed, full-service hospital off of North Bend Road near Interstate 74, will open for business Sunday, Nov. 10. 

Roughly five years in the making, the $240 million hospital will feature the latest advancements in patient care and comfort, new technologies, private patient rooms and expanded medical services for West Siders.

(Read More)

4 Detox Ingredients You Should Be Adding to Your Water

4 Detox Ingredients You Should Be Adding to Your Water

by Leta Shy 

When you’re trying to get your health back on track, there are many ways to detox your way to feeling better. The best way to flush out toxins, however, is simple: lots and lots of water. But you don’t have to drink it plain; you can add a little flavour as well with these delicious (and detoxifying) additions. Add all of these to a large jug or bottle full of ice and water and drink throughout the next day for an effective way to detox! It helps to let these pieces soak overnight in your fridge to let the flavours mingle.
  • Lemon: Lemon water makes for a powerful detox drink; lemon juice helps to cleanse and alkalise the body. Add one thinly sliced lemon to a large pitcher, or squeeze fresh lemon juice into your glass.
  • Mint: Mint adds a touch of sweetness without the sugar to your water, and it also helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion as well.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber water isn’t just for spas. Adding a few slices of cucumber to your water makes for excellent rehydration, and cucumber also contains anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Ginger: The spicy root helps cleanse out your system, aids in digestion, and settles your stomach. A little goes a long way, so start with a few thin slices or grate a tiny piece into your water and taste before adding more as necessary.
To make one serving of detox water, add three to five slices of cucumber, half a lemon, and a few sprigs of mint leaves to 700ml ounces of ice-cold water. You can also add sliced peeled ginger (about a one-inch piece of ginger root, or to taste) for a spicy kick.
Source

Best Auto Insurance Companies-How To Choose The Best Auto Insurance Company

Choosing the best auto insurance companies from hundreds of available auto insurance companies is really tough, because when you are searching you will find that all auto insurance companies claim they are the best auto insurance companies in the market.

You will easily get confused if you go to their website because every car insurance company claims that they have the best quality customer services, the cheapest auto insurance rates, the highest discount programs and the best auto insurance policy which will be fit within your budget.

Customers fall into the trap of numerous glamorous advertisement of auto insurance companies which often leads them to the wrong auto insurance companies. If you face these problems then how can you choose the best autoinsurance companies within your budget?

To find the best auto insurance companies you have to compare car insurance companies, consider some facts about them and follow few simple tips.

The best auto insurance company is an approximate term because it can be either cheap auto insurance or the right auto insurance within your budget. Some drivers think cheap car insurance companies are the best car insurance companies, but cheap car insurance policy can be a frustrating if your claims do not get approved. Also auto insurance with high premiums cannot be always the best because you may pay for unnecessary coverage.

The best auto insurance companies could be such companies which provide cheap car insurance within your budget without any hassle, have quality customer service and have a strong financial position. These are the main criteria to choose the best auto insurance companies.

Compare Auto Insurance Quotes Online
It is the best and easiest way to check which auto insurance companies are best. Go to individual auto insurance companies websites and collect the quotes by giving your personal information, driving records and vehicle information. Compare car insurance quotes and choose which insurance company offers cheaper auto insurance rates than others.

Which Auto Insurance Companies Have High Quality Services And Greater Customer Satisfaction
Though every auto insurance advertises that their services are high quality, you have to check by following these steps.

Step 1. Review Customers Testimonial Page: every auto insurance company has a testimonial page where customers write reviews about the services of this company and how satisfy they are. Search as many companies testimonial page as you can and you will get the basic idea about service quality and how is the customer satisfaction.

Step 2. Ask, Ask and Ask: ask people around you who have insurance policy already from different auto insurance companies and you will get the real situation about the service quality. Insurance companies may publish only positive reviews because of reputation, but getting information by asking car drivers cannot be deceptive.

Step 3. Get Information From Forums And Community Blog: in a forum you can ask question about which is the best auto insurance companies in your state or country and the forum members will answer and discuss the question. You will get more information from the real insurance policy holders.

No matter how cheap the auto insurance are and how much discount you get from, you will recognize the auto insurance companies as the best which stand beside you when the accident happens and if you feel there is someone on the other side to support you and process your claim as soon as possible.

Ben’s CX500

Ben's CX500 1
Ben Pilatti from Collie, a small mining town in the corner of Western Australia has never met David Mucci from Chicago, Illinois but he certainly catches his drift. People in far flung corners of the globe being inspired by those on completely separate continents who share but one thing in common, a passion for motorcycles. It is certainly heartwarming stuff for the January of a New Year. It was David’s CX500 that proved the key source of inspiration when Ben embarked on his first bike build nearly 11000 miles away and no doubt David would be pleased to see this lovely CX his original encouraged.
Ben's CX500 2
Last year Ben completed his design degree (majoring in architecture) and currently works in Perth in the IT sales industry, but motorcycles, more specifically transverse twin motorcycles, are in his blood.
“What inspired me was my brother getting a Moto Guzzi V7 Racer back in 2012. We have a couple of Guzzis in the family so I guess that’s where the transverse v-twin fixation came from!”
Eager to get cracking on his first bike Ben sourced a ’78 Honda CX500 from a guy named Mario a little north of Perth. The bike belonged to Mario’s father-in-law from new and they had brought the bike to Perth when they moved over from South Africa. Ben in effect became the 37 year old bikes second owner from new. It had relatively low kms for its age and was in stunning condition due to its life spent basking in the sun.
Ben's CX500 3
Ben is an amateur when it comes to mechanics but he tackled most of the work himself in his uncle’s shed.
“In terms of upgrades all I really needed to do was replace the original CDI with a kick-ass aftermarket Ignitech unit. From there I replaced the bars, indicators, gauges, tail light, mirrors, headlight unit, front and rear guards, rear shock absorbers, exhaust and muffler.”
Ben got the majority of the parts from Modern Motorcycle Company in Melbourne. Hellbound Cycle Supply and Custom Bike Electrics, two local Perth suppliers, sorted him with the rest of the bits.
Ben's CX500 4
“Challenges wise, replacing the water pump seal in the back of the engine in situ was a very difficult task. That, along with the constant cleaning and fine tuning of the carburettors. The inside of the tank was all flaky and rusty (as I discovered after a few awkward breakdowns…) so I had to hit it with a POR15 Tank Re-sealer kit. The first time I saw clean petrol flowing through the filter was a damn good day!”
With the inside of the tank sorted Ben opted to leave the metal on the outside bare. It requires polishing every fortnight or so to keep the oxidisation at bay, but Ben finds the process therapeutic.
Ben's CX500 5
66 Motorcycles in O’Connor helped out with chopping the frame and making up the seat pan. The seat was then upholstered by another local Perth professional who according to Ben did an amazing job. The wheels were powder coated in satin black before being fitted with Shinko tyres.
Ben's CX500 6
Ben uses the bike every day to get to work and to carry out errands, in the short amount of time he has had it completed the trusty CX has clocked up quite a significant amount of kilometres.
“A unique feature of the bike wold have to be the sound. I work in the Perth CBD so when I roll up into my parking spot and the sound is bouncing off the high walls of King Street, it makes me smile every time..”
Ben's CX500 7
“How does it ride? It’s quite good! I’m quite happy with the bike. The brakes are a little spongy and the front end is waaay too soft but other than that I love it. Especially with the new clubman bars! So next on the list is probably a nice set of progressive springs up front. I also have a twin-disk front end from a later model CX500 in my garage that I will get ready to put on soon.”
Ben's CX500 8
When he has finished fine tuning his CX, rather inevitably, Ben intends to get his hands on a Guzzi. Either an older Le Mans or a new V7 – “Something usable on the streets of Perth but also able to go on long runs down south to Collie and Margaret River on a whim.” We look forward to seeing that Ben, and who knows where around the globe lies the next budding amateur that Guzzi may inspire?

Published first on http://thebikeshed.cc

Ten Risk Factors That Cause Food Reactions (1-5)

The primary cause of most food reactions is incomplete digestion. At almost every meal, we eat foods that we don’t completely digest. The results are disastrous. When we eat foods we can’t digest, we almost always have some type of reaction.

Food that isn’t completely digested can enter our systems in large food macromolecules that cause a great deal of trouble. The body perceives these macromolecules of partly digested food as foreign invaders, similar to bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Then the body attacks them with the full force of the immune system.

This immune inflammatory attack creates the symptoms that you hate: fatigue, weakness, heartburn, aching joints and muscles, nasal stuffiness — and false fat.

There are several factors that most often cause incomplete digestion. To get started on the False Fat Diet, you’ve got to understand these factors and avoid them. In order of importance, here they are.

Risk Factor 1. We eat too narrow a range of foods.

It’s estimated that the average person gets about 75 per cent of his or her calories from just ten different foods. Most of us have our favourite foods, such as wheat and dairy products, and we rely on them far too much. When we overeat any one food, we exhaust our body’s ability to fully digest it.

Diet Start

Risk Factor 2. We eat too many fake foods.

We eat synthetic foods, such as fake fat and artificial sugar, that are manufactured in factories. No wonder we can’t digest this stuff! Furthermore, most of our packaged foods have been crammed with chemicals that human bodies cannot adequately metabolize. Often, a synthetic food has a long shelf life precisely because it can’t be broken down by nature.

Risk Factor 3. We have digestive enzyme deficiencies.

Many people are dangerously low in the enzymes that digest food. Even when these people eat healthy foods, they don’t have enough pancreatic enzymes to break the foods down properly.

Millions of people haven’t been genetically endowed with the right digestive enzymes to thrive on a modern, industrialized diet. For example, African Americans are ten times more likely than Caucasians to lack the enzyme that breaks down milk. Because a lack of enzymes is a common problem, the False Fat Diet generally includes supplementation with specific enzymes.

Another cause of enzyme insufficiency is our failure to ingest the natural enzymes that exist in foods. Many whole, unprocessed foods automatically come with the enzymes that are needed to help digest them, but before we eat these foods, we often kill the enzymes by cooking, processing, irradiation, and storage.

Because it’s important to eat foods with live enzymes still in them, patients on the False Fat Diet tend to eat a lot of fresh, whole, raw foods.

Another critically important digestive substance that millions of people lack is stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid. Unfortunately, production of this acid decreases as we age, which is why indigestion is more common among older people. Many people mistakenly think they have too much stomach acid, because they often get heartburn — but the opposite can be true. Heartburn can also be a sign of low acid. When you don’t have enough existing stomach acid from day to day, your stomach secretes too much when you eat to make up for the deficiency. Later on, I’ll tell you how to fix this deficiency.

Risk Factor 4. We eat food that is too refined.

Too much of our food is stripped of fibre and then shredded, pulverized, powdered — and finally stuck back together again with gluey fillers. By the time we eat it, it’s not much more than a predigested mush of starch and sugar. Unfortunately, this excessive processing often allows the food to rush into the bloodstream before it undergoes the complete digestive process. If this ‘predigested’ food still had its fibre, it would stay in the gut long enough to be fully digested, or it would be carried all the way through the system by the fibre and eliminated. Because of this factor, I urge people to avoid overly refined foods.

Risk Factor 5. We create our own intestinal problems.

One of the most common and harmful of these problems is a condition that allows undigested food macromolecules to slip through the intestinal wall. This condition is called ‘leaky gut syndrome,’ and doctors have only recently realized how hazardous it is. A leaky gut‘s wall is more permeable than it should be.

This permeability can be caused by eating chemical additives and also by drinking coffee or alcohol with meals. If you’ve noticed that you most frequently have food reactions when you have a cocktail with dinner or coffee with breakfast, you may have leaky gut syndrome.

Another primary cause of leaky gut syndrome is overgrowth of the natural yeast Candida albicans. Candida is usually present in the body and is mostly found in the mucous membranes — especially those in the intestines. It normally stays in balance with other healthy bacteria, but it can get out of control and increase gut wall permeability. It proliferates if you:

  • Take antibiotics, which kill all bacteria.
  • Take birth control pills.
  • Take steroid drugs.
  • Eat foods, such as sugar, that cause yeast to multiply.
  • Eat things that contain lots of yeast, such as bread and beer.
  • Have impaired immunity.

Candida is a major cause of bloating and often causes a ‘beer belly’ look. In fact, I think that many heavy beer drinkers with beer bellies aren’t nearly as far as they look, but are just swollen with candida, reactive gas, and fluids. I had one patient who lost his beer belly in a matter of days on the False Fat Diet. He was thrilled with his quick response, and it motivated him to stay with the diet.

2005 YAMAHA YZFR6 Motorcycle pictures, specification

2005 YAMAHA YZFR6 Motorcycle pictures, specification

Free download motorcycle wallpaper, here we provide some of wallpaper on motorcycle, as well asmotorcycle image and motorcycle Picture.

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TITLE: 2005 YAMAHA YZFR6 Motorcycle pictures, specification
IMAGE URL: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hM7HouAcFzI/TlJEm6HeDSI/AAAAAAAAAow/SYZuPPUg2f4/s1600/yamaha_r6_2005_motorcycle-desktop-wallpaper.jpg
IMAGE SIZE: 221130 B Bs
IMAGE WIDTH: 1600
IMAGE HEIGHT: 1200
SOURCE DOMAIN: yamahapictures.blogspot.com
SOURCE URL: http://yamahapictures.blogspot.com/2012/04/2005-yamaha-yzf-r6-motorcycle-pictures.html

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motorcycle review new motorcycles

motorcycle review  new motorcycles

2004 SUZUKI GStrider Concept motorcycle desktop wallpaper

2004 SUZUKI GStrider Concept motorcycle desktop wallpaper

2012 KAWASAKI Z1000 motorcycle desktop wallpaper

2012 KAWASAKI Z1000 motorcycle desktop wallpaper

Motorcycle Insurance in Kentucky Murphy Insurance Group

Motorcycle Insurance in Kentucky  Murphy Insurance Group

Honda CB550 – Old Empire Motorcycles

The ever-useful Wikipedia notes that the ‘Ripon’, or ‘Blackburn T.5 Ripon’ to use its correct name, was a ‘British carrier-based torpedo bomber and reconnaissance biplane which first flew in 1926.’ Naming their creations after Britain’s rich aviation history has become quite the thing with Norfolk’s Old Empire Motorcycles, as has creating bloody amazing custom bikes, and drinking cups of tea. And rest assured, this one is no exception to the rule. You may know it as a Honda CB550, but they know it by another name…
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_05
Alec Sharp, one half of OEM’s dream team, fills us in on the details. “The Ripon build started when we were approached by a customer who had seen some of our previous work and decided that our take on a 4 cylinder café-brat was the order of the day. A large capacity engine was not needed and the opportunity came up to purchase a ’79 CB550 which was promptly stripped and the surgery began.”
In terms of fabrication, Alec notes that it was a complex build. The engine-mounted parts of the frame stayed pretty much stock, however the entire rear subsection was removed and spliced into a bespoke frame and cowling, inside of which they then integrated the necessary LED lights an wiring.
“We had to break out the set square and protractor set for the suspension, as we ended up removing the rear shocks entirely. It was decided that there was plenty of room under the engine for a pull-type shock, so we duly obtained a second-hand Buell unit, created a jig on the bench and began extending the frame. Various other modifications were made to the front end of the frame and the swingarm to accommodate the new shock and damper unit. After many trials and tweaks, we got it bang on and couldn’t be more chuffed with the overall classic, uncluttered look it now possesses.”
In the tinware department, the tank was shimmied forward and knee scallops were added to stay in keeping with the classic ‘Empire Style’ the boys have become renown for. The front cowling was hand rolled from sheet steel and tidily integrates the headlight with the clocks and ignition barrel.
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_10
“As always, we started with the running gear, as this can greatly affect or even define the rest of the build. The front and rear wheels were replaced with 19’’ aluminium rims and fully rebuilt with stainless spokes, vapour blasted hubs and wrapped with some classic Coker rubber.”
At the sharp end you’ll find a stock set of forks that have been fully rebuilt and lowered right down with a rework of the internals to house a custom set of super stiff shocks from Hagon, along with a heavy-weight fork oil. They also decided to upgrade the braking system by opting for a twin disc set up rather than the standard single. “A note of caution to others,” says Alec. “We thought it was a simple case of just bolting on another caliper and disc; it most definitely wasn’t.”
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_11
“Our own aluminium clip-ons were fabricated, vapour blasted and rebuilt alongside the control units and levers and then finished with our laser-cut leather grips. We wanted a ‘cockpit’ looking dash, so we opted for twin Koso units and remounted a simple ignition barrel between them. LED indicators were mounted discreetly front and back and tied into our one-off loom that featured all upgraded or renewed components tied into the new Shorai battery which sits in a tidy leather satchel along with the starter relay.”
The engine had previously had the barrels honed and new rings installed, so they went about upgrading the usual weakest links in the chain; namely new seals, gaskets, a rewound generator and electronic ignition. The old lump was then soda blasted, repainted, the cases were vapour blasted and the fins polished to get what seems to be a fantastic-looking little engine.
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_17
“The exhausts, although simple, took quite some time to figure out. Initially we wanted high-level pipes, but in reality it would be a choice between high pipes or calf muscles so we installed them low, tucked neatly along the sides. They are just long enough to make it run nicely but short enough to give it some real bark.”
They matched the leather grips at the front with their “universal adjustable leather foot controls” which were made as rear-sets and mounted on two curved struts that have been carefully integrated into the stock frame. Everything was then connected up with stainless linkages and rose joints.
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_02
“Eventually we replaced the standard Buell shock for a completely custom-made unit from AST suspension, which has fully adjustable dampening and preload settings – meaning we could fine-tune the ride perfectly.”
“Finishing-wise, we enlisted the help of our specialist painter Greg from Black Shuck Kustoms to work alongside side us in creating the look we wanted. Safe to say the deep, smokey blue with gold highlights isperfect in every way. Everything else was powder coated black, vapour blasted or plated to get things looking suitably distinguished.”
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_12

Four pipes, and a bespoke suspension setup. Jolly good
Leather seems to be quite an important finish to all the OEM builds, and clearly that trend continues here. They’ve tied the grips and pegs in nicely with the leather battery satchel and the diamond stitched brown leather seat. All reports from the nether regions of the lads confirm our suspicions – it’s comfy as.
“After assembly, we were a little apprehensive to see if the shock would work as we intended it to, but we are proud to say that it functions flawlessly. It’s such a satisfying thing to see working and it keeps the whole bike super clean at the back and really ‘chunks’ up the main body of the bike giving it a vastly more aggressive stance.”
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_03
23_09_2015_old_empire_honda_ripon_13

Rafe takes the Ripon out for a quick afternoon torpedo run
And there we have it. Another great build by the proud boys from Norfolk. We’re scared to think just how many cups of tea were downed in the making of this beast. So if you like what you see, and you like tea, make sure and check out their YouTube channel. It’s not half bad. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put the kettle on.
[Photos by Vaughan Treyvellan]
First published by pipeburn.com

It’s Not Just You™: AMD’s Crimson Drivers, Radeon ReLive Not Working At First [Possible Fix]

Just a quick post before I go to bed here, that I wanted to share about the AMD Crimson Drivers that I got notified about just a bit ago, which included AMD’s “ReLive”, their new Game [and Desktop] Recording utility – ‘built-in’ to their 16.12 Drivers… For those who couldn’t get it working right away (I see posts about it already in the Official AMD Forums), I couldn’t either… And although I eventually did, I wanted to let others know, if you are having issues with it: It’s Not Just You™

I was already starting to get tired when I saw a notification of the Driver Update – and I had no idea there was a nifty Game Recording ‘app’ incoming with it [I haven’t been reading much lately, I have another Cold for pete’s sake!]. For AMD GPU owners, waiting patiently to see if AMD was going to come out with their own Game Recording utility – it’s here! The future is now!

Check out AMD’s Video on their ReLive edition of Radeon here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRSm12lwRe4

[I really wanted to start Testing it all out tonight, running Benchmarks and collecting Data for a TestRun or a Quality Test with it; but my sleepyness is actually building and getting the better of me, so I better go soon – I wanted to share what I did this evening though, to get it working (for me), before I go…]


Without going over the few things I tried first that didn’t work (setting configuration, testing with different games, etc), here’s the steps to take that finally got it running, for me:

  • Download the Latest AMD Drivers via their main Website (http://support.amd.com/)
  • Uninstall the main AMD Drivers via the Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall/Change Program
  • Reboot
  • Install AMD Drivers via the Download from their Website
  • Reboot

That’s it!

After that, even though I have a 200 Series* AMD GPU at the time of this writing**, I was able to get ReLive up and running, even playing a little bit with the configuration and making a couple of short test recordings, before I came here to write this quick ‘tip’ of what might help get it going for others… It’s a larger ‘step’ (messing with Drivers, as opposed to just messing with Configuration/Settings); but I always like to Troubleshoot from the smallest steps first (eg. changing some settings) to larger steps (eg. re-installing software) to huge steps (eg. OS reinstallation, hardware changes). Thankfully, it started working just fine after only a bit of a ‘larger step’ taken.


Although with the most recent versions of Windows you don’t always have to Reboot it when making changes, it helps to get everything ‘in order’ in the background, re-initializing all hardware and Drivers fully – which is why many installers/software still get you to do it through their installation programs.

I plan on putting the Game Recorder through it’s paces, working on a TestRun and a QualityTest, to come in the future here at The Blog – for now though, hopefully ReLive can get up and working for you, too – good luck, and if you are having troubles with it, remember – It’s Not Just You™!

* The AMD page on ReLive at their main website (http://www.amd.com/en-us/innovations/software-technologies/radeon-software/gaming/radeon-relive) shows only 400 Series GPUs as ‘Officially Compatible’. Although it does not state ‘it will not work with earlier Series’, it is unknown 100% at this time if it is possible, hence my mentioning it above

** Disclaimer and Personal Veracity Statement: Although I currently own an AMD GPU, I have owned NVIDIA GPUs in the past and will do so in the future. I have no personal preference between the two, purchasing one or the other as Upgrades depending on my needs at the time and my financial limitations at the time I choose to Upgrade. I have not and will not receive any compensation for mentioning or talking about either companies’ products. I am merely an enthusiastic user (of both).

6 Reasons You Should Be Eating Cherries

6 Reasons You Should Be Eating Cherries

by Erin Cullum
Snacking on sweet and tart cherries is one of the best parts of Summer. You knew they were healthy — one cup is just 77 calories! — but did you know they were packed with tons of nutritional benefits and can even ward off diseases? Here’s why you should add cherries to your grocery list all season long.
They reduce inflammation: A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that cherry consumption reduces several biomarkers associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. Specifically, cherry juice can ease joint inflammation for people who suffer from arthritis and gout, according to a University of Vermont study.
They’re a good source of vitamin C and fiber: A one-cup serving of cherries contains 25 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C and over two grams of fiber.
They can improve brain function: If you make it a habit to snack on tart cherries, you could be improving your brain in the long run. Research has shown that cherries can even reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
They prevent muscle damage: Cherries reduce muscle soreness after a workout, and they can prevent greater muscle damage in the long run. While sore muscles are a sign of a good workout, it’s never all that fun to deal with painful steps on the stairs the next day. Cherries are chock full of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties and soothe aching muscles.
They fight cardiovascular disease: The potent anthocyanins, which give cherries their ruby hue, can also have a positive effect on heart health. University of Michigan Health system researchers found that cherries can “alter factors linked to heart disease and diabetes.”
They help you sleep: Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps control sleep. Considering how important sleep is for your overall health (it can even affect the results of your diet), it’s worth incorporating cherry juice into your diet if you’re having trouble getting enough hours each night. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that, specifically, tart cherry juice can improve sleep in adults affected by insomnia.
Craving cherries now? Use them fresh from the farmers market, or pick up a bag of frozen, and try these healthy recipes:
  • Vegan cherry chocolate chip ice cream
  • Vegan cherry smoothie
  • Slow-cooker chocolate cherry oatmeal
  • Quinoa salad with cherries and feta
Source

WORKOUT ANYTIME in the Jacksonville Daily Record

WORKOUT ANYTIME in the Jacksonville Daily Record

WORKOUT ANYTIME was recently featured in the Jacksonville Daily Record. The article talks about the new WORKOUT ANYTIME that opened up Monday, October 6. The article talks about how the Levitt family looks to open 15 WORKOUT ANYTIME locations in the next 5 years in the Jacksonville area. 
View the full article here. 

BMW cars, motorcycles, scooters. Pictures, specs, insurance.

BMW cars, motorcycles, scooters. Pictures, specs, insurance.

Free download motorcycle wallpaper, here we provide some of wallpaper on motorcycle, as well asmotorcycle image and motorcycle Picture.

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TITLE: BMW cars, motorcycles, scooters. Pictures, specs, insurance.
IMAGE URL: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_PYRfdsGXLM/T__deiugUFI/AAAAAAAANtc/vgy9LizZV7k/s1600/2013-BMW-K1300S-bmw-automotive-3.jpg
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Got a vintage motorcycle , to tear down the outside of a wheel and

Got a vintage motorcycle , to tear down the outside of a wheel and

Got a vintage motorcycle , to tear down the outside of a wheel and

Got a vintage motorcycle , to tear down the outside of a wheel and

File:Motorcycle phillip island03.jpg Wikipedia, the free

File:Motorcycle phillip island03.jpg  Wikipedia, the free

Motorcycle Pictures Freaking News

Motorcycle Pictures  Freaking News

reACT Trainer Total Body Circuit Workout

One of the best tools we have at our disposal at Workout Anytime is the reACT Trainer.  Staff who know how to use the product properly and teach others to use it can make a great impression on any member or guest and help to differentiate their club from competitors.

Although the reACT Trainer is a lower body and core trainer it is easy to create full body circuits using the reACT Trainer along with the key upper body movements including:

Horizontal Press (chest press of some type)

Horizontal Pull (Row of some type)

Overhead Press

Vertical Pull – (some type of vertical pulling movement)

Here is a sample reACT Trainer Total Body Circuit:

HPnineT‬

This year the BMW Hp nine-T bike design will be unveiled by BMW Motorrad Netherlands at the bikeshow at Rosmalen. BMW was surprised to hear I was already building the actual design for the BMW Soul fuel challenge myself in the garage. They were immediately enthusiastic about my other project bikes after seeing them in real life and felt confident about this build.

 
 
 
source http://highoctane.nl/

And More: Deals and Sales – 2014 Summer Super Sales

Just to let more people know, in case some didn’t already, there are a lot of great Summer Sales going on right now at various game distribution/retailer websites [think of them as ‘Winter Wonder Sales’ if you are in the Southern Hemisphere]. Here are a couple samples:

Good Old Games, now called GOG.com, have both ongoing sales and Time Limited Deals, with games such as The Hitman Series, Simcity2000, the Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale series, the Might & Magic series, the Wing Commander series, Quest For Glory and King’s Quest series, the Rollercoaster Tycoon series, and much more
(Click to see Full Size)

Steam is having it’s Summer Sale, that also has some ongoing deals with some Time Limited Sales, with games such as The Witcher series, Euro Truck Simulator series, the Left 4 Dead series, the Total War series of games, Red Alert 3, Civilization 5, and much more
(Click to see Full Size)
Some of these are Time Limited Deals, meaning that they are only ‘on’ for a few hours, or change after a few hours – so check back there once in a while and see if any games you have been waiting for are on sale – most of these are 80% or 90% off!
[For the most part, they seem to ‘stay’ on sale/remain on sale, but at a slightly higher sale price than within the ‘time limit’ (but are still available at less than regular price)]
I hope you find something you like and See You In The Games!

Two-Wheels, Two-Reasons, Two Seasons: A Eureka Springs Motorcycle Adventure

All over the “lower 48”, men and woman who love their motorcycles are marking days off of their calendars as they count down to when they will pull on their leathers, fire up their bikes and start their adventurous ride to the Arkansas Ozarks and one of “America’s Distinctive Destinations”, Eureka Springs. The reasons are two-fold and it all centers on “pork” …The Pig Trail and Bikes Blues & BBQ.

The Pig Trail is a not-so-straight ribbon of asphalt; in fact, the ribbon that looks like someone has scraped it across the edge of a scissor blade. It stretches, for all practical and awesome purposes, from Interstate 40 near Ozark (AR) north along State Highway 23 to Eureka Springs, the gateway to northwest Arkansas. This 80-mile route is universally praised in motorcycle magazines, on biker websites, and even by The Discovery Channel for being one of the best in America. For example, MotorycleRoads.com has elevated the Pig Trail to the number eight position in their most recent “top 100” poll. BikerBudz.com gives it a “highly recommend” while Motorcycle-USA.com refers to it as “my new favorite ride”. The Discovery Channel has given the Pig Trail its highest mark yet: number two in the nation.

The official National Scenic Byways’ 19-mile portion of the Pig Trail starts as you enter the Ozark National Forest from the south and ends near Brashears (AR) as you exit the national forest to the north. This route, which crosses both the Mulberry and the White rivers, has so many S-curves that motorcyclists are forced to make dozens of ultra-quick right-to-left-to-right and back again leans; perfect first-gear switchbacks. But riders should not think the challenge of the ride is limited to “the forest”. It starts once you exit Interstate 40 heading north and doesn’t end until you put down your kickstand for the night in Eureka Springs.

“The Scenic Byways section of the Pig Trail may be like the most thrilling point in a roller coaster ride,” one biker explained, “but like a roller coaster, the runs on either side (11 miles to the south; 50 miles to the north) are pretty exciting too. For me, every year between late August and the Hunter’s Moon is when I enjoy the full 80-mile ride. ‘Cuz if you’re gonna ride the Pig Trail, ya gotta go whole hog.”

“The highway going up to Eureka Springs and all those around that town,” he continued, “are one exhilarating rush. I hub out of Eureka, a funky, biker-friendly mountain town with lots of places to stay, lots of places to play. I’ll spend four or five days searching out new Ozark roads with new crazy curves and new breathtaking sights. It’s like a rally every day. Plus Eureka’s only about 45 minutes from Fayetteville and the ‘triple-B’, Bikes Blues & BBQ.”

For Bikes Blues & BBQ the aforementioned “whole hog” is dressed, seasoned, grilled till tender, slathered with sauce, and then served up razorback-style when more than 400,000 bikers converge on Fayetteville (AR) for the four fabulous days of this event in September. This year this awesome fall festival goes from September 18th through the 21st.

“One of the best parts of Bikes Blues & BBQ,” a biker from Central Texas, who has not missed any one of the previous 13 annual events, proudly stated, “is that you don’t just get a festival, you get the Pig Trail and all of its Ozark side-roads. Me and my group like to arrive a couple days early or stay a couple days late to make sure we have plenty of time for day rides to and around Eureka on their fantastically freaky yellow-striped trails. We only wish we had routes like this back in Texas.”

To make it easy for those who attend Bikes Blues & BBQ to find new, thrilling nearby routes, both the event and Eureka Springs have online sites for maps and directions: http://www.bikesbluesandbbq.org/rally-info/maps-directions/ and http://www.eurekaspringsmotorcycleroutes.com/ .

If you are unable to attend the “triple-B event” do not despair, because “does Mother Nature have a deal for you” in October and often through early November!

There is no more lovely autumn color than the reds, oranges, golds and violets of the Ozarks when fall falls. To help you with perfect timing, the State of Arkansas, beginning in September each year, has a “fall color updates” page on their very popular Arkansas.com website.

And speaking of the State of Arkansas, their Department of Parks & Tourism has developed a short movie that will whet your appetite and make you hungry for a motorcycle vacation to “The Natural State”. It just so happens that a local motorcycle enthusiast who is also the Mayor of Eureka Springs, Morris Pate, narrates the movie. His narration begins with him and his 2001 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic parked in front of the “Little Golden Gate Bridge” just a few minutes west from downtown Eureka. “The Beaver Bridge is a landmark that must not be missed,” bragged Mayor Pate. “This beautiful old wooden suspension bridge was built in 1949 and is 554 feet long, only 11 feet wide and has been painted a bright yellow. Because it is so narrow, traffic can only move one way at a time across the span. So hold your breath and grip tight, this is one bumpy and thrilling ride on two wheels.”

So whether you ride the Ozarks in late summer, late fall or anytime in between, you will be glad you did. “No matter how many other motorcycle routes you’ve been on,” concluded our Texas biker, “once you’ve conquered the Pig Trail and its web of side-roads, you’ll be happier than a hog in slop.”

Special packages just for bikers can be found at numerous web sites.

________________________________________
Source: The Beebee News (AP, 9/05)

WTH ? How do both front tires blow up simultaneously?

for the original version, click though on the video below, which will only play on youtube itself

After a review, the team discovered a suspension arm defect led to the entire right front upright collapse, which snapped the wheel tethers and created the dramatic effect

Food Repair Guide: Baking Part 3

Marzipan

It pays to make your own marzipan as the real thing tastes so much better than bought. Since it is only a question of beating together ground almonds, sugar and egg white to moisten, there is nothing to go wrong.

Biscuits

Biscuits are simple to make and homemade biscuits always impress guests.

They have four dangers: being too soft so that they spread into shapeless plops; being too short or having too great a proportion of fat which makes them hopelessly crumbly; being overhandled, like pastry, which makes them tough; and getting overcooked, which they will do at the drop of a hat.

Diet Start

Texture

Since most biscuit mixtures contain butter, they will always become softer when they go in the oven, so, if your mixture is very runny when cold, it will run away altogether once it gets hot. Unless the mixture is being cooked in a restraining tin try to ensure a reasonably firm texture. Apart from anything else, if it is too runny the biscuit will tend to be tough.

Crumbling

If you want to use a very short mixture, mould the dough by hand rather than trying to roll it out, as you will not succeed. Cut the biscuits into fat rather than thin shapes so they have more chance of holding together.

Toughness

Do not handle the biscuits more than necessary to get the ingredients well mixed.

Overcooking

Once the biscuits have gone in the oven, watch them like a hawk. Take one out and cool it to test, as a biscuit, especially a dark coloured one such as chocolate or ginger, will often be cooked long before it looks cooked.

Failures

Biscuits that have fallen apart, spread or generally failed to live up to expectations, can always be broken up and used as decorations, or crumbled and used as biscuit bases (held together with butter or egg white) for dishes such as cheesecakes.

Cut your Protein why no Sugar?

The case against sugar is a complex one. Besides the fact that refined sugar is a totally unnatural substance that has been stripped of its nutritional value—fiber, vitamins, and minerals—apart from the calories it provides, sugar in concentrated form is very hard on the pancreas. The pancreas, which is responsible for the production of insulin and therefore the regulation of blood sugar and energy levels in the body, has adapted through evolution to deal with a steady flow of glucose in small quantities such as those that result from the intake of complex carbohydrates.

One of the biggest beauty cons of all is the idea that if you eat lots of protein your muscles, skin, hair, and nails will grow strong and you will stay young. Like the old-fashioned high protein diet for building up athletic strength, it doesn’t work. The human need for protein has been grossly exaggerated. At the turn of the century, respected opinion held that we need between 120 and 169 grams of protein per day. Then Chittenden showed in human experiments that far better performance and health were possible on fifty grams, a much lower amount. Another scientist named Hindhede set the figure at thirty grams. Then Oomen in Amsterdam and Hipsley in Canberra discovered a population in Australia which develop not only full health, but exceptional muscular structure and performance on a diet of merely 15 to 20 grams of protein per day.

Diet Start

Later in the United States, the American Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board agreed on a daily requirement of 70 grams for adults. One member of the board, named Sherman, described how this figure was arrived at. The evidence the committee examined indicated that a much lower amount was needed, somewhere around 35 grams, but there was agreement that if so low a figure had been set there would have been a public outcry, so a corresponding “margin of safety” was decided on and the 70-gram figure was published. But because the scientific basis for the figure was nonexistent, the word “recommendation” was chosen instead of “requirement.” Current recommendations for protein intake hover about the 50-gram mark, although there is strong evidence now that we probably need even less.

Your body needs amino acids, the constituents of protein, for its metabolic processes, for growth and the repair and maintenance of body tissue. Proteins are made up of twenty-two different amino acids; all but eight of them your body can manufacture itself. These eight, which have to be taken in through your foods, are referred to as “essential” amino acids.

A large portion of a protein molecule is made up of nitrogen, and one of the important things about taking protein is that it helps keep a good nitrogen balance in the body, so there is as much nitrogen coming into the body as there is leaving it. This balance helps maintain body health and muscle strength, so that you don’t go into what is known as a negative nitrogen balance, when you lose muscle tissue from your body. To keep your nitrogen right, 10 to 15 percent of your total calorie intake should be from protein.

But when a greater percentage than this of your calorie intake comes from protein foods, then your body goes into a negative mineral balance and you start gradually losing precious minerals and trace elements such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and chromium from your system. These nutrients, so easily lost from the body, are vital not only to physical health but also to emotional stability and well-being (more about minerals later). Wachmann and Bernstein of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University investigated the high protein diet and came to the conclusion that the protein-rich (especially the meat-heavy) diet plays a strong role in the genesis of osteoporosis, a softening of the bones, particularly in women after menopause, caused by the loss of minerals. This is probably because of the high protein diet’s tendency to leach valuable minerals (in this case calcium) from the system. And purely from the point of view of physical beauty, many of these lost minerals, such as sulfur, selenium, zinc. magnesium, and calcium, can make the difference between prematurely aging skin caused by a rapid collagen and elastin breakdown, nails that split, or hair in poor condition, and radiant looks glowing with strength and health.

Finally, the breakdown and metabolism of proteins in the body lead to the formation of a number of complex by-products such as urea, nitrogen, and ammonia, which can be toxic. These wastes need to be eliminated. This isn’t always easy, and it puts great strain on the liver and kidneys. This is why, on the well-known high protein reducing diets, you are advised to drink large amounts of water in order to water down these poisons and help excrete them.

Game Recording with MPEG-4: using H.264/AVC in Programs such as Dxtory, Bandicam and MSI’s Afterburner (Text-Only, Long Version)


This article is a Text-Only version, showing how to use a few programs (one of them completely free) to utilize this efficient codec in game recording, using steps and settings that I personally found optimized performance and showing which ones slowed things down when recording. 
For a video example of how to set the x264/AVC codec recordings to be editable in
Sony’s Vegas or Adobe’s Premiere video editing applications, see my post about it here:
http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2013/06/and-more-how-to-record-with.html

The MPEG-4 video codec has been around for over a decade now. I remember recording TV shows to watch later on, on a system with an ATI All-In-Wonder videocard (back when videocards had only 8MB of VRAM!) and the joy of the changes I was seeing, going from compressing the shows in MPEG-2 format to MPEG-4 using either Quicktime or DivX (or it’s open-source competitor, XviD). Smaller file sizes and still decent quality? Awesome. Those were MPEG-4 Part 2 or ASP (Advanced Simple Profile) iterations of MPEG-4. Today, we are up to MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC (Advanced Video Coding) and great times are to be had by all who record their video game adventures, as modern hardware and capturing apps allow not only for h.264/AVC to be used for video compression and archiving – it can also be used for small filesize ‘live’ game recordings and great retainment of detail, if desired.

Dxtory, Bandicam and MSI Afterburner all provide the ability to utilize the various codecs installed on your system to record with (others do as well, I am merely choosing these more popular game recording apps as examples). To record with MPEG-4/h.264/AVC, it is simply a matter of installing that codec on your computer [if it isn’t already], then choosing it inside of whichever game recording app you prefer. The codec’s interface (GUI, Graphical User Interface) will allow you to change whatever settings you wish – but these settings will be quite different from what you may be used to, if you have done any h.264/AVC video compression in the past. Why?

Because we are going to be balancing the settings – not just for retaining quality at a small file size (as you would like to when archiving a movie to keep on your computer) – but now also for recording speed. For instance, if we try to set things for high compression and attempt to keep detail at the same time (as we would for archiving a movie), it simply takes too long to process and compress the changes between frames ‘on-the-fly’ and save them into a file, when attempting to record game output. This would result in the game ‘lagging’ and dropping frames to try and keep up, as it falls behind dealing with analyzing and compressing and then writing the data, resulting in a video with ‘choppy’ playback as well. So, when recording our gameplay ‘live’, we must now consider the various settings and their affect on how fast we can put through the processing of frames and writing it to a file at the same time.

I will be addressing most of the settings in the h.264/AVC codec, but not all of them. I will be concerned mainly with the ones that will slow down processing, so that things do not take too long and fall behind and cause ‘lag’, both in the game and the resulting video file itself. This differs from compressing for archiving our own movies, because instead of being only concerned with Quality (setting everything on ‘high’ and letting it take as long as it needs), we must now balance Speed of the compression as well, being now more concerned with each of these settings and how they can possibly slow things down when recording the ‘live’ game rendering. As is the nature of live recording, we want it to easily and quickly process the frames and save them to a file. I will explain how to do all of this.

Recording with H.264/AVC

“x.264” is a free/open-source utilization of the h.264/AVC codec (the XiWave GNU GPL MPEG-4 Codec). It is normally a command-line driven executable [when you run it, you type things in, to get it to do things], so what we want for game recording with these programs, is a version with an ‘interface’ so that we can just tell our apps what to do with the mouse and buttons/sliders and it translates it into commands for the codec. All we would have to do is choose a few settings and checkboxes (what most people are used to – a nice, easy, graphical user interface).


Doing a search for ‘x264+windows’, there are a few places you can get the installer/setup program for x264 and Windows, here are the main ones:

This is the “Official” Open-Source Video For Windows version of the x264 codec (Red Logo) at the time of this writing:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/x264vfw/

This official codec is what is covered in the “Easymode” sections of this article


This is an “Unofficial” x264 Video For Windows Codec (Black Logo), at the time of this post, that allows for far more settings to be edited via checkboxes and pulldown menubars, but is more difficult to use (these two links are both the same thing):
http://www.digital-digest.com/software/x264_VFW_Codec.html
http://komisar.gin.by/index.html

This unofficial codec is what is covered in the “Hardmode” sections of this article


Basically, you can see that what we want is a “Video For Windows” version, which (thanks to all those great people that have worked on it over time!) has a nice, easy-to-use interface for picking the settings you want to use, without typing in a long line of commands every time. After installing the codec/interface into Windows, it’s just a matter of opening whatever game recording program you prefer and selecting it to use it.

Here’s how to select it for usage in these three game recording programs:

Recording with x264 and Bandicam

  • Once the codec is installed, run Bandicam and go to the Video tab and click on the Settings button
  • In here, under the Video category, next to Codec, click on the pull-down menu bar (with a little triangle at the end) and choose External Codec, which allows you to use other codecs installed in your system
  • Then, click on the three ellipsis (““) button and it will let you “Select external video codec”
  • Select the “x264vfw” H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec from the list and click on the Configure button
  • This is the x264vfw configuration interface and in here are all the settings we will talk about next…

Recording with x264 and Dxtory

  • Once everything is installed (Dxtory requires dotNET 4.0, a download link is on their main Download page), run Dxtory and click on the Movie settings button (which shows a little handy-cam with it’s lcd screen hanging out the side)
  • Under the Video Codec category, next to the word Codec, click the pull-down menu bar (with a little triangle at the end) and choose “x264vfw” H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Codec from the list and click on the little pen icon/button to the right, which opens the Configuration dialog box of the codec
  • This is the x264vfw configuration interface and in here are all the settings we will talk about next…

Recording with x264 and MSI Afterburner

  • Once the codec is installed, run MSI Afterburner and click on the Settings button at the bottom 
  • In here, go to the Video Capture tab and under the Video Capture Properties category, click on the pull-down menu bar (with a little triangle at the end) and choose “VFW compression”, which allows you to use the other codecs installed in your system
  • Then, click on the three ellipsis (““) button and under Compressor, click on the pull-down menu bar (with the little black triangle at the end) and choose “x264vfw” H.264/AVC codec from the list and then click on the Configure button to the right
  • This is the x264vfw configuration interface and in here are all the settings we will talk about next…
» Note:  To record with x264/h264/AVC and have it easily-importable and recognized properly in NLE’s (Non-Linear video Editing applications, such as Sony’s Vegas and Adobe’s Premiere lines of products [for example]) without having glitches or corruption or other problems, one setting for MPEG-4 codecs must be changed from the Default Setting right from the start. I created a video example of how to change this setting in Bandicam, Dxtory and MSI’s Afterburner and the post with that video can be found here at this blog:
http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2013/06/and-more-how-to-record-with.html
To understand some of the concepts and settings utilized by this codec (and helpful information to know for game recording and video compression in general), a quick word on Bitrate:

[This section is highlighted in green headings for navigation, to assist you whether you are re-reading this article or you feel you know a lot about bitrate in video editing and wish to skip it]

Bitrate (in Layman’s Terms)  /start

When talking about game recording, bitrate is an expression of the amount of data we are using to create the recorded file [literally, how many bits of information we are using]. It is usually expressed as how much information per second we are telling the codec to use, to represent the frames that are getting pushed through, and save them to our output video file.
The main thing to remember is that More Bitrate = Bigger Filesize

For example, if we record using a 1MB per second (1MB/s) setting, then after 2 minutes of recording (120s), our recorded file size will be 120MB. At that bitrate, if we recorded for one hour straight (3600 seconds), our recorded file size will be 3600MB (3.6GB).
If we record using a larger amount, let’s say 2MB per second (2MB/s), then after 2 minutes of recording (120s), our recorded file size will be 240MB. At that bitrate, if we recorded for one hour straight (3600 seconds), our recorded file size will be 7200MB (7.2GB).
It’s that simple. The more bitrate we use, the bigger the recorded file will be. 

For those used to video compression and editing, or even general users of multimedia, you may be more familiar with data rates in the realm of:

MP3 (MPEG-3 audio) song bitrates such as: 128kbps, 192kbps, 320kbps
PSP (PlayStation Portable) video bitrates such as: 768kbps, 1500kbps
DVD (MPEG-2) bitrates such as: 8000kbps, 9800kbps
Blu-Ray/HD bitrates such as: 16000kbps, 25000kbps, 50000kbps

All of these are usually expressed as Megabits/Kilobits/bits over time (in seconds), hence the “ps” at the end.
eg. 16 Mbps = 16,000 kbps = 16,000,000 bps (bits per second)

~bits (lower-case ‘b’) and Bytes (upper-case ‘B’) are different~

There are 8 bits (lower-case ‘b’) in 1 Byte (upper-case ‘B’)
8 bits in 1 Byte
8000 bits = 8 kilobits (‘kilo’, which is 1000 Bytes) = 1 KiloByte
8000 kilobits = 8 megabits (‘mega’, which is 1000 KiloBytes) = 1 MegaByte 

For example, if you were rendering out a movie to upload to YouTube and you chose an output bitrate of “8000 kbps” in your editing/compression application, that is 8 Mbps (bits, lower-case ‘b’), which means 8 Megabits per second. Converting that into Bytes (upper-case ‘B’), means that video will be running at 1 MBps, which is 1 MegaByte per second (upper-case ‘b’). 

At that bitrate (1MB/s), it is the same bitrate as our example above [just under where it says “More Bitrate = Bigger Filesize”] and it will take up roughly 60MB of space on your hard drive every minute of recording. Thus is the interaction between Bitrate and File Size and how to convert between the two. The higher the bitrate setting used, the bigger the output file size will be (the recording). 

There is one other formula to remember: More Bitrate = Better Quality. This formula applies to almost everything digital: video (DVD/BluRay), audio (MP3/MP4), pictures (PNG/JPG), any multimedia that is digital. If you allow/use more bitrate, the picture/music/video is represented better [or to be more precise, closer to the original input] because there are literally more bits used to create the picture/sound/etc.

Quick example – think of a square that is divided up into 9 sections. Now pretend it is trying to ‘represent’ a painting, any painting you can think of. With only 9 blocks of data available (each one can only be a certain color), then it would look like nothing but some colored blocks and barely look like the painting at all. Now, imagine a square divided up into 80 sections. Pretend it is trying to represent the same painting. Even though it will be ‘blocky’ still, if each section can be only one color, it will still look ‘more like the original’ than the 9-sectioned block, right? 

That’s the interaction of bitrate and quality.

Which means, for digital compression, it is essentially a ‘balancing act’ between Quality and File Size, with Bitrate being the tool to measure with. Do you want a high-quality output? Then turn up the bitrate and you’ll end up with a large file size. Do you want a small file size? Then lower the bitrate and you’ll get lower quality as well. That’s the essence of bitrate, in a nutshell.

Bitrate (in Layman’s Terms)  /end



The x264 Interface and Configuration in “Easymode”
(The Official interface with red x264 logo)

With the official version of the interface for using the x264 codec (“x264vfw”), there is only one screen, with pulldown bars to adjust most settings.
The Basic Section

To start with, under the Basic category, there is a Preset setting. This is a very handy setting, which makes many of the more obscure/hidden choices within this codec (there are dozens, behind the scenes) easy to configure. By clicking on the question mark near the bottom right corner (“?”), you can see the intimate details of the different Profiles and Presets that can be selected in these pull-down menu bars within this first “Basic” section of the interface.

For game recording, we are more concerned with speed. We don’t want the codec to break out it’s magnifying glass and scrutinize each frame coming through in strict detail, because that would cause it to slow down, which will cause it to ‘lag’ behind, not only in the game, but in the recorded file itself as well (“choppy-ness”). 
So, the first thing to do, when using this codec for ‘live’ game recording, is to change the Preset setting from it’s original default of Medium to “Ultrafast“. This is the fastest option for this setting.
The other options, such as Superfast, can also be used, but be aware that the more you go down the selections available, the more options are being ‘turned on’ behind-the-scenes with this codec, and while some of them do help apparent quality of the video, they are geared more towards a slow, steady, long-term compression session (like when you might archive a video/movie) with high-quality settings and slow, scrutinizing analysis of the frames. While not a bad thing, for game recording, we don’t want that. We want it to save what we are seeing on the screen fast, to a file. We want speed. Feel free to take a look and learn about the various options the other Presets turn on [many of them are covered in this article further down], but for optimal speed, Ultrafast is the setting to use.
The next pull-down set of options to choose from is Tuning. These are also a set of pre-selected options that, depending on which one you choose here, will enable or disable certain functions in the codec. These choices are helpful is easily fine-tuning the codec to compress a movie/video/clip of each certain type, as it enables options in the background that will help with efficient, detail-oriented compression of that certain type of material. 
For game recording, again we are more concerned with speed. These options, while helpful in a slow, ‘leave-it-overnight’ compression session of clips or movies of ours we want to save; for live game recording we want to leave it at it’s default setting of “None“, so that the codec keeps it’s magnifying glass put away and doesn’t spend any extra time analyzing the frames coming through.
There are two checkboxes below these first two pull-down menus and they are titled “Fast Decode” and “Zero Latency“:
Fast Decode turns off a few options [behind the scenes] that help by reducing the processing ‘load’ of the video stream, such as CABAC and Deblocking [these are explained in more detail further within this article]. These are options that help keep some quality (especially at lower bitrates), but as the name proclaims [“Fast”], for optimal speed of recording we want this option “Checked“, to enable it (which will turn off these extra options for now).
Zero Latency also turns off a few options behind the scenes, ones that increase compression time, such as B-frames [explained later in this post] and how far to ‘look ahead’ at frames coming in, for analysis. Since we want speed for recording our game footage and less analysis [remember, more analysis slows things down], we want this option “Checked” to turn off the extra options that are ‘behind-the-scenes’ with this setting.

The rest of the settings in this Basic section of the interface need not be adjusted for game recording, but a good Wikipedia page, talking about the various Profiles and Levels and their capabilities can be found here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC

The Rate Control Section

All of the below paragraphs between these red lines of text is the same for both the Official and the Unofficial versions of the x264vfw interface and is only duplicated for ease of reading their respective sections

The main thing in here (and really the only thing to adjust for game recording in this tab) is the longest bar right in the middle, the main datarate control and compression decision to make, is all in that one bar. I cannot even make a suggestion on what to use [ok, I can actually], since it will partially depend on what type of game you are recording, your hardware, what kind of compression you are looking for and many other factors. I will attempt to simplify it however and give a suggestion at the end. (More importantly for game recording, there is one choice that is slightly faster than all the others).

To begin, since we are going to be using x264 for game recording, we cannot use the Leeloo Dallas Multipass Options. Multiple passes (usually 2 or 3) when compressing/archiving video can greatly increase quality, but that means 2-3 times the analysis, double-checking and then further compression by the codec. Literally processing every frame twice (for 2-passes for example). That’s great when we want to keep a movie in a small, ‘as-good/high-as-we-can-get’ quality, forever. When recording games however, we want [one guess] speed. We can only accept “Single pass” as our option, because we just want the codec to see what frames are coming in, take a quick glance, and compress them into our output video file. One pass.
Starting with ABR (Average BitRate), the “bitrate-based” setting, this setting allows you to punch in the average bitrate you want to record at and it attempts to stick with it (it will go lower, but try to never go higher than what you set here). This setting basically tells the codec, “Keep within this bitrate, I don’t care if the quality goes down”, because as the bitrate ceiling is reached, it will quickly degrade in quality, as more/high movement occurs on the screen/frame. It is good for keeping within a certain file size, if that is your desire, but it also causes a bit of ‘lag’ and is not seemingly optimized for ‘live’ capturing.
CQP (Constant Quantizer Parameter) is a setting where you are basically telling the codec, “Keep this level of Quality”, and it will do it’s best to keep that level of quality for all frames/scenes. However, it will spend more time (and bitrate) on fast-motion/high-action scenes. This is good if you want to keep a movie visible clearly when a lot of things are going on, but it will also result in the higher usage of bitrate, which means larger file sizes. This may sound like a good thing for game recording (and for quality, it is), but the time spent analyzing the faster-motion scenes means that it is actually slowing down (in terms of the codec breaking out it’s magnifying glass and scrutinizing the frames that are passing by), which results in ‘lag’, both in the game and in the recorded video file itself (“choppiness” on playback).
Lossless should attempt to lose no quality, processing only very little and passing all of that nice detail directly to the recorded video output. While sounding good in theory, in practice the utilization of ‘lossless’ in x264 must be geared towards slow, analyzed video compression and not ‘as fast as we can get to avoid lag’ “live” game recording, because the result of this setting [at this time] is actually a lossy, compressed (it does not seem to go far beyond 100,000kbps), low bitrate (compared to ‘true loss-less compression’ which is much higher) capture. It does look decent, but it is also very demanding on the system and causes a large framerate drop for the level of detail that should be coming out of it [and doesn’t]. This codec does not seem to be optimized for lossless recording at this time and I do not suggest using the Lossless setting here.
CRF (Constant Rate Factor) is sort of a combination of ABR and CQP. At any given rate factor, a certain bitrate is maintained, and when the motion on the screen goes very high and the bitrate gets too high to represent what is occurring in the frame (or hits the ‘ceiling’ bitrate that it is restricted to, which can be set), then the quality begins to suffer, as the codec ramps quality down and compresses the fast-moving (“not as easy for the human eye to see”) material, until things settle down on the screen and there is slower motion (such as a person walking). Then the quality ramps back up (the bitrate staying with the specified parameters) to keep the apparent quality high to the human eye. This is how CRF is supposed to work, and it seems to do a good job of that. 
Game recording with CRF isn’t as cut-and-dry as slow, long-term video compression/archiving with CRF, where it has time to figure out how to compress the fast/blurry scenes and make the slower/clearer scenes look better and change the bitrate/quantization respectively. Quantization can be thought of as ‘apparent spoilage’ of the material, where a certain amount isn’t even noticeable to most humans, and in some fast-moving-high-action scenes, it is even preferable to some eyes. Low bitrate and/or high quantization would both result in loss of detail and ‘blurring’ or ‘smoothing’ of video most of the time and can result in compression artifacts such as Macroblocks and Gibbs Effects (“mosquito noise”), as the codec tries to decide ‘what to keep’ and ‘what to lose’ (lossy compression). With CRF, it usually will try to keep a slow-moving scene (someone walking, people talking) detailed, without much quantizing (‘spoilage’), so that it looks good. It will take high-motion (fast action, fast changing) scenes and quantize them more (smoothing, blurring, ‘spoiling’) since the human eye won’t notice it as much on fast-motion, already-slightly-blurred changes on the screen.
To summarize the differences between the types of data rate controls (the choices in this pulldown bar):
CQP is like stating, “Keep this quality, I don’t care how big the bitrate/file gets” and ABR is like stating, “Keep this bitrate/filesize, I don’t care how crappy you have to make the video look to stay within that”, CRF is more like stating, “Try to keep this bitrate, but change it a little as you need (within a certain amount) and make the video look slightly crappy if you need to as well, but don’t let either one get too out of wack”. As CRF seemed to also be the one with the least amount of effect of the system in the form of ‘lag’ [only slightly less than the other ones in testing], being so highly configurable (compared to the other choices, where you can state a bitrate to stay within and it adjusts itself), I suggest using CRF for your x264/AVC game capturing.

Some Data / Bitrates seen with CRF

Since it looks like we are going to be sticking with CRF as our main datarate control factor [it performs slightly better than the other choices in tests], here’s an example of some bitrates that can result from using it (in kilobits per second):

Recorded game: Hitman: Absolution Benchmark [grainy, panning, high and low motion areas]
Recorded codec: H.264/AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10) using the x264vfw interface
Recorded settings [some]: No Deblocking, No Max Bitrate, No CABAC, adjusting only CRF

CRF 51  ~1200 kbps (lowest possible quality setting for CRF)
CRF 42  ~1600 kbps
CRF 32  ~6000 kbps
CRF 29  ~8500 kbps
CRF 26  ~14000 kbps
CRF 23  ~22000 kbps (codec default setting for CRF)
CRF 22  ~23000 kbps
CRF 21  ~32000 kbps
CRF 18  ~45000 kbps
CRF 15  ~64000 kbps
CRF 13  ~79000 kbps
CRF 10  ~101,000 kbps
CRF 5    ~119,000 kbps
CRF 1    ~119,000 kbps (highest possible quality setting for CRF)

As you can see, the higher the CRF, the lower the bitrate, so the lower the recorded file size will be (but also the lower the apparent quality). If you desire a higher-quality recording, then a lower CRF is what you want (even with a very low CRF, the bitrate is nowhere near as high as say, a FRAPS or YV12 recording (which can both easily be over 500,000 kbps), but that is the nature of the codec as it tries to slightly compress everything that passes through it.

It can also be seen, that is it is not a strict/hard-and-fast rule of evenly-spaced steps, when it comes to the CRF setting and Bitrate. It cannot be easily calculated that “two steps up in CRF equals this much more bitrate”. That is partially the nature of the compression and partially what occurs using CRF as a datarate control. When there is more motion on the screen and as it changes, the datarate will change as well, to try to keep within certain bitrate/quality boundaries and still accurately represent what is occurring on the screen/in the frames. With almost any form of compression/codec, only if the recording was using a completely fixed bitrate, or recording a static picture/view, would it be easy to calculate the adjustments required for a certain bitrate change. It is built into the codecs to adjust themselves as needed.

What CRF setting to use

So, what CRF setting to use? The general rule is: the lower the CRF number, the more bitrate/quality you are allowing it to use, but the bigger the recorded file size will be.

The choice is somewhat objective, as CRF18 may look good to me to record a first-person-shooter game with (the default is CRF23), but you may not like how it looks and want to use CRF10 to keep more details that you want to see.
Someone may not like the compression artifacts they can see when recording Minecraft using CRF18 and want to turn it up to CRF15 so that it is crisper, with less ‘mosquito noise’ around the edges or corruption that they can see; but you may think it looks good enough at the default of CRF23 and leave it there like someone else may do. You see?
Those are two very different types of video/games mind you, one is dark and grainy and the other is smooth, with hard edges, like animation; but you get the point. It can vary, not only person to person, but also game to game. A few short tests is all it will take however, and you quickly will find a CRF setting that you are happy to record with. You’ll find your own balance between, what will essentially be, these considerations:

The higher the bitrate (lower CRF number) the higher the quality and file size will be
The lower the bitrate (higher CRF number) the lower the quality and file size will be

You will eventually decide, with just a couple tests, what is ‘good enough’ quality for your eyes/uploading, and what CRF to use on that game (remember the ‘balancing act’ of bitrate vs quality mentioned at the beginning?). You will also find that the quality recorded isn’t even kept, after compressing the final/edited video to upload at a video sharing site somewhere.

All of the above paragraphs between these red lines of text is the same for both the Official and the Unofficial versions of the x264vfw interface and is only duplicated for ease of reading their respective sections

That’s about it for the nice-and-easy one-panel official graphical interface for the x264vfw H.264/AVC codec. Just a few small changes and a decision of what quality/bitrate you would like to use and it is all ready  for you to record with whatever game recording program you prefer. Have fun with it!

What follows below, is the unofficial, more detailed, three-tabbed version of the x264vfw H.264/AVC codec interface. If this version is not installed on your system, or you do not care to use the more complicated version (you definitely don’t have to), then please skip down to the section called 
“Slash-whew-sweating-emoticon”. No version is better than the other, by the way, they both utilize the same codec, one just gives you more options to set [and I happened to install it by accident when learning about recording with the x264 codec in the beginning], that’s all.

The x264 Interface and Configuration in “Hardmode”
(The Unofficial interface with black x264 logo)

There are three main tabs in this version of the x264 Video For Windows interface: 
Main
Analysis and Encoding
Rate Control and Other
Each Tab has many different settings. We will talk about most of them – but not all of them – we are mainly concerned with the ones that will affect game capturing. I am going to be going through the Tabs in reverse order. This will help to explain the concepts in a more logical order [believe it or not].

Rate Control & Other Tab

In the ‘Rate Control and Other’ Tab, our main attention need only be on the VBV bitrate/buffer settings in the first Rate Control area. The other settings can be tweaked, but this need be the only one to change – when concerned only with game capturing – as it can dictate the final output filesize of our recording. 
Why all that math and talk about bitrate above? Because of the very first setting we are going to cover, part of the Rate Control section:

The very first setting in this third tab of the x264vfw interface is something called “VBV max bitrate” and it is expressed in “kbit/s”. Yay, we just learned about that! It means that the value typed in here will be accepted as “kilobits per second”.

What does the “VBV” mean? It stands for “Video Buffering Verifier” and this setting will let us state the overall maximum bitrate we want to restrict the video recording to be, so that it does not go over it. 
Why would we want to do that? Remember that the amount of bitrate (per second) that we are using to record with affects the output video file size. If it is a large amount, the file size will be bigger. If we wanted to restrict the recorded output file size and keep it smaller, we could put an amount in here and it will do it’s best to keep within that amount, allowing us to control how much bitrate it uses to record with (and thus control how big the game recording output will be).
So, to use our example just above, if we wanted to restrict the bitrate of the game recording output to be only 1MB/s (1 MegaBytes per second), what do we do? 
That’s right, we convert it to lower-case (small-‘b’) bits, first:
We want 1 MegaByte per second of a bitrate
1 MegaByte is 1000 KiloBytes
since 1 Byte = 8 bits
then 1000 KiloBytes = 8000 kilobits
so to restrict the maximum bitrate allowed for our capture to 1MB/s (taking up 60MB of drive space per minute of recording) we would put “8000” in the ‘VBV max bitrate’ box.
This box then, gives some control over how much diskspace you want to devote to the game recording file output. If you do not want to restrict the bitrate, do not put anything in these first two boxes on this third tab. 
If you do want to set a restriction here on the bitrate, set a “buffer size” as well (the box just below the first one). This ‘buffer size’ gives a sliding-window-view of how much the codec will keep track of what is going through and ‘watch’ to make sure that it stays below the amount in the box above (the ‘max bitrate’ box). It is used more for compressing for portable devices (which have less RAM and are not able to buffer/keep track of a large amount at a time and therefore must have a restricted amount set here).  
For our purposes – game recording – remember that we must be more concerned with speed (to reduce lag), so in this box, we cannot put a very large amount. Why? Because the larger the buffer, the more that the codec will try to ‘store up’ in RAM, in order to ‘watch it’ (process it) and keep track of how big the bitrate gets, in order to keep our restriction of the ‘max bitrate’ box on it. So, a smaller amount such as “2000” up to maybe “4000” in this ‘buffer size’ box is a good amount. The overall buffer size also allows room for the video to ‘go over slightly and come back down to within’ the amount we set, but the larger the amount is, the more data will be held behind for processing that will be done on the game recording and the slower everything will get – and we don’t want that – we want as close to ‘Lag Free’ recording as we can get. A “0” then, would be the optimal amount to put in here, when speed is a concern; but then we would not be able to set a maximum bitrate… more on this later in the article…
That’s all we will adjust on the Rate Control & Other tab.
Analysis & Encoding Tab
Here’s where we will do the most adjusting, as these settings in here are the ones with the most impact on speed and game recording.
In the Analysis section, the first few adjustments are checkboxes concerning Partitions. Partitions are exactly what they sound like: it is how much the codec will divide up the screen, into sections, so that it can analyze each section and look at what is changing, decide how to compress it, how much to compress it, and so on. For game recording, remember we are more concerned with speed, than messing with how the codec is going to scrutinize the screen, so we are going to uncheck everything in the Partitions sections. Really. We are also going to uncheck the Adaptive DCT setting (which will deselect/lock out/grey out some of the checkboxes for us).
For game recording, we are going to leave a checkmark in the “Fast P-skip” setting.

Frame Types (in Layman’s Terms)  /start

There are three main types of frames in video encoding:
I-type frames
P-type frames
B-type frames

I-frames are ‘Intra-coded Frames’, sometimes called Information Frames, because they hold the most information in a ‘group of frames’ (which is what makes up a video) and therefore I-frames take up the most space (as far as the amount of space it will take up on your hard drive). They also look the best as well, as they usually use a higher bitrate (which is why they take up the more space). They are utilized by the codec to indicate a large change in what is going on in the video/on the screen, like a sort of ‘reset’. They can usually be identified by the screen being ‘cleared up’ of blocks/glitches from video compression, as the compressed video is played back. 

For instance, if you are running down a dark hallway and turn a corner and there is an explosion, in order to more accurately represent that large change in color and motion in the game recording, the codec will most likely decide to insert at least one I-frame and use a larger amount of data to keep more detail as it tries to represent all of the huge changes going on, on the screen and in the frames.

I-frames also serve some other purposes: the ‘intra-coded’ means that they are not dependent on other frames around it in the video  [which is a collection of frames], as they hold all the information needed to represent the frame all within itself [remember ‘inter-murals’ in school involved other schools and ‘intra-murals’ was contained all within your own school, this is the same thing]. 

They also are usually used as Keyframes. Since I-frames contain all the data need to represent the entire frame, on it’s own, video applications can use it as a ‘starting point’ or ‘reference point’ (“keying off of it”) and allow for more compatible cutting/editing on them and use them to start ‘seeking’ from, when editing a video. The two main things to remember about I-frames/Keyframes [the same thing] is that (1) I-frames can stand alone all by themselves, as they have all the information needed to display an image/frame, and (2) I-frames allow video editing programs [like Sony’s VegasVideo/MovieStudio/Pro and Adobe’s Premiere/Pro] to ‘reset’ and show you where you are starting to edit from – if there are a large number of frames between these I-frames (“keyframes”), it will take longer for the program to read between all of them and then show/allow you to start editing from where you have selected in the video editing program (it will take longer overall to edit by hand as the program starts and stops and you have to wait while editing).  

MJPEG game recordings are made up entirely of I-frames, as every frame in the captured video is it’s own JPEG compressed picture and it is the most editing-friendly and compatible codec to capture with, no matter what game capturing program you use. In fact, most video editors can read MJPEG without installing any other codecs on your system 

P-frames are called ‘Predicted Frames’. They hold far less information in a group of frames (video) and take up far less space. They actually only hold the differences from the Previous I-frame, that is, they only keep track of the changes on the screen/what has changed on the screen since the last I-frame, which is why they are far smaller than I-frames. 

For instance, if you are playing a character in a game and you are just standing at the mailbox reading an in-game message, there isn’t much changing on the screen at all. Perhaps on the side of the mail window, there is only someone running by and that is all that is happening on the screen, nothing else is moving at all. P-frames will only keep track of the movement that person running by and not keep track of the mail message or anything else going on in the frame (things that aren’t moving) and it will save only those changes to the game recorded file as P-frames. Hence, they can indeed take up a much smaller amount of space in a game recording, since they are only recording the things that are changing on the screen.

B-frames are ‘Bi-directional Frames’ (called ‘Bi-Predictive Frames’). They hold even less information than P-frames, as they are only keeping track of the differences between any frame before or after itself (even using P-frames that are around it and not needing an entire I-frame to start from). This means they are only only keeping track of very small changes (only one frame ahead or behind) and can therefore be extremely small and take up very little space in a video file. B-frames are one of the reasons why we can archive/compress movies in such small file sizes – only the differences of what is going on, on the screen/in the frames, is being kept track of. Both P and B frames help to save a ton of space when it comes to video compression.

Frame Types (in Layman’s Terms)  /end

Why all that talk about the different types of frames in a group of frames (video)? Because now we can easily understand the next few settings in the configuration window. 
Fast P-skip is a setting that allows the codec to look at P-frames and decide if there are enough changes to analyze it further, or ‘skip’ over them and just process them as they are. This is decided on by the codec when it looks at some other settings on this tab (such as the “ME” settings) but for the most part, it helps speed – our main concern with game recording – more than it helps things to ‘look good’, so we will leave a checkmark in it, as we briefly stated above.
Max frame refs and Mixed refs are talking about Reference Frames and how many to use in a group of pictures/frames. When encoding, a codec can use frames in front (P-frames) or in front and behind (B-frames) of the current frame it is working with, to keep tracks of what has changed between frames. When encoding for movies, we want as many as possible (or as many as the codec decides to put in) in order have things keep a lot of detail wherever it is needed, especially for scene changes; but for game recording, we want things to run faster (so that the game capture does not lag the game or cause lag within the recorded file (“choppy-ness” in playback), so we actually want the codec to use as little number of Reference Frames as possible.
Remember, every time the codec has to ‘think’ or analyze the frames more, it will slow down to break out it’s magnifying glass and scrutinize, so what we want for this setting is the lowest (one) Reference Frame (put a “1” in the Max frame refs box) so it doesn’t have to do much more work than just looking quickly one frame ahead or behind, when when figuring out what has changed. 
Mixed reference frames allow the codec to compress frames based on changes in frames that are also being referenced by other frames [if you can follow that]. Again, the codec is going to have to slow down and take a look, and for game recording, we want things to stay lean and mean (fast), so uncheck this bad boy (if you make the Max frame refs a “1”, it will be disabled anyway, since it does not have enough frames to deal with to look around at them anyway).
The next few settings down that all say “ME” refer to Motion Estimation. This is the process of keeping track of where things are moving on the screen and how to deal with compressing the changes it is keeping track of. For game recording, we want the codec to analyze as little as possible (so it doesn’t lag behind what is going on, on the screen) so we must choose the lowest settings for all of the “ME” options. 
That means “Diamond” analysis as the ME algorithm (pulldown menu choice), an ME range of the smallest we can choose from (“4”) and the lowest amount of Subpixel ME refinement we can have (“0” or no subpixel refinement). Remember, we want the codec to just save what is happening on the screen and analyze as little as possible, so it doesn’t fall behind.
With the choices above, Chroma ME and the Psycho-visual Rate Distortion Optimization strength will be locked out/not applicable, which is good for game capturing, as it scrutinizes the frames that are coming from the game even less.
The next couple settings, in the middle column of the tab, that say GOP in them, are talking about the size of the Group Of Pictures we want in our capture. If you can recall the things we have already said about how a codec decides to compress frames, it looks to frames ahead and behind at times, looking at the differences between them, and then decides how to compress the frames based on what it finds (and the settings we set). For movie compression, we want a large number, so that the codec mainly keeps track of the differences only between frames, as much as it can, and a large GOP size allows it a lot of ‘room to move’ and look around. For game capturing, we don’t want it to be quite as big, as the more frames on it’s plate it has to deal with, the more it will slow down and take time to decide what to do with them. 

There is also a chance that some video editing applications will not like the large (or any) Groups Of Pictures and may see the video stream as corrupted or give wierd artifacts/effects when it plays it back. This is one reason why using MJPEG as a game recording codec is suggested often, as it’s built-in GOP is “1”, as evey frame is it’s own self-contained ‘group’ and no editing app has to mess with it or over-analyze it. It is the most compatible, but you can use any codec you wish, but you may have to change the codec’s Keyframes or GOP to “1” for compatibility [more on this in future articles!]


Hence, we will set a nice low number [I personally used “50” around the time of this post]. Be aware that if the number is a multiple of the framerate you are recording in, Videophiles may notice the screen ‘shifting’ or having other odd effects ‘in time with’ the framerate (eg. if recording at 60fps and the GOP size is 60, some people notice the screen ‘correcting’ or ‘shifting’ or ‘flickering’ every second, as it ends the group or frames and starts a new one every second).
You can use “1”, which will make the codec act like MJPEG in a way, but then the codec will not have any room to analyze/compare/compress anything, and the resulting file will require much more bitrate to keep detail (to accurately represent what is going on in each frame)… more on that later in this article…
Weighted P-frames and Max consecutive B-frames is yet more analysis for the codec to do (especially B-frames, which remember, is a frame that ‘looks both ways’ for changes to frames in front and behind it, therefore can slow down recording a lot). For game capturing, we gots’ta keep setting things for speed and not letting the codec analyze too much. Change the Weighted P-frames to “None” (via a pull down bar) and the B-frames to “0” if they aren’t already. This is effectively telling the codec “you ain’t got time fo’ B-framez” so the rest of the settings that say “B-frames” should be locked/greyed out after that.
[In tests, enabling B-frames would actually crash the x264vfw app]
Under the Encoding section, the last column of this tab, the first section has to do with Deblocking
Deblocking is a way to try and ‘hide’ areas where the codec has cut out detail or ‘let go of data’ (lossy) in attempts to conform to the other settings in the codec and/or compress the frames highly. I’m sure almost everyone has seen Compression Artifacts like macroblocks or Gibbs Effects (mosquito noise) in high/over-compressed video and video streams. It’s not very pretty and turning on the Deblocking filter is one way of masking these artifacts, so that the video overall looks nicer to the human eye. 
The problem with Deblocking is that the codec will smooth things out, when trying to hide artifacts (especially ones that occur with lower bitrates/quality). It can be forced to keep detail with negative values (useful for movies/games with film grain), but overall it still takes more compression time to use, as the codec stops and analyzes the frames, looking for what to Deblock. So, for game recording for the most part, for optimum speed, Deblocking should be disabled, that is, “No Checkmark” in the box for In-loop deblocking filter (which will disable the two Deblocking settings below it).

[In my own trials/experiments, I found that a low amount of deblocking (as in “1”) for these two recording settings is acceptable and helps to hide some otherwise icky-looking compression effects that occur at lower bitrates (bitrate control is covered more in the next section), but for optimum speed (it is not needed at higher bitrates anyway) and especially for older/less powerful systems, turning deblocking off will always speed things up.]
CABAC is extra analysis that can really make a difference in compressing video. Some mobile players cannot even use it though, as it requires more processing power. The optimal setting for this, as it is extra analysis/processing being done – for game recording – would be “Off” (unchecked).

 [I have successfully done many recordings with CABAC on, as it seems to have only a slight effect on recording ‘lag’ on my system; but for optimum speed/less lag when recording (and at a slight loss for keeping some quality), it should be disabled.. for speed. ]

The only other thing to adjust in this tab, when game recording, is the Trellis setting. Trellis is a way of analyzing and attempting to keep certain detail when compressing, especially at lower bitrates, but as many times already mentioned, we want speed for game recording, so set the Trellis analysis to “Off” (via a pulldown bar). 

Main Tab

All of the below paragraphs between these red lines of text is the same for both the Official and the Unofficial versions of the x264vfw interface and is only duplicated for ease of reading their respective sections

The main thing in here (and really the only thing to adjust for game recording in this tab) is the longest bar right in the middle, the main datarate control and compression decision make, is all in that one bar. I cannot even make a suggestion on what to use [ok, I can actually], since it will partially depend on what type of game you are recording, your hardware, what kind of compression you are looking for and many other factors. I will attempt to simplify it however and give a suggestion at the end. (More importantly for game recording, there is one choice that is slightly faster than all the others).

To begin, since we are going to be using x264 for game recording, we cannot use the Leeloo Dallas Multipass Options. Multiple passes (usually 2 or 3) when compressing/archiving video can greatly increase quality, but that means twice the analysis, double-checking and then further compression by the codec. Literally processing every frame twice (for 2-passes). That’s great when we want to keep a movie in a small, ‘as-good/high-as-we-can-get’ quality, forever. When recording games however, we want [one guess] speed [I just realized this whole article can be it’s own drinking game]. We can only accept “Single pass” as our option, because we just want the codec to see what frames are coming in, take a quick glance, and compress them into our output video file. One pass.
Starting with ABR (Average BitRate), the “bitrate-based” setting, this setting allows you to punch in the average bitrate you want to record at and it attempts to stick with it (it will go lower, but try to never go higher than what you set here). This setting basically tells the codec, “Keep within this bitrate, I don’t care if the quality goes down”, because as the bitrate ceiling is reached, it will quickly degrade in quality, as more/high movement occurs on the screen/frame. It is good for keeping within a certain file size, if that is your desire, but it also causes a bit of ‘lag’ and is not seemingly optimized for ‘live’ capturing.
CQP (Constant Quantizer Parameter) is a setting where you are basically telling the codec, “Keep this level of Quality”, and it will do it’s best to keep that level of quality for all frames/scenes. However, it will spend more time (and bitrate) on fast-motion/high-action scenes. This is good if you want to keep a movie visible clearly when a lot of things are going on [I hate watching a low-quality video stream online and it goes absolutely-stupid blurry at high-motion scenes just because there are many things happening on the screen], but it will also result in the higher usage of bitrate, which means larger file sizes. This may sound like a good thing for game recording (and for quality, it is), but the time spend analyzing the faster-motion scenes means that it is actually slowing down (in terms of the codec breaking out it’s magnifying glass and scrutinizing the frames that are passing by), which results in ‘lag’, both in the game and in the recorded video file itself (“choppiness” on playback).
Lossless should attempt to lose no quality, processing only very little and passing all of that nice detail directly to the recorded video output. While sounding good in theory, in practice the utilization of ‘lossless’ in x264 must be geared towards slow, analyzed video compression and not ‘as fast as we can get to avoid lag’ “live” game recording. The result is actually a lossy, compressed (it does not seem to go far beyond 100,000kbps), low bitrate (compared to ‘true loss-less compression’) capture. It does look decent, but it is also very demanding on the system and causes a large framerate drop for the level of detail that should be coming out of it (and doesn’t). This codec does not seem to be optimized for lossless recording at this time and I do not suggest using the Lossless setting here.
CRF (Constant Rate Factor) is sort of a combination of ABR and CQP. At any given rate factor, a certain bitrate is maintained, and when the motion on the screen goes very high and the bitrate gets too high to represent what is occurring in the frame (or hits the ‘ceiling’ bitrate that it is restricted to, which can be set), then the quality begins to suffer, as the codec ramps it down and compresses the fast-moving (“not as easy for the human eye to see”) material, until things settle down on the screen and there is slower motion (such as a person walking). Then the quality ramps back up (the bitrate staying with the specified parameters) to keep the apparent quality high to the human eye. This is how CRF is supposed to work, and it seems to do a good job of that. 
Game recording with CRF isn’t as cut-and-dry as slow, long-term video compression with CRF, where it has time to figure out how to compress the fast/blurry scenes and make the slower/clearer scenes look better and change the bitrate/quantization respectively. Quantization can be thought of as ‘apparent spoilage’ of the material, where a certain amount isn’t even noticeable to most humans, and in some fast-moving-high-action scenes, it is even preferable to some eyes. Low bitrate and/or high quantization would both result in loss of detail and ‘blurring’ or ‘smoothing’ of video most of the time and can result in compression artifacts such as Macroblocks and Gibbs Effects (“mosquito noise”), as the codec tries to decide ‘what to keep’ and ‘what to lose’ (lossy compression). With CRF, it usually will try to keep a slow-moving scene (someone walking, people talking) detailed, without much quantizing (‘spoilage’), so that it looks good. It will take high-motion (fast action, fast changing) scenes and quantize them more (smoothing, blurring, ‘spoiling’) since the human eye won’t notice it as much on fast-motion, already-slightly-blurred changes on the screen.
To summarize the differences between the types of data rate controls (the choices in this pulldown bar):
CQP is like stating, “Keep this quality, I don’t care how big the bitrate/file gets” and ABR is like stating, “Keep this bitrate/filesize, I don’t care how crappy you have to make the video look to stay within that”, CRF is more like stating, “Try to keep this bitrate, but change it a little as you need (within a certain amount) and make the video look slightly crappy if you need to as well, but don’t let either one get too out of wack”. As CRF seemed to also be the one with the least amount of effect of the system in the form of ‘lag’ [only slightly less than the other ones in testing], being so highly configurable (compared to the other choices, where you can state a bitrate to stay within and it adjusts itself), I suggest using CRF for your x264/AVC game capturing.

Some Data / Bitrates seen with CRF

Since it looks like we are going to be sticking with CRF as our main datarate control factor [it performs slightly better than the other choices in tests], here’s an example of some bitrates that can result from using it (in kilobits per second):

Recorded game: Hitman: Absolution Benchmark [grainy, panning, high and low motion areas]
Recorded codec: H.264/AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10) using the x264vfw interface
Recorded settings [some]: No Deblocking, No Max Bitrate, No CABAC, adjusting only CRF

CRF 51  ~1200 kbps (lowest possible quality setting for CRF)
CRF 42  ~1600 kbps
CRF 32  ~6000 kbps
CRF 29  ~8500 kbps
CRF 26  ~14000 kbps
CRF 23  ~22000 kbps (codec default setting for CRF)
CRF 22  ~23000 kbps
CRF 21  ~32000 kbps
CRF 18  ~45000 kbps
CRF 15  ~64000 kbps
CRF 13  ~79000 kbps
CRF 10  ~101,000 kbps
CRF 5    ~119,000 kbps
CRF 1    ~119,000 kbps (highest possible quality setting for CRF)

As you can see, the higher the CRF, the lower the bitrate, so the lower the recorded file size will be (but also the lower the apparent quality). If you desire a higher-quality recording, then a lower CRF is what you want (even with a very low CRF, the bitrate is nowhere near as high as say, a FRAPS or YV12 recording (which can both easily be over 500,000 kbps), but that is the nature of the codec as it tries to slightly compress everything that passes through it.

It can also be seen, that is it is not a strict/hard-and-fast rule of evenly-spaced steps, when it comes to the CRF setting and Bitrate. It cannot be easily calculated that “two steps up in CRF equals this much more bitrate”. That is partially the nature of the compression and partially what occurs using CRF as a datarate control. When there is more motion on the screen and as it changes, the datarate will change as well, to try to keep within certain bitrate/quality boundaries and still accurately represent what is occurring on the screen/in the frames. With almost any form of compression/codec, only if the recording was using a completely fixed bitrate, or recording a static picture/view, would it be easy to calculate the adjustments required for a certain bitrate change. It is built into the codecs to adjust themselves as needed.

What CRF setting to use

So, what CRF setting to use? The general rule is: the lower the CRF number, the more bitrate/quality you are allowing it to use, but the bigger the recorded file size will be.

The choice is somewhat objective, as CRF18 may look good to me to record a first-person-shooter game with (the default is CRF23), but you may not like how it looks and want to use CRF10 to keep more details that you want to see.
Someone may not like the compression artifacts they can see when recording Minecraft using CRF18 and want to turn it up to CRF15 so that it is crisper, with less ‘mosquito noise’ around the edges or corruption that they can see; but you may think it looks good enough at the default of CRF23 and leave it there like someone else may do. You see?
Those are two very different types of video/games mind you, one is dark and grainy and the other is smooth, with hard edges, like animation; but you get the point. It can vary, not only person to person, but also game to game. A few short tests is all it will take however, and you quickly will find a CRF setting that you are happy to record with. You’ll find your own balance between, what will essentially be, these considerations:

The higher the bitrate (lower CRF number) the higher the quality and file size will be
The lower the bitrate (higher CRF number) the lower the quality and file size will be

You will eventually decide, with just a couple tests, what is ‘good enough’ quality for your eyes/uploading, and what CRF to use on that game (remember the ‘balancing act’ of bitrate vs quality mentioned at the beginning?). You will also find that the quality recorded isn’t even kept, after compressing the final/edited video to upload at a video sharing site somewhere.

All of the above paragraphs between these red lines of text is the same for both the Official and the Unofficial versions of the x264vfw interface and is only duplicated for ease of reading their respective sections

Slash-whew-sweating-emoticon

That was a lot to take in at once – but you made it through – and now you are set to record using H.264/AVC, whether you prefer Dxtory, Bandicam or use the completely free-to-use Afterburner from MSI. You are also now knowledgeable in both the Official and an Unofficial version of the x264 Video For Windows graphical way of setting up the codec, to change the settings.

Other than the Rate Control setting above (CRF) which you can adjust and set how you want it, the rest of the settings I have personally tested and found which ones allow for the faster recording performance and which ones negatively affect the speed of recording, utilizing the x264vfw interface (which these programs use to record in H.264/AVC). Turning off/down the ones I have stated throughout the article should give you the fastest/closest to ‘lag-free’ recording you can get with this codec, while still taking advantage of it’s compression capability. [My own Personal Notes/Opinions/Settings are below]

Please note that if your system is older or not as capable (perhaps you have a notebook/laptop which has less capability than a full desktop system with it’s own dedicated videocard and soundcard), you may have to do things like lower the recording resolution (or the resolution you are playing at in the game), increase the CRF number (so that it uses slightly less system resources to process the recording and will then use less bitrate and less disk space).

There are many things that can be done to help with speed, make for smoother recording, less lag, etc.
Here is a link to an article I wrote earlier on this blog, with general Tips to help with game recording:
http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2012/05/tips-for-game-recording-currently-text.html
No matter what game you play or what program you are using to record, these Tips will help you overall, with trying to record your games.

Lastly, please note dear reader, that I am not saying “This codec is the best one to record with” or “use this one only”. I am merely showing that it is possible or how to tweak it for quality or file size, as to your own personal tastes. There are many codecs out there to choose from when game recording and although some are more apt for certain types of games than others, overall it is your own choice to do with as you will. 

As always, do some of your own testing, see what works the best for you on your system and get things looking exactly how you want them to look – and have fun with it!


Personal Short Version/Opinion
and 
Settings I use:

H.264/AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10), is not normally a recommended codec to record with, for most people. It does not have the capability of super-high-almost-what-you-see-is-what-you-get quality that other codecs like FRAPS1, YV12, Lagarith or RGB Raw would give you. 
Heck, the highest bitrate possible (using the CRF setting, the fastest of the Rate Control settings in my tests) is only about 100,000kbps. That’s still about 2-4x the bitrate of the average BluRay movie mind you, and it seems fine to me, to look at the recorded videos of it.

Even if I had Terabytes of hard drive space to record to, I would still like to record in as small a filesize as I can, attempting at the same time to keep ‘good enough’ quality. Gone for me, are the days of filling my drives with FRAPS recordings (which have very high quality though) when today, with the more powerful CPUs and GPUs, I can record in a high MJPEG setting (for compatibility with editing apps) or a high MPEG-1 setting (which saves a lot on diskspace as well and has decent compatibility with video editors) – and now I can save even more space and record with MPEG-4 AVC, if desired. 
For instance, on my older system, a dual-core cpu with an NVIDIA GTS250, recording with x264/AVC brings my framerate down by about ten frames per second and sometimes more. On my newer system, a six-core cpu with an AMD HD 6870, recording with x264/AVC, with the same settings, brings my framerate down by only a couple of frames per second with my settings. Wonderful stuff.

I did many, many tests to find out what specific settings made differences (especially with the Unofficial version of the interface) and for the most part, it turned out as intuitive as it seemed at the outset: any setting that increased analysis and processing of the frames slowed things down. 
I had to test it all of course, and I found many settings that didn’t make a ‘huge’ impact on performance, and with more powerful hardware these are able to be used and enjoyed, helping to compress the frames even further, keeping decent detail and resulting in a very small recorded file size. As you can adjust/optimize settings far more in the Unofficial interface (at least a bit easier/graphically), I tend to use that one more than the Official version; but in essence, both are the same thing. Here’s some of my findings [my settings are in these square brackets]:

For the Official (“Simple”, red x264 logo) interface:

I found that, on a more modern desktop system, the Preset can be turned ‘down’ a bit (the amount of analysis going up a bit), to Superfast or even sometimes Veryfast, since many of the hard-cpu-hitting options like Trellis and larger Motion Estimations don’t kick in at these settings. Anything lower/slower than that makes it lag behind too much as it processes frames.
[I usually use Superfast]

While Zero Latency is pretty much required for live game recording, Fast Decode is not entirely needed, especially if you have a faster rig to power the game and record at the same time on. My computer isn’t even top of the line but it can handle NOT using Fast Decode (which disables CABAC, and a couple other things). CABAC can have quite a bit of an effect on quality, and since it doesn’t seem to have a huge performance hit, I use it. Fast Decode also disables Deblocking and that leads into my next setting…
[I always use Zero Latency]
[Even though it helps with speed, most of the time I don’t use Fast Decode]

The only other thing I change in the interface is deciding on the main Rate Control type and Rate Factor. In my own tests, CRF seemed to have the least amount of effect on framerate out of them all, and I fluctuate on what CRF I use, depending on the game I’m recording and what the recording is for. If I’m recording a high-quality test, of course it will be a low CRF, but it need not be a 1 to look good. I am quite satisfied with a CRF of 15-18 for decent-quality captures. The bitrate of a 1080p capture at that CRF ran about 45,000kbps, which is a high-quality BluRay movie’s bitrate. For just average gameplay for fun, I usually run a CRF of 21 up to 23. The quality is ‘good enough’ then, especially with a low Deblocking setting helping out (the Preset of Superfast leaves Deblocking “On” at the default 0:0 setting). I don’t recommend going below CRF23, with deblocking or not, as it just becomes too ‘garble-y’, to use a more technical term… Web broswer/low-motion games or hard-edged/animated games that look like Minecraft also need a higher bitrate (lower CRF), so that the hard edges aren’t messed up and the smooth/flat areas aren’t too compressed and get ‘blocky’.
[I use a CRF in the range of 18 for higher-quality capturing, going up to 23 if disk space is low, and don’t suggest higher than 23, so that quality doesn’t suffer too much] 

Nothing else need be adjusted in the Official x264/red logo interface, but I sometimes add “–keyint 50” or “–keyint 20” into the area (no quotation marks) ‘for advanced users’ at the bottom. This is a command that will force a keyframe/I-frame after that many frames have gone by. This helps to keep the seeking time low when editing and allows for closer cuts when not recompressing the clip when editing. If you having a problem with editing MPEG-4/AVC files, try using a –keyint setting of “1”, so that every frame is an editable/seekable keyframe. A higher GOP is better for file size but can take longer to seek when editing and Vegas or Premiere might have ‘trails’ or ‘corruption’ so might need a GOP setting of 1, see here for more info). You may want to increase the bitrate to keep quality then though, as the codec can’t really compress/do much of it’s ‘magic’ then, without room to work between frames. As stated above, the optimal codec for editing is MJPEG, but many do not like the quality (try turning it up to 100%).
Leaving it blank and not using any “–keyint” command will allow the codec to use many more frames (250 is the default I believe) for compression and the resulting recorded file size will be very small.

For the Unofficial (“Complicated”, black x264 logo) interface:

The first tab is just the Rate Control setting. CRF seemed to have the least effect on framerate.
I also sometimes add the –keyint setting to the command box at the bottom, just like I talked about a couple paragraphs up.
[I use a CRF in the range of 18 or less for higher-quality capturing, going up to 21 or if disk space is low, up to 23 at the most and don’t suggest higher than 23, so that quality doesn’t suffer too much]

For the second tab, there is a lot to change, but I mainly talked about why up in the article, so I’ll just state what I like to use here, after this paragraph on Deblocking:

Deblocking can be forced to ‘leave things in’/keep details, by using a negative value, especially when dealing with effects such as film grain and minute details and noise; but for the most part deblocking will ‘smooth things out’, especially trying to hide where a lot of detail has been lost, where compression artifacts like Macroblocks and Gibbs Effects (mosquito noise) around edges would show up. I don’t recommend putting deblocking up too high though, as it can really make things downright blurry. With deblocking completely off, all of the detail is kept, but many things can look like they have a ‘wood grain’ pattern on them. With a high bitrate/low CRF, there is no need for deblocking at all anyway, as there would be a lot less compression/artifacting. When recording a high-quality test or something like that, I leave it off. When just recording random gameplay or myself doing something, I turn it on at a low setting, to help with keeping things looking slightly more ‘clean’.
[I use Deblocking at 1:0 (CUDA default) up to 3:0, when I use it, but any more and things start to look ‘too smoothed out’ to me]

For this second tab then:
[No Partitions (all unchecked, Fast P-skip checked, 1 Max reference frame, ME algorithm on Diamond, ME range of 4, Subpixel ME refinement of 0 or 1 (any higher causes more lag), GOP size of 20 or 50 (this is the –keyint setting from above, higher is better for file size but can take longer to seek when editing and Vegas or Premiere might have ‘trails’ or ‘corruption’ so might need a GOP setting of 1, see here for more info), No Weighted P-frames, Max consecutive B-frames to 0 (none), In-loop deblocking filter unchecked (off) or checked (on) with a 1:1 deblock, CABAC on (it’s slower for less-capable systems), DCT decimation checked (on), Trellis set to Off]

In the third and last tab of the Unofficial (black x264 logo) interface, I sometimes set a VBV max bitrate of about 40000 (kbps) just to keep the filesize down, especially when I’m going to edit and recompress for uploading somewhere (which usually gets rendered out for upload at that bitrate or lower anyway), it looks ‘good enough’ for me (this also requires a buffer of some sort, to allow it to check the bitrate as it goes up and down, so I put in 4000 or 10000 if I set a VBV max bitrate)
[No maxbitrate usually, unless you want to save some harddrive space (eg. 50000k)]

That’s all I change for both of those interfaces, from their defaults, as of the time of this post. 
Keep in mind that as games are updated and Re-Optimized, drivers are Updated, and new hardware is released/purchased, I may change these settings (and I advise you to try some tests too, if you wish, when things change). Also, I am not a stickler for the utmost quality and don’t mind things getting compressed a bit, so you might want tighter/higher settings. 
Mainly, I hope that this info helps some of you to either record with less lag (many people report that with more optimized MPEG-4/AVC settings they have less apparent lag) or just learned some terms and concepts that may help when editing and compressing your own videos/shows/etc and overall just help you record better/smoother. I actually enjoyed testing all of these things out and learning about it and I hope it helps anyone that is recording their gameplay adventures.


See you in the games!

WORKOUT ANYTIME on Cincinnati.com

WORKOUT ANYTIME on Cincinnati.com

The article was written by Cincinnati Enquirer Business Reporter Bowdeya Tweh and was based on interviews coordinated with Tony Petrocelli and WORKOUT ANYTIME Vice President of Development Randy Trotter. The article begins with details about the opening of the WORKOUT ANYTIME in Montford Heights. The article gives information about the gym and about the company, as well as information on development plans in Ohio.        
Workout Anytime

You can view the full article here, and view contact information about WORKOUT ANYTIME’S new gym in Montford Heights here.

Now on Instagram!

I’ve joined in the Instagram love! You can now find me at Eberopolis on Instagram.


I started using it on Wednesday, so I’m still new, but I’m making it a goal to post something (usually) classroom-related every day. Be sure to follow me so I can find all of my teacher-friends who are already there!

Have a great weekend!

Happy Almost S.R.V. Day!

Stevie Ray Vaughan Remembrance Ride and Concert, Oct. 7

October 3 is considered Stevie Ray Vaughan Day, so what better thing to do than to come celebrate the life and music of Texas’ one and only Stevie Ray Vaughan with the 18th annual S.T.V. Remembrance Ride and Concert, October 7. It will be held in the world’s largest Hooters 11:15 sharp in the heart of West End Dallas.

The Stevie Ray Vaughan Remembrance Ride & Concert was started in the early 90’s as a way of honoring the life and music of Stevie, who passed away in a tragic helicopter accident during the late 80’s. All the proceeds from the concert will be going to the S.R.V. Memorial Scholarship Fund.

There will be various parties being held before and after the Remembrance ride and concert . A day before the big day there will be a pre-party held at Rick Fairless’ Strokers Dallas and the day of the parade and concert, which will be held in the Cowboys Dance Hall in Arlington from 12-6:30pm, there will be an after party at All Star Diamond Jim’s Saloon from 7pm to 2am.

Concert will showcase both famous and local talent blues bands like the Ian Moore Band, Kayla Reeves, Van Wilks, and the Harles Brothers, just to name a few. Pre-ordered tickets cost $20 and $25 at the door. All tickets are general admission and all seats are considered great seats. Parking is free.

So join in on the fun and the endless hours of music this October 7!

___________________________
Source: Stevie Ray Vaughan Remembrance Ride and Concert

Does Weighing Yourself Help You to Lose Weight?

Do weight changes translate into fat loss?
On a day to day basis a scale is an extremely poor tool for giving you information on changes in bodyfat levels which are very small.  Daily weight changes are mostly accounted for by four factors:  bowel movements, urination, starch and sugar intake, and blood volume.    Since your blood volume typically does NOT vary that much the other factors are more relevant.
Bowel Movements and Urination vary a lot between different people anywhere from 1.3lbs to 5.7lbs in a single day.    This is one of the reasons to consistently weight yourself after you wake up and go to the bathroom and before you eat or drink much.
However, the biggee when it comes to daily weight fluctuation, is usually glycogen storage levels.    Glycogen is just the storage form of glucose aka blood sugar.    All starch and sugar ultimately end up as glucose, glycogen or fat.     
For example, on the front end of a low carb diet you will show big weight loss which is almost all water because you store glucose/glycogen with water – hence the term carbo “Hydrate”.  Muscle and organs contain the highest levels of water, and this is significant because most of your bodyweight comes from muscles and organs. 
  
So daily changes in weight are NOT a good reflection in changes in bodyfat levels!
Can daily weighing help with long-term weight loss and fat loss?

In order to answer this question let’s review the scientific studies that have looked at this issue.     The recent advent of WIFI scales is allowing much more accurate weight records because prior to that people had to take the time to write down their weight each day.
In a recent WIFI scale study called the Weight Trial here were the results:
Over a six-month period, those who weighed daily lost about 13 lbs more than the control group.
Even those who weighed themselves up to five times each week lost less weight than the daily weighers.
Daily Weighers were more likely to do things like eating less food and watching less television so clearly the weighing helped by changing behaviors!
Although this study did not measure body fat, it is quite likely that the body weight loss did translate into significant fat loss.
For certain groups, daily weighing is a bad idea such as people with eating disorders and other psychological disorders including extremely low self-esteem.     In addition, daily weighing does not work for everyone.   For some people the inevitable plateaus or variations in weight loss can very frustrated and quit the whole process!

So daily weighing may be helpful for you, but it is not perfect and it does not accurately measure changes in bodyfat levels so it is important to do use some method of body composition testing to measure these changes which should be your ultimate goal!

Workout Anytime on FOX 19

Workout Anytime on FOX 19

Tony Petrocelli from Workout Anytime was recently featured on a segment on FOX 19 in Cincinnati. The segment is about what women do wrong while working out. Tony then talks about the locations and mentions that there are franchise opportunities.

Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

You can view the full segment here.

TestRun, Quick ‘End Of The World’ Edition Answers: Does SLI Really Make A Difference? and Where Should I Put PhysX for NVIDIA Videocards? (Text-Only Version)


Update: Added more Tests and Results – Hitman: Absolution Benchmark, Unigine: Valley Benchmark, Left 4 Dead 2 Unscripted Gameplay Test, Tribes: Ascend Gameplay Test and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum Gameplay Test


Recently becoming the proud owner of another NVIDIA card, I swapped out my trusty AMD/ATi Radeon HD 6870 from ASUS that has served me so well and lovingly joined together two GTX 560 Ti videocards in electric matrimony to try out some SLI. I share now my experiences, the results of many tests and answers to questions I have seen in many places online, including one I had myself.

This is also a ‘Quick’ Edition, a version of the testing and results that are text-only for now, where I may do a full version as time permits in the future, with screen recordings, graphs and other materials that I would like to share and would help people out.

The Experiment

For this TestRun, with two NVIDIA videocards, I try answer the question: “Does SLI really make a difference?” and also “Where to put PhysX?”. Sure, the answer of ‘if it makes a difference’ is answered other places online, with pretty graphs and numbers; but I am one of those people that, although accepting, don’t ‘truly believe’ things unless I can test it out myself. This is a human stubbornness I know, but it also helps me explore many things I would not have otherwise experienced and allows me to share those results and experiences with others. “Does it really double performance?” is probably a more specific question of what I’m feeling, as of course it should make a difference, after all I am putting another 384 processing cores towards throwing around colorful shapes on my screen. I want to know if it even ‘doubles’ the awesomeness of games that I play. There are two cards in there now, so what’s the difference in performance?

Another aspect I plan to explore is regarding PhysX, NVIDIA’s lovechild of bouncing balls and splattering sparks. Does it affect game performance? Which card should run it if I have it on? Is it better to run it on a dedicated card [that only uses it for that] or off of the CPU? These are my own questions as well since finding a second NVIDIA gpu on sale… PhysX is only in a hamfisted-handful of games – and is only going to be found on NVIDIA GPUs, but it is supposed to improve visual/perceived quality in the games that do use it, due to the fancy waving flags, shattering glass and splattering blood [and the like]. I am going to test the options of having it on the first or second SLI card and how PHysX runs off of the CPU, too.

The Test

For this TestRun, I used utilities such as FurMark and FluidMark, Unigine’s Heaven Benchmark and a handful of games to benchmark and test with, such as Just Cause 2, Alien Vs. Predator, Lost Planet 2, Battlefield 3, Unreal Tournament 3 and Batman: Arkham City (all but the first two utilize PhysX). I am currently running an AMD 6-Core CPU and two GTX560Ti’s in SLI mode on a GIGABYTE 990FXA chipset mainboard.
I assume this is still an average-to-above-average system at the time of this writing (perhaps upper midrange but definitely not top-of-the-line) and it would help out anyone with a similar rig in the future as well with examples of some of the performance difference they will see [if they add a second videocard].

The Data

Here are my benchmarking test results and average framerates, comparing SLI mode with a single GPU:

FurMark: Score (2127), Average Framerate (40fps)
FurMark: Score (3959), Average Framerate (65fps) SLI
Lost Planet 2 – Benchmark B: Average Framerate (44fps)
Lost Planet 2 – Benchmark B: Average Framerate (103fps) SLI
Just Cause 2: Concrete Jungle Benchmark, High Settings, Average Framerate (28fps)
Just Cause 2: Concrete Jungle Benchmark, High Settings, Average Framerate (51fps) SLI
Alien Vs. Predator: Benchmark Run, 1920×1200, x16 Filtering, Average Framerate (44fps)
Alien Vs. Predator: Benchmark Run, 1920×1200, x16 Filtering, Average Framerate (90fps) SLI
Unigine Heaven Benchmark: 1080p, x4x4 Filtering, Score (960), Average Framerate (38fps)
Unigine Heaven Benchmark: 1080p, x4x4 Filtering, Score (1717), Average Framerate (68fps) SLI

Unigine Valley Benchmark: 1080p, Ultra Settings, 8xMSAA – Score (1077), Average Framerate (26fps)
Unigine Valley Benchmark: 1080p, Ultra Settings, 8xMSAA – Score (1741), Average Framerate (42fps) SLI
Hitman: Absolution Benchmark: 1080p, Ultra Settings, Average Framerate (32fps)
Hitman: Absolution Benchmark: 1080p, Ultra Settings, Average Framerate (33fps) SLI
(Hitman: Absolution does not appear to take advantage of SLI and/or is not Optimized for it, despite double-checking that SLI mode is enabled and trying to utilize NVIDIA’s ‘Custom Game Profile’ for it, as well – the following two games also do not appear to take advantage of SLI mode)

Tribes: Ascend – 1920×1080, Very High Settings, Average Framerate (51fps)
Tribes: Ascend – 1920×1080, Very High Settings, Average Framerate (53fps) SLI
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum – 1600×900, 8xAA, Reflections and other (17fps)
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum – 1600×900, 8xAA, Reflections and other (19fps) SLI




Here are some unscripted, raw gameplay framerates, averaged:
(multiple samples taken of each with FRAPS’ built-in benchmarking utility)

Alien Vs. Predator: Marine Storyline, Average Framerate (47fps)
Alien Vs. Predator: Marine Storyline, Average Framerate (89fps) SLI
Battlefield 3 : Multiplayer with 64 Players, Average Framerate (33fps)
Battlefield 3 : Multiplayer with 64 Players, Average Framerate (61fps) SLI

Left 4 Dead 2 – 1920×1080, Very High Settings, 4xMSAA, 4xAF, Extra Film Grain (128fps)
Left 4 Dead 2 – 1920×1080, Very High Settings, 4xMSAA, 4xAF, Extra Film Grain (185fps) SLI

*Planetside 2 : Multiplayer with many players, BioLab, Average Framerate (36fps)
*Planetside 2 : Multiplayer with many players, BioLab, Average Framerate (37fps) SLI
[*Game does not appear to be fully optimized currently, article with more detail here:
http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2012/11/planetside-2-and-ultra-settings-quality.html)


Here are the PhysX tests, done with FluidMark:

FluidMark: Score (5338) single-card mode, PhysX on the card, Average Framerate (87fps)
FluidMark: Score (5449) SLI, PhysX set to (GPU1), Average Framerate (89fps)
FluidMark: Score (7512) SLI, PhysX auto-selected (GPU2), Average Framerate (123fps)
FluidMark: Score (7379) SLI, PhysX set on (GPU2) Dedicated, Average Framerate (121fps)
FluidMark: Score (1291) SLI, PhysX set on (CPU), Average Framerate (21fps)

The Conclusion

So, does putting in a second videocard practically ‘double’ your gaming performance? Dang right it does. Now, I have read that it ‘should’ in many other articles online, but again, I had to test it out for myself. Almost across the board, in every game I threw at it, the performance was almost doubled. Wonderful stuff.

For those about to spend money on a second GPU for SLI because now they know it ‘will definitely make a difference’, I should mention as a Tip here that the more cards you add in (for 3-way or 4x SLI or Crossfire, for instance) the lower the rate-of-return you actually get on the investment.
In other words, adding a third card won’t ‘double the performance again‘ and adding a fourth card won’t ‘double that performance yet again’ –  it won’t even give you 300% and 400% performance [for the third and fourth videocards added]. You will actually see diminishing returns as you add more cards.
Still, if you have enough money for only a second GPU that matches your ‘old’ one, but not enough money to splurge on a new, faster one, clearly SLI/Crossfire is the way to go, it really does make a huge difference.

The PhysX tests are interesting, as they answer a question that I myself was wondering: does it matter whether you set PhysX on GPU1, GPU2 or the CPU, and should a GPU be dedicated to it?

It seems to make sense, that although a powerful, complex 6-core processor, my CPU is nowhere near the raw number-crunching [if ‘simpler’] streamlined data-geyser that the 384-core video card is. The difference can be clearly seen in the results. On the CPU, PhysX calculations [alone/isolated] gave a 23fps output of gushing blood on the screen, while even just one videocard running PhysX by itself put out 87fps of crimson data. Adding another card and telling that GPU instead [of utilizing the first card] to ‘calculate the physics if you please’ took the framerate up to over 120fps. Clearly, NVIDIA is showing that the videocards were made to handle the floating leaves, sparks and bouncing balls of PhysX …and ball handle they did.

What is interesting is the difference that was made, depending on which card you chose to handle PhysX. When the PhysX was set to GPU2 (the card not plugged directly into the monitor in my case), the highest score was achieved. When the PhysX was set to GPU1 (the card plugged directly into the monitor), it scored almost exactly the same as if there was no second card in the system at all. Now, the utility (FluidMark) does test ‘only‘ PhysX and there isn’t much to see on the screen other than some bouncing baubles, but it seems to show that if you put PhysX on the same card that you are using as your display card (that your monitor plugs into), then it might in fact affect performance of that card to display the pretty images on your screen slightly – or at least, to ‘deal with PhysX and show pretty colors on your screen’ at the same time.

Either way, they are both better than utilizing the CPU, as the pitiful performance when on the CPU (at least for ‘mainly PhysX only’ calculations) is over 500% slower than the performance seen when PhysX calculations are put on the second video card, and still calculated at over 400% slower compared to when PhysX is put on the first video card in an SLI setup. Clearly it is better to have PhysX calculations done on a GPU – and perhaps not put it on the main display card if you can.

Testing the ramification of this in actual gameplay, I played some Unreal Tournament 3 and Batman: Arkham City, while juggling the PhysX of both games to be calculated on the CPU, GPU2 and GPU1 (the main display card where the monitor is plugged in). Using FRAPS for collecting benchmark data in Average Frames Per Second, I saw no more than a few frames difference between all modes.
That is, playing with PhysX set to GPU2, PhysX set on GPU1 or putting the PhysX onto the CPU, I saw only a few frames of difference in actual gameplay performance. Mind you, it can be argued that I didn’t see as many sparks, blood, snow or leaves float across my screen at times; but overall, if you are concerned with only “the game performance ramifications” of where to put PhysX, The Answer Is: playing a game, it doesn’t really matter (but the CPU calculates PhysX slower than putting it on any card, as seen in the data).

Overall, if you can’t afford that fast, newly-released videocard you want, but you can afford to get another GPU of the same type as the one you have now – and your motherboard and powersupply can support it – it’s totally worth it to get a second videocard for SLI/Crossfire performance (and if you’re going the NVIDIA route, it doesn’t really matter where you put PhysX).

Have fun upgrading and See You In The Games If The World Doesn’t End Soon!

The Game Tips And More Blog’s Ludo Ludi (Game Play) #1-3

I wanted to start a video series that was Random Gameplay Video Clips that I have collected over time. I started out calling it FLASHBACK, creating a logo for it and everything; but I wanted a way to archive/share them out a little bit faster/easier, rather than ‘Featuring’ them every time, so I came up with the concept of “Ludo Ludi”.

It means “game” and “play” in Esperanto. The idea was to not label the gameplay clips or state what they are, in order to have other people enjoy the “surprise reminiscence” of the games. Viewers could try to guess what they are for fun or just enjoy them as part of a playlist where they didn’t know what was coming next. For the most part it would be easy to guess them of course; if you played the game, you’ll know what game it is and what class I played, etc.etc. But, I still thought it would be entertaining to have a bunch on a playlist of some sort, with no obvious names, having a transitory video (without logos/intros) of something loopable such as static – as though changing the channel on a television – in-between videos. With Youtube’s Playlist and Randomize features, this can now be done and one can sit and reminisce on games of yesteryear with my video clips showing snippets of gaming moments recorded from a wide variety of games! Everyone with ADD/ADHD can just click the Next button on the playlist to skip to the next one if the current one isn’t holding their interest! Everyone is a winner! With this in mind then, I now present one long paragraph and the first three installments of :

The Game Tips And More Blog’s New Gameplay Video Series, “Ludo Ludi (Game Play)”





Enjoy and See You In The Games!

The Vital Acid—Alkaline Balance

Another important aspect of any diet for super health and beauty is one that most nutritional systems completely overlook. It is the question of using foods to help maintain the delicate acid—alkaline balance in your body. For we can reach truly positive health—health beyond the simple absence of disease—and remain permanently healthy only when the foods we eat supply us with a surplus of alkaline-reacting foods. These include green and root vegetables, avocados, fruits (including citrus fruits which, though acid, have an alkalinizing effect on the body), seeds such as sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin, and yogurt.

Your body contains mineral salts. Some of them are alkaline and some are acid. In a healthy body the ratio between alkaline and acid is four to one—that is, 80 percent alkaline to 20 percent acid. To maintain this natural balance, you need only to eat foods which, when digested, produce alkaline salts in approximately these proportions. If, instead, you eat a diet that is highly acid-forming, as the typical Western fare is, then your body is forced to work very hard indeed to regulate the internal acid—alkaline balance and keep your blood slightly alkaline. Without this natural slight alkalinity, your body is unable to repair tissues and heal itself. Overacidity can lead to acidosis, chronic indigestion, irritability, nervousness, excess appetite, rheumatic and arthritic conditions, as well as skin problems and cellulite. Stress, too, is an acid condition. The acid- forming foods, which should make up 20 percent of any diet but no more, include meat, eggs, hard cheese, bread, cereals, sugar and honey, some nuts, and some fats. Coffee, ordinary tea (not green tea or herb teas), and alcohol are also acid-forming.

Diet Start

To give you some idea of what it feels like when your body is too acid, think back to the last typical “good” breakfast you ate—processed cereal with sugar, perhaps an egg, bacon, white toast and jelly, and coffee. Do you remember the immediate feeling of stimulation followed in an hour or two by an unpleasant sense of jangly nerves or tiredness, so that by eleven you had to reach for another cup of coffee to keep yourself going? That is an acid state. In fact, this breakfast is made up of almost all acid-forming foods—the bacon, the white toast and the coffee, the packaged cereal, sugar and so forth. A far better breakfast would be a bowl of Birchermuesli (not the kind of muesli you find in supermarkets, which may be labeled “natural” but is chock-full of sugar) made from natural yogurt, a tablespoonful of rolled oats, a couple of teaspoonfuls of honey and a little cinnamon. On such a breakfast where the fresh fruit and yogurt, which are the alkaline-forming foods, balance the small quantities of acid-forming foods—the grains and the honey—to maintain the ideal ratio of 80 percent alkaline to 20 percent acid, you will find you can work well throughout the morning without suffering “acid rebound.” Your body will also be protected against the unnecessary stress of having to work hard to rebalance the blood.

Forget the Salt

Recent studies indicate that the daily sodium requirement for a human being is probably not more than 200 milligrams a day, perhaps slightly higher in someone who performs great physical exertion or in nursing mothers. This small quantity is available naturally in foods alone—vegetables, meats and fish, fruits, and grains for instance—without our ever having to add salt to our foods. Where we do add it, not only when cooking but also at the table, the average sodium intake is thought to be more than twenty-five times that amount. Thanks to the research of Professor Lot Page at Harvard, salt—the ubiquitous substance which the ancient Greeks considered divine—has now been shown beyond all reasonable doubt to be at the root of hypertension, one of our most common twentieth-century illnesses.

Proven Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

As we head into the holidays most Americans will gain between 8 and 12lbs between Halloween and New Year’s Day.  However, there are ways to avoid this weight gain!
Here are some key tips:
Eat before you drink and celebrate and before holiday parties.     Going into a holiday party on empty and hungry is a sure-fire way to overeat.    Alcohol intake boosts appetite to begin with and if you start out without anything in the tank it just gets worse!    This does not mean overeating – eat a sensible meal about 2 hours before you go to the party.
Try to choose higher protein foods first because protein helps with satiety (feeling satisfied and not hungry).
Fill up on Fiber Rich Foods – which also help with satiety and help create a feeling of fullness when consumed with water.  Focus on the raw veggies and yes you can dip them in some dip that has some fat because together fiber and fat can really assist in managing hunger along with protein.
Eat some fat – that’s right eat some fat!   Fats also are key for satiety.   That being said a little goes a long way!
Bring your own food to a party.   Rather than having only high calorie, high sugar and high fat foods bring something you enjoy that is also healthy along with you!
Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly – seems simple and it is.    It is also VERY effective for limiting food intake!
Use smaller plates, bowls and glasses – all of which help to slow down food and beverage intake and make you more conscious of how much you are consuming!
Try to Minimize Sugar and Starch Intake – both sugar and starch wind up as glucose (blood sugar) and high intake drives insulin which results in rebound hunger.      High sugar and starch intake increases hunger – particularly when drinking alcohol because alcohol acts like a super sugar and also drives insulin response.
Pause before getting seconds – as with slower eating and deliberately chewing food this can give your body time to realize it is no longer really hungry.
If you are doing the entertaining have extra containers you are ready to give away so guests can leave with some of the extra food!

Try not to eat in front of the T.V. which distracts you from how you feel and results in mindless eating!
Consider planning a cheat meal but have a plan for how much you are going to eat!   One meal can knock you off course but most of the holiday weight gain comes from completely giving up on healthy eating for many meals.   Planning one cheat meal every week and planning on eating a set amount of the foods you may be craving can work for many people rather than mindlessly eating.      If you plan your meal including your portions of alcohol, sweets, fat and sugar you can limit the damage and still have a great time!
Drink Water.   Often quoted and still true – water is the best beverage and avoiding sugar laden drinks in favor of still or sparkling water can make a big difference in minimizing holiday weight gain.
Workout!   Working out improves mental outlook and burns some calories while reducing stress levels!    When we are stressed we overeat!   Just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference!

Get Your Sleep.   Lack of sleep is terrible for your health and particularly bad for driving appetite and overeating.   Lack of sleep causes hunger and excessive eating because the normal feedback mechanisms that tell you that you are full do not work properly when you are tired.   Basically, a tired brain tells you to eat to feel better and it is VERY hard to resist these urges when tired!

HOW TO DECOR A SMALL BATHROOMS

SMALL BATHROOMS DESIGN IDEAS

SMALL BATHROOMS DESIGN

Small bathrooms are a great challenge to use and decorate. Some bathrooms have the ability to feel bigger, while others may require small renovation projects to improve the square footage. Depending on your particular bathroom, the choices can be easy. Decide what your budget, then follow these design ideas for great little bathroom.

Vanity area: Your sink and how much space can be avoided, is crucial in the use of your bathroom. Determine your specific needs of their sink. If you are someone who has lots of toiletries, accessories and much need storage? Use a small vanity that has cabinet doors under the counter, and add shelves and drawers inside the cabinet organization. Do not have a lot of storage needs, but want it to look decorative? Consider using a pedestal sink, sink or under a decorative wall shelves. If you do not have room for one or the other, are also wells that fit the corner of two walls. This well has a record of 90 degrees and the heat sink is tucked away between the walls to give maximum space.

TOILET: Most people enjoy a lot of space around the toilet, although this is not always a realistic option for small bathrooms today. If you can get out of the toilet, come from a smaller size, occupying less space, and give more space around them. If you can not change the toilet, to minimize the elements of the floor, such as ladders, garbage cans, and a laundry hamper in the bathroom. The more space you can see and use, the better it feels.

Bath / shower: In most small bathrooms or you have a bathtub with shower inside, or you only have a shower. If your budget allows, losing the shower curtain and add a glass door cabinet. Glass will create the illusion of a large bathroom, and when you use the shower, it feels too. Consider using shower curtains or light a lighter color if you install a glass door is not an option. If you have high ceilings, installing shower curtain with a height over the head to extend the feeling of space.

LIGHT: Dark colors make the room feel smaller and lighter color makes the room feel larger. If you have the luxury of natural light to pour a bath, it feels much larger. Mimic natural feeling of neutral tones and sunny feel warm and inviting. Replace light bulbs and those which emit a warmer light. Incandescent lamps have an important role in how you see yourself in the mirror. I hate you to the bathroom, if you hate how you look in the mirror!

Even if your bathroom is small, you can still love his potential. Use these design ideas and love your new bathroom.

SMALL BATHROOMS DESIGN IDEAS

SMALL BATHROOMS DESIGN

SMALL BATHROOMS DESIGN IDEAS

SMALL BATHROOMS DESIGN IDEAS

WORKOUT ANYTIME in the Daily News

WORKOUT ANYTIME in the Daily News

Dale Chaffin of WORKOUT ANYTIME Bowling Green was recently featured in the Daily News. Dale was interviewed for the story and a photographer was assigned to take his photo for a story about the WORKOUT ANYTIME location in Bowling Green where he is the GM and how he has lost 80 pounds since 2012 with help of personal trainer Chris Talley. The story focused on how working at a gym has helped Dale with his fitness goals. 
View the full article here. 

1st I’ve seen or heard of a GM supercharger on a 1958 Corvette

And More: Corel’s VideoStudio – Crashing When Using ‘Open With’ To Import Clips Into VideoStudio [Fix/Workaround]

Just last Month, I picked up version 20 of Corel’s recently-updated video editing suite “VideoStudio” (nomenclature “X10”) and am having a lot of fun learning what it can do and how to do it all (coming from mainly editing videos with Sony’s Vegas ‘Movie Studio’ line of products [now taken over by MAGIX]). However, I quickly ran into a little issue with importing clips using the “Open With” option in Windows and wanted to share what I found…

Normally, in Windows you can ‘right-click’ a video file and mouse-over the menu option “Open With..”, which brings up a sub-menu of known applications, to ‘send’ the file to (‘opening the file with the chosen application’). Doing this, whichever application you select will startup and the file will be sent to it to work with.

However, doing this with a video clip and VideoStudio x10 I found, every time the program would open up, it would immediately ‘crash’ (close/stop/etc). Hmm… time for some Troubleshooting! I double-checked that the file in question was not corrupted excessively by playing it, testing it in a couple of video/media players, and even tried a few other clips that were ‘known good’ (that VS worked with before). Each time, using “Open With…”, the Splash Screen for VSx10 would show up and then just as the program itself looked like it was opening, the entire thing would crash and show this message:

Example of the “Corel VideoStudio has stopped working” Error Window Pop-Up
when trying to import a clip into VideoStudio X10 utilizing the “Open With” shortcut in Windows

I then went to the Corel ‘Official’ Fora [Forii?] and did some searching to see if anyone ran into this same issue. Unfortunately, all I could find were people experiencing ‘general crashes’, that is, crashing and non-starts without it being specifically associated with utilizing “Open With..”.

I then decided to try these same ‘testing files’ on some other video editing programs I have installed, such as Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio (now owned by MAGIX, the same company that makes the Movie Edit Pro product line, which I have no experience with yet, at this time). Using the “Open With..” command, Movie Studio was able to open and import all of the video clips without issue – so then, what’s up Corel? /tilthead

I thought of trying VideoStudio ‘on it’s own’, not importing or ‘sending’ anything to it – just opening the program and seeing if it works… Everything opened fine! I was just playing with the program the other day in fact, learning some of the features it offers [I’ll have to write a short ‘Review’ or at least a ‘First Impressions’ sometime of it]. So why was it being ‘fussy’ (to use the highly technical term)? I tried opening and closing the program a few times thinking about it, when I noticed that when I opened VideoStudio X10, I was being greeted by a nice-and-helpful “Welcome” StartUp Page…

The “Welcome” Section of VideoStudio
(Click to see Full Size)

Indeed, ‘The “Welcome” Startup Page’ offers a lot of helpful information on opening VideoStudio. There are Tutorial videos on some of the New Features for that version and even Basic Tutorials and Help File links. But wait – no editing interface! No Timeline, no Media Library to add clips – that’s it! That’s the problem! I went into the Settings to see if there was a Preferences option where I could set the Section to open VideoStudio to be – not the “Welcome” section, but the “Edit” section – the tab/area where all of the editing/mixing and importing takes place. There it was: Default Startup Page – and it was set to “Welcome Book”…

The Corel VideoStudio X10 Preferences Window
showing the Default Startup Area/Section which is shown when the program starts
(Click to see Full Size)

A simple pull-down menu change to “Edit” and that was it! Now, VideoStudio is opening to the “Edit” section/area every time. So, I tested it out: right-clicking on my video clip and mousing-over “Open With..” and then clicking on “Corel VideoStudio” – it worked! VS opened up and in a few seconds more, my little video clip was right there on the Timeline, waiting patiently to be edited. Woohoo!

Example of Corel VideoStudio x10 Starting Up In The EDIT Section
(Click to see Full Size)

Here is a video version of the steps above, made showing the error when trying to use “Open With..”, what happens and how to change it, as well as the final ‘working’ result of changing the option (after I finally figured out what it was):


[VIDEO NOT YET COMPLETE, IT WILL APPEAR HERE ONCE FINALIZED AND UPLOADED TO YOUTUBE]

Hopefully this will help any of you dear readers, who use VideoStudio and were running into this error/crash/issue when opening clips with VS (trying to use “Open With..”).. Enjoy and Have Fun editing your gameplay clips once again!

~Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog


[I’m calling this a Workaround, since this is more of that than a true ‘Fix’… It does not solve the base issue of VS not being able to import a clip using “Open With” without taking taking these steps (whether this is more Microsoft’s fault or Corel’s fault is beyond the scope of this post …and being more experienced in computer hardware than computer software (programming, etc), I would not have completely isolated the very base cause of the issue anyway – or at least, could not offer a 100% explanation of what is occurring)]


Note: I am not affiliated in any way with Corel and I have not, and I will not, be compensated for mentioning VideoStudio or any other of the products herein, in any way.  I have used other video editing products than these in the past, and will do so in the future, including free editing applications, such as VirtualDub, AviDemux, DVDVideoSoft products and more… I am merely an enthusiastic gamer-and-sometime-editor and wanted to share information that I discover about these products to help other gamers record-and-edit and have fun doing it, if I can do so.

Texas native Ray returns to site of first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory

When Michael Ray returns to Texas Motorplex this weekend for round two of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs, he will enter his home track as a defending event winner.

That’s a great feeling for Ray, a native of New Braunfels, Texas, who defeated Karen Stoffer in the final last year to score his first victory in his first full season in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Ray’s family and friends were able to witness the event at a track just two hours from his home.

“For my mom and dad and everybody being there and all the sacrifices my parents made throughout their entire life, to see me be successful, it was awesome,” Ray said. “My dad busted his butt for one of those Wallys and never got one, and standing there with my father in victory lane and seeing the tears in his eyes and excitement was just like, ‘This is awesome.’ That is what I’ll never forget.”

Ray and all of the racers in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series return to Texas Motorplex for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Sept. 19-22, the second of six races in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Bob Tasca III (Funny Car), and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) join Ray as defending winners of the race that will be televised on ESPN2HD.

Ray has amassed two wins and two No. 1 qualifying positions in his first season with the Sovereign/Star Racing Buell team. He is fourth in the Countdown to the Championship, 48 points behind leader Hector Arana Jr., but he isn’t letting the pressure get to him during the stretch run.

“I think so much of our team’s success is the character we all bring to the table and the fun that we have,” Ray continued. “I have a sticker on my dashboard that says, ‘Just add fun.’ That is all we do. We joke about it, and some people say, ‘You just don’t seem to be taking this very seriously,’ but there’s not another team that has a bigger fire lit under its butt than this one. But you have to have a lot of fun out here or this sport will eat you alive.”

Leading Ray, Scotty Pollacheck, and the Sovereign/Star Racing team is George Bryce, who is one of the most renowned crew chiefs in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. As a rider, he raced to four consecutive titles in the National Motorcycle Racing Association from 1981 to 1984. As a crew chief, he amassed 71 victories and earned six championships with John Myers and Angelle Sampey. His guidance and skills have put Ray in a position to succeed each time he climbs on his Buell.

“When you look back at the history he has at being a great crew chief, he is a magician on the track producing results,” Ray continued. “Those things for me being a young driver, I’m 29 and in my second full-time season, for me that is worth its weight in gold. It is like being a rookie quarterback and having a 20-year veteran back there being your mentor. He does such a good job.”

Following the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, only four races remain in the Countdown to the Championship. Ray and his team realize that to make a run for the championship crown in the two-wheel category, they must go rounds at each event.

“You can literally count how many rounds of racing there are left,” Ray concluded. “Right now, the first race coming off Charlotte coming into Dallas, I did a little comparison to last year, and I went in seventh in points, and I came out fourth. You can have one really great race and set yourself up.”

For Ray to recapture glory at Texas Motorplex, he will have to outlast a tough field of competitors. Series leader Arana heads the class with four wins aboard his Lucas Oil Buell, and Matt Smith, Hall, defending world champ Eddie Krawiec, and Hector Arana Sr. will be contenders.

As always, every ticket purchased for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals is a pit pass, which offers an extraordinary look behind the scenes in the world of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly skilled mechanics service their high-horsepower machines between rounds and enjoy cherished face time with their favorite NHRA drivers.

Fans will also want to check out NHRA Nitro Alley and the popular NHRA Manufacturers Midway, where manufacturers and sponsors create a carnival atmosphere with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food, and freebies. Fans will also want to take advantage of Championship Sunday for the fun fan zone, featuring driver introductions and a special Track Walk at 9:30 a.m. It’s free to all Sunday ticket holders.

AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals qualifying opens Friday, Sept. 20, with sessions at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Sept. 21, at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22.

____________________________________
Source: NHRA (AP, 09/19)

Fallout 4 – “Starting Out: On Settlements, Building, Crafting, Materials And More” – A Beginner’s Guide of Tips and Concepts to Settlement Building and Development [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Update: Added images for Main Concepts sections (Food, Defense, etc)
Update: Added steps for How To Assign a Settler to a Work Station/Shop/etc
Update: Added how to Give Yourself Any Building Components, or Food, with Commands (Cheats Section)
Update: Added how to Build past the Size Limit in Settlements (Not a Cheat, Doable on Console as well as PC)

[Note.: This post is ‘LIVE’ and ‘UNDER CONSTRUCTION’, as I continue to add more data and Tips and Example Screenshots to it… I decided to make it available now however, to assist those playing Fallout 4; especially those just starting out – seeing as there is a Steam Sale on now (go get it! heh). I will be adding more Text and Tips and Screenshots and More and this post cannot be considered ‘finalized’ until after I add a ‘Final Footer Image’ to the posting (see some of my other posts for examples of this type of ‘end image’ I put in my posts). Please excuse changes as they occur and temporary mistakes and spelling errors, which may show up should you return to this article while it is under development. Enjoy, however – I hope you find something helpful to you – and have fun in Fallout 4!]




I have been having a ton of fun playing Fallout 4 lately… and while I am taking forever to finish up a ‘First Impressions’ of the game [I keep playing and building up my Settlements instead of writing!], I wanted to share some Tips on handling Settlements; some concepts and ideas that might help new users to the game, players that may not have developed their Settlements very much yet, or players that are looking for ways to possibly improve or increase their Settlements and their Production and associated benefits (Bottlecaps income from Stores, Settlers roaming around and finding/providing you with Supplies, Clinics for healing and removing Radiation, and more).

Screenshot showing the Workshop Area of The Sunshine Tidings Cooperative, Decorated (Work In Progress).
(High Resolution Texture Pack enabled [not 100% sure, sorry, but I think it was at this time]
The Automatron DLC Robot Workbench can be seen, center background. Minuteman Flag seen, left wall, foreground)
Click to see Full Size

[Settlements and their development and growth is one of my favourite aspects of the game, not only because it supplies you with Junk/Scrap/Materials to build with and Money as well, but also because of the ‘life it breathes into the game’… every Settlement becomes ‘alive’ with people coming and going, working and resting, asking for help or talking amongst themselves around you. After getting a few Settlements set up and running smoothly, they become a place to restock, sell and collect, modify and improve gear, rest and maybe enjoy some scenery, taking a break from the action by building and re-working, improving and creating a place of solitude and pride, in each little ‘town’ in The Commonwealth…]

Example of the Workshop Mode interface bar, normally seen at the top of the screen in Workshop Mode (Building mode)
Click to see Full Size 

Here then, are some main ideas to start off with or to keep in mind  – hopefully helpful to fellow gamers who are either starting out in Fallout 4 [from the latest Steam Sale], or are looking for ways to improve their currently-undeveloped Settlements (colour-coded somewhat-by-importance to help separate them for easier reference):

1.  In the very beginning, build Food and Water and Beds, as much as you can.  

These three things (Beds, Water, Food) are the main limiting factors to how many people will come to live in a Settlement. 

 [The maximum amount of people that can ‘live in your town’ is supposed to be your Charisma+10 (so if you have 5 Charisma, that would be 15 people); Provisioners who run Supply Lines (more on them later on down further) don’t seem to count towards this calcuated total (by my experience so far). Also, this limitation is stated in many places online – however, I have Settlements that are much higher than this number (over 30!) so I have not finalized the concept of Settlement Limitation Amount, at this time] 

Don’t worry about Guard Posts and Turrets, at least, as much as you might think at the start – because although they do help with the overall safety of your Settlement; reducing the amount of Raids that occur, reducing the amount of Damage that will be sustained in the Raids, and setting a higher Security rating (which seems to affect Happiness, but not Immigration rate – more on Happiness later on…) – you can actually put the responsibility on yourself to take care of Raids at first [and get the bonus experience and loot that comes with it!] by Fast Travelling to the Settlements as soon as you see the ‘Help Defend’ tasks come up – or making ’rounds’ between your Settlements as they are starting up, as Raiders sometimes attack while you are there and you can then help clear them out – and get all the Loot they drop, too! 

[The game leads you towards building Turrets at your Settlements near the beginning, too – in the form of a ‘tutorial’ of sorts, somewhat-early on]


2.  Plant any Food (Corn, Tatos, Mutfruit, Gourds, Watermelon and Razorgrain) you find, at first.

Starting out, you want to maximize your growth, so re-planting food you pick up not only increases how much food a Settlement can produce/feed for the Settlers, it also multiplies how much you can harvest!

You can harvest any plants by ‘picking them’ (hitting the Action key while close to them). You can then immediately re-plant the food you just picked, by entering Workshop Mode and going to the Resources>Food section.

A while later, you can start to Cook with your Food – not only do the meals you prepare have special bonuses (they are all different!) but boiling up some VEGETABLE STARCH, made from all materials that you can gather at any Settlement, is a great way to create your own Adhesive building material. Used for almost everything, Adhesive is a very important material to have!



Vegetable Starch, a source of Adhesive, you can create yourself by cooking together Corn (3), Mutfruit (3), Tatos (3) and using Purified Water (1). Purified Water, you can either find as you travel, cook yourself [3 Dirty Water can be boiled up to make 1 Purified Water], or use Water leftover from your Water Sources in your Settlement – as any extra Water that is not used by your Settlers will be ‘kept by the Settlers in the Workshop inventory’ [in the Workshop Bench]. You need Adhesive for Modifications to Weapons and Armor and even for Building – it is used for almost everything and is therefore very important to keep stocked!




3. Tied for the third most important thing/things to start thinking about, are these two concepts:

    • As you can, increase your Turrets and Guard Posts, to increase the Security of the Settlements, and as stated above, reducing the amount of Raids that occur, reducing the amount of Damage that will be sustained in Raids, and keeping your Settlers ‘feeling secure and more relaxed’ (Happier), too.