The Grand Canyon’s Most Popular Trail

 

The Grand Canyon is a source of awe and inspiration for the nearly 5 million people who visit it each year. The national park covers 1,904 square miles of land and offers fantastic opportunities for the backpacking crowd. The trails can become a hiker’s treasured memory or their worst nightmare. Canyon hiking requires much more preparation and precautions than just an average stroll through the woods. The Bright Angel Trail is sure to please those who just can’t wait to lace up their hiking boots again.


The Bright Angel trail is the most popular backpacking trail in the Grand Canyon. The whole entire trail roundtrip is 18.6 miles and is by no means recommended to be hiked in one day. The access to this trail can be found by walking west along the rim for about 5 minutes from the Bright Angel Lodge. The trail starts with a series of switchbacks that you’ll grow all too accustomed to. Shortly after starting you will pass through your first tunnel which has Native American pictographs on it. As you continue hiking you will be treated to amazing views of the canyon and have the satisfaction of seeing the top grow further and further away. The first stop on your way down is the mile and half resthouse, which made obvious by it’s name is a mile and a half down the trail. They provide water, a shaded resting area, restrooms, and an emergency telephone. Continuing on from there you will already have noticed the geology changing from the limestone that is at the top. When you look at the distant canyon walls you’ll be able to pick out all the different layers of rock. The next stop after the mile and half resthouse is the three mile rest house. They provide water, shade, and an emergency telephone but no restrooms. From there you are only about a mile and a half from Indian Gardens.

Indian Gardens is a lush oasis that is easily visible from the rim of the Grand Canyon. This is a perfect spot to stop and spend the night at one of the designated camping areas. Just be sure to reserve a mandatory backcountry permit long before your trip if you intend on staying overnight in the inner canyon. Here you will find a small creek, restrooms, camp sites, water, a ranger station, and an emergency telephone. You are also bound to see many lizards running around and the mule deer. This is an excellent spot to spend a few hours relaxing. Indian Gardens can be prone to flooding. In one of my overnight stays there I got caught in a torrential downpour that flooded the whole area. Fortunately the covered area overtop the picnic bench in my campsite provided a great place to throw my sleeping pad and sleeping bag and I was able to stay dry. If your traveling solo and Indian Gardens is your only overnight stay the picnic benches are a fantastic alternative to lugging around a tent.

From Indian Gardens your only about four and a half to five miles away from Phantom Ranch. If your an experienced hiker and in good shape Phantom Ranch is a great overnight destination. There is a canteen down there where you can buy a cold drink, snacks, a full meal, or even a souvenir. They also run nightly ranger programs. When I camped overnight there I missed the ranger program but the ranger was kind enough to take my friends and me on a guided scorpion hunt. Interesting fact: Scorpions glow in the dark under a black light. The campsites at Phantom Ranch line a creek that feels absolutely wonderful in the common 3 digit degree weather of the summer. The Bright Angel Trail ends at Phantom Ranch giving way to the North Kaibab which will lead up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Hiking in the Grand Canyon can be one of the most rewarding yet arduous experiences of your life. It is never recommended that you hike all the way from the rim to the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon all the way and back in one day. Many people have died trying and you will see warnings against this posted by the National Park Service all over the place. The hot sun baking you all day long in over a hundred degree weather is enough to stop even the fittest athlete in their tracks. Take advantage of all of the rest stops along the way to get a break from the sun. Water is a necessity in such an unforgiving climate and it’s recommended that you drink half a quart to a full quart of water for every hour that your hiking in the heat. Also note that during off season times some of the water spigots are shut off at the rest houses, so be sure to check the availability of water before you hike. Hyponatremia, or low sodium levels in your blood, is a danger while hiking in the heat and can be avoided by being sure to eat plenty of salty foods. Hiking the Grand Canyon is an amazing experience that, if done safely and properly, will be a memory you can treasure forever.

For backpackers, I recommend you guys to check out stuff here: https://thepnw.co/

 

Birthday Gifts for Myspace

Myspace offers self-service advertising options that can be utilized by members of this social networking website. While businesses advertise products, you can use this service to create fun birthday gifts for Myspace friends. You are only charged when someone clicks on your ad. This gift idea does not have any sales goals and is similar to advertising messages on a blimp or screens at sporting events. However, you can still tie this into a larger birthday gift idea by linking to the recipient’s wish list.
Visitors can chip in to purchase a big ticket item or select small items to give your Myspace friends. Design an advertisement that displays birthday greetings. Get the recipient to make a list of gifts he or she wants for the upcoming birthday. Attach a link to one store that sells the requested merchandise online with your birthday advertisement.  I know some guys in Canadian web hosting who can help you.

Set your demographics to target the recipient when developing this Myspace Ads campaign. Invite other Myspace friends to check out your ads on the recipient’s birthday. This is one of the Birthday Gifts for Myspace that can be more memorable than a standard “Happy Birthday” profile comment.

Cafepress Myspace T-Shirts
There are dozens of funny Myspace T-Shirts available on the Cafepress website. They are inexpensive and make great Birthday Gifts for Myspace friends who love this social networking website. Get the shirt size of your intended birthday recipient and order one of the pre-designed Myspace T-Shirts from Cafepress. Many of these shirts only feature text while others have a combination of phrases and graphics. Some of the designs include “You Looked Better on Myspace”, “I Love Myspace” with hearts, “I want to be your Myspace friend with benefits” and “Don’t Drink and Myspace”. A lot of Cafepress Myspace T-Shirts cost between $17.99 and $24.99.

Customized Myspace Layout
Get your friends a customized layout that he or she can use at any time. There are tons of websites that provide free layouts and graphics but nothing is truly different. Ten or twenty other people could be using the same free layout that you and your friends choose. That is why exclusive customized layouts make useful Birthday gifts for Myspace friends. A web designer can design a custom layout that is made specifically to the recipient’s liking. The price for this type of service ranges from $80 to $500.

Support Myspace Friend Stores
One of the best Birthday Gifts for Myspace friends come in the form of mere support. If the recipient has store widgets or sells downloads on Myspace, purchase a product from them. This would be appreciated by Myspace members who are trying to promote their businesses or artwork online. You could also gather a few other people to purchase items from your friend’s page on their birthday. Many small business owners, musicians, craft artists and filmmakers would appreciate this gift on their birthday.

Door Curtain Styles and Designs

 

Door curtains are a unique accessory for the home that is commonly overlooked in terms of the potential they bring to the overall theme of the space. Additionally, they provide a functionality that is nearly as important as traditional window curtains depending on where they are incorporated.
Common Door Curtain Functionality and Styling
Door curtains can be used for a number of different things. However, among the variety of different ways to utilize these accessories, they tend to be used most dominantly one of two ways.

Coverings for Windows on Doors
The first and the most popular way in which they are utilized is one a set of doors, such as French doors that have glass on them. These types of door curtains tend to exhibit voile fabric, in that they are extremely light and allow sunlight to penetrate the fabric, allowing a soft blend of ambiance and warmth into space. The main reason why these types of door curtains are primarily made of a light fabric is due to the fact that doors to an outside area tend to see a lot of traffic, as such, heavier curtains are more susceptible to falling off their supports and or complicating the opening and closing of the door in general.

In Place of Doors
A second and equally popular use for door curtain designs are in the place of doors themselves. These types of curtains provide a temporary means to obtain some privacy for your space if a door is not something that is attainable at the time. However, many people utilize door curtains as a permanent way to separate their space from the rest of the home, and prefer them over doors. These types of door curtains generally come in a wider array of fabrics than do the curtains used for door windows. As such, there are more designs and fabrics to choose from for a little more customizing and styling for the space in which they are incorporated.

In all, these unique and highly functional accessories do not have the popularity their window covering counterparts do. However, they are slowly beginning to gain in popularity, and are exceptionally popular during the holiday seasons, particularly for Halloween. They provide an interesting styling element to the home and can be a fun alternative to the traditional door. This reminds me of my recent purchase, a set of wooden dinnerware which really served as a very nice piece in my dining table. I think investing in a nice piece in every place of your house will give a nice touch.

 

Anti-aging Skincare Products Had Record Sales Despite the Recession

 

This recession is causing people to make some quick changes to their lifestyle. Some of the things that I have been hearing is less trips to grocery store, buying less food, eradicate all unnecessary driving, eat out less, stop purchase of luxury items, watch movies at home, buy generic products and services, read the newspaper online, don’t renew subscriptions, purchase from flea markets and online auctions, purchase from the dollar mart stores, and hold on automobiles longer. Do any of these sound familiar? Have you attempted any of these practices in the hope of saving money? Well if you are like the average consumer you may have tried more than one in an effort to stretch your dollar beyond its normal limit.


Despite all the cost cutting and penny pinching Americans are still purchasing anti-aging creams and formulas like derma roller amazon at record levels because even if they are broke people want to look good. This in turn helps them to feel good or at the very least better when you consider the volatile times we are experiencing.

Some organizations are quite attuned to this market and they are coming up with new products and services all the time to satisfy what appears to be an insatiable demand. People somehow have the ability to squeeze money from an otherwise slim budget and treat themselves to these products and services that claim to lead the way to the fountain of youth. The baby boomers are a market that is ripe for these products because as they age they don’t want to look like they are aging.

a.)
According to the Mintel Market Research firm, the market for anti-aging skincare has grown rapidly over the past couple years. US sales rose 13 percent from 2006 to 2008, outpacing general facial skincare sales, which grew less than 11percent. Mintel expects the market to remain robust over the next five years, growing some 20 percent through 2013. During 2008 anti-aging skincare products had sales in excess of $1.6 billion.

Actually I don’t see the purchase of these products slowing down even after 2013. If we are experiencing one of the worst economies since 1983 and people are spending money on these products now what do you think they will do when the economy recovers? I think we could see a 30% to 40% increase in sales over the next 10 years because people are living longer. As the population age people will continue to reach out for anti-aging products that give them a more youthful appearance.

Resource: www.consumeraffairs.com

Resource: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/02/skincare_economics.html

Anti-aging Skincare Products Had Record Sales Despite the Recession

 

This recession is causing people to make some quick changes to their lifestyle. Some of the things that I have been hearing is less trips to grocery store, buying less food, eradicate all unnecessary driving, eat out less, stop purchase of luxury items, watch movies at home, buy generic products and services, read the newspaper online, don’t renew subscriptions, purchase from flea markets and online auctions, purchase from the dollar mart stores, and hold on automobiles longer, or bringing your kids to Kinderdagverblijf Leiden. Do any of these sound familiar? Have you attempted any of these practices in the hope of saving money? Well if you are like the average consumer you may have tried more than one in an effort to stretch your dollar beyond its normal limit.
Despite all the cost cutting and penny pinching Americans are still purchasing anti-aging creams and formulas at record levels because even if they are broke people want to look good. This in turn helps them to feel good or at the very least better when you consider the volatile times we are experiencing.

Some organizations are quite attuned to this market and they are coming up with new products and services all the time to satisfy what appears to be an insatiable demand. People somehow have the ability to squeeze money from an otherwise slim budget and treat themselves to these products and services that claim to lead the way to the fountain of youth. The baby boomers are a market that is ripe for these products because as they age they don’t want to look like they are aging.

a.)
According to the Mintel Market Research firm, the market for anti-aging skincare has grown rapidly over the past couple years. US sales rose 13 percent from 2006 to 2008, outpacing general facial skincare sales, which grew less than 11percent. Mintel expects the market to remain robust over the next five years, growing some 20 percent through 2013. During 2008 anti-aging skincare products had sales in excess of $1.6 billion.

Actually I don’t see the purchase of these products slowing down even after 2013. If we are experiencing one of the worst economies since 1983 and people are spending money on these products now what do you think they will do when the economy recovers? I think we could see a 30% to 40% increase in sales over the next 10 years because people are living longer. As the population age people will continue to reach out for anti-aging products that give them a more youthful appearance.

Resource: www.consumeraffairs.com

Resource: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/02/skincare_economics.html

How to Set Up PC Sound and Configure Computer Speakers

Configuring your computer sound and PC speakers can help you enjoy better function out of your existing sound card. Speakers that are configured incorrectly may have uneven sound or lack stereo or surround-sound audio capabilities and supreme immersive sound. You can set up your own PC speakers easily using the configuration software you already have in the setup utilities on your computer.
Computer sound and PC speakers are easy to set up on your own if you know what kind of computer home theater layout you have on your sound card. Common speaker layouts for computer sound cards include stereo, surround sound, 5.1, and 7.1. If you don’t know what you have, the sound card configuration software will show you some speaker layout configurations to help you determine which one you have. When setting up computer speaker configurations in a place with high traffic or limited space, wireless surround sound speakers can help you get the most out of your PC home theater setup.

Step 1

Shut your computer down and remove it from its source of power. Plug your PC speakers in to the color-corresponding holes on the computer sound card access panel, often located on the back of your home computer. If necessary, connect the audio speakers to their own power and turn them on.

Step 2

Plug your computer back in and boot it up. Access the sound card configuration panel in your operating system, usually located in the System Preferences or Control Panel menu.

Step 3

Locate the audio speaker settings menu, usually indicated by a button or tab, but sometimes in the main menu. Select a speaker layout, which affects the positioning of the speakers in your home theater system.

Step 4

Use the audio and speaker test function on your sound configuration panel to test your surround sound speakers installation and determine whether your speakers are working and properly placed in the chosen speaker layout. If the volume or speaker balance is uneven, use the volume controls in your speaker configuration menu to manually even volumes.

If you use a PC for your home theater speakers, these simple steps will help enable sound and improve your speaker performance.

Migrating a Large Website into a CMS During a Website Redesign

 

Over the past year, my two co-workers and I were tasked with implementing and migrating to SharePoint 2007 during a website redesign. Our site was over 10,000 pages, with quite a bit of duplicate content and none of it was in a content management system at the time. This was a daunting task, and it became a bit overwhelming to think about it too much. All of the HTML/CSS code was completely unusable, as it was table-based and we were migrating to a standards-based approach. Not to mention the ardous process of perfecting our .net cms. We found that this really meant that we were going to need to move everything by hand to ensure that the code was properly formatted.
The first thing we did, and it’s something that I highly recommend, is divide the many sections of our site into essentials and non-essentials. We determined that our home page and 12 other sections were the key components to our college’s website, and we effectively built a phased approach around that fact. The initial launch included the 12 sections plus the home page, and from there we created a list based on which sections were most important from an end-user perspective. Each week we would work through five to ten sections.

It took just over a year to migrate all of sections, but we were rewarded with a great looking site that was standards-compliant, accessible and usable. The entire process was long and stressful, but we did it correctly throughout. At one point, our CIO brought in a consulting team to try to get three months work done in just one month. I predicted that this was too much work and that they would not be able to effectively learn our process in time. After the month, none of the work was done to our standards, and we continued working as before, but this time a month behind.

It’s important for senior management to understand that migrating into a CMS will be a slow and steady process. There aren’t many ways to speed up a large site’s migration when it’s never been in one before, especially during a redesign. It’s likely that the structure of the code will change, not just from the redesign, but from the migration into the CMS. Large sites can be exceedingly difficult to migrate in this way, as they are more prone to scope creep during a large project timeline. Scope creep occurs when users want massive changes to their sections before they are live in the newly redesigned site, or even new applications on top of it.

One way to mitigate scope creep is to communicate a stop on all non-essential website updates during the project timeline. A year may seem like a long time, but you’ll find that with any large site there are hundreds of pages that may not have been updated for three or more years. A few more months won’t hurt anyone, and you won’t be pulling your hair out trying to make updates while redesigning at the same time.

Our entire implementation and migration took just over a year, and was subject to various levels of scope creep, but we finally finished it. When you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t lose yourself in the minutia; instead keep an eye on the big picture without delving too deep. A consistent middle-ground is important to keep moving with such a large project.

Productivity Tips for Helium Writers

 

Productivity is a major issue for writers and having the ability to increase writing production has important benefits for writers. Productivity is simply the ability to produce work. In this case, articles on the Helium site. Increasing writing productivity can increase the amount of articles posted, the amount of money earned in a given period and the level of connection received from the Helium site.
Being able to produce more writing allows Helium writers to share their knowledge and their perspective with the world. The higher the productivity level, the greater the impact a writer can have on the Helium site. There are a number of ways that Helium writers can increase their ability to produce articles.

Schedule dedicated time to write
Many Helium writers are working full time at other jobs and writing is either part time or just to earn a little extra money. Writers need to create some dedicated time for nothing but writing. The important thing to remember is that having a dedicated time for writing is to keep it dedicated to nothing but writing. Use a personalised diary to have your mind organized in everything you need to do.

The following are just a few areas to keep in mind when planning a dedicated writing time.
1. Brainstorming
Brainstorming or mind mapping is the process in which a writer develops a series of new ideas for article topics.

2. Outlining
Creating a series of outlines can assist the writer in developing higher quality work and do so at a faster rate.

3. Writing and editing
Writing the actual article is often the most time consuming aspect in the process. The writer develops the thoughts and ideas already complied into the introduction, body and conclusion of the article. Also remember to include any time used to edit the finished work.

4. Posting
Figuring the posting time is often the easiest aspect of the time invested in the writing process. Posting articles usually only takes a few minutes and is done rather rapidly.

Be prepared
Writers need to not only have a dedicated writing time but they need to be prepared for the time. Being prepared means that ideas are ready, outlines are in place and a location is prepared for the work of writing. Being prepared for the work of writing can dramatically increase the level of productivity. Preparation almost always pays off in more output and a higher number of articles produced.

Be focused
One problem that many writers must deal with is the reality of distractions. When writing there are a number of ways that distractions can enter in and create a loss of focus. Developing the ability to stay on task and remain focused allows the writers to increase their level of creativity.

Escape

 

There are many factors associated to why some people begin, and continue, to abuse psychoactive drugs. I believe that the majority of people who abuse psychoactive drugs need or crave escape. By escape I mean peace from the many stresses of life such as work, relationships, school, and family.
For a long time it was assumed that only lower class people abused drugs. As time progressed and we as a society became more educated it was learned that anyone can be susceptible to these drugs. Powerful CEO’s with hectic work lives and unsatisfactory home lives can be tempted by the few hours of relief psychoactive drugs can promise. CEO’s take precaution on using medication much like they are taking good care of their skin and looking for best vitamin c serum for face. For them, it is just the same.

Others are simply interested in what these drugs can do for them. College students often hear of the effects of these drugs from other students and are tempted to try them. Older people who are members of the work force might also be interested in the effects of these drugs and how they might make them feel. I believe those who simply experiment or believe they are experimenting do so in a group setting where they feel pressured to accept.

Still more people have traumas in their lives and need a way to deal with it all. They want to forget their past for a while and psychoactive drugs provide a quick way to do that. If the drug cannot let them forget the past those who have traumas to deal with may use the drugs because they will give them false confidence and the strength to get through another day.

I believe the way to help people steer clear of these drugs is through education and counseling. Many individuals who are ‘educated’ do not truly understand the long-term effects of drugs. They do not realize the effects these drugs will have on their habits have on their physical and mental well-being. It is important that people are able to actually see the mental and physical effects of long-term drug use since reading about these problems is rarely as effective as reading about them

Also letting them know about the financial implications of drug use can be helpful. There were many smokers who were encouraged to quit smoking when they were shown how much money could be saved. When told that on averages a smoker who used one pack of cigarettes a day would spend approximately $21.00 a week it put things into perspective. Showing drug users or those curious about drugs how much money they will be spending could help dissuade them.

Counseling should also be an option for those who are using drugs to escape problems in the past. They might be using drugs as a ‘quick fix’. Usually people who are using drugs for this purpose cannot afford proper counseling or do not know this choice is available. If they do know that counseling is an option it is possible that they do not believe it will work.

While these are all my opinions I honestly feel that once it is established why someone chooses to use drugs it will be easier to find ways to help others from becoming involved with drugs. If we can simply establish patterns in drug abuse and create programs to counteract that abuse we will be able to help society as a whole.

A Jersey Called Sunshine: Rebranding an Insult in Middle School Football

The screens for school uniforms get the numbers and letters, but after a season or two, the constant folding and unfolding leaves cracks in the font. It’s as if the jersey itself is tired of playing and ready to spend the rest of its days as a shriveled rag for shining shoes. I got rid of all mine but one. It was for Mt. Carmel flag football. It was the first shirt I owned where the sleeve stopped halfway down the forearm, and it felt strange whenever I wore it. I kept it, but it’s not because we won any championships. I didn’t meet a girl on the sidelines that I eventually married, and I didn’t catch an amazing touchdown pass or save a friend’s life. I kept that jersey because it’s how I broke everyone’s spell.
Before we ordered the jerseys, a guy named Iggy went around the team while the coach was unloading equipment, and he gave everyone nicknames. He was a wide receiver and, caught squarely in adolescence, his head was too big for his body. Most of the names he listed can’t be printed here and focused on genitalia. Several of them were insults, including mine. He put a hand on my shoulder and laughed. “Sunshine,” he said.

We were playing on the border, and the name wasn’t a kind one. It wasn’t about an unusually cheery disposition, but about how looking at my paleness could make somebody’s eyes hurt. In eighth grade, they’d put up with me and my twin brother for nine years. He and I were the last picks on the basketball court at recess, and the last picks for lunchtime soccer ball. Looking at guys who’d just had nicknames after body parts that never even see the sun, I took this as a personal gift from him, something not to be wasted. Our coach let us use the nicknames with regularity, and I decided to put mine on the jersey. I wasn’t only the nerdiest and whitest guy on our team; I was gunning for that title across the district. Every game we played, the guys on opposing teams would shout out my nickname when giving orders. “Sunshine over there pulls to the left,” I’d hear.

The football season took us as far north as Las Cruces, which from the Lower Valley was nearly two hours away. Jason brought us some water bottles custom labels from his company. Road signs on the interstate told us the nearest McDonald’s was only 87 miles now. The game in Las Cruces was the same day as my birthday, and I was convinced I was going to get the meanest wedgie on school record. Up to that point, the worst had been to a sixth grader named Jos© who was a loudmouth and know-it-all. He was on the team, too, and on his birthday the coach found him at the field, swinging his arms and hanging by his underwear in a tree.

Something odd happened in that game. The quarterback of the opposing team ran by me at one point, and I grabbed his flag. The play should have ended there, but this was not Velcro like ours. This one used some expensive suction cup technology. I held onto his flag, and he dragged me behind him for another 10 yards before it slipped from my hands. The refs were local, and didn’t rule it a tackle. The kid got a touchdown.

The game ended in a loss, and someone whispered that it was Sunshine’s birthday after we lined up for high fives. I didn’t run. The team swarmed on me and I sat down in the grass and managed to fend them off. That was probably the true athletic feat of the day. As we ambled back down alongside the Rio Grande, the name Sunshine echoed in the van with laughter and applause. After that, I was no longer the last pick.

That jersey is still in my dresser, and whenever I walk into a room feeling like an outsider, I think back on the word “Sunshine.” It was invented as the worst kind of insult: the kind that had a kernel of truth in it. The name pointed out just how different I am. I took the name and made it my own.