How to Make Christmas Ornaments for the Birds

1.Roll pinecones in peanut butter, then in birdseed. Wrap some paddle wire around the base of the cone and attach the treat to trees and shrubs within view of your home.
2.String clusters of whole, raw, unsalted peanuts that are still in the shell onto strings of raffia. (Yes, peanuts can be strung just like popcorn or cranberries.) A large sail maker's needle works well to pierce the tough shell. Pierce two or three peanuts and tie the raffia loosely to branches and twigs.
3.String grapes and tie them into bundles using the same method.
4.String a few kernels of popcorn on raffia, then roll in peanut butter and birdseed. This is a favorite treat of blue jays.
5.Slice apples, pears and oranges and hang with wire ornament hangers.
6.Tie millet sprays to twigs and branches with raffia bows.
7.Cut net onion bags into small squares and fill with sunflower seeds. Tie the bundles of seeds with raffia. Hang with wire ornament hangers or more raffia. The bright colors will look divine and the birds will enjoy the offering. 
Make the strings of fruit, nuts and popcorn short. Long strings are difficult for little beaks and claws to handle. A few inches is perfect.
Tie the raffia loosely so that the critters can pull the snack away from the garland to eat in peace, if they so prefer.
You won't know the players without a scorecard. Purchase a good bird book so you know who is enjoying your creative endeavor.  Steps:
1.Gather a large shopping bag full of 6-inch garden trimmings. Suggested trimmings include magnolia, oak, redwood, cedar and pine. Remember to include some red berries in your collection. The tips of branches work best.
2.Use a wire wreath frame, or make your own frame from a wire coat hanger (simply unbend it into a circle); you can use the hanger hook to hang your finished wreath.
3.Attach #24 floral wire (sometimes called paddle wire) to a place on the wire wreath frame.
4.Select several stems of the 6-inch foliage pieces and place them together in a bunch, with the stems at one end.
5.Place this bundle on top of the frame where the floral wire is connected.
6.Hold the bundle in place and wrap the floral wire around the bundle and frame. You will need two hands for this: one to hold the bundle in place against the frame, the other to wrap the wire.
7.Wrap the floral wire around the bundle a second time and then pull it tight. Make sure to leave the wire attached to the frame, because you have a long way to go.
8.Gather another bundle of foliage and lay it so that the leaves overlap the first bunch and cover the stems. Make sure that the stems on both bunches are facing the same direction.
9.Continue overlapping the bunches of foliage and wiring them to the frame until you complete the circle.
1..Lift the first bundle that you wired onto the frame, and tuck the last bundle under it.
1..Twist the wire tightly around the last bundle, and knot the wire onto the frame, leaving 1 inch of wire with which to hang the finished wreath.
1..Cut the wire with scissors or pruning shears when you're finished.  
Tips: Thick bundles make fat wreaths. The more plant material you add, the more full your wreath will appear.  
Add the Bird Treats

1..Roll pine cones in peanut butter, then in birdseed. Wrap some paddle wire around the base of the cone and attach the treat to the wreath.
1..String clusters of whole raw, unsalted peanuts in the shell onto raffia. A large sail maker's needle works well for piercing the shells. Pierce two or three peanuts and tie the raffia onto the wreath.
1..String grapes using the same method. Tie the grape bundles loosely to the wreath.
1..String a few kernels of popcorn and then roll them in peanut butter and birdseed. This is a favorite treat of blue jays.
1..Slice apples, pears and oranges and attach to the wreath with wire ornament hangers.
1..Tie millet sprays to the wreath with raffia bows.
1..Cut net onion bags into small squares and fill with sunflower seeds. Tie the bundles of seeds with raffia and attach to the wreath. The bright colors will look divine and the birds will enjoy the offering. 
Make the strings of fruit, nuts and popcorn short. Long strings are difficult for little beaks and claws to handle. A few inches is perfect.
Tie the raffia loosely so that the critters can pull the offering away from the wreath to eat in peace, if they so prefer.
Hang your bird-treat wreath where it will be visible from inside the house.
You won't know the players without a scorecard. Purchase a good bird book so you know who is enjoying your creative endeavor!   

How to Set Up an Uninterruptible Power Supply

1.Make sure the total power of the equipment you will connect does not exceed the capacity of the UPS. (See "How to Choose an Uninterruptible Power Supply" under Related Hows.)
2.Place the UPS in a location that allows ventilation on all sides.
3.Plug the UPS into a grounded outlet. Wait six hours for the battery to charge.
4.Shut down the computer system.
5.Unplug components from the surge suppressor.
6.Plug the computer, monitor, and other equipment into electrical outlets on the UPS.
7.Turn on the UPS.
8.Make sure the indicator LED is lit, which tells you that the UPS is functioning.
9.Turn on the computer system (monitor and peripherals first, computer last).
1..Install UPS software, if any.
1..Test the UPS according to manufacturer's instructions.  
Do not connect a laser printer to a UPS. Use a surge suppressor rated 700 joules or higher instead.
If you overload the UPS with equipment that exceeds its power-handling capacity, it will not provide backup power.    

How to Prevent Cramps in a Marathon

1.Know the cause. Some runners get cramps if they've eaten too close to running. Also, running harder or faster than you're accustomed to, in hot weather, can cause cramping.
2.Avoid heat cramps. These are caused by loss of water and salt from sweat that isn't replaced, especially during exercise in hot, humid weather.
3.Watch your shoes. Shoes that are too inflexible in the ball of the foot or too tight in the forefoot can cause cramping.
4.Stretch. Make sure the leg muscles, especially the hamstrings, are kept flexible by stretching.
5.Watch your diet. Cramps may be a sign of a dietary deficiency in potassium, sodium, calcium or magnesium.
6.Don't compare yourself with others. Some runners are simply more prone to cramp than others. 
Relieve heat cramps by massaging cramped muscles.
Take it easy. If you develop a leg cramp, slow down or stop running. Massage and slowly stretch and relax the involved muscle.
Lean over and press in at the site of a stomach cramp. You can also try raising your arm(s) up high to stretch out the area.
Relax and breathe. Don't continually suck in air, which can cause cramping in the diaphragm. If this is your problem, focus on pushing air out through your mouth every few breaths. 
Overall Warnings: 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 Maintain Your Motorcycle

Maintaining a bike means regular pre-ride checks, monthly checks, and then yearly maintenance, including tune-ups.
1.Read the How "How to Check Your Motorcycle Before Riding".
2.Check your tire treads at least once a week. Look for cuts and scrapes on your tires, which could cause a blowout. Add air pressure as needed. Many blowouts are the result of low air pressure.
3.Investigate both of your wheels for loose or missing spokes. Check the rims for dents or cracks.
4.Lift the wheel off the ground. Spin it and watch the motion. Listen for noise and move it to check for looseness.
5.Inspect the controls for smooth operation, and watch for kinks or broken strands in your cables. Put lubricant on the mechanisms at either end of the cables.
6.Check the sprockets for worn teeth and oil the chain .
7.Watch out for missing or loose bolts, nuts or cotter pins. Keep your bike clean so it’s easier to spot missing parts.
8.Adjust your brakes so when they are applied fully, the wheel is locked (see your owner’s manual for instructions). 
Warnings: Inspect your motorcycle carefully and fix things right away if you note potential trouble. That’s the only way to spot problems before they cause an accident. 
Follow a regular maintenance schedule using your Owner's Manual and the following list:

9.Check tire pressure and visually inspect the tires before every ride. Check the wheel bearings once a year.
1..Check the oil level before each ride. Change the oil and filter at least every 2,000 miles. Your bike will love you if you chage the oil and filter every 1,000 miles.
1..Check the coolant level (if applicable) before every ride. Change the coolant every 2 years.
1..Check the brake cables and operation before every ride. Check the thickness of the pads and/or shoes every month. Change the brake fluid every 2 years.
1..Check the suspension and chassis for loose nuts and bolts and leaks. Lubricate the swingarm bearing monthly. Change the fork oil every 2 years.
1..Replace the spark plugs every year. Replace the spark plug wires every 2 years.
1..Check and adjust the engine valves yearly.
1..Check and adjust and lubricate the chain before every ride.
1..Repalce the air filter every year.   
Overall Warnings: Motorcycling 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 Use Your Feet to Block in Karate

Blocking a Punch
1.Face forward with one leg ahead of the other, keeping your legs shoulder-width apart.
2.Bring your back leg up, bending the knee at a 90-degree angle.
3.Snap your leg directly forward, targeting inside the attacker's punch where the upper arm and shoulder meet. Strike the joint with the ball of your foot.
4.Pull your leg back quickly so that the attacker has no chance to trap you. 
Blocking a Kick That Approaches from the Side (round house)

5.Use the same method as above, but target inside the kick where the attacker's thigh and hip meet. Strike the joint with the ball of your foot. 
Overall Tips: Practice timing your blocks with a partner: As your partner punches or kicks, execute a controlled strike against the attack. Be careful not to use full force against your partner. 
Overall Warnings:
Kicking at the joints (arm-shoulder or leg-hip connections) is extremely dangerous unless practiced in a controlled setting.
Attacking the joints with the feet is an effective defense technique, but it is not permitted in most competitions.
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 Determine the Pitch of Your Roof

1.Set your ladder on the side of your house so that you can safely access the downslope edge of the roof. (As you face the house, the roof should slope up from right to left or from left to right, not away from you.) You should be able to reach the edge from the ladder; you won't need to get on the roof to do this.
2.Hold a framing square up against the roofline so that the long end of the "L" points toward the center of the roof and the short end points toward the ground. Essentially, you're forming a right triangle with the long and short sides of the framing square - the roof edge forms the hypotenuse, or third side.
3.Position the framing square so that the long end (the end that makes the horizontal line of your right triangle) meets the edge of the roof at the 12-inch mark.
4.Level the square horizontally.
5.Read the measurement on the short end (which is standing up vertically from the roof).
6.Remember: Rise over run. The rise is the measure on the vertical leg; the run is the 12-inch measurement on the horizontal leg. So if the vertical measurement is 5, the roof has a 5/12 pitch. 
Some framing squares have measurements on both edges. Read the measurements on the inside edges if this is the case.
To match the pitch, simply use the same measurements on the object you're matching it to. For example, a frame for a basketball hoop should have a 5/12 pitch if it were to go on the roof in the above example. To do that, level the vertical object (the backboard, in this case) and measure out horizontally 12 inches. At that 12-inch point, the frame should be 5 inches above the ground.    

How to Decorate Your Front Porch for Christmas

1.Cut a Christmas stocking shape out of cardboard or plywood. Paint and decorate it (and make sure some "gifts" show at its top) and hang it near the front door.
2.Cut a snowman shape out of cardboard or plywood and paint or decorate it for front-porch decor. A real hat and scarf give it a three-dimensional look.
3.Place a potted poinsettia - or several - near the front door. Use real plants if your climate is not too cold for these tropical plants.
4.Purchase a large Santa and have him stand near a couple of twig or wire-frame reindeer.
5.Gift-wrap several empty boxes and arrange a pretty stack near the front door. Use colored plastic wrap and ribbon if your porch is not protected from the elements.
6.Decorate a real or imitation Christmas tree beside your front door. If space allows, flank the door with two trees.
7.Mark the path to your front door decoratively. It will look especially welcoming when bordered by luminarias (traditional candle lanterns) or giant candy canes.
8.Light your porch and walkway to make it safer and more festive for guests who visit during the long nights of the holiday season.   

How to Rename a Web Bookmark

Internet Explorer 5
1.Open the Favorites menu and choose Organize Favorites.
2.Select the item you want to rename.
3.Click Rename.
4.Type in the new name over the old one.
5.Click Close. 
Rename a long site to something short and to the point.
Press Ctrl+B on your keyboard for a shortcut to the box where you rename bookmarks. 
Netscape Navigator

6.Open the Bookmarks menu and choose Go to Bookmarks.
7.Click on Item.
8.Choose Properties in the pop-up menu.
9.Click on the site name you want to change.
1..Type in the new name over the old one.
1..Click OK.   Steps:
1.Begin your search with a Web search engine, such as AltaVista or Google. Enter keywords and phrases related to the subject matter you're interested in, and click Search.
2.In the results list, click on a site’s name to go to it. Even if the site doesn’t have great information, check to see if it has links to other sites that might be more useful. Use the Back button on your browser to return to the original results list.
3.If the first list had too many or too few results, tinker with your keywords to produce more focused search results. (See the Related How "How to Conduct an Advanced Internet Search.")
4.Go to some of the many online encyclopedias for information about your subject (see Related Sites). From the encyclopedia’s search page, enter keywords and phrases related to your subject.
5.Go to sites that specialize in Internet research, such as the Argus Clearinghouse (see Related Sites). These sites offer links to research materials, and will sometimes do your research for you.
6.Look for online library catalogs. Some provide online access to the full text of certain articles and books.
7.Check out Internet newsgroups on your subject. You can even post a request for information to the group. (See Related Hows for more on newsgroups.)
8.Visit chat rooms that are related to your subject matter. 
Use multiple search engines to get a variety of search results.
Consider the source of information: university Web sites and government sources tend to be
more reliable than individuals’ personal Web sites. 
Warnings: Use caution when gathering information from the Internet. Is the information coming from a trustworthy source? Is a corporation sponsoring the information? (See Related Hows for more on being a Web skeptic.)  Steps:
1.Check the URL (Web address) to be sure it was entered correctly. One letter or digit out of place will get you an error message. If you see an error, correct it and push the Enter key (Return key on the Mac).
2.Try moving backwards along the path of the URL. For example, if the URL you entered was and you get a 404 message, place your cursor in the address box and backspace to remove bbking.html. Your URL should now read Press Enter again. If you are able to access a site this time, look around to see if there is a link to BB King. If necessary, continue backwards until you reach
3.Try changing the extension of the last file. In the example given above, change bbking.html to bbking.htm. Or if the last file ended in .htm, change it to html and hit Enter.
4.Wait for a few hours or a few days and try again. Sometimes Internet traffic or other technical problems may make a site temporarily unavailable.
5.If your 404 message includes an invitation to report the missing site to a Webmaster, reporting the error might lead to being provided with the correct URL. 
Tips: When you try to access an URL that has previously resulted in an error message, try refreshing your browser. The old error message site could be stored in your cache, and you will need to refresh it before you can view the updated page.   

How to Care for a Cocker Spaniel

1.Vaccinate your cocker spaniel when you first get her and follow up with yearly booster vaccinations to maintain the dog's immunity to diseases. Consult your veterinarian about flea control products and worming your dog.
2.Feed your cocker spaniel high-grade dog food. The first ingredient should be meat if you want a quality product. Crude protein should be no less than 30 percent and crude fat no less than 20 percent. The fiber content needs to be 4 percent or less.
3.Socialize cocker spaniels early on with people, children and pets. They have a tendency to be timid if not socialized.
4.Walk your cocker spaniel daily, being careful not to let her walk through brush, as her coat can get tangled easily.
5.Consider crate training your cocker spaniel until she's housebroken. When you cannot supervise your puppy, put her in a crate that's just big enough for her to sleep and turn around in, so she won't go to the bathroom in it. Each time the puppy eats (outside the crate, of course), take her outside to one area where you would like her to go to the bathroom. When your puppy is through, give her lots of praise.
6.Brush your dog daily, being careful not to pull out the hair. Shampoo regularly. Cocker spaniels are average shedders. If you keep your dog's coat long, it will need to be trimmed every four months.
7.Clean your cocker spaniel's eyes regularly with moist cotton wool pads. Use a different pad for each eye to avoid spreading any possible infections.
8.Check nails every two to three weeks and trim them as needed.
9.Know that cocker spaniels are prone to health problems including cataracts (a cloudy area in the lens of the eye), glaucoma (increased fluid pressure inside the eye) and patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap). They can also be prone to hip dysplasia (a malformed ball and socket in the hip joint) and allergies.
1..Expect male cocker spaniels to mature to a height of 15 inches; females grow to 14 inches. Both will weigh between 24 and 28 pounds.
1..Be prepared to enjoy 12 to 15 years with your cocker spaniel - this is the cocker spaniel's average life expectancy.  
Be sure to brush your dog's coat before shampooing. Shampoo often gets stuck inside tangled hair.
Contact the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (see Related Sites) to learn more about hip dysplasia in cocker spaniels. 
Warnings: If you adopt a cocker spaniel, it will take much time and patience to house-train the dog, especially if you get her as an adult. Adopted dogs may not be as sweet and even-tempered because of previous abuse and neglect.   

How to Get Resolution When a Company Won't Return Your Calls

1.Find the name of the company's consumer affairs senior manager.
2.Begin by calling customer service and asking for the name of the senior manager (not just a supervisor). You may need to talk to the supervisor to get the right contact information.
3.Alternatively, call the company's corporate headquarters and ask the operator for the name of the customer service manager.
4.Find the name of the president of the company. Locate this information on the company's Web site or by calling the headquarters directly and asking the operator for the name of the president.
5.Find the mailing address for the corporate headquarters on its Web site or through Web sites that provide basic corporate information, such as (See Related Sites).
6.Or call the company's headquarters directly and ask for its mailing address - not its billing address. Billing processing centers are often located separately from headquarters.
7.Write a letter addressed directly to the senior manager of the company's consumer affairs office.
8.Include the history of your communications with this company - the dates and times of your calls or letters and the names of the individuals you contacted.
9.Indicate in your letter that a copy will be sent to the office of the president.
1..Make two additional copies of the letter. Send one to the office of the president and keep one for your records.
1..Contact your local or state consumer protection agency if the company still does not respond. 
For tips on effective letter writing, see "How to Write a Complaint Letter."
Remember to keep a complete record of all your communications.
All states have a department or office of consumer affairs that has jurisdiction over certain businesses licensed in that state. You can find contact information by searching the Internet. Call before sending a written complaint to ask if the office deals with your type of complaint and if you need to fill out a complaint form. Often the forms are available on a Web site.
If a company you have an issue with does not fall under its jurisdiction, the office of consumer affairs will direct you to the proper authority. Department of Insurance handles issues over insurance services. Department of Motor Vehicles handles disputes over the sale of new and used automobiles.
Certain businesses may not be subject to state agencies' jurisdiction. This type of claim can be resolved through small claims court.