Marine Electronics 101 For New Boat Owners

So you have finally found the boat of your dreams and you are ready to outfit it with marine electronics, fish finders, GPS, and so much more, but you aren’t sure where to start. This is not an uncommon thing for new boat owners, and if you have already started doing your research and found yourself a little confused or overwhelmed, this article will help you out. If you are trying to sort out what you do need and want in your boat but aren’t sure what you don’t need, we will help you figure out the differences between the fish finders and the GPS and all of the different marine electronics that are out there. It’s true, there are some things you WILL want to make sure you have, while others you can do without. Let’s narrow that down for you.

1. While the fish finders are fun, the first thing in marine electronics you definitely want to look into is the AIS, the automatic identification system. This is a gadget used to identify boats and find them, and will be the most critical piece of boating devices you own. This will allow you to exchange information with other boats in the event of an emergency, and likewise if someone else is in trouble. This is useful if you become lost for example, as this will connect with Vessel Traffic Services who will be able to help you out.

2. A GPS plotter is one thing you also want to be sure you have. You will find when you are looking at marine electronics that a lot of the GPS and fish finders are combined into multifunction devices to make your boating experience easier and more fun. Many of these devices will have screens big enough for you to see everything all at once, and are very convenient.

3. A depth sounder may be one of the most sound investments you make as well, and will be very handy in the event of inclement weather. Fish finders and depth sounders are a great tool to use with your GPS if you need to get back to shore quickly and safely when the waters turn rough.

4. Displays on your marine electronics need to be very large. If you are purchasing gadgets or fish finders you need to remember that the larger the screen is, the easier it will be to see it. This will not be so important on the beautiful days out you will have with your boat, but in inclement weather this will be very important. You don’t want to choose anything with a screen smaller than 8″, and even at least a 10″ display is the most ideal.

Everything from the Cadillac of fishfinders to deluxe satellite systems to on-board laptops is possible if you want to make your boat a technologically friendly place to be. Depending on how ritzy you want to go, your gadget tastes and preference in marine electronics is only going to be limited by your budget.

Source by Den Harper

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How to Convince Your Wife to Let You Buy an ATV

It’s no secret that ATVs rock and just about every guy wants one. However getting your wife to see the vision is pretty difficult at times. Any good family discussion needs to focus on just that – “family”. ATVs are a great way to spend time together as a family. ATVs are a link to dozens of great outdoor activities like camping, hunting, fishing, trail riding and afternoon spins. Below I will point out a few ways riding ATVs make these activities even better.

Camping is a great way to connect with the wilderness and an ATV is the perfect way you can do that as a family. You can jump on the quad together and spend the day cruising the trails talking and enjoying the wilderness. Hunting and fishing are both great ways to bond and discover new places. Your ATV will help you do this more efficiently.

Trail riding is one of our favorite ways to spend the weekend. After a few trips my wife is really starting to enjoy driving as well. Since she is new to the state it’s been an awesome way to show her the surrounding wilderness. We chat and let the family dog join us by running behind.

Afternoon spins are one of the best ways to spend an afternoon with the kids after work, giving your wife a break from the kids. It’s a win win for both of you. ATVs can also be a huge help in the yard. Our yard needs some serious help and my quad is really helping me handle the loads of work. I’ve never met a wife who doesn’t want her husband to spend more time in the yard or playing with the kids. An ATV is a great way to do all of these things in a way that you will love as well.

Buy used: spending $8,000 dollars on your first quad is going to be a very tough sell. However finding the guy who is selling his quad after only riding it a few times is a great way to save money and get an awesome machine. Let the first owner take the depreciation drop.

Most importantly make sure it’s not just going to be another way to leave your wife for the weekend with the guys. Teach her how to drive and make the types of trips that she will enjoy and save the hardcore rides for your trips with friends. I grew up riding my whole life and now it’s becoming one if my wife’s favorite things to do. The sell has been long but we will be riders for life.

Source by Jared D Oldham

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A Simple Strategy to Winning the Fantasy 5 Lottery

Everybody wants to win the Fantasy 5 Lottery. Everyone who joined may have come up with certain strategies to play out the Fantasy 5, or have used the power of luck. Though some have become successful, still many are at the losing end of the Fantasy 5 Lottery.

Fantasy 5 Lottery games are one of the best lottery bets you can play anywhere. The odds of matching all 5 numbers are 1 in 376,992, compared to million to one odds in matching six numbers. Fantasy 5 Lottery games are based on a selection of random numbers. It is highly unlikely that a person or computer software can predict which numbers will be drawn. One of the first tips I will teach you about is to never waste money on lottery computer software that promises to crack the drawing of winning numbers.

Another tip for winning the Fantasy 5 lottery is to go against most lottery expert advises to veer away from the Quick Picks (computer generated picks). Why? Fifty percent of most Fantasy 5 Lottery jackpot winners over the past five years or so came from quick picks. So, when taking that Fantasy 5 play slip, better think twice to see if a Quick Pick can make your day. Look at the past – the best way to drastically improve the chances of winning not just the Fantasy 5 Lottery jackpot, but the 3, 4, 5 matches as well is to look at the archive of winning numbers previously drawn. Play it safe – play the numbers that appear more frequently than those who are cold I draws. A great way to look at these numbers is to view the archives of numbers previously won. There are reports published and sold, even online, for aspiring jackpot winners. You can see which of the 36 numbers have been most frequently drawn over the course of around 5years or so. With this, you get a better picture of the numbers with the most winning percentages.

Below are some more simple strategies in winning the Fantasy 5 Lottery

1. Play a combination of odd and even numbers, 2 odds, 3 evens, or vice versa. The report on the percentages of winning number stated that over a 5-year period, these combinations has a 66.19% wins.

2. The Report also stated that in a combination, it is best to play either 3 low numbers,2 high number combinations, or vice versa. The winning percent of this combo yields 67.18%

3. Again, it’s about the winning numbers. Play numbers that hit most frequently.

4. However, don’t play the same number sets – choose wisely. Same sets appear very rarely in every 5 year period, the report only says twice.

5. Don’t play an all odd or an all even combination. The odds are, just not even.

6. Consequently, as from the previous statements above, don’t play a combination of all low numbers, and a combination of all high numbers.

7. It is always best to include some quick picks in your Fantasy 5 Lottery plays.

Source by Chris Malcolm

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Memories of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf

Televised golf has had many high moments over the years, but in my opinion none better than that outstanding production, Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf. The program didn’t invent the format, but it certainly raised the approach to a new standard of excellence.

In the early television days, All Star Golf was an attempt to bring the game into living rooms all across America. The Golf Channel still runs many of those early programs and it’s interesting to see the contrast in the state of the art of TV then and now. You can see an old station wagon following the players around, carrying camera gear. For the most part, just one camera was used and you rarely saw a player tee off. Stark diagrams of the holes were used both to condense the telecast and to allow time for moving equipment around.

The year was 1957. The show’s original host, Jim Britt, had been a baseball broadcaster for both the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox and later in his career for the Cleveland Indians.

All Star Golf lasted three years and was responsible for the birth of Shell’s Wonderful World. It was in 1960 that the president of Shell USA, Monroe Spaght, watched an episode and became extremely interested in the possibilities of golf on television. But he envisioned a much larger universe than that which All Star Golf encompassed. The older show filmed most of its matches around Chicago and then later some other cities around the country.

Spaght had bigger ideas. Shell was, of course, a worldwide corporation and Spaght wanted a show that crossed the globe in its scope. The result was Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf. Gene Sarazen was hired to host the show and he went on to take viewers through nine years and over ninety matches at some of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Indeed, one of the major features that made the program so unique was the time it devoted to mini-travelogues devoted to the area in which the matches took place. It was a program that not only concentrated on golf but also opened up worlds of beauty to its wide audience, taking us places we’ve never been and educating us to the variety of locations where golf is played.

The program was also notable for its breadth of commentary from many different sources. From Sarazen to Dave Marr to George Rogers, the commentary was always relevant and informative. But perhaps the highlight of it all was the eloquent contributions served up by Jack Whitaker, whose mastery of the spoken word and the images created by it were second to none. Whitaker could sum up in thirty seconds the spirit and the character of the game and the locale in which it was played. He lent and air of authority to the program as a whole and especially to the wrap up following the match.

I would love to see the program return featuring today’s stars. The Golf Channel does show the older programs regularly and they are cherished memories, indeed. Nonetheless, it would be terrific to see today’s players in a similar situation. Probably it’s too expensive an undertaking these days, but it sure would be nice.

Source by Jim Nettleton

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Food Processing Industry How Do They Make – Fish Sticks?

This article is part of a series that will uncover the secrets of the Food Processing Industry and share with you the secrets of how your favorite food is made.

The first article in this series starts with the humble fish stick or fish finger. A childhood treat, and a adult favorite either on a plate with peas and chips or between to slices of white bread. BUT always served with Tomato Ketchup.

The Fish

The first component is the Fish, this is a frozen block about 2 ft by 1 ft by 3 inches. It is made from fish mince (cheaper end of the market) this tends to be all the left over pieces of fish. Or it can be made from whole fillets that are layered on top of each other(the expensive end of the market).

To be honest nutritionally there is not that much difference between the two. The type of fish can be COD for the expensive end or pollack for the cheaper sticks. These blocks are made within hours of the boat landing, which means the fish is about 6 hours old when it is frozen.

Making The Stick

Using a food processing band saw, skilled operators cut the block into slabs, then cut it again into fingers. The more expensive the thicker the finger the cheaper the thinner. Typical a good fish finger will be about 1cm thick, whereas the cheaper one can be 0.5 cm. These sticks are then separated and passed to the coating stage.

Adding the Breadcrumb

Similar to what you see in restaurants or TV shows, the fish is coated in a batter then breadcrumbs. BUT this is truly where the cheapness is added. If your buying cheap fish sticks they will add a layer of water, a layer of flour, a layer of batter, a layer of crumb. In the trade this is called a 4 pass and can add upto 70% bread crumb to the stick. This type can often be identified as it is extra crunchy and has almost no fish. The high end fish sticks will have a 3 pass system and often have fish contents around 60%.

So in your 300g packet of fish sticks you could have 90g fish (cheap) or 210g (expensive)

This whole process is carried out through a food processing production line of automatic coating machines. Typically a line can produce 100-200 fish fingers a minute.

Fry Time

Up to this point the fish stick is quite healthy with almost no fat….. However the stick passes through a industrial fryer that has hot oil . This makes the coating extra crunchy, this is due to the water in the coating being replaced with very hot oil. Typically all the water in the coating is replaced with Fat.

This means the more coating the more fat, now typically food processors use vegetable oil or rape oil. Neither of which has saturated fats

Frozen and sent to the freezer

Within 30 minutes of frying the product has been frozen, and grouped together to then be put into the food processing packaging machine before sending to the shops.

Considering the speed of the Fish freezing process and the Packaging process, you cant make a fish stick fresher if you tried.

Final Verdict

Fish Sticks or fish fingers, when compared to other coated products like chicken strips, are healthier, fresher and have fewer additives. So I would definitely put Fish sticks first before other coated products.

If I’m picking a Fish stick try to get ones which have a high fish content, this is typically shown as a % in the ingredient Declaration. This often means it is made with whole fish not mince and has a lower fat content.

The type of fish really doesn’t matter, some will argue that a cod fish finger is the best but be honest, you’re going to dip it in Ketchup. Once you have done that I doubt you can tell the difference, except that your wallet is a little less full.

Each week I plan to reveal how everyday food products are made.

Source by Dan S Jensen

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Ringworm Treatment – Fascinating (and Effective?) Home Remedies

Ringworm treatment home remedies, will you use these? If you are one of the estimated twenty percent of our population who is infected with ringworm, chances are you have, at some point, considered using home remedies to treat ringworm.

In my search to find the most effective ringworm treatment that’s available out there, I recently posted a question in Yahoo Answers about home remedies “that actually work,” to find out from real people, like you and me, what cure they would actually recommend. The question drew quite a few answers and these only prompted me to dig deeper into this topic.

After some more research in the internet and asking friends for their ringworm treatment “family secret recipe,” I got a better insight into what folks would consider as fast and effective remedies. Prepare to be fascinated and surprised. All of the ingredients mentioned are ordinary household items some of us would never remotely equate with anti fungal medication.

Oh, yes, before I show you the list, a quick reminder. Ringworm, despite it’s name, is not caused by worms. It is an infection caused by mold-like fungi known as dermatophytes. It is contagious and can be spread through direct skin contact with an infected person, an infected pet, or an infected object or surface. So, if you have an itsy-bitsy spot of ringworm, refrain from scratching it. The fungi will cling to your hands and you’re liable to spread the infection to other parts of your body or worse, to other family members. And about contaminated objects – never share personal items with anyone. Clothes, caps, shoes, brushes, anything can be a carrier of infection. A friend of mine who has a three year old cute little daughter named Tracy, once brought home a bunch of second-hand toys from some garage sale. She thought she made a juicy bargain – the toys were still intact and the battery-operated talking doll actually still talked. To her chagrin, little Tracy had a rash outbreak the very next day, which her pediatrician later diagnosed to be ringworm. Lesson is you can’t see fungi (well except under black light or Wood’s lamp – they glow), so be careful in handling unfamiliar objects.

But enough of this. On to the list. If you want to read more thoroughly about ringworm and ringworm treatment, just got to my site. Please click the link at the bottom of this page.

First home-spun ringworm treatment – use of ordinary kitchen vinegar and a penny. Soak the penny in the vinegar and rub on the affected area. Some even recommend taping the penny to the ringworm spot. Others use vinegar without the penny. The reasoning of those who use the penny-vinegar combo is that the vinegar reacting with the copper actually serves as an effective fungi-killer.

The next home remedy, and this was suggested by a girl named “loveme…” in Yahoo Answers, was to use diluted bleach. Using q tips, you apply the bleach solution to the affected area until it dries out. Some suggested the ratio of one part bleach to six part water as the ideal concoction err…solution. Other people rashly recommend pure bleach for the treatment but a lot of people correctly pointed out that unadulterated bleach from the bottle is a very powerful agent and may contain lye (sodium hydroxide) that can cause severe chemical burns and scarring. Just swim and soak in a chlorinated swimming pool, if you want to get the benefit of bleach in treating skin infections.

Another fascinating folk remedy is the “paper method.” People who use this, burn a crumpled sheet of notebook paper in a porcelain plate, and use the ashes or residue as salve for ringworm treatment. Imagine that.

Still another bizarre home cure is the use of colorless nail polish. Directions: apply a thin layer of nail polish on the affected area. Allow to dry and peel off with tweezers or wash with soap. Those who practice this method believe it “suffocates” the fungi and attest that their infection dried up the next day. Others suggest colored nail polish work just as well as the colorless type.

A guy from Canada vouched for sea salt as the ultimate ringworm treatment. Evidently, this gent worked in an airport and caught the infection from the counter surface he usually leans on at work. The ringworm spread throughout his body, including his face, and the poor bloke suffered for one whole year with it. After repeated (and costly) visits to his doctor, the recommended antifungal creams finally managed to clear out the ringworm in his body but not the lesions in his face. That’s when he discovered the remedy of using sea salt. He rubbed a handful of watery salt into the affected areas in his moistened face for thirty minutes and repeated the process several times. The guy swears his ringworm dried up the very next morning. Sea salt or sea water, that’s the ticket, he said.

Other items mentioned as effective medication are tobacco and Vicks Vapor Rub (suggested by “Rosie” in Yahoo Answers). Of course, a lot of medicinal herbs and plants were cited as effective cure too, but I will discuss these in another essay. Black walnut, grape fruit seed extract, fig leaf juice, and tea tree oil are a few of these natural remedies mentioned.

Would I recommend any of these home-grown ringworm remedies? Not today. It’s the human body we’re talking about here, after all. Caution should be the rule of thumb. There’s no denying that many of these simple home cures actually work – for some people. But each of us has our own peculiar set of physiological traits and allergies, quite different from the next John or Jane Doe. Our bodies, or to be more specific, our skins react differently to different substances. What I’m saying is that the home-spun ringworm treatment that worked for your neighbor might not actually work for you.

If there’s anything that I’d use myself, apart from the usual over-the-counter anti fungal medications, it’s the natural ringworm treatment method. Using plant extracts. Green all the way. One hundred percent natural, one hundred percent organic. Tea tree oil, in particular. Numerous scientific studies have already established the efficacy of tea tree oil in treating ringworm. Powerful antiseptic, peerless anti fungal agent. And because it’s natural – lesser chance of adverse allergic reactions for you. For a discussion about a company that produces natural ringworm treatment products in a modern world-class facility, please visit my site, link shown below.

Or you can always take a one-week vacation and hit the nearest ocean resort (sea salt or sea water, remember?) and have a week of fun, relaxation, and ringworm treatment.

Source by Emmanuel Gonot

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Trout Fishing – The Best Places To Fish in the High Sierra For A California Golden Icon

Fishing for High Sierra Golden Trout

One of the primary factors in determining my backpacking destinations is centered on fishing for Golden Trout. The California Golden Trout was designated the official state fish of California in 1947. Hatchery- raised fish extended the range of the golden trout to many waters at high elevation in the Sierra Nevadas and also other states.Their native populations are now strained due to the introduction of invasive species and habitat destruction and their introduction in to the high elevation lakes has strained other native plant and animal species.

The coloration of the California golden trout is spectacularly bright. The belly and cheeks are bright red to bright orange, the lower sides are bright gold, the central lateral band is red orange, and the back is deep olive green.

Early Sierra settlers were as enamored with golden trout as modern anglers are today. Beauty such as this, they reasoned, shouldn’t be limited to such a small area.

Early 1900s Kernville resident Ardis Walker wrote;

“Many of the pioneer visitors to golden trout waters reacted with a desire that was almost compulsive; they shared a common missionary urge to spread the golden beauty and life of this native habitat to the barren waters of more elevated and more easterly and northerly lakes and streams.”

It was common practice for settlers to carry golden trout in buckets of water on the backs of mules for up to a week at a time, stocking thousands of fish along the way. Some kept meticulous records; others none at all.

Studies on the impact on vegetation and the Yellow Legged Frog due to stocking of trout in otherwise fishless high sierra lakes led to the end of this activity and now golden trout are found only in high lakes (10,000+ feet). They are no longer stocked and are only found in lakes where they are self sustaining.

To reverse the damage done to the Yellow Legged Frog and other plant life non native trout species have been removed by gill netting. The best fishing has historically been in lakes at, or near the Kern headwaters and to the south. These include Lake South America, Crabtree Lakes, Wright Lakes, Wallace and Wales Lake among others. Recent trips have found the fishing not as good in some of these lakes but still very strong in others.

I release most of the fish I catch because it is illegal to have camp fires at the high elevations where the fish are found and cooking them on a stove is challenging. If you like the taste of fresh trout it is worth it. On a recent trip I spoke with a veteran backpacker and fisherman who said that she poaches them. That is another option which I have not tried.

Source by Dan Franklin

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Summary Of History In Volleyball

Who invented volleyball?

William G. Morgan (1870-1942) born in State of New York, USA. He was a director of physical education at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).

Why was volleyball invented?

Mr Morgan was looking for a game that was less violent and intense than basketball (a popular and new sport at that time) that would be suitable for the older people

Where was volleyball invented?

Holyoke (State of Massachusetts, USA)

How was volleyball invented?

Through experiments based on Mr Morgan’s own experience and training methods. The idea of the net was borrowed from the game of tennis. The net was raised to just above the height of an average man (6 feet 6 inches or 1.98m). The company, A.G. Spaldings and Bros. was commissioned to make a ball with a rubber inner tube and leather cover, circumference of 25 to 27 inches (63.5 to 68.6 cm and weight of 9 to 12 ounces (252 to 336 grams).

How did the name volleyball came about?

Volleyball was originally named Mintonette. However, at the first demonstration game held before a congregation of YMCA Physical Education Directors in 1896, Professor Alfred T. Halstead observed the ball’s unique volley action while in play and proposed to re-name the game after its visual characteristic. The congregation agreed to the name, Volley Ball. The name was later spelt as one word when in 1952, the US Volleyball Association voted in favour of doing so.

How did volleyball spread around the world?

The game spread through the Young Men’s (and Women’s) Christian Associations around the world, starting from Canada (1900) to Asia, South America, Europe and Africa.

For a summary of other aspects of history in volleyball, such as competitions and techniques, please visit www.summaryofhistoryinvolleyball.blogspot.com

Source by Anndrea Law

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Autocross Buying Guide – Select the Right Car

In my experience, autocross can be a very fun and exciting sport. I have participated in several events in my local area. I found the hobby to be very addictive as well.

Out of all my other hobbies, I think this one is the best “bang for the buck” as far as thrills go with your car. Everybody can participate. Every car (some clubs have exceptions to this though like no SUV’s, no Trucks) can race. The nice thing about this kind of race is that you are competing against others in your class usually defined by the SCCA, however, you are on the course alone so there is minimal chance of hitting other cars.

The hardest part about autocross (aside from learning how to race) in my opinion is finding the right car. Sure, you can use a daily driver, but that is not recommended if you are going to participate in several events a year. Autocross can create wear on the tires and other components very quickly and can get expensive very fast. I would recommend to get a vehicle that you can use for autocross. This can be a “trailer car” or a car that you can still drive on the road, but use only for this hobby.

There are 4 key components to consider when selecting a car for autocross:

1) What type of car to get

2) The Price of the car

3) The overall condition of the vehicle (if used)

4) Aftermarket upgrades/modifications

WHAT TYPE OF CAR TO GET FOR AUTOCROSS:

For autocross racing, some people would assume that the car has to be very powerful, small, 2 doors and modified. This is not entirely accurate. While that type of car would be nice, it is not required to be competitive in autocross.

Remember that most autocross events and clubs have the cars grouped in to some sort of class. The club I participate with follow the SCCA Class guidelines. The classes help group the cars so the same “level” of vehicles can remain competitive within each class.

This is done to avoid the “biggest and fastest is best” state of thought. It would be unfair to put a heavily modified Porsche GT3 up against a stock Ford Focus. This is why they do that.

So, to pick the right car for autocross, you would probably want a coupe or convertible FIRST if possible. Sedans can work well too, but some sedans are not geared for modifications, although, the sport sedans of today are really starting to take over.

Manual transmission would be recommended, however, if you have an automatic that is OK too. You may want to consider trading it for a manual in the future to remain competitive. Again, there are still “sport shift” type automatics out there that are getting better and better each day.

Ideally, you would also want a rear-wheel drive car for autocross. RWD cars typically provide better control and handling in most cases. I know some enthusiasts out there will disagree with me, but that’s OK. On the other hand, I have used several front-wheel drive cars that run with the best of them.

PRICE:

The price of buying a car for autocross is always the factor for me. I, like many others, cannot afford an expensive vehicle for autocross. There are, however, those that can afford it and price is still something for them to consider.

The $0-$5000 range:

This is the range most of us beginners want to start. Of course, free is GOOD, but consider the 3rd component (overall condition) when this option comes to mind. Several cars that can perform well and have a lot of upgradable options are the following:

1989-1997 Mazda Miata – Very nice power to weight ratio. It is VERY popular at autocross. 1979-1991 Mazda RX7 – Fast small car, handles well. Many upgrades available. 1989-1998 Nissan 240sx – Several aftermarket upgrades, handles very well. 1990-1999 BMW 3 Series – Very versatile car. You can find very nice models in this range now. 1988-2000 Honda Civic/CRX – I have seen several models compete well in autocross. 1984-1999 Toyota MR2 – Low center of gravity, great performance, mid engine. 1990-1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse/Eagle Talon – Many upgrades, some models Turbo AWD. 2000-2007 Ford Focus – Very competitive cars. SVT models available in price range. 1997-2003 VW Golf – Hatchbacks always like autocross. VR6 models available in range. 1990-1999 Acura Integra – Like the Civic, very competitive with many upgrades out there.

There may be a few more cars that I missed that fall under this price range. The method I use to hunt for cars can vary depending on the type I am looking for. I will use local classified ads, Craigslist. I will also use the bigger car searches and expand my general “hunting” area. I have successfully found great cars using VEHIX, AutoTrader as well as Government Auction Sites.

But what about the autocross cars above the $5000 range? Well, I am glad you are think that because I am about to list them below.

If you have some money to work with and want to get something newer, you can consider the following cars:

The $5,001-$20,000 range:

This range can include newer cars as well as pre-owned cars that are no more than a few years old. Remember, cars usually depreciate very fast, so as the years go by, some of the newer cars can be within reach for less money and are great for autocross. The cars below come to mind in this range:

1998-Current Mazda MX-5 – Still same basic car, but more power as they got newer. 2003-Current VW Golf – Even more modified than the previous versions, compete well. 1992-1997 Mazda RX7 – 3rd Gen is twin-turbo and can compete in autocross. 1992-2006 BMW M3 – M3’s are designed for racing. Some newer models will fall in this range. 1998-2003 BMW M5 – M5’s are very powerful and compete in their class well. 1994-Current Ford Mustang/Cobra – Very versatile car. Competes well in class. 1994-2002 Camaro/Firebird – Competes well in class. Many autocross upgrades. 2007-Current Mazda Mazdaspeed3 – Turbo, hatchback, competes well in autocross. 2003-2008 Nissan 350z – Great autocross car, very popular on the track. Special Autocross Kit cars such as the V6 Stalker fall in this range as well.

Now, this price range can vary in vehicles. A lot of these cars are still new and may require loans to purchase them.

The $20,001 spectrum will consist of some of the current-day models as well as the obvious “super cars” we all respect such as the Corvette, Viper, Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus and others. I will not include a list for those because if you are buying one of those for an autocross car, you did your research.

OVERALL CONDITION OF THE VEHICLE (USED):

When buying a second car for autocross, treat it like when you are buying your daily driver car. You want the car to be relatively free of major problems. Autocross racing can put stress on the car’s frame, the suspension, the brakes, the tire and the overall body of the car.

You want to be sure that the car has not been in any major accidents. Frame repair or frame damage can be very dangerous mixture when you autocross. That is the MOST important thing to check for when buying a car for autocross. I have experienced and used the service by Experian called AutoCheck. They offer an unlimited number of VIN checks for one of their service options and the price is way better than the other services out there. I have used it when shopping and comes in very handy when you are checking the history of a vehicle.

The next important item to check on the car is major component problems such as smoke coming out of the back of the exhaust, major oil leaks (small leaks are expected on most used cars) slight/major overheating of the engine. Autocross is outside and you push the car to the limit. You want the major components to be in the best shape they can be. The mentioned problems can leave you stranded at the track if you do not look out for them.

I usually have some expectation to do minor repair or preventive repairs on my vehicles when I am buying to autocross them. As I stated above, small oil/fluid leaks are “OK” and can usually be fixed very easily. Small leaks tell us that the car is just used and may not be suffering from the leak as a result. Large/major leaks tell us the car may have been neglected by the previous owner and may carry residual problems unseen at the moment. When looking at a car, start it up, drive it around with the A/C engaged (even if it doesn’t work). When you are finished with the test drive, leave it idling while you walk around the car continuing to inspect it. If the car has an overheating problem, often this is the time it will show. This tip has helped me avoid several beautiful autocross cars that had an overheating problem.

Belts and hoses are my most frequent “preventive” repair I do, even if they are not a problem. It is always best to know when an important component has been replaced rather than to “guess” and trust the previous owner. Water pumps, too, fall in this category sometimes.

One thing people always check when buying a used car are the tires. Yes, this is important for an autocross car, but not to see how “good” the tires are, but to see if the car needs an alignment. Autocross is about handling and you need to be sure the car’s stock “handling” ability is where it should be.

Why not worry about the tires? Well, tires should be one thing to consider buying for your autocross car to begin with, so the existing tires should be removed anyway. Tires are probably the most bought wear item an autocross member will buy. A lot of autocross racers will bring a set of tires for racing, one for driving home (those who do not use a trailer) and some will even bring spares for the racing tires. This is so common that Tire Rack offers tires just for autocross. I have used them and they are the best place to get tires for this.

AFTERMARKET MODIFICATIONS FOR AUTOCROSS:

If you ever look into the aftermarket world of the auto industry, you know that there are literally thousands of places to look and buy. I will list a few spots that most people do not think to look, but surprisingly have things for the autocross fans.

First and foremost, autocross cars do NOT always need major upgrades to be competitive. A driver can use a stock vehicle and compete against fellow stock vehicles and remain competitive. Once you start to modify or upgrade heavily, you may start to move into different classes and compete with other cars that are equally modified. Keep that in mind when you want to change something.

Usually, I say modify the easy things first: Intake, exhaust and general tune ups. Most autocross drivers do not go far from that. These should be the first things you try to upgrade while you participate in autocross to get the most performance out of your vehicle.

If you decide to go further to be more competitive, my next recommendation would be suspension and body roll modifications. Please remember, certain upgrades in this area may change your class. Be sure to check your club or groups rules with these modifications.

Usually, the fastest upgrade to an autocross car would be front and rear strut tower bars/braces. They are usually inexpensive to buy and easy to install. They are also very modular meaning that when you buy these, they will work with other suspension components in place (usually). This modification helps stiffen the car’s suspension and frame and helps with cornering.

The next modification recommendation would then be the front and rear sway bars and links. These parts also help the body roll while cornering and handling and can sometimes be modular to the suspension system as a whole.

The final suspension upgrade is usually the most expensive: The struts (shocks/springs). This upgrade usually works well with the above items, but ads more stiffness, more response to the handling and sometimes lower the car overall for a lower center of gravity.

Once you have modified the entire suspension, my next recommendation would be to upgrade the brakes (at least the pads). This will help your stopping ability for those moments where a tap of the brake is needed during a lap. Please keep in mind that high performance brake pads usually wear much quicker than OEM.

One of the last things I recommend to upgrade is the tires. Now, I’m not saying that you should not FIRST buy new tires when you autocross, but I am saying not to UPGRADE them to an autocross/race tire just yet. Most autocross enthusiasts will tell you to get used to the stock/regular tires on your car first.

Once you get used to stock type tires, modifying them to a race tire or softer tire will actually improve your lap times (that’s the theory anyway).

One last note. I recommend replacing the fluids in your car with as many synthetics as you can. Synthetic fluids have higher heat resistance and can take the intense moments you will be putting on the car during the autocross laps.

Source by Shaun Putnam

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Bathing Suits That Make Older Women Look Good on the Beach

With the wide variety of swimsuit styles out in stores today, there is absolutely no reason to compromise and settle for a bathing suit that is less than flattering to a mature woman’s figure. Buying a swimsuit that makes you look good regardless of age and body figure is just about knowing how to choose the right style to flatter your assets.

If you feel self conscious about baring too much skin, then you should buy a one piece bathing suit. There are many styles from the traditional one piece swimsuit to tankinis and dresses. If you are afraid that a single piece swimming suit is too boring, look for one with interesting lines and cutting. Try to avoid wild designs that will draw attention to problem areas, instead, go for simple elegant designs made up of bold contrasting colors and curves that slim your body.

If comfort is a concern for you, then you should look for a bathing suit with a slightly higher neckline and wider shoulder straps. Some of these swimsuits also have a shelf bra built in so accidents don’t happen while you are swimming in the water.

For those of you who are worried about your bottom being out on display, you should choose a suit that has either a skirt bottom or boy shorts styled cutting. These types of suits will help cover your bottom without looking outdated.

If you intend to relax on the beach more than swimming, then you might consider a dress. Swim dresses are very popular especially in Europe. These types of styles suit styles suit all different body types. Petite women should choose a A line style while a flowing style would suit larger figures. For a good example of a swimming dress, you should watch the music video for “Slow” by Kylie Minogue on Youtube. This is an excellent example of a swim dress that flatters and covers while still looking sexy and elegant at the same time.

Source by Kate Minogue

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