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The Ten Steps of Design

But before you start writing, you need to get organized. You need to put all those wonderful ideas down on paper in a form you can use. Why? Because your memory is fallible, and your creativity has probably left a lot of holes in your story — holes you need to fill in before you start writing your novel. You need a design document. And you need to produce it using a process that doesn’t kill your desire to actually write the story. Here is my ten-step process for writing a design document. I use this process for writing my novels, and I hope it will help you.

Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel. Something like this: “A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul.” (This is the summary for my first novel, Transgression.) The sentence will serve you forever as a ten-second selling tool. This is the big picture, the analog of that big starting triangle in the snowflake picture.

When you later write your book proposal, this sentence should appear very early in the proposal. It’s the hook that will sell your book to your editor, to your committee, to the sales force, to bookstore owners, and ultimately to readers. So make the best one you can!

Some hints on what makes a good sentence: Shorter is better. Try for fewer than 15 words. No character names, please! Better to say “a handicapped trapeze artist” than “Jane Doe”. Tie together the big picture and the personal picture. Which character has the most to lose in this story? Now tell me what he or she wants to win. Read the one-line blurbs on the New York Times Bestseller list to learn how to do this. Writing a one-sentence description is an art form.

Step 2) Take another hour and expand that sentence to a full paragraph describing the story setup, major disasters, and ending of the novel. This is the analog of the second stage of the snowflake. I like to structure a story as “three disasters plus an ending”. Each of the disasters takes a quarter of the book to develop and the ending takes the final quarter. I don’t know if this is the ideal structure, it’s just my personal taste.

If you believe in the Three-Act structure, then the first disaster corresponds to the end of Act 1. The second disaster is the mid-point of Act 2. The third disaster is the end of Act 2, and forces Act 3 which wraps things up. It is OK to have the first disaster be caused by external circumstances, but I think that the second and third disasters should be caused by the protagonist’s attempts to “fix things”. Things just get worse and worse.

You can also use this paragraph in your proposal. Ideally, your paragraph will have about five sentences. One sentence to give me the backdrop and story setup. Then one sentence each for your three disasters. Then one more sentence to tell the ending. Don’t confuse this paragraph with the back-cover copy for your book. This paragraph summarizes the whole story. Your back-cover copy should summarize only about the first quarter of the story.

Step 3) The above gives you a high-level view of your novel. Now you need something similar for the storylines of each of your characters. Characters are the most important part of any novel, and the time you invest in designing them up front will pay off ten-fold when you start writing. For each of your major characters, take an hour and write a one-page summary sheet that tells:

The character’s name A one-sentence summary of the character’s storyline The character’s motivation (what does he/she want abstractly?) The character’s goal (what does he/she want concretely?) The character’s conflict (what prevents him/her from reaching this goal?) The character’s epiphany (what will he/she learn, how will he/she change?

A one-paragraph summary of the character’s storyline An important point: You may find that you need to go back and revise your one-sentence summary and/or your one-paragraph summary. Go ahead! This is good–it means your characters are teaching you things about your story. It’s always okay at any stage of the design process to go back and revise earlier stages. In fact, it’s not just okay–it’s inevitable. And it’s good. Any revisions you make now are revisions you won’t need to make later on to a clunky 400 page manuscript.

Another important point: It doesn’t have to be perfect. The purpose of each step in the design process is to advance you to the next step. Keep your forward momentum! You can always come back later and fix it when you understand the story better. You will do this too, unless you’re a lot smarter than I am.

Step 4) By this stage, you should have a good idea of the large-scale structure of your novel, and you have only spent a day or two. Well, truthfully, you may have spent as much as a week, but it doesn’t matter. If the story is broken, you know it now, rather than after investing 500 hours in a rambling first draft. So now just keep growing the story. Take several hours and expand each sentence of your summary paragraph into a full paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end in a disaster. The final paragraph should tell how the book ends.

This is a lot of fun, and at the end of the exercise, you have a pretty decent one-page skeleton of your novel. It’s okay if you can’t get it all onto one single-spaced page. What matters is that you are growing the ideas that will go into your story. You are expanding the conflict. You should now have a synopsis suitable for a proposal, although there is a better alternative for proposals . . .

Step 5) Take a day or two and write up a one-page description of each major character and a half-page description of the other important characters. These “character synopses” should tell the story from the point of view of each character. As always, feel free to cycle back to the earlier steps and make revisions as you learn cool stuff about your characters. I usually enjoy this step the most and lately, I have been putting the resulting “character synopses” into my proposals instead of a plot-based synopsis. Editors love character synopses, because editors love character-based fiction.

Step 6) By now, you have a solid story and several story-threads, one for each character. Now take a week and expand the one-page plot synopsis of the novel to a four-page synopsis. Basically, you will again be expanding each paragraph from step (4) into a full page. This is a lot of fun, because you are figuring out the high-level logic of the story and making strategic decisions. Here, you will definitely want to cycle back and fix things in the earlier steps as you gain insight into the story and new ideas whack you in the face.

Step 7) Take another week and expand your character descriptions into full-fledged character charts detailing everything there is to know about each character. The standard stuff such as birthdate, description, history, motivation, goal, etc. Most importantly, how will this character change by the end of the novel? This is an expansion of your work in step (3), and it will teach you a lot about your characters. You will probably go back and revise steps (1-6) as your characters become “real” to you and begin making petulant demands on the story. This is good — great fiction is character-driven. Take as much time as you need to do this, because you’re just saving time downstream. When you have finished this process, (and it may take a full month of solid effort to get here), you have most of what you need to write a proposal. If you are a published novelist, then you can write a proposal now and sell your novel before you write it. If you’re not yet published, then you’ll need to write your entire novel first before you can sell it. No, that’s not fair, but life isn’t fair and the world of fiction writing is especially unfair.

Step 8) You may or may not take a hiatus here, waiting for the book to sell. At some point, you’ve got to actually write the novel. Before you do that, there are a couple of things you can do to make that traumatic first draft easier. The first thing to do is to take that four-page synopsis and make a list of all the scenes that you’ll need to turn the story into a novel. And the easiest way to make that list is . . . with a spreadsheet.

For some reason, this is scary to a lot of writers. Oh the horror. Deal with it. You learned to use a word-processor. Spreadsheets are easier. You need to make a list of scenes, and spreadsheets were invented for making lists. If you need some tutoring, buy a book. There are a thousand out there, and one of them will work for you. It should take you less than a day to learn the itty bit you need. It’ll be the most valuable day you ever spent. Do it.

Make a spreadsheet detailing the scenes that emerge from your four-page plot outline. Make just one line for each scene. In one column, list the POV character. In another (wide) column, tell what happens. If you want to get fancy, add more columns that tell you how many pages you expect to write for the scene. A spreadsheet is ideal, because you can see the whole storyline at a glance, and it’s easy to move scenes around to reorder things.

My spreadsheets usually wind up being over 100 lines long, one line for each scene of the novel. As I develop the story, I make new versions of my story spreadsheet. This is incredibly valuable for analyzing a story. It can take a week to make a good spreadsheet. When you are done, you can add a new column for chapter numbers and assign a chapter to each scene.

Step 9) (Optional. I don’t do this step anymore.) Switch back to your word processor and begin writing a narrative description of the story. Take each line of the spreadsheet and expand it to a multi-paragraph description of the scene. Put in any cool lines of dialogue you think of, and sketch out the essential conflict of that scene. If there’s no conflict, you’ll know it here and you should either add conflict or scrub the scene.

I used to write either one or two pages per chapter, and I started each chapter on a new page. Then I just printed it all out and put it in a loose-leaf notebook, so I could easily swap chapters around later or revise chapters without messing up the others. This process usually took me a week and the end result was a massive 50-page printed document that I would revise in red ink as I wrote the first draft. All my good ideas when I woke up in the morning got hand-written in the margins of this document. This, by the way, is a rather painless way of writing that dreaded detailed synopsis that all writers seem to hate. But it’s actually fun to develop, if you have done steps (1) through (8) first. When I did this step, I never showed this synopsis to anyone, least of all to an editor — it was for me alone. I liked to think of it as the prototype first draft. Imagine writing a first draft in a week! Yes, you can do it and it’s well worth the time. But I’ll be honest, I don’t feel like I need this step anymore, so I don’t do it now.

Step 10) At this point, just sit down and start pounding out the real first draft of the novel. You will be astounded at how fast the story flies out of your fingers at this stage. I have seen writers triple their fiction writing speed overnight, while producing better quality first drafts than they usually produce on a third draft.

You might think that all the creativity is chewed out of the story by this time. Well, no, not unless you overdid your analysis when you wrote your Snowflake. This is supposed to be the fun part, because there are many small-scale logic problems to work out here. How does Hero get out of that tree surrounded by alligators and rescue Heroine who’s in the burning rowboat? This is the time to figure it out! But it’s fun because you already know that the large-scale structure of the novel works. So you only have to solve a limited set of problems, and so you can write relatively fast.

This stage is incredibly fun and exciting. I have heard many fiction writers complain about how hard the first draft is. Invariably, that’s because they have no clue what’s coming next. Good grief! Life is too short to write like that! There is no reason to spend 500 hours writing a wandering first draft of your novel when you can write a solid one in 150. Counting the 100 hours it takes to do the design documents, you come out way ahead in time.

About midway through a first draft, I usually take a breather and fix all the broken parts of my design documents. Yes, the design documents are not perfect. That’s okay. The design documents are not fixed in concrete, they are a living set of documents that grows as you develop your novel. If you are doing your job right, at the end of the first draft you will laugh at what an amateurish piece of junk your original design documents were. And you’ll be thrilled at how deep your story has become.

Three Reasons To Wear Bamboo Socks

How often do you buy new socks? You should think about trying something new the next time you purchase some socks and opt for socks made from bamboo fibre. Here are three reasons to wear bamboo socks.

Bamboo canes take up a lot less space than cotton plants. This means bamboo can be grown in a more sustainable manner and can contribute to reducing deforestation. This is a global issue since higher deforestation rates have a negative impact on the environment. Besides, bamboo canes have a large root system which contributes to avoiding soil erosion.

Bamboo socks are also a great option because it is possible to grow bamboo plants without using any chemicals. The use of chemicals to protect crops from insects and diseases is a real issue because these chemicals eventually trickle down to water supplies and can pollute an entire area. Being exposed to these chemicals can also lead to some serious health problems for people who work in fields. Bamboo is a very resistant plant that might require some fertilizer but will not have a negative impact on the environment or on the health of workers since no chemicals are needed.

Bamboo socks are more resistant than socks made from cotton. Bamboo fibre tends to be stronger and will last a lot longer than a similar product made from cotton. Bamboo socks are also very comfortable and will protect your feet from humidity more efficiently than cotton socks would. Bamboo socks are also ideal if you live in a warm climate since these socks can help keep your feet as much as three degrees cooler than cotton socks. This is also a good option if you need some socks you can wear while you exercise. And because bamboo fibre is stronger than cotton, bamboo socks will provide your feet with more support, especially under the arches. Bamboo fibre is a very breathable fabric and the natural properties of bamboo help reduce bad odors and keep germs away.

These are the main reasons why you should switch to bamboo socks. This is definitely an option you should consider if you want some comfortable high-quality socks that will last for a long time. This is also a great way to do your part to help preserve the environment since growing bamboo is more sustainable than cotton. Besides, there are many styles and sizes available and finding the perfect socks should be easy. According to the team at Pussyfoot Socks their cute novelty knee high socks for kids made from Bamboo are becoming all the rage.

The Complete Guide To Pastel Parrotlets

What exactly is a parrotlet? While these feisty featherballs are well known among the parrot community, their extremely diminutive size, loopy and affectionate nature, and veritable rainbow of color mutations makes them somewhat of an enigma to those less familiar with exotic bird species.

Parrotlets are the smallest species of bird in the world. While they might look parakeet sized, they are in fact more closely related to the much larger Amazon parrot. Because of their small size and relatively quiet nature, they are a popular parrot for those who are enraptured with parrots but do not have the most room to raise a bird in.

Parrotlets, like many of their small parrot cousins, have been successfully bred to display a remarkably large number of colors and patterns. In the wild, parrotlets are predominantly a verdant green to aid in treetop camouflaging.

Captive raised parrotlets are most often a mildly saturated even teal blue or lime green color. Controlled breeding has produced birds with harlequin like color patches or extensive mottling. It has also birthed what has become one of the most popular parrotlet coloration types, the pastel parrotlet.

Pastel parrotlets are a great deal less saturated than most parrotlet individuals. They display a dreamy, almost opal like coloration, which can take on a range of hues, from baby blue to butter yellow. Some pastel parrotlets also display mixed saturation, with brighter, bolder hues in some patches and more washed out colors in others. Care

In terms of parrots, parrotlets are definitely on the undemanding side when it comes to accommodations. The bulk of their diet should consist of a nutritionally balanced pellet, which can be supplemented with fresh vegetables and fruits. Owners should look for nutritional pellets that are specifically formulated for parrotlets, as they have nutritional requirements that differ somewhat from bigger birds. Cages should be large enough to allow for some flight, as an overly small cage can impede muscle development.

The most important element of parrotlet ownership is constant socialization. Talking to and gently handling your bird prevents anxiety and loneliness. Parrotlets are naturally gregarious birds, and will form strong and loving relationships with their owners if treated with care.

Parrotlets display much of the same intelligence that their larger cousins are known for. They are curious, and do well if provided with toys and other things to amuse themselves with. They are fully capable of learning how to respond to voice commands and gestures, so they can be taught tricks with patience and a well honed technique. Parrotlets are also fond of imitation, which means they can learn how to talk, albeit not as well as some larger birds can.

In essence, pastel parrotlets are an attractive and unique pet for apartment dwellers, those with roommates, or anyone who wants an easy to care for companion. Their intelligence, warmth, and widely variable appearance makes them a great option for people in a wide variety of different circumstances, which explains their popularity around the world. If you like buy one of these beautiful birds, check out Xtreem Parrotlets for sale. They carry a wide variety of parrotlets to choose from and have a 5 star customer rating on Facebook.

Pet Nutrition And The Related Foods

Finding good food for your pets becomes troublesome many times. But with the advent of the websites and portals providing the pet nutrition that is related to the pet sector, it has become very easy to find all the pet food easily. In the older times, only few things were available but these days because of the advent of these sites, the availability in the pet food sector has increased.

There are times when your pet starts getting infected with various diseases, in such circumstances, the vet doctors indicate for the usage of nutritious food in pet diet. As nutrition forms the most vital aspect of everybodys diet and all the living creatures, it is also essential to increase the stamina and the immunity of pets and make them live in a more healthy way around you.

What kind of nutrition does your dog require?

The nutritional aspect of the food that we take differs from the need of the dog. It has a lot to do with the calories undertaken by the pets and for dogs it may be from 186 to 371 calories per day. If you are giving the food which is homemade then you have to make sure that it fulfills all the requirements of the dog. As far as the pet nutrition supplements and the pet foods are concerned, it is very easy to get them delivered at your home through the online delivery. The general requirement may be the aforesaid ones, but the need and requirements also depends upon the breed of the dog. Some dogs are there which require high amounts of calories and for others it is very meager. So, the pre-requisite remains to be that of recognizing the need of your dog.



There are times when your pet may become low on energy and in such situations you should be very cautious about the requirements of your pet. Meat and the nutrition it provides The things may be general for dogs because they still remain the most domesticated pets but if we talk about cats, the information may not be that much. Pet nutrition requires you to have a correct idea about the values in the ingredients in the pet food. These foods may or may not be sufficient but the additional intake can be fulfilled from the meat food. Meat contains enough calories for the pets to keep them going all along. Meat is very essential for pets because they need to keep their skin and paws healthy. Other food may not hold that much of nutrition value to keep the pets strong so it is recommended that meat should be given to them. The fatty meat is especially helpful in keeping your pets stronger.


best dog beds from expert reviewer Ronald Baker

How To Train Your Dog And Have Fun Doing It



A dog, as many say, is man's best friend. This can quickly be reversed and the dog can be a nightmare running rampant around the house without the proper training. This article will offer several tips and techniques to ensure that your pet continues to function as your best friend so long as it lives.

A dog's name should only be used when positively interacting with the animal. Call the dog's name to get him to come to your side or call his name when you are serving his dinner. Don't, however, call your dog's name when you are unhappy with his or her actions. The dog would negatively associate that with punishment.

You may need to try different treats until you find what works for your pup. There are a lot of different dog treats on the market, but your dog has his own tastes and preferences just like everyone else. If a particular treat doesn't seem to get your dog motivated, try something else.

Use your time walking the dog as a time of bonding and positive reinforcement. Try bringing your treats along and playing games with them during the walk. Ask him to sit in the middle of your walk and reward him with a snack. Reinforce the love you have for your dog and they will respond in kind.

To keep your dog from barking while you aren't home, you need to make him think you can appear at any moment. This will take some time on your part. Pretend to leave the house, but stay outside until the barking starts. Then open the door and deliver a stern "No!" This will make your dog think you are all-seeing and all-hearing. A few sessions of this technique, and you'll train your dog to keep it quiet.

If you have a dog that is driving you crazy with barking, the first step in stopping the barking is to determine the cause. For example, a territorial bark at 2 PM every day, might be related to the mailman's arrival. If you know the cause of the barking, you can intercept it and help deal with the problem.

Never treat your dog as a person. Many pet owners coddle their dogs as if they were children, and this only confuses your pet. Training a dog is completely different than teaching a child. Dogs need to be taught to behave as a dog and expect you to behave as a dog as well when it is necessary.

An often overlooked necessity with dog training is family training. Your dog will be confused and dismayed when multiple members of the family give commands in a variety of ways. Train your spouse, children and anyone else who will have consistent contact with your dog on the proper commands and techniques you employ for training.

By being consistent you can teach your puppy to "hold it." When at home, keep your dog close and let him outside each hour. When he goes potty outside, tell him he did good. Never yell at your dog for relieving itself in the house. He is unaware of the problem, and shouting will be ineffective. Take the dog for a walk approximately 15 minutes following a meal or a drink and each time it comes out of the crate.

To keep your training sessions positive and effective, you should also keep them short. Spend about 15 minutes on a certain task with your dog. After each time you do some training, spend time horsing around with your dog, and let him know what a good boy he is.

Crate-training is excellent for dogs with separation anxiety. Crates effectively become safe spaces for nervous dogs. Blankets or dirty laundry that smells like their favorite people can be helpful during the crate-training process. Anxious dogs are also likely to be destructive when their owners are not home. A crate keeps anxious dogs out of harm's way.

German shepherd training

To achieve results when training for obedience, it is necessary to routinely spend sufficient amounts of time on the task at hand. Consistency and repetition are the keys to successful training. Additionally, the very act of spending a certain amount of time with your dog every day will convince him that you are a consistent and reliable person. Those two qualities are 'leader of the pack' qualities!

Dog Trainer

When looking to hire a dog trainer, finding someone who uses positive training techniques can be very beneficial. Your dog will respond better to praises, treats, and encouragement than to physical or mental agitation. Negative training methods can be very ineffective and cause harm to the animal as well.

When you have a tame dog the feeling of bliss is like no other. When he can come, sit, stay, and do everything on command in a calm submissive fashion it is pure joy. The way a dog loves you is like no other: pure and unconditional. This article served to help you get your dog to this point.

The Best Blues Guitar Gig I Ever Had

Many years ago it was my habit to play guitar wherever I could make a buck to put it basically. Sometimes this meant playing blues guitar for up to 4 hours in a noisy club or bar. Other times, the gigs were a little easier and more lucrative. In France it became very cool to have a blues man playing traditional roots music at your wedding for example. Performance time was rarely more than one hour and it was usually the afternoon, as the night time was earmarked for disco and dancing!

When you add it all up, 300 euros for an hour's picking time isn't too shabby at all, much better than sitting on the street for 2 hours in the cold for 5 euros, which has happened as well. The most memorable gig came when I was sitting on the street. A man asked me if I would play at his private friend's reunion party at a local golf course. My first reaction was to give it a miss, as I had been stung the week before by someone who had asked me the same thing and disappeared before it was time to pay me. teaming up with harmonica player, we played for about an hour and went home, not even waiting to get paid (I had a headache.)

A week later the guy called and asked if I could meet him in town at a local cafe. He bought two coffees and we chatted awhile before he passed me an envelope and said goodbye. Opening the envelope I found 600 euros, which was a great rate of pay. Another instance, I got a call from a man in Canada who asked me to play at a reunion in Switzerland at a swish ski resort. I'd stay at the hotel free, flights from France where I lived to Switzerland were also included and y pay would be 800 euros for one night! Sounds great, but it was too much hassle as I was on the point of retiring.

One gig sticks in my mind, and my craw - the time I met Tommy Emmanuel the legendary master guitar player many years ago when he was a young man. It was in a small but lively bar in a French town where I had a regular gig. After finishing a song, this Australian kid asked me if he could jam along with me. Of course I said yes, and we started to play. After a minute I just stopped and watched him with my mouth open, as he was much better at this game than I was. To top it all, the bar owner fired me as he explained that I was paid to perform, not the audience.

Trouble Training Your Dog? Follow These Tips



obedience training at home

A lot of people are trying different ways to train their dogs, but are finding difficulty in doing so. You have to remember that when it comes to dog training -- the more you know, the better chance you have at actually succeeding. So take note from tips in articles like the one here, and you should have a better idea of how to train your dog.

Consistency is key in effective dog training. Make sure that all of your family members use the same commands and remain on the same page when it comes to training. Your dog will better understand then commands, you will avoid confusion, and it will take less time to achieve your training goals.

The best tip anyone can offer with regards to dog training is be the alpha. Dogs are looking for their human masters to be the pack leader. At all expense display confidence, firmness, and do not, under any circumstances show them weakness. They naturally want to follow a strong leader, so make sure that you present yourself as such.

Always keep fresh water available to your dog when he is being trained using a crate. One way to do this without making a mess is to furnish the crate with a rabbit water bottle. Just attach it to the outside of the crate with the tip sticking inside. Your dog will quickly learn to drink from it.

Your breeder should begin socialization with your puppy, but it is up to you to continue it. It is important for a puppy to get used to people and the environment around him, but he will need to be protected from becoming too overwhelmed or scared. Your job is to encourage your puppy's confidence as he goes out into the world.

When training your dog for specific commands, be sure to use the exact same wording during everyday life as you do during training sessions. If you select "down" for "lie down", use "down" every time you want the dog to lie down. Changing up the terminology can confuse your dog and interfere with training.

To break your dog of bad habits such as jumping, the best technique is to ignore him, for just a short period! Dogs don't really understand yelling in a situation like that. But if you turn your back and avoid further interaction, he'll get the idea that he's done something that breaks contact with you and dogs want to be our friends!

When it's time to introduce house training to your dog, put him on a consistent schedule of eating and elimination. This gives you important forehand knowledge to prevent accidents and your dog an association of cause and effect to follow. Sticking to a schedule will teach your dog how to control himself until his next scheduled potty break.

When you are training your dog, focus on what your dog does right during the training sessions, not what they do wrong. This will make training more enjoyable for both you and your dog. Enjoyable training sessions will ensure that your dog remembers what you taught and is ready to come back for more at the next session.

A great way for your dog to learn new skills (or brush up on some old ones) is to attend classes at your local dog training center. If you are not sure of where to take him, your friends or veterinarian may be able to help you find a place that best suits your needs.

Teaching a new puppy to "leave it" is very important and one of the first commands that you should work on. This simple command is beneficial in making him stop on chewing furniture inside the house.

When potty training your dog, be consistent. Establish one, specific place for your dog to do his business. Take him there at the same times daily (e.g. when you first get up in the morning, when you get home from work, and just before bed). Praise your dog when he does his business in the right place at the right time. If he has an accident in the house, tell him "No!" firmly, and take him out to his potty place.

Generosity towards your dog goes a long way when you are trying to train your pet. Reward your pooch where rewarding is due and don't be stingy with the doggie treats. You and your pet both deserve a reward for all your hard work and make sure to put enough time aside for your dog's training.

One tip to keep in mind when training your dog, is that there is no one way to train your dog because your dog is unique. This is important because you need to understand your dogs needs, and what the best way is to approach training and discipline. You definitely do not want to stick to a method if it is the wrong way to teach your dog.

Never treat your dog as a person. Many pet owners coddle their dogs as if they were children, and this only confuses your pet. Training a dog is completely different than teaching a child. Dogs need to be taught to behave as a dog and expect you to behave as a dog as well when it is necessary.

Teach your dog to "drop it". You never know when that command will come in handy. Be generous with praise and treats as you work with this command, and continue to practice it from time to time even after your dog has mastered it. A word to the dog sure beats having to wrestle unsavory objects out of a dog's mouth.

Shy dogs benefit from re-socializing. Oftentimes, dogs have behavioral incidents with certain situations, certain people or other dogs, that go unnoticed by us. We might not realize, but these interactions have given our dogs a sour taste about these circumstances. Re-socializing your dog to the stimuli he's upset by, can help him overcome his anxiety.

With the information you have just learned you should now have a better idea of how to train your dog. Now that you've expanded your knowledge form strategies and goals in your dog training efforts, if you aren't meeting your goals, then try switching things up until you find a strategy that works for you.

Give Your Kids The Party Of Their Life With A Bouncy Castle Hire For Leisure

Giving your son or daughter the most fantastic birthday party of all time is one of the most worthwhile goals a parent can have. The problem is, how are you ever going to afford to do it? Well, luckily children really don't know how much or how little things really cost, so if do find a special event or activity that's fairly reasonable, that's also the most fun they've ever had, they'll forgive you for not spending more. Most people have never heard of a Bouncy Castle, they come in several different themes, and they're an absolute riot at a kids party, let's take a look at some of the finer details.

Bouncy Castles Come In Several Different Themes For All Occasions

The number of themes that have been used over the years is probably unknown, but there are several super popular themes that have withstood the test of time. One of them, of course, is the always popular Looney Tunes theme. This one features all of your children's favorite cartoon characters like Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester The Cat, Tasmanian Devil, Speedy Gonzales and Pepe Le Pew.

All of your favorites are plastered all over the Bouncy Castle and you'll recognize them all. The structure is usually about 13 feet square and 13 feet high to give the kids plenty of room to play inside. Prices vary by location, but many times a half day will cost near £100 or a little bit more, depending on where you decide to rent a bouncy castle in Doncaster.

There Is Also A Halloween Themed Haunted Castle

This is a big hit anytime of year, but especially during the months of October and November. Kids go wild when they see it with all of the spooky creatures on the inside and out. The fans that keep the inflatable Bouncy Castles full of air run on regular house voltage so there's no worry there. One important restriction to note is that many of these Bouncies can only be used at home locations. This is because many public parks have restrictions on their use.

The Dora The Explorer Bouncy Is Also A Long Term Favorite

Since Dora is on TV daily in nearly every city on earth, she will be a favorite of many kids, both boys and girls. It comes in the same standard size of 13 X 13 feet and has pictures of all the characters from the TV show.

When ordering your Bouncy, be sure and ask about refreshment discounts that they may have available. Most Bounce Castle hiring for leisure use locations also sell popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones at greatly reduced prices for the whole crowd.

When Hiring Your Bouncy Castle Be Sure And Inquire About Safety And Insurance

Nearly all local and regional governments will require the operator to have insurance coverage of adequate amounts. The company hiring out the Bouncy Castle will be happy to show you their documents when you ask. They should also take the time to instruct you on all safety measures to ensure that you and your party goers have a safe and fun time with whatever theme you decide on.

Home Made Guitars And The Stella Revolution

Long before Stella guitars became available, musicians often made their own instruments with whatever materials were available at the time. The Sears company introduced a new concept which was shopping from a distance using a catalog that was distributed far and wide in the United States. It was an exciting time for many people. For example, it was possible to buy a factory made guitar for just one dollar.

That said, even one dollar was a far stretch for some people, who need every penny just to survive from day to day. It was common for really poor people to fabricate their own one string fiddles, or guitars with just two, three or four strings. Any box would do, but the favored style was a cigar box, which were sturdy and came in various sizes. They also looked good. Take a straight hardwood broom handle, flatten one side with a sharp knife as accurately as you can, and you have the basis of a cigar box guitar.

The story goes that Big Bill Broonzy made his first guitar with such a cigar box and he strung it up with wire he pulled from his screen door! Maybe it's true, I don't know - but it's a great story! Other blues men like Lightnin' Hopkins and Pink Anderson also have similar tales to tell. However these home made guitars were constructed, they must have been incredibly difficult to tune and also keep in tune, particularly in the deep south of the Mississippi Delta. This is probably why open tuned instruments were favored.



Playing an instrument with less than the normal 6 strings that a guitarist is used to means that the fingerpicking guitar technique has to be adapted radically. Often, four string varieties were tuned like a banjo or fiddle, and consequently, the picking could sound a bit like a banjo. Many musicians preferred to tune the instruments to an open chord and use a bottleneck when performing. This had the advantage of not needing complex chord formations from the fretting hand, and also it was easier to re-tune in hot and humid conditions. Like the ukulele, a number of players have explored possibilities of the cigar box guitar and produced some amazing results, from waltzes to Scott Joplin piano rag adaptations. The three four time of the waltz fits in perfectly with the four string tuning, as the picking thumb can alternate between the bottom two strings, similarly with the 'bum chick' rhythm of piano rags.

Traveling Recommendations You Can Not Miss Out On

One way you can save money and time when travelling is to do your homework before you leave. It is usually a good idea to collect as much information as you can about your destination and your journey to get there. We have put together some of the essential tips you need to know before planning your next vacation.

Money belts are usually a good way to increase both your peace of mind and safety. It is barely noticeable while you are wearing it and once you try it, it will essentially become one of the first things you pack. It is a great place to put your passport and your other essential documents and credit cards, so whatever happens they dont get lost.

You should also use technology to back up your travel documents and flight tickets and schedule. Your phone is a great way to access the information you need and online cloud services like dropbox ensure that even if you lose everything, you just need internet access to retrieve your vital documents. This will give you so much peace of mind, knowing that even if the very worst should happen, you know where to find your information, when you need it.



When you are choosing an airline company to fly with, dont just look at the cost of the ticket. Find out if there are any stopovers of transfers required during the journey. This can add considerably to the amount of time it will take to reach your destination and you may have to fork out for meals and drinks if your stopover time is a lengthy one. You should also find out if there will be any additional costs involved when booking your flight, like charges for checked bags or selecting your seat. Do your research and find out the total cost of the ticket involved, as the cheapest option may not always prove to be what it seems.

Don't forget to take the cost of airport transfers into account. There is a great range of options available from all the major cities around the world such as Syndey, London, New York or Dublin airport transfers, whether they are private cars, trains, busses or taxi's. The best option may depend on the distance from the airport to the hotel, the amount of people traveling in your party and your budget. Just do your research in advance to avoid any surprises when you arrive off your flight.

It is a good idea to prepare for the unexpected to happen, especially if you are going on a long journey or are travelling with children. By packing a small first aid kit you can be ready for minor scrapes and scratches. By bringing snacks and bottled water you can stay hydrated and save on paying inflated prices for these items in tourist areas.

We hope that these tips will help you get started to planning a better holiday for you and your family. When you set off on your vacation, all you want to think about is having fun. With a little bit of planning and fore thought you can reduce your stress and anxiety when travelling.

Why Should You Learn Singing From A Vocal Trainer

Some people are gifted with a great voice and they can give you goosebumps by singing any song for the first time. If you do a deep autopsy of their voice, you will realize that with some training they can get even better. Some people have a good voice but you can straight away tell after hearing them for the first time that they need training. This puts some people off because they believe they dont need any training and they are good just the way they are. This attitude from a person who wants to be a singer can be damaging.

Lack of time and packed schedules are among the most common excuses given to avoid going to a vocal trainer. But if you are really serious about singing, you would make it a part of your schedule just like your education. Not to mention, you now have the option of getting voice lessons online. You dont even have to go anywhere and you can pick the time that you think is most suitable for your training. There are many other reasons why you should not avoid singing lessons in addition to having a great voice. In what follows we explain these reasons.

A huge problem for modern singers is that they cannot take criticism that well. They would often reply in a very harsh manner to a criticism from someone legit. This is the sign that you are not going to grow more and get better. When you stop taking criticism, you stop learning. With a teacher, you will always have to get feedback on what you are singing. This way you really boost your tolerance for criticism. When you are able to accept criticism, you are ready to become a great star.

Another huge advantage of having a vocal coach with you is that you dont need any other partner to give you feedback on your creations. If you are experimenting with your vocals, writing songs, creating melodies, you have your teacher to tell you how you are doing. If you have created a piece of music, you can play and sing it to your teacher to know how it sounds. In fact, your trainer will help you in improving the overall feeling of your song. With several improvements your final piece of music will be flawless and smooth.

If your voice coach is serious with his work and a true professional, they will always guide you on how you should sound natural. Most of the people singing songs of their favorite artists completely fail to realize that they dont have their own voices. They are only singing a mimicked version of the song. Your voice coach will be able to tell you what your real voice is and when you are just mimicking the singer. What most people dont realize is that they can never hear their own voice the way people hear it. There is a huge difference.

Experience Riding At Star Ferry

Originally from Loughborough England where there is no ferry service it has been interesting to learn and experience sailing on the Star Ferry in and around Hong Kong

Officially called the Kowloon Ferry, the Star Ferry has actually been shuttling passengers between Hong Kong and the mainland for over 100 years. And although the environments have actually altered, the love has remained the same.

Till 1970, this was the only way to take a trip in between the 2 destinations. It still is the only method to take a trip if you are looking for a picturesque view with everything Victoria Harbor offers.

Nowadays, the trip has some enclosed tunnels for roads and train tracks however there are still a great deal of panoramas along the method. It takes about 10 minutes to travel from Hong Kong Island's Central District to Tsim Sha Tsui( a significant tourist destination in Kowloon).

Before your trip to Hong Kong Islands, make sure to take a look at the 90 year old Victorian clock standing by the modern cultural center on Tsim Sha Tsui and at the dock there are preserved aging rickshaws that could be worth your while to analyze.

The ferryboat boats are repainted according to their classifications. They make a vibrant sight on the water. If you are lucky, you might board the Celestial Star, which was built in the 1950's and is still going strong.

As the journey profits, you can see the Hong Kong skyline coming closer, a remarkable sight by day or night. The Bank of China is narrow and unique, quickly spotted across the harbor as is the Victorian era Legislative Council structure.

Other structures to keep in mind include, the Stock Exchange building, and the geometric shape of the Shanghai Bank. You can likewise see the dome of the Space Museum and the out line of Harbor City, one of Hong Kong's biggest indoor buying.

, if you take the journey at night it would be a totally different experience.. The skyline of Hong Kong equals Manhattan. To obtain the very best view, make certain you sit on the top of the double decker boat.

The top deck is regarded as first class. It is fully air conditioned which you would be grateful for with Hong Kong's humid and hot summer season temperatures. The cost of the trip has to do with 2.20 HK or 28 United States cents. If you prefer to be closer to the ocean and the humming of the engines, the lower deck will save you some pennies at the price of 1.70 HK or 22 cents United States.

The ferry service brings around 70,000 passengers a day. There is constantly one leaving every couple of minutes both ways so you'll never ever have long to wait. There is an unique ferry that takes about an hour to take a trip a round route through all the islands of Kowloon.

When taking a trip the other direction from the island to Kowloon you can stop at Nathan Road, a significant buying location near the ferry's terminals. Just like Loughborough Taxis in my home town a local taxi service is the better choice, if you are looking for an adventure through Hong Kong's streets.

The ferry boats are repainted according to their designations. The ferry service brings around 70,000 passengers a day. There is a special ferryboat that takes about an hour to take a trip a round route through all the islands of Kowloon.

When traveling the other direction from the island to Kowloon you can stop at Nathan Road, a major buying location near the ferry's terminals. The taxi is the better option, if you are looking for an experience through Hong Kong's streets.

2016s Best Piano Tutorial For Beginners

Introduction

If you love creating your own music via piano, online classes might be the best option for you. Finding a piano teacher who is punctual and available for 24/7 can be quite challenging. Honestly, a perfect piano teacher doesnt exist in the real world. However, before enrolling with any online piano program its important for you to know what to look for especially if you are beginner.

What to consider when choosing the best piano tutorial that fits what you need

There are thousands of piano courses available in the internet but not all of them will be ideal for you. In addition, even if a piano course or class has a good reputation, it might not meet your expectations. This is why you need to go through the best piano tutorial before taking any step:

Consider your piano level

Are you totally new? Do you have some basic knowledge about some piano terms? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself. Most online piano programs are designed for newbies they start from the basics and move up gradually from there.

Can you read music?

If you cant read music, you should go for a program which imparts this knowledge to you. For instance, some courses will assume that you already know the basics and go straight on how to play the piano. The best piano tutorial programs will usually combine all aspects you will learn how to read bass and treble clef and more.

Your budget

Some courses will let you learn for free at first while others will require you to make a down payment before enrolling. The best thing about online piano courses is that they are pocket friendly. Keep in mind that your first piano course is an investment. Compare the length, special treats and cost.

The kind of music you want to play

Each course comes with its own unique features. For instance, some emphasize on basic blues patterns while others go for the basic piano fundamentals. Its very rare for a beginner course to teach skills on how to play Chopin, Mozart or jazz. The more advanced you are, the more you can customize your options.

Important piano terms and notes a beginner should know

The Staff Has four spaces and 5 lines. Each of these lines and spaces represent a particular letter which make up a note. Notes range from A to G and they move up alphabetically in the staff.

Treble Clef It contains an ornamental G on the far left side. This Gs inner swoop encircles the G line on the staff. This clef is responsible for higher pitches of music.

Bass Clef The F line is the one going through the two bass clef dots on the bass clef staff. It denotes lower music registers.

Notes They tell us which note letter to play on the piano. There are three parts; the head, stem and flag. A note head can either be black (filled) or white (open). When present on a line on the staff, the note head determines which not to play.

The stem is a thin line which goes up or down from the note head. The direction of the stem make it easier for you to read the notes. They dont affect how you play the notes.

The flag is a curvy mark on the right side of the note stem. It tell you how long to hold a note.

Conclusion

Now that you have gone through the best piano tutorial, you should find an online course and start creating your music. Remember, music is life.

Coral Reef Care Tanks Aquarium

When shopping for fish, it might be tempting to choose the unusual and expensive fish loaded with colors, and exotic looking shrimp or shellfishes. An aquarium loaded with aquatic life total with a coral reef and aquatic plants is very enticing. Who wouldn't desire to have an undersea paradise in their living space? It may not, however, be the very best choice for a budding enthusiast.

Reef fish tanks need much more care than fresh water tanks or saltwater fish only tanks.

Freshwater fish are generally hardier than aquatic species and for that reason they are a little more flexible when it comes to them liking the water conditions. It is recommended that only knowledgeable fish keepers with a real dedication to the hobby effort a coral reef fish tank. A tank containing coral reef life might require numerous months of cycling before getting the water just. The water in a reef tank must be managed for lighting, temperature level and ph. Make sure you buy a really good quality or a pair of high quality aquarium heaters to keep the temperature stable, such as the aquarium heater by Jetsu Technology. Start with faucet water and then include a sea salt mix to the water. This kind of solution is readily available at most pet shops.

Salinity of the tank ought to be between 1.023 and 1.004. It is likewise important to test the P.H. of the tank. In order to prevent a pricey error it is crucial to be patient, watch the tank carefully, and make sure that you do not present any aquatic life up until the tank is absolutely ready.

Once the fish tank preparation is complete, begin with anemones and clown fish. They are the hardiest of reef types, and who would not like to have Nemo swimming around in their living-room? Screen the marine life closely. Examine the activity levels of the fish, and watch for anxiety. Stress is the most typical reason for illness in fish. Keep in mind that these animals may have come straight from the ocean, and it might take a while for them to get accustomed to their new house. Another cause of tension in fish is overcrowding. You must allow about 10 gallons of water per one inch of fish. Base the size of the fish on the grown up size of the fish, not the size of fish when it is first bought, it will grow!

After about a month, if all is well with the tank and the fish seem to be adjusting well, then it is okay to include some new marine life. A mandarin fish or a dwarf angel fish may round out the collection well, and they are relatively compatible clown fish. The fish ought to be compatible with other species of fish, and make sure that their food source is compatible.

Choosing Hearty Fish For Your Aquarium

Okay, so you have your aquarium set up and youre ready to add some fish. Now, the question is: which fish should you put in your fish tank?

For beginners, the best fish to put in your aquarium to hone your skills are the heartiest fishes available in your local pet store. You can ask your local pet shop owner to determine which ones are the best to start out with but a little research never hurt anyone.

So here are some fishes that will allow you to master the art of taking care of aquariums and fishes effectively. Once you have earned your aquarium mastery badges, youll be able to move on to bigger, more complex aquarium setups in the future!

1. Bettas These types of fish are very colorful and live comfortably in an aquarium setup. Theyre also curious and will swim up to whatevers moving inside the fish tank, which is perfect when youre feeding them as they will instantly swarm to the top to eat all those pellets. Just make sure you dont put two male bettas in one aquarium or theyll be going at it until one of them is floating on the surface.

2. Gold fish These ubiquitous fish are everywhere and they can survive well whether its a heated aquarium or not. Furthermore, gold fish arent aggressive towards one another or other fishes so you can let them live in an aquarium with other fishes to give you more variety!

3. Plecos Although these fishes arent really that colourful, they provide a very important service to your aquarium as they will clean it up for you. Plecos have specialized mouths that allow them to suck up waste food and algae, which may form on the sides of your fish tank if its getting too much sunlight. So a little trade-off for looks for some usefulness should be a good reason for you to make sure you have one or two of these fishes in your tank for the purpose of cleanliness!

4. Platies These colourful fish are probably one of the best species for beginners simply because they are easy to take care of and theyre not so bad on the eyes. There are so many fish breeders out there who are experimenting with color combinations for platies so you have a wide range of colors to choose from for your aquarium, which should make it a delight to the eyes of people who view it.

5. Black mollies These are great fish to start out with and theyre very easy to take care of as well. Theres just one hitch: black mollies tend to breed at an incredible rate. So, if you start out with a pair of black mollies, you may end up with a population explosion before you know it. This can be good or bad depending on how you deal with the situation. Just make sure you take care of their young by providing hiding places while you make up your mind!

Choosing any or all of these fish varieties will provide your aquarium with enough aquatic life to provide you with hours of enjoyment. However even the heartiest of fish need to be protected by maintaining a healthy water quality which will allow them to thrive. One of the best ways to ensure that water quality is toconstantly monitor and maintain the proper pH level of their environment. This is made easy with the use of a hand held pH tester which can be purchsed very inexpensively online or from your local pet shop.

Choosing An Online Poker Website

When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006, playing online poker became more difficult for US citizens. Although it did not clearly make it illegal to play online poker in the US, it resulted in a number of poker websites banning US players from their poker rooms. And even though there were websites which continued to offer online poker, it was a time for uncertainty for people who had a passion for the game.

People eventually overcame their reticence and hesitation. US players started playing the game again in poker websites which kept their rooms open to US players. The love for online poker emerged stronger than ever and the game became even more popular. People started to make their preference for playing the game online more apparent. It took a large percentage of patrons away from brick-and-mortar casinos. People seemed to enjoy playing poker on a computer at home rather than go through all the trouble of going to a real casino.

It is not difficult to find an excellent website that offers online poker. All you have to do is a little research. You can get useful information from reliable gambling portals which provide substantial information, excellent service, and reliable reviews. You can do your own research and evaluation, as well. Go to the particular websites which you think may be of use to you and look at the data they provide. Look into what the website offers in terms of features, applications, and rules surrounding usage. You can even call the website up through toll-free numbers and get in touch with their customer service specialists. They will entertain all your questions so that you feel that you have covered all the bases before you make your decision.

Websites offer a variety of events that true online poker lovers will be enthusiastic about. There are thrilling poker tournaments to join. There are many kinds of bonuses all attractive and intended to tempt you to join the website offering them. One of the most popular has been the betonline poker site. There are all kinds of interesting titbits about the sites and the famous and seasoned poker players who frequent the sites. All these information are anticipated to appeal to you and make you want to sign up with a particular website.

Make a wise choice. Make sure that you choose a reputable online poker site preferably one which has a history for excellent gaming services. Look for security, particularly because playing online poker includes making and receiving payments. Ensure that you have good payment options and that all the financial transactions you will be making will be safe and secure.

It is also important to choose a site which offers enticing games of a wide variety. The software that the site uses should be first-rate, enabling you to download it efficiently and fast without d

How To Start A Singing Career The Right Way

Singing career is a dream career for many. It might seem easy to be a singer but thats not the case. In fact, being part of the world before the camera has never been easy. While people hate their 9-5 jobs because they are bound to sit in one place and have to live like slaves, singing is not all about living comfortably. In fact, the most famous bands and singers have to be on tour for most part of the year. Famous singers are virtually the busiest people you will find on earth because when they are not touring, they are recording albums.

If you want to be a singer, you need to understand a few things first. The most important thing is to know how to improve your singing voice. You can do something breathing exercises first to be able to sing every song properly. Secondly, you need to practice a lot on a lot of songs. By singing many different songs you get to know what the little details of singing different types of songs are. You also improve the range of your voice as you continue to sing when you are practicing on these many songs.

Singing is not enough alone. It is a good idea if you learn to play some instrument as well. With an instrument you can also know if you are singing in the right key and scale or not. It is also important here to keep your instrument tuned at all times. While singing and playing your instrument, always keep a metronome on. This keeps you playing and singing in time. If you dont do it at home, you will have a hard time recording a song in the studio because you will have to follow the metronome while singing in the studio.

There are now several online services that let you publish your songs and play them to millions of people around the world. In order to be a successful singer in todays world, you have to be a great marketer as well. You have to use your social networking profiles, blog and online accounts in order to promote your music. Websites like Youtube and SoundCloud can help you a great deal in marketing your content. Youtube is more suited for videos and SoundCloud is meant more for your audio songs. You can always learn some basic video editing to make your first few videos a bit interesting.

A capella songs are great to let people know of your voice but a big part of the population does not really rapidly accept such songs. It is best that you learn to use some music making software as well. Using these software tools, you can add whatever type of music you want to add to your song and make it a complete package for the listeners. If you have a lot of songs that you have recorded, get them on a CD and try to sell your CD to your classmates and other students in the school or use your blog or social networking profile to make it available for others.

Learn How To Play Guitar Online Quickly

So youve finally decided that you want to learn how to play a musical instrument and your choice is the guitar. But where do you start? Read on this article will guide you on how you can play this beautiful instrument the fastest possible way using resources that you can find on the Internet.

Why The Guitar?

Although not as avant-garde as playing the piano, learning how to play the guitar attracts more people because its fairly easy to learn, the instrument is portable, and let's face it guitar players look cool. Although you can learn to play a few songs in just one sitting, the guitar is a difficult instrument to master. Good thing that theres the Internet to help you get started.

What You Need

Of course, you need to get a guitar either by purchasing one or borrowing from a friend or a relative. The former is highly recommended because the guitar is somewhat a personal instrument that should grow on you. Its also fairly cheap and you can buy it brand-new from your local music shop or used from sites like Amazon and eBay.

Once you have your own guitar, its time to start strumming those basic melodies. To guide you, there are a bunch of tutorials available online providing help via text, pictures, and even videos so you can see how proper chord fingering and strumming are done. Some of the best websites give free online guitar lessons for beginners so money shouldn't be an issue even when you're just starting out. Find out about online guitar lessons at www.guitarbrief.com.

Not only is Patience (by Guns N Roses) a good song to start with, but you will also need patience when learning how to play the guitar. You will find it difficult to position your fingers properly when playing chords at first, but this will get easier as you play more.

The Basics

Every guitar player started from the basics and you should, too. You should begin with tutorials that teach you how to play the basic chords first. A good, solid knowledge of guitar playing basics will be a great foundation when you want to progress to more advanced techniques in the future.

Look for tutorials for beginners there are lots of them online. Start from the correct posture of holding the guitar and the proper hand placements while playing. The very basic major guitar chords A, C, D, E, and G are quite easy to master and you can already play quite a few songs with them.

Remember To Bookmark

Once youve found guitar playing tutorial sites that you like, bookmark each one in your browser so you can access them faster. This way, you can go back to each bookmarked site without having to go through the search engine again.

Practice Regularly

Allot a regular schedule if you want to learn to play quickly. It can be an hour or two a day. Having a regular schedule also teaches discipline, something that musicians need together with patience.

Just Play and Have Fun

Learning to play an instrument should not feel like a chore. It should both be educational and fun. Dont worry if your first chords dont sound good. It will get better in due time. Dont push yourself too much, too. If you follow those online tutorials diligently and regularly, youll be playing like a pro in no time.

Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner Review

If you have been looking into buying a reliable canister vacuum, then you can now buy the best model around at a much lower price than ever before. The Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner is made by the leading brand name in vacuums, and is extremely well reviewed online.

This model is an exceptionally powerful vacuum, lightweight and it has its own filter as well as a variety of accessories so you can clean just about anything in your home. The Miele Classic C1 Olympus canister vacuum cleaner comes with a classic combination carpet and smooth floor tool so it is perfect for all types of carpet as well as tile, linoleum, and wood flooring, too.

What makes this type of vacuum cleaner such a popular choice for many people is that you can quickly move from vacuuming your carpet to getting dust and debris off of your carpet or furniture. You simply cannot do that with an upright vacuum cleaner.

Here are some of the great features of this Miele canister vacuum:
- Compact and lightweight; power with 1200-watt motor.
- Uses AirClean filter that able to captures most of the particles.
- Six-speed rotary dial power control for adjusting the needed power.
- Auto shut-off to prevent overheating.
- Auto-seal FilterBag instantly locks in dirt when cleaning the bag.
- Several on-board tools for ease of cleaning.
- 7-year suction motor & casing and 1-year all non-wearing components warranty.

What Does the Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner Come With?
When you buy the Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner, you will get a dusting brush, upholstery tool, crevice novel, and an air clean filter as well as the carpet and floor tool.

This comes with a 29.5 foot cleaning radius, and a seven year casing and motor warranty. This canister vacuum is engineered and made in Germany can also comes with the Good Housekeeping seal which provides you with a two-year extended support as well.

Is This the Right Vacuum Cleaner For You?
If you have been looking at upright vacuum cleaners, then you certainly owe it to yourself to take a look at the best canister vacuum available and see if this might provide you with some easier cleaning.
Many people find that canister vacuums are far superior in terms of cleaning power and they are certainly much easier to use. The versatility that you get with this vacuum cleaner alone makes it well worth the price, and with a Miele you can never go wrong.

Where Can You Buy This At The Best Price?
Even though Miele is considered to be the leading brand in high-end, high quality vacuum cleaners, they are still somewhat difficult to find in most big-box stores. Therefore, if you are looking for this particular model, then purchasing it at the online stores like Amazon or Walmart is the best way to save money.
Right now you can get this for about 10% off of the normal price, which is a savings of approximately $30. You will still get the same warranty that you would get if you purchased it in person, and in many cases you can have it shipped to you for free. Not to forget that you also can get the Miele vacuums at their official site.

For More Info
To learn more about Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner or I found an online review article that is pretty complete and comprehensive - click here.

What are the Best Sources of Organic Matter?

Organic gardening requires good fertile soils. Normally, although soil has its own nutrients and organic matter, there is need to replenish these nutrients when needed. This is accomplished using biological/natural fertilizers that include; animal manures, compost, covercrops, and green manures. Each of these choices has its benefits and limits; it is left to the farmer to understand the needs of their land, which will help to choose one of the available options. Manure is necessary for the proper health of soils that is shown in the quality and mount of crop yield. Animal manures re made from animal droppings. The other forms of manures re made from available organic matter, with the most part being made from plants as a source.

The use of manures and compost can be used to not only improve the soil, but also to limit weeds, diseases, and to some extent pests. However, the rule should be control and not complete elimination. As such, if you still have a large number of pests, consider utilizing biological predators or using a trap like a wasp trap. It is necessary to mention that insects are extremely beneficial to your garden, so after control, consider building a bug hotelto encourage beneficial pests. In the same light, weed control should include using weeds as a source of food for pets or human consumption; for example an outdoor hutch made from good rabbit hutch planscan function well to keep and feed your rabbits.

As discussed, there are three main choices of manures for your soil. The following is a comprehensive discussion of each choice:

1. Animal manures

Animal manures are an excellent source of organic matter and nutrients for the soil. Ideally, manure should be composted according to NOP’s composting standard. Composting manure stabilizes the nitrogen and reduces the viability of weed seeds and disease pathogens that may be in the manure. Organically composted manures can be applied anytime. If fresh manure is used, apply it in the fall to fallow land and immediately plow or incorporate it into the soil to provide adequate time for breakdown and ammonia release before crops are planted. Fresh manures should not be applied directly to growing vegetable plants and should not be applied within 120 days of harvest of vegetables whose edible part touches ground, or 90 days if the edible part does not touch the ground.

The fertility of manures varies widely. For example, poultry manure is typically higher in nitrogen and phosphorus relative to other manures. Both poultry and dairy manure have fewer weed seeds that could carryover in the garden. Successful gardeners do not over apply manure. Similar to any fertilizer, manure can leach and pollute groundwater and streams. In addition, too much nitrogen from over applying manures can reduce the yield and quality of many vegetables.

2. Compost

If manure is not readily available, compost can be made from lawn clippings, leaves and other plant materials. Composting organic matter stabilizes nitrogen and kills pathogens and weeds seeds, and enables the use of materials, such as raw manure and sawdust, which should not be applied directly to growing vegetables. Adding compost to garden soils improves soil structure, increases the population of beneficial microbes, increases soil moisture retention, reduces nutrient loss, boosts pH and can suppress certain diseases. Most compost contains 1 to 3 percent nitrogen. Generally, compost is applied 4 to 8 tons per acre in field vegetable production, and 10 to 20 tons per acre (1 to 2 pounds per square foot) in gardens for soil development, with 0.5 to 1 pound per square foot applied for soil fertility maintenance.

3. Cover crops and green manures

Cover crops and green manures help build soil quality. Cover crops add organic matter, reduce soil erosion, provide habitat for beneficial insects and spiders, provide nitrogen, suppress weeds and loosen the subsoil. Green manures are cover crops that are plowed into the soil to provide nitrogen to the succeeding vegetable crop.

Cover crops are usually established in the fall (September to October) in Missouri and allowed to grow during the winter and early spring before being plowed in. Cover crops can be interseeded with a fall vegetable crop toward the end of the growing season, which allows the cover crop to be established during the fall vegetable crop harvest. Popular winter cover crops include annual ryegrass, winter rye, winter pea, wheat, oats, triticale, clovers and hairy vetch. Fast-growing cover crops such as buckwheat, soybean, cowpeas and sorghum-sudangrass hybrid can be established during the summer (periods of one to two months between harvest of early planted spring crops and planting of fall crops) to suppress weeds and add organic matter to the soil.

• Legume cover crops, such as hairy vetch and clovers, fix nitrogen from the air and transform it for use by vegetable crops. As much as 120 pounds per acre of actual nitrogen can be fixed by certain legume cover crops one to two weeks before planting vegetable crops. Mixed seeding of grass and legume cover crops is commonly done by using one-third the normal seeding rate for the grass cover crop and two-thirds of the normal seeding rate for the legume (Table 2). Most legumes should be seeded in early fall, whereas grass cover crops can be seeded up to mid-October in Missouri. The following spring, mow or roll the cover crops. Most cereals can be incorporated into the soil when they are 24 inches tall, before head formation. Legumes should be plowed or incorporated into the soil just before full flowering for maximal nitrogen content.

• Brassica and mustard cover crops are known for their rapid fall growth, great biomass production and nutrient scavenging ability. They also have potential in pest management as most Brassica species release chemical compounds that may be toxic to soil-borne pathogens and pests. Although research results are still inconsistent, these cover crops may be worth trying on a small plot for organic pest management.

Sourced from: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6220

The general rule is that everything has two sides, in this case merits and demerits. Therefore, even if compost has numerous merits, there are still some disadvantages. Using organic materials other than compost — such as sawdust and manure — is fine, but these materials present a few problems that compost does not. Here are some advantages and disadvantages:

• Sawdust adds organic matter to your soil, which eventually breaks down and forms humus. However, the sawdust also robs the soil of nitrogen when it decomposes, so you have to add more fertilizer to compensate

Sourced from: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-improve-garden-soil-with-organic-matter.html