How to Make Use of Leftover Coffee Grounds

With a large part of the population consuming at least two to three cups of Coffee & nuts a day, we are left with so much coffee grounds heading for a trip to the trash can. This calls for a recycling plan.

Coffee grounds hardly play an important role in our daily lives, but with a little experimentation and much determination, one can find ways to make use of this seemingly useless substance.

The following are some ways to make use of leftover coffee grounds.

  1. They can be used to help keep the kitchen drains free from any unpleasant odor. Pour about 1/2 cup of used coffee grounds down the drain and follow it up with about 5 cups of boiling water. The grounds are pushed by the hot water avoiding any clogs. This procedure ensures a fresh-smelling drain that lasts for about a week or so.
  1. Used coffee grounds are good sources of brown dye for any kind of materials such as paper, cloth and even eggs for Easter celebrations. One can simply band the coffee grounds in a filter or nylon, soak them in 2 cups of hot water for about 5 to 10 minutes and the dye is ready for the job at hand. The amount of water, as well as the number of grounds used, can be simply increased when dealing with large pieces of fabric. Unwanted blemishes and stains on brown-colored furniture are unsightly. They may also be covered by this dye.
  1. Coffee grounds are also good cleaning agents for stuff like pots and stained ashtrays. They have the capacity for the toughest dirt because of their quite abrasive and acidic nature. Mixed with a little amount of water, they are then used as a solution for scrubbing any dirty articles.
  1. Since cats dislike the smell of coffee as well as any citrus smells, one can combine the two and place the mixture in places where the pet cat is not supposed to go. This works for ants as well as other pests inside and outside the house.
  1. They are good fertilizers. Coffee grounds help up with the growth of different plants especially radishes and carrots. Before they are planted, the seeds of these plants are mixed with used coffee grounds. While helping make the radishes and carrots grow, the coffee grounds that are planted along with the plants’ seeds, also drives away any underground pests that are attracted to the plant.
  1. Used coffee grounds can be used as deodorizers since they trap unwanted odors without losing the unmistakable coffee aroma. One can easily dry them on a cookie sheet or foil and place them in an old but clean pantyhose. This is placed in closets or any other areas that need a breath of fresh smell. The result lasts for about a few weeks to a whole month.
  1. One’s hair can also benefit from coffee grounds since they can enhance the color of black and brown hair and can also make hair shine like no other. Rubbing the grounds on the scalp is also useful to make the skin healthier and to avoid dandruff as well. It is advisable to do this rubbing in between shampooing and conditioning to ensure that the hair and scalp is cleansed off the grounds. The same thing works for a dog’s hair.
  1. When cleaning the fireplace, apply a good amount of wet grounds over the ashes and soot. The grounds are going to soak up the dust, so there is less mess when cleaning the fireplace. This also helps make the task lighter for the cleaner.
  1. Start a mushroom growing project. Get ahold of inoculated mushroom plugs that are manufactured by such companies as Fungi Perfecti, LLC. Every time you finish drinking a cup of coffee or two, pour the wet grounds in the pot and push one of the mushroom plugs into the grounds. Keep doing this every time you drink coffee. Mushrooms are going to start growing after a few days.

  1. Leftover coffee grounds can be used as a meat tenderizer. All that needs to be done is to soak the meat in it. Fresh grounds can also be added to chocolate cakes and brownies for a new and different flavor. Any grounds can be used, but fresh ones give a stronger and fresher taste to the dessert.

More and more uses for coffee grounds are being developed and discovered. One of these is the possibility of fuel derived from coffee grounds. Coffee might be the next century’s oil.

The Concert That Never Ends

Imagine if you will, walking into a bar that’s over 100 years old on a Friday night. The original wood floors still creek when you walk on them, the place is dark, and everywhere you look there are people wearing cowboy boots, big ten gallon Stetson hats and drinking beer from a bottle. This is what you can expect on any given Friday and Saturday nights in the small town of Wilder Ky, home of Bobby Mackey’s music world.

The Setting

Bobby Mackey, a former recording artist, bought the building that once was a casino during the height of the mafia era in Newport Ky. He had no intentions of changing anything about the building, all he wanted was a stage where he could play music. This he has accomplished and has been playing classic country music for over thirty years. Bobby enjoys the smiles on peoples faces and watching them dance to the old tunes.

The Music

The newest song that Bobby Mackey and the Big Mac band will perform is the watermelon crawl which was released in the early 90’s. You can expect to hear alot of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and George Jones. Bobby will tell you himself that he is not a fan of today’s country. ” There’s just no originality in it anymore.” he expplains. ” When you heard the first two seconds of a Merle Haggard song, you knew right then it was Merle”. Bobby feels that the old singers had a signature and that singers today are very much contained to fit a formula

This is the universal opinion that old is always gold and people are more inclined towards old singers like Nat King Cole, Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis Presley and rock bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc. to name a few. Bobby Mackey is slowly turning old so he will become a legend in the near future and he regularly performs in nightclubs like Lavelle Toronto, which truly makes for an interesting concert with the fans begging for more at regular intervals, to which he obliges with grace as a true artist is only hungry for audiences’ praise and accolades and money is a secondary item.

Why this is the best concert experience that I have ever had

How many times after a concert can you as a fan go backstage and talk with the singer? Almost after every set, I meet up with Bobby backstage and we talk about our passion towards music over a couple shots of Honeyjack Whiskey. I have stood close enough to the stage to feel the steel guitar notes go through me as the band sings classics such as “Apartment no.9″ and ” He Stopped Loving Her Today” . This is not just a concert, this is something that you experience. It’s an experience that cannot be replicated in any other setting because it is truly a one of a kind place. Attending a concert at Bobby Mackeys is like going to a family reunion. I’m reunited with friends that go every week and I’m reunited with the songs that I grew up loving as a child.

I’ve been to Nashville, I’ve seen Toby Keith and I’ve been to his bar. I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this concert experience is unlike any other that I’ve been to in the past and the best part is that I get to experience this every Friday and Saturday night. I would encourage anyone to come down and relive the great country classics with Bobby Mackey and the Big Mac Band. Once you’ve been there, you’ll never go back to Nashville.

The Atari Video Game System: My Ten Favorite Games

Like many others, I grew up with the Atari video game system. The graphics were bad and the game-play choppy, but Atari was the first real video game system. And, it was a lot of fun. I would play for hours on end. In fact, my parents had to kick me out of the house to make sure I would play outside. So, let’s take a trip back to the early 80’s when Atari meant video game. Along with available in Play station, the Pokemon go accounts for sale are available for the players. It will eliminate the need of going to the play station for playing the video games.

Keeping in mind that I have a soft spot for the old school games, here are my top games for the Atari video game system:

Pacman (1981) – Atari turned this arcade hit into a video game for its console. I still remember the day we picked up the game and even though the graphics and game play were not nearly as good as the arcade version, the game was a step up from the other Atari video games I had at the time.

Space Invaders (1978) – Space Invaders was another arcade classic. You shoot as many aliens as you can… what’s not to like? The game-play was very simple, and if aliens ever do invade Earth, I doubt they will come straight down and wait to be shot. But, the game was a lot of fun and helped to lead the video game revolution both for the arcades and for the Atari video game system.

Adventure (1979) – The first fantasy/adventure game, it featured castles, dragons, and keys. As a player, you could actually scroll to and discover different screens and worlds. That was actually a pretty big thing back when the game came out and helped to keep my interest.

Pitfall (1982) – Pitfall was a lot of fun because this game simply had more going on than most of the other Atari video games. You have a time limit to recover treasures, but along the way you have to navigate the jungle and caverns while avoiding alligators, scorpions and other hazards. The graphics were very good for this time period and the play was very fast-paced.

Football (1979)- OK, maybe it wasn’t the most realistic football game ever made (there were four players on each side who looked more like blobs). But, it was the first football game and I loved playing it hours at a time on the Atari video game system.

Pole Position (1983) – The first racing game I ever played. Since this game was closer to the end of the Atari video game system reign, the graphics were actually decent. I’m convinced that Pole Position embedded in me the bad habit of speeding that I maintain to this day.

Combat (1977) – This combat game was included in the purchase of the Atari video game system, so I had the opportunity to play this game from the very beginning. Players could shoot ’em up using tanks, jets, or biplanes. Combat was basic, but brutal fun.

Asteroids (1981) – Like Space Invaders, this is a pretty simple Atari video game that features shooting, aliens, and outer space. The primary goal of the game was to shoot and destroy asteroids flying in every direction. But, those pesky UFO’s would also pop on the screen and shoot at you.

Frogger (1982) – The premise behind this Atari video game is simple. You have to guide frogs across a busy highway and then across a dangerous river. Frogger doesn’t sound too interesting or difficult. But, for some reason that I can’t pinpoint, the game was loads of fun and was even featured in a Seinfeld episode.

Donkey Kong (1982) – This is one of the best known early video games. Donkey Kong also feature the first appearance of Mario from Super Mario Brothers fame. The Atari version of this game was not as good as the arcade version, but Donkey Kong was interesting because it also had a bit of a plot. Angry gorilla escapes, steals the woman and it’s up to you to save her while controlling Mario.

I owned approximately 20-30 Atari video games during my childhood, but these were my ten favorites. We never knew that the graphics and game-play would improve as much as they have 30 years later. Yet, many of us who grew up with the Atari video game system will not forget the many hours of fun and enjoyment it provided.

Illegal Immigration – How Immigrants Have Helped the US

Illegal immigration is a fact of life in a country as rich as the US whether the people in the country agree with it or not. Laws have been passed throughout the country by both the state and federal governments and yet the problem continues to exist. The reasons for this are varied from simply those who are immigrants moving in to do whatever they can to help their families back home making a living to those bureaucrats and others who look the other way and ignore the law.

In recent years there has been a tremendous outcry against illegal immigration with many claiming that illegal immigration is a national security risk. This seems to be a mistaken argument because of the facts of earlier situations where the US had open immigration laws and this did not bear out to be true. From almost its beginning, the US had open immigration laws and got involved in national security crisis every few years or so.

In the first situations, the US was wrangling with France and England over issues on the high seas and yet Frenchmen and Englishmen were coming to the country in droves both legally and illegally. There were no major issues of sabotage by mass portions of these people or mass incidents of espionage by these people in spite of these conflicts with their former homelands. Oftentimes, the very Frenchmen and Englishmen who had immigrated to the US were assisting in defending US interests in these conflicts. Such was the case of the many English and French born sailors who manned the ships of the US Navy in the early 1800’s and during the War of 1812.

Again in the 1840’s immigrants were coming to the US from throughout Latin America both legally and illegally. In this era the US got into a major war with Mexico. Yet in no known situation were there any major situations of the immigrants assisting the enemies of the United States. If anything the opposite was true where hundreds of Mexican immigrants signed up with Texas regiments to serve and defend the interests of the United States.

Even as the US was tearing itself apart in the 1860’s during the Civil War, immigrants were arriving from China, Ireland, and other parts of the world. Not in one known instance did the immigrants, whether in the US legally or illegally, assist in doing things that would have brought foreign powers into the conflict or in doing things that would damage the integrity of the nation. If anything these immigrants greatly assisted the nation by building railroads, serving in hospitals, and in even giving their lives to their new country by fighting for it.

Going on to more modern times such as World War 1 and World War 2, immigrants whether legal or illegal have often shown in spite of cruel treatment their undying devotion for the US. During both World War 1 and World War 2, when the US unjustly imprisoned German, Italian, and Japanese immigrants, these groups stepped up and formed units of the military that assisted in combat and espionage roles providing invaluable assistance to the interests of the nation. Had it not been for the efforts of these immigrants, the process of winning the World Wars would have been much tougher than it already was for the US.

Even today as the US fights its War on Terrorism and War on Drugs, immigrants both legal and illegal still provide help for the nation in many instances. There are numerous cases in both the state and federal dockets where hardened drug criminals were pulled off of the street by courageous actions and testimonies of immigrants. In the War on Terrorism, there have been numerous cases where immigrants from the Middle East have assisted in foiling terrorist plots and plans by providing invaluable information to the authorities. In some cases it has been the fault of the authorities and not immigrants that some of these plots were not stopped. One instance is where the immigrants father of the Christmas Day 2009 underwear bomber attempted to notify the authorities of the terrorist plans of his own son and the authorities ignored this because of a bias against immigrants.

The US would do well to look at its history and realize that illegal immigration is not the threat to national security that many paint it to be. The real threat to national security is alienation of the immigrants whether here legally or illegally. This poses a greater threat because a population that feels alienated from the system is more likely to want to turn against that system even if they admire it than one that is fully engaged and has a vested interest in seeing the system succeed. Therefore the US should realize that moving its efforts away from alienation of illegal immigration and towards incorporation of illegal immigrants would better serve its own interests. The immigration lawyer toronto firm will provide the facilities as per the requirement of the clients. The motive of the firm should be the satisfaction of the customers for visa application.

So the next steps for the US in its illegal immigration debate need to be focused on how to best incorporate immigrants into its society. Things such as the Arizona Immigration Bill and the recent bills in Georgia do not promote this. If anything, this further contributes to alienation of both legal and illegal immigrants and helps to damage national security.

Motorcycle- Your First Love!

A motorcycle is a symbol of freedom, prestige and that of responsibility. Owning a motorcycle means a lot to the youth of today and for the older generation, it makes them feel young and hip. Hence we see the rise in the demand for them. There are a few amazing ways to make sure that you do not end up buying something, which you will have to let go in a few months and be dissatisfied with the whole trade. Thus be very sure when buying motorcycles for the first time.

If you buy a good motorcycle, then be prepared to pay price for it. A fresh and brand new motorcycle is available at a price almost double to that of a used one and the brand new one loses its value quickly in comparison to a four-wheeler because the motorbike loses as much as 15% of its value as soon as it is driven out of the showroom. And if the bike gets scratched or the engine gets damaged due to rough driving then the value drops further. All these factors should be considered before you take the plunge and buy a brand new motorcycle. Hence, you must have the patience to keep the new bike for a good time frame so as to recover the loss in value.

So, if you do not yet know how to perfectly ride the bike, then first perfect the art on a second hand one, which is also freely available. But make sure to purchase it from a reputed dealer because a non-reputed dealer might pass on to you a stolen bike, or a non-insured bike, or a damaged bike. A reputed dealer will also allow you a test ride, which will help you to get doubly sure of the quality of the motorcycle. Plus they would offer you the best possible price, which is of course negotiable. Moreover, you will get the very best Motorcycle helmets that will make your bike ride safer. 

You would definitely need the help of someone who is an expert in this field to help you out. To find out from among your friends and family who are knowledgeable about motorcycles. They will help you to select the right type of bike from the right type of people and also advise you the perfect price and also help you negotiate.

One more thing you need to take care of is to look at the bike and check its cleanliness and ask the seller about the history of the bike and all the controls because if they know the bike properly then it indicates that they have taken proper care of the motorcycle.

If you like the bike and your companion also approves of it all, then you buy it from the dealer. But your work does not end here. There is still some paperwork to be done and the delivery of the bike to be taken. The paperwork includes taking the owner’s manual, service book, insurance papers, and other certificates. Further, also check it up with the police whether it is stolen or not.

Further, if you need financing there are a lot of loan providers, which will make your dreams come true. Hence, go ahead and buy the motorcycle of your choice.

Blind Dates: The Keys to Success and How to End Up with Someone Special

Blind dates can be extremely embarrassing, and make you feel like the worst dater in the entire world… almost everyone has been on one, and anyone can tell you that a blind date is the most nerve raking, stomach shaking dates around.

If you’ve never been on a blind date before… well, it can be fun. Don’t go in expecting that it will be miserable, or it certainly will be. I’ve compiled a few tips to help you not only survive a blind date, but even have a good time. You never know if your blind date will be the one!

Setting It Up…

Ask the matchmaker to inform your date that you’ll be calling. Picking up the phone and throwing around ideas with each other is a great way to not only get to know the date, but know what your date likes. Make sure to have at least two ideas on hand, so you sound not only excited, but like you’ve been thinking about it.

Try to make a date like mini golf, or bowling. Sure, a romantic dinner is typical, but you won’t get to know her as well. Touching that isn’t romantic or sexual in any way can be relaxing, and a large ice breaker.

Don’t forget to check and see what sort of food she likes, and make reservations for dinner afterwards. Sure, you can wing it on the date – but do you really want to spend an hour and a half waiting at a restaurant just for a bad seat? Reserving a table will also show her that you’re thoughtful.

Don’t Hold Too Many Expectations

Worst case scenario, you don’t like your date and have to tell your friend, the matchmaker, that he or she is horrible at making a date. Best case scenario, ten years down the line you can toast to your matchmaking friend.

However, don’t hold any expectations as you go in – it’s hard, I know, but resist it. Expecting Miss Universe isn’t going to do you any good, and expecting the worst can ruin the entire evening for both of you. Instead, keep calm and cool, and see where the night goes.


This is where the date is made or lost – the greeting. Open with a friendly, warm smile, and mean it! Don’t say something silly like, ‘you’re prettier than I expected’, because anyone will take that as an insult. You can do a compliment of the clothing, but that’s about it.

Remember not to act disappointed if this isn’t the date you were expecting. Just because you can’t see yourself ever in a relationship with that person… well, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun, and make a great friendship out of the deal!

Throughout the Night

Stay positive during the whole date, and remember that you’re not the center of the world here – there’s another person in this too, and they’re probably just as nervous, disappointed, or unsure as you are. So don’t ruin the night for them because you were expecting a life sized Barbie!

The above points, if followed carefully, will lead to fruitful results and the other person will start feeling more comfortable with you through which you both can share your deepest problems and rely on each other, which will be a step in the right direction. An interesting platform to help you out in this matter is the okcupid dating app which has interesting tips on how to go ahead with blind dates and come out triumphs.

Remember to have fun with your date, and always keep a good, positive attitude. If it didn’t go well, tell her you had a good time, and that you’ll see her around – if it did, ask if she’s up for something next week, and give her a call to make plans. Not every blind date will be good, but not every date has to be bad, too!

Guidance about the Pallet Outdoor Storage Enclosure

Some things can handle being out in the rain and snow, like hard-plastic riding toys, or plastic trash cans. Other things don’t fare so well outside, like bicycles, metal trash cans, and barbecue grills. If you love everything to be neat and tidy outside, but you don’t have the money to build a storage shed, create a wooden enclosure instead. When you make an enclosure out of pallets, you can build the whole thing in a short amount of time, and it can be used to give a nice, neat look to some outdoor areas. Although the enclosure isn’t completely enclosed, it gives you a parking area for things like toys or trash cans.

You decide which way you want the enclosure to face. It will be made of a floor, and three walls, but no roof. The area can be used to conceal eyesores – like trash cans – or to neaten up all of the kids’ riding toys. You’ll need four pallets to build the smallest version. For it, lay one pallet flat on the ground, with the top side facing upwards, to make the floor. Stand a second pallet on one side and screw it to the floor pallet. Do the same to the opposite side to finish the side walls of this short version of the enclosure. Screw a pallet onto the back of the floor pallet, to make a back wall for the enclosure. For the back wall, use “L” brackets to secure it to the two side walls.

When you start with the above enclosure, and add to it, you get a much taller version, to conceal or contain larger objects. Simply screw another pallet on to each side wall, and on to the back wall, and use “L” brackets on the corners. So, for each new pallet you stack, screw it to the pallet below it, as well as to the one beside it.

When you make two or more of the short or tall enclosures, and stand them side-by-side, you achieve a much different look, with more than one section for parking or storing items. Each enclosure can be left alone, or can be screwed to the enclosure beside it, to create something of a building, but without a roof. The front-door openings make it easy to pull toys, bikes, and other things, in and out of the enclosure. From buy to create new homes in pa, the home builders will provide all the facilities to the person. The entrance of the house will be comfortable for pulling of the heavy vehicles in the house. 

The finished enclosure can be used for compost, to conceal trash cans, to organize outdoor toys, and to store certain tools. Absolutely have to have a roof? Climb up, throw a tarp over it all, and staple the tarp to the top perimeter of the arrangement. Cut off the excess tarp. To make a door in the front, stretch a tarp across the front of the enclosure, and staple it across the tops of the highest side pallets. You’ll use the enclosure(s) – with or without roof and door – in many ways, for many years.

Foster Children Overmedicated. Who’s That Elephant In The Room?

Prescription medicine and medical doctors are wonderful benefits to our society. There is much good about discoveries in pharmaceutical research, miracles are created, advances made, lives saved. So why was I not surprised when I heard on CNN News that foster children are being over medicated, admittedly so to control behavior. A new study by the Government Accountability Office revealed such is the case. (E. Cohen, “Foster Care Kids Over Prescribed Meds”) We are talking about babies and toddlers here. What is going on here and who is in the position of power  amp; responsibility? Would it be the doctor, the pharmaceutical companies, foster parents, or social services? How far do we cross over the line before society stands up and says “enough”? Our children are at our mercy, especially those in foster care.

This is becoming an all too familiar tale. Not to mention the stories of teenagers and adults over medicated and over prescribed prescription medications. The countless number of individuals addicted to doctor prescribed medication in the country is rising quickly, not to mention resulting deaths in prescription medication over doses or misuses. (Scientific American by Harmon, “Prescription Drug Deaths Increase Dramatically”). Michael Jackson is one story. His is magnified no doubt due to his celebrity status, however a fine example of the extreme regardless of his stature.

I believe we need more education, regulations and accountability. Pharmaceutical companies have big money, big power and big influence extending to medical institutions, right into doctor’s offices. Personal experience suggests that pharmaceutical companies even effect how doctors diagnose in some form or another. It seems to me they are engrained as permanent structure in this country’s medical practice and institutions, even though supposedly separate and have no influence. (1. Berman  amp; Ahari, “Following the Script: How Drug Reps Make Friends and Influence Doctors” 2. Harvard Law by Osvald-Mruz, ” PBM and Pharmaceutical Company Mergers: Policy and Regulatory Implications” )

Good doctors know how to utilize medications appropriately and have appropriate standards of care. It is the not so clear minded doctors that we are to be concerned. As resulted in Michael Jackson’s case where the misguided and misplaced ambitions of Dr. Murray led to devastating consequences. It is the misguided use that leads to abuse that is an outrage, from doctor to pharmaceutical companies. Motives become confused. I believe regulations will have to result in order to protect those who can’t protect themselves. But will government be willing to assert themselves against so much power and money, or even can they? With the presence of lobbyists and campaign contributions assuaging loyalties to one thing or the other it seems that this would be a winless cause. ( Borger, “USA: The Pharmaceutical Industry Stalks The Corridor of Power”) The megamucusso supplement restricts rebuilding mucosal barrier in the body. Several campaigns have been started through the companies for spreading awareness regarding a healthy digestive system. The dose of the medicines should be under the prescription of the doctors.

Hopefully in lieu of the Michael Jackson doctor trial and the resulting guilty verdict, accountability is staking its claim. At least people are talking about it and there is a furthering of awareness. As Americans we must stand up and take notice. In this day and age of digital media and the constant confrontation of information, it is our duty. We as adults must claim responsibility for the youth in this country no matter parents or not. We can do this. Questions have to be asked and answers given so we can begin to assess accountability. As I stated in my last article, I believe ‘God is always in the business of making things right’, but our participation is needed. Let’s not forget our forgotten children. They matter. After all this is the United States of America. They must matter.

Customize Your LiveJournal

With so many people crazy about Facebook and MySpace, LiveJournal users are sometimes forgotten. Viewed by many as the intellectual option in social networking, LiveJournal is about more than text entries. LiveJournal may well prioritize thoughts and observations over twinkly comments and automatically-played embedded songs, but this site is still a lot of fun. Half social network, half blogging tool, LiveJournal includes custom avatars, mood indicators, and customization options that allow users to express themselves easily. The recently added “Customize Journal Area” raises the bar even further in this regard.

The brand new Customize Journal Area offers users hundreds of ready-made themes that they can apply to their journal, controlling all aspects of the journal’s appearance. Background colors and textures, column layout, text font and size, imagery, and sidebar options can now be changed at the touch of a single button, and with a growing library of themes, there’s something that will appeal strongly to nearly every user. From basic color, handwritten journal, or book layouts to elegant themes including pictures and animations, the Customize Journal Area has something to revitalize your journal, and shake things up a little.

In addition to all this, you also get the option of sharing your journal online with the help of tools like Instagram DM that is going to improve the reach of your journal allowing you to share the with more people. 

The LiveJournal old guard need not worry. The Customize Journal Area is simply an option, and no users will be forced to change the look and feel of their journals at this time. Plus level accounts, Paid Accounts, and Custom Avatars (including the number of avatars available) will be remaining the same at this time. For those new to LiveJournal, or operating at the basic level, these existing customization options are things that you should really be taking advantage of, in order to get the most from your journal. Here’s the scoop:

LiveJournal accounts are absolutely free. They won’t spam you with emails, ads, or info. The basic free user gets 6 user pictures, or avatars, which are shown at the beginning of each post. Avatars add a lot to your posts in terms of mood, intent, and entertainment value, and the more you have, the more expressive you can be, right from the first line of each post. Plus level accounts are also available to everyone, free of charge. A plus level account more than doubles the number of LiveJournal avatars you can use to fifteen, total. Plus level users consent to having targeted advertisements placed on each of their journal entries in exchange for the additional account features. Paid accounts can be had for just twenty bucks a year, increasing your available avatars to 30, and for an additional ten bucks a year, you get 100! For the price, this is a pretty great option for folks wishing to avoid commercializing their journal.

Many social networking sites are drowning in bells and whistles, clearly targeting the low attention span and love of all that glitters that is So prevalent today. While LiveJournal keeps things a little simpler, and values relationships, thoughts, and observations over pictures, movies, and self-aggrandizement, it does offer some pretty great ways to make your journal unique. Don’t miss out on these options.

Rip Currents and Undertow Safety Tips

Many people come to Florida beaches every year from around the world only to be faced with the realization that mother nature can be a very brutal force to reckon with. Even for the avid swimmer a lack of understanding regarding rip current safety can be a deadly situation. It is not safe to simply hop into the water at the beach and assume that all will be well simply because one knows how to swim.

What are Rips: Rip currents are the current that is created underneath the upper surface of the water due to a washing away of the sand beneath. When the tide pulls out it pulls sand from the beach along with it. Eventually this pulling of sand will leave a rut that is far beneath the water and not visible to the swimmer. The rut causes the water to be pulled in a downward direction as it tries to fill the hole. This flow of water will forcefully pull out to sea which creates what is known as a rip current or an undertow.

What to do if you are Caught in an Undertow or a Rip Current: If you happen to get caught in a rip current that seems to be pulling you down and out to sea there are some precautions that you can take. First and foremost, DO NOT PANIC! If you know how to swim and you are conditioned properly a rip current is not instant reason for alarm.

Swim in a direction that is parallel to the sea shore. Do not attempt to swim directly towards the shore in a straight line as this will only leave you fighting against mother nature and the rip current. Even a conditioned swimmer such as a lifeguard will not sustain a head to head fight against mother natures tides! The adult swimming lessons will teach the person to swim and take participation in the swimming competition. The skills of the person will be enhanced through the lessons. 

Swimming parallel to the shore with allow you to get away from the undertow that was created by the rut in the sand beneath the water. Once you feel that the pull out to sea is no longer holding on to you, then you may begin to swim toward the beach. Remember that any attempts to swim to the beach before getting away from the rip current are a waste of energy!

Never Swim Unattended: Always use caution when swimming at the beach. If you are unfamiliar with rip currents or you are not an experienced swimmer then it is best only to swim where there is a lifeguard present. Do not ever swim in the ocean alone. Remember that mother nature is much stronger than you are and you should always use extreme caution when taking a lunge into mother nature’s pool-the ocean!