Moving to Australia – Top Tips For South Africans

Don’t get lost

GPS’s or SatNavs are becoming very popular as a means of finding your way around when you are driving. They retail from about $200.00. If you have already bought a GPS in South Africa, you can download all the Australia maps for about $100.00. A map book or “Street Directory” costs under $30.00. These are invaluable for getting to know the suburbs and layout of your city, even if you have a GPS. The two most popular ones are Gregorys and UBD, both produced by Universal publishers. “Whereis” and “Google maps” are web based route planners. They are useful when planning a trip to check the distance and how long it will take.

Protect yourself from the sun

Australia has a very high rate of skin cancer. Even with all the warnings a lot of people expose themselves to too much sun in the middle of the day. Primary schools have a “no hat no play” policy for all students. The Cancer Council has a wide range of products to help prevent damage from the sun. You will see a lot of kids wearing rash vests (rashies) on the beach and at swimming pools.


If you bring an older TV from SA it might not work. Although Australia also uses the analogue PAL system, the audio signal is a different frequency so you will get a picture but no sound. TV channels in Australia are also broadcast in a digital signal. (Analogue is to be phased out by the end of 2013). To receive this signal you can buy a digital set top box for about $80, and as long as your TV has an audio and video RCA input you can connect it up. The picture is superior because it is digital: no ghosting or fuzziness. You need a decent aerial on the roof, but most houses and apartments already have one. Most new LCD or Plasma TVs in Australia come with a built in digital tuner but check this if you decide to buy one.


Your normal FM/AM radio that you bring with will work perfectly. As of August 2009, Digital radio has been launched in the major cities. This means that if you have a digital radio, even the AM stations such as ABC Sydney can be received in digital format, so the quality is much better. They are still expensive, (prices start around $150.00) but prices should start coming down in the short term.

Filling up with petrol

There are no petrol pump attendants in most metropolitan areas, it’s all self-serve. Some smaller towns still have pump attendants. It is a bit daunting at first, but take someone who is experienced the first time you go to fill up. Once you have filled up, remember the number of the pump, go inside to the counter and pay. You can pay with cash or card. There is no price standardisation on petrol. The price fluctuates throughout the week, and in Sydney it is generally cheaper on Tuesdays and early Wednesday mornings. The service stations ( “servo’s”) also have shops similar to those in South Africa where you can buy basic foodstuffs, necessities (like chocolate) and the newspapers. The large supermarket chains like Coles and Woolworths also own about 80% of the petrol stations around Sydney. They have fuel discount offers to encourage you to shop at their grocery stores then buy petrol at their outlets. If you spend more than $30.00 at the Supermarket at any one time, you get a discount voucher which entitles you to a 4c per litre discount when you pay for your petrol. On Tuesdays all around Sydney you will see cars queuing right into the street at Woolworths and Coles/Shell petrol stations, and the independents are almost empty. Don’t get sucked into this mindset. Even if you have a large car like a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore with a 70 L tank, and even if you were filling up from empty, you would only save 70 x 4c =$2.80. If you fill up twice a month like me, you would only save $5.60 a month! If you drive a large 4×4 with a 100 L tank, you would save $4.00 if you filled up from empty. With a small car and a 45 L tank you would only save $1.80. In my opinion it’s not worth the hassle to queue, I prefer to go to an outlet that is not as busy and pay a bit more.

Water usage

Depending on the level of restrictions, you may or may not be allowed to water your garden with a hand held hose and a trigger type nozzle. In Sydney at the time of writing, level 3 restrictions are in force so hand-held hoses can be used for gardens on specific days before 10 am and after 4pm. Buckets can be used at any time. You can be fined if you are caught watering out of permitted hours. Again, depending on the water restrictions in your area you may be allowed to wash your car with a hose, as long has it has a trigger type nozzle. There are commercial car wash bays where you can wash your car yourself, or the automated kind that is common in South Africa.

Doing your Washing

If you come from a city like Johannesburg where the air is relatively dry, you may find humidity a problem even in Sydney. (Brisbane is much worse, more like Durban). A clothes drying rack and a tumble drier are essential. Products such as “Damp Rid” to be very useful to put in cupboards to absorb any excess moisture and prevent musty smells.

Furniture and appliances

Try to bring all your own furniture, (as long as it is free of wood borers and other pests) but don’t worry too much about small appliances such as toasters, steam irons and kettles. They are relatively cheap because of the strong Australian Dollar, and because many of the appliances are made in China. Appliances made in Italy or Germany cost a bit more. Washing machines, fridges and tumble driers cost a little more but are still good value. The voltage in Australia is the same as in South Africa, but the plugs are different. Bring a few multiplugs with you from SA, then replace the South African style plug on the end of the cable with an Australian one. This way, you can plug your old appliances into the multiplug without having to change all of your plugs at once. When you are more settled in you can start changing the plugs on individual appliances.

Daylight saving

This is a great concept that is observed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory and has been synchronised across these states. Western Australia began a three year trial of daylight saving in December 2006 but in a recent referendum, people of WA (mainly the rural population) voted overwhelmingly against it becoming permanent. Queensland and the Northern Territory do not observe daylight saving. Daylight saving starts on the first Sunday in October and ends on the first Sunday in April. The clocks are advanced one hour in October then put back one hour in April. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, but the benefit is that in summer it only gets dark around 8.00 pm, so people can go to the beach after work, play outdoor sport, work in the garden and so on.


Most councils have very good public libraries with many resources. Once you register you can access your account online and reserve or renew books. Many libraries have a type of “post box” outside so that you can return books after hours. Most libraries have computers with internet access and some are now “WiFi” enabled so you can bring your own laptop if it has a built in wireless device.


Many of the main arterial roads in the major cities have tolls. Most toll roads have done away with manned toll booths: they only have an automatic toll system. It is a very good idea to get an E tag. The device sticks to the inside of your windscreen and is linked to your registration number. You can apply online and the device will be posted to you (Oh…did I mention how reliable and secure Australia Post is?). When you first apply for one, you pay a deposit and an initial “top up”. When the balance drops to a certain value it is topped up from your nominated credit card or current account. In other words when you drive past a toll sensor, your tag beeps and the value of the toll is debited from your account automatically. You get a pdf statement emailed monthly to you.

Very first world!

Source by Vic Chatterton

5 Tips For Planning A Move

Moving can be stressful, but also exciting. A new city, new house or new neighborhood can also mean new beginnings. So how do you turn the stressful part of moving into excitement? By having a plan. Below are 5 tips for planning your move.

Decluttering. One of the first things you can do when you find out you may have an upcoming move on the horizon is to declutter room by room. This is important for a number of reasons. First, when you put your house on the market, it will sell faster and for more money. A house always looks bigger with less “stuff” inside. Second, when you move, having less stuff to pack, load, unload and unpack will save you both time and money. It’s also a very freeing process once you get started.

Dispose of hazardous waste. Hazardous wastes cannot be packed in moving trucks. If you have things like gasoline, paint and chemicals in your garage, ask if a friend or neighbor would like them. If not, look online to find your nearest hazardous waste disposal site. If you plan to use any of the same paint colors in the new house, be sure to record the information needed before disposal.

Research your moving company. This is critical and can often get overlooked if your move is a sudden one. Be sure to read reviews online before deciding on a mover and don’t hire a mover based solely on price. Experience, knowledge of your area and skill level (like moving a grand piano) counts for much more. It’s also helpful to know that many movers will give a low bid to get your business and then later charge more. Reading reviews will avoid surprises and disappointments.

Transfer records. If you have school-aged children, you will need to have their school records transferred to their new school. Getting this out of the way now will mean less for you to do on the other end of your move. Medical records are another thing to have transferred. If you don’t have your new doctors lined up yet, you can ask for a copy of your records or make a list with phone numbers and addresses of the doctors/dentists/chiropractors from whom you will need to obtain information.

Update your address. You can update your address for the postal service online. It’s also important to share information with friends and relatives. Consider sending out a change of address group email or posting something on Facebook to let others know how to contact you in the future.

Source by Susan Stewart

5 Sexual Nutrition Tips For a Strong Erection

Most men pride themselves with having a big appetite and not paying too much attention to what they put in their body. As men get older it is very important that they watch what they eat to be able to maintain a rock hard erection for intercourse. Below are some do's and don'ts that will guide you in keeping Mr. Happy, happy and life good, by eating the right stuff.

oEat fruits and vegetables
oDrink Green Tea
oEat less
oPerformance food
oSpice up your life

Eat Fruits And Vegetables
The penal gets erect due to blood flowing into its vessels. Anything that slows down or impedes this blood flow will damage erection. This function of the body is controlled by the cardiovascular system, and anything that boosts the blood flow will help you get erect and stay erect. Fruits and vegetables help lower cholesterol levels, an improvement that helps combat cardiovascular disease and hence increase blood flow. Fruits and vegetables can do this because they contain a high level of anti oxidants, and the more you eat in a day the more of this free radical crushing agents contained in fruits and other that you have in your system.

Drink Green Tea
Drink tea and other types of tea such as black tea, which are rich in anti oxidants. As was discussed above anti oxidants contain a lot of free radical crushing agents and help sustain the cardiovascular system and increase blood flow. Replace your usual beverage with green tea or black tea and improve the quality of your health. These anti oxidant qualities are good for your bones and also help fight cancer.

Eat Less
If maintaining a solid erection is not a good reason to shed some weight, I do not know what other motivation a guy would need to lose some weight. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself, so if you need to lose some extra pounds around the stomach, you have very strong reasons to do so. Testosterone is one of the hormones responsible for sexuality in men, and the amount of fat you have reduces the amount of this hormone available to you. Reduce your portion size to about 300 to 500 calories a day, or better still; cut your meals down into 6 small meals with a lot for fruits and vegetables.

You can use a small plate than you would normally use to reduce the amount of food you eat. If you are not yet full after that meal, fill up with vegetables and water. The types of food you should avoid are those with high saturated fat content such as fat red meat, egg yolk, cream and butter.

Performance Food
Before an encounter with your partner, it is very important that you eat the right amount of calories and not over load your gut, thereby impeding blood flow to where it is urgently needed. If it's a night out in town for dinner to be followed by a romantic event, during dinner avoid fried food and cream. Go for salad with vinegar or oil. And if you must eat meat go for white meat such as chicken without the skin, and most of all no cocktails before dinner.

Spice Up Your Life
It's a good idea to excite your palate now and then. Start experimenting with spices in your food and only eat what you can tolerate. Spices like ginger, Cajun spices, peppers – black pepper, cayenne paper etc are good for your sexual well being. Spicy food will help enhance sexual performance by increasing blood flow.

Source by Bianca M

Tips to Stop Drug Cravings – Take Action Now to Control Alcohol and Other Drug Cravings

Most people in the very earliest days of addiction recovery experience cravings. It is a common experience in addiction recovery. Alcohol or other drug (AOD) cravings do not mean that you are not working a good program of recovery. With continued abstinence over time, cravings will be reduced in intensity and duration. Eventually, cravings may disappear altogether. To reduce the impact of alcohol/drug cravings, it is appropriate very early on, to identify the “when”, “who”, “where”, “what” factors in triggers for cravings. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “When am I most likely to have cravings?”
  • “Who am I most likely to be around when I have cravings”
  • “Where am I most likely to be when I have cravings?”
  • “What kinds of things am I doing when I have cravings?”
  • “What kinds of things am I thinking when I have cravings?”
  • “What kinds of things am I feeling when I have cravings?”

Identifying these factors can help you avoid some triggers. Identifying these craving cues can also help you develop a plan to manage and reduce the impact of the ones you cannot avoid. Techniques for coping with cravings and being able to maintain your sobriety in the face of those cravings are listed here:  

1. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, leave. Get out of there. Fast.  You don’t have to make any excuses or apologize; just leave. 

2. Use distraction as a tool. Find something else to do–something to occupy your thoughts, time, behavior. Distract yourself with a new (or old) hobby like knitting, cross-word puzzles, reading, anything that does not involve cues for cravings.

3. Have a harmless temporary substitute available. Substitutes that do not involve other chemicals, or obsessive compulsive behaviors can be used in a pinch. Substitutes like candy, trail mix, gum, stirring straws may help. Substitutes like sex, spending, gambling, may be tendency toward cross-addictions and should be avoided.

4. Reach out to others. Call someone that supports your not drinking/using. Call your accountability partners. Call someone in AA/NA, your spouse, your sibling, anyone that will encourage you to not use. Have a phone list, where you can go down the list calling in the reinforcements to help you resist cravings before you use. Have a list so that someone will always be available. Keep calling until you get the support you need.

5. Keep an ongoing list of reasons why you want to quit using. Post it around the house. Recite the reasons that you decided to quit drinking/using in the first place. Some people find it helpful to have a “reasons for quitting” list in their wallet. Others find it helpful to have “reasons for quitting” list posted around the house and in the automobile.

6. Keep an ongoing gratitude list. Add to it when craving. Add the positive benefits that you have derived from not drinking/using that day, week, or month.

7. Challenge your distorted thinking processes. Identify any positive expectations that you may be harboring about using, and tell yourself the truth about what happened in the past when you used. Remind yourself why you decided to quit in the first place. Challenge the expectation that the chemical will have a positive effect, that it will do for you what you want it to. Tell yourself the truth about what the chemical did “to” you, rather than “for” you.

8. Challenge any self-pitying self-talk that you may have about “having to give up the chemical”. Remind yourself of the negatives that you are “giving up” by quitting. Replace thoughts of loss with affirmations of positive choices to re-gain control of your life and your happiness by eliminating the source of the problem. 

9. Think through the first drink/drug into the negative consequences. Remind yourself that you cannot have “just one” and that the negative consequences are sure to follow.

10. Use prayer to resist cravings.

11. Make a list of the roles that the chemical played in your life. Identify at least three healthy alternatives as replacements. Think about what you want the chemical to do now. Use the healthy alternatives instead. 

12. Write a letter to someone you love and explain to them why you are not using. 

13. Use thought stopping techniques to combat compulsive thoughts about using. An example might be to visualize a stop sign, or rubbing a rubber band on your wrist to ground you in the here and now. If you keep seeing the chemical in your mind’s eye, visualize a skill and cross bones superimposed over it.

14. If your defenses kick in and you are thinking that you can use some other drug besides your most recent drug of choice, tell yourself the truth, that it’s all the same thing.

15. Pull out your desire chip from AA or your NA key chain and rub it.

16. Read recovery literature; go to a meeting.

17. Combat each craving, one at a time, one day at a time, or if necessary, one hour or minute at a time. Do what you have to do resist the craving and not use.   

Keep reminding yourself that the craving will go away if you don’t use. Also remind yourself that you don’t have to quit forever, just this one day, or one hour, or one minute. Then the next day, hour, or minute, decide to stay sober another day, hour, or minute. The cravings will pass, and one day you will have a lot of minutes, hours, and days, months, and years, back to back, when you have been, and are, clean and sober. 

Source by Peggy Ferguson

Female Orgasm Techniques – 5 Tips to Make a Woman Orgasm Fast

Making a woman orgasm is easy, it simply involves following a process and like any other process miss a bit and it fails. Female orgasm techniques are just the same, miss a part of the techniques and she will not reach orgasm.

Proven to be the best way to make a woman orgasm is cunnilingus and this requires a series of steps which when followed cannot fail to give a female an orgasm.

Here is a 5 step female orgasm technique.

1. Preparation is a vital step in any plan, so here you need to get her in the mood for love. Easy, compliments, flowers, just treat her like a lady and she will feel sexy and wanted.

2. When she is relaxed, feeling sexy and wanted start to kiss her neck gently then move down and kiss her entire body but not her vagina or breasts, you want to build up some excitement by purposely missing these.

3. Now start to lick her vagina very softly making sure to keep your tongue wet with saliva. Pretend you are licking a soft ice cream cone and use the same tongue pressure on her.

4. OK by now these female orgasm techniques should be making her groan a little, this is your cue to move up to the clitoris. This is it get this wrong and it’s ruined the moment. So nice and slow start to flick her clitoris with your tongue as her moans get louder speed up and apply more pressure. She will orgasm hard and loud in seconds.

5. Lay back and relax feeling proud of the massive orgasm you have just given to her and don’t be shocked if she returns the favour with a little fellatio.

There you have it 5 female orgasm techniques that when used properly will give her an amazing orgasm or two.

Source by Michael Harradine

Cunnilingus Tips

Giving a woman cunnilingus is a sure-fire way to get her in the mood for sex. But for many guys, going down on a woman is something they are not used to. Cunnilingus can be sexually pleasurable for both people involved. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge to become a master of cunnilingus. Below are 5 cunnilingus tips to help you get started.

Start Slowly

Don’t rush to the finish, it’s more of a marathon than a one hundred metre sprint. Begin by kissing her body, starting from her neck and working your way down; remember no-where is of limits, kiss her stomach, her legs and anywhere else you can think of. This will help her to relax and feel comfortable.

Take Control

Give her the opportunity to be totally swept away by you. Before you go down on her, hold both her hands with yours and put them above her head. Then tell her that your in control and that she is not to move her hands unless you tell her that it’s okay to do so. This will only add to the overall tease factor, guaranteeing a successful climax.

Don’t Let Her Have It All At Once

Once you begin using your tongue on her vagina, don’t be afraid to tease her. Gently lick her clitoris and vagina and then begin kissing her body again. Every time you do this, extend the length you do it for. After a while begin licking her out properly. Start by gently kissing her clit and the outsides of her vagina.

ABC, It’s Easy As 123

A great little technique when going down on a woman is the alphabet technique. With your tongue inside her vagina, begin spelling out the alphabet with your tongue. This is a great way to cover all areas of her vagina and it also allows you to begin discovering where she is most sensitive.

Fingers And All

The tongue is more than capable of doing all the work itself, but you can take a woman even further by using your fingers. A great technique is to lick her clit and then gently put your middle finger inside her vagina. You can then rest you index finger and ring finger on the outside of her vagina. If she seems comfortable you can use the come hither technique. Using you index and middle finger, put them inside her vagina and then with the fingers inside her pretend you are signalling for someone to come over to you.

These cunnilingus tips can greatly improve both your sexual experience and hers. Remember to take your time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to the woman about what she does and doesn’t like. It is not a sign that you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s a sign that you care.

Source by Danny G Jameson

Pewter – Care and Cleaning Tips

Pewter is an alloy consisting of mostly tin and it is the fourth most precious metal. It also has very small amounts of antimony and copper which is added mainly for strength and/or color. The percentage of tin can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but most often you will find at the least 91% tin and the rest in antimony and copper.

European pewter has a minimum tin content of 92% although many of these manufacturers raise this to 95% and some even to 97% tin. The higher the tin content, the more silver the final color.

Pewter dates back to the Roman days and was only something the rich and wealthy could afford.

Despite contrary beliefs today’s pewter is perfectly safe to eat and drink from. Modern pewter contains no lead as it once did. How can you tell if your pewter items have lead in them? This is a question that gets asked quite often. Read on to find out…

The result of lead in pewter is a grayish-black patina on the surface of the item. The amount of darkening and type of oxidation can vary depending on the type of environment the items are left in.

Most often, people will leave this patina on because it creates an antique look that many manufacturers try to simulate today. If you should try to remove it, the layers underneath are then exposed which will in time once again corrode and the patina comes back. In all actuality, the patina layer that forms on lead based pewter acts as a protective layer and should really not be removed.

Lead free pewter can also oxidize over time, but it takes much longer and the color is usually more grayish compared to the lead based pewter which is a darker gray or black in color.

General Pewter Care Tips:

– Pewter can be pitted or stained from certain foods such as citrus juice, types of salad dressings etc., so please remember to wash your items immediately after use.

– Do not place in the oven on a hot plate or near hot flames because pewter melts easier than other types of metals. Pewter melts at only 450 degrees.

– Always hand wash rather than placing in a dishwasher.

Pewter Cleaning Tips:

Unlike silver, pewter doesn’t tarnish, so you will not need to clean it all that often.

There are generally three different types of finishes you will find in pewter items and each has a preferred method of cleaning.

Polished Pewter:

This type of finish is very shiny and smooth and only really needs to be cleaned a couple of times a year. The recommend method of cleaning this type of pewter is with a very soft cloth and some polish. You can try making your own paste of vinegar, salt and flour. Rub it in circular motions with a soft cloth gently to shine up your pewter. You can also find polishes at your local hardware store or auto parts store. Look for a polish that contains very fine grit if none at all.

For taking out fine scratches, we recommend using a polish called “Mothers”. You can find this at your local hardware store. It has a very small amount of very fine grit in the polish and this must be applied with care. Just apply a little bit to the affected area and rub with a soft cloth in circular motions. You will notice that your cloth will turn black. This is normal, as it is actually taking off a very fine layer of pewter to reveal the new shiny layer underneath. Just keep turning the cloth so you are always using a clean part and your pewter will once again shine. If you should notice that the now cleaned area is shinier than the rest of the area, you may have to do the entire area to get an even effect.

Another type of polish that works well is Rottenstone. You can find this at some hardware stores or lumberyards.

Satin Pewter:

This type of pewter has a little bit more of a rougher appearance. It is not shiny, but has almost a grain type of finish. You can use warm water and a mild soap to clean this type of pewter.

Every couple of years you may want to buff out or brush this kind of pewter using very fine steel wool. You can find this in any local hardware store. Always remember to rub in the direction of the grain and do not press very hard. It will not take much to return it back to it’s original appearance.

Oxidized Pewter:

Oxidized pewter usually has a darker finish and has an antique look to it. Just washing with warm water and a mild soap is all you really need to do with this type of pewter.

You should also note that pewter from earlier periods can oxidize easily because of the higher lead content.

Source by Evelyn Whitaker

Tips on Getting Your Partner Interested in Swinging

Swinging can be a great activity for a couple to take part in. Done the right way, it need not be damaging to your relationship at all. In fact, the consensus amongst most ‘successful’ swingers is that it actually enhances their relationship and brings them closer together.

However, while there are thousands of happy swinging couples worldwide, there are also many people in a relationship who would like to try swinging but who have a partner who is not keen. Their attitude may be from simply not interested to being totally negative about the idea. If you have a wife or husband in this category, don’t despair. Your dream of being swingers need not die.

The first thing you must do is not get angry or upset with your wife or husband’s reaction if you bring up the idea of being swingers. Trying to plead with them or in any way coerce them into trying it will not only get no positive result, it could even harm your relationship. Even if you do get them to agree to try it this way, it will probably not be a pleasant experience for you both; you certainly won’t be able to relax and enjoy it.

When you introduce the idea of swinging, remember that your wife or husband will have beliefs about what swinging means and why you would want to try it. Does it mean you don’t find them attractive enough? Are you bored with your sex life? These thoughts may be going through their head. In fact, they may even fear that by becoming swingers you will find someone else more attractive than them and leave them!

So your whole focus in introducing swinging to your wife or husband is to remove their fears. You do this by letting them know that you love and adore them more than anyone else, and that your reason for wanting to try swinging is to enhance the sex life you already have with them.

You need to let them know that swinging is not about replacing any gaps in your relationship. It is all about adding some spice and sharing the experience together. You could even let them know that because you find them so attractive and sexy, seeing them turning someone else on would be highly arousing for them.

Also make sure that you make your wife or husband feel safe in your sexual relationship. Build up their trust in you. Let them now that you would never hurt them or allow them to be hurt in a swinging situation.

If you approach the idea of swinging with your partner in this way you not only have a much greater chance of taking part in the swinger lifestyle, but of you both enjoying it as well.

Source by Michael J Andrews

Speaking Tips – Part 1

At some point during your business endeavors, you will either “have to”, or at least be given the opportunity to, speak to a group of people. Indeed, speaking to local clubs, charities, and events is an excellent way to get your name and brand in front of an audience. However, many of us, including yours truly, are not naturally at home in front of a group of people with the spotlight on us.

While being a bit nervous or anxious is good – it will keep you on your toes – being obviously scared to death is not. If the audience senses that you are overly agitated, you will most likely lose their attention. This is where the old advertising slogan “Never let them see you sweat” is definitely applicable.

So how do you get over this “scared” thing? You probably are not going to like this answer. Like most fears, the best way to conquer – or at least tame – it is to face it head on. In this case, then, the best medicine is to actually speak in front of groups. But James, you say, aren’t we going around in circles. Speakers should not show nervousness, but the way to overcome this is to speak in public?

Wow! You catch on fast. That is correct. It is a bit like when you first enter the job market – prospective employers want you to have experience; but of course, to gain experience someone has to employ you.

The trick is, therefore, to become more comfortable speaking to an audience when there is little at stake before you are in a “must perform well” situation. To do this I would recommend that you use every possible opportunity to speak before small groups that may be a little less intimidating to you, such as at your church, informal presentations to very small groups at work, and perhaps serve as a team facilitator where you merely guide the discussion rather than have the responsibility for an actual presentation. You can probably think of other situations where you can “practice” being in front of people.

Other possibilities include joining the local Toastmasters organization, or sigh up for a speech course at your local college. Both of these venues offer the opportunity for you to learn and practice in groups of people with the same speaking objectives as you.

Another suggestion for becoming more comfortable speaking in public – know your material backwards and forwards.

This will give you added confidence. Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of a mirror while practicing out loud.

Record yourself. Give the talk to your wife and children. However, generally speaking, I do not recommend that you memorize your talk. A memorized talk more often than not comes across like you are reading to the audience, and more importantly, if you are very nervous, you could easily forget the whole thing!

In the next article we will look at the structure of a talk.

Source by James Bourne

Outdoor Gear Care Tips – How to Clean a Backpack Like a Pro

You tried, after that last hiking “incident” you swore it would never happen again. But who could have guessed that the rock would have been so slippery? Now, your best backpack is filthy, dirty both inside and out. And it’s still sitting outdoors because of the spoiled food smells. What should you do now: clean it or throw it away? Once you know how to clean a backpack using the following tips, you never have to worry about throwing a “nasty” backpack ever again.

Cleaning a Backpack Inside

o Turn the backpack completely inside out. If it has metal stays, remove them and set them aside. Dump any debris out onto a newspaper. Use a soft brush to clean off any dried dirt or residue. If you have one available you can always, use a vacuum with a brush attachment.

o Wash off the interior using a little mild detergent with a damp sponge or cloth.

o Be sure to clean in all the nooks and crannies and seams. Use an old toothbrush to dig in deep.

o Rinse using cold water and clean sponge or cloth.

o Use paper towels to dry the interior of the bag completely.

Cleaning a Backpack Outside

1. Turn the backpack right side out now. Use a dry brush to remove any loose dirt or dried mud.

2. Wash off the exterior using a little mild detergent (dishwashing liquid with degreaser) with a damp sponge or cloth.

3. Be sure to clean in all the pockets, flaps and seams. Use an old toothbrush to clean around the edging.

4. Rinse using cold water and clean sponge or cloth. You can submerge the whole pack into tub of cold water or use a hand held shower head or hose to remove all traces of soap both inside and out.

5. Hang the backpack upside down to air dry for several days, preferably outdoors. DO NOT use the dryer.

6. If the backpack is still funky smelling, spray with Fabreze® or hunters’ Scent-A-Way®. But be careful because these may remove waterproofing chemicals like Scotch-Guard ®

7. Store in a cool dry place. Don’t cover with plastic.

Cleaning a Camping Backpack in the Washer (if all else fails)

o DO NOT soak in soapy water. This could cause the layers of the backpack to delaminate or any waterproofing to deteriorate.

o Follow the steps 1-3 from above.

o Place the backpack in the washer. Wash with cold water only on the delicate cycle with a very mild laundry detergent (Ivory Flakes or Woolite). Rinse and let air dry for several days.

o NOTE: This method is for using at the last resort ONLY. Cleaning a camping backpack in the washer can cause the materials in the pack to fall apart. So machine wash at your own risk!

Backpack Zipper Care

Clean a backpack zipper is really easy. First, use an old toothbrush to clean out any sand, salt or dirt and mud from the zipper teeth. Vacuum if necessary to remove debris. Trim any stray or loose threads to prevent tangling. Spray very lightly with a silicone spray, occasionally to lube.

Now that you know how to clean your best backpack, you never have to toss out a malodorous backpack again.

Source by Adam Carter