|Control Horse Arena Dust and Dirt|
|Whether you ride indoors or out, take action to keep your arena footing grounded for everyone's health and welfare.|
Imagine inhaling all the dust and debris from your horse arena as you and your horse work hard in the horse arena. On average, a resting horse inhales 150 liters of air per minute. Add in strenuous exercise and your horse could realistically suck in 10 times that volume of arena dust. If your horse is older or has a history of respiratory infections or heaves, he could be even more susceptible to airway problems when breathing in airborne arena dust and dirt.
Arena dust is bad. But, maybe you feel a little helpless to control the micro-climate that is your own personal arena dust storm. How exactly can you keep all that arena dust and dirt from rising? Here are some ideas to help you control arena dust, from economical strategies to more expensive ones:
Dust to Dust
Before you can start to control dust, you have to understand where it comes from. Basically, dust is made up of small particles that float or fly through the air, because they aren’t heavy enough to stay grounded.
Sand is a traditional footing in many regions, especially since it’s usually a naturally abundant product. However, depending on where you live, the word “sand” can mean different things. For example, sand derived from the beach is very different in texture and content than glacial sand. What’s contained in that sand also plays a role in how much dust a footing will produce.
Wayne Gregory, general manager of Footing Unlimited in Chicago, points to four causes of dust:
1. Footing containing lightweight particles, such as unwashed sand that contains bits of clay, silt or broken-down organic (naturally occurring) materials. “Imagine the particles of sand are the size of a basketball,” says Gregory. “In comparison, particles of clay are the size of a pinhead.” So, the small bits float into the air, causing dust.
Based on what makes up dust, the basic way we control it is by adding weight to small particles, which then keeps them from floating into the air.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
To that end, I was on a mission to find a way to build a new duck blind. Ideally it could be used both in the boat and on the ground. At this point you are probably laughing at me since I am asking a lot. Well, you would be right. There isn't anything that really go across both spectrums and does both or either well. To that end, it seems that a couple of blind options are needed. First, if you are hunting the fields and will be in amongst the cut corn, soybeans or wheat, layout blinds are far and away your best option. They are comfortable to sit in and provide great concealment with their low profile and camoflague covering. Add in some vegetation that is native to the area you are hunting and you have a great recipe for success. You can obviously build a higher profile blind yourself for much cheaper, but the results are not as impressive. And really, once you have found that perfect spot being hidden is really the most important part of the hunt (besides shooting straight).
For the boat, a homemade duck blind such as the one I detail here seems to work well. Basically you want to have a barrier from the duck eyes to hide silhouettes and more importantly movement from the blind. To that end, blending in to your surroundings is important. Even better when out in a boat is to stash the boat down the bank from you and wade in the water or stand atop some land and/or cattails to keep the concealment perfect.
What are your thoughts on how to build a duck blind?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Walkman History 101
Discussing the beginnings of the walkman probably requires a brief look at the audio scene in the '70s. The audio industry was enjoying success in the growing home stereo market, and the implementation of the transistor for a portable AM band receiver created a pocket radio "boom" in the '60s which continued well into the '70s. "Boomboxes" or battery-powered one-piece stereo systems were growing in popularity near the turn of the decade, with sound eminating through two or more loudspeakers. Consumers appreciated the ability to listen to high fidelity sound without being confined to sitting near a home stereo system. Pocket-sized micro and mini-cassette players were also successfully sold by companies like Panasonic, Toshiba and Olympus.
So, was the development of a "personal" stereo system an obvious step in the evolution of audio? Shu Ueyama of Sony cites that this invention was purely accidental. Organizational changes were taking place at Sony in 1979 and the tape recorder division was pressed to market something soon, or risk consolidation. They came up with a small cassette player capable of stereo playback. The invention was born from a tweaked Pressman (Sony's monaural portable cassette recorder) and a pair of headphones.
Sony chairman and founder Akio Morita heard of the invention and was eager to market it. The final design of the TPS-L2, the personal stereo cassette player was completed on March 24, 1979. Sony then formulated a unique marketing campaign to sell the contraption. But first, what to call it?
The name needed to present the idea of portability, so they considered Stereo Walky. Unfortunately, Toshiba was already using the "Walky" name for their portable radio line. The new product was a descendant of the Pressman so Walkman was proposed next. Senior staff responded to this name with doubts, as it sounded like a Japanse phrase clumsily made English. The name would fly in Japan but the product would be marketed in the US as the Sound-About and in the UK as the Stowaway.
Again, senior staff thought twice about the naming conventions--globally marketing a product with regional labels would prove costly, so Walkman was ambivalently accepted as the name of this new personal stereo system.
The next task was marketing the product. The story behind Sony's market research was legendary: they didn't do it! Said Akio Morita in a 1982 Playboy interview, "The market research is all in my head! You see, we create markets." But how does one convince the public they need a product that they've never owned or seen? The first step was to get the word out to people who had influence on the public, like celebrities and people in the music industry. Sony sent Walkmans to Japanese recording artists, tv and movie stars free of charge. They also began an innovative marketing campaign, targeting younger people and active folks. The Walkman was engineered carefully to make it affordable to this market, priced to be around 33,000 yen (Sony was 33 years old at the time. Coincidence?) The imagery Sony successfully used around their Walkman gave the feelings of fun, youth and most importantly, freedom. Their invention allowed one to bring an exceptional listening experience anywhere.
The Walkman craze began in Japan and reached the US by 1980. Other audio companies jumped on the personal stereo bandwagon, and by Spring of 1981, at least two dozen companies were selling similar devices, many of which were marketed with catchy names of their own. Toshiba had their Stereo Walky, Infinity had their Intimate, Panasonic sold their Stereo-To-Go, GE marketed their Escape, and even discount audio producer Craig followed suit with the Soundalong. Styles and colors varied from the Walkman, but several key features were found on early models: two headphone jacks (listen with a friend!) separate left and right channel volume controls, and a neat but impractical "hotline" switch, as Sony called it. Pushing this button turned on an ambient microphone so the listener could hear the noise around him instead of the music. Strangely enough, all of these features disappeared from portables a year or two later.
While one may be tempted to criticize these other companies as Walkman "wannabes," We should instead appreciate their accomplishments, for together they provided us with what we refer to as the walkman "Golden Age." A marketing person described this movement accurately. "During any product development," he said, "the first few years are associated with innovative design and quality." He's absolutely right. Many personal stereo products emerged and surpassed the Walkman in terms of features and price. Sanyo's M5550 was smaller than the Walkman, more durable with its all-metal chassis and contained a variable tape speed dial. Aiwa, owned by Sony since 1969 created a product line initialized by their TPS30, a personal stereo cassette recorder. Akai's PM-01 had FM tuning capability through the aid of a cassette-shaped radio module. What an incredible concept: in an effort to confine the space of a personal stereo, how can one add features at the same time? The logical, yet nonetheless remarkable idea was to place a radio within an audio cassette chassis and engineer it to send the audio into its cassette player home. Toshiba had the same functionality and offered an AM module, also.
Companies like Infinity worked at sound quality. Their Intimate offered Dolby noise reduction. Koss sold their radio-only Music Box with a set of their well-reputed over-the-ear headphones, and offered circuitry to notify the user when he or she was listening to audio that was "too loud." High grade stereo component manufacturer Proton even stepped into the ring and sold a model that included some hi-tech circuitry previously available only on $1000+ stereo equipment.
Many groaned after seeing the $150 price tags of Sony and Toshiba and settled for their $20 earphone-clad radios until names like Unic, Randix Audiologic, Craig and Yorx came along cheap personal stereos. Discount manufacturers seized the opportunity during the portable stereo craze. Products similar in shape and functionality (but not necessarily quality) were marketed as the Walkman, using photographs of people on the go, in sneakers, roller skates and on bicycles. Fortunately, these companies made a personal stereo available for everyone.
Competition was strong as throughout the early '80s and new ideas were popping all of time: Sony feeling the pressure worked on engineering their Walkman line be smaller, while still looking and sounding better. Long Island, New York audio company Mura decided to focus on the radio-only stereo, so they enhanced functionality in their Hi Stepper line. One model even offered TV audio reception. Popular US electronics distributors like Radio Shack, Sears and JC Penney also jumped on the bandwagon by selling their own personal stereos. Overseas audio manufacturers like Grundig and ITT were selling similar portables that rivaled the quality of Japanese brands. JVC announced the "be-all" of portables in 1982: the CQ-F22K. This was the first portable stereo that included all of the features we're accustomed to having today, like Dolby noise reduction, auto-reverse and AM/FM tuning. Perhaps the most exotic feature offered on a personal stereo at the time was the wireless feature discovered on some gray market Aiwa CS-J1 units. They apparently transmitted an audio signal that would be received by special headphones. Sony offered their affordable Walkman II, or WM-2 in a small, shapely all-metal chassis. This remains the most successful model of all time, selling 2 1/2 million units. By 1983, Everyone was shopping for a personal stereo.
As with any fad, many groups raised concerns with the Walkman. Were we at risk while performing daily activities like driving or walking around town oblivious to the world around us? Would we go deaf or catch brain damage? Would we turn into anti-social creatures, encapsulated in our little personal stereo world? Of course, these concerns didn't slow the Walkman movement even slightly.
We caught MTV's tongue-in-cheek airing of "Video Killed the Radio Star," but teenagers didn't think twice about strapping on a pair of samarium cobalt headphones and banging their heads to Autograph's "Turn Up The Radio." The generation gap widened as young people became "wired." With the exception of school, many kids spent their waking days with a personal stereo on the hip.
Several initial players in the personal stereo market dropped out as the '80s endured, but Sony, Aiwa, Toshiba, Sharp, Panasonic and Sanyo thrived. Product lines widened from $25 "disposables" to $200 professional-grade models. Niche models popped up, like Sony's durable Sports line, and Aiwa's featured-packed J Series recorders with stereo microphones and wired remote controls. Perhaps Sanyo and Sharp enjoyed the most success with their inexpensive portables, aimed at young and price-conscious buyers. If you were sick of wasting AA batteries, you had solar-powered walkmans available, like Sony's WM-F107 and Mura's Sun Stepper. Sony and Panasonic even offered models that contained two cassette drives, so you can listen to one cassette right after another, or dub a copy of an original recording.
We also noticed the blossoming of an industry to provide aftermarket accessories for personal stereos. We've all had to buy a second set of headphones at some point, some of us purchased little desktop speakers allowing our little personal stereo to become a home one of sorts. Unitech marketed a cushioned vinyl travel bag for your walkman that contained little stereo speakers inside. Simply pop your unit into it and you've got a boombox. Signatech sold a trendy vest that sported loudspeakers on the shoulders and special walkman "pocket" for an audio source.
The walkman craze (note the lower-case "w", as the name was entered into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1986) continued its run, and prices dipped as functionality rose. By 1985 many models featured graphic equalizers for even better sound, tape direction change and auto-reverse features for ease of use. The average model required two batteries, as opposed to the typical four in 1980. Sony announced a belt-free "direct drive" mechanism for remarkably low wow and flutter (terms that describe the warbling noise in audio cassette playback). Panasonic offered their "Radio Card," the thinnest pesonal stereo radio ever.
1986 marks the year that we identify the beginning of the end for the walkman, for it was in this year that Sony announced the D-50, a portable audio device that played a new digital medium called the compact disc. The public was eager to hear the "perfect" sound of the CD so they rushed out to grab a "Discman." Audio companies again followed Sony and began focusing their efforts to this new technology. Walkmans didn't wane in popularity initially, for all pre-recorded music was available in cassette form and there was no consumer CD recorder at the time. As we approached the turn of the decade, features digital tuning, clocks, alarms, rechargeable batteries, wireless headphones and logic controls. But the walkman novelty had worn off, replaced by the CD and later the mini-disc.
Today, personal stereo cassette players and radios bear little resemblance to their predecessors from years prior. They're absolutely disposable, averaging $20 in price and offering key features like pastel and chromy colors, rounded edges and clear plastic chassis. Obviously little effort is put into the design or engineering of the walkman, for manufacturers believe the audio cassette is a dying medium, soon to be replaced with the digital technology of hard disks and RAM cards.
Monday, October 12, 2009
See More About:
Ancient accounts show that early Greek and Roman orators used the "loci" method of remembering long speeches and lists. You may be able to use this method to enhance your memory at test time.
The term loci refers to places or locations. To use the loci system, you will first need to thing of a place or route that you can picture in your head very clearly. It can be your house, your school bus route, or any place that contains clear landmarks or rooms.
For this example, we will use the thirteen original colonies as a list that we want to remember and your house as the method for remembering.
The list of colonies includes:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
North = North Carolina
South = South Carolina
Your tour continues.
- Imagine that you enter your house and see the coat closet. Open the closet door and note the smell. (It helps to invoke all the senses you can in this method). There you see the coat that Aunt Mary gave your mother (Maryland).
The next room in this imaginary house tour is the kitchen. In this tour, you are suddenly hungry, so you go to the cupboard. All you can find is some virgin olive oil (Virginia). That won't do.
You turn to the refrigerator and look inside. You know your mom just bought some new ham (New Hampshire) from the deli—but where is it? (Delaware).
You manage to locate the items and assemble a sandwich. You carry it to your bedroom, because you want to change into your new football jersey (New Jersey).
You open the closet door and a pen falls on your head from the top shelf (Pennsylvania).
"What's that doing there?" you think. You turn to put the pen in your desk drawer. When you open the drawer, you see a giant mass of paper clips (Massachusetts).
You grab a handful, sit down on your bed, and begin to connect them together to form a long chain (Connecticut).
You realize you're still hungry. You decide you are ready for some dessert. You go back to the kitchen and look in the refrigerator again. You know you'll find some leftover New York cheescake from yesterday (New York).
It's gone! Your little brother must have finished it off! (Note the shock and anger.)
You turn to the freezer.
There are two types of ice cream. Rocky Road (Rhode Island) or Georgia Peach (Georgia). You eat both.
This method can be used for remembering a list of objects or a list of events. All you need is key words and associations for them.It may help you to come up with funny things that occur along your path. Emotion and sensory experiences will reinforce the information and enhance the exercise.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
|An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space -- that's almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.|
|Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!|
|A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.|
|Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.|
|On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.|
|A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That's a lot of containers -- make sure they're recycled!|
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
|Four in Hand Knot |
Asymmetrical tie knot, good for button-down shirts
|Pratt Knot |
Tidy & fairly wide tie knot, suited for any dress shirt
|Half Windsor Knot |
Symmetrical tie knot, goes with any dress shirt
|Windsor Knot |
Wide & triangular tie knot, good for spread collar shirts
Videos are available for all four knots, so it would now be helpful if you had a tie at hand and a mirror nearby so that we can "dig right on in".