A Closer Look at Snow Blower Parts

You can maximize efficiency, dependability and ease of use with a number of snow blower parts.


A heavy-duty cover will protect your snow blower when not in use.

Drift Cutters

If you want to create sharp, aesthetically pleasing edges to your snow banks, either buy a snow blower that has a built-in drift cutter or buy a conversion kit. These are also known as drift breakers.

Electric Starters

There are two kinds of starters: Electric and recoil. Electric uses a simple button, while recoil uses a cord that you yank. Some starters use a combination of the two. You can convert recoil starters to electric by getting an electric starter kit. They are available for both two-cycle and four-cycle engines.

Gas, Oil, and Stabilizer

Two-cycle engines are for smaller jobs and use a gas/oil mixture, along with a stabilizer: A liquid that keeps the gas/oil mixture from breaking down over time. Stabilizer also slows long-term build-up of deposits in the carburetor. Four-cycle engines are for bigger jobs, use separate gas and oil feeds and do not require stabilizer, but they do require periodic oil changes.


You can buy sealed beam or halogen lights to mount on your snow blower, if it didn’t already come with one. This will make it safe to operate before dawn or after sunset.

Shear Pins

Most augers are connected to the auger shaft with shear pins. These pins break off if you hit an impasse while using your snow blower, thus saving the auger gear case from breakdown. If your unit uses shear pins, be sure to keep a few on hand at all times.

Snow Cabs

Protect yourself from sub-zero temperatures and snow flurries with a snow cab. Usually made of heavy-duty vinyl and freeze-resistant polyethylene, snow cabs attach to the handlebars of your dual stage snow blower. They can sometimes be too heavy, upsetting the delicate leveling of the auger blades, so be sure to buy a snow cab that is designed for your specific unit.

Snow Tire Chains

For added traction and maneuverability in icy conditions, you can wrap your tires in special snow chains. They come in various sizes and weave patterns to fit your particular tire.

Other Replacement Parts

Because of the frictional nature of snow blowers, you will need to replace certain parts from time to time. Auger rubbers, drive belts for augers, impellers, wheels and scraper bars are some of the items you might need to replace every two to ten years. Contact a snow blower parts retailer near you in your local yellow pages, or buy parts online. A good place to start is jackssmallengines.com. They stock most snow blower parts, from dual-stage augers and belts, to useful whistles and bells like snow cabs and headlights.

Remember: a good snow blower with a conscientious owner can last up to 30 years or more.

A Closer Look at Pigeon Forge Real Estate

Those looking to invest in real estate should not overlook Pigeon Forge, TN. Though the 2000 census estimates the number of permanent Pigeon Forge residents at just over 5,000, the population during the popular summer months can soar to tens of thousands. Pigeon Forge has doubled in the last 25 years, and the real estate business is booming.

A great number of people who buy Pigeon Forge real estate do so in order to rent out the property during the busy tourist season. Cabins of all sizes are always being bought and sold, with some going for as much as $500,000. Savvy investors can make their money back in just a few short years by putting the property up for rent.

Pigeon Forge is located in a prime area for real estate. It is located within minutes of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and lots of Pigeon Forge real estate has views of the beautiful mountains and of the Little Pigeon River. Pigeon Forge real estate is a great investment for investors or for nature lovers who want to live close to a stunningly majestic national park.

Since the value of Pigeon Forge real estate is constantly rising, many investors buy empty plots of land and simply resell the land in a few years for a huge profit. Prices vary drastically for lots depending on their size and location, going from $15,000 for a few acres to over a million and a half dollars for some prime lots.

Pigeon Forge real estate is a sure-fire investment and can be a beautiful place to live. People looking to make money or relocate to a scenic region are advised to check out Pigeon Forge.

A Checklist for Bathroom Remodeling Plans

Careful planning is the key to a successful bathroom-remodeling project. Before you begin any work in the bathroom, create a budget, a floor plan, a list of supplies, a timetable, and important legal considerations. Let’s break it down by subject.

First, create a budget. Determine how much money you can comfortably spend, and save about 20 percent for emergencies. Get estimates for the work that needs professionals, and always include electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, and drywall installation costs in your budget.

Second, design a floor plan. Ask yourself, will you be working with the existing space or will you be adding on or knocking down walls? Check to make sure you will not disturb the electrical wiring, plumbing, or zoning regulations. Next, measure the amount of space you have and draw a floor plan. In drawing the plan, first put in all the items that are fixed. For example, if the toilet must be in one place because of plumbing, it is a fixed item. Experiment with how you like your floor plan, using different arrangements, with different types of cabinetry, shelves, or even walls. You might try pocket doors to save space, and corner sinks, floating sinks, or pedestal sinks to save even more space. L-shaped vanities and alcoves also save space. In addition, corner showers conserve space, and clear glass in showers creates the illusion of even more space. You may want to add windows or mirrors to let in light.

Third, make a list of the supplies you’ll need and make sure they are available when you need them. Some typical supplies include sinks, flooring, wall tile, countertops, lighting, medicine cabinets, showers, bath tubs, cabinets and cabinet handles, toilets, extra storage, faucets, toilet paper holders, paint or wallpaper, chairs, accessories (like storage containers and/or artwork), as well as tools you have or can buy.

Fourth, create a timetable. Talk to experts or people at home improvement stores to plan how much time you’ll need. If you’re hiring contractors, work with them to design a timetable you all can follow.

Plan projects according to the time you have available. Put in a new toilet and sink one weekend, for example, and paint another. You don’t have to do it all at once, so plan sensibly. Don’t paint the walls or install woodwork until the hardware is taken care of — you don’t want to damage work you’ve already done. Above all, be flexible and allow time for the unexpected or even emergencies to happen.

Fifth, keep in mind legal considerations. Get and post a building permit, pay any necessary fees, make sure you, your contractor, and any workers have insurance coverage, and keep children and animals away from the construction area.

By following these checklists, your bathroom remodeling plans will be a snap.

A Buyer’s Guide to Shorts

Shorts are fun, sporty, sexy and cool, all at the same time. They have come a long way from being clothing worn by young boys in the army in Europe and Britain, to the fashion accessory of today.

In parts of Europe men wore skirts, much like the Scottish kilt. Between the 14th to 16th centuries, they began wearing breeches. In the 19th century, knickerbockers, full trousers falling just below the knees, became popular. They were worn as sporting wear. Knee-length pants gained popularity in Europe and Britain, and boys around the age of three to eight began wearing shorts that were wider.

At this time, men in America wore only full pants. If they went swimming, they wore one-piece swimsuits. American boys were still wearing long pants after World War I. But shorts started making their presence in the warmer Southern states. The wealthier families were influenced by the fashions in England and private boys’ schools introduced pantsuits as part of their uniform.

The beginning of the 20th century saw the creation of the Bermuda shorts. The British military dressed their soldiers in clothes that could be worn in the warmer climates of their colonies. At the same time, changes in fabric also had men wearing shorter swimming trunks.

Shorts also entered the sports arena; football, hockey, rugby and many other sports were played wearing shorts. Bunny Austin made it acceptable in tennis, wearing them in the 1932 U.S. Men’s Championships at Forest Hills.

With time, women became liberated enough to begin wearing shorts in sports. In tennis, it was Senorita de Alvares who first wore a divided skirt in 1931; Alice Marble wore one in 1933.

There are many types of shorts worn today. Track shorts are common for running. Bun huggers, made from spandex or nylon, are worn by girls and women. However, some find these uncomfortable to wear because they can be quite revealing. Cycling shorts are designed, as the name suggests, for cycling. Nowadays many athletes wear compression shorts, made from nylon and Lycra and designed to support the waist, groin and thighs during vigorous physical activity. Athletes can also wear looser varieties of shorts.

For casual and comfortable wear, many prefer walking shorts and Bermudas, which are longer and have loops for a belt. These have a much more relaxed feel about them. Three-quarter length pants are also worn as comfort wear.

If a person wants to wear pants and then change into a pair of shorts easily, he could wear the zip-off shorts. These are ingeniously zipped off at the knee. Women who want to combine the look of a skirt with the comfort of shorts can wear the divided skirt or the ‘skort.’

The sexiest shorts are the short shorts or hot pants. Hot pants were created by John Herbert is in the early 20th century. When they first made their appearance, they created quite a stir. Pop stars and models keep their sexy look alive!

A Buyer’s Guide to Shirts

Shirts are typically described as a garment or a piece of clothing for the upper half of the human body. It would ideally consist of sleeves and a collar. Men’s shirts will usually have buttons down the front, and uniforms of all types generally follow the same pattern.

Shirts are worn in both casual and formal environments. The way it is worn is a good indication of the type of work a person is doing or the person’s current status. In a business meeting, the shirt would be tucked in and teamed with a tie and suit, but if the person is on vacation, then it would most likely be left untucked with a few top buttons open.

Shirts are further sub-divided into various types, and their styles, over a period of time, have generally been governed by some unseen fashion code, as well as the prevailing weather conditions of a given place. In colder climes one finds long sleeved shirts made of thick, warm material, and in warmer climes half-sleeved shirts are common.

T-shirts look like the alphabet letter ‘T’ and are named accordingly. They are made from different kinds of materials.

Various sporting events have given rise to shirts of a particular type and been named for the sport. Examples include the rugby shirt, the golf shirt, and the baseball shirt. However, a polo shirt has no connection with the game itself.

For ladies, the term shirt is a loosely used one where the definition would include tank tops, camisoles, blouses, tube tops, and halter tops, all of which conform to the basic design of a shirt but with a few modifications. There are some specific types which are self-descriptive like nightshirts, Hawaiian shirts or sweatshirts.

Shirts come in such a wide variety with different buttons, zippers, sleeve lengths and cuffs, collars,, lengths, and pockets.. The list is endless, so it’s up to you to choose.

A Brief Online Guide to Teaching

A good teacher can open the windows of the mind. Some of the greatest people in the word attribute their success to their teachers. In China, Confucius is revered as the ideal teacher.

A teacher is someone who imparts education to students or pupils. As they teach a subject according to a lesson plan, they also improve the student’s learning and thinking skills. Teachers are trained in pedagogy, or the science and art of teaching. This system stresses systematized learning or instruction, giving the aims, principles, and methods of teaching.

University instructors are usually educated in universities or colleges. They have a university degree, which allows them to teach. A school teacher must to be certified by a government body before he can teach.

In the United States, you need a bachelor’s degree with educational coursework in order to get a license to teach school. You would need to take the relevant licensing exams. A person’s background would be checked out to see if he has any criminal record.

Earlier, a trainee teacher would need to teach in a school for two years. Today the ‘Alternate Route’ program in most states has made it easier for a person to teach, even if they have not completed a year or more of specialized teacher training in normal schools.

In New York State, teachers also need to complete a master’s degree within five years of joining a school. To be permanently certified, a teacher needs to pass three state exams of pedagogy, general knowledge and the subject being taught. Fingerprinting is done of all teachers who work in a public school.

There are many ways to become an effective teacher. First of all, understand the emotional needs of the age of the students that you are teaching. A young child would have different concerns than a sixteen-year-old. You are like a team leader and have to engage the students, be interesting and give the right amount of knowledge. As a teacher you must listen, question, and be open because every student and class is different.

Begin with something that the student can relate to, but be ready to offer more knowledge and extend beyond your lesson plan. You will have to answer questions or even give counter arguments.

Relate the matter to students’ everyday concerns. Be ready to be innovative and even offer practical learning opportunities. Keep learning yourself, use libraries to upgrade your knowledge, and you will be able to offer more to the students.

Set goals so that the lessons are completed on time and set time aside for self-evaluation. This will help you revise the work as needed. But keep in mind that you must be flexible to respond the different needs within your class.

A certain amount of humor and a relaxed class atmosphere helps you get your teaching across. If the children trust you, they will learn better. As a teacher you need to understand your students, develop and guide them to do better. Above all, you must enjoy teaching. It’s only then that you become truly successful.

World Teachers’ Day was inaugurated by UNESCO on 5 October 1994. This celebrates and remembers the signing of the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers on the same date in 1966. Taiwan celebrates Teacher’s Day as a national holiday. Good teachers shape our vision and lives, and we must make it a point to show them our gratitude for all that they have done for us.

A Brief History of Vacuum Cleaners

The first person to patent a machine for cleaning was David Hess in the year 1860. Housewives all over America had turned to using rugs and carpets, a trait brought over by the waves of immigrants coming from Europe, to cover their bare wood floors and keep the dust and dirt to a minimum. When they were dirty, they had to be carried outside, suspended somehow in the air and then beaten with a metal rod or heavy wooden stick.

A bit later someone invented a small, tennis racket-looking device called a rug beater for precisely this purpose. Mr. Hess soon realized that there was probably an easier way to clean rugs without all the fuss and mess and he invented the Carpet Sweeper which had a rotating brush combined with a bellows system that created suction. His amazing invention also used two water chambers to trap the dust and fine dirt. The only problem with Mr. Hess’ machine is that there is no proof it was ever produced.

After Mr. Hess’ invention, there came a period of wilder and weirder inventions that sought to accomplish the same thing. In the late 1870’s, Melville Bissell (sound familiar?) marketed a carpet sweeper that picked up the dirt and dropped it into a pan behind the rotating brush. In 1899, John Thurman invented a gasoline-powered vacuum cleaner that is credited as being the first motorized version. In 1901 Hubert Booth of London invented the electric vacuum, a device so large that it was parked outside the house and a 100-foot long hose snaked its way inside and did the dirty work.

The device was so popular that housewives all over London held vacuum parties to enjoy the event. It wasn’t until 1908 when James Spangler, a janitor in Ohio, invented the first portable, suction cleaner — the precursor to today’s high tech machines. He sold his patent to his cousin’s husband, William Hoover (also familiar?) and the rest, as they say is history.

A Brief History of the Violin

Musical instruments have existed in one form or another for many thousands of years. There were several stringed instruments made before violins, but some of them are so ancient that modern scholars hardly know anything about them, having only seen them depicted in artwork or written record. The violin has existed in its current form since the 16-th century. The first Violin makers were Italians who were probably influenced by other ancient stringed instruments from around the world.

Some of the violin’s precursors date back several thousand years. The ravanstron, rebec, and rabab are ancient stringed instruments that were used thousands of years ago. By the 11-th century, the rote and vielle had been invented. These instruments looked somewhat similar to modern violins in that they fingerboards that containing strings which players could press in order to produce different tones. The vielle was probably the instrument most similar to the modern violin, different models had between two and five strings that could be plucked or bowed.

The history of the violin itself goes back to 16-th century Italy. The Medici family commissioned a famous lute builder named Andrea Amati to make a stringed instrument that was small enough for street musicians to use but had a sound quality similar to that of a lyre. His first violins were very successful and he was soon commissioned to build an entire orchestra by King Charles IX of France. The earliest known violin still in existence, dated 1564, was from this orchestra.

The Amati family — along with fellow Italian families like the Guarneris and the Stradivaris — continued to refine and develop the violin’s design until the 18-th century, when Antonio Stradivari built a violin that formed the basis for all future models.

Acoustic violins have not changed much since the 18-th century; the designs proved they could with stand the test of time. Some innovations, such as the advent of the electric violin have been made in recent years, but the basic design remains unchanged.

A Brief History of the Mattress

Mattresses are a key component of bedding. Because most humans spend over a third of their lives sleeping, finding a quality mattress is important for a high quality of life. Normally comprised of foam and fibers, with metal springs on a wooden frame, mattresses help ensure a restful sleep.

Serta, Sealy, and Simmons are the three largest, most popular mattress brands in the USA.

Standard USA mattress sizes are Twin/Single (39” X 75”), Double/Full (54” X 75”), Queen (60” X 80”), King (78” X 80”). Other USA mattress sizes include Olympic Queen (66” X 80”), California Queen (60” X 84”), and California King (72” X 80”).

Mattresses typically require replacement after seven to fifteen years of use, or sooner, if the coils or frame have experienced noticeable wear and tear.

A Brief History of the Mattress

In the Neolithic period (8,000-6,000 B.C.), people migrated from sleeping on the ground to simple man-made beds and mattresses. These first resting structures were constructed of leaves and grass, held together with animal skin. Around 3,500 B.C., Persians invented the first “waterbeds,” made of goatskins filled with water. The more affluent inhabitants of the Roman Empire, circa 200 B.C., slept on mattresses filled with feathers. Steel coils, which now support the vast majority of mattresses, were not patented for this purpose until 1865.

Mattresses have enjoyed many advances in the past few decades, including the advent of air mattresses, foam mattresses, and “memory foam” mattresses. Increasingly, mattresses are being constructed from modern materials such as latex foam and polyurethane foam. In addition, those consumers seeking affordability and convenience have chosen futons and futon mattresses to ensure their good night’s sleep. And there has long been a core of waterbed enthusiasts who remain committed to waterbed mattresses.