Ode to a Hairbrush

Oh lovely hairbrush,

You make me look cool.

My hair is just right.

I’m the King of my school.

Without you hairbrush,

I’d be a terrible sight.

My social life would be a big zero,

And I’d be so uptight.

Your bristles are strong.

You’re comfortable and sleek.

You make me feel strong

When I’d otherwise feel meek.

A toast to you hairbrush

You have a wonderful heart.

Thank you dear hairbrush

For giving me such a fine part.…

How to Start Your Own Street Hockey League

If your local fields are always being used for organized sports like Little League, football or soccer, it is time to look to
alternative ways to have fun outside. Street Hockey is a fast-paced and exciting game that will entertain for hours and recreate some of the action seen in the NHL. It only takes a little time to set up, a group of people and a lot of fun.

Items Needed

Goals, sticks, ball/puck, players, spray paint and a street. Most of the hockey gear can be found at big box stores like Target, Wal-Mart or a sporting goods store like Dick's Sporting Goods. Check yard sales and flea markets to find ued hockey sticks that will work fine for playing.

Location is the key to having your street hockey league work out. The best place is a side street or small one way road because you want to worry about getting past other players not cars. Also look for the flattest surface; you do not want one team going uphill as the other goes down the whole time.

Goals are easily found at retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, but if you are trying to save a little money, then buy some plastic piping at Home Depot, a cheap net, and build it yourself. Sticks can also be found at many retailers along with Rollerblades and all of the proper safety gear.

Using a puck or ball depends on what you like. Balls can go smoother and make for a faster pace, but hard hits may require you to skate all the way down the street to retrieve it. Pucks are fun and are more authentic to how NHL
players play on the ice.

Set up the goal. Simply place the goals out on the street about 25 to 30 yards apart and you'll have your area set up. To get more technical, use white or orange spray paint to create goalie boxes, face-off lines and other areas like a
penalty box.

Once everything is set up, you are ready to play. The most important thing is to avoid getting in the way of traffic, so as soon as a car is seen or heard, have the goalies pull the goals off to the side. The when the car is gone, simply have a face-off and restart the action.

Face-offs can be conducted by an on-looker dropping the puck or ball in or by having two players slap the sticks three times and going for the ball after the third time. This is street hockey, so bending of the rules is allowed.

Have Fun. Most important, just remember to have fun. This is not the NHL, so do not take it so seriously, and make sure to wear all of the safety gear to avoid injuries.

Police may prevent you from playing on your street due to neighborhood complaints, so make sure it is okay with your
neighbors and ask them what the best hours to play are.

If you have enough players, you can set up multiple teams and run a small tournament. When other teams are not playing, assign a few of the players as referees so the game is played fairly.

Official Street Hockey Rules: http://www.streethockeyking.com/rules.html

 …

Classic Cars and Car Shows

There are some people who start restoration on an old car. And then after he or she is finished they will enter them into car shows for cash or trophies. Classic cars are supposed to be twenty-five years or older. When people restore a vehicle they can even sell them for a nice profit. However, there are those people who restore the cars for sentimental reasons as well.

Classic cars can be of any make or model. In addition, there are books and other ways of knowing how exactly the restoration of that specific car or truck should be.

Sometimes restoring a car or truck can get costly because of the various things that might have to be done to it. For example, if it is a ragtop and that is torn then you are going to have to have someone with experience in that field come and fix it.

If it is a vehicle that needs to be completely restored from the interior to the exterior and a new paint job, these are areas that are definitely going to take a bit of funding. For some individuals the restoration of a car takes years and is somewhat like a hobby.

In all fairness, how long it takes to restore a vehicle is really up to the owner and how many hours at a time he or she wants to put into the restoration.

On the other hand, there are those people who have the money and the means to send the car or truck out and have it professionally restored. When restoring it is important to remember that you want it to look exactly like it did coming off the show room floor. It could be the leather interior or the gearshift on the column, the ragtop, right down to the original color. And once the job is complete and the vehicle is returned to the owner it should look as though it really did come off of the showroom floor.

Amazingly, there are kits even to build old cars and they look as if they have been the product of a complete restoration, although keep in mind these kits can get expensive and building the classic car is going to be very time consuming too.

When people have restored classic cars and want to place them in car shows they will literally travel for miles to one car show to another. This is all due to the pride they actually have in the car or truck. The owner of the classic car will sometimes be selling the car however you can be sure it won't be cheap. Car shows are all over the place and some people will go to every one. While others simply wait until the car show is in their area.…

New Music – the Naked and Famous

The Naked And Famous - Sunseeker (Official Video) - YouTube

When I’m driving, I set my radio to scan because I’m not a “top 40” fanatic and I always like to hear new voices. On this particular day, I quickly stopped the scan when I hit on a local college station and heard the breathy, come hither voices in a song called The Sun. It had me twitching in my seat and getting those crazy looks from other drivers. (The whole town knows I’m crazy so it doesn’t bother me anymore.)

As soon as I was home, I logged onto the Internet to find out more about the music and the voices responsible for The Sun. Imagine my surprise when my search found the website and I realized that the band responsible for igniting my interest was another New Zealand offering. Those of you who regularly read my articles know that I am a fan of The Black Seeds, a New Zealand band I stumbled across on C-net. New Zealand has mothered yet another band that fate, in its unfathomable wisdom, has brought to my attention – The Naked and Famous.

In cruising around the Internet, I have found comments from others stating that The Naked and Famous sound is similar to Nine Inch Nails, Radio Head and The XX. I can’t say that I agree, but I’ve only had a small sampling. I find the sound of The Sun a bit techno trance, but that’s my opinion and nothing negative is meant by it because I like some techno trance. The Naked and Famous group’s lyrics and sound in The Sun are edgy and you might expect a rather ‘shocking’ appearance for the group. I was reminded that book covers are often deceiving when I saw their photos. They look like the kids down the street! But the photography and their poses did hint at something hidden–a dark side. I love a mystery.

According to the official The Naked and Famous website, only two songs,Young Blood and Punching in a Dream, are available in the United States on iTunes. I tried to find them on Rhapsody, but they were not there. I did find The Naked and Famous live performance of The Sun on Youtube.com posted by tnafofficial. If you just want to hear the song, I found it posted on Driftwood. You can find The Naked and Famous on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Tumblr. Check out the blub about them at wearenotarockband.wordpress.com. Give The Naked and Famous a listen. You might be surprised.

(Also see my article The Black Seeds – Great Contemporary Reggae Music.)

 …

Digital Photography Tips and Pointers for the Beginner

Click and destroy is a common theme with digital photography. Take a ton of shots and hope that at least one of them will jump off the screen and sing.

It's fun and easy to take digital photographs– there's an opinion for you. It is really easy to aim a camera or cell phone and shoot a picture worthy of posting somewhere online, but to do it in a way that makes someone else say, "wow, excellent shot, wish I could do that," is much harder. I have been taking pictures for a long time and I have learned a lot as I've gone along on this journey with my camera, yet I still manage to take nearly as many duds as delights. But that is what the delete button is for, to eliminate those horrible shots forever.

My secret to getting that interesting and beautiful shot? I place myself in the correct spot to get the angle I want and then I aim at my subject, focus, stop breathing to avoid shaking the camera and deliberately move the view-finder a bit to the right or left. This puts the subject slightly off-center and creates a new focal point.

The shakiness factor can be overcome by using a tripod, but I personally find this to be less spontaneous and much less convenient than carrying around just a camera. Besides, it can take several minutes to set up the tripod properly and adjust everything to the right height. By that time, your once-in-a-lifetime hummingbird closeup is long gone. Professional photographers tend to take a while to set up their photos. They set the tripod just so and wait for the perfect light, and perfect cloud formations. If a blue jay gets in the way of the shot, it's the red velvet on the cake, as long as it doesn't spoil the planned scene. I hold my breath while taking the shot for the simple reason that breathing creates movement and movement is fatal to capturing clear photos with a digital camera. For shots that aren't going anywhere, such as still lifes or portraits, the tripod is the way to go.

I'm here to say that sometimes it's the unplanned that adds to the amateur photographer's chances of creating that ideal shot.

I look around and see what is happening. If there is anything at all going on in view of my camera, there's a potential picture there. One prime example is the day that I walked outside without the camera and had to tip-toe back inside to get it when I discovered a winter tree covered with sparrows, looking for all the world like chirping leaves. Lucky for me, the birds stayed put while I did that and for several minutes thereafter while I clicked pictures. These things happen and the digital photographer needs to be prepared at all times.

To me, it's important to shoot the kinds of pictures that interest me the most.

If 5,000 pictures of Fluffy the cat in various appealing poses is what I'm into then so be it. Fluffy is what I'll focus on if it works for me and if it doesn't, then I'll find a new subject to shoot or choose a new angle on the old one. However, new angles should be kept as simple as possible just in case Fluffy doesn't like suddenly having a camera lens shoved up her nose and reacts with a clawed demonstration of her feelings. I find that it is easy to go too far with the dramatic "art" shots.

My rule is this: If I want a sideways picture, I turn the camera all the way on its side. If I want it horizontal rather than vertical, I leave the camera in its normal position. I don't go for halfway in between.

Overdoing the artsy angles can make it hard to tell what was supposed to be the theme of the picture. Was it the ocean or that half deflated beach ball on the shore? Was it the little girl in a sandy diaper wailing her eyes out because she has a sandy diaper or the big dog apparently trying to "water" the dogwood tree? It can be difficult to tell if the photographer was drunk and lying in a fetal position at the time the picture was taken or if he just likes photos that appear to be almost sideways and close to the horizon.

No fuss, no cuss is what I say.

To sum up, keep it simple and learn the basics of your camera, the ins and outs of digital photography and just have fun with it before you start getting overly creative. Just allow yourself the opportunity to be a poor photographer while you're learning the ropes. That's what the delete button is for and a good digital photographer is one who isn't afraid to use it. Have fun and click away.…

Three Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Many of my favorite childhood memories involve food. For example, I can always recall eating sweet potato soufflé for Thanksgiving or Christmas with my mother and sister. Those who have had this dish can understand why it was always one of my favorites growing up. Comprised primarily of mashed sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top, the treat had a unique and slightly tangy taste that I always enjoyed. Despite the fact that I enjoy this dish, however, I didn’t realize how nutritious sweet potatoes are until very recently. Here are three of their health benefits:

  1. Sweet Potatoes Contain Vitamin A.

In their discussion about the health benefits of sweet potatoes, WHFoods notes that the vegetable is a good source of vitamin A. This is important because vitamin A plays a role in maintaining good vision, developing a healthy immune system, and generating cell growth.

  1. Sweet Potatoes are Packed With Calcium.

In noting the health benefits of sweet potatoes, WebMD states that they are packed with calcium. This is important because calcium is used to build bones. Additionally, calcium is also important for muscle function and maintaining a regular heartbeat. Sweet potatoes contain about 68 mg of calcium. (Adults need about 1,000 mg per day.)

  1. Sweet Potatoes Contain Vitamin C.

In discussing the health benefits of sweet potatoes, LiveStrong writer Maria O’Brien notes that the vegetable contains about a third of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. This is important, because the vitamin works to heal wounds and repair cartilage, bones, and teeth. Additionally, vitamin C plays an integral role in the maintenance and growth of tissues in the body. Finally, the vitamin is an antioxidant capable of fighting free radicals and their degenerative effects on the body.

As made plain by the information listed above, sweet potatoes are a nutritious food to eat. Additionally, they are very delicious! While the sweet potato soufflé I mentioned earlier is one great way to consume them, innumerable other recipes exist. Irrespective of the one you choose, your body will say thank you. Enjoy!…

The New York Mess

There’s a rotting worm in the Big Apple; this rotting worm is named the New York Mets. Brutal is the best way to describe Mets baseball in 2001. The only team that is more of a disappointment this season is Texas. All hitting and no pitching equals disaster in the Major Leagues.

Ah, yes. Pitching. The most important part of a baseball team is indeed the pitching staff, so is it really a surprise that the defending N.L. champs are duking it out with Montreal for the dubious N.L. East bottom feeder position? Not really. Mets G.M. Steve Phillips “upgraded” the team’s pitching staff this past offseason by signing Kevin Appier and Steve “take me deep” Trachsel (by “upgrade” I mean wasting approximately twelve million a season on washed-up pitchers).

Kevin Appier? What was Phillips thinking? The past few seasons Appier has been a .500 pitcher. Does any .500 pitcher deserve ten million per season? (Note: Don’t bother asking Dodgers’ pitcher Darren Dreifort this question.)

Steve Trachsel? His record the past two+ seasons is 17-42. 17-42!! The man should be throwing batting practice to Little Leaguers.

Let’s face it. Free Agency is all about “What have you done for me lately?”. Appier and Trachsel did not accomplish enough the past few seasons to warrant millions in contract money from Major League teams.

What else is wrong with the Mets? Well, their defense isn’t very good either. Mike Piazza is arguably the best hitting catcher of all-time, but his defensive skills are average at best. Todd Zeile isn’t hitting or playing stellar defense at first base. It’s time for someone to bite the bullet and tell Piazza that he would be more valuable to his team if he was playing first base. Decreasing the strain on his knees could also prolong his career a few more seasons down the road. Getting Piazza to agree to a move to first base will be like getting Barry Bonds to publicly admit that he is going to break Mark McGwire’s single-season homerun record; it’s not gonna happen. Piazza has already gone on record as saying that he wants to retire as a catcher, whenever that may be.

The biggest problem with the Mets this season is their manager. Somebody check Bobby Valentine for a pulse. Maybe Bobby Valentine is daydreaming about how he will spend his millions in guaranteed contract money when the Mets fire him half a season into his new three-year deal.…

My Hairbrush

I carry around a great big purse

It's heavy sometimes and it can be a curse

But hidden inside is a very special thing

My hairbrush of course and maybe some bling.

My hairbrush is pink and my hair is light

And I like to brush it every day and night

It keeps it shiny and looking good

I'd have twenty hairbrushes if I could.

It has a long handle and the bristles are strong

I love my hairbrush 'cause my hair is long

I peek in my purse now and then to see

That it's still in there and waiting for me.…

Seattle's Spectacular Waterfront

The potential of the area occupied by the waterfront was known as early as 1792. However, development did not begin till 1852 when the piers in Pioneer Square were built. On completion of the piers, the area soon became a center for commerce and trade in coal, grain and timber. Rapid growth ensued. In 1889 a fire destroyed a large swathe of downtown Seattle and the Waterfront. Seattle rebuilt the damaged sections. Then came the gold rush and Seattle assumed the role of gateway to Alaska. The city built itself a major port and with it Seattle’s growth and future were assured.

The Seattle Waterfront

The creation of the Waterfront as a tourist and recreational area started in the 1970s. Buildings along the waterfront were converted to shops and restaurants. Development of the Seattle Aquarium and parks along the water soon followed. The Port of Seattle moved its Headquarters to Pier 69. A terminal was set up for cruise ships headed for Alaska. It is no surprise the main street of the Waterfront is named Alaska Way.

The Seattle Waterfront is an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment. It also boasts the freshest and best seafood. Waterfront dining has a special meaning here. The view looking out over Puget Sound is spectacular. The busy goings-on of boats, ferries, water taxis, on the water and the people on the piers makes for a pleasant scene. A free Metro Bus service provides convenient transport along the Waterfront and connects to points beyond.

 

The Space Needle

Seattle has a wealth of attractions and among them the Space Needle is a must see. Built in 1962 for Seattle’s World Fair, the Space Needle is a prominent landmark. The 360degree view from the deck is outstanding. It looks out over the waterfront, Puget Sound and the city skyline. On a clear day, snow-capped Mount Rainier, majestic and tall dominates the view. The Cascades and Olympia Mountains can also to be seen.

Pike Place Market

The Waterfront has many curio and gift shops – all very touristy and appealing. It is not hard to lose sense of time on the waterfront. A visit to the Pike Place Market is a must. It is one of the largest and most famous Farmer’s Markets in the country. Built in 1903 this public market has operated continuously from 1907 onwards. Built on a steep hill the market occupies several levels. The main level of the market is for fishmongers and produce shops. The shop “Pike Place Fish” is a tourist attraction both for its large offering of seafood and for the fish sent flying through the air by staff from one end of the shop to the other. Seemingly, the flying fish never drops to the floor.

The slippery missile is always expertly caught in flight, wrapped, and handed to the appreciative customer. Asked why customers should come to Pike Place Fish? One of the guys, a fishmonger who works there, answered “Best quality seafood, best service, and the best looking fishmongers in the world!” All the right reasons indeed!

The Pike Place Market has a mix of shops at the many levels of its structure. The shops range from antiques and curios to comic books and everything in between. This is also a public market with the stated mission of letting the customer “Meet the Producer”. Individual farmers, craftsmen and entertainers rent tables and do business on a daily basis. The market has an engaging and friendly atmosphere making it the major tourist attraction that it clearly is.

Waterfront has much to offer. The Seattle Aquarium at the northend provides a close up view of sea life and the natural environment in the Northwest. A little further north is Odyssey, The Maritime Discovery Center and Nautical Museum. The Center introduces visitors to maritime activity of the Northwest and to Puget Sound and its ports and features.

Harbor cruises and tours to the islands of Puget Sound leave at regular interval. The island tours offer a glimpse into the Native American culture at Tillicum Village where dinner of the celebrated Salmon Bake is followed by a cultural presentation.

The Waterfront is a family destination with something for young and old. The waterfront’s parks are great places to take a break and relax. There are picnic tables and benches for the foot-weary tourist. It is tempting to buy a cup of coffee at coffee’s defining city and listen to one of the many concerts or maybe, just sit back and reflect on how beautiful the place is.…

How to Boot from CD on Almost Any Computer

Ultimate Boot CD 5.1.1 | AnyApps

For both laptops and desktop computers, the start up method is the same. They read the hard disk drive (called space) to load the operating system (OS), which in most cases, is Windows XP. The OS is known by all, and it is what we are all accustomed to. It has your wall paper, start menu, and all your music, movies,etc.

Some times the OS doesn’t load, or will load and restart almost immediately giving you a blue screen with some cryptic error code most commonly called ‘Blue Screen of Death’ (BSoD). I’m not going to dive into fixing those errors in this article, I’ve already written a fix for those things in a different article. Instead, I’m going to guide you through the steps of getting your computer to boot from CD when it would normally not do so.

First thing to do is to verify the fact that you should boot from the OS CD. You don’t want to do any unnecessary tasks that might harm your computer any further. Second thing is to verify that your computer will in-fact not boot from the CD. If it will then there is no need to read any further into this article. With your computer powered on, insert your CD into a CD-Rom. If you have more than one CD-Roms, then insert it into the highest one (the one closer to the top of your computer tower). Then restart the computer. If your computer is able to boot from CD, it will show a message asking, “Press any key to boot from CD…”. After five seconds, the message will disappear and boot into your OS (if it is able). If you press a key it will start the program on the disc. If your computer does not show the message, and goes straight to loading the OS then you should read further to force it to give you the message.

To start, let’s power down the computer completely and let it set for at least 10 seconds. Push the power button to turn on the machine, and immediately start tapping the following keys on your keyboard one after the other: Delete; Insert; F1; F2; Tab. This will take you to the BIOS of your computer’s Motherboard. Simply put, this will show the screen that tells the computer ~how~ to start up.

There are very few things in here that we can safely change, so try not to do anything unless your sure of what it will do. If a setting is changed to something that prevents the computer from starting up, or causes some other errors, it can be easily fixed. Just power down the computer and remove the power cord. On the motherboard inside the desktop computer is a batter (looks like a watch battery). Remove that for 10 seconds, then replace and power the computer back up. Your BIOS settings will be restored to default. On a laptop this task is much more difficult, and usually require a disk to restore the BIOS settings to default. I’ll post more on that in a later article.

There are several different versions of a computer’s BIOS, ranging from Award to Phoenix and many others. They all function basically the same. Each BIOS has a setting or a heading called “BOOT”, or “BOOT PRIORITY”. Usually you can push the over arrow key to swap tabs to get to the Boot settings. Other computers will have a list on the left hand side that you have to push the down arrow key on the keyboard. Still others will have a full list of cryptic labels to choose from, and usually ends up being the second one down on the left hand side, called Advanced Settings with a sub menu of Boot Settings or Boot Priority. Some of the older computers will have just one page, and you will have to push the down arrow key to get to the Boot settings, while others will have a single page displaying, but will have the option of pushing the ‘P’ button on your keyboard to go to the next page.

Once you have found the Boot Settings page, regardless of your BIOS version, then change the settings to have the CD-Rom above the Hard Disk Drive. Normally this is very easy and self explanatory (at the bottom of the display screen it tells you what buttons do what). I will explain a few steps to change this around in a sec, but first you have to be sure which listing is the CD-Rom, and which one is the Hard Drive. Hopefully your settings are very clear of which is which, but doesn’t happen very often. The CD-Rom drive listing could be any thing with CD or DVD listed. It could be listed as IDE-DVD, or SATA-OPTICAL and could even have the name brand, such as SONY-DVD. The hard drive will usually be a long cryptic name with a lot of numbers and letters that means something to technicians and manufacturers, but not to the average user. If it is a sea gate name brand Hard Drive it will surely state something like ST0##345D (the ## will be replaced by the size of the hard drive). If there is any confusion about which is which, then a quick google search can give you the information you need.

Changing the order of the Boot List depends on your specific BIOS. At the bottom of the display screen will be a set of keyboard buttons that can be used, and what they do. Very simple, and self explanatory.

A few examples:

  • 1) Hit enter on your keyboard, then assign the value (Hard Drive, or CD-Rom, or Floppy, etc..)
  • 2) The U and P buttons will move the highlighted value up and down the list.
  • 3) The + and – buttons will move the highlighted value up and down the list

After the Boot Priority settings have been set with the CD-Rom drive before the Hard Drive, save the changes and exit the BIOS. Again, the bottom of the screen has the instructions on how to do this. Normally, pushing F10 will ask you if you want to save and exit, don’t save and exit, and continue. Choosing save and exit is what we want. Other types of BIOS will utilize the ESC key, while others will have an Exit option that you will have to highlight and hit the Enter key.

Once the settings have been saved and you have exited the BIOS, the computer will restart on it’s own. Make sure the CD is in the drive, and it will ask for you to push any key to boot from the disc. If you are using a non-operating system disc then the computer should boot straight to the disc without you having to push any key on your keyboard.…