Military Grade Materials

You can learn more about government programs and projects on the Internet these days as the government is shifting to being more transparent and accessible. This is a giant step forward for those in power as they can communicate better with their constituency and get valuable feedback. Who can argue with this. Let me give you an example in a very minor way. The armed forces use towable tubes in certain situations for various purposes, not to mention water recreation. By reading about it (because I like to ride in such tubes) I found out how they avail themselves of quality materials and newer technology compared to the common public. What I wanted to know is how to get access to a tube made of military-grade materials for better durability. Some cheaper tubes do not hold up over time and I like this sport, if you can call it that.

I found out that yes, the public can buy these army and navy tubes at local surplus stores. Not all of them stock them and when they do there aren’t many. So if you see one, grab it. I had to travel to five stores to get the one I wanted and tote it home, waiting for my next vacation. So there are perks and benefits available to the public if you know how to find them. Thank the Internet every time. This is where I live. It is my permanent resource for just about everything. The only thing is that I couldn’t order the military grade tube on line and had to search for alternatives.

On my vacation, I got the high-grade tube out and transported it to the shore. You can rent boats for a day and attach your tube for some good riding on the sea. It is great fun and unlike any other water recreation experience. So my encounter with a government site that contained information on these tubes was a good find. I am pretty pleased with my research capability and how I can use government-sanctioned articles to my benefit.

I was having a good time so I called a few friends to come and join me. They got there in no time flat. We decided to share the tube and take turns. It was just as much fun. In between rides you can have a snack or a beer, or just relax and watch what others are doing. Inevitably there are others with boats towing tubes. We are a kind of private community on the water. We got a lot of sun and some of us a bit of a burn. It will be the evidence of our water hijinks at least for a few days. No one minds a status tan when they get home. People ask about your trip and are intrigued by towable tubes. Most haven’t ever done it. After all it is a bit of a trek to the water and a hassle to transport the tube. It is worth it, however, and I would never turn it down.

Due Diligence

I need a great hot tub that sells for $500 or less for a community center that is free to the public. Funds are in short supply so it is important to get quality for this budget. I felt that I needed help so I would not fall short of my goal and still get good quality. I turned to the APSP, the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals that supports government advocacy. Surely this is the right organization to vet companies to install the right unit.

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals is the world’s largest and oldest association representing the swimming pool, spa and hot tub industry. It offers an extensive online directory of members to help consumers as well as industry professionals find pool, spa, and hot tub service companies, retailers, builders, and other industry products and services. With an APSP Certified professional at your side, you’ll find values and options for every budget and every circumstance. I can see that this is the answer to my need to do due diligence. I will find a reliable company at a fair price that meets the demands of the public that frequents the community center.

When I contacted the organization I received a lot of help. I got a list of local vendors and scads of written testimonials. They were a veritable hot bed of recommendations. I feel comfortable knowing that I have a good resource. It is not easy to find something suitable for the public when it comes to hot tubs under $500. This usually means a smaller hot tub, perhaps not big enough for more than six people. I will have to find a discounted offer or compromise in some other way such as the building materials. With the help of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, I didn’t have to cut corners. They were able to find people who do public service work and could offer a much more expensive unit for $500. It was going to be durable, attractive in design, have a reliable heating unit, and functional spray jets.

The community center set the budget and when they found out what they could get, they were pretty pleased. It pays to do your research for the best buys. Most of the other units for their price were made of inflatable materials that could puncture or leak. We didn’t need an award-winning design, but we did want something that fit in with the adjacent Olympic size swimming pool and deck chairs. We wanted a total look for our budget price. Not surprising, in a couple of weeks the hot tub was installed on a semi-permanent basis and it looked just right. There were people enjoying the warmth practically on day one: from senior citizens to little kids. The community center was most appreciative of my efforts and the APSP when I explained their important role. Of course they got glowing written praise for their website.

A Weekend Away

The highlight of my summer was taking some time off to go boogie boarding with friends. I got a new board, which made the outing that much more memorable. The boogie board is all about riding and watch the world go by while you skim along the shore. With the right board, this is a fun way to welcome in summer any time you head over to your favorite beach. I love all the different graphics I see on boards. People off their fun and funky personality with the brightly decorated boards. Mine is a simple fiberglass model whose seamless design lets me glide across the water with ease. It has a thick poplar plywood core construction overlain with fiberglass and protective resin and laden with scratch resistant graphics. As boards go, it is average at 41 inches long, 18 inches wide, and .5 inches thick.

Why pay $100+ for a bodyboard? You can, but I didn’t. High-quality advanced designs and styles of hard slick bottom bodyboards are the best performing and selling bodyboards right now. That’s why I got a new one. In keeping with my fixation, I decided to learn more about the water sport. Here’s what I was told was essential: Pay attention to warning signs on the beach. They may indicate hazards such as rocks, reefs, strong currents, old jetty remains or jellyfish. If you find yourself in front of a wave that’s going to crash hard on you, quickly lie down on the board facing forward, grip the board tight, push the board underwater and take a deep breath just before the wave hits you. Sounds like good advice.

Also, I was told to check the forecast to see how big the waves will be. Waves with a swell of 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m) are recommended for beginners. It is important to position yourself in the belly of the wave you are trying to catch; avoid the crest or tip-top of the wave. The larger the wave is, the farther you’ll be able to ride it. A regular rule of the water is to be sure to ride the waves in a path where you won’t hit anybody. Colliding with other boarders can hurt and be dangerous.

The classic boogie board position is called prone riding. Another popular stance is drop knee, which involves kneeling on the board with one knee bent at a 90 degree angle and your foot placed flat on the board. After a wave has crashed into you, prevent other waves from throwing the board against you by curling into a ball and holding the board in front of your knees with both arms wrapped around it.

How’s that for boogie board basics. Otherwise it is pure instinct as a casual recreational activity. Most anyone can learn the ropes in an afternoon. You just have to get a board that is the right size, then enter the water and lie down with your belly on the board. Kick and paddle to where the waves are breaking, choose the wave you want to ride, and start paddling and kicking toward the beach in the same direction the wave will break. If you catch the wave, you are in for a great ride.

Building a Reference Library

Building a reference library is a noble undertaking, but you have to sometimes bind your own materials. Not everything is already in print and there are times when e-books simply will not do. Whatever your topic, it takes hours of research to glean all the possible sources, print them out, and ready them for permanent storage. You want a quality job, not something that will fall apart after a few hands have perused the pages. Information is precious so if you want to keep it intact, there are certain rules to follow.

One is to use a heavy duty saddle stapler that can work with up to fifty sheets of paper. You want the option of saddle or flat stitching, and it should be adjustable. Most staplers in the high-end range will give you dual functions and about a four inch stitching depth. Beginners might want to keep it simple however so read the directions carefully. Advanced users can operate two machines at the same time through a connection device. Two staples thus come out simultaneously for extra heavy synchronous binding.

Since this blog is a kind of saddle stapler 101, let me state right at the start that you will want to get at least 200 staples in one dispenser. You don’t want to have to refill very often and stop your work. Some staplers in this category weight about fifteen pounds, so that tells you the kind of tool you are in for. In addition, you can get 110V/220V in most stores.

Every library worth its salt should have one or more saddle staplers (and people capable of using them!). They come with a safety foot switch. What else should you know? You should be able to switch back and forth between saddle and flat staple mode, usually by plugging or unplugging the foot switch. You should also have an automatic start up when paper touches one of the “trigger switches.” Added to this, there is adjustable stapling pressure possible, sometimes up to nine or more.

If you are balking at the thought of binding your own fingers to the page, fear not. There are safety switches on all models that protect the operator. Danger comes from not paying attention or working when there is insufficient light or you are too tired. It takes some skill and you will improve over time.

The prospect of binding on site opens up enormous possibilities for a reference library of any size. You can start with the most popular topics and work your way over time to less requested ones. Sooner or later, it will all be useful to users. Once they know what is there, they will spread the word. If a library is known to be comprehensive in its holdings, and to include rare material, it will become a valuable resource. You can also bind Internet sources and e-book titles so people can go online at the library or later at home. It is questionable whether you want to loan your bound books or not. A lot of work can be undone if materials are not treated properly, are lost, or never returned.