Squash Bags For Real Squash Players

Anyone that’s been playing squash for a few years, has probably started to accumulate a bunch of squash gear. Racquets, balls, shoes, bandannas, grips, goggles, wrist / elbow / knee / ankle supports, and maybe even a book of squash rules. For the longest time, I basically carried around 2 bags every time I went to the squash courts. One with all my clothing, towels, shampoo, deodorant etc. And another bag, with my racquets, balls, and whatever else, I could cram into the bag that came with my racquet. It wasn’t just a head cover bag, but one that could hold a couple of racquets and a few balls and stuff. Eventually, I got tired of the 2 bag scenario, and purchased a good 4 racquet sized Head squash bag.

I went looking on YouTube for a video about squash bags, but couldn’t find one. So I made one and uploaded it. My first YouTube video. Pretty cool huh? You can actually put quite a bit of stuff in a squash bag. What you don’t see here, is the clothes I wear to play. The fit in the same compartment as my shoes. My towel fits in there as well. Not to worry, that compartment is well ventilated, so even the sweaty stuff can survive in there for a while.

What you don’t really see in the video, is the shoulder straps. This bag can be worn just like a backpack. Or, it can be carried like a suitcase with a regular handle. I wanted the backpack option, since some days I bike down to the courts to play. Helps me stay in shape . . . yea right ;)


Best Place To Buy Posters

The best place I’ve found to get posters online, has to be:
Click here to buy posters!
Click here to buy posters!

It’s not just a huge collection of posters (bigest on the web, last time I checked), but it also has some very helpful tools to help pick out the best poster, artwork, tapestry, or photograph for your room. You can use their online tools to make sure you poster will look good on your color wall, with the appropriate frame and matting if required. Their website actually allows you to mix and match all those options, and see what it looks like online before placing your order.

All the pictures along the right side are just a sampling of the huge database of posters that AllPosters has.

You don’t have to be rich to have great looking walls.

There is plenty of overpriced artwork hanging on some peoples walls, but I’m not one of those people. Posters, provide a great affordable, alternative to original or limited edition prints. Not everyone can afford to have an original Vincent van Gogh in their house, but most can afford some nice framed posters of his original work. I like to change the art on my walls regularly. It gets boring looking at the same old stuff for too long. Moving the frames around from room to room, can help keep the price down, and still make your el-cheapo posters look like original works of art. Not to mention, it’s a whole lot cheaper just buying new posters, instead of original or limited edition prints.

Is there a movie or pop star that belongs up on your wall?

Why is it that kids are always decorating their walls with rock stars, sports stars, and movie stars? And secondly, why is it that adults never seem to. Well, at least most adults don’t. I do have a poster of Captain Jack from Pirates Of The Caribbean on my office door. I do tend to enjoy the movies of Mr. Depp, and Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorites, but I think I just put the poster up because I thought it was cool. Celebrities have always held a fascination amongst the average population. Something about making your own life seem more interesting buy associating with someone whose life already seems fascinating. At least in the headlines.

Movie posters use to be for promotional purposes only, but not anymore.

I really like posters from the movie Pulp Fiction here. Not because it’s one of the latest releases in the theaters, but simply because it isn’t. For some reason this poster has continued to be one of the big sellers, even though it’s been at least ten years since Travolta made of of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in history, when Tarantino cast him in the role. It’s attained a certain amount of cult status, which means, the kids still think it’s cool and that their parents have forgotten about it. It is cool, and Travolta’s character was cool in the movie, even he professionally cashed in his cool bank account with a flop called Battlefield Earth.


Meatball Sandwich Recipes That Rock!

I had my first meatball sandwich back in 1983, when I was living in Boston and marching in the 27th Lancers Drum Corp. Boston was a great town for food, and meatball sandwiches were no exception. I think it was at a color guard competition, and man was it ever good. I’d never even heard of a meatball sub or sandwich. I assumed of course, that meatballs were only for spaghetti. Now, whenever I get the chance I have one. I like the ones from Mr. Sub, but if your interested in making your own, here’s a few recipes you may enjoy.

Secret Meatball Stuff

two tsp of Italian seasoning (dried)
one lb beef ground lean
two minced cloves of garlic
three-quarter cup of crumbled up bread
two tbsp parsley freshly chopped
one beaten egg
two tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
one tbsp olive oil – extra virgin
some sliced provolone cheese
one long roll of your favorite crusty bread
one half tsp of garlic powder
fourteen ounces of your favorite spaghetti sauce
salt as required

Four Simple Steps To A Great Sandwich

Warm up your oven to approximately 350 degrees.

Shape a dozen or so of your meatballs, using beef, crumbled bread, parsley, Parmesan, egg, garlic, and Italian spices. Place meatballs in oven for about twenty minutes. Test to make sure meatballs are cooked all the way through.

Spread garlic, salt, and olive oil on your bread, and toast for about 5 minutes in the oven.

Get the spaghetti sauce heated, and mix the meatballs in. Once the bread is toasted, add meatballs, a little sauce, and provolone cheese. Place in oven, just long enough to melt the cheese.

TaDa! Terrific meatball sandwich.


How To Become A Scuba Instructor

What diver wouldn’t want to spend their days diving in a tropical paradise? Teaching others about your passion for diving, can be a very rewarding career. While, it may not be the highest paying job, there something to be said for an office with a view.  I spent one glorious getting my Padi certification a few years ago, down in Aruba.  The dive instructor I had actually came from Venezuela every day, as it was only 50 miles across the water.  They weren’t the toughest bunch of instructors I’ve seen.  The day the water temperature dropped below 80 degrees they all started complaining.  Water temperature aside, they all seemed to really love their jobs.  So if your thinking about becoming an instructor, here are some tips.

Here are a few basic requirements you will need to meet. Don’t worry, if your already a diver, chances are you’ve already done some of them.

1. An education is a must for just about anything these days, and dive instructor is no exception. A high school diploma should be considered a minimum, but a college degree would be even better. Marine biology, or outdoor and recreational leadership would be a couple of applicable degrees.

2. If your not already a diver, you should take some courses, and at least get your PADI or NAUI certification. It’s a sure way to tell if your going to like the job.

3. Get your dive master certification, and complete at least a hundred dives. If you haven’t got tired of diving at this point, then instructing could be the gig for you.

4. Keep yourself in good physical shape. Swimming is an excellent way to do this, and pretty handy for a diver to know how to do.

5. Your ready to start browsing the job ads.


Squash Racket Reviews By Chris

I’ve played the game of squash on and off for about 18 years now. I’ve probably played with dozens of different rackets. Different materials, different composites, different grips, different strings, and different shaped rackets. So, I do have a few opinions when it comes to rackets.

For the majority of players any of the top brands like Dunlop, Black Knight, Wilson, Technifibre, Head, Prince, Manta, or Karakal all manufacturer an appropriate racket. I wouldn’t get too hung up on brand name. Unless, your one of the top 200 players on the PSA tour, there’s really no need to spend more than a hundred dollars for a racket.

What matters the most, is that a racket feels good to you. Weight and stiffness, are probably the two most important features here. Also, bear in mind, that a lighter racket, with good stiffness, and reduced vibrations is less likely to cause repetitive strain type injuries over the years.

The other thing to keep in mind, is that once you have a racket you like, be sure to own at least 2 of them. That way, when one breaks, or needs to be restrung, your not stuck playing with a completely different racket.  I actually have 4 rackets in my squash bag at the moment, with one more on order.   Only on of those current 4 do I consider playable at the moment.  It’s a Wilson N145, the same as the one I have on order.

The oldest of those rackets (a Slazenger) has a hairline stress crack, and will probably go any time.  It’s like 10 years old, so it doesn’t really owe me anything.  The remaining two need restringing, and I’m not sure they’re worth being restrung.  One is an Unsquashable, that I won at a tournament, and have never been all that attached to.  The last one is a Black Knight Viper, that is pretty old as well, and will probably break as soon as I get it restrung.  So, I haven’t.


Clemson Spineless Okra – Yummm!

Okra is a green vegetable, that will grow readily in many climates. Its a long and tapered pod shaped vegetable. When cut open, it will reveal multiple rows of seeds, and a somewhat wet gooey touch to the fingers. Actually a member of the cotton family of plants, Okra was originally found growing in warm climates like North Africa, and the Middle East.

Okra is a plant of many uses. It can often be found in different gumbos and is a wonderful source of vitamin A whether it’s canned, fried, steamed, roasted or grilled.

A hardy plant that propagates quite readily, and tastes delicious in either Indian curry or stir frys.  Personally, I really like stir frys and curry either seperately or in combination.  A little stir fry has got to be one of the more interesting foods you can eat.  Usually packed with vegetables, and a little of your favorite meat.  Course if you lean more towards the vegan side, you can always substitute tofu into the stir fry.  It’s even healthier, and bound to satisfy the animal lover in you.

But in combination, as an Indian Curry Stir Fry would be my favorite.  Our at home menu tends to lean a little towards the bland side, as the kids out number the parents 3 to 2, and they won’t touch the spicy stuff.  And curry is definitely one of spicier spices.  My love for it must be something to do with the Indian nuns I had as teachers and family friends that loved to cook with curry.  I spent a year or so consulting in Toronto, with a couple of east Indian friends, and they always knew the best places for lunch.  Definitely got my fill of curry, tandori and other Indian spices that year.


Stanley Hydraulic Hammers – Smashing Good Fun

If you’ve got a big demolition job to be done, then you should probably consider the stanley line of hydraulic hammers. Actually, even smaller demolition jobs will go a lot quicker with a hydraulic tool. Beats the heck out of using a sledge hammer, that’s for sure. They have a number of models to choose from. Everything from hand held hydraulic breakers, to the Cyclone Drop Hammer (check out the video below to see this one in action). The Cyclone falls into the mounted hydraulic category.

Breaking up concrete slabs into easier removal is what these hammers are designed for. While a hand held unit is great for smaller jobs, anything bigger than a 400 square feet needs a wee bit more power. The Cyclone is capable for instance, of doing 1500 feet of street concrete in about 30 minutes. Since it’s a tool meant for mounting on loaders, tractors, backhoes, and excavators you can use it in small places and tight spots.

I’ve never had a need for this kind of machine, but the inner Hulk in me is trying really hard to find one.  It’s clobberin time!  Seriously though, if you have an old patio that needs breaking up, or maybe even an old pool that your considering demoing, this is the machine to use.  I found a pretty cool video of it that’s on my website in the link below, where you can see the Stanley Cyclone in action.  It’s a bit of a sales hype video, but the narrator is kind of funny in his own way.


Sweet Pickles Books Memories

A extremely popular childrens book series during the late 1970′s was called Sweet Pickles. There were three authors of the series, and they were Richard Hefter, Jacquelyn Reinach, and Ruth Lerner Perle. The series title takes it’s name from the predicaments, (or pickles) that the main characters seem to find them selves in. There were actually quite a few main characters. Twenty six in total, and each one of them was an animal. One for every letter of the alphabet. They always seem to get themselves and each other into lots of trouble, and have great fun getting out of it. But, not without teaching a few little life lessons along the way.

Unfortunately, the books can be very hard to find now a days, as they went out of print around 1995. If your were a fan of Captain Kangaroo, you may have been lucky enough to hear some of the stories, as several were read during the show. I’ve collected a few images, and movies about the series.  You can see them in the link that follows at the bottom of this story.

Somehow, I missed out on these books in my childhood, and that’s kind of a bummer.  My kids are also at the age, where they’re a little too old for these books, but maybe yours aren’t.  I know if you remember books from your childhood, it can be a very rewarding and bonding experience to share them with your own kids at the appropriate age.  There was a Sesame book called “The Monster At The End Of This Book”, that I remember as a kid, and got it for my kids when they were old enough.  I’m sure if you ask them about the book, they’ll definitely remember it.  It’s a great way to build memories.