skin care in 101 days

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)

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!

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

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!”

Teenager’s Room Artist Theme

Teenager’s Room Artist Theme

Teenager’s Room Artist Theme

File:Megelli Sports motorcycle.jpg Wikimedia Commons

File:Megelli Sports motorcycle.jpg  Wikimedia Commons

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Pagani Motorcycle by Bajzath Bikes Disenoart

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Victory Motorcycles CORE Concept Bike Motorcycle USA

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Engine Spockets for Your Harley Motorcycle

Engine Spockets for Your Harley Motorcycle

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.

New Brammo Empulse Electric Motorcycle Unveiled

New Brammo Empulse Electric Motorcycle Unveiled

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2010 Victory Motorcycles First Look Preview

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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!

It’s Not Just You™ – Fallout 4 Crashing with NVIDIA’s SHARE Game Recorder (Possibly Relating To The High Resolution Texture Pack) [Notification, Text-Only]

Updated 2017-06-19: I found one cause of the crashes with SHARE and Fallout 4 (for me) – The HRTP

Just a quick post to say that, if you are experiencing Fallout 4 CTDs (Crashes To Desktop, where FO4 closes without any messages or anything and you are left staring at your Desktop in Windows), I want to let you know It’s Not Just You™ – as I am finding I am experiencing this as well, lately…

I haven’t looked into Forums specifically for this, but perusing Forii off and on over the past year or so, where many are talking about Fallout 4 and Crashing, it seems to happen a lot to people anyway, for just about any reason, unfortunately. I myself wasn’t experiencing this very much though (gladly), until just recently when playing FO4 again [and spending way too much time building up Settlements instead of getting Quests done], I was testing out different Game Recording Programs and started seeing this happen.

I’m happily playing Fallout 4, getting frustrated at the Building mechanics or shooting some Raiders attacking my Settlement, when all of a sudden, BOOM – desktop image and icons. No message, nothing. Fallout 4 has closed itself instantly. I of course start it up again and begin to see where I last hit QuickSave or the game automatically Saved for me – but this has happened a few times in a row now where BOOM – the desktop greets me and icons appear. No message, nothing.

So, I tried to pay attention to what I was doing or what was running as Background Tasks – and the one thing I found, that when I changed it, the crashes stopped happening?.. I was recording with SHARE, NVIDIA’s new version of ShadowPlay, their game recorder that is included with their Graphics Driver. Interesting. I have up ’till now had no issues with SHARE, enjoyed testing it out, taking Screenshots with it and testing out the various Quality settings and forgetting about all of those tests and never writing about it. It seems to have great performance (very small performance ‘hit’/effect) and has a decent amount of options/features.

I then tried some other game recording programs I have purchased over the years, Playclaw, Bandicam, Mirillis’ ACTION, and none of them had any Crashing occur while I was using them (although Fallout 4 didn’t seem to like to start up with Bandicam running sometimes [but when I started the game first then Bandicam, it recorded fine]). Hmph. That’s too bad, I was liking SHARE. There could of course be a myriad of things that could be causing this (I have sometimes run into the game not starting up, with a black screen then shutting itself down again/closing, no matter what game recorder I am using – and again, there are people with high-end Intel CPUs and NVIDIA 1080’s with CTDs…); but for me, it seems to be SHARE, at this time. I might go and mention this in the Official NVIDIA Forum, if noone else has recently. Perhaps this is just a temporary issue in this game and their Drivers, in this version.

I am running NVIDIA GPU Driver Version 382.53 in Windows 10 64-bit, on a GTX 1060 3GB GPU, as of the date of this post.

I know this was a Text-Only post, but I took this screenie of the Driver
Version (so I would remember it) and didn’t want to waste it

I mention all of this because, I was not really experiencing any Crashes-To-Desktop with Fallout 4 prior to thinking of testing out SHARE for a while, just a bit ago. I am Level 42 in the game, after ‘starting out a second time’ and enjoying playing again, taking notes and screenshots for some future posts on it, while I slowly build and shoot my way through The Commonwealth… Where was I? Oh yeah, the crashes. It’s sad, but I want others to not feel alone (you’re not, really, go look up “Fallout 4 crash desktop”..). If you are experiencing Fallout 4 closing without any error messages recently, just letting you know – It’s Not Just You™…


Update 2017-06-19:
For my personal battle with this, I did some more testing and found that I was able to use NVIDIA’s SHARE to record with, for quite a long time (hours), when I disabled/uninstalled the High Resolution Texture Pack DLC…
I am not sure if this is the only related aspect to it (as CTDs happen for even GTX 1080 users and higher capability systems than mine and it happens to those not using the HRTP or SHARE at all), but for now, it seems that this issue may be directly related to that [for me] as it crashes far more often than without running the HRTP – and I have no crashes when recording with other Game Recorders and The High Resolution Texture Pack…

Is it that the HRTP is ‘too much’ for my little 1060 with only 3GB of VRAM and SHARE together? 
Is it related to how the game then uses more RAM (I have 16GB of RAM installed) with the HRTP and possibly a symptom of some RAM issues, perhaps?
I’m not sure of a solution yet, so I cannot say – but if you are experiencing this problem of ‘Crashing while recording Fallout 4 with SHARE’, try disabling the High Resolution Texture Pack for FO4 – it worked for me, just now. (Alternatively, use a different Game Recorder for the time being..). HTH

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

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.

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. 

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.

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!

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.

Dama – Davide Biondi Kawasaki W650

DAvide Bondi is an Italian artist based in Abbruzo. He loves motorcycles. And had time and passion and motivation to spend 2 years to build his dreams motorcycle.
The donor is a Kawasaki W650 and the work started in 2012. In his own atelier he striped to the bones and rebuild it from scratch .
The result was fabulous .

Please see the pictures here.

For any other Davide Bondi other work follow him http://davidebiondi.tumblr.com/

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!

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/

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.

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!]

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.

__________________________________
SOurce: Yahoo News (AP, 7/15)

Sunburst: NYC Norton’s dazzling 1972 Commando

Sunburst: A dazzling 1972 Seeley Commando from NYC Norton.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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“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

List Of Car Insurance Companies In USA

There is our list of car insurance companies in the USA. To find the best cheap car insurance, drivers have to shop around and compare car insurance quotes collected from different auto insurance companies.

Why Car Drivers Need The List Of Auto Insurance Companies
To check what auto insurance companies are available in their state, car drivers need to visit the websites or local offices of these insurance companies. Because drivers may find the selected car insurance companies is out of service or have no business in their states.

To get cheaper car insurance, auto drivers need the list because they cannot be sure that they are going to buy  the cheapest auto insurance if they select only one insurance company to shop. If drivers get car insurance rates from  as many companies as possible, they can compare car insurance companies and buy the best ones that are cheap.

To get the options, because if car drivers have any problem with their current auto insurance companies, they can switch to another one.

The List Of Car Insurance Companies In USA

List Of Car Insurance Companies In USA, Top Auto Insurance Companies in USA, Car Insurance Companies

                                      List Of Car Insurance Companies In USA

  1. Progressive
  2. Liberty Mutual
  3. GEICO
  4. Allstate
  5. Nationwide
  6. Esurance.com
  7. 21st Century
  8. Mercury
  9. Farmers
10. USAA
11. AmericanFamily
12. AmericanNational
13. Amica
14. AAA – American Automobile Association
15. Auto-Owners
16. Travelers
17. State Farm
18. The General – Auto Insurance
19. MetLife
20. Safe Auto Insurance

21. Conseco
22. Direct General
23. Eastwood
24. Encompass
25. Erie
26. Allianz
27. GMAC
28. Hanover
29. Hartford
30. Safeco
31. Sentry
32. Western Auto Insurance

Among these auto insurance companies there are the best five car insurance companies in USA. If you really want to buy the cheap car insurance and want to find which is the top rated car insurance company, search and go to these website and compare the insurance rates.

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. 

1948 Packard woody station wagon and matching teardrop trailer

https://silodrome.com/packard-eight-station-sedan-teardrop-camper/

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/  

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)

Quick Tip: The Sims 3 – Game Recording Is Slightly Darker Than The ‘Normal’ Colours Of Regular Gameplay [FIX]

Just a Quick Tip for those of you recording The Sims 3 and finding that your videos are looking ‘darker’ than the original gameplay itself – a problem that has been around for some people for over a year now… It’s not that the game isn’t recordable (although for some people they got nothing but ‘blank/black screens’ a few years ago) it’s that the recordings are coming out, what looks like, a few shades darker than what the game really is.
I was recently seeing a spike in the number of people talking about this problem again and decided to see if I could find a fix, or at least a workaround, for it; and what I found was something that everyone can do for now (at least until AMD/NVIDIA or Maxis/EA makes an update that fully fixes the issue) and that is simply: to run The Sims 3 in Windowed Mode.

Whether you are using Dxtory, Bandicam, Afterburner or most other game recording programs (even NVIDIA’s Shadowplay has the same issue for some people), the fix [more of a workaround] that I found for now at least allows you to record your Sims 3 gameplay with proper colours, as you can see in these frames extracted from a couple of game recordings, below:

Comparison between the display modes and the colours when recording (Darker vs. ‘Normal’) for the recording issue with The Sims 3, showing that the workaround works [at least for now] in two extracted frames from two game recordings (one in Windowed Mode and one in Fullscreen Mode). [In the right half, the camera has been ‘zoomed in’]

Have fun recording your Sims 3 gameplay once again, if this problem has made you stop – and
See You In The Games!

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. 

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)

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!

Quick Tip: NVIDIA ‘In Game Overlay’ Stopped Working? Here’s How To At Least Get It Going Again [Fix / Workaround, Updated 2018-03-26]

Whether it wants to be called Shadowplay, Share or [as of the time of this post] In-Game Overlay; it doesn’t really matter to most people I think – we just look for something to record our gameplay once in a while, maybe take some Screenshots, ‘and just work’. Thankfully, NVIDIA’s In-Game Overlay [or whatever it may be called by the time I finish this post, heh] does just that. Most of the time.

Although I rotate between a handful of different recording programs off and on (such as Bandicam, Action, Playclaw and others – just for fun and also slowly working on another ‘Game Recording Comparison’ for the future), In-Game Overlay [built into the NVIDIA Drivers, aka “for free”] records when I want, it records a Buffered Loop (a timed, re-recording of ‘the last xyz seconds’, to save when needed) – and it even takes Screenshots and more. However, sometimes this big fella has just ‘stopped working’ lately. No saving Screenshots, no Recording, no Error Message, Nothing; and I wasn’t sure why… After only a tiny bit of Troubleshooting, I quickly figured out how to at least ‘get it going again’ and I just wanted to share that here for you all, in a Quick Tip™.

To be honest [I always believe in being completely honest], I am still not sure why NVIDIA’s In-Game Overlay stopped working – but I did figure out how to simply get it working again – and here’s what I did:

  • Once I noticed the Overlay wasn’t taking Screenshots, I looked to see if the Overlay itself or more of the (many) NVIDIA utilities were still running, in the Task Manager. They were. [The In Game Overlay’s Executable is still called “NVIDIA Share.exe”, btw]
  • Thinking that something might have gone wrong with the Overlay utility, I opened up NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience.
  • In GFX [my accro.], I clicked on the ‘gear’ in the upper-right corner, “Settings”.
  • In the Settings area, I clicked on the switch/toggle for In-Game Overlay.
  • Although it took longer than normal, it eventually turned Off. Clicking it again, it turned back On.

That’s it! After those steps, the In-Game Overlay was working once again. Taking a Screenshot, for example, the notification from the Overlay came up, and the Screen was saved. It also started Recording again, without issue. Here is a ‘Tutorial Image’ of the steps to take:

Tutorial Image of what steps to take to ‘restart’ the NVIDIA In Game Overlay;
the recording utility built into the NVIDIA Drivers
(Click to see Full Size)

Although I do not have any details on why it failed, I still thought this short ‘tip’ would be helpful for people that might run into this (“shadowplay not recording” or “in-game overlay not taking screenshots”, etc) – so I wanted to share it here. HTH!

Update, 2018-03-26: Just a quick Update, that as of March 2018, I have run into somewhat of an extension of this issue, where GFX is no longer responding to this simple ‘toggle’ of the In-Game Overlay… Doing so (which used to temporarily ‘fix’ the issue above), now merely results in an ‘error’ message box, stating “That Didn’t Work. Try Restarting Your System.”, which although polite, is not very informative as to what caused the error or what else can be attempted to isolate/troubleshoot the issue further:

Doing some more research online, I see many others running into this issue, as well as its’ ‘extension’ here… However, there still is no absolute ‘fix’ for this problem yet [at least, none that is verifiable and repeatable, which I prefer to have as a qualification to my sharing it here as a “fix”] – therefore, I cannot say for certain what can be done to fix it, even though a wide range of things have somewhat worked for others (some early steps work, others must use further steps), such as:

  • Uninstalling/Reinstalling GeForce Experience
  • Installing an older version of GeForce Experience
  • Utilizing a third-party ‘drivers uninstaller’ to completely remove NVIDIA’s GPU Drivers and Reinstall NVIDIA’s GPU Drivers/GeForce Experience [AMD users can get a similar utility directly from AMD]
  • Reinstallation/Formatting of entire system (eg. Windows) and Reinstalling NVIDIA GPU Drivers and Reinstalling GeForce Experience

Once I find out what actually is a solid fix for this issue, I will state so here and post it in big, bold lettering [lol], along with a Tutorial Image (text on an example image of the solution, etc). Until then…

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.

Please click the wallpaper and save it to your computer.

You can see details about motorcycle image in the description below:

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
IMAGE SIZE: 317357 B Bs
IMAGE WIDTH: 1600
IMAGE HEIGHT: 1200
SOURCE DOMAIN: bmw-automotive.blogspot.com
SOURCE URL: http://bmw-automotive.blogspot.com/2012/07/2013-bmw-k1300s-motorcycle-insurance.html

Related Images with BMW cars, motorcycles, scooters. Pictures, specs, insurance.

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

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Motorcycle Pictures Freaking News

Motorcycle Pictures  Freaking News

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. 

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.

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

Bolts From The Blue: Yamaha Garage Challenge

In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.
After decades of enjoying the middleweight V-twin market to itself, the Harley Sportster is facing serious challenges.

The two biggest contenders? The postmodern Indian Scout and the retro bobber-styled Star Bolt, which is known to Europeans as the Yamaha XV950. In the USA, Yamaha’s already run a custom build-off centered the Bolt—and now it’s the turn of the Italian distributor.
The ‘Garage Challenge’ pits six Italian Yamaha dealers against each other, rather than pro builders. But the results are just as good. You can vote on the Garage Challenge website to help choose the winner, and it’ll be announced at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona on 22 January. These are our three favorite builds.
In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.Mid Night Club by New Venizia Moto Yes, they have roads as well as canals in Venice. Two inspirations are listed for this bike: 1970s café racers, and the Japanese street racers of the 1980s. The goal was “sporty lines and a dark soul.”
It’s a much more aggressive style than the stock bike, but fortunately the handling of the XV950 is amongst the best of any V-twin. The highlight is the new tail unit, which replaces the bobber look with a racier vibe and hides a new subframe. Glossy black paint and subtle pinstripes keep things classy: the only touches of color are the yellow of the headlight lens and the shocks.
In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.Bombhard BH1 by Moto Shop (below) The Parma-based showroom is the oldest Yamaha dealer in Europe, and they’ve chosen a vintage look for this XV950. The styling is straight out of the 1930s and influenced by the Art Deco movement.
In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.
The engine shroud and headlamp nacelles are an inspired touch, and hide a custom triple clamp arrangement. With nothing more than a 5mm allen key, you can adjust the geometry from cruiser to café racer depending on your mood.

In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.
Designers Giovanni Buratti and Daniele Pasetti have reportedly patented the system, but we’re more intrigued by the motocross-style seat. It’s the last thing you’d expect to see on bike harking back to the 1930s, but it strangely works.

In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.TB114 by Twinsbike (below) The small Milanese dealer has only been operating for ten years, but this tracker-styled XV950 is one of the highlights of the Garage Challenge.
In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.
The company has MotoGP experience, so it’s not surprising that this is the most sporting of the XV950 customs. We’re especially digging the air intake and the sinuous exhaust system, which was built by SC Project.

At first glance it’d be hard to pick this as an XV950: the new lines are beautifully judged, and the uplift at the back from the matching seat unit and flared muffler just screams ‘dirt track’.
We’d be happy to put any of these XV950s in the Bike EXIF garage. Which one would you choose?
If you have a working knowledge of Italian and want to cast your vote, head over to the Garage Challenge website.
In Yamaha Italy's Garage Challenge, six builders were given an XV950 to transform.

First published inwww.bikeexif.com

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!

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!

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!

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.

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)

Deals And Sales – ‘Things Goin’ On This Weekend’ (Weekend of August 11th, 2017) [Notification]

Just a quick Notification of some things going on… Once in a while, I try to post about Sales going on somewhere – especially the ‘big’ ones, like Summer’s End or Christmas Sales. This weekend, there are a few ‘Free Weekends’ and Sales going on (that I saw so far) and thought I wanted to share them, just in case there were others interested in these games, heh. Here’s what I saw is Goin’ On This Weekend:


Guild Wars 2 Expansion (Path Of Fire) is Free To Try all weekend:

https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/get-ready-for-the-guild-wars-2-path-of-fire-preview-weekend/

GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) is having a couple of Sales on games which include series like Master Of Orion, Warhammer 40K, Painkiller, Delta Force, Red Faction and at the same time having a sale on Strategy Games like Codename Panzers, Men of War, Hybrid Wars, Total Annihilation, Empire Earth, and more:

https://www.gog.com/promo/20170807_weekly_sale
and
https://www.gog.com/promo/20170811_special_promo_strategy_sale

Some other games, which are Free To Try all weekend via Steam, are:

For Honor, the medieval swordplay/battle game is Free To Try all weekend and selling for half-price
(for those that remember Die By The Sword, it looks like it may be similar to that, but in an ‘arena’ setting [sorry, but I haven’t been able to try it yet]):

http://store.steampowered.com/app/304390/FOR_HONOR/

Saints Row IV, from the crazy “each game is increasingly like GTA-on-drugs” open-world/action
series, is Free To Try all weekend and selling at a reduced price
[I haven’t tried it yet, but I am still playing the wacky Saints Row III once in a while and still getting a kick out of it]:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/206420/Saints_Row_IV/

Sorry I didn’t get to finishing this sooner, but the weekend isn’t over yet! Get out there and try these games out or grab something you want on sale – and maybe See You In The Game!

Edit:

I completely forgot one more I was going to post in here! 

GamersGate also has some games on Sale right now, including Borderlands (for five bucks!), the Mafia series, Bioshock series, Xcom series, and more:

https://www.gamersgate.com/offers

[Note: I am not affiliated with these game sites, nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning them here (the Links do not have any ‘affiliate tags’ or similar additions to them) – I am merely an enthusiastic gamer and like to share deals and other goings-on with other gamers like me. Enjoy!]

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.

Norton Atlas – Machine Shed

09_10_2015_Norton_Atlas_Machine_Shed_08
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.
09_10_2015_Norton_Atlas_Machine_Shed_11
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.
09_10_2015_Norton_Atlas_Machine_Shed_03
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.”
09_10_2015_Norton_Atlas_Machine_Shed_05
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.
09_10_2015_Norton_Atlas_Machine_Shed_06
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.
09_10_2015_Norton_Atlas_Machine_Shed_07
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/

How to park your bike securely

Because having your motorcycle nicked is about twice as likely as your car being half-inched – and such thefts often occur in temporary parking locations. Of course there’s no guarantee that your bike won’t be stolen – if a professional thief wants your bike he’ll probably get it. But combining as many security measures as reasonably and practically possible can prevent your bike being targeted.

What do I need?

An assortment of measures that collectively secure your bike effectively. It’s easy to recommend using 15 locks but its neither realistic nor going to guarantee security. But a disc lock, U-lock in situ at your regular parking place, a well-chosen parking spot, some security marking and some labels/stickers which make it obvious how your bike has been secured should do the trick.

What about alarms?

Some like ’em, some don’t but every little helps. We’ve not gone into them in depth here as there are so many different types and should be fitted by experts rather than DIY. If you’ve got one, use it and ensure that it’s obvious that an alarm is fitted – this may deter any opportunist thieves from having a go.

Anything else?

You’d be amazed how many bikers neglect to use the main security device – the steering lock – most bikes come with. Do it. Just make sure you don’t leave it in ‘park’ mode (activating the parking light) by accident and drain the battery.

1. U-lock carrier – Safety first! Whichever type of lock you go for make sure you carry them on your bike correctly and safely. Many modern machines have U-lock compartments under the seat. If not, special carriers can be fitted, sometimes behind the number plate, as above.

2. Disc lock bag – Ditto chains and disc locks. Don’t put them in a rucksack. They should either be packed carefully into a pannier (ensuring you balance the weight on the other side) or in special bags which attach to the pillion seat.

3. Motorcycle parking bay – Picking your parking spot is one of the biggest factors in whether your bike becomes another crime statistic. The best places are where it’s busy and with secure poles or railings to lock your bike to. Council bike parks can be located via local council websites. By varying your spot, you’ll prevent thieves ‘casing’ your bike.

4. Lock around a post – Lock your machine to something solid – like a lamp post – as tightly as possible to make it harder for a thief to insert a scaffold pole or similar to lever off the lock. If you regularly park in the same place, leave your lock attached to a post. But remember, parking on a pavement is likely to land you a parking fine.

5. Park it somewhere visible – Parking in winter or at night requires extra vigilance so make sure your machine is left in a well-lit area where it is busy and/or overlooked. If your bike is in constant view and visible it’s much more likely to be left alone. If it’s hidden in the dark it can be tampered with.

6. Disc lock snug to caliper – Fit the lock through the disc snug to the caliper (so that if you forget to remove it before trying to wheel the bike forward it won’t move). Other tips to avoid riding off with the disc lock in place include using a disc lock warning cable and putting a reminder sticker on your top yoke.

7. Chains, it’s preferable to use the lock to secure your machine to an immoveable object. In addition they should be used to make the bike immobile in its own right. Fitting snugly through the rear wheel and swingarm is ideal. Team it up with a disc lock at the front.
8. Brake lever lock – One type of lock often overlooked, but which is almost as portable as a disc lock and can be a good supplement to other security devices, is the brake lever lock, which clamps the front brake lever fully on. Just try riding off with that on…

9. Smartwater – A security marking system based on what they call a ‘forensic fingerprint’ – basically a solution containing minute particles marked with a unique code. The solution, while being virtually invisible to the naked eye, glows under UV light and is practically impossible to remove. A handy way to prove a bike is yours.

10. Ultraviolet pen – Another cheap and quick way of protecting your bike is to mark all the main body panels, commonly with the bike’s registration number or your postcode, with ink only visible under ultraviolet light – although this is only a deterrent if your bike is labelled as being security marked.

11. Datatag – The most commonly used and respected electronic security marking system. Involves both security etching components and inserting scannable microchips into your bike, whose details are then logged on to a central database. Reckon on around £60 for a kit.

12. Security stickers – It sounds obvious but the biggest deterrent is making it obvious to potential thieves that your bike is fitted with various security devices – stickers saying ‘Warning – alarmed’ are a good thing, even if an alarm or suchlike isn’t actually fitted.

___________________________________________
Source: Motorcycle News (11/30, AP)

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.

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Source: AMA (AP, 8/05)

What Does it Really Mean When Food is Labeled as ‘Organic’?

What Does it Really Mean When Food is Labeled as ‘Organic’?
BY KATIE MACDONALD 
ILLUSTRATIONS BY VALERIO PELLEGRINI

We often blindly trust food that’s been USDA-certified organic, but what’s actually involved in earning that seal?

Cross-eyed in the produce section? It’s not your fault. USDA standards for organic labeling differ when comparing apples to, er, chicken—which can create consumer confusion, says Peter Laufer, Ph.D., the author of Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth Behind Food Labeling.
(Food and beverage makers often employ buzzwords to cash in on nutrition trends, but they’re not always telling you the whole story. Find out how to recognize When Nutrition Labels Lie.)
This chart shows the standards that must be met within an industry to earn the seal. Understand the differences and start seeing clearly.
organic infographic
Source

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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Customizing motorcycles is a very serious business. It absorbs time, money, and garage space. It also requires high levels of mechanical skill, and usually the patience of a spouse.
Not surprisingly, most customizers take themselves very seriously. But one man who doesn’t is Kurt Walter, Design Director for the Icon 1000 apparel brand.

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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Walter doesn’t just design the gear: he also leads the team that builds Icon’s off-the-wall concept bikes. They’re vastly different machines tied together by a common thread of irreverence.
This is Icon’s latest build, a mid-70s BMW R90/6 with a subtle military vibe.

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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“The donor bike was the last of the cheap BMW airhead buys in the Portland metro area,” Walter tells us. “Like a swarm of bearded locusts, hipster nation had already devoured every Honda CB within a thousand miles.”

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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The BMW was quickly dubbed Slow Burn, in reference to her “well-used jugs.”
Walter never does things by halves, so we’ve got a heavily modified frame, with a heightened subframe for clearance and a reworked backbone for rigidity.

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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The gas tank is stock, but has a neatly frenched gas cap and reworked mounts to keep it low and level.
The R90/6 offers pleasing amounts of grunt straight from the factory, so it’s just been treated to a custom exhaust. It’s a 2-into-1-into 2 setup, snaking high out of harm’s way, and terminated with shorty silencers from a Honda CRF450. A quilted seat from Ginger at New Church Moto cushions the ride.

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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The rear suspension is now a mono shock—courtesy of Progressive—and fitted to a Dakar-style braced swingarm. The rear cargo rack is almost as neat: it’s actually a modified subframe from a Ninja 300. “Large enough to hold a bespoke shaving kit and antique silver flask,” Walter deadpans.

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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A front fender from a Ducati 860GT keeps the salt spray at bay, and the rubber is equally practical—it’s Continental’s Twinduro TKC80, the quintessential dual sport tire. A rally lamp from the iconic German brand Hella (est. 1899) lights the way.

Slow Burn: A BMW R90/6 from Icon 1000

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Icon is known for its entertaining short films, and there’s one to celebrate the launch of Slow Burn. “We procured a military surplus Zodiac boat, an open stretch of Pacific coastline, and a rubber clad Russian model,” says Walter.
Sounds like the perfect weekend trip to us. Enjoy.
>

ICON 1000 | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

First published by bikeexif.com

Zonnevlek Harley-Davidson Street 750


During my visit to Japan with Harley-Davidson late last year, we were introduced to 5 Japanese builders whose workshops had been invited to each customise one of the new H-D Street 750’s. The project was coined the “Street Build Off” and the 5 workshops involved included Cherry’s Company, Asterisk, Duas Caras Cycles, Luck Motorcycles and Custom Works Zon. Only a few short months later the builders unveiled their creations at the Mooneyes Hotrod and Custom Show in Yokohama, where a panel of judges awarded one workshop as the outright winner. Taking home the prize was Custom Works Zon with their heavily customised ‘Zonnevlek’ Street 750 racer.



The Zonnevlek (meaning Sunspot in Dutch) was the brainchild of CW Zon duo Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda. Since 2003 the pair have been building unique v-twin powered choppers and bobbers, gaining international attention in 2007 with their entry into the AMD Championship of bike building.


With the opportunity to customise Harley’s newest family member the duo made the brave decision to depart from their usual traditional chopper styled builds. Inspired by the Street 750’s already impressive 4.6 second 0-60mph acceleration and mid 13 second 1/4 mile capability they opted to build a motorcycle that would focus on improving straight line speed…with a modest sprinkling of aesthetic eye candy.


Taking a mere 3 months to complete the Zonnevlek is an almost complete redesign of the H-D Street with only part of the original frame and the stock 750cc engine remaining untouched. To make the most of the bikes power dropping weight was paramount, so the build began with a dramatic frame redesign. The standard half duplex frame was rebuilt using a single cradle design with custom made mounts and braces to secure the engine firmly in place. In need of a new home the bikes radiator was relocated to beneath the bike adding weight to its rear end for improved traction and a lower the centre of gravity.


The Zonnevlek’s angular tank functions as a cover, concealing electrical components and the complex linkages of the “jockey” shifter. A single lever on the custom made handlebars actuates the front brake and engaging the clutch is left up to what was originally the gear selector pedal. Tucked beneath the seat is a fuel cell containing enough juice for a sneaky, backstreet burn or a few, flat out 1/4 time trials and the original instruments have been replaced by a function focused Autometer tacho.


Up front is a one of a kind set of custom made forks holding a 19 inch wheel wrapped in Avon Speedmaster Rubber. In the rear is a CW Zon signature style single sided swingarm with mono shock suspension and a 15 inch Rocket Racing wheel wearing a classic Hoosier drag slick. To free up a few more horses from the liquid cooled v-twin a custom made exhaust system and intake have also been added and fuelling remapped to suit.


As you study these photos more and more of the Zonnevlek’s incredible details become apparent. From the alloy bushes, braces and panels to the brass highlights. It’s the stark grey paint and contrasting gold leaf pin striping by Mr.G and the intricate engraving by 4 Dimension Studio that really push the boundaries on this build though. While straight line bikes aren’t usually our thing, it’s easy to see why this beast won over the Street Build Off judges. It’s yet another example of why Japanese builders lead the way with their creativity and craftsmanship in the custom motorcycle scene and I can’t get enough of it!



First published by returnofthecaferacers.com


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.

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

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.

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

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.

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. 

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:

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

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

2005 YAMAHA YZFR6 Motorcycle pictures, specification

2005 YAMAHA YZFR6 Motorcycle pictures, specification

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TITLE: 2005 YAMAHA YZFR6 Motorcycle pictures, specification
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IMAGE SIZE: 221130 B Bs
IMAGE WIDTH: 1600
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Motorcycle Insurance in Kentucky Murphy Insurance Group

Motorcycle Insurance in Kentucky  Murphy Insurance Group

The Role of B-Vitamins in Preventing Brain Loss

One in five people older than 70 suffers from cognitive impairment which will progress to dementia and death in half of these people within five years.  So it is very important to address all the modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment.   One of these risk factors is elevated homocysteine which is a strong, independent risk factor for Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Heart Disease.  
One of the longest and most comprehensive studies ever done showed that one in six cases of Alzheimer’s Disease can be caused by increased homocysteine levels.
In order to process homocysteine properly the body needs adequate levels of Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), vitamin B12, and Vitamin B6.   A double-blind randomized controlled trial showed that the reduction of homocysteine by B Vitamins can slow the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in people with mild cognitive impairment which is often the first step towards Alzheimer’s Disease.
Another study showed that B-Vitamins can reduce brain loss in areas prone to the Alzheimer’s Disease process. 
Other Benefits of B-Vitamins
B-Vitamins as a group are incredible important to a wide range of cellular and metabolic functions from energy production to production of hormones. Benefits of optimal levels include increased energy, improved mood, reduction of allergy symptoms, help preserve vision, help to maintain bone strength, and help prevent heart disease and stroke.
How do I get B-Vitamins?
Although it is possible to get the RDA of B-Vitamins through diet alone it requires a carefully planned diet and for vegetarians it is very challenging because there is no vitamin B-12 in vegetables. Milk, yogurt and cheese, along with eggs, are the only vegetarian food items that naturally contain significant levels of vitamin B12.
In addition many people have conditions which prevent optimal absorption and cellular uptake of certain B-Vitamins such as Folic Acid.   Each of the key B-Vitamins come in several forms with some being much more active and effective than others.   When everything works right the body can convert other forms to the active forms, but there are many things that interfere with this process.
For example Intrinsic factor produced in the stomach is what allows the intestines to absorb this vitamin.  Not everyone produces intrinsic factor so common sources of B-12 are not effective.
Also since B-Vitamins are water-soluble excess amounts are easily and safely excreted so taking a high quality B-Vitamin Supplement or Multiple Vitamin with activated forms of B-Vitamins in adequate amounts is the safest way to cover yourself.    In addition, although each B-Vitamin performs critical functions in isolation they also work together to optimize many functions so taking a complete B-Vitamin Supplement is highly recommended.
What are all the B-Vitamins?

B- Vitamin          Active Form                                                    Inactive Form
B-1                        Benfotiamine                                                Thiamine
B-2                        Riboflavin-5-phophate                                 Flavin Monocleotide
B-3                        Niacinamide                                                 NAD                                        
B-5                        Panthothenic Acid                                         None                   
B-6                        Pyridoxal-5-phospate                                    Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
B-7                        Biotin                                                             None
B-9                        Methyltetrahydrofolate  aka Metafolin         Folic Acid                                         
B-12                      MethylCobalamin                                         Cobalamin
Can you take too much of the B-Vitamins?
For certain ones the answer is yes!  You should not take in more than 800mcg of folic acid supplement.  Too much can mask a condition called pernicious anemia.  Multiple Vitamins and B-Complex Supplements will contain 400 – 800mcg and more from diet is not a problem.
For vitamin B-6 intake above 200mg per day is not recommended.  Again multiple vitamins and B-Complex will generally contain less than this amount and more from food is not an issue.
Regular “Niacin” can cause significant skin flushing and itching, but this is harmless although it can be very uncomfortable.    Extremely high dose niacin can be used to treat high cholesterol levels but the regular form that causes flushing can also cause liver issues at high levels.   This is also true of “time-released” forms.     The best form for use for cholesterol is “Flush Free Niacin” aka Inositol Hexiniacinate as it will not cause these issues.   NAD (Nicotinomide Adenine Nucleotide) is very safe but there is no reason to take more than 10mg per day.
As always do not take any supplement when pregnant without consulting your registered health care professional.

Le French Atelier R80

Atelier FBeing British is great, we have an awful lot going for us. As a nation our legacy of engineering prowess is perhaps unmatched and we can proudly hold our heads high as having played a pivotal role in spawning two wheeled transportation and driving it’s development through the decades. But, one thing we are not renowned for is style. Smart maybe, but stylish, no.
Being an island we don’t benefit from the style nutrient that runs down from glacial meltwaters of The Alps and into the rivers of mainland Europe. OK, so in some countries these appear to be mere tributaries (and certainly in certain regions dams ensure thirst isn’t quenched at all) but in France for instance an entire population drinks water packed full of style minerals. Clever biochemistry then causes the molecules within to proliferate to create the Cool Gene. This is scientific fact, we carried out a proper experimentilisation called Bike Shed Paris 2015. The results were conclusive – French dudes are more stylish and cooler than British ones. 

Atelier BVincent Amar, Thomas & Anthony Letourneur and Denis Pereira from Le French Atelier quietly turned up at said Parisenne experiment with 3 stunning bikes, luckily the cleaners at Le Carreau du Temple were on hand with spill-kits to soak up the style that kept falling off the plinths and dribbling all over the expensive parquet floor. Alright, enough lyrical waxing already, you get the picture, I’m rather partial to this motorcycle. Fellow purveyors of achingly handsome customs, Blitz Motorcycles inspired the LFA guys with their rather splendid Black Pearl, which was built by Blitz co-founder Hugo as his personal city steed.
Atelier ELFA’s Anthony wanted to create a bike with near drag strip proportions and stance so set wheels in motion with a less structurally fussy mono-levered R80RT from 1987. Having been an ex-Gendarme bike it was in pretty good condition, probably having only been put into service on occasion to apprehend fashion criminals around the capital. The subframe was re-fabricated and kept as svelte and low profile as possible, so much so that the Alcantara seat pad sits within the frame rails. The single shock on these later R80s allows for an acute mounting angle and creates a super-clean rear end. To mirror the single sided swing arm the opposing disc on the front wheel and caliper mount were removed providing a considered visual balance.

Atelier C
The narrow fuel tank was liberated from a seventies Yamaha DTE125 and modified to fit the Beemer’s spine before receiving copious coats of gun metal grey metallic paint. We’ve meddled with these photos a bit for your viewing pleasure, but trust me, if you like a mean looking bike then this grey is for you.
Atelier GThe scoop and the front of the tank previously allowed movement of the clumsy yoke clamp on the Yamaha but on this application the void offered the perfect hiding place for the all-in-one speedo, idiot lights and of course the power button. Who doesn’t like a back-lit button to get the party started, especially when mounted in a machined aluminium housing.
Atelier A thumbWith the subframe out of bounds for electricity storage the original airbox was utilised for housing the tiny lithium battery, ignition coil and regulator. An airscoop reminiscent of that on a 1970s F1 car was rolled from stainless and powder coated, providing a cooling flow to the tightly packed electrics.
Atelier HMinimalism of near Nordic standards continues throughout the rest of the build with only the business critical items being refitted after the painter and powder coated had played their part. Rizoma’s thick catalogue was thumbed to find lighting solutions and the fellow stylistas from the Italian side of The Alps we’re only too happy too help out. And yes, the headlight looks like the perfect tool for illuminating bridges but note the refraction, some lumens do in fact make it down onto the road ahead.
Atelier D
I’m sure the keyboard jockeys on social media will have a field day with their proclamations about practicality, and although everyone is entitled to their own opinion, on this occasion that right is rescinded. Coolmax lined Rohan zip-off trousers with 17 pockets, ripstop knees and an integrated Leatherman pouch are unquestionably functional, but crimes to style are taken seriously across the water and such sartorial abominations are banned within the Périphérique.
Atelier I
Sadly good things must come to an end, although whoever made up that rule is a bit of a prick, and after six months of thorough enjoyment this R80 is being sold to fund future projects. We had a jolly good poke around this bike and can attest to the more than decent fit and finish but unfortunately the contents of my pockets and the key to my Cagiva didn’t convert very well into Euros so it’s still up for grabs. Probably for the best, as a stylistically deficient Brit I simply wouldn’t do such a bike justice.

Watch out for LFA’s next moves on
First published by thebikeshed

2007 HARLEY SPORTSTER ‘ONE PUNCH’ – ZADIG – THE BIKE SHED


‘One Punch’ straight to the chin; a  knock out. Zadig Motorcycles delivers a decisive blow to the custom motorcycle world with this Harley Sportster, named after one of my favorite film characters of all time, Mickey, from Guy Ritchie’s turn of the millennium dark comedy, Snatch. Like a bare knuckle boxer, it is tough, gritty, no frills, and I bet it has quite a bit of growl coming out of those pipes that are taped up like a couple of beat-up fists. Details and cohesiveness of design are what bring custom motorcycles to life, and ‘One Punch’ has a lot to notice. Stand out features are the intricate detailed tank and gas cap, as well as the woven seat. More importantly though, is the unique overall design that captures the spirit of a quirky bare-knuckled boxing gypsy. Add in the fact that the bike was built for charity, and you’ve got the winning combination that is our Bike of the Month for December 2014.








first read on wind-blown.com

My Free Font, Just For You™: LED SCREEN GTAMBLOG CAPS+ 2.0 (with Download Links)

An awkward name perhaps, for an odd little, simple version of an “LED Screen / Scoreboard Style Capitals Only” font (including Punctuation and Accents!) – but years ago, I contacted the author of a similar-styled font, to ask specifically for Commercial Use of his font, that looked somewhat like this one [I have been using it “Officially” here at The Blog since then – you can see Examples of it all over this site, on the images].

Today, I found Fontstruct, an easy-to-use, free, online Font creation utility – and thought “why don’t I make my own version this font, not only for ‘The Blog’ to use, but for others to possibly use as well?”.
And so, here is an ‘LED Screen’ or ‘Dot Matrix’ style font (also usable as a ‘Pixel font’) – with punctuation and a couple of ‘accents’ – but capitals only, as traditional LED Screens or Scoreboards (“Score Screens”) would have used; made by my hand, Just For You™…

I am distributing it as “LED SCREEN GTAMBLOG CAPS+ 2.0” by ‘Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog’, at various Font sites, such as those below (for Downloading, Updates as I add more and/or am approved by them). [If you prefer, contact me via email and I can also send you the TTF or Zip of the Font, from me, directly]:

  • Fontstruct (where I created the font by hand): 
  • https://fontstruct.com/fontstructions/show/1459839/led-screen-gtamblog-caps-2-0

  • Fontspace: 
  • http://www.fontspace.com/thegametipsandmoreblog/led-screen-gtamblog-caps-20

Feel free to Comment on those sites, or here (Suggestions, Questions, And More) or contact me via e-mail if you have any questions about the font, at:
[email protected]

Usage License: (Creative Commons, Attribution License, 4.0)
You are free to utilize this font for ANY purpose whatsoever, including Commercial Use and Monetization of any kind, Royalty-Free; the only condition being that you mention my name somewhere, anywhere, during use of this font.
If you would like to make a Donation, on behalf of using this font, you may do so via PayPal, using my email ([email protected]), but this is not required at all, to use this font for any purpose you desire.

As some of you may know, I have been playing around with Fonts off and on, creating them for various images/headers/etc here at The Blog over the years, compiling at least 4-5 fonts or so from scratch, with varying levels of completion… I ‘m not sure when I’ll get around to finishing all of them – but for now, I hope this font can perhaps be useful for some quick images, videos, or whatever you may want it for – Enjoy!

Edit:
 I may return and add some images and examples of the font… Soon™
Also, although I have made this font by hand at the Fontstruct website, I always suggest that you Scan any files you download (just in case), with an Anti-Virus utility of some sort – whether it is Windows Defender (built-in to Windows 10, after downloading) or via an online scanner/website, such as VirusTotal.com or similar.

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

‘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.

_____________________________
Source: Cleveland (Dawidziak, 2/18)

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.

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)

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.

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…

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!

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/

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]

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!

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/


“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)

Quick Tip: Team Fortress 2 – What To Do With Those Naughty and Nice Winter Crates (Winter 2013)

By now, most of you have seen these Random Drops, Crates that are either “Nice” or “Naughty” – but, “How do you open them..”, you may have asked? Well, this post is just a quick note to answer this question I have already started seeing on game forums and Question/Answer websites. Answer: You Can’t Open Them (Yet)…

Soon hopefully, keys should be available for purchase at the Mann Company Store (Steam/Valve/TF2), most likely for $2.49 USD, if keys and dropped crates combinations of the past are anything to go by [I assume they are dropping them now, to allow people to collect some before the keys go on sale – to sell more keys]. So, if you get these [I have already started getting them when playing, hence the screencaps], just wait a little bit longer, until the keys themselves go on sale. Then, if you want to open them, just purchase keys and unlock them! Soon™… (Remember, you will need one key for each crate)

See You In The Games!

Workout Anytime in North Fulton Newspapers

Workout Anytime in North Fulton Newspapers in an article titled, “New Workout Anytime coming to Milton.” The article begins with information about the new Workout Anytime opening in Milton and the owners. The article then goes into details about what you can expect at aWorkout Anytime, with a quote from Randy Trotter. General Manager Chris Maier is quoted about why he believes in the Workout Anytime model and Lynn Jackson is quoted about why they’re happy to open in the area. The article closes out with info on how to join and about the expansion plans for Workout Anytime.  Click here for the entire article or begin below.

New Workout Anytime coming to Milton
By: Caitlin Wagenseil
MILTON, Ga. — When two members of a gym found out their beloved workout place was going to close down, they decided to take action. 

Paul and Lynn Jackson, previous members, bought the Workout Anytime in Cumming. Now, they are gearing up to open their second location in Milton with Randy and Heather Clevenger.


(Read More)

‘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?


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/

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

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.

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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

Trust Us, This Weight-Loss Tip Is Actually Doable

Trust Us, This Weight-Loss Tip Is Actually Doable

by Leta Shy
Before trainer Kit Rich became a Pilates instructor to the stars (and healthy-lifestyle ambassador for brands like Lucy), she was just a woman trying yet another crazy, extreme, or unhealthy diet in order to lose weight. “I tried everything,” she recently told us, adding that she also suffered from eating disorders and body dysmorphia. “I was desperate to lose weight. So I would do, like what most women do, those freaking crazy juice diets. I would do all these extreme things, but it always brought me back to the other extreme.”
After years of yo-yo dieting, Kit finally hit on her problem: she was working out in a way that wasn’t sustainable. Her solution was one that helped her lose 30 pounds and one that she still shares with her students today, whether she’s teaching a private class in LA or going on tour with a musician client. Her tip? Make it manageable. Specifically, Kit says that her mantra of “three miles or 30 minutes, every day” is what helped her finally break free from weight fluctuations and keep the pounds off for good. As in: run, walk, or hike your way to three miles a day, or do a 30-minute workout instead. “I really do believe wholeheartedly that the middle road is the way to go,” she says. “Anything extreme is not long-lasting.”
As a former athlete, this manageable mantra helped keep Kit from burning out on her workouts when she was trying to lose weight. “I come from a background of injury, and I had knee surgery, so you can’t tell me to go and take some crazy bootcamp class,” she says. “Because my knee will start to hurt, and then what’s going to start to happen, I’m going to freak out that I won’t be able to do that for the rest of my life.” Instead, just telling yourself to do something little every day can help you get a hold of your health and your weight-loss goals. “Women need to feel empowered,” she says. “They need to feel like what they’re doing is something that they somewhat enjoy and that they can have a grip on. And that’s why I believe in this three or 30 rule.”
Source

To change your weight, first change your mind

To change your weight, first change your mindBy Lyndel Costain BSc RD

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Getting Your Head Straight

You no doubt know how to lose weight – eat fewer calories and exercise more and you will see results. You may also have a list of things to change, such as eating more fruit and veg, going for a daily walk or buying low fat options.
If, like many people, you have difficulty losing weight and keeping it off – despite your best intentions, what do you think could be getting in the way?
First, reality-check your mindset with the want to lose weight quiz.
Next, answer the How are You Feeling about Losing Weight questions.

To change your weight, first change your mind

Research shows that one of the most important factors that influences weight loss success is your attitude – whether or not you believe (and keep on believing) that you can make the changes you need to make to lose weight, and that they are worth doing. This is because what you think, affects how you feel, and in turn the actions you take.
The best way I can describe this positive mindset is ‘getting your head straight’ about food and weight. It’s not something I can easily put into words – but you will know when it happens. From all my years of working with people with weight and eating problems, and from my own personal experience, I truly believe that it is they key to success.

Three Key Strategies for Taking Control

1. Understand Why You Eat
When I ask people what prompts them to eat, hunger usually comes down near the bottom of their lists. Some people struggle to remember or appreciate what true hunger feels like. We are lucky that we have plenty of food to eat in our society. But its constant presence makes it harder to control what we eat, especially if it brings us comfort or joy.
If you ever find yourself in the fridge, even though you’ve recently eaten, then you know hunger isn’t the reason. More than likely some negative emotion – feeling angry, lonely, sad, stressed, anxious, bored – has triggered a habit of using food to feel better.
The urge to eat can be so automatic that you feel you lack willpower or are out of control. But it is in fact a learned or conditioned response. A bit like Pavlov’s dogs. He rang a bell every time he fed them, and from then on, whenever they heard the bell ring they were ‘conditioned’ to salivate in anticipation of food.
Because this ‘non-hungry’ eating is learned, you can reprogramme your response to the situations or feelings that trigger it.
How To Do It
The first step is to identify when these urges strike. When you find yourself at the fridge when you aren’t hungry, ask yourself ‘why do I want to eat? What am I feeling?’
If you aren’t sure think back to what was happening before you felt the urge. Then ask yourself if there is another way you can feel better without food. Or you could chat to your urge to eat, telling it that you aren’t actually hungry and it’s merely a learned response. Whatever strategy you choose, the more often you break the ‘eating when you’re not hungry’ habit, the weaker its hold becomes.
2. Practise Positive Self-Talk
When you look in the mirror do you talk to yourself more like A or B?
A ‘I’ll never be slim. I’ve only lost a measly half a stone in four weeks. And I broke my diet last night. I may as well just give up.’
B ‘This is going well, that half a stone has really made a difference. I enjoyed a treat last night, now I’m really looking forward to watching the next half a stone disappear.’
Both of these are examples of ‘self-talk’ – automatic thoughts, or statements all of us constantly make to ourselves – which influence how we feel and act. Self-talk may be positive and constructive (like your guardian angel) or negative and irrational (like having a destructive devil on your shoulder).
If you’ve had on-off battles with your weight over the years, it’s highly likely that the ‘devil’ is there more often.
Self-talk that says ‘you’re hopeless’, can make you feel like a failure which, can then trigger you into the action of overeating and/or totally giving up trying to lose weight.
One of the most powerful things about self-talk is that the last thoughts we have are what stays in our mind. So if we think ‘I still look fat’ or ‘I will never be slim’, these feelings stay with us.
How to Do It
The trick is to first listen out for your self-talk and recognise it’s happening. Keeping a food and feelings diary really helps; you can try the diary in WLR free for 24 hours.
Then turn negative talk into a positive version of the same events – as in the A and B examples above – where the resulting action was to feel good and stay on track.
Reshaping negative self-talk helps you to change your self-definition, from someone who can’t ‘lose weight’ or ‘achieve this or that’, to someone ‘who can’. And when you believe you can… you can.
3. Really Choose What You Want to Eat
This strategy is like your personal brake. It also helps you manage ‘non-hungry’ eating and weaken its hold. It legalises food and stops you feeling deprived. It helps you to regularly remind yourself why you are making changes to your eating habits, which keeps your motivation to lose weight high. But it doesn’t just happen. Like all skills it requires practise. Sometimes it will work well for you, other times it won’t – but overall it will help.
How To Do It
Basically, ask yourself if you really want to eat that food in front of you. This becomes the prompt for you to make a conscious choice, weighing up the pros and cons of making that choice, and feeling free to have it, reject it or just eat some. Remembering all the while that you can eat this food another time if you want to. Paul’s story is a good example.
Paul is having a business lunch at a restaurant he visits regularly. His favourite dish is steak bernaise and fries then crème caramel.
But at his last medical his doctor advised him to lose weight for his heart’s sake. He has taken this seriously and thought a lot about changing his lifestyle. But he can’t avoid business lunches.
Faced with the menu his automatic response is the steak. But then he stops and thinks.
  • How hungry is he?
  • How will he feel after he eats it?
  • What would be a better and still tasty choice?
After all he comes here quite a bit, so can order the steak another time.
He opts for a spicy chicken fillet with new potatoes and vegetables. He really enjoys the spicy flavour, and feels comfortably satisfied, rather than stuffed and guilty.
Having a dessert would just ruin the nice taste and feeling he has, so he easily decides against it. His confidence is boosted as he now knows he can enjoy other things.

Step by Step

These are just a few of the skills that can help you take control. Learning new habits and ways of thinking about things takes time. Think back to when you learned to ride a bike. No-one expected you to do it first time. You no doubt fell off a lot and needed picking up. Step by step, and with the right support, you took control of that bike and learned how to keep it on course. Just like you can with your weight.

How Sue Did It

Sue’s story is a good example of how using these strategies works. For 10 years she had been trying different diets in an attempt to lose weight quickly – and was still 3 stone overweight.
All this ‘failure’ had pushed her self-esteem and confidence in her ability to lose weight to rock bottom. If she ate one ‘bad’ food she felt so guilty she binged. This ‘all or nothing’ thinking signalled the end of the current diet and the start of more negative feelings – and overeating.
Sue read one of my articles about how the right mental approach can help people break free from this destructive cycle, and we met. Her big aim was to spend time learning more about her eating habits and the thoughts or situations that triggered overeating.
She stopped ‘dieting’, kept a food and feelings diary and was finally very honest with herself. This gave her a huge sense of relief. And by stepping back she was able to view things differently.
Unrealistic expectations and guilt around food were her biggest problems. And by no longer viewing food (and herself) as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ she was able to develop a healthy relationship with it. Sue also spent time planning ahead so she had the right foods to hand for regular, nutritious meals and snacks. She took up her beloved tennis again too.
Sue was now taking care of herself in a much more positive way – and she was loving it. But this change didn’t happen overnight. After the initial enlightenment it took Sue two years to practise and get used her new habits – with plenty of ups and downs along the way. But over that time she lost that 3 stone and felt in control. Eating well – not perfectly – became her way of life.
Like Sue, achieving the right mindset can feel like a switch being turned on in your head. Something just clicks and this weight loss business starts to makes sense.
Mental blocks ebb away.
  • Motivations become clear and powerful.
  • Your self-worth and belief in abilities grow.
  • You realise that healthy meals, regular exercise, and tools such as those offered by Weight Loss Resources will help, but they aren’t the answer in themselves.
  • You accept responsibility for what you eat and how active you are, and feel empowered to make the changes you choose to make.
  • You take control by making real choices – knowing and accepting the consequences – and no longer feeling deprived.
  • You move from someone who can’t lose weight long term to someone who can.
Now I should clarify that there is no magic here! Keeping your head straight requires time, skills, practise, a realistic attitude and good support. This might sound like a tough call. But you will know from your own experience that just going on a diet isn’t the answer. In fact, managing your weight is like a good marriage – it takes work and a daily investment of care and thought. And the results are worth it!
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!

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.

Speedrun – Hitman: Blood Money – A Vintage Year (Silent Assassin, Pro Difficulty, Suit Only, Targets Only, “No Coins”)

Messing around trying another Speedrun, this time booting up some good’ol Hitman: Blood Money, “A Vintage Year” level.

Hitman is a wonderfully crafted, enjoyable game. In my opinion, every single installment in this series has been. People have enjoyed the ‘puzzle-play’ aspects of it, people have enjoyed the gunplay, the stealth. Players have also enjoyed trying to run as-fast-as-they-can through levels that were probably not designed with this intention. Now, Hitman: Blood Money may not win any awards for “realism” in some areas of gameplay, but I personally have something against the concept that an Assassin, wearing a nice suit, most likely a millionaire, is carrying around twenty dollars in pocket change. Heck, I am sometimes annoyed at the jingle in my own pocket of a couple of quarters when I come across them. Thus, my personal aim with this level: to do a Suit-Only, Targets-Only, Silent Assassin, ‘No Coins’ Speedrun (on Professional Difficulty). I am probably not the fastest at this sort of thing, I have only done a couple of intentional Speedruns in the past; but it was still fun to make and I figured it was ‘decently fast’, so I wanted to share. Enjoy!

Recorded game:  Hitman-Blood Money, First/Third Person Shooter/Stealth/Action
Recorded with:  Bandicam (Registered Version) @ 1080p
Recording codec:  MPEG-1 @ 80% Quality (Default Setting), 30fps

This was actually not as hard as I thought it would be – after finding out that Delgado.Sr is snipe-able up out on his balcony. It was his Son that gave me trouble (as it seems to do with everyone, after a few forum finds on the subject). I started just pushing him down the stairs and also setting up the Barrels to fall on him; but eventually I settled on just a good-old-fashioned-assassin-stand-by: the single bullet to the head. This felt ‘right’, after sniping dear-ol’Dad, anyway. Instead of pushing the Guards at the bottom into the water, I just walked non-chalantly by them, as they didn’t seem to care anyway.
[On the actual Playthrough, I seem to get some guards’ attention, but I assumed this was for going into the areas I wasn’t supposed to, not for being witnessed killing anyone]

I also wanted to do things like ‘leave nothing behind’, such as ‘just dropping weapons’ (like the Sniper Rifle) to save time. This sort of stems from the multitude-of-coins thing… Don’t get me wrong by the way, I appreciate the time so many have taken to figure out their own ways to complete Hitman levels by using distractions. I just for some reason [OCD?lol] find it hard to extend my fantasy thinking within the game ‘that far’ – to where a so-called Silent-Assassin-slash-Hitman is always carrying around and actually utilizes enough laundry money to make the homeless cry on every mission. [I didn’t actually mean to rant here, hah] I just think if an assassin wanted to throw anything around to distract guards, it could more realistically at least be a found weapon of some sort, as opposed to a ton of coinage everywhere (pebbles could even make more sense).

At any rate, whether you use coins (a mechanic that is indeed offered directly within the game) or you don’t, there you have it; not the fastest run [or the most ‘Silent’ lol], but hopefully an enjoyable little watch, nonetheless.

See you in the games!

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™]

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 

cool little trailer with a hinged top

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

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!

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!

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)

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

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.

‘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?


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.

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

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!

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. 

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™ !

Night Riding Vision – Fight The Night

By the time you read this most of the country will have made the switch to Daylight Saving Time. Sure, I’m tickled to have that extra hour of light, but I’ll still face the occasional post-sunset commute home. And night riding just ain’t the thrill it used to be when I was a young buck. Generally speaking, your ability to see at night deteriorates with age, and a twilight spin in my mid-40s demands way more preparation to keep the excitement meter from going off the dial. You’ve probably heard the sobering stats: A disproportionately high rate of accidents occur between dusk and dawn.

The most basic issue-get ready now -is lack of visibility. The wonks at the National Safety Council (NSC) confirm that 90 percent of a rider’s reaction depends on vision. And the nighttime riding disadvantage is compounded by the vagaries of getting older. At the back of my mind I keep hearing “The eyes are the first things to go.”

Add roads with no overhead lighting, the sensitivity to light (headlights) many riders and drivers experience and the compromised distance vision of aging riders, and it’s easy to see why it can be a battlefield out there at night. And if you think it’s a stretch for drivers to spot motorcyclists in the full light of day, our single headlight is essentially invisible to the cagers after sundown. Apart from watching out for tired, clueless drivers, there’s also Bambi to consider; wild animals tend to be more active after dusk.

That’s a handful, so we asked Los Angeles optometrist Dr. Diana Risko (also a longtime rider) for some, uh, clarity. “The retinas are mostly designed for light situations,” she explains. “Only around 15 percent of their receptors are made for the dark. Darkness makes the eye’s pupil expand [dilate], and the headlights of an oncoming car basically set off all the receptors in your eye, giving you only a white flash in your vision.” She adds, “Astigmatism [a curve to the cornea] is fairly common and often doesn’t require correction. But it can make blurred vision more likely and can contribute to eyestrain.”

Before you get all gloomy, know there are ways to prepare for your ride once the sun goes down.

Prep

A simple way to arm yourself against the evening is to prep your ride. That means giving everything a thorough scrub before you hit the street. Headlights, taillights, signal lights, windshields and helmet visors should be cleaned at least twice a week.

If you ride with a full-face helmet, make sure the shield is scratch- and fog-free. A scored visor can create light refraction and make two headlights seem like four; you won’t know what’s coming from where. Keeping fog at bay is a breeze with our favorite home remedy: Remove your helmet’s visor and spit over the inside of it. Wipe your drool off with a clean rag, and bam!-antifog coating. (Shaving cream has a similar effect.) There are a variety of inexpensive solutions available that do the trick, too-we like Cat Crap ($3.99) for the cool name. Bigger spenders can spring for Fog City’s Pro Shield antifog inserts. Any of them are more effective than sliding your fingers behind the shield to wipe it on the road.

Blinded By The Light

Remember that glare is in the eye of the beholder. Middle-aged and older riders are more sensitive than younger guns, so if you’re running high-output auxiliary lights, give the other guy a break. The brighter beams can easily blind the very people you’re trying to get to notice you. A teacher at the AARP Driver Safety Program course (participants age 55-plus) tells us he often hears complaints about motorcycle headlights being too bright. With the average driver’s age on the rise, it’s food for thought.

HID lights are also showing up on more bikes and cars in the U.S. Mounted on your machine you’ll love their broader, brighter light. If you’re on the other side of those bluish beams, though, you’ll curse the blinding rays. As a common courtesy keep your lights on low when you’re behind the other guy. And if a driver zaps you from the opposite direction, training your eye on the right edge of the road can help as a steering guide.

Dial ‘er Down

Because night riding reduces both the distance and quality of what you see, you might want to keep a lighter touch on the throttle-especially if you’re in the boonies. It’ll be tougher to determine surface condition as well as the road’s general direction at night, key points on unlit country lanes. Be prepared to stop if you’re confused-don’t guess. If you can, use the lights of other nearby vehicles as well as your own to keep an eye on the road and give yourself room to react.

In turns, make sure you have plenty of lean angle in reserve. If the turn tightens or the pavement changes, you may need the extra runoff.

Pick A Spot

Don’t settle in behind a large truck or any vehicle’s blind spot-get your motorcycle where it can be seen. The center of the lane is probably your best bet (you’ll blend into street lighting if you ride too far on the road’s edge). Give yourself plenty of room when passing other vehicles so you can adjust if they decide to shimmy over.

Rest Up

It’s not a good idea to ride when you’re tired, anyway. Long hauls in the evening can easily leave you in autopilot mode. You may not react to hazards as quickly as you would during the day. Changing up your speed and taking regular breaks is the best way to fight fatigue on long nighttime journeys. Snack and stretch-the movement and light food will help ward off tiredness.

Over Here

It’s also in your best interest to make yourself a little larger than life. We’ve said it repeatedly in these pages: Wearing bright clothing and reflective material makes you pop at night. The biggest thing a following driver sees is your back, so get some reflectivity back there. Streetglo.net stocks DOT-approved, motorcycle-specific stick-on tape for less than $10 a roll. Oh, and make sure you use your turn signals so the zomb . . . er, people around you know what you’re about to do.

Let There Be Light

As you might expect, your bike’s lighting is your biggest weapon. Even simple things like ensuring your headlight and taillights have good-quality bulbs and clean lenses will yield big gains. If light quality is subpar, consider adding dual running lights; three properly aimed headlights are much more noticeable than one. Current styling trends have also led many manufacturers to use undersized brake lighting. If your rear light is a dot, think about swapping in a larger model. Halogen lamps-up to 30 percent brighter than stockers-can be had for less than $15.

Ready, Aim

In their dogged quest for style many manufacturers aim the headlight lower than the legal angle. Consult your owner’s manual, then peek into the headlight area to find the adjustment hardware and tweak away.

Eye, Aye

Last (but perhaps most importantly), get your eyes checked. One quick visit can diagnose any problems. Dr. Risko says, “People with astigmatism are more likely to be disturbed by glare or light sensitivity. But almost all astigmatism can be corrected. Contacts are better for riding as they don’t compromise peripheral vision like glasses do.”

____________________________________
Source: Motorcycle Cruiser (AP, 8/20)

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.

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.

Kaatsu aka Blood Flow Restriction Training

Kaatsu training was developed in Japan five decades ago.  Ka means “additional” and atsu means “pressure.” An English layman’s term for the practice is “blood flow restriction training,” and involves performing strength training exercises while restricting blood flow to the extremity being worked.

A significant benefit of the method is that you can use just 30 to 50 percent of the weight you’d normally use while still reaping maximum benefits of resistance training. You use less weight but do more — up to 20 or 30 repetitions versus 8 or 12 in most traditional strength training programs.
Cuffs or bands are used that are just tight enough to allow arterial blood flow but not venous flow. This causes lactic acid and other waste products to build up, giving you the same benefit as heavy lifting without the dangers associated with heavy weights. For this reason, it’s a great strategy for the elderly and those who are recuperating from an injury.

Scientists believe that restricting venous blood return can dramatically boost growth hormone secretion, reducing myostatin and inducing cell swelling.    Even better there is less overall tissue damage compared to traditional high intensity resistance training.

History of Blood Flow Restriction Training

The history of this type of training was detailed in an Outdoors Online Article (https://www.outsideonline.com/2023016/you-should-probably-try-japanese-blood-flow-routine):

“Kaatsu came about in 1966 when 18-year-old [Dr.] Yoshiaki Sato, now a doctor, noticed the intense ache in his calves after having assumed the traditional Japanese sitting position during a typically long Buddhist ceremony. It was an ache much like the one he experienced after lifting weights — an ache he realized had to do [with] the occultation of blood circulation.
Eureka! Using himself as a test subject, Sato spent the next several years perfecting a system of blood-flow moderation using bicycle tubes, ropes and straps. He later replaced the tubes with thin computer-controlled pneumatic bands. The idea was to apply pressure around the arms and legs while lifting a light load, safely impeding the flow of blood to exercising muscles.
Slowing this flow engorges the limbs with blood, expanding capillaries, engaging muscle fibers and raising lactic acid concentration. But — and here’s part of what makes Kaatsu unique — it fools the brain into thinking it’s being put through a vigorous workout.”

Kaatsu training can stimulate muscle growth and strength in about half the time, using about one-third of the weight, compared to regular resistance training.

How does Kaatsu Work?

The concept idea behind blood flow restriction training is to restrict blood flow in an exercising muscle/s using a band around the upper portion of the arm or leg being worked. This creates a metabolic disturbance that has local and systemic effects:

1. A reduction in the partial pressure of oxygen and increase in the acidity of the muscle tissue stimulates protein synthesis through an adaptive response to the stressor.

2. The central nervous system also senses the challenge and compensates by increasing sympathetic tone, heart rate, ventilation and sweating.   There is also an accentuated hormonal response as mentioned previously.

Kaatsu also stimulates mTOR signaling and lowers myostatin (myostation stops muscle growth!)
Unexpectedly muscle growth occurs both sides of the cuff even though blood flow is only restricted on the side farthest away from the heart.    The systemic increase in Growth Hormone also drives overall muscle growth.

How much Pressure?

It is important not to restrict blood flow too much, as this could lead to injury and fainting.
The good news is that research shows that if you use common sense the risk of using too much pressure is easy to minimize.  Your limb should not be tingling, turning red, blue or purple, and you should not lose feeling and should be able to feel your pulse in the limb.
For a great quick start guide to Kaatsu click here:  https://www.kaatsu-global.com/quick-start-guide-001/
Kaatsu Training Protocol

A typical training session uses three sets 0f 20 – 30 repetitions per set. use half or less of the weight you’d normally use. Rest between sets is short with typical rest time being 30 seconds.

Could Kaatsu Cause Injury such as Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Kaatsu is NOT the same as putting a tourniquet on and if you follow proper precautions is quite safe.    The key is that Kaatsu does NOT alter arterial blood flow as described previously.    It is important to use cuff’s designed specifically for this process.
Contraindications for Kaatsu

  • Women who have had a mastectomy with or without radiation and/or an axillary node dissection should not use blood flow restriction training.
  • People in hemodialysis who have arterial venous fistulas. Avoid doing blood flow restriction on the affected limb
  • Pregnant women should not use Kaatsu training.

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

Teacher Toolbox Trio Linky Celebration!

Since the advent of Teachers Pay Teachers, my teaching toolbox has changed quite a bit. There are so many things that I’ve made or bought for my classroom, and there are many others that are on my wishlist. To recognize that, I’m hosting a Teacher Toolbox Trio linky party.

Here are the rules of the trio:
1. Share a product that you’ve made that you couldn’t live without.
2. Share a product that you’ve purchased that you love.
3. Share something from your wish list that you’re hoping to get for next year.

If you’re not a seller on TpT, no worries — just share two products you’ve purchased that you love!

1. Something I’ve Made

The Classroom Economy Megapack was my first major project for TpT, and without question, it was the one that I used all the time last year. It has everything I needed for setting up my classroom jobs, monitoring daily behaviors on a clip chart, running my classroom economy, and giving students free/very low-cost rewards. Unlike my units that were used here and there, this was on display in my classroom all 180 days, and my kids loved it. This is the one thing that I could not live without.

2. Something I Purchased

Erin’s “A Roller Coaster Day” sub plans were amazing! I had to go to an all day district committee meeting on a Friday in May when the kids were already getting a little crazy, but they LOVED this. The sub said it kept them engaged all day, and given that I was already at the stage of the year when all of our required curriculum had been taught, it was perfect. It will be a permanent addition to my sub folder, and she’s also made one for grades 5-6. You can follow Erin’s blog: I’m Lovin Lit. 

3. Something on My Wish List

I’m really planning to focus on math facts and mental math skills early in the school year, and Laura Candler’s Mastering Math Facts has been on my radar screen for a while. I’m hoping to snag a copy before I go back in July. (Yes, July!)  Laura’s blog is Corkboard Connections.

The Linky Celebration

This is more than just a party — it’s a celebration! I’ve been meaning to do something to celebrate hitting 100 followers for a while now, and as I near the 150 mark, it’s definitely time! If you link up through the tool below, you’ll be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Teachers Pay Teachers — enough to possibly clear off some items from your own wish list!

clip art from KPM Doodles
I’ll be using a random number generator to select the winner from those who link up. The linky celebration will end next Friday, June 14 at 11:59pm EDT and the winner will be announced on my blog on Saturday.
Can’t wait to discover some new products and see some of your favorites! Be sure to link up below, and please include the Teacher Toolbox Trio icon and/or another link to Eberopolis in your post.

Happy linking!
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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.

TestRun, Video Edition: Recording Gameplay – Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 (Video Samples with Brief Tutorial Video)

This is a more informal TestRun, where I was merely testing out the perceived quality of some recording codecs while attempting to get gameplay recording of Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 going. As most of you know, recording this game is not just a point-and-shoot affair. Heck, most game recording applications won’t even detect the way it is buffering and utilizing video memory, resulting in a black screen, flashing or very laggy output. After trying years ago and abandoning it temporarily, I was recently searching websites with information on trying it again. With no luck finding a starting point of information, I decided to figure it out on my own – and of course share my findings should anything turn out fruitful…

First, simply trying to record RCT2 with FRAPS and then Bandicam, turned up nothing as a result. Either it would not detect the screen (it is not using 2D/3D rendering/buffering on the videocard in a standard manner) or it would capture blackness (when trying Bandicam’s ‘Record The Screen’, for instance). Since these are two well-made recording products, I assumed other products would result in the same …result. I also seem to remember trying applications like Camtasia, back in the day..

So next, I tried good’ol ‘Virtualbox’. A staple Virtual Machine emulator (think of a little computer-running-inside-a-computer), I installed an old version of WindowsXP that I had into the GuestVM. Installing my DRM-free purchase of RCT2 from Good Old Games, I tried recording the screen. No luck, since it wasn’t using Direct3D in a way that I could record (after I finally got Direct3D working in it). I tried playing it in a Windowed VM and recording that. It wouldn’t even run for some reason. It kept trying to ‘take over’ the VM and resizing it. I tried setting my Host Computer desktop resolution to 1280×720 and getting the game to detect that and run it at that resolution, ‘Full Screen’ and ‘Seamless’. Nope. For one thing, the game kept detecting and making available only the most basic of 4:3 aspect resolutions (CRT monitor type sizes), no matter what driver/settings I used for the virtual machine (I of course wanted the more modern widescreen 16:9 ratio, as YouTube uses).

Third, I tried VMware’s ‘VMware Player’. A free virtual machine app, where the business version (VMware Workstation) is the go-to prog for business virtualization. Installing my XP and then RCT2 into the VM, I got it going in 720p rez and prepared Bandicam to record a “Rectangle On A Screen”. It worked wonderfully. So, with the odd stutter (very few and far between), I can now record RCT2 gameplay and wanted to share my findings of the ability with everyone.

I was also messing around with different recording codecs, to see what they looked like at different settings with this game at 720p. I quickly threw together this little video showing some settings and results (Sample Video). A summary of what I have set up to record Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 gameplay is just below a short analysis of the video/recordings. Again. this isn’t a ‘full/technical’ TestRun, it is just me sharing some tests I did and showing that one can indeed record RCT2. Further down, there is a video that goes over the steps in summary, then in slightly more detail, showing the steps taken on the screen, a short ‘tutorial’ I suppose. For those who haven’t figured it out or got it working yet, perhaps this information will help you out, too. Enjoy!

RCT2 testing (codecs/settings) with Bandicam (Samples)

Recorded with: Bandicam, various quality settings, various codecs @ 1280×720 (720p HD)

Recorded game: Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 (RCT2)

Some recording data (per codec) for this test:

MJPEG @ q80 = 45,000kbps data rate (~330MB per minute of gameplay recording)

MPEG-1 @ q80 = 11,000kbps data rate (~80MB per minute of gameplay recording)

MJPEG @ q60 = 34,000kbps data rate (~250MB per minute of gameplay recording)

MPEG-1 @ q60 = 3,000kbps data rate (~22MB per minute of gameplay recording)

*XviD and x264 are omitted as results for this test as editing/recompression resulted in corrupted video output (they will be included in a future TestRun with many codecs)

Brief analysis of sample video:

  • All of the MPEG-1 settings are quite watchable, unless of course the temporal gibbs effects bothers you (the little ‘ghosty/glimmer’ effects that follow around the peeps). Perhaps if I didn’t mention it, you might not have noticed? As with all recording/editing, if it ‘looks fine to you’, then you can run with it if you want. Some people “need” the best quality possible, some can watch any quality and enjoy it. If the MPEG-1 setting at 80% Quality seemed fine to you, go ahead and use that (it is about 1/4 the size of the MJPEG recordings and I have found that editing MPEG-1 is bit slower but quite possible to do in editing applications such as Sony’s Vegas line of products).
  • The MJPEG at a Quality of 50 percent is watchable but messy looking, as expected since a JPG (MJPEG is a series of JPG frames) at only 50% quality would have tons of compression artifacts. 60% is just as bad, with ‘rough blocks’ everywhere (macroblock artifacting). MJPEG at Quality80 isn’t bad and very watchable, but it is much larger in bitrate usage/file size than say, MPEG-1 at the same quality setting (it is about four times larger in file size). It is the easiest codec to edit, however.
  • XviD, an MPEG-4 codec, can potientially looks a lot ‘cleaner’ as it can handle smaller macroblocks/divisions of the screen (inherent in the improvements in MPEG-4 over MPEG-1) – but the output seems to have strong corruption (it leaves ‘trails’ on the screen) when attempting to edit/recompress it into a final product (as seen in the video).
  • x264, a more recent ‘Advanced Video Codec’ version of MPEG-4, it records in wonderful quality and low file sizes – but all of that is hidden behind, again, corruption (‘trails’ left behind on the screen*) and slow editing.
    (The editing can be helped somewhat by specifying a smaller GroupOfPictures (frames inbetween keyframes/information frames, to help seeking through the video.)
    Keep in mind that for the MPEG-4 codecs, the corruption surfaces only when editing/recompressing the source video. The ‘original’ gameplay recording in MPEG-4 is quite clean and watchable, completely fine if you are just going to ‘record-and-upload’ to a video sharing site or personal website.
    *More on this issue and x264 recording in a future article
  • A full Codec Comparison TestRun is coming, where I test out a bunch of different codecs and see how they fare for general game recording, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, AVC/h264 (MPEG-4 Part-10), MJPEG, XviD, RGB24 and more…

    Some related articles:
    Game recording comparison with various codecs and settings (Minecraft)
    http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2012/10/testrun-video-edition-fraps-vs-dxtory.html
    The ghosting/blurring effect when rendering in Sony Vegas products
    http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2012/10/and-more-how-to-stop-ghosting-or.html

There are a couple other ways to do it I think, but here is how I recorded Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 gameplay with Bandicam:

  • Install Windows into a VM Guest (for example, a VMware virtual machine within the VMware Player application)
  • Install RCT2 into that Virtual Machine, running the VM in a window (for example, 1280×720)
  • Set up Bandicam to record a ‘Rectangle On A Screen’ and set the Rectangle to be the same size as the Virtual Machine running in a window (in this case, 1280×720) and line them up. 

That’s it!

Tutorial Video on how to record Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 with Bandicam

I had seen many people on many forums asking for years how to record RCT2 gamplay. I have seen a few videos online now and so some have it working, but if you haven’t been able to get it going or would like to try to make your own Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 videos, here’s how. Good luck with it and have fun!
See you in the games!

Workout Anytime on WBIR-Knoxville Afternoon Show

WORKOUT ANYTIME on WBIR-Knoxville Afternoon Show. Every Thursday WBIR has a healthy living segment that is sponsored by the Governor and April Nitzsche was the guest for this week on their show. April spoke about how viewers can be healthy throughout the day when they have a few minutes to spare to stay in shape in 2014. April talked about how to live healthy, and offer tips to viewers.  You also can view the video here.

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

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.

Raw Gameplay (Unedited) – Battlefield Play4Free (32 Players, Saiga-12 Won from The Daily Draw)

Battlefield Play4Free is a Free-To-Play title, where it doesn’t cost anything to join in, but you can purchase weapons, armor, clothing and other items for Real Money by purchasing Tokens that you can then use in the in-game Store. There is also a nice feature where you can win prizes (weapons, armor, clothing, etc) from a game called The Daily Draw, where you choose a card from a draw of eight and it will generate an item for you.

The items range from temporary one-day use weapons and clothing, to seven day usage, to permanent items your character (Soldier) can use in the game forever (for example, a scope that can be attached to a gun for that soldier for all time). This is great for those who can’t afford to purchase many in-game items, as it not only offers the possibility of getting some great gear ‘forever’, it also gives a nice preview of a weapon, mod or clothing, so that you can see what it will look like/feel like, if you decide to splurge and purchase it for yourself (supporting the game and developers as well) sometime in the future.

In this video, I present ‘Raw Gameplay’ (unedited gameplay) of BFP4F after winning a Saiga-12 Shotgun for one day’s usage on my Medic via The Daily Draw. I had joined a 32-player server (running a Rush map) that was nice and full (16 soldiers per side). After getting the kinks out and getting used to the controls again after not playing for a while, I think things picked up as the game went on.. I was soon having fun arming MCOMs and healing and reviving. Near the end, I realized that my Aircraft controls weren’t set/got reset, as my mouse wasn’t ‘inverted’ and I couldn’t fly the helicopter at all, haha.

Recorded game: Battlefield Play4Free, Online FPS
Recorded with: Bandicam (Registered Version) @ 864p
Recording codec: MPEG-1, 70% Quality, 30fps

This video was also a test of a few things (though not an ‘Official Testing Video’): I was messing around with different settings (resolutions, quality settings) to see how low I could set things before the quality suffered too much. This is of course, something VERY relative and what looks ‘good enough’ to one person, looks ‘like crap on a cracker’ to another person. What I was testing here was, what seemed good enough to upload to YouTube (since it recompresses anyway) and still be enjoyable, while making the recorded file as small as I could via Quality settings (which limits the bitrate somewhat) and resolution size (the larger the resolution, the more bitrate/filesize that would be required).

As I have stated in earlier articles talking about Quality, Bitrate and Filesize, I still find that going below 60% produces too many compression artifacts (macroblocks and ‘trails’, Gibbs effects and more) for many games, especially if there are large dark areas (which would get compressed more highly and have these compression effects occur in them). This doesn’t happen with all games however; some games are fast-moving and/or do not have many darker/flatter areas and using 50% quality doesn’t look too bad, even with the MJPEG codec. It’s a balancing and testing game, as some games (especially with text) look fine and others look very bad (the compressor will try to allocate more bits around edges like text and compress even more highly then, the flatter/darker areas in a scene). I have done recordings of news streams and other things however, that allow for a very low quality recording setting (down to 20%), but that is mainly because the source itself is of a low quality (many streams are highly compressed and there is not much ‘extra’ compression artifacts produced by recording it in a lower quality/bitrate, especially if you are going to downsize for the final output video).

For most games, I found I could go down to 70% Quality comfortably – as long as the resolution stayed ‘higher’ [720p or higher]. With lower resolutions, the bitrate/quality reduction means too many ‘casualties’, as 30% of a 1080p recording isn’t that many pixels when you consider the screen size; but one-third of a 480p recording is a huge amount of the already small screen being ‘lost’ to compression. Thus, with some testing (again to what looks “ok to me“) I arrived at a middle ground of 864p, which maintains decent clarity of text and is large enough to discourage overcompression of darker/flatter areas. For keeping recorded files small and downsizing to 720p HD, it looked fine to me in tests – and on some games, doesn’t look that bad even if you wanted to upsize to 1080p HD (clear text was maintained, etc).

So, enjoy this first installment in an ‘unofficial’ Video Series here at The Game Tips And More Blog: “Raw Gameplay” of Battlefield Play4Free. If you like the game, play it, tell others about it and buy some stuff from the Online Store and support it!

See You In The Game!

Any gameplay videos or animations uploaded are only one example of one possible path of game play and is not representative of the gameplay experience of the entirety of the game material as it is non-repeatable in exactness (movements, actions, viewpoints, etc) to a high degree of accuracy (especially in regards to online multiplayer play and interactions) and therefore is not a representation of a large portion of the game content (this includes complete Walkthroughs/Playthroughs, Raw Gameplay Footage and Tutorials). All material and content uploaded attempts to respect copyright and is presented for Educational and Entertainment purposes only, utilized under Fair Use and can be construed as Free Advertising. No copyright infringement is intended and cannot be inferred. Any possible representation approaching any infringement, to those seeking infringement action, requires double notification and will be honoured by permanent removal of the infringing material.

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.

Fallout 4: High Resolution Texture Pack (Free DLC) Is Now Available [Notification]

For those that haven’t heard yet, as mentioned last week at their site here, Bethesda has released a High Resolution Texture Pack, that is now available for free, downloadable via Steam.

The graphic ‘upgrade’ includes ‘native 1440p’ textures [which means the textures themselves are 2560×1440 pixels in size – but remember, textures usually aren’t displayed at Full Size, they are squished into say, the sides of a gun, or a sign or other things in the world – even if they cover a large wall in the game, they will usually not display ‘at full native size’ – and even if they do, they can be repeated (“tiled”) to fill in the space of objects needed, in the game world – basically, 1440p textures should make the game look great]. It also includes Enhanced Draw Distancing and God-Ray tweaks [those glow-y, streaks of light, showing up especially when a source of light is behind something, such as the sun behind trees or buildings].

Now, up until this release, I personally was playing with SweetFX a lot in FO4, having fun increasing Sharpness and Shading, dealing with the Aliasing, taking Screenshots and ‘Realistic Photos’ and ‘Close-Ups’ (with Depth-Of-Field, etc) of some of the Characters in the game. These can be found here, at a slowly-growing Flickr page I started for The Blog. A couple examples of these, taken with ‘SweetFX in ReShade’ are just below – I look forward to what the entire game could possibly look like with the new High Resolution textures!

Fallout 4 – Mrs. Nordhagen, Settler I – SweetFX in ReShade
(GTAMblog7Photo SweetFX Preset, made available Soon™)
Click to see Full Size
Fallout 4 – Mrs. Nordhagen, Settler I – SweetFX in ReShade
(GTAMblog7Photo SweetFX Preset, made available Soon™)
Click to see Full Size

ReShade by Crosire (reshade.me)
SweetFX by CeeJay.dk (ceejay.dk)
Game Material by Bethesda Game Studios (bgs.bethsoft.com)
Captured by Troy from The Game Tips And More Blog

Since I don’t actually have room for it on any of the drives I have Games on at the moment [which seems to always happen when something cool comes out, of course], I will be moving some things around and uninstalling other games I am not playing at the moment, to make room for this big fella…

It is an optional/separate “DLC” download, weighing in at a hefty 58GB installation through Steam. Once I get it going, I will be working on a QualityTest for it, comparing the graphic look between the two versions and what they really look like in-game – as well as the Performance Hit the Texture Pack creates – look for that coming post Soon™ if you are waiting to see what they look like or if it is ‘worth the download’; but if you can’t wait and want to get started seeing it yourself, go get it via Steam for free now, here.

This free download, by the way, is – in Bethesda’s own words, “…a love letter to our amazing PC fans that have supported us – not just with Fallout 4, but across multiple decades and games…”. 
Right back at ya’, Beth! 
“Thank You” ~ Sincerely, The Game Tips And More Blog

Header and Footer Images captured by Bethesda, from their example screenshots of the High Resolution Texture Pack

Health Benefits of Guava for Health and Beauty

Health Benefits of Guava for Health and Beauty

Health Benefits of Guava for Health and BeautyGuava has a Latin name Psidium guajava is also often described as guava and guava. The origin of the fruit is reportedly from a country where the sport of football was born, namely Brazil, and managed to get in Indonesia through trade channels in Thailand.
Guava and Guava has a sweet taste, and not infrequently there is still sour. Round shape leaves with green skin and flesh have two color variants of white and red are where there is little seed seeds can also be consumed.
Health Benefits of Guava for Health and Beauty - 1
The Nutritional Content of Guava
There are dozens of nutrients stored in guavas and in each of these nutrients plays an important role in terms of health shore up the human body and diligent person to consume.
Here are some nutrients that are embedded in Guava :
• The Water Content Is Not Small
• Contains Fiber
• Calories
• Containing Protein
• Fats
• Contain Carbohydrates
• Contain Iron
• Abu
• Containing Calcium
• Containing Phosphorus
• Contains Vitamin A (Carotene)
• Contains Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acis)
• Contains Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
• Contains Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
• Contains Niacin (Vitamin B3)
With the presence of a number of nutrients above the guava fruit can be said as the fruit is also rich in nutrients. Because of them that many people who want to cultivate the fruit is sweet, while it was for her own use is not only edible but also processed into drugs.
Benefits of Guava
Many diseases are able to be deflected slowly by this fruit, some of which are as follows.
1. Can Fight Cancer
Get used to a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis in order to avoid serious diseases such as cancer that have reported more patients to death. You can prevent cancer in a way that is diligent guava consumption. There is an antioxidant that is able to do this. Lycopene in guava is known it is easier to be absorbed in the body than the tomatoes because the difference in cell structure.
2. as Diarrhea Drug
Diarrhea should be quick to take medication. The medicine is not to be made in the factory, you can use a method that is more secure and healthy as a drink with guava juice three times a day. Guava plant also has antibacterial properties, these properties that you can use to stop diarrhea and dysentery. The antibacterial properties either be created because of the content of karetinoid, vitamin C and potassium in it.
3. Can Lower Blood Pressure
For People with hypertension are often recommended by doctors to familiarize the consumption of foods and beverages derived from guava and mangosteen peel. Why? because the fruit contains potassium, which is said by the results of the study were able to treat hypertension and lowers LDL cholesterol excess.
4. Cough and Flu
Highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions to make your baby have a cold with a cough. The mother must take action, by giving red guava juice that also contained vitamin C and iron which can inhibit the influenza virus infection.
Health Benefits of Guava for Health and Beauty - 2
5. Can Overcome Constipation
Constipation or constipation is the most frequently encountered problems. If you suffer from the same thing you do not immediately take medicine, try to eat a medium-sized guava fruit which also included a 36 percent fiber needs that doctors recommend.
6. Make More Stomach Satiety
Guava is the food you choose as a booster stomach, because the content of fiber, protein and some vitamins in it is suitable to withstand hunger. If you are running the program for the diet, the fruit seems appropriate to provide chances of success of your endeavors.
7. as Drug Thrush
Thrush occurs because a deficiency of vitamin C as well as drinking water. You can meet the daily requirement of vitamin C by eating guava, besides that because the vitamin content can be overcome thrush was moved at this fruit.
8. Diabetes Mellitus
Drink a concoction of guava which has been boiled and filtered water is believed to be able to treat the disease diabetes mellitus.
9. Younger
Antioxidants are cooperating also with vitamin A, C and potassium in guava able to treat your skin to keep it tight so avoid premature aging.

It is remarkable not properties of guava fruit that previously may not know fully. From now make guava as a table fruit that is ready to wash the mouth after every meal. Hopefully article Health Benefits of Guava for Health and Beauty we share today can be beneficial for you. Thank You.

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.

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Source: The Beebee News (AP, 9/05)

12 Days of Fitness with WORKOUT ANYTIME

12 Days of Fitness with WORKOUT ANYTIME

Are you in need of a little inspiration to hit the gym this holiday season? Here’s a great workout routine to give a try this holiday season provided by the experts at WORKOUT ANYTIME. Enjoy! 

Week 1

4 days of exercise

2 days of INTERVAL Walking/Jogging – 20 min of cardio exercise at moderate pace, first 10 min walk or do cardio at a moderate pace. The second 10 min will have five 30 second bursts of high intensity mixed with moderate intensity (on min 10,12,14,16, and 18). This boosts metabolic rate. 
2 days of body weight or weight training for 12 min per day
Complete two rounds of the following each consisting of 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest:

Squats
Push-ups 
Walking Lunges
Jumping Jacks
Burpees
Ab half roll backs (seated position, roll half way back, come up and exhale)

Week 2 

4 days of exercise

2 days of INTERVAL Walking/Jogging – 20 min of cardio exercise at moderate pace, first 10 min walk or do cardio at a moderate pace. The second 10 min will have five 30 second bursts of high intensity mixed with their moderate intensity (on min 10,12,14,16, and 18). This boosts metabolic rate. 

2 days of body weight or weight training for 12 min per day
Complete two rounds of the following each consisting of 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest:

Pop Squats
Push-ups w/alt knee
Forward Lunges with bicep curl
Plank Jacks
Mountain Climbers
Ab full roll up (lying position, roll all the way up, and exhale)

Week 3

4 days of exercise

2 days of INTERVAL Walking/Jogging – 20 min of cardio exercise at moderate pace, first 10 min walk or do cardio at a moderate pace. The second 10 min will have five 30 second bursts of high intensity mixed with moderate intensity (on min 10,12,14,16, and 18). This boosts metabolic rate. 

2 days of body weight or weight training for 12 min per day
Complete two rounds of the following each consisting of 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest:

Squat swing with overhead tricep press
Spider-Man Push-ups 
Reverse Lunge with bicep curl
High Knees
Shoulder push-ups
Navy Seals (Ab exercise)

How to U-Turn a Motorcycle

It may look easy, but a smoothly executed u-turn on a motorcycle is more challenging than you might guess.

How do you perform a u-turn that looks effortless? Consider these tips and practice them in the safety of an empty parking lot, and you’ll find yourself more easily turning your bike around on the street:

It’s All in the Eyes

The old adage “You’ll go where you’re looking” holds especially true when it comes to u-turns. That said, don’t look down, and keep your line of vision going through the turn, constantly focusing your eyes ahead, where you want to go, rather than towards the pavement below.

Ride Within the Friction Zone

The friction zone is the area where your clutch is slipping enough to transmit some, but not all power from the engine to the rear wheel. Don’t try to u-turn in neutral, and don’t do with a gear fully engaged, either; riding within the friction zone will give you more control over the bike through the throttle, which helps modulate the motorcycles’s lean angle through subtle adjustments.

Drag the Rear Brake

Avoid using the front brakes during u-turns, as the forks are more sensitive to diving at low speeds. Gentle dragging of the rear brake creates stability, enabling better control while you’re maneuvering your bike through the turn.

Keep Your Weight Mass Centralized

There’s a natural tendency to stick your leg out when you turn (making it ready to break a fall), but your motorcycle will be more manageable when peripheral mass (ie, you!) is closer to the bike. Keep your feet on the pegs; if necessary, you might be helped by putting some weight on the outside peg, in a similar but more subtle way than you would while riding offroad.

Practice Turning Both Ways

For whatever reason, most people find it much easier to make tight left turns than right turns. To develop a more balanced u-turn skill set, practice doing figure 8s in an empty parking lot. The drill will build your muscle memory for both sides of your body. Similarly, try riding in a wide circle and narrowing your path so you’re forming an ever-narrowing spiral; once you can’t turn any more tightly, exit and try it again the other way. Remember to keep looking where you want to go, especially when you’re changing directions.

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Source: About (Wasef, 1/19)

Mt Trip to Manila, Philippines cont……..

I returned to Colombo on the 19th morning without any delays. On the way I met one of my colleagues at Bangkok airport and that helped pass the time as well as chat on the plane.

I found an interesting article on the web regarding “don’t know that you don’t know” I found the article to be spot on and very helpful in understanding this phenomenon. http://www.doceo.co.uk/tools/knowing.htm Now I can start to develop some strategy to work around this problem so that I am better prepared to face such an issue the next time around.

I finished documenting the results of the workshop in Manila and sent the results for comments from the client. I am still waiting for the results. Hope I am able to finish this assignment this week as it has the potential to get delayed and get ugly.

In terms of my future travel plans there are no assignments where I need to travel overseas at present. The assignments I have lined up are in Colombo. However things can change very quickly.

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.”

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Source: Motorcycling (AP, 1/10)

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. 

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

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)

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.

‘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.
GreenXV05
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.”
GreenXV02
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.”
GreenXV10

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.
GreenXV14
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.
GreenXV18
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

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.

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

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. 

The Sims 2 “Ultimate Collection” (Absolutely Everything) – Completely Free from EA

When I first read about this from EA, that is, the possibility of getting absolutely every single expansion and “Stuff” add-ons completely free, I thought there must be some mistake… A little bit of reading at the EA website and I inferred from the phrasing that it was initially going to be offered as a free upgrade to current owners of The Sims 2 (Digital/Download or Disc-based versions); but I did a little more reading about it today and it seems that EA may be ‘planning on putting it “in everyone’s game list” eventually’… [in my opinion] most likely to arouse just-a-little-more interest in The Sims franchise for the upcoming “The Sims 4” release (now available for pre-order, slated to be released in September 2014).

Therefore, now feeling fully-okay-mostly safe from the dark shadows of ‘releasing something that wasn’t meant to be distributed’, I share with you the Product Code that will allow you to be the proud owner of “The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection”, which includes all of the below:

  • The Sims 2
  • The Sims 2: University Expansion
  • The Sims 2: Nightlife Expansion
  • The Sims 2: Open for Business Expansion
  • The Sims 2: Pets Expansion
  • The Sims 2: Seasons Expansion
  • The Sims 2: Bon Voyage Expansion
  • The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion
  • The Sims 2: Apartment Life Expansion
  • The Sims 2: Family Fun Stuff
  • The Sims 2: Glamour Life Stuff
  • The Sims 2: Happy Holiday Stuff
  • The Sims 2: Celebration! Stuff
  • The Sims 2: H&M Fashion Stuff
  • The Sims 2: Teen Style Stuff
  • The Sims 2: Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff
  • The Sims 2: IKEA Home Stuff
  • The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff

Wow, thanks EA!

Note: this package release may be time-limited and EA has stated that they will no longer be updating The Sims 2 or it’s expansions, although they can still be contacted if you are having technical problems running the game

Here are the steps to redeem the free Activation/Product Code:

  1. If you don’t already have it installed on your system, download and install the Origin game client from EA [it is similar to Steam and other game management interfaces] from http://origin.com/download
  2. Create an Origin account if you don’t already have one at https://connect.origin.com/create and log into the Origin client
  3. In the pull-down menus at the top of the Origin interface, click on “Origin” and then “Redeem Product Code…”
  4. In the white box [field] under Product Code, enter this:
    I-LOVE-THE-SIMS
    [hyphens may not be needed]
  5. You should then see a message that the activation was successful and you are the newest owner of  [oops, I forgot what year I’m in, I mean a temporally licensed user of]  The Sims 2, along with all possible Expansion Packs and Add-Ons
  6. Select the game in your My Games list in the Origin Client and install it by clicking the Download button that pops up [and if you’re like me, click OK to the Insufficient Disk Space message]
  7. That’s it! 

Enjoy playing The Sims 2 once again, experiencing all that this version could possibly offer.

Have fun with it and See You In The Games!

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.

Quick Tip: Guild Wars 2 – How To Split Stacks Of Items

Just a quick tip for GW2 and those of us who were tying to split stacks of things, only to link them into Chat and ‘shout’ the item’s link to people around us, the entire Map, etc. The way to actually sort things in a more private manner, is to hold down the ALT key and then drag the stack of items to an open slot. A dialog box should come up asking you how you want to split the stack of items (as seen in the example below):

Pressing the Shift key, as most know, will link the item in the chat box, and pressing Control, will link it and shout it out in Chat automagically – which is nice and embarrassing. I’ve seen some random linkages in the Chat Box [of things that aren’t of any interest] so I know it isn’t just me! I hope that this helps someone out and saves them from this atrocious “Faux Pas”…

See You In The Games!

Raptr – Closing Down This September 30th, The Blog Here Says ‘Goodbye Old Friend’ To The Once-Useful Program


Just a notification that the ‘Graphic-Configurator, Game-Installer, Gameplay-Recorder and
Social Media client that tried to tie it all together’ – Raptr – will be no more, as of September 30th, 2017

A few days ago, I received an email stating that Raptr was ending the program/client which at one time was tied-in with AMD’s Graphic Drivers as “AMD Gaming Evolved”. Now that both NVIDIA and AMD have their own ‘game configuration utilities’ and ‘game recording capabilities’ (via Crimson for AMD and GeForce Experience for NVIDIA), “there is no need for such a separate utility”, as Raptr’s ‘Farewell Letter’ basically states:

“We are sad to announce that we will be closing Raptr on September 30th, 2017. We want to start by thanking you for your support over the past 10 years.

The world is different today than when we first launched Raptr. Many companies offer game optimization tools. Having an independent platform to do this is no longer necessary.

On September 30, we will start the process of shutting off access to your Raptr account and disabling features. If you’d like to export your tracked game play history, you can do so immediately using the instructions below:

  • Go to Raptr.com
  • Sign in to your Raptr account
  • Click to get your gameplay data

If you have any other questions, please send us feedback.

We are proud of the service we built and the community who helped grow Raptr.  Thank you, once again, for your support.

Dennis “Thresh” Fong
Co-founder and CEO”


Mr. Fong Qin, known worldwide as “‘Thresh’ Fong” for his 1990’s Quake and Doom tournament career, was also the co-founder of Xfire (which itself was acquired by Viacom in 2006). While the Raptr/Gaming Evolved client was useful, it seemed to have challenges from close to the start [or at least, noticeable in hindsight, from when I first started using it].

The Press Release – the notification that Raptr was closing down – as it looked on the Raptr website, September 2017
(Click to see Full Size)

At one time, Raptr offered Rewards for playing (and letting it track your Hours or Record your Gameplay); ‘Reward Points’ that you could collect, every time you Optimized a Game (let the utility auto-configure your in-game options/settings for you), or viewed/contributed to a game Forum (similar to Steam’s Game Forums [forii?]). You could also earn Raptr Reward Points just by playing a game and having it running (it gave a running total of your Hours Played).

The Raptr/Gaming Evolved Client, as it looked in 2014, showing the Reward Points collected at one time
(from the Gaming Evolved/Raptr Press Kit, Click to see Full Size)

Prizes to spend your Points on were Draws for, or outright purchases of, Full Games and game tie-in material, such as Character Costumes or Vehicles (Mounts). Just before it was taken away, I even saw some Computer Hardware in there (some dated GPUs mind you, but still, it was neat to see some computer parts you could earn ‘with time played’ only). I never did win a Draw for a Retail Game, but I heard from a couple of people who did. There were many, many upset users, who had been saving for years (literally), at the loss of the points system. Some noted at the time that perhaps it was an early bell, tolling for the end of Raptr, even then…

The Raptr/Gaming Evolved Client, as it looked in 2015, showing Plays.Tv in its ‘built-in’ Beta phase and Graphic Drivers being kept up-to-date [I owned an AMD/ATi GPU at the time], the client still showing Reward Points being tabulated, and the Twitch Broadcast implementation
(Click to see Full Size)

There was a Forum interface built-in to the Raptr client (directly-accessible within it) that was similar to Steam’s Game Forums [too similar?], where people could discuss games, talk about upcoming releases, and share Screenshots; but there wasn’t too much going on in them [that I could see, personally]. There were some helpful and contributive posts, but they were always few in number:

Example of Raptr/Gaming Evolved Game Forums, showing Guild Wars 2, circa 2016
(Click to see Full Size)

As ‘the end’ neared, the Forums became overrun slowly by Spammers and non-English posts talking about other websites (not that there’s anything wrong with speaking other languages, I know a bit of a handful of languages myself, but it was an English forum and much of these posts were clearly Spam of one sort or another). People started asking why things weren’t getting ‘cleaned up’, near the end.

The Raptr/Gaming Evolved Official Raptr Forum, shown in the client, displaying the number of users of the forum
(Click to see Full Size)

While many felt it was ‘just like Steam’ or ‘not needed’ even back then, it still boasted over 100 Million registered users at one point (as evidenced by the number of users within the main Raptr discussion group, above) – and it was even ‘targeted by hackers’ in 2015 – infiltrated in an attempt to gain access to the many users’ data and potentially personal information. A notice went out in January of that year, notifying users to change their password, as a result of the recent security breach:

Raptr Forum Notification, urging users to change their Passwords, after a recent security breach, circa January 2015
(Click to see Full Size)

Personally, I feel sorry that I couldn’t spend more time with Raptr/GamingEvolved, as I only discovered it a couple of years ago.. Over the entire time, my own illness prevented me from posting more, sharing Screenshots more, and talking more about Releases and Reviews [as it does here in this blog!]. I feel like it could have been ‘the next Steam with bonus game configuration’ perhaps – but alas, it simply had too many challenges going against it… People started asking for Chat interface (a la Skype) and Voice Chat, but the Voice part never came. People wanted a GVR (Game Video Recorder) and while that arrived, in the form of Plays.tv – first in the app itself and as a stand-alone utility – perhaps it was too late to save Raptr, as both NVIDIA then AMD, came out with their own ‘built-in’ gameplay recording capabilities about the same time. For example, in 2013, NVIDIA’s Shadowplay became part of their Settings Optimization client, GeForce Experience, which allowed high-performance gameplay recording. Eventually, AMD’s ReLive, part of their Crimson GPU Driver update, also allowed high-quality gameplay recording as well. Both of these essentially negated the game recording aspect of Raptr (Plays.tv, which continues onward today as its’ own stand-alone recorder):

Information Panel about Plays.TV, the gameplay recording utility that was once included with Raptr/Gaming Evolved
(Click to see Full Size)

Although many didn’t use Raptr, or even like it, there were those that used the client to at least keep track of their Hours Played, used it a light social-media app, or just enjoyed the semi-automated Graphic Configuration within. As a former user – that wished he used it more – I myself say a sad ‘Goodbye’ to Raptr. So long, old friend, I wish I got to know you better…

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.

Hitman: Absolution – First Impressions and Screenshots

I finally picked up the latest iteration of the Hitman Series, Hitman: Absolution, starring Agent 47 as the main anti-hero, id est killing the bad guys but never quite [arguably] becoming one of them. Differing from the last couple of Hitman publications, Absolution has an overarching story, connections being made in a chronological manner throughout the various stages and settings. Characters are introduced and developed via cutscenes, as the plot is pushed further by your completing the next mission for a feeling of engagement in the storyline.

I personally liked this approach, as opposed to the last couple of Hitman games, which seemed like mostly ‘replays’ of old missions from previous games (which in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing). While there were similar settings, such as a Chinese Market Square, they were sufficiently changed enough – especially with the graphical improvements and new gameplay interface – to seem varied enough to be enjoyable. There were even updated versions of [personal] ‘old favorites’ that I waited excitedly for (such as a ‘Hotel’ stage). Slightly more varied than the old versions, if you include the new “Instinct” game mechanic, these levels felt ‘fresh’, even if they weren’t new.

The “Instinct” game mechanic seems like an effort to simplify the game, making it easier for newcomers and those who had trouble with the complexity and scope of the previous Hitman games. Indeed, I remember reading a lot over the years of people saying the Hitman games were “too big” or “too complex” and that it didn’t help the player much at all, as far as where to go and what to do. It “plopped you down in a large area with just a map”, they felt. Of course, that was the draw for all of the other people, the complexity and seeming openness of the game was enjoyed, where you had to figure out everything yourself. You could decide what to skip and what to do and could decide for yourself how to do it. The new “Instinct” mechanic of Absolution doesn’t take too much away from this (you can turn it ‘off’ if desired) and it actually adds to the cinematic feel of the game by taking the ‘player out of playing’, so to speak, which results in more of a feeling that you are ‘playing Agent 47’, guiding him (and using his innate abilities) through the game, as opposed to ‘actually being Agent 47’ and figuring everything out yourself heavy-handedly. I suspect this more objective approach has already been a point of contention since the game was released.

An example of Hitman: Absolution’s new ‘Hitman Instinct’ game mechanic, showing how Agent47 can ‘sense’ enemies in and around the nearby area and estimates where they may be heading.

When utilizing Agent 47’s ‘Instinct’, the game shows where 47 ‘senses’ there are enemies and where they are and shows you on the screen with outlined shapes. It even shows where 47 ‘calculates’ enemies will be moving to, showing you their intended path with a line of flame and where they will stand still with a larger lick of fire. This is where the adrenalin-dipped decision making and primal ‘danger’ awareness kicks in during the game, as a player can choose to set up an engagement with an enemy, or stealthily avoid these paths and points.

For those who do not like or want the new game mechanic at all, it can be turned off, mainly by choosing a higher difficulty level. There are five to choose from and higher difficulties result in more ‘sensitive’ or ‘aware’ enemies, tougher enemies (wearing more body armor one assumes) and more of them. For those who are new to the game or having trouble with it, the difficulty can be lowered as well, with less enemies, enemies with less skill (not as good at aiming) and less awareness (having a bit more ‘tunnel-vision’) allowing you to sneak around them easier. The option to have this game mechanic off or on, at the players choice, is nice and was no doubt included to appease those who would not like it’s hints and guidance. New players (those talking about the games’ difficulty in the past) can have it on and still enjoy the action and storyline as well. It feels like an ‘attempt to please everybody’ – and I assume it will work well in that regard. (I haven’t read any Reviews of the game (to avoid exposure to the material within) before I purchased it, but I assume that once I indulge in others’ opinions, I will see much disagreement on that last sentence).

View of a hotel cleaning supply room from an air ventilation shaft. Click to see Full Size

The game itself felt atmospheric and cinematic. The music changed as action waxed and waned. Enemies ignored or chased you around winding levels that you had to discover and remember. The graphics were spectacular, with detailed textures, dark and gritty lighting and shading. The core Hitman gameplay was there – even if it wasn’t there for very long. This game felt very short to me. Perhaps it was the somewhat simple Television Movie Special plot, perhaps it was the number of missions (although they were split up into sections). Perhaps it was merely enjoying it so much that I wanted more, but just during the course of writing this article off and on, I have completed the game in it’s storyline entirety (not counting Challenges and Item Collection) in just over 20 hours. That doesn’t seem very long, but I suppose it is to be expected in a game that is more like “Max Payne” and less like “Skyrim” (more Action and less RPG). You could keep playing after finishing the main story, select past levels and retry them, doing them ‘cleaner’ for a better score or achievement, or look around and discover new weapons and pathways, or just redo any level you wanted to for fun.

An example of how the levels are split up into sections and how you can select past levels to replay them.
An example of the updated game engine, with higher-detailed character models, textures and environments.
Click to see Full Size

Other than the copy-pasted ‘general population’ mannequin-people utilized in larger crowds (used understandably to keep memory/resource usage of the game down of course – all of the ‘main’ NPCs have good detail to them), I personally liked the attention  paid to smaller details, such as the amount of debris scattered around the levels – things like cups, papers and garbage, all part of the gritty ‘lived-in-ness’ of the environment, adding to the realism. It’s nice to see games that pay more attention to the surroundings/settings these days, as opposed to the stark, clean-floor environments in games of yesteryear.

Overall, Hitman: Absolution was very enjoyable. It was great fun to figure out steps and schemes for the various areas and carry them out with cold calculation. I laughed out loud a few times and grit my teeth in anger at the more difficult parts, playing them over and over again, trying to figure out new ways to accomplish the objectives and complete the contracts. Despite feeling shorter (perhaps just because it was so enjoyable) and despite some changes that others might not entirely like, I still suggest trying it (especially if you are a fan of the previous games in the Hitman series). I personally had a lot of fun with the game – and isn’t that the most important thing?

Have fun with Absolution and See You In The Games!

MODERN LIVING ROOM LAYOUTZ FROM HÜLSTA

Hülsta German Furniture Maker showed some really incredible ideas of life that may be adopted by the style-conscious people who want to give their house a futuristic look and ergonomic. The perfect blend of stylish design with bright pink and black give the whole to create a very refreshing, but a look of the space age. The leather was added to an authentic touch and royal with a minimalist effect adding to the “cool factor”. You can either go all black look metallic or deliberately throwing red and white, while maintaining the class and elegance.

LIVING ROOM LAYOUTZ FROM HÜLSTA

LIVING ROOM LAYOUTZ FROM HÜLSTA

MODERN LIVING ROOM LAYOUTZ FROM HÜLSTA

MODERN LIVING ROOM LAYOUTZ FROM HÜLSTA

LIVING ROOM STYLE LAYOUTZ FROM HÜLSTA

LIVING ROOM STYLE LAYOUTZ FROM HÜLSTA

LIVING ROOM LAYOUTs DESIGN FROM HÜLSTA

LIVING ROOM LAYOUTs DESIGN FROM HÜLSTA

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

Yamaha VMax Motorcycle Splendid Wallpaper HD

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Lone Star Rally 2013 in Photos

The 2013 Lone Star Rally got off to a soggy start Halloween night due to a passing squall, but sunny skies the rest of the weekend brought out bikers by the thousands for the 12th annual motorcycle rally in Galveston, Texas. By Saturday, motorcycles stretched for as far as the eye could see down the Strand as the party kicked into high gear.

From ‘Moonshiners’ to ‘American Guns,’ there was lots of celebrity appeal at this year’s rally. Not to be outdone, the action at the Seawall paralleled the festivities downtown thanks to a ride-in bike show held by the IMBBA in addition to the ‘Baddest Bagger’ contest held at the same time.

____________________________________
Source: MotorcycleUSA (Harley, 11/04)

Nutritional Strategies for Allergy and Asthma

SeasSeason allergies to pollen and mold seem to getting more and more prevalent each year with progressively more severe symptoms in sufferers.    Treating allergies with nutrition and nutrition supplements can have big advantages over using medications.   
Allergy medication most commonly comes in the form of Antihistamines, and there are some big problems with long-term use of these medications.     It is now known that prolonged use of antihistamines decreases levels of acetylcholine which is a key neurotransmitter involved in memory and other important functions.   In fact, antihistamine use increases the risk of senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
What are Allergies Anyway?
Allergies are abnormal immune reactions to specific agents (proteins) known as antigens/allergens, which include many substances such as foods, drugs, pollens, dust mites, animal danders, feathers, along with many others. 
Allergies may also develop when an otherwise innocent substance has significant contact with an already inflamed surface (known as sensitization).  For example, when sick with a respiratory illness, respiratory surfaces are already inflamed and substances present at this time may be “remembered” as being foreign.  This can also occur with chemical substances known as “haptons” which are combinations of self and non-self which can lead the immune system to attack the self. 
Since there are multiple pro-inflammatory substances involved with allergies it is rare to obtain adequate control with single products/medications.  The most potent chemical mediators in allergies and asthma are leukotrienes.  Some leukotrines are one thousand times more potent than histamine as stimulators of bronchial constriction and allergy. 
Interestingly, many medications that reduce one inflammatory pathway actually boost leukotrienes.    For example, Aspirin and other NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like Ibuprofen) result in the production of excessive levels of leukotrines in sensitive individuals although they decrease prostaglandins associated with inflammation and thereby relive pain.  So long term they can create a much more severe problem.
Asthma is linked to allergies and can be a severe and life threatening condition.   Do NOT try to self-treat Asthma – see a physician!
Strategies for Allergies
Try to avoid allergens by using air filters, regularly cleaning all surfaces and vacuuming and keeping your air-conditioning system on while regularly changing filters to filter out as many allergens as possible.   Remember your car cabin filter as well, and take showers and wash clothes after being outside for long periods of time.
Change your diet to reduce inflammation.    Dramatically reduce your intake of refined carbohydrate – sugar and starch which drive insulin which drives inflammation.  At the same time increase your intake of low glycemic, organic fruits and vegetables such as berries, broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, etc.   These plant foods contain polyphenols which are potent anti-oxidants and help to reduce inflammation and allergies without side effects.
Boos
Increase your intake of Omega 3 Fatty Acidsfrom cold water fish such as Alaskan Wild Salmon and/or take an Omega 3 Supplement such as Krill Oil.    Omega 3 fatty acids will always reduce inflammation if taken in sufficient dosages so this should be a primary strategy for allergy sufferers because they produce many side benefits.   The only exception is people taking any type of medication to thin blood and reduce clotting like Coumadin.   In this case the combination can be dangerous!
Nutritional Supplements for Allergies
There are several highly effective nutrition supplements for allergies including some key herbs.
Local Raw Honey – it MUST be local and must be raw because it will contain small amounts of local pollen and works by getting the body used to pollen much like an allergy shot.     A Tablespoon a day is as much as you need.   Many people swear by this simple and safe remedy!
Stinging Nettle Extract – this herb has a long history of effective use for allergies and freeze dried preparations seem to work the best and are best taken BEFORE allergy season even begins to put a damper on symptoms before they start – this is true of all nutritional approaches to allergy by the way!
Euphrasia Officianalis – aka “Eyebright” is an herb which name says it all – it is highly effective for eye allergy symptoms.
Quercetin – is a flavonoid contained in high amounts in apples, peppers, red wine, dark cherries and berries, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and sprouts, and raw red onions.   To treat allergies taking supplemental quercetin is the way to go, and the best form of quercetin is contained in a product called “AllQlear” by Integrative Therapeutics and can be purchased on Amazon.     It also contains “ovomucoids” from quail eggs that act as tryptase inhibitor and prevent release of histamine.
Boswellia Extract – Boswellia aka Frankincense (yes the herb mentioned in the bible!) can be highly effective for allergies and other forms of inflammation including arthritis because it blocks the formation of leukotrienes!    To get the benefits you must take 5-loxin which is a specific extract.   Note that in some individuals 5-loxin can cause or excacerbate heart burn so it is not for everyone, but when it works it can be highly effective!
Butterbur Extract – this plant extract can be highly effective for inhibiting leukotrienes and allergy symptoms or side effects.   You need to take a standardized extract with standardized levels of Petasin and Isopetasin) and free of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids aka PA.  High quality brands include Life Extension, Swanson, and Enzymatic Therapy to name a few.   This product can also help many migraine sufferers and is a well-researched, proven treatment.
NAC – N-Acetyl Cysteine – helps thin mucus naturally and boost levels of the body’s most important antioxidant Glutathione – every allergy sufferer should be taking 600 – 1,200mg per day!
You will also find combination of these ingredients in particular products, and it is worth experimenting a bit because if you find the right product or combination of natural products you can find relief without sedation and without the side effects associated with antihistamines and more potent drugs like steroid nasal sprays or oral steroids.

Training Biceps and Triceps with Fat Circular Bands

If you want to take your guns to the next level consider adding in band training.    Those flat circular bands you see in the MX4 Area of the club are serious training tools!    These bands provide the advantage of increasing resistance throughout the range of motion to challenge your muscles in a different, yet complimentary way to free weights or machines.

There are a number of ways to trains biceps with bands from the most simple which is just standing on the band with feet spread and holding the upper loop of the band on both or one and handing and curling up and down.      You can also stand  with one or two feet in the center of a band and grap the two looped ends and curl the end/ends up to pump up those biceps.       Another option is to attach band handles to the band to allow you to use even more resistance.     Standing on one foot in the enter of the band will give less resistance than standing with two feet spread apart.

You can also attach a band to an immovable object like a post or even a door using a door holder (see www.resistancebandtraining.com to purchase one of these.  Another option to create more length is to attach a band low and behind you and then loop another band through this band and attach handles to the band on both ends.      With your back to the anchor grasp the handles and step forward to create some level of tension in the band keep your fee in a split stance and head-up.   Do a bicep curl  with the handles and as you fatigue take small steps back to do drop sets.   This exercise emphasizes the stretched position of the bicep comapred with the single band bicep curl described above.

You can also get an incredible tricep workout using bands using the set-up described above with handles attached to the bands.    In this case turn your back to the anchor grasping the handles with elbows held high by the sides of your heads.   Brace the core while in a split stance and keep the elbows high and motionless then extend your elbows – wow does that create a pump and burn!

To see exactly how to set-up and perform these incredible bicep and tricep exercises using flat circular bands and handles check out this video from resistancebandtraining.com:  https://youtu.be/mF-FbNSPF2Q

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

Evaluating Borrower’s Other Income

QUESTION
Evaluating income is usually a challenge for our underwriters, when considering part-time employment, alimony, child support, separate maintenance, retirement benefits or public assistance. Are there regulatory guidelines that we should be following for such purposes?
ANSWER
Although it certainly must be considered an underwriting requirement, there are also guidelines set forth in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) for evaluating income from part-time employment, alimony, child support, or separate maintenance, retirement befits or public assistance.
Specifically, a creditor may only consider such income on an individual basis – not on the basis of aggregate statistics. Furthermore, a creditor must assess the reliability or unreliability of the income by analyzing actual circumstances and not by analyzing statistical measures derived from a group. [12 CFR Supplement to Part 202 – Official Staff Interpretations § 202.6(b)(5)-1]
For instance, in determining the likelihood of consistent payments of alimony, child support, or separate maintenance, a creditor may consider factors such as:
  1. Whether payments are received pursuant to a written agreement or court decree;
  2. The length of time that the payments have been received;
  3. Whether the payments are regularly received by the applicant;
  4. The availability of court or other procedures to compel payment; and
  5. The creditworthiness of the payor, including the credit history of the payor when it is available to the creditor. [12 CFR Supplement to Part 202 – Official Staff Interpretations § 202.6(b)(5)-2]
Jonathan Foxx
Managing Director
Lenders Compliance Group

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

Down & Out The Duncster

Duncans R80 1 THUMB
The “my dad’s stronger than your dad, my dad’s car is faster than your dad’s” conversations are standard playground fodder. But unless you are Superman, in a Batcape, driving the General Lee; consider yourself a failure as a father and a poor role model in comparison to Duncan’s dad.
Duncan , the owner of this bike, grew up in the 1980s on airbases in Germany. Yup, his dad was a fighter pilot, way cool! He also loved BMW motorcycles made sure there was always one in the garage. So basically his old man was Maverick, without the cheesy music and questionable chat-up techniques.
Duncans R80 2
So picture this for a memory. It’s the school sports day and Duncan is jumping long distances, lobbing heavy objects around and racing his mates around the track. Then a roar in the distance begins to build as a jet heads towards the school, flying low, flying fast, right over the heads of all the other kids. Guess who. Feeling proud and on top of the world Duncan headed to the gates to wait for a lift home and who should turn up, his dad on an R80. He was handed a helmet and off they blasted, leaving the rest of the kid’s jaws on the floor and parents looking at each other in shame at their woeful parenting efforts.
Duncans R80 3
Fast forward a generation and Duncan is the family man and MD of a leading video production agency. But that childhood memory didn’t wane and the hankering for Beemer continued to grow. A few months of research concluded and a shortlist of builders was drawn up with the aim of scratching that old itch, but properly, not just a cursory tickle. What better place to get scratching than the BSMC Event III at Tobacco Docks in May this year. Despite not meeting Shaun & Carl from Down & Out Café Racers, the selection of bikes on display in the main hall was enough to have Duncan scrabbling for his chequebook.
Duncans R80 4
The donor is a 1982 R80 RT which although in fair order wouldn’t be sufficient for a a customer having waited this long for their dream bike, so a full and complete strip down was required. The frame was blasted and powder coated, with an off-the-shelf  subframe added to make compatible with the other D&O components. A slightly earlier 1975 R75/5 fuel tank with a classic paint job and knee pads suggests scrambling aspirations.
Duncans R80 5
Smokey exhausts isn’t a strong look so the engine was given a refresh. Re-honed barrels were sent off for powder coat while new piston rings ensure a clean combustion from the new Mikuni carbs. These otherwise oil-tight boxer engines are sometimes let down by the pushrod tubes, so these were replaced along with new seals. Older style rocker covers are readily available, easy to fit and improve the Boxer’s appearance; so a pair were fitted. Stainless exhaust headers shout their baritone beat into relatively short reverse cone mufflers.
Duncans R80 6
Years of building custom BMWs and the constant R&D allows for plug and play fitment of some common parts. The punched and flared aluminium battery box fits easily into the subframe providing a home a normal sized battery and negating the need to play hide and seek with Li-Ion versions. A neat tuck ‘n’ roll seat fits, neatly of course, on the slightly kicked up subframe, with ignition relocated below.
Duncans R80 7
Upgraded shocks and refreshed forks keep both ends in check when Duncan is making up for lost time. The ever popular Heidenau Scouts are fitted, 100/90/19 up front and 120/90/18 at the rear, which have proved time and time again to be an excellent choice for road use whilst insinuating dirt potential. D&O stainless mudguards of proper proportions are there just in case Duncan puts the rubber to the test.
Duncans R80 8
A diminutive LSL brake fluid reservoir mounted to a set of British made Renthal bars with a Koso speedo sheds the years from the cockpit while a D&O stainless lamp lights the way, mounted by way of mini LED indicators and custom brackets.
Duncans R80 9
The net result is that Duncan is over the moon with the result and really pleased to have realised a boyhood dream, and for finding the right outfit to make it all happen. Now all he needs to do is obtain his jet fighter licence.
Shaun & Carl have reached the tipping point and can no longer manage in their current workshop. Turning out a full build each and every month plus the growth of their parts business has meant new premises have been acquired, although these too are now feeling a touch full. To commission a build and order parts get in touch via their website and keep an eye on Facebook for build updates.


First published on http://thebikeshed.cc

Food Repair Guide: Baking Part 1

Bread

Bread, being about the first thing that man made, is also about the easiest. Ordinary bread is only flour, salt, liquid and yeast, well kneaded to mix, and baked. The modern cook with a food processor need not even bother about the kneading (which is only done to spread the yeast really thoroughly through the bread) as the food processor does it all for her. Unless, of course, she enjoys doing battle with balls of dough!

Ingredients/yeast

Flours differ but, as long as the flour is of good quality and dry, the differences are a matter of personal taste. Water is the normal mixing liquid and sea salt has a better flavour than table salt.

If the yeast is fresh and alive, when put in a damp, warm atmosphere, it will rise and grow whether it is incorporated in a dough or alone. Old age kills both compressed and dried yeast, as do extremes of temperature: anything over 110°F/50°C or below standard refrigerator temperature.

Once the yeast has been creamed by mixing it with sugar and a little warm liquid, it needs only to be thoroughly amalgamated into the dough, by hand or machine.

Diet Start

Rising, etc.

After the yeast has been mixed in, the dough must be left to rise, and in some cases prove. This will happen more or less quickly depending on the ambient temperature, but the longer it takes, the better the bread will be. Elizabeth David, among others, maintains that bread that has been left for 24 hours in a moderately warm kitchen will taste far better than bread that has been ‘hurried’ in a warming oven. However, an hour should be the minimum time — unless you are using a food processor and extra vitamin C to assist the raising.

If the dough does not rise, it means that the yeast is dead — whether through old age or overheating — and there is nothing you can do about it. Dead yeast has a smell and flavour not unlike dead cats and is totally unrevivable. Throw it out and start again.

Once you have mastered the basic techniques of bread making, all fancy breads are merely an elaboration on them. Most bakery books are extremely explicit in their instructions.

Cakes

Raising agents

Most cakes use eggs or chemical raising agents rather than yeast. The lighter sponges use whisked egg white; heavier sponges or fruit cakes use whole eggs or a combination of whole eggs and baking powder or bicarbonate of soda. These work by giving off gases when heated, thereby raising the mixture. The more chemical raising agent one uses, the lighter, dryer and less keeping the cake will be. Thus, fresh light sponges or angel cakes should be eaten within 24 hours to be at their best; a rich Madeira cake will keep several weeks; a fruit cake several months.

Mixing

The early mixing processes in all cake making are important, be it beating eggs and sugar to a ribbon or creaming butter and sugar for Victoria sponges. In both cases, early and thorough beating ensures that the cake will remain moist. Beating later in the process when the flour has been added will make the cake tough, heavy and elastic. Obviously, beating a light sponge after the egg white has been folded in would defeat the purpose of the operation.

For cakes that need to hold a filling in place — such as a cherry Madeira where you are attempting to keep the cherries in suspension — do not add all the liquid until you are sure that the full amount will not make the mixture too liquid to support the fruit.

Packet mixtures

If you feel that you cannot face the traumas of total cake making, there are a great number of excellent packet cake mixes on the market and you might be well advised to give up the whole business of being a home baker and use one of them.

Cooking

Follow the instructions in the recipe (or on the packet) for baking times and temperatures but do check yourself, as your oven may not behave exactly as the instructions say it should. Do not, however, continually open and shut the oven, as you will kill whatever chance the poor thing had of rising evenly in a constant heat. Similarly, when you test it, do not be too vigorous. If a light sponge gets a fat skewer stuck in it, it will break the crust and release half the air being carefully husbanded inside. Press the sponge very gently with your finger and, if it resists, it will be done. A more robust cake will stand the skewer treatment but, even then, do not do it more than you must.

Turning out

Whether the mixture is from a packet or home-made, it is most important that you are able to get it out of the tin when it is cooked. Greasing and flouring tins should work but has been known, only too often, not to — especially if the butter was salty! Invest in one, or several, loose-bottomed cake tins, which guarantee complete success — not only for cakes but for pâtés, mousses, jellies or anything else that you fear may lurk shyly in its container and refuse to emerge in public. If the mixture is very liquid, as in a very light sponge, line the tin with greaseproof paper to prevent it leaking out the bottom.

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)

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/

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)

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