How to Use a Telemark Ski Retaining Strap

1.Buy a set of ski retaining straps from a ski store or Web site. There are many models to choose from, but all provide the same function.
2.Work on one strap at a time.
3.Attach the metal ring that comes with the straps to your first boot's laces or buckles.
4.Notice that there is a clip on the strap which is designed to fit in a pre-drilled hole in the binding. All modern bindings possess a hole for this purpose.
5.Secure the strap to the binding. After securing it, leave it there permanently.
6.Put your boot into the binding.
7.Attach the loose end of the strap to the metal ring you placed on your boot. Most straps have a clip to strap onto the ring.
8.Repeat the above steps with the other boot, strap and binding.
9.Unclip the strap from the metal ring when finished skiing. 
Tips: Most telemark bindings are not specifically designed to release in a fall, yet under enough pressure, any binding will detatch from your boot. 
Warnings: Telemark skiing is a physically demanding sport that could result in serious injury. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Handle an Interview at Lunch

1.Follow general interview rules. Appear on time, wear proper clothes and be ready to talk experience - but don't do it with your mouth full.
2.Wait for your interviewer at the front of the building, not in the bar, unless you'd be in the way otherwise. Hold off on ordering a drink.
3.Ask for your table if everyone's already assembled.
4.Follow the lead of your interviewer regarding food and beverages. If she's having wine, you might too, if you're comfortable.
5.Order something in the middle of the menu prices, if you order first. But if you can let others be your guide, select an item in the price range they set.
6.Select something that's easy to eat, and not too messy. In other words, no spaghetti, spareribs, crab or fried chicken.
7.Brush up on basic table manners. Put your napkin in your lap immediately; leave it on the chair when leaving the table. No elbows, no smoking, no fingers.
8.Eat some of your order, even if you hate it. Try not to wipe your plate with bread, chew the bones or slurp your soup.
9.Discuss your skills and other relevant issues between bites. If asked a question just as you've taken a mouthful of potatoes, wait until you swallow. Make eye contact to indicate your willingness; your table mates will understand.
1..Keep up with the table - don't eat faster or slower than everyone else.
1..Order dessert if others have. If not, pass it up.
1..Prepare to leave with everyone else, even if you're not finished eating. 
Assume the company will pick up the tab.
In any situation where you're uncertain how to act, follow the general behavior of everyone else. 
Warnings: Keep in mind that this is a job interview, not a cocktail party.   

How to Add a Gradient Background to a Microsoft Word Document

1.Go to the Format menu and select Background.
2.Select Fill Effects in the Background window.
3.Select the Gradient tab.
4.Click on one of the three color selections: one color, two colors or preset. One color provides a one-color gradient, two colors combines two colors in the gradient, and preset provides 24 gradient choices.
5.Use the Shading Styles menu in the lower left corner of the Gradient window to select the direction of the gradient.
6.Select one of the four variants that appear in the Variants window. Your choice will appear in the Sample box.
7.Click OK and the gradient you selected will be applied to the page. The view you're in will shift to Online Layout view if you're not already in that view. 
Use lighter fills for the background so that the text isn't obscured and remains easy to read.
Set the gradient so that the denser area of color appears on the part of the page where there is less text. This will also make reading the text easier.
When you select one color, you can then select the color you want to use for the gradient and make it darker or lighter using the scroll bar.   Steps:
1.Go to the Format menu and select Background.
2.Select Fill Effects in the Background window.
3.Select the Pattern tab.
4.Click on one of the patterns. The pattern's name appears in the box below the patterns.
5.Use the Foreground drop-down menu to select the foreground color for the pattern you selected.
6.Use the Background drop-down menu to select the background color for the pattern you selected.
7.View the pattern you selected in the Sample box.
8.Click OK and the pattern you selected will be applied to the page. The view you're in will shift to Online Layout view if you're not already in that view. 
Tips: Use lighter fills for the pattern so that the text isn't obscured and remains easy to read.   

How to Choose Your Child's Ski Bibs

1.Determine whether the overall bibs are water-resistant. Most water-resistant materials work well.
2.Check to see that the bibs have gaiters at the leg cuffs. Gaiters help keep snow from getting inside ski boots.
3.See whether the knees and backside have reinforced fabric. These areas take more abuse than do other sections of the bibs.
4.Choose an overall bib that has at least one pocket. Pockets allow your child to carry such items as lip balm, sunscreen or money.
5.Make sure the overall bibs are roomy enough to allow your child to wear long underwear underneath. 
Bibs are far superior to pants because they keep snow out and allow the layers of clothes underneath to stay put.
Early season ski swaps tend to have good deals on bibs. 

How to Carry a Water Bottle on a Rock Climb

1.Find a suitable water bottle. A good water bottle for climbing is made of durrable plastic and carries a couple of quarts of water. Cycling bottles are good, although small. Nalgene backpacking bottles are great.
2.Cut a piece of climbing webbing, or 4-5 mm Perlon rope for a leash. The material should be about 2 feet long.
3.Duct tape the webbing or rope to the bottle. Make an upside down "U" out of the material so that it lays flat on the sides of the bottle and loops loosely over the top of the bottle. Generously run the duct tape around the bottle and over the webbing material until you reach the top.
4.Clip the bottle to the back of your harness with a carabiner. 
Tips: Athletic tape is OK for taping the material to the bottle, but duct tape is the best. 
Overall Warnings: Climbing is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Do a 360 on a Bodyboard

1.Turn low on the wave and carve up the face at a 45-degree angle toward the lip. Make sure you have plenty of speed and some open face of the wave ahead.
2.Wind up your feet and torso in the opposite direction of the way you want to spin. It's easier to spin toward the lip of the wave, so if you are riding left, spin left, and vice versa.
3.Release your rail from the wave so the bottom surface of your board is flat on the wave.
4.Unwind your body, lifting your feet up and swinging them in the direction you want to spin. Also turn your head and shoulders in the direction you want to spin. Where your head goes, your body will follow.
5.Lean over the front of the board as you reach the halfway point of your turn. This will keep your tail, which is now facing forward, from digging into the water and halting your forward progress. Arch your back and bend your knees up as far as they will go to keep the weight over the nose.
6.Shift your weight back to the center of your board as you reach the three-quarter point of the spin, and begin lowering your feet back down to their normal riding position.
7.Lean your inside rail back into the wave and finish out the spin like a regular turn. 
This trick is easier on the steeper part of the wave, but be careful not to catch the lip where it pitches out.
You can dig a hand into the water to help you spin if you have a hard time getting around. If you're spinning left, dig your left hand in, palm forward. 
Overall Warnings: Body boarding is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Plan a Gay-Friendly Trip to Prague

1.Plan your trip to Prague well in advance. (Prague is experiencing a severe shortage of hotel rooms in the city center.) Make a list of the kinds of transportation, accommodations and activities you desire or need.
2.Conduct some research about Prague via books or the Internet. Look for the abundant hot travel deals offered on Web travel/auction sites.
3.Determine your budget in advance. Make your reservations as soon as possible since Prague still offers some of the cheapest dining, accommodations and transportation in Europe.
4.Consider scheduling your trip to Prague during the off-season, when you'll experience Prague's true charm and fewer crowds. Visit this stunning former Eastern Bloc city during summer if you must.
5.Grab a copy of Prague's monthly gay guide, "Amigo."
6.Immerse yourself in Prague's burgeoning gay nightlife. Pop into one of the city's gay hot spots located within walking distance of Old Town Square (Wenceslas Square) or just across the Vlatava River in the Mala Strana district.
7.Take a romantic stroll across the Charles Bridge, whose Baroque structure provides a link between Prague's two halves. Meander through the cobblestone maze of Old Town Prague and witness architectural history before your very eyes - from medieval castles to rare Cubist structures.  
Some Web sites and books provide information for travelers with HIV or AIDS (necessary vaccines, foods to eat and not to eat, where it's safe to drink the water and so on).
Plan on walking a lot. Wear comfortable shoes. 
If you plan on cabbing it, establish a price with the driver before you depart. Some drivers reportedly tamper with their meters.
Carry your passport, extra cash, traveler's checks and credit cards with you at all times.   

How to Forget About an Ex

1.Talk to your friends.
2.Get clear with your ex. If there are a lot of unresolved issues involving money, possessions, etc., clear them up.
3.Distract yourself. Movies, sightseeing, outdoor activities, games and a good book are all possibilities.
4.Take up a new hobby or enroll in some classes.
5.Exercise - put your mind on something new, like training for a marathon, improving your tennis game, or working on those abs.
6.Work hard. Work can be a great distraction, especially if you feel like you're accomplishing something.
7.Indulge yourself. Chocolates, massages, facials, shopping sprees - whatever helps make you feel good about yourself.
8.Date other people. 
Clean breaks are generally better. Take some time away from your ex, even if you plan to remain friends. Try not to have sex after the breakup.
Spend time in places where you might meet interesting people, either online or in person. 
Warnings: While you're upset, don't do anything you'll regret later.   

How to Be a Vegetarian

1.Eat a wide variety of foods. Include legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. This is the best way to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need.
2.Add soy products to your diet, unless you are allergic to soy. Soy is a very good source of protein; plus, it has other health benefits and may even help protect against some cancers.
3.Eat as much fresh food as possible. Minimal processing helps keep nutrients intact.
4.Buy grains and beans in bulk. It's usually cheaper and cuts down on excess packaging.
5.Look for organically grown foods. If you make the commitment to be a vegetarian or vegan, then go for the best produce. Organically grown foods are grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, so there is no worry about toxic residues. They are also better for the environment.
6.Use organically grown eggs and dairy products if you include them in your diet. The cows and chickens are usually treated more humanely on organic farms, and you won't have to worry about unwanted residues in your food.
7.Buy a vegetarian cookbook. Impress your skeptical friends with how great veggie food can be.
8.Dabble in ethnic cooking. Many cultures, including Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian and Mexican, have wonderful meatless cuisines.
9.Visit vegetarian restaurants in your city. Support their effort.
1..Consider your reasons for becoming a vegetarian. If it's for ethical reasons, then you may want to consider other ways to remove animal products from your life. One way is to buy cruelty-free products from companies that do not test on animals. Another is to use leather substitutes.
1..Join vegetarian groups. Surf the Web. There are many veggie resources online. 
Whether you want to take vitamins is an individual decision. Some vegans do not get sufficient B-12, and many experts recommend that everyone take vitamins in order to ensure optimal health, regardless of the diet they eat.
Buy from farmer's markets. You will have produce that may have been picked that day, will probably pay a lower price than at the regular store, and will help keep family farms in business.
Let your favorite restaurants know that you appreciate their commitment to offering meatless dishes. Maybe they'll put more on the menu.
Tell your neighborhood grocery store that you'd like to see a greater variety of fresh produce, if the selection is skimpy. Ask for other items and brands you like.  
Warnings: If you have any questions or concerns regarding becoming a vegetarian, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Buy a Parakeet

1.Talk to other bird owners before you buy. You can get referrals for pet stores or find a discussion group for parakeet owners online.
2.Meet with several breeders to find one you like.
3.Visit local pet shops to see some parakeets up close.
4.Consider buying a pre-owned bird, but remember that is may be harder to train than one that was weaned recently.
5.Expect to pay about $20 for an American budgie. (Older birds cost less.)
6.Check the sex of the bird by its markings if it is over 6 months old. Females have a brown cere (the fleshy area above the beak where the nostrils appear), while males have a deep-blue cere.
7.Select a male parakeet if you want a more playful bird, or a female if you prefer one that will be quieter.
8.Opt for a hand-raised bird, since these usually make the best pets.
9.Find out if the bird you select is likely to talk (hand-raised birds are more chatty).
1..Be prepared for the fact that parakeets can live for 10 years or more, so buying this bird requires a long-term commitment. 
You can tell the age of the bird by its markings. Younger parakeets have lines down their forehead and black eyes. Over time, these lines move back on the head and a white ring appears around the pupil of the eye.
Take the time to educate yourself about what will be expected of you as a bird owner before buying.
Realize that when you purchase a parakeet that you are most likely getting a variety of Budgie, whether American, English or Australian - be sure to ask questions so you can get the one you want.   Steps:
1.Know how much space you have available for a cage in your home. Birds must be able to spread both wings inside a cage. If you don't have much space, choose a small parrot, such as a lovebird.
2.Decide how much time you have to devote to your bird and how much noise you can tolerate. Larger birds tend to be noisier and require more social interaction. Smaller species of parrots (such as cockatiels and lovebirds) cost less, are easier to care for, and use a smaller cage. Larger species require more care and are more expensive.
3.Decide if it's important that your parrot talk to you. Gray parrots are most likely to talk, although all parrot species have some vocal capabilities. Grays have a greater ability to understand words. Smaller birds tend to talk less.
4.Determine how much you can spend on your parrot purchase. Prices range from $10 to several thousand.
5.Consider any experience you've had as a bird owner. Look for a bird that has the characteristics you liked in your previous bird. Avoid characteristics you disliked.
6.Think about how a parrot would fit in with other members of your household, including pets. If a child will be the primary caretaker, buy a smaller, more manageable bird.
7.Read a book or Web site that describes the different species of parrots and their characteristics. Make a list of the types of parrots that fit your requirements.
8.Go to a local pet store and spend some time looking at, listening to and interacting with different types of parrots. Buy a species that you interact with well.
9.Talk with the pet store owner about the decision. 
If you're a first-time parrot owner, make sure you buy a bird that has been hand-fed and socialized.
Make sure you fully understand how to care for the parrot you select.
Take your parrot to an avian veterinarian.