Home Made Vacations

Who told you that a great vacation is hundreds of miles away? Who told you that a good time gotta cost a lot of money? Who told you that you can’t have a luxurious vacation without booking a flight, securing hotel reservations, getting a car rental, or packing up a suitcase? Because that’s all lies! You can do it! The magic word? STAYCATION!

But, what is a staycation, anyway?

Umm… I’m so glad you asked, Mr. Bear! Because, boy have I got some honey for you!

A staycation is simply a home vacation! That’s right! Instead of taking the girl to the country, we’re gonna bring the country to the girl! Right in the living room too!

Don’t you know that the possibilities are truly endless!

You can go camping, right in the living room! We can sleep in the woods, right from the back bedroom! We can even make the entire sun disappear by covering every single window and door crack up with dark bags and tape! We can sit around a makeshift fire in our little campsite (using a ceramic heater) and enjoy marshmallow smores!

Or, we can turn the house into a luxury vacation home! We can hang fancy drapes up around the house, and breakout our finest dish wear! Let’s get fancy! Cover the table with a nice-looking tablecloth and get some accent candles to match it!

We can literally go anywhere in the world simply by dressing the house up accordingly! We only need a little bit of creativity.

The key to a great staycation is being in the spirit and having the right type of focus in place. We gotta make up our minds that we are going to play by the rules, and we are going to commit to having a good old time!

Get the furniture out of the way. If we’re going for an outdoor thing, then we want to get rid of as much furniture as possible. But, where would we put everything?

Well, if you have an extra room, we can move everything to that one single room and then close it off. We should disassemble things like the end tables and the furniture that comes apart easily. We don’t need to disassemble the entertainment center, but we can just drape a thick cloth over it instead.

We want to have as much open space as we can.

It’s best to create a schedule to follow, because without this, then we will be tempted to get back into our regular home routine. We should consider closing off the kitchen too. We want the house to feel different and out of the normal setting.

If we are going for an upscale staycation, then we would instead work to fancy the house up a bit.

We should consider moving a few pieces around too. Because, this would add to the change of feeling in the house.

Be sure to turn off and unplug all TV’s if we’re going the outdoor thing. But, if we’re doing upscale, then why not bring the bigger speakers out?

If we are doing a staycation with the kids, we only gotta be a bit creative.

Kids will generally follow your lead, so as long as you remain in the mood, they will play along.

Unplug your phone and turn off your cell phone for privacy and peace.

If you have the bigger room, then consider switching things up with the kids! That’s right! Give them the bigger room, and let them have your bed too! You can just turn the mattress over for them.

The idea is to truly change things up a bit so the house again, feels different.

Make sure you get some scented oils for the tub. Aroma therapy will greatly enhance the atmosphere of the home and the fresh earthly or fruity scents will linger on and on.

Consider changing up the meal agenda. Try preparing something that you don’t do too often.

If you’re going outdoor, then go for non-meat. Or, fish if that. If you’re doing upscale, then go for the high-quality plates and silver wear. The heavier feel will make the meal taste even better!

Ignore the doors and the neighbors. But, before you go on your staycation, just tell your neighbors and everyone else that you’re going on a staycation! So, while you might seem like you’re home, you’re not! Explain this to them, and then stick to your guns!

Try going out at times that you don’t generally leave the house. You want to make sure that things are not business as usual.

Get some board games for the kids, and a few good books to read. This is the perfect time to sit down as a family unit and do some reading or getting reacquainted with each other.

Also, if the house needs anything new and major, this might be the perfect time to take full advantage! For example, if you wanted to paint the living room.

Anything is totally possible! You don’t need to spend countless dollars to go on a great vacation, because you can do it all from the comfort and convenience

The Difference Between Monoblock Wheels and 3 Piece Forged Wheels

In the wheel industry monoblock and 3 piece are two of the most popular types of forged wheels. The terms “monoblock” and “3 piece” refer to the construction of the wheel, but the similarities end there. In fact, there are many differences between the two types that make each ideal for different kinds of automotive applications.

Monoblock wheelsare also referred to as “one-piece” wheels, meaning that they are forged into a single part without any removable components. During the manufacturing process a monoblock wheel begins as a single, round block of 6061-T1 aluminum alloy. The aluminum block is compressed and subjected to intense heat which creates a dense grain structure and forms a round, blank piece of metal. The single piece of aluminum alloy is then flow-formed and placed in a CNC milling machine where the spokes are formed to finish the manufacturing process.

Being that monoblocks are made from a single piece of aluminum alloy, they are the lightest of forged wheels. Their low weight is sought after as they help to reduce unsprung mass which can reduce acceleration times, enhance braking, and improve handling. Monoblock wheels are often less expensive than their 2- or 3-piece forged counterparts, as fewer parts are used for construction. However, if a monoblock wheel is damaged or bent they are difficult to repair, often requiring a complete wheel replacement.

3 piece forged wheels offer different advantages over monoblocks, mostly from a styling standpoint. A 3 piece wheel has three main parts: a center, the outer hoop or “lip”, and the inner hoop. The manufacturing process of 3 piece wheels is similar to that of a monoblock, except more aluminum alloy blocks are used due to the increased number of parts. After all of the pieces are milled, they are fastened together using a number of perimeter bolts and sealed using Silicone RTV.

The construction of 3 piece forged wheels allows manufacturers the ability to offer a wider range of widths and fitments for customers. 3 piece wheels are also the most customizable as any of the components can be easily painted or chromed to create a unique color scheme. If they sustain any damage it can be readily replaced. In addition, 3 piece forged wheels retain the highest resale value amongst used wheels. 3 piece wheels are not without their disadvantages. They are the most expensive forged wheels because of their multi-piece manufacturing, and if the RTV Silicone seal is broken, leaks can form.

February Fever

Welcome to the top 5 organizing projects for February. As of the 1st of the month there are only 48 days until Spring!!! I’ve got spring fever already. Did you know that a 2013 survey showed that over 72% of households in the U.S. engage in some kind of spring cleaning? The trend seems to increase incrementally each year. See, you are not alone.

If you are like me you are getting antsy to get your hands in the dirt and start growing those precious seedlings of flowers, fruits and/or veggies or maybe your dirt looks like getting a jump on cleaning the garage or attic or perhaps you are ready to make your to-do list for all the exciting possibilities Spring has in store. Let’s jump in here and get to our next top 5 organizing projects:

Our 1st item on the top 5 list is to focus on the rest of our closets from January and add cabinets.

“Originally, the cellar served primarily as a coal store. Today it holds the boiler, idle suitcases, out-of-season sporting equipment, and many sealed cardboard boxes that are almost never opened but are always carefully transferred from house to house with every move in the belief that one day someone might want some baby clothes that have been kept in a box for twenty-five years.”

Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life

I read the above quote one day and had to share because OMG I actually do have those baby clothes boxes in my attic. Honestly, I saved them for when my children had children so they could share their baby clothes but now I just visit those boxes simply because I need to reminisce. Psst, I think it’s time they go to a better home.Now, I do understand that cleaning out all of those closets and cabinets might be a daunting task however, imagine how surprised and free you will feel each time you open any closet/cabinet and see all the space available and how neat everything is stacked, hung, boxed and/or stored. I try to just work on at least one cabinet and closet per day. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed.

This seamlessly leads to the 2nd item on the organizing list: Pots, pans, brooms, sheets, towels, or boxed items found in the back of the closet that you have absolutely no idea as to what is in them. And let’s not forget the kids’ closets. Here is where the fun really begins because now we can separate it all into boxes marked keep, discard, and donate. Keep a blank pad of paper near you at all times so that you can make your own list of what needs replacing or mending. Last year I found that there were a few mechanical items that needed to be donated like the Roomba we never used and the fish cage for the BBQ and I was able to repurpose old kids’ t-shirts by collecting enough to have a comforter made from them.”Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.”

P.J. O’Rourke, All the Trouble in the World

The 3rd item is to specifically organize your shoes. I’m talking ALL shoes. Girls, it’s important to make room for the new sandals and flip flops so let’s get excited!! I store my summer shoes in a large, rectangle wicker basket during the winter and I use an adjustable shoe rack on the floor of my closet for the current season of shoes. Rotating my seasons keeps me focused on the present and allows me to pay close attention to what shoes will need repair and what will need to go once that season is over. I have to admit that it is a very thrilling time for me when I rotate my shoes because it means I am always looking forward to the outfit possibilities. Lately I have been enjoying a song by Old Dominion called “Shoe Shopping”. Check it out while you go through your shoes. It’s quirky and fun.

“Above all, believe in true love and know that men are like shoes. A couple is like a left and a right foot, and out there is your perfect fit. Sometimes you need to change styles and shop around to find it. Sometimes you have to break styles in, sometimes you feel like something that is unstylish but comfortable, and sometimes a style – as much as you like – just doesn’t suit you and will never fit.”

Camilla Morton, How to Walk in High Heels: The Girl’s Guide to Everything

The 4th item might not apply to everyone, especially if you filed your taxes in January but around my house most of the tax documents finish their trek to my mailbox by the end of January so my husband is ready to begin the process of sorting it all out and getting the information ready to be filed. If this is you then maybe this is the year to begin creating filing folders or bins specifically for tax prep. Creating a filing system, clearly labeling files for collecting receipts throughout the year, scanning specific documents like pay stubs so that you won’t have to save each and every one of them. Staying on top of this mound of paperwork from the beginning of the year will be a blessing come tax time next year. Print this document to help you know what to keep and for how long.

The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don’t have to pay taxes – naturally, no one wants to live any other way.”

Judith Martin

And just like that here we are at the 5th item on our organizing list for February. Item 5 is kind of a fun item and ties back to my own antsy disposition regarding gardening. Sometime around the 15th of February, and in some locations even earlier, certain seedlings can be planted in a starter garden. If you have southern facing windows where sunlight comes in all day that is the ideal spot for your starter garden. If you are like me and go crazy with seedlings then you know that the indoor starter garden area runs out of usable space. In cases like these where you just don’t have enough room for all the seedlings you will be starting you can use special light kits that set up neatly and effectively to help those seedlings get the best possible care. The fun part of this project other than planting is going to the store or ordering from a favorite catalog all the precious flower seeds and food seeds you would like to have growing in your garden this year. This is a great project for the kids to help out. My kids used to love watching their seedlings grow. It’s the next best thing to a pet.

I hope you enjoy the discoveries and space you will find this month.

See you in March!

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”

Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

How To Read Jewelry Marks

The number markings on precious gold jewelry are a bit of confusion to lots of people. We are generally used to seeing a karat or silver mark like this: 10K, 14K, 18K, Sterling, etc. The numbers mean the same thing.

For 14k the number is technically 583 but most manufacturers adopted the European way and make 14k gold a tiny bit over 14k, so the mark is 585 in most 14k jewelry. 18K is marked 750. If the mark is valid and there is a makers mark also in the jewelry, the number means these items are 18k gold.

Here is where the numbers come from. Pure gold is called 24 karat. For 18k gold, there are 18 parts of pure gold mixed with other metals to make the metal suitable for use in jewelry. 24k is too soft alone to stand up or to hold stones well. 18 parts pure gold divided by 24, or 18/24 equals 750. That is where the number comes from. The jewelry is 75% pure gold, 750 parts gold with 250 parts other metals out of “1000” parts. It is easier to think of it as a percent which is pure gold in the recipe.

Sterling silver is marked 925. Sterling is 92.5% pure silver and the rest is other metal, generally copper.

What does it mean if the ring marked 14K PR? The 14K simply means it is 14K (Karat) gold and because of the K means it would have been made in either South East Asia or The United States. The PR marks are just the Maker or Store ID or even a design mark, and have no relevance to the Value.

The basic decimal formula to work out the quality of gold content is quite simple, as they are all measured in ‘Parts per Thousand.’ This means that 9ct gold is calculated like this: 9 (for 9ct) is divided by pure gold (24) and then multiplied by 1000 (for pure gold as a decimal). ie: 9/24*1000=375 That 375 is the decimal quality for 9ct gold and is sometimes shown with a decimal point in front – .375

The old Victorian standard of 15ct gold is calculated the same way – 15/24*1000 = 625 (Not quite the numbers you have on your jewelry. Dental gold is 16ct or 666 recurring. But you can also reverse this formula by starting with the decimal and working back. ie: 375/1000*24 = 9

In your case we can use 698/1000*24 = almost 17ct

I have a platinum engagement ring and found a wedding ring that I really like but the band is made of palladium. Is it safe to wear these two metals together without one damaging the other?

It will wear the softer metal OVER TIME but that could take many years. My Grandmothers wedding ring eventually wore away the band of her engagement ring but it took over 20 years to do.

Platinum and Palladium and quite good together but I would take the advice of your local friendly jeweler and have them check both rings. Sometimes the Platinum may be a lower grade in order to make it harder – so have that checked.

Cunninlingus For Beginners – 3 Steps to Make Her Squeal With Delight!

One of the hardest things to do as a guy, is to go down on a girl and provide amazing cunnilingus. In all honesty, it does take some practice and some learning on the different techniques that work amazingly well. But there are definitely some things you can do as a beginner to make her squeal in absolute delight. Let’s get started:

1. Warm her up. Don’t dive right in, but rather warm things up by kissing, touching and licking. Slowly make your move downtown. Once you are there you want to continue to warm things up, by kissing and licking the thighs and the vagina area. Once you hear that she’s getting excited, then you can zero in on the clitoris and go to work.

2. Go gentle with a FLAT tongue. You can experiment later with a firmer, more pointed tongue, but for beginners it’s best to use a flat tongue to start with. Girls can be very sensitive and many have stated a firm, pointed tongue can be too harsh. Go gentle and feel her out. If she’s sensitive then take it easy and maneuver slowly.

3. Use this Technique. For a good starter technique, simply focus on tongue circles. Just go round and round with your tongue as if you are making circles. This is a basic, but effective technique. Beyond your circle action you can vary the speed, you can go from small circles to occasional larger circles and then back to small, and you can do spiral circles where you start small and gradually go larger, then reverse it. There are many variations you can perform, just pay attention and see how well she responds to the particular circle technique you are performing.

What are OFNP, OFNR, OFNG and OFCG? Understanding Fiber Optic Cable Fire Ratings

Just like copper cables, NEC (National Electrical Code) requires indoor fiber optic cables be marked with their fire and smoking ratings. NEC requires all indoor fiber cables be marked correctly and installed properly for its intended use.

According to NEC, a building’s inside area is divided into three types of sections: plenums, risers and general purpose areas.

:: What is a Plenum area?

A Plenum area is a building space used for air flow or air distribution system. In most buildings, the area above a drop ceiling or under a raised floor is used as the air return (source of air) for the air conditioning. Those drop ceiling and raised floors are also where fiber cables are often installed. If those cables were burning, they would give off toxic fumes and the fumes would be fed to the rest of the building by the air conditioner. As a result, people could be injured even though they are a long way from the fire.

:: What is a Riser area?

A Riser area is a floor opening, shaft or duct that runs vertically through one or more floors

:: What is General Purpose area?

All other area that is not plenum or riser and on the same floor is a general purpose area.

:: Fiber Optic Cable Fire and Smoking Rating Markings

OFNP Cables:

OFNP stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum. OFNP cables have fire-resistance and low smoke production characteristics. They can be installed in ducts, plenums and other spaces used for building airflow. This is the highest fire rating fiber cable and no other cable types can be used as substitutes.

OFCP Cables:

OFCP stands for Optical Fiber Conductive Plenum. OFCP cables have the same fire and smoking rating as OFNP cables but they have a conducting armor or central strength member which is usually steel. OFCP cables must be properly grounded at both ends. As a result, OFCP cables can not be installed in the same cable tray or conduit as power cables.

OFNR Cables:

OFNR stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive Riser. OFNR cables are used in Riser areas which are building vertical shafts or runs from one floor to another floor. OFNR cables can not be installed in plenum areas since they do not have the required fire and smoking rating as Plenum rated cables. OFNP plenum cables can be used as substitutes for OFNR cables.

OFCR Cables:

OFCR stands for Optical Fiber Conductive Riser. OFCR cables have the same fire rating characteristics as OFNR cables but they have conducting armor or central strength member which is usually steel. OFCR cables should also be properly grounded at both ends. OFCP cables can be used as substitutes for OFCR cables. OFCR cables can not be installed in the same cable trays or conduits as power cables.

OFNG Cables:

OFNG stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive General-Purpose. They are typically used in horizontal cabling, single floor applications. OFNG cables can not be used in plenums or risers. OFNP and OFNR cables both can be used as substitutes for OFNG cables.

OFCG Cables:

OFCG stands for Optical Fiber Conductive General-Purpose. They have the same fire characteristics as OFNG cables but they have conducting armor or central strength members which is typically steel. OFCG cables should be properly grounded at both ends. They should not be installed in the same cable tray or conduits as power cables.

Honesty and Integrity – What Does This Mean to You?

Honesty and Integrity go hand-in-hand, but in today’s world, it seems that people have grown so lax that both of these traits have flown out of the window. In fact, if you ask the majority of today’s youth to give you the truest definition of honesty and integrity, they may be able to tell you that being honest means telling the truth, but they probably won’t be able to tell you anymore than that.

Although most people understand what honesty is – telling the truth – do you understand what telling the truth entails? For example, yes it is wrong to lie, but isn’t it also wrong not to tell the whole truth, or the whole story so to speak? Many people believe that withholding portions of the truth is the same as lying, and if you are doing this, you are not practicing honesty.

But, again, if you ask today’s youth about integrity, most won’t have a clue what you are talking about. This is a word that they know how to spell. They have some small idea of what it pertains to, but they have no real grasp on what it means to have integrity, along with honesty. If you have integrity, it means that you live your life in a moral and ethical way. Honesty covers lying, but integrity seemingly covers everything else in life.

Once we grow up, and are forced to face reality, we learn that the world can be a cold, hard, cruel place. As we work our way through life, often we lose site of our own values. We are trying to get the bills paid, get the kids educated, taking care of elderly parents, trying to hold our marriage together, and trying to live to see our own retirement years and grandchildren. With all of this going on – seemingly all of the time – it isn’t hard to lose sight of our values, which in turn affects our honesty and integrity, even if we never intended for that to happen.

Before you can live your life with honesty and integrity, you first need to have a good sense of who you are, and what you stand for in life. We all have strong feelings concerning certain issues, such as abortion, firearms, and things of this nature. But as big as these issues are, these are the easy ones. Here, you are either on one side of the fence, or the other.

But in the small day-to-day things, where do you stand in terms of your values. For example, is your honesty and integrity so great that if you ran a red light, you would pull over the next policeman that you saw and insist that he give you a ticket? The chances are good that you won’t. But if the cashier at the lunch counter gives you too much change, the second you realize it, are you going to give that extra money back? Hopefully your honesty and integrity would come into play, and you would do everything in your power to get that money back to that cashier.

In order to live a life based on honesty and integrity, you must know who you are and what you stand for, and you must also police yourself on a daily basis, ensuring that you aren’t doing anything that conflict’s with your own values or moral code.

The Purpose of Digressions in Beowulf

Few other features are more characteristic of Beowulf than the use of numerous digressions and distinct episodes. While some scholars have made attempts to show that the digressions, or some of them at least, have something in them which is inappropriate to the main narrative and are detrimental to the poetic value of Beowulf, this essay will argue that the digressions and episodes provide a conscious balance and unity and, in fact, contribute to the artistic value of the poem. Beowulf scholar Adrien Bonjour divides the digressions and episodes into four categories: the Scyld episode; digressions concerning Beowulf and the Geats; historical or legendary digressions not connected with Beowulf and the Geats; and Biblical digressions. It is within this structure where we will explore specific digressions and determine their role in the poem.

Before we inspect specific digressions, it is important to provide a brief justification for their presence in general. As Bonjour observes, the poet adeptly uses digressions to add to the coloring of the poem, to serve as a foil to a given situation, to contribute to the historical interest and significance, to provide symbolic value which contributes to the effect and understanding of the poem, and to heighten artistic effect. In addition, the digressions contain welcome information about the hero’s life. It is through digressing that the poet presents the values and perspectives that are to be understood. Action is, after all, only action.

In his division of the digressions and episodes, Bonjour gives the Scyld episode its own category, probably because it is the longest digression from the main narrative in the poem, and possibly because it raises so many questions. At first glance, the opening of the poem with Scyld and the genealogy of the Danish kings seems strangely out of place in a poem about Beowulf, a Geatish hero. But upon further study, a significant parallelism can be found between Scyld and Beowulf. First, both Scyld and Beowulf came miraculously to liberate the Danes. Scyld, being the first liberator in the poem, foreshadows Beowulf who comes later. A second touch of parallelism between the two kings can be found in their inglorious youth. Scyld was found a wretched and abandoned child and Beowulf is conspicuous for his inglorious youth. The striking reversal in their fortunes is clearly stressed by the poet.

Bonjour points out that another artistic purpose in this episode is the glorification of the Scyldings. Had the distressing condition at Heorot served as the only introduction to Beowulf’s mission, this may have created an impression of weakness on the part of the Danes. As we will see later, if the Danes had not been glorified at the beginning of the poem, the greatness of Beowulf may have been diminished.

Finally, the striking contrast of the funeral scenes are endowed with a “symbolic value which heightens the artistic value” and the unity of the entire poem. The beautiful description of Scyld’s funeral suggests a beginning and is the symbol of a glorious future. In contrast, Beowulf’s funeral symbolizes the end of a glorious past while the future is fraught with foreboding.

The Scyld episode allows the poet the use of two of his favorite devices: parallelism and contrast. The contrast between Scyld and Beowulf is perhaps one of the finest artistic achievements in the poem, and the parallelism between the two kings may well be summed up in the legendary epitaph of a cowboy as indicated by J.D.A. Ogilvy and Donald Baker: “Here lies Bronco Bill. He always done his damnedest”.

The next of Bonjour’s categorical divisions regards the digressions concerning Beowulf and the Geats. The first of this group that we will examine is Beowulf’s fight against giants. This digression serves a twofold purpose: it allows the hero his convention of boasting, and it also, however subtly, allies the hero with God. The immediate purpose of this mention of a glorious feat in Beowulf’s early life is to give us an illustration of his uncommon strength, and to give at the same time a justification for his arrival at the Danish court. It also sets Beowulf up as a specialist in fighting monsters: “I came from the fight where I had bound five, destroyed a family of giants…”. The art of boasting is important in an epic hero as it showcases his accomplishments and glorifies his name. As Victor Bromberg denotes, a man’s name is very important in epic poetry because it becomes equal to the sum of his accomplishments.

The second function of this digression is to surreptitiously ally Beowulf with God. When Beowulf pits his strength against the giants, he is unwittingly allying himself with the true God of Christianity. This lends dignity to the heathen hero who, without knowing it, is fighting on the right side after all.

In the Ecgtheow digression we learn that Beowulf’s father has killed Heatholaf, a member of the powerful Wilfing tribe, and has begun a feud from whose consequences the Geats cannot protect him, and he has fled to the court of Hrothgar. Hrothgar, consequently, pays his wergild to the Wilfings. Bonjour asserts that this digression serves two purposes: first, it creates one more bond between Beowulf and the Danes; second, it counterbalances the fact that the Danes are accepting help from Beowulf.

The Unferth episode serves primarily as a foil to emphasize Beowulf’s greatness. In spite of the sinister overtones of Unferth’s reputation, the poet also shows him as a distinguished thane. Had Unferth been reduced to a mere swashbuckler, Beowulf’s superiority over him would not have meant so much as it actually does. In his essay “Beowulf: The monsters and the Critics”, Professor J.R.R. Tolkien suggests that Beowulf’s conquest of the nicors in his youth are referred to [in this digression] as a presage to the kind of hero we are dealing with. Beowulf’s answer to Unferth’s criticism also establishes him as a man to reckon with in words as well as with his sword. So, from this digression we learn Beowulf’s qualifications for cleansing Heorot, and also that the hero is not only a great warrior, but a man capable of delivering a coup de grâce in a battle of wits.

Bonjour notes that the first allusion in the poem to the fall of Hygelac gives us a fine instance of a particular use of contrast characteristic of Beowulf. It is ironic that the first hint of Hygelac’s fall should be called up by the description of the treasures given to Beowulf by Queen Wealtheow after Beowulf’s victory over Grendel. It looks as if there are already some implications of the same nature as those to be met with in the Dragon story where, as Bonjour remarks, the beauty of the treasure of the Dragon’s hoard stands out in contrast to the curse attached to it. Here, the necklace is among “[the finest] under the heavens”, yet Hygelac had it when he was slain.

Next, we will look at the digression on Beowulf’s inglorious youth and Heremod’s tragedy in conjuntion with one another. Heremod’s tragedy actually falls outside the structure proposed by Adrien Bonjour as it has nothing to do with Beowulf and the Geats directly. However, we will bring the Heremod digression out of the proposed structure since it provides such an important contrast to Beowulf’s inglorious youth.

The short digression on Beowulf’s inglorious youth is but another touch that contributes to the glorification of the hero. The inglorious youth heightens the effect of his later glorious deeds and makes them all the more remarkable by way of contrast. But this digression reaches its full effect when contrasted with the tragedy of Heremod. In Hrothgar’s speech to Beowulf, we learn that Heremod was a strong, valiant hero whose career showed great promise, but that he subsequently proved to be a bad ruler. Beowulf, on the other hand, is first despised but he has now grown into a glorious hero. Heremod’s tragedy redefines, though negatively, what a good king should be. Thus we have a poor beginning (by Beowulf) followed by a prodigious ascent contrasted with a brilliant promise (by Heremod) ending in a miserable downfall.

The next digression to be examined concerns Hygelac’s death in Friesland and Beowulf’s return by swimming and his subsequent guardianship of Heardred. The poet tells us how Beowulf escapes from Friesland, where Hygelac is slain, by swimming back to his country with thirty to panoplies of armour on his arm. Obviously, this part of the digression serves to further glorify Beowulf’s extraordinary abilities. Later, we learn that Beowulf turns down Queen Hygd’s offer of the Geatish throne in favor of acting as counsel to Heardred, the rightful heir. Beowulf’s refusal of the crown illustrates his moral greatness. Here, the Geats present a striking contrast to the Danes. Ogilvy and Baker suggest that unlike Wealtheow, who is obsessed with securing the succession of her sons to the throne, Hygd asks Beowulf to take the throne in favor of her own son for the good of the people. This contrast is made even greater when compared to the situation at the Danish court where Hrothulf seizes his uncle’s throne. The story of the Danish succession serves as a foil: on the one side we have a treacherous usurpation, and on the other, a refusal to accept the crown out of sheer loyalty. Along with the glorification of Beowulf, this digression brings the theme of loyalty to the forefront.

In seeking the Dragon’s den, Beowulf makes a long speech in which he looks back over his life from the time when, at the age of seven, he came to the court of his grandfather, King Hrethel. The immediate purpose of Beowulf’s long speech appears to be a pause so that the hero can gather strength and resolution by looking back over a life of valiant deeds. But this digression goes much deeper when we read into King Hrethel’s angst over his eldest son, Herebeald, who is accidentally slain by his brother Hæthcyn. The accidental killing suggests the inexorability of wyrd (fate), and on the other hand, the poignant lament of Hrethel prepares the dominant mood of the end of the poem (Bonjour 34). This thematic “Christian” acceptance of earthly woes anticipates the rationale of Beowulf’s actions. He, too, will accept his fate. Bonjour states that the appearance of wyrd here is of great importance as it gives us the keynote of not only the digression, but of the whole ending of the poem.

The Last Survivor’s Speech is an elegy cut from the same cloth: “Baleful death has sent away many races of men”. Tolkien states that here, the poet is handling an ancient theme: that man, each man and all men, and all their works shall die.

In the short digression on Weohstan (Wiglaf’s father) and his slaying of Eanmund, we learn of the history of Wiglaf’s sword. The primary purpose of this digression is to give us something of Wiglaf’s pedigree, and to establish that Wiglaf is not ordinary, he is of the same blood as Beowulf. The establishing of Wiglaf’s history is important, because if this part were played by any other Geat, Beowulf’s heroic courage would appear to have been matched by an ordinary human. Also, there is a definite parallel between Wiglaf’s loyalty to Beowulf, and Beowulf’s loyalty to Hygelac.

The last digression that we will look at in this division deals again with Hygelac’s fall and the battle at Ravenswood. Since Hygelac’s raid, the enmity between Franks and Geats has remained. The Swedes are not to be trusted either since Beowulf’s death is likely to rekindle their memory of the feud between them and the Geats. With the opening of this last digression, Bonjour observes that the poet allows us to catch a glimpse of what the future has in store for the Geats. Plainly, the author is using Wiglaf’s messenger as a means to foreshadow the fate that awaits the Geatish nation.

The third category of digressions concerns historical or legendary digressions not directly connected with Beowulf and the Geats. The first digression in this category concerns the fate of Heorot. No sooner has the poet described the glorious building of Heorot than he concludes, “it would wait for the fierce flames of vengeful fire”. The allusion is to the feud between Ingeld and Hrothgar. This illustrates another example of the poet telling his story with a kind of structural irony which alternates prosperous with tragic events. Here, William Alfred remarks that Hrothgar is set up as the heroic king of a loyal comitatus, but suddenly, what begins as a description of the impressive halls of Heorot breaks down into an account of its destruction by fire in a feud. On this point, Bonjour mentions that the contrast inherent between a harmonious situation and a brief intimation of disaster adds to the impression of melancholy in which so much of the poem is steeped.

After Beowulf has killed Grendel, a scop improvises a lay in honor of Beowulf and compares him to Sigemund and Heremod. Sigemund was a great slayer of monsters and the greatest adventurer since the unfortunate Heremod. Beowulf, they say, is comparable to Sigemund. Sigemund and Heremod are inroduced to give us a standard of comparison for Beowulf. Bonjour surmises that this whole digression is certainly intended to praise the hero.

The next digression we will examine begins abruptly as Beowulf is returning home from Hrothgar’s court. We are given a description of Hygelac’s court before Beowulf’s arrival, and here begins the digression. The passage is devoted to a comparison between Hygd, Hygelac’s queen, and Modthryth, queen of Offa, king of the Angles before their migration to England. At first glance, Modthryth may seem, like Heremod, to be merely a bad character introduced to heighten the virtues of a good one (Hygd) by contrast. Modthryth, however, is more complex than that. She begins as a cruel and tyrannous princess, but redeems herself once on the Anglican throne at Offa’s side. This opposition provides a connecting link between this episode and Heremod’s tragedy. However, the respective careers of Heremod and Modthryth run exactly opposite courses. This digression serves several purposes: Modthryth serves as a foil to Hygd; the connection to Heremod again stresses the “abuse of power” theme, and Modthryth’s beginning could also be viewed as a parallel to Beowulf’s inglorious youth; an unsavory beginning which blossoms into a glorious end.

We will examine the Finn and Ingeld episodes together since the parallelism between the two is unmistakable. The Finn episode is an account of a blood-feud between the Danes and the Frisians. Hnæf’s sister, Hildeburh is a Danish princess who was married to King Finn of the Frisians in order to bring an end to the feud. The peace, however, is short-lived and the Finn episode points directly to the theme of the precarious truce between the two peoples. The prophetic telling of the tale of Ingeld by Beowulf suggests that the martial alliance between the Danish princess, Freawaru, and Ingeld, prince of the Heathobards will yield similar results. Bonjour claims that the central theme of the two episodes is exactly the same, that tribal enmity sooner or later sweeps away all attempts at human compromise. Indeed, this also proves to be a central theme of the entire poem.

The final category in which to make note is the digressions of Biblical character. Owing to their Christian element, the Song of Creation as well as the allusion to the Giants’ war against God and the allusions to Cain all take a front row seat.

The Song of Creation appears almost simultaneously with the introduction of Grendel, “There he spoke who could relate the beginning of men far back in time, said that the Almighty made earth…”. The Song of Creation goes back to the Biblical account in Genesis. Its immediate purpose is clear enough-it is a matter of contrast. The rare note of joy in the beauty of nature contrasts deeply with the melancholy inspired by the dreary abode of Grendel.

We will now look at the allusions to Cain and the Giants, and in doing so, it is important to note that the monsters are presented from two points of view. To the pagan characters, these creatures are eotenas [giants], and scuccan [evil spirits]-all terms from Germanic demonology. But the poet in his own voice tells us of the true genealogy of the Grendelkin: they are the monstrous descendents of Cain. This two-leveled portrayal of the monsters places them on one level like the dragon that Sigemund slew, and on another level it has connotations of Satanic evil which the Bible invests in them. At this point, new Scripture and old tradition unite.

The destruction of the Giants is said to be carved on the hilt of the magic sword which allows Beowulf to slay Grendel’s mother. Beowulf’s fight is now felt to partake of the struggle between the powers of good and evil. We were told earlier that both monsters were of the same kind as the Giants, but as Bonjour shows, we now know that God himself actually helps the hero by directing his attention to the magic sword which depicted God’s own action against the accursed race. Now, it is almost as if Beowulf has been raised to the rank of God’s own champion. Beowulf, for all that he moves in the world of the primitive Heroic Age, nevertheless is [for a moment] almost a Christian knight.

Bonjour concludes that Beowulf, once in the position of a king actually transcends the picure of an ideal king by sacrificing his life for his people, the significance of which is stressed by the very contrast with Hrothgar’s own attitude towards Grendel. But Hrothgar is already the figure of an ideal king, so now it becomes easier to compare Beowulf to the Savior, the self-sacrificing king, the prototype of supreme perfection.

Scholar B.J. Timmer sees the form of the poem as a failure because of the poet’s compromise in an attempt to glorify both pagan and Christian elements. John Leyerle echos this view when he describes the theme of the poem as “the fatal contradiction at the core of heroic society” in which the impelling code demands for the hero individual achievement and glory, whereas society demands a king who achieves for the common good. But why should there be a necessary separation here? Would it not require a heroic individual to achieve for the common good? The Beowulf poet, rightly, does not perform this separation.

In conclusion, it should be stated that whether or not we admire the digressions, we should recognize that they are part of the poet’s method, not the results of ineptitude. Here, I agree with Bonjour that the links of the digressions and episodes to the main story are extremely varied but, as we have seen, they are all links of relevance that weave the main theme and its background into an elaborate tapestry. Theodore M. Anderson sums up the significance of the digressions when he writes:

The poet drew his settings from the scenic repertory of the older heroic

lay, but he strung the traditional scenes together with a moralizing

commentary in the form of digressions, flashbacks, boasts, reflective

speeches, and a persistent emphasis on unexpected reversals-all tending

to underscore the peaks and valleys of human experience.

A good dose of common sense should expel any lingering beliefs, on the part of skeptics, that the poet’s digressions are reckless or that they diminish the value of the poem. As we have seen in this essay, there are simply too many instances of foreshadowing, careful contrast, and parallelism for the digressions to have been carelessly thrown into the mix. So, we shall draw the conclusion that behind all the digressions is found a definite artistic design clear enough to allow us to agree with Bonjour that each one plays a useful part in the poem. In other words, we have found that all of the digressions, in varying degrees, are artistically justified.

The Importance of Family Love

I wonder if someone could explain this in words. No not at all, it is not easy to hold the weight of words describing family love. Yeah but someone can do the job nicely! The one who has departed from his family members or the one who is unable to see the beautiful faces of his parents and siblings. The one who has pulled up stakes from his family will surely realize later, that he has lost something worth caring. They all can feel the importance of Mother love in it’s intense form. They can realize the importance of father’s intimacy and the confidence of sharing tales with one’s siblings.

Though sometimes out of anger and wrath we behave unfriendly but it does not mean that we don’t care for each other. Family quarrels are bitter things but are of least importance. We should not care about these few bitter memories but rather we must think about the existing love within our family members.

Actually a family is the building block of a society. Many families when combined give rise to a social network. If the building block of a society is scattered then imagine the bitterness that spoils the whole society! But if the family members are linked to each other with the strong bonds of love and intimacy, a prosperous society will be developed.

Family members are amongst those few people in this present day world, who will genuinely worry about you. They will always be there for you, to fall back upon when you have been disillusioned with the outside world. Though at times it feels that they are interfering too much in your life, it’s only because they care for you. If sometimes you feel bad about them, do focus on your mistakes and errors and be sorry for them.

In family life, love plays the role of a magic bullet which helps you to overcome all the difficulties that come across your path. You are able to share all your sorrows and pleasures also with people who really love you and care for you! The love of your family is your ultimate confidence and strength, so take care of your family members and truly love them before it’s too late and you have to repent on your carelessness.

“There’s no vocabulary for love within a family, love that’s lived in but not looked at, love within the light of which all else is seen, the love within which all other love finds speech. This love is silent.”

Guide To Bipolar Omega 3 – Can Fish Oils Treat Bipolar Disorders?

Bipolar disorders are a mental and behavioral disorder and over 13 million people in the Western nations are suffering from this illness. But there is a good news, Bipolar Omega 3 supplements can treat this disorder and help such people live more productive lives.

Bipolar disorders are also known as Manic-depressive condition that causes irrational behavior, unstable mood swings and lowered functionality. There are a variety of biological and social factors that can cause this disorder and the treatment procedures also vary.

Most of the indications used to treat mental disorders are aimed at reducing the intensity and frequency of symptoms. High dosage can have various side-effects such as weight gain, drowsiness, acne and kidney problems. So it is best to look for natural remedies that can treat these disorders without any side-effects.

Omega 3 supplementation is a natural and healthy way to treat behavioral disorders. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) form an integral part of our cell membranes and are crucial for various biological functions.

DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is the main component of brain cells. These are considered essential for the brain and retinal development in infants. EPA or Eicosapentaenoic acid is responsible for the communication between brain cells and the nervous system.

Lack of any of these fatty acids can interfere with the functioning of the brain and lead to mental disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, ADHD, insomnia, depression and manic-depressive illness.

Fish oils are the richest source of EPA and DHA fats. Regular consumption of these oils can boost the functioning of the brain cells, increase IQ levels and improve the reflexes in our body.

EPA and DHA fats activate the secretion of serotonin hormones in the body. Serotonins are mood regulating hormones secreted by the brain. They act as neurotransmitters and are known to improve mood swings and depression problems in people.

In addition to treating mental disorders, Omega 3 fatty acids have various other health benefits too. They reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in the blood stream. They have blood thinning properties that inhibit formation of platelets and blockage of arteries.

Regular intake of fish oil supplements can protect against breast, colon and prostate cancer. They are beneficial in treating painful conditions such as arthritis, joint inflammation, varicose veins and Reynaud's disease.

To ensure maximum health benefits, it is imperative that you choose the best quality supplements. For bipolar disorders, choose fish oils with a high EPA and DHA content. One such product with a very high DHA content is the Fish oil extracted from Hoki fish. Hoki is found in New Zealand and has naturally high omega 3 levels.

Make sure the oil you buy is molecularly distilled. Molecular distillation is a refining process that removes all the toxins such as mercury, metals and PCBs from the fish oil and makes it safe for daily consumption.

Studies on Bipolar Omega 3 reveal that these fatty acids have a therapeutic effect on people suffering from bipolar and other mental disorders. For a healthy mind, consume pharmaceutical grade, molecularly distilled supplements.

Diabetic Tests and Exams: Do You Have Diabetes?

As the occurrence of diabetes only increases, it is well to know if you have the disease or not. Diabetes requires special tests and exams to monitor blood sugar levels, and diagnosing the disease is not always easy.

Your first step should be with your doctor. He will ask you about your family history, and if diabetes runs in the family or not. He will also ask about other risk factors. In addition he will want to know what medications you are taking. You will be asked if you are allergic to any medications and if you have high cholesterol or other early signs of cardiovascular disease.

The blood test itself is simple. One of easiest methods for checking and testing blood sugar levels is with a finger stick. This will give blood sugar levels immediately but do understand that they are not always as accurate as a laboratory test. A pinprick is made on a finger, a drop of blood is placed on a test strip, and then it goes into a small machine. These same test kits are used by diabetics keep track of their levels at home. Occidentally, you will get an unusually high or low reading which requires a re-test. Also they are only accurate to within about 10 percent of the reading a laboratory would get.

A fast plasma glucose test may be ordered by your doctor. For this test, you will need to fast eight hours before your test is scheduled. Your blood will be drawn, usually in the morning, and your reading should be no more than 126 mg / dl. If the reading is higher, you probably have diabetes. The test may be done again on another day to verify the results, or you may be asked to take a glucose tolerance test or a glycosylated hemoglobin test.

These other tests are more accurate and will confirm whether you are diabetic or if you are considered pre-diabetic, which may mean you have a high risk of developing diabetes in the future.

The oral glucose tolerance test involves drawing blood and testing it, then drinking a very sweet drink and two hours later you will have another blood sample drawn. If this test shows your blood glucose level to be over 200 mg / dl, you are diabetic. A reading between 140 and 200 would suggest a pre-diabetes condition.

The most accurate test of all is the glycosylated hemoglobin test. This is a measurement of how high your sugar level has been over the last 120 days. This time period reflects the normal life span of all red blood cells. Extra glucose attaches to red blood cells and places there for the life of the cell. It is the best measurement for people who already have diabetes. This test is being used more often as a diagnostic tool for testing for diabetes.

Lastly, you may have seen advertisements on TV about monitors that do not require you to stick your finger each time you need your blood levels tested. These kits will make it easier for those who use their fingers at work. These are also a good choice for those who need to test multiple times a day. Many diabetics will test their sugar levels and adjust their insulin accordingly.

Obesity, Breaking The Habit

We are creatures of habit, that much is known. We do not create habit out of sheer laziness only, but mostly to be efficient. Neverheless, as in all things in life, even good things can turn on us. When it comes to our eating habits, adopting unproductive habit can be as dramatic as leading to obesity.

Were it not that I had to learn this from personal experience, I never would have known. Creating habit is a question of setting ones' mind to it for a period of 21 days. It works like a charm. A good example is childrens' bedtime. If you want your child to go to sleep at a certain hour, make a ritual of putting the child to rest at the same hour every day for 21 days. On day 22, skip half an hour. Chances are that you will find your child fast sleep where you last left him or her.

When it comes to breaking through cycles of unproductive eating habit, the same applies. If you want to lower your food intake, and believe me, this really helps when you want to lose excess weight, set your mind to keeping it up eating less for 21 days. But when it comes to habit, you have to understand that it has a life of its own, it is "up to speed" so to speak.

This could be compared to inertia. (Try to push your car into motion without the engine; you will have to give it a mighty heave to get it to roll ever so slowly, but once motion has set in, it becomes easier).
So the trick is in understanding that if you want to diminish your food consumption without suffering from it too much, you have to go about it gradually.

Start by eating 10% less and keeping this up for 21 days. Then cut another 10% and keep it up for 21 days. Do not worry, the scale will show results even though not as quickly as you would expect. But the pounds you lose in this way stay away, they do not come back! In the beginning, your weight will stabilize, you will stop gaining weight. That too is a very good result. By the time you start the third cycle and take another 10% off your overall food consumption, your weight will start going down faster.

It may very well be that you will have to go through a number of cycles before regaining your ideal weight, that is normal. But if you want to speed things up, you could consider combining taking up exercise while breaking the high food intake habit. Not only will it speed up the weight loss, it will improve your overall health.

How to Get an Aries Man Back – Surprising Strategies to Reclaim His Heart

You want to get back an Aries man. Obviously things didn’t work out the way you hoped for with your boyfriend. Relationships have a way of careering off course when we least expect it. After the dust has settled, and the break up is behind you, you may come to an awakening. Realizing that he’s the guy for you is difficult enough. Figuring out how to get him back in love with you is where the real challenge begins. If your guy is an Aries you’re going to have to approach things from a specific angle. You need to regain his trust so he can open his heart up to you all over again.

There’s a big misconception among women that they feel the brunt of the emotional turmoil after a break up. That’s simply not the case. Men feel things just as passionately. They experience the same pain that we do and it naturally leaves them wary of trying the relationship again. In order to get an Aries man back you have to show him that he can trust you with his heart once again. To do that you must be strong and emotionally stable. You have to work towards getting him to see that you’re the only woman for him.

The first thing you should be doing to get him to feel closer to you is initiate a platonic friendship with him. This is important for two reasons. First and foremost it ensures that you’ll remain a positive influence in his life. You already know him very well and so becoming a friend to him will feel comfortable and natural to both of you. Aries men are very open to the idea of maintaining contact after a relationship ends, so he’ll likely welcome the idea with open arms.

The other reason you want to become a friend to your ex is you need to work on showing him the improvements you’ll be making to yourself. You’re going to work on being more confident and self sufficient. Aries men go wild for women like this. You’re also going to be mature enough to recognize that the past needs to stay in the past. Drudging up the break up time and time again will only alienate him more. He wants to move forward and away from that pain, just as much as you do.

As your new friendship develops show him that you’re definitely someone he can lean on. Be there for him but keep the romantic feelings at bay. Your focus needs to be on demonstrating to him that you’re a strong and reliable presence in his life. Once he senses this, his heart will be much more open to the idea of the two of you moving from friends to romantic partners again.

Pros and Cons of Becoming an Auto Mechanic

There are various positive and negative realities of becoming an auto mechanic. You need to be familiar with all of them before becoming 100 percent committed on pursuing this profession. By being involved in auto shop courses and working as a mechanic apprentice early on you will gain invaluable information that will help you make a thought out choice. In this article we aim to showcase some significant advantages and minuses of working as an auto mechanic and set you on the right path to pursuing this subject further.

Pros:

1. Doing work on your own vehicles.

As a mechanic you’ll be able to work on your own personal vehicles which means you will save money by doing the work yourself. Additionally, you can buy and repair older vehicles and sell them for a profit.

2. Great place to begin for launching your own shop.

After you obtain the essential expertise you will have the opportunity to open your own shop. This will require not only technical skills but additionally behavioral skills that you will need a lot when dealing with clients.

3. Employment stability.

As increasing numbers of individuals are putting off the purchases of new vehicles their older cars need more repairs and maintenance. By entering this field, you can expect to always have a place to work provided that you possess the essential skills.

Cons:

1. Expensive resources.

The equipment required for the career are costly. Initially the majority of your wages will go towards your tool assortment. It is a sizable investment but will pay off for itself eventually.

2. Entry-level salary is fairly low.

When coming into the field of automotive repair, you will notice that your income will not be very high. Dependent upon your location and past experience the earnings may vary individually for each person but tend to be anywhere from $8 to $15 per hour. If you need a high paying job instantly, this may not be the career path for you.

3. Long hours and continuous training.

Fast paced mechanic shops are generally filled with cars and remain open to satisfy client expectations. Anticipate to work nights and weekends. Furthermore, with all the changing technology in cars a mechanic will need to continually retrain themselves. As a mechanic you will also have to retake the ASE examinations every 5 years in order to maintain your certification. This training costs money and typical courses cost between $500 to $2,500.

Great Skin is Clean Skin

Great skin does not mean using tons of makeup to cover blemishes on your face. It does not mean resort to harmful methods to improve your skin's texture. Cleaning your skin is never about harsh peeling, tough abrasives, or severe chemicals.

Keeping your skin looking fresh, young and healthy is all about proper cleansing, effective toning, and gentle moisturizing. It's about doing these basic methods of skin care right, and doing them faithfully. One of the ways you can reach your goal of healthy and younger looking skin is by using an effective exfoliate, such as a power cleaning brush, in your daily face cleansing regimen.

You're probably wondering how effective cleaning can help you achieve the skin you have always wanted, or even look younger and more vital. One of the secrets spas do not tell you about the power of sonic technology and dermabrasion. Commercial skin cleaners and scrubbers oscillate at more than 300 movements per second to loosen the dirt and grime and help slough off the top layer of dead skin. The results can be amazing and immediate – fresher, cleaner, younger looking skin !.

Simply look for a home home care cleaning brush that replicates the sonic cleaning power of commercial cleaners. These home brushes, like he Clarisonic, are so mild you can use them twice daily. With continuous and regular use, you'll bid your uneven skin tone, rough patches, blemishes, and fine lines goodbye.

Great skin can be yours if you follow the simple steps of cleaning, moisturizing, and exfoliating.