How to Buy Ski Bindings

1.Do your research. There are numerous types of bindings to choose from. Decide whether you'll need a racing binding or an all-around binding.
2.Make sure the bindings are torsionally rigid. This means that the binding ought to twist sideways a bit when you exert pressure on the side, but should return to its original position when you ease up on the pressure.
3.Check to see that the tension gauges are functioning properly. Adjust the tension of the back and front of the binding by tightening or loosening the screw connected to each gauge. The higher the tension gauge is set, the more force it takes for the binding to release the boot.
4.Inspect that the safety brakes are fastened to the binding properly.
5.Determine that the back binding's moving parts move properly. The heel plate should click down to engage the boot. This pressure pulls the safety brakes up. Most bindings slide forward and backward slightly for fine-tuning.
6.Try out demo bindings on the slope if possible.
7.Ask questions of the salesperson. Different bindings have different technical benefits that are often difficult to assess from a visual inspection. 
Know your skiing range and limitations before you start looking at bindings. There's no need to buy bindings capable of withstanding 20-foot cliff drops when you prefer the groomed slopes.
New bindings adhere to higher safety guidelines than older models. Keeping your equipment current can improve your safety on the slope.
Fiddle with the bindings to make sure everything moves and adjusts as it was advertised to do. 

How to Tack a Horse

1.Approach the horse from the left side.
2.If the horse doesn't have a halter on, put one on.
3.Move your hand down the horse's left front leg and gently squeeze the back of the fetlock. Pick up the horse's hoof so that you're looking at the bottom of it.
4.Using a hoof pick, clean out the dirt in the hoof with a downward motion from the heel to the toe. Do all four feet.
5.Brush the horse's body with a dandy brush to remove sweat and dirt marks. Use short strokes in the direction of the lie of the coat. Brush the legs, head, neck, mane and tail with the softer body brush. You can also use the body brush on the rest of the horse's body for a finished look.
6.Use a damp sponge to clean the horse's eyes, nostrils and lips. Use a different sponge to clean under his dock (tail). 
Talk softly to the horse as you work.
Use a currycomb to clean your brush as you groom.
Always approach and start from the left side.
When touching a horse's rear, talk to the horse first and run your hand along his body from front to back to avoid startling him.
Hold the tail when you brush the rear to keep the horse from kicking.
Brush the tail standing to the horse's side, not directly in back of him. 
Never sit or kneel on the floor to reach the lower parts; squat or bend.
Never approach a horse too quickly.
Don't brush too hard, especially on the delicate legs and face.
Never stand directly behind a horse. 
Saddling Up

7.Approach from the left side of the horse.
8.Place the saddle pad on the horse's back.
9.Lay the saddle gently over the saddle pad, slightly forward of the correct position.
1..Slide the saddle and pad back over the horse's back into the correct position.
1..Check the right side of the saddle to make sure it's not rolled up. Lift the front of the saddle and pad slightly to make an air bubble.
1..Note that the girth should be hanging down on the right side. Reach under the horse's stomach and bring the girth across.
1..Fasten the girth firmly. Don't jerk. 
Putting On the Bridle

1..Standing to the horse's left, put the reins over the horse's neck, right behind his ears.
1..Unbuckle the halter and re-fasten it around the horse's neck.
1..Hold the cheek straps of the bridle in your right hand. Face in the same direction as the horse.
1..Bring your right hand, holding the bridle, under the horse's head and over the nose. Hold your hand over his face (between the nostrils and the eyes) to steady him.
1..Use your left hand to guide the bit toward the mouth. Your hand should be facing palm up and out.
1..Slip your left thumb into the corner of the horse's mouth as you bring the bit against his lips.
2..Pull with your right hand and guide with your left as you ease the bit into the horse's mouth.
2..Slip the crown piece over the ears. Adjust the brow band so it isn't crooked.
2..Fasten the throat latch. Make sure there's room for a fist between the strap and the horse.
2..Fasten the cavesson (nose band) under the chin. It should be snug, with only room for a finger or two to slip between. 
Avoid tying down the horse in his bridle. Use a halter.
Always groom a horse before taking him out for a ride.
The method of putting on the bridle and saddle may vary slightly, depending on what sort of riding tack you're using. 
Overall Warnings: Horseback riding 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 Set Up an Amish Wedding Meal

1.Expect women to get ready to serve the meal right after the ceremony.
2.Ask men to set up the tables for eating in the living room.
3.Understand that the guests may have to be seated in two or more shifts if there is not enough room to accommodate them all together.
4.Reserve a corner table for the bride and groom and their wedding party. This is called the eck, or corner.
5.Arrange for the bride to sit on the groom's left, the same way they will sit as man and wife in the horse and buggy (which the Amish use instead of a car).
6.Plan for the single women to sit on the same side of the table as the bride, and the single men on the same side as the groom.
7.Seat the bride's and groom's immediate families at a long table in the kitchen.
8.Prepare two full meals - one for midday dinner and one for the evening.
9.Serve foods like roast chicken with bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed celery, tapioca pudding, cherry pie, and bread and butter at the first meal.
1..Offer lighter options, such as stewed chicken, macaroni and cheese, and cold cuts, the second time around. 
Tips: For the second meal, move the bride's parents to the head table and serve them before the other guests.   

How to Form a Barbershop Quartet

1.Find out which of your friends enjoy singing. You need three of them. Ask your friends to ask their friends.
2.Determine your own voice range. If you have a strong voice, you can sing the melody, usually sung by the lead. The other voices needed are the tenor, singing the highest harmonizing part; the bass, the lowest part; and the baritone, singing either above or below the lead.
3.Try your voice in those different ranges and decide which one suits you best.
4.Train your voice before actually meeting with other singers. For voice practice, see "How to Practice Singing," under Related Hows.
5.Place an ad in the music section of your local paper.
6.Post an ad on the bulletin board at your local music store.
7.Tell the owner or manager of the store that you're looking for others to sing barbershop songs with. He or she just might know the people for you.
8.Spread the word in the music department of a college near you. Ask if you can tack a poster on its boards, too.
9.Ask the singers in your church choir. If you're singing in a choir yourself, so much the better.
1..Visit the Barbershoppers on the Web site (see Related Sites) to find a barbershop quartet in your area.
1..Practice your barbershopping at a place and time where you won't be disturbed and you won't disturb others.
1..Go to the music library or music store to find barbershop songs. Look for four-part vocal harmonies.
1..Start practicing and have fun. 
Tips: These days, barbershop singing is not limited to male voices. The classic style has carried over not just to quartets, but to choruses as well, and has become a very popular form of singing in women's and mixed groups.    

How to Trail Run Safely

1.Plan ahead for a variety of circumstances. Carry extra food, plenty of water and clothing for all weather conditions.
2.Tell your friends where you're going before you leave - if you get lost or otherwise don't return, they'll know where to look for you.
3.Get the scoop on a particular trail before you begin your run. Talk to the employees at a local sporting goods store or consult a trail guidebook.
4.Call the appropriate land-management agency before you go, to ensure the trail is safe and open to the public.
5.Choose trails that are right for your level of fitness. If you're accustomed to running at sea level, for instance, don't go on a trail run on your first day at elevation.
6.Run on well-traveled and well-marked trails. If you're going into the backcountry, put a map and compass in your fanny pack and know how to use them.
7.Consider running with a more experienced trail runner.
8.Watch for rocks, roots, ice and other hazards on the trail. If the trail becomes dangerous, walk until you can continue running safely without risking injury.
9.Obey the rules of the trail on which you're running, and heed any warnings posted at the trailhead.
1..Allow enough time so that you are off the trail well before darkness falls. 
Tips: Use common sense. If the trail conditions are not what you had expected, turn back. 
Warnings: Trail running is a physically demanding sport. If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Recycle Laser and Ink-Jet Printer Cartridges

1.Look at the instructions in the box of your new laser or ink jet cartridge to find out how to recycle your old one. Many companies will provide instructions, packaging materials and free postage if you wish to recycle your old cartridge, which is then refilled and used again.
2.Contact Laser-Tone International, at (800) EARTH-58. Laser-Tone will pick up and deliver back to you, for free, laser and ink jet printer cartridges and other office products you wish to recycle and reuse.
3.Get in touch with Eco-Office, at, about recycling and purchasing used cartridges. They will provide lists of companies in your area that will purchase your used cartridge, as well as companies that will provide remanufactured ones.
4.Check out Environmental Laser, at (800) 442-8391, for more information on remanufacturing your old laser printer cartridge. Environmental Laser will cross-reference your cartridge with the name of the new one that it will become once it is remanufactured, comparing the differences, if any, between the two.
5.Call the International Cartridge Recycling Association, at (202) 857-1154, for more information on recycling your cartridge.   

How to Make a Bead on Wire Bracelet or Anklet

Putting Beads on Wire
1.Choose about a 20-gauge wire. This can be coated jewelry wire, flex wire or a gold- or silver-plated wire.
2.Cut a piece of wire about 4 inches long or longer, depending on the length and number of beads you will use in a set. It is easier to cut excess wire than it is to redesign your set.
3.Use round-nose pliers to make a small loop on one end of the piece of wire. To do this, grip the end of the wire with the pliers, gently twist the pliers and wrap the wire around them until they form a loop.
4.Slide the bead or beads you wish to use onto the wire.
5.Hold the wire vertically so that the beads will be secure against the first loop you made.
6.Take the round-nose pliers and form another loop on the other end of the wire. You may have to trim the excess wire to form a small loop. Trim only a little of the wire at a time as you form the loop until you have the loop size you wish.
7.Finish by using your pliers to slide the end of the loop down into the bead. This closes the loop and hides the end. You can also wrap the end of the loop with a fine wire for a nice, finished look. 
Assembling a Bracelet or Anklet

8.Use five bead sets, each approximately 1 1/2 inches long, to make a bracelet 8 inches long. You can make adjustments as you put your bracelet or anklet together.
9.Attach a strong clasp to one of the bead sets. Gently open the loop and slide the spring ring into the loop and close with pliers.
1..Open one of the loops and attach the wire to the next bead set loop until you have the length you desire.
1..Place the eyelet part of your clasp on the bead set loop and close with pliers. 
Overall Tips:
Use color-coated wire for a unique bracelet.
Mix and match beads - let your imagination go wild.   Overall Warnings: When cutting or trimming excess wire, wear safety glasses to prevent flying pieces of wire from getting in your eyes. 

How to Decorate an Elegant Christmas Tree

1.Go through your ornaments and see what you've got and what you need. The key to a classy tree is coherence - so choose a few categories of ornaments and stick with those.
2.Make sure you've got enough strands of tiny white lights - for class, nothing else will do.
3.Buy or borrow whatever you don't already own - and resist distractions as you shop. (Elegance takes discipline and dedication: Coco and Jackie knew this, and you can learn.)
4.Buy a tree and set it up. Try to find something that reflects the mood you're trying to set. A fir or spruce (rather than a rowdy pine) is perfect.
5.Start with the white lights, then add the background ornaments one at a time and by category. Stop in between each category to check for symmetry; rearrange if necessary.
6.Position your highlight ornaments for best effect. 
When selecting your ornaments and decorations, it helps to think in terms of backdrop and highlight. For example, you might pick crystal icicles and small silver and gold glass balls as a backdrop and your collection of handmade shoe ornaments from the Museum of Modern Art as highlight.
Don't throw your old ornaments away - just let them sleep for a year. You'll love them even more when you rediscover them.   

How to Become an Elementary School Teacher

1.Get a well-rounded education. Take courses in English, math, science, history, sociology and the arts, as well as child psychology or development.
2.Start working with young children as soon as possible by volunteering at your local elementary school or with youth groups in your area. Contact the local United Way, parks and recreation department or school district for details.
3.Expect that most teaching credential programs will require documented evidence of your experience in the classroom (as many as 80 volunteer hours, minimum) even before you begin student teaching, hence the importance of step 2.
4.Major in elementary education if your college or university offers it. If elementary education and teacher certification are not offered, find fifth-year or postgraduate programs you can apply to and learn about their entrance requirements, including prerequisite courses and standardized tests.
5.Make your campus career center or educational placement office your job search headquarters, but if they don't offer job listings in the area where you'd like to teach, contact those districts directly.
6.Keep up-to-date by joining a professional association such as the American Federation of Teachers or the National Education Association. 
Consider acquiring a specialty geared toward elementary education, such as reading or bilingual education, to give yourself an edge in the job market. Find out what specialties are most in demand where you want to teach.
Certification programs for kindergarten, special education and secondary school teaching usually differ considerably from those for elementary education. 
Warnings: Underfunding in inner-city and rural schools (where job demand is highest) is no secret. Expect to foot some of the bill for supplies and even classroom snacks for hungry students.   

How to Photograph Sporting Events

1.Study up on the sport you wish to cover. Knowing a little bit about what the players are doing and how they score will help you know where to prefocus and wait for that perfect shot.
2.Go to the game early and look for a good location. Get as close to the action as you safely can. Most of the time, you will not be allowed on the field of play unless you have a press pass.
3.Be safe. A 250-pound football player can do a lot of damage to you and your camera.
4.Use an SLR camera with the longest lens you have if you are shooting in an arena or large area. A zoom lens of about 70-200 works well, as you can work at an assortment of distances without having to change lenses. You can also use a 1.4 or x2 converter for more length, but remember that you will lose f-stops and you may have more motion blur.
5.Take a backup camera if you are shooting for a magazine or newspaper, in case of equipment failure or damage by a player.
6.Keep a wide-angle lens on hand for team or award shots after the game.
7.Choose the right film for the sport, lighting and time of day. A film with an ASA or ISO of 400 or 800 is good for low lighting and fast action, such as night football. Enlargements will be grainier with these higher-speed films. For daytime sports without as much fast action, such as baseball and golf, use a 200 film.
8.Take plenty of film - at least two to four rolls, depending on what you are shooting and what types of shots you are trying to capture.
9.Try both black-and-white and color film to get a different feel of the sport. Black-and-white film takes less light.
1..Use a flash, if it is allowed at the event, to help fill in shadows.
1..Try setting your camera on auto focus, especially if you have a newer camera. Some cameras have an automatic setting for sports (marked by a runner symbol on a dial or button). Use this feature until you get comfortable figuring your own settings.
1..Set a manual camera's aperture on a low setting such as 5.6, or set the shutter speed to 125 or higher to help stop the action. This setting will shorten your depth of field, so focus on whatever you want to appear the sharpest.
1..Get "safety shots" first. These are pictures of the coach talking to the players, players warming up, batters, pitchers, free throws and other scenes without much quick action. These shots can save you if the weather turns bad or if you never get that "hot" shot. You will still have something for your scrapbook or your editor.
1..Take your rolls of film to a reliable developer or develop your own. There's nothing worse than getting a once-in-a-lifetime shot and then having the negative scratched from poor processing. 
Use a polarizer on a bright, sunny day to help reduce glare and washout.
Photographing a player coming toward you will help reduce motion blur.
A monopod helps when your arms get tired or you wish to eliminate motion blur. 
Warnings: Do not leave your camera equipment unattended.