Organic Gardening – Watermelons Are a Summertime Favorite

Sweet, succulent watermelon grown in your own home garden are a summertime favorite. There is nothing better than there sweet, cool, refreshing and delicious taste on a hot summer day. This warm climate crop thrills with the growing growing seasons in warm climates, but there are varieties for cooler areas that will preform just fine and as tasty.

When planting, choose a location that will get full sunlight and with a good air circulation. They can grow in many different types of soil, but prefer a good healthy soil structure that is light, loose, fertile and well drained. Working in a generous amount of compost, composted manure or composed leaves into the soil will greatly benefit the soils structure for your watermelons to thrive. A soil that keeps moisture well is very important when growing watermelons, they like a steady supply of water.

Sow seeds directly into the garden once all dangers of frost have passed, soak the seeds for a half hour before planting in compost tea will help the seeds germinate. Plant on hills with 4 seeds per hill and space the hills 8 to 10 feet apart for vine type or 3 to 4 feet apart for bush type. Once the seeds have germinated remove 2 of the seedlings leaving the 2 best plants.

Watermelons are heavy feeders and need a steady supply of water, giving them a feeding of compost tea every two weeks will add the nutrients needed for your plants to thrive. Do not overdue it with nitrogen, especially once the flowers form.

Harvesting your watermelons can be a tricky task. There are three methods that can be used in figuring out if a watermelon is ripe. Look, listen and feel are what it takes to check for ripeness in a watermelon.

First sign is visual, the underside of the fruit that rests on the ground will turn a gold color or yellow straw color. Next look for the curly tendril that is attached to the vine closest to the fruit, it will be dry and brittle when a watermelon is ripe.

Second is the thump test, tap the watermelon with your knuckles and it should make a hollow sound when ripe. This method will take some practice, but once you get the feel for it you will most likely you this method the most.

Third is feel, if you run your fingers around the center of the watermelon you should feel ridges on the rind when it is ripe. This is done around the center and not from end to end or from stem to blossom. A watermelon that is not mature will be smooth.

Preparing Your Motorcycle For the Winter

So here we are in October, and the overnight and morning hours are a little chilly here in the Northeast of the US. What does this mean? Winter is coming of course, and seems to be coming fast. Most days are now starting out in the low 40's, getting up to maybe the high 50's / low 60's, and then dropping down again into the low 40's overnight.

So, what are you to do if you're not planning on riding through the cold, winter months? You need to prepare your motorcycle and winterize it. There are a few steps you should definitely do to keep your motorcycle safe and warm through those frigid months.

  1. Get the gasoline out of your engine – How do you do that? Start up your motorcycle with the petcock to 'on' and let your bike run for a few minutes. After your motorcycle is idling just fine, flip the petcock to off and let the engine do it's thing by cycling through any fuel that is left in the lines. You'll know as soon as the fuel is out of the engine, as the motorcycle will just stop running (like it stalled). It's OK if you leave some fuel in the tank as it should not cause any damage. But leaving it in your engine could cause serious damage to your motorcycle.
  2. Get a battery tender - A battery tender will keep your motorcycle battery charged throughout the winter so that when you're ready to fire her up, you will not be left with a dead battery. Battery tenders are fairly inexpensive and can be picked up at your local motorcycle shop or order one online.
  3. Clean your motorcycle – you do not want to store your motorcycle for long periods of time with dirt, grime, tar, grease, bugs, etc. all over your bike. Not only is this bad for the paint and chrome, but it's just not right to treat your baby so badly. Clean her up before she takes that long winter's nap. My motorcycle is actually cleaned after every ride. It's only right that my girl be taken care of and treated well through the year.
  4. Find a good spot – Your motorcycle is going to be resting for the next few months, so make sure you find a good location for the winter. The best location would be an attached garage, the next would be an outdoor storage building, and the least favorite would be outside in the elements. The winter elements can do some serious damage if not carefully watched, so I'd recommend making sure your motorcycle is stored in an area that is enclosed. My motorcycle is always stored in my attached garage, and kept in a prime location so as not to get bumped or something dropped on her.
  5. Get a motorcycle cover – just because your motorcycle may be stored in an enclosed area, does not mean you should not further protect her. You can get a cover for as little as $ 20 or as much as $ 100. A motorcycle cover will make sure no additional dirt or dust gets on your bike, and will also help protect any unfortunate bumps or dings. I can not speak for bugs, as they'll find their way into any warm place during the colder months.
  6. Start her up when you can – If there's a decent winter day, sun shinning, and not terribly cold, go ahead and fire up your motorcycle. Let her run for a while, she'll thank you in the spring. Just remember to follow all the steps above to ensure you put your motocycle back to rest properly.

Dedicated Hosting Servers – Choosing the Best

What are dedicated hosting servers?

Dedicated hosting servers, as the name implies, are servers leased to a single client and not shared with any others. In other words, if you were to sign up to a dedicated hosting plan, the server would be devoted and committed entirely to hosting your websites.

Why should I use dedicated hosting?

Dedicated hosting has a variety of advantages over shared hosting, particularly if you plan to run an ecommerce website or if you prefer a high level of control over resources.

The key advantages can be briefly summarised as follows:

  • CONTROL: over operating system and software applications
  • RELIABILITY: Reliability: quicker server response time and better performance as the server is not taxed by sharers
  • SECURITY: extremely high security is provided and you can implement your own security measures
  • RESOURCES: greater bandwidth available, ideal for high traffic and resource-intensive websites

What do I need to use dedicated hosting?

MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Although dedicated web hosting gives you the opportunity to fully manage your server, web hosts will provide varying levels of management for you, depending on your host and plan. In these cases, you will not need a high level of management skills.

FINANCES

Expect to pay more for dedicated web hosting that for shared.

What should I look for in a dedicated server?

RAM

It is crucial to have enough RAM. You should aim for at least 2 GB of RAM and the more the better. The number of concurrent users able to visit your site will be greatly affected by the amount of RAM you have. If you do not have enough RAM, under a significant load from a number of simultaneous users accessing your site, your site will crash (i.e. the Slashdot effect). This can particularly be a problem if you have database driven applications.

PROCESSOR

Choosing the best processor for your needs is also important. Intel Xeons and AMD Opterons are the current standard in server CPU architecture. Other CPUs are most likely outdated or are standard desktop CPUs and may not perform as well as the former under a significant network load.

DISK SPACE

Choose a plan with the amount you will need. Unless you will be serving up file and data archives and/or audio and video content (i.e. streaming media, mp3 downloads, etc) then disk space should not be a concern as all plans provide more than adequate amounts of disk space (e.g. 250 GB+). If you anticipate expansion, look into the flexibility of upgrade options.

BANDWIDTH (Monthly Transfer)

Look for 1000-2000 GB+, depending on your needs.

DATA CONNECTION SPEED

Look for 1000 Mbps, particularly if you are streaming video or have a large number of concurrent users. Otherwise 100 Mbps might suffice.

OPERATING SYSTEMS

Look for which are offered and what costs are involved. Many Linux distributions and BSD systems are available for free from the open source community, while Microsoft Windows Server involves a cost. Expect operating system updates to be provided.

MANAGEMENT / EASE OF USE

Look for how much management is included in the plan price. For ease of use, look for free inclusion of cPanel (web based administration). Look for hosts supporting server configuration, software, application, security and anti-virus updates, firewall services and monitoring. Be wary of the term “fully managed” as this means different things to different hosts. Investigate thoroughly.

SOFTWARE

What options do you have? What is included? Microsoft products? Look for control panel software.

SUPPORT

Look for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year phone / email technical support.

BACKUP AND RESTORATION

Look for what backup and restoration options are provided. Some plans come with two hard drives, allowing an easy back up solution.

IP ADDRESSES

Look for more than one, particularly if you plan to do ecommerce.

UPTIME GUARANTEE

Look for hosts guaranteeing 99.9 to 100% uptime and find out their compensation if it is not reached.

WEB HOSTING PRICE

Find out if there is a setup fee. Expect to pay $200+ per month for hosting.

Who provides top rated web hosting?

No doubt you will read different opinions in different places, but based on the criteria outlined above, I have identified a few stand-out dedicated web hosts with excellent reputations for quality and reliability. You will find details of these hosts at Web Host Choice [http://webhostchoice.info]

Culinary Arts Education – Degrees For a Job in the Hospitality Industry

There are many people that dream of a career in the hospitality industry and the most popular job is, of course, the head chef. To attain this role within a quality restaurant you will need to go through a culinary arts education course that will prepare you for working as a professional chef. These courses include the actual hands on preparation of food as well as the theories and lessons you will need to work in the industry. The courses run for anywhere from three to five years and even longer in you choose to complete a double degree.

There are many schools offering culinary education including everything from local community colleges through to world class cooking schools such as Le Cordon Bleu. Most of these schools offer professional degrees in culinary arts and will provide you with an opportunity to get a great job in the industry. However, it is more than likely you will need to get experience as an assistant, or sous chef, before you will be promoted or offered a job as a head chef. Like most other graduates you will need to make your way up the industry until you reach the top.

It is important to compare the different culinary arts education courses that are offered. Consider that some of the courses will not offer a formal degree so it is a good idea to put plenty of research into your decision. Create a short list of schools as it is a good idea to apply to more than one school in case you are not accepted by your first choice.