"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." - Cicero

Category: General Article

3 Tips for Boaters

Boating is a lifestyle. Whether you are new to the scene or have been around a while, you are aware of just how many nuances are involved with maintaining and personalizing your boat. Here are a few tips to motivate and inspire you to keep getting out on the water and enjoying your craft.

Customize It

A lot of navigators purchase their boats second hand because used ones tend to work great for the price. If you are venturing out on the water with a pre-owned boat, you probably did not get to customize it at first. Well, now is your chance.

There are plenty of ways you can go about this. You can rename your boat something personal and fun, you can repaint it using marine paint supplies or you can even update the interior. Did your used boat come with a leather interior, but you prefer pleather or faux leather? Find someone in your area who can recover the interior and then get back out on the water knowing that your personalized craft represents you even more now. The possibilities are exciting, and you might find yourself geeking out over all the potential options for the customization of your boat.

Pay Attention

Everyone knows the sinking feeling you get when you realize you have become lost. When you get that sensation on your boat out on the water, it is exponentially worse. There are measures you can take to make sure that never happens to you. If you are going on a longer boating journey than normal, fill up your gas tank before leaving. Make sure your GPS system is always working and keep some waterproof maps of the area stored near the wheel just in case.

Get the Good Stuff

At some point or another, you may

Read more

Basics of Railway Air Brakes

Railroads are the backbone of the United States, moving goods and people across the country, freeing up road congestion and hauling things too heavy or toxic for semi-trucks to handle. Millions of tons of freight are on the railways at any given time, managed by complex systems of personnel and technology consistently improved since the first steam locomotives were invented in the early 1800s. The braking systems of these massive diesel-powered trains rely on air pressure to stop loads weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds, but how do they really work?

Where Does the Air Come From?

Air brakes rely on compressed air stored in tanks on each car. During transit, the pressure is maintained through air lines leading from the engines. When the cars are sitting uncoupled from train engines for periods of time, they are usually connected to a yard air system to maintain pressure and find tanks, valves and lines which need to be replaced or repaired. The brakes are frequently tested to ensure that they work to stop the car when needed. This air system is filtered to avoid contaminants from causing damage and buildup in the brake system.

How Are They Engaged?

Technically speaking, railcar air brakes are always engaged and need to be disengaged for travel by sending air pressure from the locomotive to the brake line. Once the brake line is pressurized, a valve is switched and the brakes are released, if the pressure is released, the valve is switched back and the brakes engage. Since the brakes are on each car as well as the locomotive, if one fails, the rest of the train can compensate, and runaways are less likely. This failsafe is one of the many improvements during the last century to improve the safety of railroads.

How Are Leaks

Read more

Preparing To Move To a New Home

Moving from one place to another can be a complicated situation. The thought of moving every item in your house can be overwhelming. However, if you take the time to plan each detail, you can get everything ready efficiently before moving day. Here are some tips to accomplish this.

Coordinate the Movers

Research moving professionals to find one that meets your requirements and your budget. Provide them with how far they will need to travel when you ask for a quote. Schedule which day you will need them to arrive to pick up your things and transport them. Write out a plan for when each step of your move must happen and stay with it. This will have you ready on moving day. Place this calendar in a place where everyone in your family to keep them on the same page with the move.

Set Up a Budget

Look at your finances to determine how much money you can spend on your move. Take into account whether you are moving in town or across the country and add hotels and meals if you need to. Strive to stay within the number that you set. You also should factor in the costs of tape and packing materials if you need them.

Go Through Your House

As you prepare to pack your things, sort through them and decide what you want to keep and what you want to dispose of. Rent a dumpster to throw out what you will have trouble salvaging. Separate the rest into piles to sell or to donate to a local charity. Organize a garage sale to make a little extra money with the final items to get rid of.

Tell Others About Your Move

Make time to go to the post office and fill out a change … Read more