Author: tracers

How many cockroaches have you killed so far? Chances are that you have killed many and thrown them away, without a thought and still have not been able to get rid of the menace. They keep appearing one after the other with the crystal clear objective of sacrificing themselves for a cause which is still not known to humans. Have you ever wondered why they keep coming as they do?

It is because we humans are too compassionate and kill them in isolation? How will the other cockroaches ever come to know what awaits them when they come to your house? It is similar to punishing criminals without letting the others know what happens when one gets on to the wrong side of law. You guessed it, make a sample out of one and put the fear of God into the others. For all you know, the cockroaches, in their circle of the world, have a theory akin to the Bermuda triangle. Some of them just disappear, while others come back safely.

We need to teach a lesson to cockroaches. For this exercise we will need the following:

a) At least two adults. Children if any may be allowed to partake in the exercise unless they have Blattodephobia or Roach phobia.
b) A set of Walkie-talkies, preferable hands free. Many a cockroach have escaped because of the uncontrolled shouting and display of hysteria by the family members.
c) An AK-47 or 56. Chances are that you will not be required to use it. But it serves as an excellent deterrent with respect to the cockroach’s decision-making on the fight or flight response.
d) A knife with a six-inch blade and some glass jars.
e) Night vision Goggles, Gloves and an electric mosquito swatter.
f) A one sq ft piece of thermocol.

The operation starts at night after dinner. Arm yourselves with gloves, the rifle, the knife and the mosquito swatter. Make sure the arms are split between the members of the group, since the roaches are known to fly towards and attack the unarmed people. Switch on your night vision goggles and lie in wait. The location needs to be as close to the kitchen as possible. If you have infants and kids younger than five years of age, the dining table itself should serve as an enticing bait. One of you should be close to the light switch.

As soon as any member of the team sights a cockroach, he is to inform the others over the walkie-talkies. Do not make any movement, remember, the cockroach is naturally enabled to see in the night. As soon as the one with the night-vision glasses sights the cockroach he passes on the instruction to switch on the light.

The moment the light is switched on, the cockroach will be blinded, so there is no point in showing any of your weapons to it. Give it some time to adjust it’s vision. Half a minute should be enough. During this time you can see the cockroach scampering around. Do not bother about it. It is just a panic reaction. After about a half minute the roach will be able to see properly. Now is the time you point the AK-47 towards it and warn it to stand still. This will trigger release of some adrenaline in it’s body and it will start deciding, fight or flight. At this juncture all the team members are to display their weapons in a manner that the roach can see them.

After seeing the weaponry in the hands of the assault team, the cockroach and his instincts will give up the idea of fight. That would leave him with the option of flight. Be aware that in this case flight does not mean flee, it means flight. The person with the electric mosquito swatter needs to step in, in that case and be ready to swat the high speed airborne target. Anyway, this may be required only in extreme cases, as most cockroaches would be too afraid to move. The swatter works best in the hand of the male because most females of the human variety are also equally afraid to move, at the sight of a flying cockroach.

Once you are sure the cockroach has given up, place a jar on top of the cockroach, slip a paper underneath and then invert the jar. The cockroach is now in custody. Immediately rush on to your computer and spread the word around, regarding the execution, for other cockroaches to be aware. Facebook and twitter work the best for this. Also do indicate a time (15 minutes should be enough) and place for the summary proceedings in respect of the apprehended roach.

At the given time, place the jar on the thermocol sheet on the floor, so that it is visible from all sides. You may not be able to see any other cockroaches, but that’s alright. Rest assured they are there, in hordes too. Get a bottle of insecticide and spray it inside the jar. The cockroach will thrash around and do everything else that the cockroaches do when sprayed with insecticide and then slowly and agonizingly die it’s death. All the cockroaches who have witnessed the execution will swear not to come to your house again. They will be too dumbstruck to act. I recommend sudden movement of your hand with the insecticide in random directions to get them out of their shock, so that they can run away from your house, never to come back again. That’s it, Folks.

Note of Caution: Once you have caught the cockroach you may be tempted to torture it, you know, kill it slowly, part by part. Don’t give in to this temptation unless you want Animal activists hounding you for the rest of your life. If you have a child in senior school, you may dissect the cockroach purely for educational purposes, but that really won’t send the right signals to the other cockroaches. Or you could save yourself all the hustle and use the best roach killer for apartments.

With the holidays approaching, you may find yourself searching for the perfect gift for a friend, family member or significant other. If they happen to play the guitar then your search just got a whole lot easier because there are plenty of affordable guitar related products that make fantastic gifts.

As a guitarist, the following list of 10 guitar player gift ideas comes from personal experience. They are all products that I have either received, or would like to receive. I’ve also made personal product recommendations for each item on the list, so even if you are not familiar with guitar accessories, you can buy one with confidence knowing it is of high quality.

1. Guitar Strings

Guitar strings are almost as important as the guitar itself, and it is important to change strings often to maintain your guitar’s tone. This on-going process though requires buying quite a few packs of strings throughout the year, which guitar strings such a great gift idea.

I have the mindset that you can never have enough packs of backup strings. I’ll often take 3-4 sets with me when I play a show in case strings break during my performance.

Sites like Musicians Friend offer great deals on buying strings in bulk that save you money in the long run and are definitely worth checking out.

For acoustic guitars, I recommend the Martin SP Acoustic medium gauge strings. These strings are bright sounding, and do not break very often.

For electric guitars, I recommend Ernie Balls which are great strings that have been played by the pros for decades.

It’s important to mention that string gauge is usually a player preference, but you can’t go wrong with buying “medium” gauge strings in my opinion. In my experience, they’ve offered the best sound and playability.

2. String Cutter/Winder

This is probably one of my favorite guitar accessories, and it doesn’t even have anything to do with my guitar’s sound or playability.  It is a tool that makes re-stringing your guitar a breeze.

Guitar String Winder/Cutter

It has a winding feature, cutting tool and a slot that can easily remove bridge pins on an acoustic guitar. These are all aspects of the string changing process that can prove to be quite difficult at times, especially when you are in a hurry.

With this tool, I never have to go looking for wire cutters, pliers, etc. Everything I need is right at my finger tips.

My recommended product is Planet Waves Pro-Winder String Winder/Cutter. It is the same one I use, and could not imagine being without it.

3. Guitar Picks

Dunlop Tortex guitar pick

I find myself always losing picks, and struggling to find one no matter how many I buy at a time. This is why I’m sure any guitarist would appreciate getting a pack or two so they’ll always have one nearby.

Like strings, picks have different gauges as well that are based on their thickness. The common types of guitar picks are light, medium and heavy.

The gauge of a pick is commonly a player’s own personal preference, but if I was to make a recommendation I would  consider the following:

For acoustic guitar playing, I like using light gauge picks. I think it provides a softer sound and lets the guitar sing more. It also helps to prevent string breaks.

For electric guitar playing, I’ll use medium gauge picks, because they add a more bite and control to my playing.

My favorite brand of picks are Dunlop Tortex Standard picks. They have a texture that feels great in your hands and helps to keep them from slipping out while playing.

4. Guitar Stand/Holder

guitar stand

It is important to help protect your guitar when you are not playing it, and a guitar stand is the perfect solution to this problem. They hold and support a guitar, helping to prevent any possible accidents.

There are two types of guitar stands to consider, wall mounted and floor stands.

I’ve personally only ever used floor stands, but if I had a proper wall to hang my guitar from, I would definitely use a wall holder.

5. Guitar Polish Kit

guitar polish

All guitar players love keeping their guitars looking good and protected, which is what makes a guitar polishing kit such a great gift idea.

These kits contain waxes and cleaners specifically designed for guitar finishes. They also normally include a cloth to use for waxing and a string cleaner solution.

A polish/cleaning kit is a must have for any guitarist, and I recommend buying a Dunlop brand kit for best results.

6. Capo

guitar capo

A capo is a cool guitar accessory that is used to change the key of the guitar by simply “clamping” it onto the strings at any point on the fret board.

Applying a capo can really change the mood and feel of a song or chord which is why musicians have used them for so many years.

I recommend the G7th 405 Performance Guitar Capo (Pictured Above) which is available at Musicians Friend. Any guitar player would be lucky to have a capo like this.

7. Guitar Stool

Guitar Stool

A guitar stool is a great gift idea because most chairs simply aren’t designed with the guitar player in mind. A guitar stool offers a comfortable, sturdy place to sit and practice the guitar.

There are several different styles of chairs that can be purchased, but I prefer the simple steel legs and black seat design. You can even get customized guitar stools, which can make the gift that much more special.

8. Tabulature/Music Book of Favorite Group

tab 300x115 10 Guitar Player Gift Ideas

I received a gift like this last year, and it is still something I use at least once a week. The book I received was a complete Beatles’s collection of song tabs and sheet music. I love it because I can literally sit down and figure out any Beatles’s song I can think of.

There are music books for almost all popular musicians and groups starting from the ’60s to the current day.

I recommend looking for a book with a hard cover, because it will stand the test of time better and become something treasured for many years.

9. Pedal Board

pedals2 300x163 10 Guitar Player Gift Ideas

If the guitarist you know plays with a variety of effect pedals, then a pedal board will make a great addition to his/her setup. It will keep all of the pedals organized and powered, making it easy to set them up and transport them.

I recommend looking at our Joyo pedals review for high quality products at affordable prices.

10. Multi-Track Recorder

Now for what I refer to as the “dream” gift. For around $200-400 dollars you can get a great multi-track recording station (I recommend Fostex brand). These units will do everything from recording multiple tracks of audio at once to mixing down the audio and burning the final CDs.

These recorders allow for the guitarist in your life to record himself, as well as other instruments and vocal tracks, ultimately making complete, great sounding songs.

I’ve always loved recording my own music, it can really make you feel like you’re living the “rock ‘n roll dream” even though you are just in your bedroom.


10 Guitar Player Gift Ideas
Foot Massager – Get the Best Massager to Relax Your Feet

After a full day working, not only your foot are feeling tired, but also your legs. In fact, with a whole day going from one place to another (and in some cases carrying heavy goods as well) your legs will also end up suffering a lot of the pressure and stress of the day. It’s important to relax those muscles at the end of the day, helping you get rid of all the stress you got and allowing you to get back in shape and rest, getting ready for another day of work (or getting your well deserved rest).Best Foot Massager

Being biped we spend a large amount of time in our day standing and walking and the weight is distributed to only two legs. That may cause some leg damage unless you’re prepared and are aware of the effects of a great massage.

Did you know that restless leg syndrome is actually one of the most common sleeping disorders? It is caused by too much accumulated stress to your legs and it’s something you should avoid, never fix. Of course that a good massage on your calf muscles is one of the ways of getting over this issue but you shouldn’t get one only when you are facing deep pain: doing it on a daily basis has numerous advantages, improving circulation, improving lymphatic drainage, stretching the muscle fibers, reducing swelling, reducing cellulite, reducing fatigue, between many others.

Why Get One

If you’re like me and by the end of the day your feet are extremely tired and all you want is to relax them then getting best foot massager could very well be what will help you in achieving it.

A foot massager can be connected to a power plug and will give you a wonderful foot massage.But is it really recommended? Does it prove to have a positive effect in your circulation and well being?

Best Foot MassagerA well made foot massage can alleviate the stress that has been accumulated throughout the whole day allowing you to relax and refocus your energy. It’s a healing process that you should do in the end of a stressful day. And as you probably know, now, more than ever, days are extremely stressful.

Some people prefer using the best prostate massager when compared to a regular foot rub as it doesn’t tickle as much and knows the exact spots to reach to get all the stress you have out of your body. It works and it works fantastic.

Let’s take a look at some other advantages of using a foot massager: First of all, it’s a fantastic way of relieving pain and stiffness which could be caused by over-exercising or using a particular set of muscles too long. A well made foot massage will help you with symptoms of constipation, headache or, as mentioned before, stress. Another great plus especially for those who suffer from bad circulation is the fact that a penis extender can improve your blood circulation. This is the more important if you consider the fact that getting the blood circulating in your feet is harder due to it being a more external part of your body. Also, with less stress, your body will return to homeostasis, which is the healthier process your body can go through.

The benefits of using a foot massager become undeniable and if you’re thinking that you’ll have to pay a small fortune for such device, you don’t need to worry, as it’s available for a much cheaper price than you could originally think. Getting one for yourself or for any loved one (it’s a great gift, I’m sure they’ll appreciate getting their own personal massager. If you’re planning on buying one and don’t know which one to choose you should check on foot massager reviews online  for more information,

If you need to take care of your lawn but tired of raking all those leaves and bending over to scoop them into bags, leaf vacuum mulchers could be your best friends. They can pick up and mulch these leaves. Mulching not only facilitates bagging leaves but also gives you hearty mulch for free. You may have wondered what is the best leaf vacuum mulcher in the market. We reviewed a few most popular leaf vacuum mulchers to help you find your ideal one.

Top-Rated Leaf Vacuum Mulchers :

Toro 51609 Ultra Blower/Vacuum/Leaf Mulcher (updated version 51619)

Toro offers a line of products that is a combination of leaf vacuum, mulcher and blower, 3 in 1 unit. The Toro 51609 Ultra is one of the most popular products from this line. Its powerful vacuum makes it easy to remove the leaves from the back yard. In terms of its mulching reduction ratio, it reduces the size of leaves up to 16 to 1 ratio with its metal impeller.

The unit could be easily converted from vacuum to blower mode, which requires no tools. The Ultra moves air at the maximum speed of 235 mph.

Furthermore, its power is adjustable to suit different needs. This could be useful when close to the edge of the lawn. The Toro Ultra does what it says. It has been very popular and received lots of positive reviews from communities. We highly recommend this product. It should be noted that Toro starts to offer a slightly upgraded model, the Toro 51619 Ultra.

leaf vacuum mulcher

If Toro 51609 or 51619 is a little too expensive for you, Toro 51618 might be a good candidate for you to look into. The Toro 51618 super model features 225 mph maximum airspeed and up to 10:1 mulching ratio. It is less expensive and lighter but less powerful than the ultra model. If you want something packed with more power. Then, you might want to check out Toro 51621 UltraPlus

WORX Electric TriVac Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum

The WORX has a 12-amp motor with a maximum air volume of 350 cfm and a top speed of 210 mph. It weighs about 8.4 lbs. It is very good at picking up and mulching dry leaves. The mulching ratio is up to 18:1 for its leaf mulcher. With a press of one button, you can then take off the nozzle to access impeller if necessary. To switch between vacuum and blower mode is pretty much effortless with a lever. No assembly needed. This is a big plus when compared with other models from competitors.

leaf vacuum mulcher

If WORX WG509 is a bit beyond your budget, you take a look at the less expensive WORX WG505. The WORX WG508 model is another option you may want to explore. It offers a slightly more mph (up to 240 mph) with the price of WG505. It comes with a trade-off though. WORX WG508 needs a bit assembly to do the conversion.

Black & Decker BV3600 High Performance Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher

Black and Decker has been a strong player in the field of power tools for a long time. The BV3600 has been one of its most popular leaf vacuum mulcher solutions. For mulching or shredding, it can grind up to ten bags of leaves down to one. The 12 amp motor is also capable of max 230 mph speed. Changing to vacuum model is easy and requires no tools .

leaf vacuum mulcher

One common question about BV5600 series is what is the difference among BV5600, BV6000 and BV6600. First of all, they are all very similar, power and performance wise. But, BV5600 or BV6000 offers two speed selections while BV6600 has a variable speed selection. BV6000 and BV6600 come with a disposable leaf bag system when BV5600 does not.

Husqvarna 125BVx Gas Powered Vacuum Mulcher and Blower


This is a lightweight (relatively speaking among gas powered devices) gas powered unit. It offers 470 CFM for vacuum and 170 mph top air speed. The product is geared more to customers that need the freedom that the gas powered devices can offer and yet do not care about power too much. Husqvarna 125BVx has a plastic impeller but with added metal cutter. Its reduction ratio of the leaf mulcher is up to 16:1. Its motor is very easy to start. Overall, this is a reliable product backed by 2 year warranty. One thing should be noted though that in general you need to take extra care of gas powered devices. Please do not leave gas in tank for a long time. It can eventually do damage to your unit.

leaf vacuum mulcher

Additionally, you can also consider gas powered ones from Stihl, SH86 shredder vac and SH56. They are also very decent in terms of quality and performance.

Black and Decker LSWV36 40V Lithium Ion Sweeper/Vac

Black and Decker LSWV36 runs off a 40-volt lithium battery. It is cordless, light and easy to carry around. It only weights about 5.4 pounds for sweeper configuration and roughly 6.9 pounds in vacuum mode. It blows up to 120 mph. Apparently, it is not as powerful as those corded or gas powered ones. But, it could be perfect for you if you only need to clean driveways and usually those hard surfaces off the leaves or grass clippings.leaf vacuum mulcher

Obviously, the LSWV36 from Black and Decker is not for everyone but could be somewhat attractive to those who are willing to trade off power for the portability.

So which model is the best backpack leaf blower?

Apparently, it depends on your situation. For electric units, the Toro 51609 (updated version 51619) Ultra could be the best blower vacuum mulcher for you in general. It is reliable and does what it says. Having said that, if you prefer easy switching between vacuum and blower mode, the WORX WG509 could be your choice. Black & Decker has also been a strong player in this area. For gas ones, you might want to explore brands like Husqvarna.

What to look for when shopping for the best leaf vacuum mulcher
Indoor Bike Storage Ideas for Die Hard Cyclists

There are many different types of bike racks for storage. Many of the storage bike racks include, wall bike racks, wave bike storage racks, freestanding bike stands, there are even heavy duty bike hooks to hang your bike on a wall and more.

Indoor bike racks for storage are the best way to keep your bikes stored and secure.  Since there are many different types of indoor bike racks, the best thing to do is to first assess the area that you plan to use for your bike storage.

Will you be using the wall by installing a wall mounted bike rack for storage, or will you be using a freestanding bike stand.

Decide how many bikes you will be storing and where.  Here are the many different bike racks for storage available.

  • Free standing bike stand (floor bike stand)
  • Indoor Wall mounted bike rack (most popular)
  • Wall mounted bike rack hooks
  • Vertical Indoor bike storage rack
  • Garage Ceiling mount bike racks
  • Mounting Bikes on ceiling

If you live in a small space like an apartment or have a bedroom that you use to store your bike, you may want to consider a ceiling mount bike rack or a wall mount bike rack, a freestanding bike stand may be too large unless you have the floor space. Read more about the best indoor bike storage here.

Freestanding bike racks can hold up to 3 bikes and are sturdy and easy to use.

Wall mounted bike racks come in many different shapes and hold many bikes depending on the type of wall mount you intend on using.  There are flip up hooks, vertical indoor bike racks for storage, and more.

Ceiling mount bike racks for storage can be in the form of a hoist, hooks and more.

More Storage Bike Racks

All of these different bike racks for storage are easy to mount whether they are wall mounted bike racks or ceiling mounted bike racks.

Other bike racks for storage that can keep your bike safe and secure in an outdoor setting include:

  • Cement mounted wave storage bike rack
  • Car bike racks (holds 2-4 bikes at a time)

There are many different types of bike racks for storage. Think of how you want to store your bike and then see which one will work best for you. Whether you plan on taking a trip and bring your bike or bikes with you, you’ll be able to get a car bike rack to bring the bikes with you.

There are many different bike racks for storage products available even for your cars or trucks.

Many of them are available online. Decide what kind of bike rack that you will need and you will find exactly what you are looking for.

Bike racks for storage on your car or truck.

Typical Bicycle Car Racks Available:

  • A roof car bicycle rack
  • A hitch mounted bike rack
  • A strap on trunk bike rack

Using a strap on trunk bicycle rack is not very secure but it is inexpensive. It is also the least secure. The strap can be easily
cut to steal the bikes.

The strap on rack needs to be strapped tightly to the cars trunk or truck and even so, they can do quite a lot of damage to your care or truck.

This type of bicycle rack does not allow the trunk or back of a truck to be opened while the bikes are strapped on.

Although the strap on truck rack is inexpensive and easy to store, you are better off with something that will not allow your bike to be easily stolen and will not do damage to your bicycle or your car.

There are many types of hitch mounted bike racks that come in different sizes to match the type of car or truck that you have.

The choice of a hitch mounted bicycle rack will depend on a couple things like, how many bikes do you plan or transporting. The most that this type of bike mount will carry is 3 bikes at a time.

This type of bike rack is easy to install and usually you will not need to remove the front wheels to mount the bikes.

If your car or truck does not currently have a hitch, it will cost some money to add one.  Smaller cars are not always able to have a hitch attached.

Although the risk of damaging your car is less, if you get hit from behind or back up into something, you will damage not only your bicycle but also your car.

Car bicycle racks are ideal if you plan on taking long trips or even driving your bike to another area to ride it.

Another option to consider when looking for a car bicycle rack is a roof mounted bike rack. Roof bike racks for storage can be ideal for having more room in your car and having access to your trunk.

This type of bike rack is a good option however, you will need a roof rack for your car or truck in order to attach the roof bicycle rack.

You will also need to be able to lift the bicycle onto the roof and able to attach it correctly. This is usually a good way to transport your bike especially if you are going a long distance and the bicyles will be secure and not as easily stolen.

With so many bike racks for storage available, you should have no problem finding the right bike rack for you.

Ryan and I spent more time working on the rabbit hutch, or I guess I should correctly call it our ‘rabbitry’.

It’s covered now, the top row of cages are hung, and our does have moved from the garage and are now in their new home. As planned I put it where we can see it through the kitchen window, kind of the “in sight, in mind” concept.

This is their second week on fresh grass and clover, we’ve doubled the amount and they seem to be handling it well (poops still solid).

Next week we’ll start pasturing them. We told the kids they could name these rabbits (since they’ll be the parents); then Ryan, in his wood shop class, made some nice signs with their names on them for the rabbitry (we’ll get them stained and up this week).

I mentioned, during our last ‘lights out drill’, that we couldn’t get the garage door to open manually when the power was off. We pulled the red handled cord and nothing happened, we shined the flashlight around and tried to figure it out and couldn’t see anything wrong, we pulled harder and still nothing.

At that point we gave up and continued with the drill. Yesterday I went out to figure out why it wouldn’t open (as I mentioned, the garage door opener was recently replaced), eventually–it took longer than it should have–I figured out the manual disconnect handle had been tied off to the wrong spot.

I moved it over to where it should be and now it works just fine. Look around your own homes and double-check the little things, make sure you not only know how to open/close/shut-off or whatever but you actually do it to make sure it works (except don’t shut off your natural gas, that’s a hassle to relight). If this had been a true emergency there would have been the associated increased stress level already, and the door not opening would not have helped; a stressful blackout emergency is not conducive to calmly trouble-shooting something that is not working properly.

A couple of months ago I went to a friends semi-official/developing prepper group. Mike is doing a good job getting people together on a regular basis and slowly exposing them to prepper ideas and concepts (this month, our second get together, I taught first aid to the group).

The first get together, he did a short presentation on home safety items: backup/emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, smoke and CO2 detectors, escape ladders, etc. We had everything thoroughly covered at our home, except the escape ladders. We have two bedrooms with windows that are about 14 feet off the ground, not impossible to hang and drop from but we figured it’d be better to have the escape ladders. We bought two ladders (about $30 each) and will practice with them soon, and then store them under the beds near the windows.

What did you do?

(Monday: NO POST – we’ll be in Las Vegas on vacation with friends)