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I and my wife always travel on our vacations. We always want to do something different, but we end up in the same places. And we always end up more stressed out, because of the hectic cities, clogged up beaches, a bunch of people walking around So we decided to really do something different on our last vacations.We were tired of the usual city trips that we take every year, so we looked at mountain cabins for rent. We finally settled on a cabin in the smoky mountains, an...

Cabins For Rent, For A Romantic Getaway

Cabins For Rent, For A Romantic GetawayI and my wife always travel on our vacations. We always want to do something different, but we end up in the same places. And we always end up more stressed out, because of the hectic cities, clogged up beaches, a bunch of people walking around So we decided to really do something different on our last vacations.We were tired of the usual city trips that we take every year, so we looked at mountain cabins for rent. We finally settled on a cabin in the smoky mountains, and headed out their on the 16th of May. Boy, were we in for a treat.The reason that, of the all the mountain cabins for rent we chose that one had a lot to do with the picture. There were bigger, more imposing mountain cabins for rent, more luxurious destinations, but something about this particular cabin really captured the imagination. It looked like a hunting lodge settled under imposing, gigantic virgin pine forest. In the background there was just the tiniest sparkle from the pond behind it, glistening with light filtering through the tree.When we got there, we were more than pleased with our choice of mountain cabins for rent. The pond was huge. It was really more of a lake. The only thing that made it at all pond like was the stillness of the water and the presence of lily pads and swamp grass on one side. Although there were other mountain cabins for rent by the same company around the area, only one of them was in view, and that one was better than half a mile away, on the other side of the pond. It was possible to sit outside and feel like you were completely alone, far away from all of the toils of civilization.The best thing about mountain cabins for rent is if the companies renting them are modern enough to advertise them on the internet, the cabins themselves are likely to contain all of the modern amenities. If you want, you can even find mountain cabins for rent with satellite TV in the middle of the Smokies! Personally, I think that this is pointless, and our cabin didn't even have television, as it would have disturbed the wonderful solitude of our surroundings, but it did have good insulation and adequate heating and cooling, as well as wonderfully warm showers which increased the relaxation of our vacation.All in all, mountain cabins for rent are a great idea to consider for your next trip. There is no place with fresher air, or quieter nights, no better place to get away from it all than a quiet mountain cabin. If you prefer more luxury cabins you will find them, some have Internet access or a sauna with Jacuzzi and a honeymoon suite. The latest trends of cabins show that the fishing and hunting cabins are the most luxury ones.

Miter Saws Framing The Way We Cut

Miter Saws Framing The Way We Cut

Back in the old days a miter saw held a blade that was attached to a box. The blade was perfectly angled to create 90 and 45 degree angles with a simple adjustment. This manual tool easily cut through frame, crown, or chair mouldings. It even made the cut when it came to exterior corners on baseboard mouldings. Perhaps that is why there are some people who still own and use this type of manual saw and find it perfectly acceptable.Its All About the PowerToday, it seems that power is where its at, even when it comes to basic tools. The greatest advantage to using a power saw is the cleanliness of the cut. A hand saw, no matter how skilled the craftsman is, still leaves the cut wood a bit more ragged than a power saw. And with the rising popularity of all power tools, there is not a significant cost difference between a manual "miter saw" and a basic power miter saw.When it comes to fancier versions of the miter saw, then you must have power. In general, a miter saw or radial saw with allow users to adjust the degree of the cut relative to the fence which guides the wood by a single degree. There are standard stops at the most common settings of 15, 30, 45, and 90 degrees. When wood is securely anchored against the fence, a 45 degree cut will perfectly match a corresponding 45 degree cut going in the opposite direction for the perfect mitered corner to frames or window mouldings.Another Angle to Miter SawsBeyond picture frames and crown moulding, there is a whole new angle to miter cuts that make table tops, counters and other furniture safer and more appealing. It is the compound miter saw. A compound cut gives counters and table tops a unique bevelled edge that rounds the sharp corners and makes them less likely to snag or scratch someone walking by. The gradual angles of the cut shape the edge and a little sanding smoothes it to perfection.Radial arm saws can create a similar effect. It just requires a couple of passes of the blade at different angles to complete the look. The Dewalt radial arm saw was a good model, but is no longer manufactured in the U.S. (Production stopped in 1985). However, this workhorse found in many of the best workshops can still be serviced throughout the country.A panel saw is the first step in projects such as cabinetry. It is designed to cut the face and sides of the cabinet by cutting large panels of plywood into the rectangles. Then the miter saw would be used to frame and face the front of the cabinet door or draw, usually made of a fine hardwood, so that there were bevelled edges and a complete decorative front.It is easy to see that a number of saws are used to make up a complete workshop. If you have to substitute a miter saw for another, then make the radial saw your choice.

Vist Barcelona To See Gaudi's Works

Vist Barcelona To See Gaudi

Barcelona, Spain is one of the jewels of Europe with its rich history, cultural, and vibrant city life. When you concentrate on the recent cultural developments in Catalunya (composed of four regions, including Barcelona) you will find some of the richest aspects of the area.Set of to Park Guell to see some of the richest examples of Modernism in Barcelona. This park was designed by architect, Antonio Gaudi and contains some of his best works. There is as much art here as in many museums. There are benches, walls, and buildings that are true pieces of art. After you experience a stroll through the park then head to the Sagrada Familia. This is Gaudis church that was created in 1883 and has yet to be completed. It is said to be completed sometime this century, but its a joke amongst locals and expats alike as to when exactly the church will be finished.If you want to take a walk on the wild side then head over to the Barcelona Zoo which was founded in 1892. The zoo can be found in a beautiful park called the Ciutadella Park. The zoo itself has more than 7,500 kinds of animals. There is a small pygmy hippo and a strange anteater as well. The zoo takes much pride from its primate collection. There are tortoises, pelicans, and a red kangaroo. All of these delights can be photographed up-close without having to traveling to the swamp or desert! If you want to try something else for a change then the Aquarama Barcelona is a great place to start. This aquatic park is another world within the zoo. There are daily shows featuring bottlenose dolphins and all kinds of sea creatures. The Barcelona Zoo has an excellent reputation for its research and also is know for its captive breeding, as well as helping to preserved endangered species.Take a strong down the center of old Barcelona on Las Ramblas. This is one of the best street shows in the world. It is full of gardens and bird for sale. The Boqueria is a beautiful fresh market full of anything you can imagine. You can buy fresh squid to the best chocolates and fruit shakes!The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona helped the city develop even more. For instance the location of the Olympic village is now full of shops and hotels. The Arts Hotel, Mapfre Tower, and the Nova Icaria Square are all there to enjoy. The twin towers can be seen all over the city and mark where this historical even took place.

Nightlife Guide: Madrid

Nightlife Guide: Madrid

The nightlife in Madrid is the real reason the city is so popular with young people. During the day the city can be a little dry- with all the museums, parks, etc. Most nightlife gets going really late compared to that in the States. Here are a couple recommendations:Go to a Flamenco dinner showA Flamenco dinner show is a great cultural nighttime option. If you are traveling to the South of Spain, particularly Granada or Seville, its best to find a Flamenco show in these cities. It will undoubtedly be cheaper and more authentic. However, Flamenco shows in Madrid are still a good option if you wont be traveling outside of the capital.Try a few tapas barsA tapas crawl can be fun if you find the right places. Avoid some of the tourist traps in the Sol area, which are overpriced. Ask your hotel for suggestions. Vinoteca, in Plaza Santa Ana, is a one good option.Check out some of Madrids big night clubsMadrids night clubs are a fun experience. None card, and as long as you look about 18, you wont have any problems getting in. Try Kapitol, across from metro stop Atocha, and Palacio Real (near Sol). Kapitol claims to be the biggest club in Europe. Both charge a cover of 12-15 euros and get busy at around 2 AM.Hit the bars:Madrid is full of good bars. Some of the best bars for young people are in the Moncloa, Tribunal, Bilbao, and Malasana neighborhoods. Here are a couple of bars that are normally flooded with American and Spanish college students, as well as others:o El Chapandaz, The cave bar - (Calle Fernando El Catolico 77, Moncloa) Cool looking bar decorated like a cave. Some drinks are poured from a tap in the form of a rock formation hanging down from the ceiling. Good Thurs. through Sat.o Casa de la Cerveza (Metro Bilbao) - This bar is normally packed on off nights because of its all-you-can-drink for 10 euro deal (from 11-1:30 I believe). You can try Sangria, beer, or red wine and coke (called calimocho- popular with the young Spanish crowd).Note: Avoid the bars that promote around the Sol area. Some of the Irish bars are OK, as are many of the bars located in underground caves.

Slow Imposters? Preposterous!

Or is it?The slow movement overall is spreading like wildfire. Television shows, major motion pictures, and of course many travel agencies are jumping on the slow travel bandwagon like passengers from a sinking ship leaping for lifeboats.Because Slow is hot. Period.So how can you determine a solid slow plan or destination for your slow travel? A quick Google search brings up some decent results. But overall it leaves you lacking, because many of the top listings are simply doorways to quickie ticket sites like Travelocity or Cheap Tickets. Which, in my opinion, are definitely NOT slow travel oriented.For those that are new to the concept, it can be amazingly difficult to discern a really excellent slow travel destination from a cheesy imitation simply because these companies hire some of the top marketing firms in the business.These guys are good at their jobs. So they use crafty wording and lots of fluff to convince you that you've made a sound slow travel plan, when in fact all you have done is set yourself up for a rush trip filled with deadlines, coupons, and headaches.But there is a fairly simple answer to this problem. One that doesn't take much effort or much thought. It only takes initiative.Ask someone. Get in touch with someone in the know about slow travel in general. If possible, someone that has even dealt with the company or destination that you are considering. Have someone help you with your itinerary. The old saying is true. Two heads are better than one. If you can find someone that has some experience and knows what slow travel is about, you can easily learn how to avoid the pitfalls.One place you can look for assistance is www.slowtravelblog.com or www.slowtravel.org . They are both excellent resources and both completely approved and run by The World Institute of Slowness. TWIOS is considered the major authority on slow websites overall and is an excellent place to start. Even the founder, Geir Berthelsen is often available to assist you in your choices and will surely help you with your travel plans or destinations if he can.www.slowtravel.org is probably your best bet when starting out if you would rather not ask someone for help. All of the sites there are hand selected and manually approved by The World Institute of Slowness. The verification process is extensive, so it is a safe bet that destinations listed there are slow worthy.You can also try talking to some of the TWIOS members at our forum, which is located at www.slowtravelforum.com. Getting some direct insight by posting on the boards may bring you the advice you are looking for.However, everything always comes down to personal taste and your views on Slow overall. What is 'Slow' to some, may not be 'Slow' to others. So do your own research as well. By doing your homework and looking before you leap, you are most likely going to make the right decisions. Even if you don't, it is always a learning process and it will make you better for the next time.Which is what life is all about. Learning how to live it. To enjoy it.

Mexican Living Survival Tip # 10 Love, Belonging, Power, And Fun

William Glasser, M.D., of Reality Therapy fame, said this,I believe that we are genetically programmed to satisfy four psychological needs: love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun. If this is true, then you need to have a plan, a huge plan, for just how you are going to be able to meet these needs if you expatriate to Mexico. If you dont, then what will happen is what I see all the time in American gringos.They move to Guanajuato. For reasons I cannot fathom, they move here not knowing more than two words of Spanish. But they come and somehow they start a life here. They spend their days holed up in front of satellite television where they can watch all the shows they watched in America. They drive a car to the supermarket to shop. They come home and sit in front of the satellite television and watch more of the shows they watched when they were in the United States.They claim that the majority of their friends are Mexican. This is a wonder since they themselves cannot speak Spanish. So, I deduce that they have to mean that the majority of their friends are Mexicans who are bilingual. This has to mean there are a few Mexicans in Guanajuato who speak at least some English.These gringos cannot attend cultural functions that require them to understand Spanish. The only movies they see are those theyve brought from the United States because the movies in the theaters here are usually in Spanish.There I go again haranguing about Spanish.In my view, this is no way to live. This type of life would not meet my need for belonging or fun in any way. What kind of existence is that? If I wanted to live like that I would not have gone to the enormous bother to move to Mexico. You might be interested to know that these expats make frequent trips to the U.S. to get things they cannot obtain in Mexico. This translates to this:We cannot really stand Mexico. We tolerate it only because it is cheap to live here and it has year-round good weather. But, in the end, Mexico does not appeal to our American tastes. Thats why we spent a small fortune to bring our American materialistic goods to Mexico and why we go back to the U.S. to obtain those things which appeal to our American tastes.Why go to the bother to move here if you are looking for things that appeal to your American tastes? Why not stay in America?These are people who somehow, someway manage to bungle themselves into living in a part of Mexico that is not really gringo-friendly. They would have been better suited to living in a place like San Miguel de Allende or Puerto Vallarta.They are not meeting their basic human need for fun or belonging because they cannot. The reason they cannot is because they are too linguistically challenged to participate in any activities other than watching satellite television and socializing with the few expats who live in Guanajuato.If you cannot or will not learn Spanish, then it would be advisable to expatriate to an area of Mexico where you do not have to speak the language. In those areas, the cost of living is going to be considerably higher. Everything from food to housing to entertainment will cost you far more than if you lived in Guanajuato.My wife and I were once sitting in El Jardin when a gringo woman approached us. She was dressed like a San Miguel resident. We soon learned our initial impression was correct. She was from San Miguel de Allende and was in Guanajuato looking for a place to live. She could no longer afford to pay the increasing rent charged by San Miguel landlords.She told us that she was having great difficulty finding housing (she didnt speak Spanishcould that possibly contribute to her problem?). She also told us that she heard there were no cultural events in Guanajuato.Believe this or not, I am convinced that the majority of gringos in San Miguel de Allende, if the truth be known, believe this.This woman was actually told that there was nothing fun to do in Guanajuato. Her perception of fulfilling her human need for fun was to attend cultural events like concerts, the theater, and movies. She was told she would not be able to do that here because they did not exist!We told her that there is the three-week-long International Festival of Arts in GuanajuatoThe Cervantino Festivaleach October, not to mention the many year-round events. But, we informed her, you have to be able to speak Spanish to understand them. This is a Spanish-speaking town.Guanajuato defines fun with its year-round events. There is theater, movies (commercial and fine arts), there are concerts, art exhibits, etc However, if you wanted to attend a movie you have to speak Spanish. When we first moved here, a lot of movies were in English with Spanish subtitles. Now, more and more movies are entirely in Spanish with no subtitles at all.Thank God for that!This woman, whose visage is burned into my memory, said sadly, Oh, then I guess I would have to learn some Spanish. She said it like someone who just realized they would have to take rabies shots.There is a lot in this town to satisfy your human psychological need for love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun. I wonder just what Americans think the Mexican nationals do here all day long: sit like lumps scratching themselves and grunting like apes? Mexicans have to meet their basic psychological needs too. They do it much like Americans do. They go to movies, the theater, concerts, opera, lectures, parties, and to social gatherings where they have human fellowship. But, as I am at the point of being sickeningly repetitious, Americans cannot do this here because they are not able to handle the language. There is not a huge gringo population with which to have involvement.And, because they cannot handle the language, they are forced either to seek out the few gringos with whom they can speak English or they hole up in their houses with their satellite televisions.I cannot understand this. Maybe it is psychologically damaging in the long run to move to Guanajuato if you will not learn Spanish. Your ability to meet the psychological need for love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun will be relegated to watching your satellite television, driving to the Supermarket, and getting back home to watch more satellite television. Just how long with you last doing that?That is too pathetic to imagine.The lesson here: You could expatriate to Guanajuato where the weather is almost perfect all year and life is inexpensive. You could somehow muddle through getting a place to live and set up your life. You could do this without being able to speak the language. People do it. But, your life, the ability to meet your basic psychological need for love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun is going to be via satellite television.Who would want to live like that?

Summary

I and my wife always travel on our vacations. We always want to do something different, but we end up in the same places. And we always end up more stressed out, because of the hectic cities, clogged up beaches, a bunch of people walking around So we decided to really do something different on our last vacations.We were tired of the usual city trips that we take every year, so we looked at mountain cabins for rent. We finally settled on a cabin in the smoky mountains, an...