Home Blog Page 2

Recovering From a Truck Accident

There are approximately 251 million registered vehicles in the United States alone and in 2004 there were 198.8 million registered drivers with an estimated 6.6 million driver’s licenses likely to be issued in 2007-2008, according to information obtained from programs under the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In 2005, there were nearly 6.4 million auto accidents resulting in approximately 40,000 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2007, the USDOT reported that:

* There were 236,468 non-fatal large truck accidents.

* 54,961 injury-related large truck accidents.

* 80,752 injuries due to large truck accidents.

Large truck accidents account for a significant portion of vehicle accidents every year and also account for a portion of crash-related injuries and fatalities among drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

According to research conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), fatalities caused by truck accidents are rising and have steadily risen 5.8 percent over a the previous ten-year period. Causes of Truck Accidents There are a plethora of reasons that an individual can become involved in a truck accident, but there are a list of common, reoccurring truck accident scenarios that have been identified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which conducts research on highway collisions involving an array of motor vehicles.

The following are some of the primary causes for a fatality or injury because of a truck crash:

* Trucks hitting pedestrians.

* The force of the collision between a large truck and a smaller passenger vehicle/vehicles.

* Trucks hitting fixed objects.

* Loss of control (tire blow out, vehicle failure, weather conditions, etc.).

* Animal in roadway.

* Physical driver factor, including falling asleep, heart attack, etc.

Another study conducted by the FMCSA also found that truck accidents will vary based on roadway type, weight of vehicle and cargo body type. The study found that of the three main categories of roadway types (rural, urban and unknown), urban roadways (interstate, freeways, expressways, etc.) accounted for 63 percent of all large truck accidents. Additionally, weight factored into the equation of truck accidents and truck fatalities/injuries.

The study measured truck weight by single unit trucks (two axles, threes axles, etc.) and combination trucks (tractor trucks, truck pulling trailers, etc.). Of these, 62 percent of accidents were made up by combination trucks, specifically the tractor truck pulling a trailer.

Additionally, the study reported an array of truck varieties that had been in an accident:

* Van trucks, including closed van, refrigerated van and open top van.

* Dump trucks (rear dump trucks and bottom dump/hopper bottom).

* Tankers (tank-liquid, tank-dry bulk and tank-compressed gas).

* Garbage refuse trucks.

* Cement mixers.

* Pole/logging trucks.

* Auto carriers.

* Livestock carriers.

* Bobtail units (with no cargo body).

* Other category, which includes tow trucks, etc.

* Unknown category (meaning un-inspected vehicles).

Of these trucks, the van trucks accounted for 46 percent of large truck crashes with dump trucks accounting for 16 percent of accidents and flatbed trucks accounting for 15 percent.

Truck Accident Costs While the percentage of truck accidents varies each year, the UMTRI has noted that there is a steady increase of truck accident fatalities and injuries among passengers.

Accompanying this increase is the rising costs per crash. Research determining the average price for medium as well as heavy truck accidents was conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which was paid for by USDOT.

The study found that: An average truck accident cost $91,112 in 2005.

* Crashes involving truck-tractors with two or three trailers accounted for the most costly crashes averaging $289,549 per crash.

* Truck crashes involving trucks with no trailers and straight trucks cost an average of $56,296 per crash.

* Reports have suggested that it will cost more than $3.6 million per crash for truck accidents involving a fatality.

* Whereas, truck crashes involving injury-only crashes averaged at $195,258 per crash.

While the costs of fatal and non-fatal accidents have been considered shockingly high by some, the study noted that these cost estimates excluded additional factors such as:

* mental health costs.

* roadside furniture repair costs.

* cargo delays.

* it is estimated that even those who are involved in or caring for a victim that was in a truck accident will have lost earnings.

* the value of schoolwork lost was also not factored.

Because of these exclusions, the estimated truck accident costs may even be considerable higher than estimated by the USDOT.

Seeking Assistance after a Truck Accident

It is often difficult for an individual to gauge the devastation that has just occurred after a truck collision. It is important that an individual who has suffered from a truck accident seeks medical attention immediately.

While an individual may feel no pain after an accident, their injuries may be internal and an examination by a medical professional immediately following an accident can ensure that the appropriate safety precautions are taken.

Additionally, it may be necessary for a truck accident victim to consult an experienced truck accident attorney for legal purposes, which may include a legal consultation for a potential truck accident lawsuit.

Developing a truck accident lawsuit may seem to be a drastic measure by some, but when considering the costs associated with a truck accident, whether fatal or non-fatal, it can be deemed a necessary step, one that may provide monetary compensation in return for damages following a truck collision.

Swingers

Ever wondered what wife swapping, swinger’s clubs and swingers lifestyle really mean? In a committed partnership but looking for some extra sexual excitement together?

Swinging has become increasingly popular across middle aged mainstream married, or committed, couples. Over 4 million people world wide are swingers, with over 3000 swingers clubs around the globe to join. Swingers can also meet through online swinger’s sites, swinger’s personal ads, house parties and swinger’s lifestyle magazines.

“Swinging” is considered to mean a married or committed couple engaging in sexual activities with either another couple, multiple couples or with a single person. These events can occur at swingers clubs, private parties, private homes, hotels, and even at specific holiday resorts.

Traditionally, the average age of swingers is the mid 40’s, and all ages and body types are considered acceptable.

“The Lifestyle”, or the swinger’s lifestyle, was created in the late 1990’s in London for the well heeled under 40’s. Forget the jatz and crackers. Trendy, up market venues were selected, smart evening wear was the attire and photos were needed to prove physical attractiveness. This idea took off quickly and is now popular in all parts of the world. Selective swinging refers to usually childless unmarried young graduates with average ages of late 20’s. Lifestyle swinging and selective swinging both encompass all swinging activities. These terms came into use mainly because younger couples didn’t care for the term swingers with its traditional connotations.

It is thought that swinging started in the 1950’s in US military bases in California. The husbands all threw their car keys in a bowl and whoever belonged to the keys that the wife pulled out had her as their sexual partner for the night. Originally, these little get togethers were called key clubs. In the late 1950’s the media redubbed them wife swapping parties. Wife swapping is now considered to be an archaic term and is not entirely accurate in covering all the sexual options of swinging couples.

For those of you who are a little shy or new to the game, there are many swingers’ sites available for you to check out. Most of them cater to those looking to heat up their relationship, as well as those singles who want to mingle with like minded individuals. Some of these sites offer adult personal ads, which can include video voice and pictures. They also offer video chat rooms, speed dating, swinger club location listings, video messenger, and hot games. Some sites also offer offline swinger parties where you can take it at your own comfort level and speed.

Swinging sexual activities include: exhibitionism, having sex with your partner while being watched, voyeurism, and watching others having sex. Soft swinging, or soft swap, is kissing, stroking or oral sex with a 3rd or 4th person. This can also include threesomes or group sex but usually partners are not swapped. A full swap means having penetrative sexual intercourse with someone other than your committed partner. The original wife swap. A full swap can also mean a committed couple having sex with a bisexual female for a saucy threesome. Group sex is an all inclusive term for multiple partners having sexual intercourse in the same room or an orgy. While the sexual activities are happening in the same room this is referred to as same room swapping. When there are separate rooms involved it is then called play.

Planning a raunchy vacation with your partner? There are now online swinger sites catering for the couple who are into swinging holidays or nude vacations. Swingers’ resorts can be found in the Caribbean, Cancun, Mexico and various parts of Europe. These resorts are designed for couples only, who enjoy erotic exciting lifestyles, and all seem to involve destinations with beautiful white sandy beaches and featuring large exotic looking swimming pools. Many of these swingers’ resorts have a variety of saucy theme nights. Some of the resorts promise “non stop flat out parties” for the more active bodied person.

Providing that the emotional bonds between the committed couple are whole, many swingers feel that their chosen lifestyle increases the strength of their partnership. In one survey, while only 6% confessed to having a problem with the green eyed monster, up to 70% of swingers claimed they had no problems with jealousy at all.

Seeking to spice up your sex life with your significant other? This could be it! Swingers clubs, swinger sites, swinger sex, swinger’s lifestyle, and swingers resort. Pack up your condoms and raunch up your relationship now!

Have Fun, Coco Swan.

Restaurant Management – Five Key Tips For Managing a Restaurant

It takes a special person to manage a restaurant and interact with restaurant customers and restaurant staff. Not everyone is cut out to be a restaurant manager.

Managers need to be on their feet for long periods of time-anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day. Managers also need to be trained to be aware of labor and food costs, customer service and how to manage people. They need to be trained in every aspect of the restaurant business.

Five key aspects for every manager are:

1. Keeping an open mind

2. Being able to accept criticism

3. Retaining large amounts information

4. Having excellent customer service skills

5. Knowing how to understand both sides of the story

Sometimes it takes years to fully train someone in this business. There are two ways people usually become a manager, either earning a college degree or moving up in the ranks.

I have been in the restaurant business for over 25 years, and I have worked with both kinds of management. There are advantages and disadvantages to both paths. From either path, it’s important that you provide managers with training to understand their role in the restaurant.

Most managers straight out of college had very little hands-on training in a restaurant. Maybe they have some experience working in fast food, or as a cook or server in an independently owned restaurant or chain restaurant. Maybe they have no restaurant experience at all. The experience they have in life will be part of what they bring to the management role. A college graduate may have the head knowledge without a clear understanding of the restaurant industry. He or she may not realize the complexity of the job. Even with a degree, it’s important to train the new manager in your restaurant. Everyone will benefit from training.

People who have worked their way up through the ranks may have a greater understanding based on the path they took. However, the person will need some additional training to understand the manager’s role. It is not always easy for someone to move into management from other positions. Training is important for the person moving into manager’s role. That person will need to be prepared to look at the restaurant from a different perspective.

Some people think becoming a restaurant manager is easy, but it is not. Managers have a lot of responsibilities. Managers are exposed to stressful situations throughout the day, they must keep their composure and react to any situation in a calm manner. Every manager deals with situations differently.

It is like an automobile shifting its gears; before you shift into a certain decision you must think about the outcome. Think before you shift. Don’t automatically shift on impulse thoughts. In-fact, most managers make mistakes in their career. The key is to learn from those mistakes.

You will make new mistakes, although hopefully you will not make the same mistakes over and over.

I am going to give you some insight and tips on how to be the manager people will respect.

1. Be open-minded to change and embrace it. Changes happen every day, especially in the restaurant business. Procedures and policies are revamped constantly. As a manager, you must adjust to these changes. You may not like them or agree with these changes, but it is the manager’s responsibility to adhere to these changes and help implement them to the staff members. If you disagree with a change, don’t just go to complain and don’t complain to other staff members. Go to your supervisor with possible reasons and alternatives. Have the attitude that you want to follow their policy, but would like to suggest some reasons that this may not be the only path. Don’t say they are wrong, but say that you have other ideas on how to handle the situation. Open communication with your supervisor is vital to maintaining your credibility and upholding respect for your supervisor.

2. Managers must be able to take criticism from others. Taking criticism from others, simply means, that other employees may tell you that they do not agree with your decision on a certain topic. As a wise manager, you will use this towards your advantage and correct yourself. Listening to other people may offer other ways to get the same job done. Your way is not always the right way. Sometimes there is no “right way,” but just different options that may return better results.

3. Managers must be able to retain a large amount of information. Managers must have a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the restaurant. You must know the menu and restaurant style, and have knowledge of the operations of each area. You need to know how to cook, serve, greet, prep, and wash dishes, along with the manager’s responsibilities. This includes watching labor, knowing if there are too many people working or more people are needed. You need to be aware of food costs, realizing if food is being wasted or even stolen. You also need to know how to handle money and count cash. The toughest part is that you also need to be able to juggle all this knowledge every minute of the shift.

4. Managers need excellent customer service skills. Managers are constantly dealing with the public and staff members. The way you speak to people must be in a professional manner. Always think before you speak. Some people react to their first thought, but this may not always be the best way to handle the situation. If employees are not getting along, you will need to know how to help them work together, without a negative attitude. You also need to know how to handle difficult customers, as well as the pleasant customers. Knowing how to take a compliment is as important as knowing how to take a complaint in a positive professional manner.

5. There are always two sides to a story. This is especially true when staff members disagree. The manager needs to listen to both sides and see the perspective of each staff member. People often choose, or fall into a specific role at the restaurant because of their skills and abilities. Cooks may or may not have terrific people skills. Servers may or may not have any idea how to cook. Keep the personality of each staff member in mind as you approach them. A cook may be offended by a customer complaint about a dish that the cook feels proud of. The server may see the customer’s side. As a manager, you will have to deal with the customer’s complaint and see their side. You also have to know how to communicate the customer concerns to the cook without offending him or her. Think before you speak on both sides. You learn a lot more by listening and asking open-ended questions, not just yes or no questions. Don’t make assumptions that you know their answer before someone responds to your questions. Take the time to listen and fully understand.

Keep these five key aspects in mind if you are the manager or if you are the person who is hiring managers. All managers should keep an open mind, be able to handle criticism, retain large amounts of information, have excellent customer service skills and know how to understand both sides of the story. If every restaurant was managed by people who have those key aspects as part of their skill set and knowledge, then the issues would decrease, and profit would increase in those restaurants. Training your managers is one way to make that happen.

Supercharger Tuning Through Cam Selection and Cam Timing

Camshaft tuning is an essential part of supercharger tuning. Camshafts orchestrate the valve opening and closing events in the engine and decide whether what comes out of our motor is beautiful high power music, or a mess of dysphonics.

The use of the proper supercharger optimized cam shaft can go a long way towards supercharger tuning and give considerable power gains for the money invested.

To understand camshaft timing and camshaft selection we have to understand first:

Relativity: Changing when the valves open or close (intake or exhaust) changes the the valve timing with respect to:

  • The piston position inside the cylinder. Depending on where the pistons is in the stroke, and where we are in the combustion cycle, then opening the valves will exploit the pressure difference between the cylinder and the intake and exhaust manifolds.For example it would make sense that the ideal time to open the intake valve is when there is peak vacuum inside the cylinder so that when the valve opens, the maximum amount of fresh air can be ingested. Similarly, it makes sense not to open the exhaust valve until peak cylinder pressures have been achieved inside the combustion chamber and the combustion is complete and all the power is extracted.
  • The high and low pressure pulses created by the design and runner lengths of the intake and exhaust manifolds.It would make sense to open the intake valve just as the reflected pressure waves in the intake manifold reach the intake valve as a high pressure portion of the wave, thus opening the valve at this high pressure point gives a ‘ram air’ effect through volumetric efficiency resonance tuning increasing air ingestion which increases power.Similarly on the exhaust side, it makes sense to open the exhaust valve, just as the reflected low pressure (vacuum) portion of the exhaust wave (reflected back from the collector) reaches the back of the exhaust valve. At this point in time there is both peak pressure inside the cylinder, and vacuum in the exhaust which creates a higher pressure differencial and a faster evacuating exhaust gas.
  • With respect to the ignition timing event, for example a shorter duration or advanced exhaust cam, opens the exhaust valve sooner with respect to when the mixture was originally ignited, this means that although by advancing the exhaust cam we may have matched our header design and opened the valve with the lowest possible exhaust back pressure for best efficiency, at the same time, we have reduced the amount of time that the mixture is combusted and possibly opened the valve before reaching our peak cylinder pressures and thrown away some horsepower.
  • The intake valves with respect to the exhaust valves: and this is usually described in terms of lobe separation angles (the offset in degrees between the center of the exhaust cam and between the center of the intake cam), or in terms of how many degrees of overlap (the number of degrees that both intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time).

Since the combustion inside the cylinder occurs at a much higher pressure than atmospheric pressure, and since exhaust valves are usually smaller than intake valves (for this same high pressure reason) then exhaust gas velocity is much higher than intake gas velocity. So, in some engines it is beneficial to open the intake valve earlier than usual during the last part of the exhaust stroke, this is called overlap. During overlap – at the very end of the exhaust stroke – the amount of pressure left in the cylinder is low so it is possible to breathe in new air under atmospheric pressure, at the same time, the high velocity of the exhaust gasses exiting help draw in even more fresh air from the intake side in an effect much like ‘syphoning’ where the fluid (in our case air) flows as a continuous stream drawing in new intake air after the old exhaust gas leaves.

The other part of phenomenon that relates to timing intake valves with respect to exhaust valves is the duration of time where both valves are absolutely closed, which is your power stroke. This is the part of the combustion cycle where the mixture can be compressed and combusted. If either (or both) intake or exhaust valves are open you will not be able to neither compress nor combust the mixture, and the absolute duration of time (in degrees of rotation) that your mixture is combusted and allowed to reach peak cylinder pressures is affected by camshaft selection and cam timing. One thing to note is that the valve angle has a lot to do with exhaust scavenging, obviously you will get maximum scavanging if the exhaust and intake valves had ‘line of sight’ i.e. if the valves were separated by an angle of 180*. If so, the exhaust air can directly pull in new air. Conversely, you would have the least possible scavenging if you had valves that were at a narrow angle (zero degrees at the extreme) between each other, so that the air would essentially have to make a U turn to come in through the intake and get pulled out the exhaust.

So different motors respond differently to overlap depending on the exhaust back pressure and the valve angle.

Duration:

Cam duration is the number of degrees of the entire 360* rotation that the intake or exhaust valve is open. The longer the duration, the more air you can get into the motor, the more overlap you have (which helps more with higher rpm power performance), the shorter your power stroke is (which reduces your combustion duration and your peak cylinder pressures reducing low rpm fuel efficiencly and clean idle….etc

Increased duration (with it’s increased overlap and scavenging) also gives the opportunity for exhaust gasses to get to the intake, or intake gasses to leak to the exhaust, and so are more sensitive to proper timing events otherwise we can get some negative effects from being ‘overcammed’

Lift:

Lift is how far or how deep the valve opens into the cylinder. The more lift you have, the less the valve is a restriction to incoming air because it is farther away from the direct path of entering or exiting air. Adding lift in general adds power to all rpms, depending on how well the camshaft (and valve train) can accelerate the valve to a higher lift number in a short duration. It’s like a ramp, the shorter the duration and higher the lift, the steeper the ramp. So what happens here is that if your valve train isn’t light enough and well controlled (Through proper valve springs or hydraulic lifting and damping) to operate that rapidly then lift will give you improved performance at lower rpms (where there is a lot of time to move the valve to peak lift) but reduced performance at higher rpms, where there are more rounds per minute and so less time per round, and thus less time to go up the steep ramp and push the valve out to full extension.

Lift is good, but usually people don’t try to radically increase lift on their aftermarket cams because of a few considerations:

  1. Make sure that at this new lift, that there is still enough clearance between the valve (at full extension) and the cylinder (at top dead center) to prevent any catastrophic mechanical failure.
  2. Upgrade to lighter valve train, with stiffer springs or dual valve springs to have more control over the valve with this steeper cam profile.
  3. It does add power but it doesn’t shift the power curve up or down as radically as changing cam duration does, and so in most aftermarket applications we really want a cam to give us peak power at a certain rpm range and so we care much more about the best duration (and some added lift).

I know this is a somewhat complex topic, but I need to make sure we’re speaking the same language before we go into how this relates to superchargers. Before you decide which camshaft to use (or how to adjust the timing on your stock cams) you have to look at one very important thing:

Your exhaust system and exhaust back pressure:

If you have a stock log type exhaust manifold, with a close coupled cat, with a dual cat exhaust system, small exhaust tubing, and a couple of restrictive mufflers on your car then it is possible at peak power to have up to 10psi of back pressure.

If this is the case, my first recommendation would be to upgrade to a high flow, low pressure exhaust system because of the potential power gains; however, I do know that some of our readers have cars that they are setting up for their parents or for dual use where their partner or the laws in their location …etc are really strict when it comes to any added exhaust noise or any aftermarket exhaust. In this case, where exhaust upgrades are not an option, then you must select your camshafts, and tune your cam timing to where you have ABSOLUTELY the minimum possible amount of overlap. If you have significant overlap, then the more you rise above about 4500 rpms the more your supercharger will suffer and the more power you will waste. If the supercharger is geared to 7psi of boost for example, then during overlap, the cylinder sees 7psi of boost on the intake side, and 10psi of back pressure on the exhaust side, the net result is that air will flow from the high pressure zone (the exhaust) to the lower pressure zone (the intake) and so your cylinder will start to fill with exhaust gases. As the rotation continues, the exhaust valve will close and overlap will end, and the intake valve will stay open for the remainder of the intake stroke (for the rest of the duration of your intake cam), and the rest of the cylinder will fill with fresh air.

What happens here is that we get a cylinder that filled for 30* of overlap with exhaust air, and then filled for another 210* (of the original 240* of duration for a typical street cam) with fresh air. The result is a cylinder that is only 85% filled with fresh air or an engine that is literally 15% smaller in displacement! On the other hand, if our supercharger is geared for 18psi for example, then during overlap we will have 18psi on the intake side and our exhaust back pressure of 10psi on the exhaust side, the net result of this overlap is that our supercharger is effectively only producing 8psi worth of differential pressure between the intake and the cylinder and so we are only going to get a power boost of 8psi during overlap. So, during those 30* of overlap the supercharger is only effectively producing 8psi of boost, and after that once the exhaust valve closes, the supercharger will be able to go back to operating at full boost for the other 210*. The net result is something like 16psi of boost so 2psi (or about 12%) of our power was wasted.

Supercharger tuning through cam selection and cam timing

Intake cam:

Because of the negative effects of overlap on a supercharger car’s performance, and especially in the case of high exhaust back pressure as is the case with most factory supercharged cars, we find that the optimal cam duration for the intake cam is typically 30-40* of duration less than a normally aspirated camshaft for the same peak power RPM. The decision to reduce the intake cam duration rather than split the duration reduction between the intake and exhaust cams, is that the intake cam will flow air under pressurized conditions (due to the addition of the supercharger and the increase in intake manifold pressure) and so at a reduced intake cam duration the engine will still be able to get it’s full share of intake air. At the same time, the high rpm efficiency improvement from the reduction of overlap will also boost power production with a more conservative cam. Finally, if we would like to get more flow from the intake cam, there is still the option of using a higher lift camshaft (with a steeper profile due to the decreased duration) with supporting valve train modifications to make sure valve float doesn’t occur at higher rpms.

Intake cam timing:

The cam timing for the intake cam would ideally be retarded which would move the intake cam opening event farther away from the exhaust valve closing event so as to reduce or eliminate overlap, and as a side effect the power stroke duration will increase by retarding the intake cam which can also compensate for the lost power from the duration reduction.

Exhaust cam:

The exhaust cam duration and lift for a supercharged version of the motor should be similar to a nitrous camshaft, in the sense that the exhaust cams on nitrous specific builds have:

1- Very healthy cam duration & very healthy cam lift to allow a severely elevated amount of exhaust gases to be able to efficiently exit the motor when the nitrous is activated and the horsepower (and thus the exhaust gasses) have both doubled in quantity.

2- As little or no overlap if possible, as any overlap would mean that nitrous would be sprayed from the intake side and out the exhaust, which is wasteful of our limited supply of nitrous. Similarly the more overlap we have, the harder the supercharger will have to work because of what we explained earlier about either exhaust reversion into the intake, or the supercharger pressurizing the exhaust.

Exhaust cam timing:

Advancing the exhaust cam both opens and closes the exhaust valves sooner. Opening the exhaust valve sooner slightly reduces the power stroke, but at the same time it reduces overlap and makes better use of our supercharger. Typically an an advanced exhaust cam combined with retarded intake cam will provide the best results on a supercharged car, especially with a restrictive exhaust.

If we had a high flow exhaust system installed, then it may not be beneficial to advance the exhaust cam, a high flow exaust system that is optimized for our engine’s power requirements can clear the combustion chamber of all it’s gasses very efficiently. Having a high duration exhaust cam, a low back pressure exhaust system and a no overlap what so ever camshaft means that we are giving the exhaust gas plenty of time to exit they cylinder, the intake valve still hasn’t opened (because the we have decide to retard it, or use a conservative cam with less duration) and so the supercharger is not pushing any new fresh air in yet, now the cylinder is void and so some of the exhaust gas can revert back into the cylinder, then the exhaust valve will close, and then the intake valve will open only to find the cylinder already partially filled with exhaust gases.

This isn’t a problem with a restrictive exhaust because a restrictive exhaust will take some time to clear the cylinder at a lower velocity, however with a higher flow exhaust system we must be careful not to dial out ALL of the overlap in the cam timing, or to over-cam the exhaust cam (using too much duration).

So exhaust cam timing can be advanced or retarded, depending on the exhaust modifications and the intake cam selection and thus must be dyno-tuned.

It’s important to note that with all of these changes in cam selection , overlap, power stroke duration, and cam timing, that the power stroke duration is effected and if it is effectively shortened then we may need to retune the car’s timing advance on the dyno (for increased advance) to regain losses in duration of the power stroke (again this against popular thinking of never to advance timing on forced induction cars, if we have a shortened power stroke, or an application with significant overlap then it may be necessary to do so).

So we see here that the end result here a lop-sided camshaft with a conservative duration, high lift cam on the intake side, and a normal duration, high lift cam on the exhaust with minimal lobe separation angle and minimal (but not necessarily no) overlap.

The exception to the rule:

Sometimes people take a car that starts off with a 9000 rpm redline, has an 11.5:1 compression ratio, and a 280* duration camshaft, and an aggressive naturally aspirated-esque timing curve and decide to supercharge it for more power. One suck example is kleemann’s kompressor for the SLK55 AMG (which already makes 400 hp in normally aspirated form from an 11:1 compression ratio motor). In this type of application, if you use a more conservative cam, and dial out all the overlap, and increase the power stroke, in combination with an already high 11:1 compression ratio and a healthy amount of boost pressure (7psi or above) you will end up with a motor that produces extremely high peak cylinder pressures and those intense pressures and heat may easily start off a chain reaction of pre-ignition and detonation and you will find that no matter how much you retard the timing that the setup will end up both powerless and still not that safe.

In this case, I would consider RPM and compression my primary power adder, and my supercharger as my secondary power adder (that is unless I decided to change that and went ahead and lowered the compression ratio of the motor). In this case it is OK to sacrifice some supercharger high rpm efficiency for preventing high-load & low-rpm detonation. Furthermore, to overcome the overlap inherent in this kind of high rpm normally aspirated power-plant it would be very advisable to use a centrifugal supercharger that is capable of producing more boost and flow with increased rpm rather than a roots type charger that will easily run out of boost and flow capacity (CFM) when facing an aggressive camshaft ‘leaking’ boost away.

Here is a great example of how cam tuning can affect supercharged power:

The car is a 1.8 liter Honda motor equipped with:

  • Supercharger optimized big primaries and short runners Kamakazi header
  • A greddy 2.5? SP2 catback exhaust system.
  • An LHT ported “S” supercharger inlet tube
  • An LHT ported intake manifold ( Non intercooled)
  • A Carbon fibre intake
  • A Jackson racing eaton M62 supercharger geared for 7.5-8 psi.

The black line is the baseline run with all of these modifications before tuning with peak power coming in at: 223 wheel hp @ 7600 rpms.

The blue line is the power achieved after a full tine (camshaft timing redone for reduced overlap, ignition timing re-optimized, and air fuel ratio optimized for peak power), with peak power coming in at 248 hp @ 8400 rpms.

You can see on by the dyno results that by reducing overlap and properly tuning the car the power peak not only increased by 25 horsepower, but more importantly shifted up by 1000 RPM’s due to increased supercharger high rpm efficiency from reduced overlap.

How to Use Automation in Music Production

The beauty of digital technology in music production is the simple fact that we can save our work in any condition at any time and recall them in the exact same settings as when we left off (a fact I’m sure many musicians and engineers take for granted). Another benefit is the use of automation: that is we can automate parameters within our music production software. Most of the major software allow full automation of virtually all parameters, therefore placing the limit on our creativity alone.

Automation maybe a feature that many musicians pay little attention too, especially those who are just starting out. At first, automation may seem like a tedious job, and can be a major turn-off since it isn’t the most intuitive thing to do. But proficiency using automation in our music production, whether in the music arrangement stage or the mixing stage, will allow us to explore creative avenues otherwise blocked if we neglect automation.

Using automation in composing and arranging music

This technique may be used more heavily in electronic dance music production than any other style. Listen to the leading contemporary electronic dance tracks, and you can listen to the detailed programming of synthesizers and effects take place to create a stunning soundscape worthy of dance floors all around the globe. Automation is used in EDM production, as a way to manipulate filter controls and other controls that shape the sound of the instruments in the arrangement. It can also be used to bring an instrument in and out of the mix, not only by volume, but also by cut-off frequency and resonance (I’m sure you’ve heard this technique before in EDM). Further use of automation in arranging might be to make effects kick in mid-song, or bring it out during a different part. For example, adding delay to the guitar at the chorus, or increasing the reverb on the snare during the bridge.

Using automation in mixing music

Which leads us to the more subtle use of automation: to mix music. Sometimes, you dial in a perfect EQ for the piano during the verse, but then realize it doesn’t suit the chorus. You could split it up to a different track (which is easier actually), or you could automate the EQ during the chorus. For the vocals, you might add more reverb or switch to a different delay for the coda, to bring it out and add some majesty to the part. The use of automation for mixing is virtually limited only to our creative imagination, as there are a myriad of “weird” effects out there (some of them free too) that can give even weirder sounds when combined with automation.

To your automation discovery,

Endy

Insurance to Protect Your Wedding Day

Congratulations! You are engaged to be married and the mere thought brings joy and happiness and plenty of smiles to both of you, your parents, family and friends.

General planning for the big day takes a lot of time and energy – not to mention money. Expenses include limo, wedding attire, florist fees, photographer costs and all the price tags attached to renting the banquet hall, catering, liquor bar, band, DJ, and so much, much more. This, after all, will be the party to remember: the celebration of when two souls became bound to honor, love and share life.

Everything that goes into the preparation involves another factor – fun and excited anticipation. But the fun and eagerness can soon be replaced with genuine disappointment along with financial loss if things do not go as initially conceived. Even happy occasions are subject to accidents and failure. So what do the bride and groom do to avoid the unexpected pitfalls that can crop up?

The answer, like practically everything involving risk exposure for the homeowner, auto driver, business owner and family person is insurance coverage. And yes, there is insurance to protect your special wedding day.

How does this special form of indemnity protect you?

The following insurance claim examples will serve to illustrate just that.

• Property Damage

The best man completely forgot about blowing out the burning candle in the groom’s room. This, unfortunately resulted in a fire that partially damaged the walls and floors of the rented ballroom.

• Cancellation Coverage

The bride’s family booked the banquet hall approximately two years ago. In the interim, the establishment was facing financial difficulty, prompting an eventual bankruptcy. The hall closed down before the wedding date.

• Jewelry Coverage

The groom thought he had placed the bride’s wedding band in the black velvet lined ring box. Yet when he opened the box, he discovered it was gone.

• Medical Payments

The lively music was the perfect accompaniment to an energetic waltz round. Unfortunately, the bride’s dad outdid himself with the steps. The slippery floor did not help matters either when he began to lose balance and fell. The misstep resulted in a broken leg and immediate surgery to correct the injury.

• Food or beverage Liability

Something was terribly wrong with one entree selection offered to guests at the meal. Five wedding guests landed in the hospital for food poisoning after ingesting the spiced corned beef following the wedding celebration.

Safety Precautions For Stove Use

Your stove is possibly one of the most useful appliances in your home, but it can also be the most dangerous if you aren’t careful. It´s something that most people don´t think about much, but your stove can be the scene of many accidents. It pays to be cautious whenever you use your stove to avoid injuries and possible problems.

General Safety Precautions

Whether you have a gas, wood or electric stove, there are certain safety tips that should always be followed to keep your family safe.

o When cooking, turn the pots so the handles don´t stick out over the edge of the stove where small children can grab them and pull boiling hot food on top of themselves.

o Always keep a fire extinguisher handy near the stove, even if there is a sink nearby, grease fires will just spread if you throw water on them, so it´s better to use an extinguisher.

o Only let children cook under adult supervision.

o Use oven mitts and potholders to handle hot pans and pots to prevent burns from the high temperature metals.

o Don´t use metal spoons to stir food on the stove and then leave them in the pot. They heat up quickly and can burn your hand the next time you touch them.

o Avoid using loose, flowing clothing or leaving dish towels near hot burners, since these can catch fire.

Gas Stoves

For obvious reasons, gas stoves need extra safety precautions. You want to make sure that there are no gas leaks, so anytime you hear a hissing or smell gas and can´t tell where it is coming from, turn off your gas at the source, open all windows and exit the house. Call the fire department to check it out. Here are some other things to keep in mind with gas stoves.

o If your stove doesn’t have a pilot light, be sure to light it immediately after turning the gas on. You can cause an explosion by waiting more than a second or two. Even minor gas explosions can seriously injure someone who is close to the stove at the time.

o Check regularly for gas leaks and if you notice any stove parts getting rusty or old, be sure to replace them.

o Gas tends to heat very quickly, so watch your pots carefully to make sure you don´t end up with soups boiling over or starting a fire in a pan. If you do end up with a fire, use your fire extinguisher, don´t throw water on the flames.

Electric Stoves

Electric stoves are the staple of most kitchens. They heat evenly with coils and electricity tends to be more stable than gas as far as safety goes. However, there are still some precautions specific to electrical stoves.

o Clean under the burners regularly to prevent fires. Extra bits of food that fall under the burner into the tray can catch fire if the burner is hot enough.

o Since pots are placed directly onto the burner, it´s pretty easy to accidentally touch the hot element. Be careful when reaching across the stove, even if it´s turned off, since the element can store heat for a while afterwards.

o Take care and use protective equipment to put things in the oven. Electric stoves usually have elements at the top of the oven and this can really be a danger when you reach far into the preheated oven.

Stoves are very useful and can be a great appliance to have, but they do need to be treated with care in order to avoid injury. Cook carefully and follow the safety precautions listed above to get the best, safest use out of your stove.

How to Repair and Maintain a Hose Reel

A hose reel can be easily found in any home as it helps in keeping the garden hoses neat and clean. But sometimes it also gets punctured or damaged due to certain reasons. You can either repair it at home or have to replace its essential parts that might lead to costly expenditures.

Some of the issues related to the hose reel are very easy to resolve through repairing and in actual fact; any person can fix with the help of some elementary spare parts along with the tools. The DIY (Do It Yourself) repairs not only saves your precious time but also the expenses that you might have to spend in buying new equipment or getting the assistance of an expert repair service.

Irrespective of the category of a hose reel you buy, a time period always come when it begins to leak through its joining points or it might become punctured. The repairing of a leaking hose reel is not a hard job to do. You can do the repairing of a hose reel cart, wall mounted or retractable hose reel on your own just by following some important steps.

STEPS OF REPAIRING A HOSE REEL

It is always advisable that you do not leave any water in the hose reel during the winter time as the cold water can easily lead to the crack or hole in the hose. Below are the step-by-step instructions that will help you in repairing a leaky or damaged hose reel in a very easy manner:

Step 1: Check all the Connections

The first important step in this is to check the entire connections. A hose reel generally has around 5 diverse connectors that are situated on the beginnings to the faucet, leader hose, out-tube, garden hose and in-tube. If your hose reel is leaking, then you should try to tight every single connection before you opt out for the expensive repairs or replacements. At times, a loose connector might also be the main wrongdoer. While fixing the connectors, you must be sure to line up the threads in order to avoid any kind of damage to it.

Step 2: Change the Defective O-Rings

Changing the defective O-rings is one of the common repair steps that are required generally. Sometimes, a hose reel also becomes leaked as an O-ring gets dry or gets cracked after using for the long duration of time. You can easily buy replacement O-Rings from any hardware shop or through the online shopping websites. But before purchasing an O-ring on your own, you must have a look at the guidebook or website of the manufacturer to confirm that which size of the O-Ring is suggested for your particular hose reel model.

Step 3: Take out the Panel

Next step is to take out the panel after turning off the supply of the water to the hose reel. After this, detach the hose and the reel. Now, you have to use a screwdriver in order to take out the 4 bolts which are situated on the knob side of the case and place them in a secure place. Then, pull the shield away from the case to uncover the whole panel.

Step 4: Fix the New O-Ring

Now, take out the middle pull nut of the knob by utilizing a 7/16-size plug jerk as well as a ratchet. Then, pull the knob away from the equipment and inspect the spindle. After this, again take out the black O-Ring through the shaft and install a new O-Ring made up of plastic. Place the knob on top of the shaft once more and make it tighter before arranging the entire panel and locking it up with the 4 bolts.

Step 5: Oil the Bushings

If the shaft is still not attached, then lubricate the bushings. It can be done by smearing a degreaser to a fabric or paper dish towel and spreading it on the shaft, knob, bushings, and several other parts where the knob device moves the coil of the reel. Then set it away and let it get dry in the air totally before putting on a coat of lubricant over the bushings.

Step 6: Change the other Defective Connectors

There is one more O-Ring washer in the hose reel connector which might be the reason of the hose reel leakages. In order to change this O-Ring, you have to just take out the washer from the hose reel connector with the help of an even head screwdriver and change it with a novel O-Ring. After this, if still the connection gets leaked, then a replacement connector might have to purchase.

Step 7: Buy a connector of accurate size

For replacing a dripping connector, you must buy a connector which is of the correct size for your hose reel and then cut the hose just underneath the defective connector. Now, attach a new hose connector with the help of guidance that is provided in the installation manual. In any case, if the In-tube connector had to be replaced then you must buy a repair tools kit which comprises of all of the basic replacement parts.

Step 8: Fix the Defective Main Hoses

If the main hose of the reel is getting leaked, then buying a hose repair tool kit is advisable as this will benefit in saving your expenditures of acquiring a replacement hose. You have to just cut the length of hose from where it is damaged and utilize the connectors of the kit to re-join the tops of the hose. By using an electrical tape’s piece or a hose repair duct tape can also fill the small cuts or cracks in the hose reel; however these alternatives generally only offer a provisional fix and incline to wear out in very short span of time.

Step 9: Prevention of the leakage

There is one trick to lengthen the short life of hose rings i.e. to apply some silicone grease on them at the time they get installed. But, you should be cautious while fixing a metal hose end to the plastic one.

How To Repair A Table Lamp or Floor Lamp

We strongly suggest that YOU DO NOT DO THIS ELECTRICAL REPAIR YOURSELF unless you are experienced and qualified. If you are qualified and experienced then no further instructions should be necessary.

There are just too many variables and too much to risk. Today there are many new socket configurations, many electrical cord types and other electrical specifications among other things to take into account. It simply makes more sense to have this type of repair done at a professional lamp shop that specializes in lamp repairs.

All of the lamp repair companies with which we are familiar do repairs at a nominal charge and consider lamp repairs almost as a loss leader service just to get people in their store. You will likely find that a lamp repair shop will do the work for less than what it costs you in travel expenses and for electrical parts.

We sell lamp parts in our brick and mortar store and it is very common to see a customer return 2-3 times to get an additional lamp part that they later determined was necessary to complete their lamp repair. By the time they completed the repair they could have paid us to repair 2 or 3 lamps.

I have read numerous internet articles on lamp and lighting repairs and there is enough misinformation and partial information floating about to get a well intentioned handy man into some serious trouble or at the very least to cost him some real inconvenience.

So, pack up your defective lamp or chandelier and take it to a professional. The cost is nominal and you will sleep so much better!

– Jim Hoyle

Aweber Paid Autoresponder or Listwire Free Autoresponder?

Autoresponders are special software that respond to emails automatically. These tools are used for email marketing campaigns and to market your products. An important thing to keep in mind while designing this software is to prevent the emails from going into spam. So the question I get asked a lot is should I go for a Paid Autoresponder or Free Autoresponder?

For the purpose of this case study, I will be comparing Aweber (Paid Autoresponder) vs Listwire (Free Autoresponder).

Email list building is an important feature of all autoresponders. They are a vital key for the success of your marketing campaigns. By using Aweber, the biggest advantage that you have is that you get step by step instructions on list building and autoresponders, email marketing, and much more.

The customer service of Aweber is commendable. Also, Aweber makes sure that no spam complaints reach your ISP. This is really important as your ISP may block your IP address if it receives too many complaints. But the fact that it is a paid autoresponder shadows all the Aweber autoresponder benefits. Aweber was a very popular email autoresponder until its free competitor Listwire came along.

List building is done by four methods. List building offers incentives to your visitors for signing up. The key to successful list building includes making the visitors believe that the information you have is hundred percent accurate and genuine. Then the visitors need a reason to remain subscribed to your services and lastly the service should be keen on developing a healthy relationship with the subscriber. This is what list building is all about and what Aweber and Listwire services offer. List building is most useful to the visitors so it can be done two ways. Firstly by sending emails and secondly through broadcasting of blogs. Both methods provide invitations to the readers with every contact.

Listwire autoresponders has most of the features offered by the Aweber services but free of cost. Aweber has a monthly subscription of $19 per month whereas you can avail all the features of Listwire for free. The numbers of subscribers are unlimited on both services but Aweber charges a bit extra for making the subscribers unlimited.

I also feel that comparing the user interface of Listwire and Aweber autoresponder is also important. While creating web forms, there are more personalization options in Aweber. There are many good templates that we can choose from. Also, in Aweber, we can remove the tag that shows that the web form is powered by which company. We do not have that option in Listwire.

An important feature that an autoresponder needs to have is that it should schedule follow ups and successfully send campaigns through email. Both the autoresponders, namely Listwire and Aweber are equally successful in this regard.

Another Listwire benefit is that it integrates perfectly with PopUp Domination. We simply have to copy paste the URL of our web form into the plug in.

These were just some of the comparison areas of the Aweber paid autoresponder vs Listwire free autoresponder. Aweber autoresponder benefits are many but when you see that majority of the benefits are available from Listwire without any charges then you tend to vote for Listwire.

Aweber is great for businesses but for new entrepreneurs, you can start off and learn a lot from Listwire.

However, bear in mind that once you have built your list to a bigger size and decide to transfer, reputable third-party autoresponder services won’t let you import your list from Listwire or any free autoresponder without having them reconfirm. You will likely to lose half to two-thirds of your list in the transfer. Also, prepare to have their own ads send out together with your outgoing emails which could be a turnoff to your list.