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  • How To Safely Thaw Your Thanksgiving Turkey

    Yes, believe it or not, turkey cooking safety is as important as personal safety, so I am going to address it here. It is easy to cook a turkey improperly. I remember the first time I had to take the plunge and put on a turkey dinner......... I had no clue! It looked all so easy when mom did it! Apparently she had a lot of practice.

    It all starts with thawing your turkey properly. You just don't wake up Thursday morn, grab your turkey out of the freezer and pop it in the oven. Turkey is also much larger, so it takes longer to thaw than a chicken, so it requires several days of proper thawing to adequately prepare your bird for the oven.

    First off, it is not safe to thaw your turkey in your kitchen sink. I know we have all seen mom, or grandma thaw their turkey in the sink, and we haven't died yet, but it really isn't the safest way to thaw your turkey. You need to ensure that the turkey remains below 40 degrees, during the thawing process. If the outer portions of the bird reach warmer temperatures, while the interior is still frozen, you have a greater chance of contracting salmonella. Additionally, by placing your turkey in the kitchen sink to thaw, you may get the poultry juices on the surface, which, without proper scrubbing and antiseptic cleaning, you may contaminate other foods.

    If you live in a colder area, like up north, you may be tempted to store your turkey in your garage, unheated sun room, porch, or a cooler outside. This is also quite unsafe, since you cannot regulate the temperature of your bird, plus run the risk of critters getting a hold of it.

    3 Ways To Properly Thaw Your Turkey:

    • Refrigerate - You may have to remove shelving and rearrange items in your fridge first. Then find a large tray or pan to place your turkey in and place on the bottom shelf of your fridge. You will need 24 hours of thawing time for every 4 or 5 lb of turkey. You may leave the turkey in the fridge for 1 or 2 days longer, once thawed, but it will need to be cooked within that time frame.
    • Submerge In Water - You can secure your turkey in a large water proof bag and place in a tub of ice cold water. Allow 30 minutes of thawing time for every 1 lb. So, a 20 lb turkey will require at least 10 hours of soaking, completely submerged in cold water. Keep an eye on the water temperature as the turkey thaws, to ensure it doesn't get below 40 degrees. Your turkey will need to be cooked immediately after thawed.
    • Microwave - This is the least safe method, as a microwave does not cook evenly, and you may get thawed areas and frozen areas, left within your bird. Plus, it is hard to find a microwave large enough for a turkey, unless it is relatively small. Put the poultry in a large microwave safe dish, place in the microwave, and follow your manufacturer's directions. This turkey will also need to be cooked immediately after thawing.

    Any perishable food that remains on your counter at room temperature for more than 2 hours is at risk of developing food born bacteria. It is important to cook your turkey immediately after thawing, so you will need to properly plan your thawing and cooking times accordingly.

    Cook your turkey to a safe zone of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Purchase a simple food thermometer to ensure your turkey is at a safe temperature. The old pull the leg off the body method really isn't safe! If only tells you that part of the turkey is done, but you need to check the inside. Poke the thermometer deep into the turkey center and check several areas for doneness.

    Let's all be safe and eat safely too on this Thanksgiving holiday season. Enjoy your families and friends. Drive safely and courteous. Remember, we all just trying to get to grandmas too, and we would all like to arrive alive!

  • Does Paintball Paint Come Out Of Clothes?

    My first words of advice would be to wear dark colored and older clothes that you are not worried about paint ball stains ruining. Having said that, I understand that we don't always think about such things, as paint balls are made from food grade products, are designed to be water soluble, and should be easily washable.

    After returning from a fun filled day of shooting blow gun paint balls, you may find yourself covered in multiple colored paint blotches on your clothes. Light colored clothes will absorb and retain the dyes in paint balls much more so than darker colored clothes. Darker clothes or camouflage will also help you in concealing yourself while playing, so you will encounter less paint ball strikes to you.

    It is best to launder the clothes as soon as possible, especially if the paint has not had a chance to dry completely. The paint dye will be extra difficult to remove if it is allowed to soak into the cloth fibers and dry, so it is best to launder as quickly as you can.

    Most stains will be removed with an ordinary washing, but I would recommend these steps:

    • Remove the paint stained clothing and check for any twigs, prickers, leaves or burrs, so you do not damage your washing machine.
    • Pre-treat the stains with a commercial brand wash stain remover, or you can mix your own by mixing equal amounts of dish detergent plus water, and spraying on the affected area.
    • Rub the solution or stain remover into the stained area and allow it to stand for at least 5 minutes, but do not allow to dry.
    • Wash as normal, on the hottest temperature that your clothing fabric will allow.
    • After laundering, remove the clothing and check for any remaining stains or marks. The clothes can be air dried, but do not place in the dryer, until you are sure the stain has been completely removed.

    If the clothing is still stained, mix 1 cup of Water, 1 Tbsp Ammonia, plus 1 Tsp Dawn dish washing soap. Soak the stained items in the solution for 1/2 hour, swishing the clothing occasionally to penetrate the fibers. Scrub a bit of detergent into the stained area.

    • Wring out the clothes and return to the wash cycle in your machine, again, using the highest temperature your clothes will tolerate.
    • Allow to air dry

    Although most detergents will remove paint ball stains, some soaps are better than others, as well as pre-treat stain removal product. The type of fabric the paint has infiltrated will also affect the stain removal process.

    You may want to check for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area, before soaking or spraying your clothing.

    You may find in your practicing with blow gun paint balls, you ended up hitting unintended targets, like your vehicle or walls. Let me help you remove paint ball paint from these items, as well.

    Remove Paint Ball Paint From Your Home

    If you have a vinyl, or metal siding, you can spray the area with a solution of Dawn dish detergent and water. Scrub the area with a soft brush, then hose down with a pressure washer, if possible, or a high powered nozzle setting on your garden hose. Try to remove the stain before it has a chance to dry and set.

    If you have a wood home, brick, stucco, block brick with a more porous surface, you will need to scrub the area with Dawn dish detergent and perhaps a bit of hydrogen peroxide to completely clear the stained spot. Use warm water to scrub the spot to remove the oils associated with paint ball paints. Rinse the walls with a high powered jet stream to break up and remove any embedded paint from the stone surface.

    Removing Paint Ball Paint From A Vehicle

    First try to wash your car as normal, with a solution of dish detergent and warm water, with a soft cloth or sponge. Wash the stain as soon as possible, before it has time to set and dry from the hot sun. Rub in a commercial brand bug or tar remover, on to the stained area, which can break up tough marks and stains from your car exterior. Hose off your vehicle with a garden hose, on a high jet setting. Be careful if you want to use a pressure washer to spray your vehicle, as it can catch and remove loose paint chips from your car and leave the metal exposed.

    Removing Dried Paint Ball Paint

    If the paint ball paint has dried before you have had time to remove it, try soaking the area with your garden hose or pressure washer. Use dish soap and water to soak into the area as well. Try to either move the affected area to the shade, or if it is on a house, wait for a shady time of day and avoid the sun bearing down on the area, while your are soaking the stain.

    Scrub the area with a soft brush, or nonabrasive scrubbing pad, until the paint loosens and disappears. Keep the area wet while you are working, until the stain is completely removed.

    Rinse the area with a good douse of water from your garden hose, or pressure washer.

    I hope these tips have helped. Practice your blow gun paint ball skills in an open field or away from buildings or vehicles. Set up a paper target and attach to a piece of ply wood to ensure the safest place to learn to shoot accurately.

    Never shoot blow gun paint balls, or darts at animals or pets. Wear protective eye wear and clothing to avoid injury.

  • Halloween Self Defense

    Ya, I didn't say "Halloween Safety", but self defense. We all know the typical safety measures that should be taken when we let our kids go trick or treating. Many have given up the practice altogether and now only attend Trunk or Treat events, or local Halloween parties. I totally understand the concerns parents have at this time. What used to be a fun filled night of going door to door in your neighborhood and collecting a big bag full of goodies, has turned into a night of concerns. Sadly, we must be vigilant and watchful for our children in todays world.

    So what do I mean by Halloween self defense? Well first off, it does get dark out there and our little guys are dressed in all sorts of costumes, and running happily around, not totally paying attention to anything but where their next score will come from. Put a simple glow strip on their backs, or better yet, how about a blinking LED colored light on their arm? Have you seen our Safety Steps Armband lights? A safety light will not detract from their costume, and just may save your child's life.

    Might I also suggest you carry not just a bright flashlight, but one with a flashing strobe, plus S.O.S. setting, like our 1200 Lumen LED Zoom Light? Not only will it light your way, but it can be used to alert others to your distress and trained into an attackers eyes to detract them. Animals too will stop in their tracks if you shine the light into their eyes. A good bright flashlight is essential to bring along when trick or treating. I don't want to scare people, but you never know what may be lurking around, or hiding behind the next large bush or pack of trees.

    Bringing a stun gun flashlight may be an even better choice to carry along, not only for self defense purposes, but it will provide a good light as well. Unfortunately, they are illegal in many states and localities. They also may not be wise to give to children to carry, but as an adult, you could carry one, as you walk your little ones door to door, while protecting them and yourself. It may come in handy against loose dogs, as well as those others walking around with nefarious purposes in mind!

    Your older children like to venture out on their own, and that can be scary for you to worry about. Even the best kids just seem to find trouble on nights like Halloween. Teach them strict rules to follow and make sure to set a curfew for them to be back home. Nowadays almost all teens have a cell phone, so make sure they check in with you regularly. You can have them carry a personal fuzzy ball alarm that is fashionable, yet conceals a loud ear piercing alert to notify others they may be in trouble.

    Keep your pets inside on Halloween, for various reasons. First off, they may become scared or agitated by all the activity going on outside. All the costumes and laughing children will test their nerves. Also, sadly, there are horrible people that like to abuse animals, and this provides the perfect opportunity. They may throw pumpkins or other objects at your pets. They may open gates and let them loose, or worse yet, steal them! I don't know why people have to be so cruel, but they are out there. If you have a black cat, especially keep them indoors. Halloween is the most abusive time for any black cat.

    Let us all enjoy Halloween safely and have fun. Keep an eye on your children and pets. Check their candy when they get home, to be sure it wasn't tampered with. Enjoy your parties. Don't let the holiday become scary, just be safe and pay attention to your surroundings. I will be home handing out goodies to the kiddies that stop by.

     

     

     

  • Bring Out The Space Heaters!

    Well I don't know about you, but I wait until the last possible moment to turn on the furnace in the fall. I try and make it til November, but sometimes, even here in the south, I just can't make it. When I was driving semi and rarely home, I didn't worry about it too much, and found it easier to tolerate the cold weekends, but now that I am home every day, it's a whole different story.

    My furnace has been broken and I wasn't ready to replace it yet, so I purchased a few electric space heaters and installed a propane heater that does a pretty good job of warming up most of the house. I am not getting any younger and with arthritis taking hold quickly, I definitely need heat!

    Of course, now on the news I am seeing all the warnings about space heater use and the dangers of catching your house on fire. Well the warnings are definitely warranted, and should be heeded. I have been using space heaters most of my life, from way back in the dark ages when we had antiquated heaters that would burn your hand off if you touched it, or pour out fuel if tipped.

    Today's space heaters are designed to be safe and efficient, even in homes with small children or pets. Common sense prevails though. NEVER use extension cords to plug in a space heater. I don't care what the rating of the cord is, it is not safe. NEVER put papers or other objects on the top of the heater. It is not a table! Even though the top doesn't get hot, the papers may fall off and end up in the heater core area, causing a fire.

    ALWAYS keep the unit at least a foot or two from the wall, not only for ventilation purposes, but will keep the unit away from curtains, or other from heating items hanging on your walls. The same is true for the front of the heater. Do not leave anything within a few feet from the front of your heater. Do not let small children or pets play near the heater.  Never leave your heater unattended.

    Now I know this seems like common sense advice, but obviously the news nor myself would be here giving this information, if people weren't burning their houses down by careless use. I have been warned by many people of the dangers of heating my house in this way, but if you use care and common sense, there is no danger, and I am certainly proof of that, since I have been doing this in this house for 5 years now!

    Next comes my other common sense question. Why do people insist on trying to bring a kerosene heater into their home for heat? Yes, I get it that if you are cold and have no heat, you will do anything in desperate situations, but a portable kerosene space heater in a home do not mix. Not only is it dangerous to have a heating device that is lit by flames, but the carbon monoxide alone can kill you.

    Lastly, never use your stove to heat your home. It too was only meant to cook food, not heat your home. It can overheat and catch fire, or small children or pets can get burned by leaving the oven door open.

    One thing I do to gain as much heat as possible in my house in the winter is to bake something in the oven, like a good roast, or turkey, which may take hours to cook and will heat up your kitchen naturally. Even if I make a pan of brownies, I will then leave the oven door open a crack, after I remove the food, and let the extra heat blow out into the room. In the summer, I only use a toaster oven and my outside grill, to keep my house as cool as possible.

    Now that is is getting dark earlier, I also enjoy lighting scented candles around the house. Ya, they give off very little heat, but let's face it, heat is heat, so I'll take it. Again, just be sure you do not light the match then throw immediately into the trash. I leave the match in the lid of the candle jar and toss it out the next time I light the candle again. Keep your candles away from lamps and at least a foot or two from walls. And of course, make sure small children and pets cannot get near lit candles.

    So ya, today's safety message has nothing to do with personal self defense, but common sense ideas on keeping your house safe from burning down. Stay safe and warm.

  • What Should You Take On A Short Hike?

    So I took a 2 mile hike the other day on a well known and marked trail near me, that climbs a 1700 foot mountain. I have heard so much about it and was dying to give it a try. I have taken many trail walks in the past and I always wondered how people get lost or stranded in these situations. The trails are all clearly marked, with plenty of fellow hikers passing every few minutes.

    I usually just grab a bottle of water and go. Most of the time I take my phone along, in case I want to catch a picture of some view or a flower. Well this time I had worn a pair of stretch pants with no pockets, so I didn't want to be burdened with extra things to hang on to.

    I was expecting the usual paved, or dirt trail that you can casually stroll along on, or perhaps some stairs to climb. I had no clue that this was a real mountain climb and there were boulders and steep hills! Now I'm not getting any younger, so I did indeed find myself out of breath several times. A few times I feared my friend that I brought was going to have a heart attack! But we did find ourselves a way to the top of the mountain to enjoy the spectacular view, which was well worth any calf, or hip pain I endured from my old out of shape and failing body!

    We hadn't started out on our trek until 3 pm and since it is now fall, the sun starts to fade by 7 pm. The trail was only 2 miles and there was a sign posted that said it should take 2 hours. Seemed reasonable to me that we should have plenty of time to traverse the path and be back in plenty of time, even with a few minutes to explore the mountain top scenery.

    Well, as I noted, it took us much longer, with many of rests to check heart rates and catch our breath. Our 2 hour walk turned into 4. My water bottle had long since been emptied and I can only be grateful it wasn't one of our hot North Carolina summer days.

    I definitely learned a lot from my hike and wanted to share what I wish I had brought along with me, not only for safety sake, but why didn't I bring that phone so I could take pictures?! Not too bright. There were several trails on this route that veered off, but were clearly marked and included a map at the juncture, so you clearly knew how far it went and its final destination. There were also a few trails that veered off, but had no markings at all.

    What disturbed me most were the people that were walking along the trail, much like myself with only a pair of nylon shorts and t shirt, without even a water bottle in hand. I overheard a pair of guys that were walking ahead of me, spotted an unmarked trail and wanted to investigate it. Now I'm all for feeling adventuresome, but at 6 pm, when the sun sets at 7 pm and the park closes at 8, and you have nothing else with you but a pair of nylon shorts and t shirt, I am pretty sure this isn't the time to go exploring!

    I do indeed intend to return to the mountain, but this time I will bring a backpack with my camera, plus safety and survival items, just in case I too decided to venture off and explore a little of these unmarked paths. Even the marked ones could be dangerous though. I did encounter a few deer, which were certainly beautiful, but as the dusk approaches, so do other critters, like bear, raccoons and definitely mosquitoes.

    So here is my list of items which are essential to any day hike, since you really never know what you may encounter, even if you walk on a trail in a suburban environment.

    Essential Hiking Items:

    • Backpack -  Yes a lightweight backpack to hold your water, camera and safety items. Any lightweight bag will do. It doesn't have to be a fancy full service hiking bag with a ton of pockets, even an open bag with a shoulder sling will work just fine. You may find a rock or leaf that you find interesting and like to bring it back with you too.
    • Water- Definitely carry and extra bottle of water. You never know how thirsty you will get, or you may have to share with a fellow hiker who is in distress and could use a little water to keep themselves hydrated. Water is also useful to wash out a wound, or splash on your hot, sweaty skin to cool off.
    • Cellphone - While you may not wish to be in contact with anything but nature at this time, plus you may not even have reception in the woods, you will still want to carry your phone to take all the wonderful pictures that nature has offered you. Your phone can also act as a locating device, since your signal can be pinged by the local satellite tower, thus ensuring speedier rescue, in case you do get lost. And of course, if you do manage to retain a signal, it may save your life in an emergency situation
    • Binoculars - Ya, I sure wish I had a better view once I reached the top of the mountain. There are many new types of binoculars that are lightweight and easier to carry than the old style that our grandparents used. Even a small pocket size pair would have been nice to have had with me. Definitely bring binoculars! I would have loved to see some of the birds I heard also.
    • Paracord - Paracord has to be the most versatile survival and safety item that can be easily carried nowadays on a hike. You will find paracord bracelets, with a compass and whistle, belts, gun slings, dog leashes, koosies and grenade shaped ones, that are filled with survival gear, like flint, dry fire starter material, small hand saws and signaling devices.
    • First Aid Kit - Now I understand a full fledged first aid kit can be bulky and heavy, but you can certainly stash a few bandaids and antiseptic wipes in your bag.
    • Knife - A knife is essential on a hike. You may need it to cut branches or vines from your path, but also can be use to hunt, or cut rope or bandages.
    • Pepper Spray - Not only will pepper spray deter a vicious animal or bear that you may encounter on your walk, but unfortunately in today's unpredictable world, you may stumble on an unsavory character who is out to harm you. A quick shot will fend them off in a hurry.

    You can also bring along a carry-all pack that includes many of the items here, plus simple survival gear that may certainly make a night or two lost in the woods more comfortable, or make signaling easier and avoid a night lost in the woods altogether!

    Stay on the beaten path. Walk the marked trails. If a sign says Do Not Enter, then don't enter! Unless you are an experienced hiker, or have the proper gear, don't go wandering off on unmarked trails, or worse yet, create your own.

    The trails are marked and mapped for a reason. They are helpful and meant to instruct you as well as keep you safe.

    Stay safe and enjoy nature. I sure plan on many more of these hikes, only next time I will be more prepared. You should too.

  • How Does A Taser Work?

    Have you ever seen the Tasers that law enforcement personnel carry on their sides? They are gun shaped in design, but thicker and definitely meaner looking!

    A Taser is designed as a non-lethal option to stun and slow an attacker, or stop an unruly person. Most police and security departments carry a Taser now, which has shown to save lives and certainly cause less harm.

    Tasers do not shoot bullets like a traditional gun, but a coil of wires, with barbs on the end of the line, which will embed themselves into a persons clothing, when the trigger is deployed. At the same time 50,000 volts of electricity passes down the wire, and shocks the intended victim into submission. If the wires miss their target, you may also use the Taser as a direct skin contact weapon, much like a stun gun.

    Tasers include a flashlight and red laser pointer, making aiming the weapon much easier, and more accurate. Target practice will also certainly improve your accuracy as well.

    Tasers are not the same as a stun gun. A stun gun will work on the muscular system, disrupting the energy levels and causing muscle group to quiver and temporarily stop working. A Taser on the other hand, works as a Neuro Muscle Inhibitor (NMI), which is connected to the central nervous system, so it works faster and is more painful.

    The nice thing about using a Taser, is that you can fire it at your attacker from a longer distance, as opposed to a stun gun, or even pepper spray. Civilian strength Tasers can legally shoot up to 15 feet away. Law Enforcement personnel are allowed a 35 foot weapon, but most police will only shoot from a distance of 15 to 20 feet, since the electricity is diminished as it travels down the wire coils.

    A stun gun must touch your attacker and will indeed penetrate through a half inch of clothing. The Taser will convert and act as a stun gun device in close contact situations or if you miss your intended target and the coils have been discharged.

    It only takes 3 to 5 seconds to incapacitate an assailant. The Taser works in 30 second bursts, so you will have plenty of time to zap your intended target and get away, or subdue your attacker. The effects of a Taser can last from a few seconds to several hours, depending on the area that you strike and how long the shock has been engaged.

    Tasers and stun guns alike, will cause intense pain, muscle spasms, disorientation and and inability for muscles to function. All the effects of a Taser and stun guns are temporary and will not kill or permanently injure someone that has been struck by the electric voltage.

    The idea of any non-lethal weapon is to cause as little harm as possible, but stop an attacker from incurring harm to you or your loved ones.

     

     

  • Do You Need A Glass Breaker Or Seat Belt Cutter?

    After observing all the flooded homes and cars from Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas and Tropical Storm Rosa in Arizona, I got to wondering how all these people get stuck in their cars during a storm, and why they didn't have some sort of car window glass breaker, or a seat belt cutter. There usually plenty of warnings and evacuation notices on the news and radio, but many still find themselves trapped and stuck unexpectedly in rushing waters.

    Even the most informed and cautious person can find themselves the victim of a flash flood situation, especially in the western desert states. The rain falls quickly and heavily for a short burst of time, creating gully washers on the open hard land, which can not be soaked up quick enough. The rivers will overflow and a water surge will rush over highways and open land swiftly, taking everything downstream that is loose in its path.

    Your 2,000 lb car doesn't stand a chance against those raging waters. Never attempt to outrun or drive through roads that are covered by water.

    Would you be prepared to escape a sinking vehicle if you found yourself caught in a flash flood? What about a tornado? Earth quake? Vehicle accident? Bridge collapse? You don't anticipate these things could ever happen to you, but they are called tragedies and accidents for a reason. We can be the best and most cautious driver on the road, but these things do unexpectedly arise and we should be prepared.

    Can you imagine the fear and desperation to not only break your car window to get out, as the vehicle is quickly filling with water, but what if your child is strapped in his car seat in the back? Would you be able to unlatch the seat belt, or cut it to release your child and get him to safety?

    The solution is a Glass Breaker and Seat Belt Cutter tool. You will find many different types and styles, but it is best to find a good all-in-one tool, so you don't have to grapple with it, or search for several tools.

    You can find a good Glass Breaker and Seat Belt Cutter on many folding Knives nowadays. These utility knives can be kept close at hand on your person, for quick emergency use. Just slice through your seat belt in seconds and smash your car window glass with a swift swing of your pointed glass breaker end of your knife handle.

    Another tool that may come in handy in an emergency situation is a good flashlight. If it is dark, or dark in the vehicle, you might wish you could not only break the glass, and cut the seat belt, but what about seeing where the seat belt is? A simple survival tool you can keep in your vehicle is an Emergency 8 in 1 Car Flashlight and Phone Charger. It even has a magnetic base, so it can be set down, and won't roll away, allowing your hands to be free to work on escaping easier.

    So, do you still think these tools might be useless in your vehicle? Perhaps you feel you are a good driver and still feel you may never find yourself in such a compromising situation, especially since you have gone all your life so far without such an incident from arising.

    Perhaps you are right, but what about keeping a good Glass Breaker and Seat Belt cutting tool on your person? You may just be able to save the life of someone else.

    What would you do if you came upon a car that just veered off the road and the driver couldn't get out himself. Or what if the car was on fire and you were the only one around with a glass breaker or seat belt cutter?

    Seconds matter in an emergency. Carry a glass breaker or seat belt cutter, in addition to your pocket knife. You never know if you may need it to save not only your life, but the life of others too.

  • How To Throw Ninja Stars

    Throwing Stars, Shurikens, Ninja Stars.......All are the same and not as easy to throw as they look. Sure, they have 3 or 4 pointed sides that can be hurled at an object and assumedly it sticks, but they are much like horse shoes, or darts. It takes a steady hand, a sure flick of the wrist, arc of the arm, and a good eye to become proficient in the art of throwing Ninja Stars.

    Let's get started by ensuring they are even legal for you to be carrying them in your state or local area. Check with all laws first, whether you can carry or possess these types of self defense tools.

    Second, let's keep in mind that Ninja Stars are toys. I would highly recommend adult supervision for any one handling Throwing Stars that are under the age of 18. They are considered a weapon, much like any sharp tool. Not only can youngsters cut themselves, but they may hurl them at unwanted subjects, like animals, other children, or trees. Yes, trees should not be used as targets, as they could permanently damage the tree or become lodged in the bark and difficult to remove.

    Which leads me to my next step in preparing to throw your first Ninja Star. You will need to fashion a target of some sort to practice with. I would start with a framed board made from pine wood. Pine is great because it is a fairly soft wood, so the stars will stick better, but not become so lodged that they are too difficult pull back out.

    You may also cardboard or a foam board, though they won't last very long. Spray paint a target on the front, or purchase paper targets at your local sports store.

    Okay, so now we have our first set of new Ninja Stars, we have a target ready and they are okay to possess in your state. Let's get throwing!

    Carefully remove your star from it's safety pouch. Inspect all sides to ensure they are not bent and are sharp. Hold the star on the sides, between your index finger and thumb. The edge is extremely sharp, so never run your finger or skin along the blade. It is probably best to wear a pair of leather gloves, especially while you are first learning throwing techniques.

    The easiest and quickest way to learn and practice throwing Ninja Stars is to start with the over head throw. Grip the star as shown, extend your arm back, much like you are about to throw a baseball, but with a small flick of your wrist, like darts. Extend your arm back and arc it forward, bringing the star and your hand into a straight motion, releasing it as you reach an almost parallel position. Release too soon and the star goes flying through the air aimlessly. Release too late, and it will embed itself into the dirt or at your feet. It takes plenty of practice and patience to become accurate in your throwing abilities.

    You may also like to try more advanced, or different throwing techniques as you get more comfortable with handling Ninja Stars.

    Try holding the device in your hand and flinging in a side way motion. Either have the star in your hand and extend your arm partway out, then fling the star parallel to the ground as you bring your arm back in toward your abdomen area. You may also hold the star near your torso and fling the star outward, much like a frisbee.

    Throwing stars come in many different shapes and sizes. You will want to find one that not only appeals to you in looks, but is functional and fits comfortably in your hand. Give one a try today and have fun practicing.

  • What Is On A Credit Card Multi Tool?

    I certainly wish I had one of these gadgets handy in my purse this weekend. Normally if I bring cooler of drinks, I grab cans with pull tab openers. This time, I wasn't thinking and had brought along bottled drinks, with the metal caps that required a bottle opener.

    I searched everywhere, but I had nothing handy to open those bottles without breaking them. I finally had to search and beg anyone around I could find to open the bottle of soda. This got quite annoying quickly, but I dealt with it, until I could get to a store and i found a keychain type that I can toss in my glove compartment.

    The Credit Card Multi Tool has 11 functions and is made from solid steel, so it is durable and can be hung from a magnet. I will def be grabbing one of those for my next trip and keeping it handy. You never know when you need a quick screw driver, can opener or measuring tool.

    So what are all the functions of this handy tool?

    • Can Opener
    • Knife Edge
    • Slotted/Flathead Screwdriver
    • Ruler
    • Bottle Cap Opener
    • 4 Position Wrench
    • Wing nut Wrench
    • Saw Blade
    • Direction Ancillary Indicator
    • 2 Position Wrench
    • Key chain/Lanyard Hole
    • Instruction tool guide
    • Plastic holder

    Just think how such a silly small tool can not only be handy when you are away from home and have no tool box nearby, but it can also save your life someday. Picture all the movies where a plane crashed, or a boat was ship wrecked and people were stuck on some deserted island, cave or ravine. You would need to cut vines for rope, cut small limbs for a fire or fashion a survival tool.

    They are small and lightweight, making them a great tool for hikers and campers, plus they make a nice every day tool to carry in your wallet. Why not keep one on hand?

  • What Is A Kubotan?

    A Kubotan is the only self defense weapon that can be carried in any state, or any building, except for an airport. A well made Kubotan tool will be manufactured of solid steel. You can find cheaper versions, but why would you want a plastic, hollow, aluminum or a wood self defense device, when you can have something a little more stout and assured it won't bend or break?

    Most Kubotans are about 5 to 6 inches long and about the width of a marker pen. Some are more pointed than others, but they all can be used to stab an attacker, or used as a glass breaker. Most will have ribbed sides to gain a better grip while striking.

    The other end will have a loop to attach to your keys, which too can be used to swing at an attacker, striking them in the face, nose or eyes. This is one of the most versatile personal protection weapon available, and it looks like a simple decoration hanging from your keychain, purse or belt loop.

    The pointed end can be used to press into the fleshy parts of your attackers body, or can be used as a stabbing device, particularly if aimed at the face or eyes.

    The ribbed sides are for a firmer grip, but can also be used to press into the bony sections of your intruders wrist, face, spine or even the shins.

    Takayuki Kubota is the man responsible for developing this versatile and concealable self defense weapon, in the late 1960s. He based his metal version on his father Denijiro, who invented a bamboo weapon called a Hashi Stick.

    Today, you can find many other versions of the Kubotan, with the addition of an enclosed knife, a pen inside, spikes, flashlight, or glass breaker. They now come in a variety of shapes and colors to enhance your fashion gear and tastes.

    Order one today and see for yourself just how handy this simple tool can be.

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