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Summer is finally here, with weather perfect for getting outside and trying something new. If you've been itching for a new project or hobby to fill your time with, now is the best time of year to get started. You'll be able to explore outdoor hobbies that require warmer weather, as well as learn about options that you can entertain yourself with year round. Here are a few awesome new hobbies for you to check out this summer while the weather's still beautiful.
Have you been putting off on your home repairs and general to-do list? Instead of looking at it like a chore, consider it the start of your new DIY or woodworking hobby. Being able to handle your own home repairs can help you save money while putting all the personal touches you want into your home. Just make sure you've got the right tools for the job. Among contractors, 84% say their most commonly used cordless power tool is the power drill.
Whether you're looking to get into racing or just like the feel of a classic car, learning about auto repair can get you started on a variety of hobbies this summer. For a real challenge, try fixing up an older, classic car that you buy used. Between private-party and dealership sales, nearly 40 million used cars exchange hands each year, and there's a good chance you'll be able to buy a used car in need of repair for a reasonable price.
With the summer comes warm weather, so now's the perfect time to try out a new sport or exercise routine to keep you active. There's a sport out there for everyone, whether you settle on something more relaxing like golf or high-intensity like parkour or rock-climbing. It doesn't take much activity to impact your lifestyle for the better. In fact, engaging in just 10 minutes of physical activity every day can help you improve mobility and live longer. Look for sports that you can use either as a chance to get away and take some time for yourself or alternatively get the family involved for an extra bit of motivation.
Get Out The Grill
For a hobby that your family is sure to love just as much as you, it's time to break out the grill and get to work. Grilling and cooking can be great summer activities, and even if you don't want to grill during the colder seasons of the year, you'll be able to take your skills and turn them into an appreciation for finer foods and barbecue. Just make sure you're cleaning and preparing your grill properly, or you'll have a hard time setting it up come next summer.
Get out there and try something out of the norm! Fishing, for instance, may seem to be more popular with older generations, but more than 60% of participants in 2017 were under the age of 45. Why not give it a go? Summer is the perfect time for you to discover your new favorite hobby or pick up an old one that you've put on the back burner for a while. How do you plan to make the most of the warmer season for your favorite hobbies?
When it comes to vehicle maintenance and repairs, even the smallest task can seem daunting if you don't know what you're doing. Auto maintenance and repairs take practice, knowledge, and experience -- so it's okay if you don't know what to do right away. But if you're looking to become handier and tackle some basic repair tasks on your own, take a look at these few tips to help you get started.
Inspect Your Vehicle Regularly
One of the most important things you should do, whether you plan on making repairs yourself or not, is inspect your vehicle on a regular basis. By assessing the various components of your vehicle, you can learn more about how the car works, which parts go where, and you'll spot signs of damage. Looking at your car and seeing signs of wear and tear or damage is important because you'll then know if maintenance or repairs need to be done. And you can get a better feel for when routine maintenance, like an oil change or tire rotation, needs to be done. So take a detailed look at your vehicle regularly to stay on top of problems.
Do Some Research
If you're new to auto repairs, then it's essential that you take the time to do some research. You should start by reading your vehicle's manual, which will tell you about various components and when routine maintenance tasks should be completed. After that, consider checking out YouTube videos or reading through Internet forums for detailed information and instructions regarding various repairs. As long as your vehicle is pretty common, there's bound to be a lot of information about it on the Internet. So do some basic research to expand your knowledge before tackling any repair tasks.
When it comes time to finally work on your vehicle, you need to be prepared. This means having your workspace set up and having the right tools. You'll need some basic tools, like a jack stand and a torque wrench, and a large, even space to park your car on. Make sure you clear plenty of space so you have room to get around your vehicle with ease. You should also keep some baggies and sharpies on hand so you can label parts and keep them organized as you're taking them off or replacing them. Being prepared with the basics will help you get off to a good start.
With there being about 5.5 million car accidents every year in the U.S., you may find your vehicle damaged sooner than you'd think. So with these few basic tips for beginners, you'll be well on your way to performing simple maintenance and repair tasks in no time.
Facebook has become one of the most influential organizations in the entire world. Founded in 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the website grew from a college social networking service to a global leader in advertising, media, and so much more. Though Facebook has certainly come under scrutiny for account privacy, "fake news," and company governance, they still have upwards of 2.3 billion monthly active users.
Facebook isn't going anywhere.
According to Venture Beat, Facebook has announced numerous new updates that will improve the user experience for both personal and professional accounts.
Ahead of its annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, Facebook announced Project LightSpeed, which is a completely rebuilt Messenger app that will be more than two-thirds smaller than the existing program -- with the ability to launch in less than two seconds.
These new updates are great for the average user, but marketers will be able to use to interact with their employees, network, and engage with customers. Since up to 20% of the population moves each year, companies have 20% new customers to attract via local and digital advertising.
Currently, there are 40 million active businesses and 300,000 developers on Facebook's Messenger app, up from 200,000 developers a year ago. The revamped version will allow users to book appointments, collect information through lead generation chatbot templates, and provide customer service to verified customers. The ability to offer quality customer service is crucial since 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
"We believe you can build practically any utility on top of messaging," said Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook's head of Messenger. "All of the engineering behind it is has been redone. Utilities will be more powerful, more functional and more desired if built on top of a system that’s interoperable and end-to-end encrypted."
Additionally, since video sharing is vital to Facebook's success, the new app will feature improved video services for users. In a 2017 report, 81% of marketers said they optimize social videos for mobile. The new Messenger will enable video co-watching, meaning users can select videos to watch at the same time with friends, coworkers, customers, and influencers.
"We are working to be world class for our community for the primary things that people expect in a messaging app," added Asha Sharma, director for Messenger consumer products. "We will make Messenger fast, private, interoperable, and a space for close friends and family."
The company hasn't given a specific launch date for Project LightSpeed but users can expect this new messaging program sometime in 2019.
The world's largest supplier of auto-parts is teaming up with a leading fuel-cell stack maker to create the technology that will be key to the automotive industry's greener future. Last month, German supplier Bosch announced that it will co-develop polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cells with Swedish manufacturer Powercell.
Once the two companies create this sustainable technology, Bosch will manufacture the fuel cells under a global license. According to a statement emailed to Bloomberg, the stack will become a part of Bosch's lineup of fuel-cell products and is expected to be launched by 2022 at the latest.
The basic premise of fuel-cell technology is that they turn hydrogen into electricity. For years, hydrogen fuel cells have been celebrated as a potential replacement for less sustainable energy cultivation methods, including the 2.5 million miles of pipeline that transfer fuel products from source to market in the United States. Although the technology promises minimal environmental impact from its simple emittance of water vapor, high costs and a lack of infrastructure have made it difficult for the cells to gain major traction.
Before Bosch's recent announcement, Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. were the biggest fuel-cell backers in the industry. Toyota alone is projected to produce about 11 million vehicles in 2023 and has already started incorporating fuel cell technology into its large trucks. Now that Bosch is in the game, the future of hydrogen fuel cells is looking a bit different.
Bosch predicts that as much as 20% of global electric vehicles will use hydrogen fuel cells by 2030. Bosch needs to reduce the costs of fuel cell systems and, in particular, the pricey stacks to make this growth possible.
According to Dr. Stefan Hartung, Bosch associate director and chairman of the Mobility Solutions division, commercializing the technology will be a driving force in decreasing the costs for hydrogen fuel. Commercializing the technology for passenger cars and trucks will certainly be an essential step in the United States, as there is a shortage of hydrogen filling infrastructure in the country.
Efforts from U.S. lawmakers are also aimed at making sustainable cars a more viable option for production and purchase. In early April, a bipartisan coalition introduced the Driving America Forward Act in Congress with the support of at least 60 organizations that included automakers, electric vehicle suppliers, and environmental organizations. If enacted, the legislation will extend the one-time federal tax credit for buyers of electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Currently, the credits an automaker receives begin to phase out during the calendar year after it sells 200,000 electric cars and/or plug-in hybrids. Tesla hit that mark last year, causing its federal tax break to drop on July 1 and expire completely at the end of 2019. General Motors, an industry powerhouse headed by a female CEO who is among the 27 women leading Fortune 500 companies, also reached 200,0000 electric vehicle sales last year and will soon face a similar loss in tax breaks.
The Act would allow purchasers of an additional 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer to be eligible for a slightly smaller one-time tax credit. Once it reaches 600,000 qualifying vehicle sales, the credit would drop more and phase out after six months. The bill would also extend the hydrogen fuel cell credit through 2028, providing manufacturers and buyers with even more incentive for eco-friendly cars.
According to industry sources, losing the tax credits would stifle developments in the electric vehicle market. With initiatives such as Bosch's recent fuel-cell partnership with Powercell, the market can't afford interference with potential advancements.
Not only can Bosch's fuel-cell technology help the environment, but its existing portfolio can help make the roads safer. Bosch already has fuel cell components that include control units with sensors, a safety-focused tool that could reduce the 40,100 people who were killed in car accidents in 2017.
Not every part of your home was designed to last forever. In fact, if it's been a while since your last major home repairs, it's likely that there's something in your home that needs to be repaired or replaced. Larger home maintenance and repair tasks can seem a bit daunting, especially if you don't know when major appliances and items throughout your home need to be swapped out. Here's a simple guide to what might need to be replaced in your home, and when you need to look at replacing them.
When do I Need To Replace My Water Heaters?
Water heaters are one of the key appliances in your home, and while they don't often need replacing, it's important to keep track of when they're nearing the end of their lifespans. A standard water heater only lasts 10 to 15 years before corrosion attacks the tank walls and it starts to break down. If you notice problems with hot water in your home or appliances that use hot water, like a dishwasher, give your plumber a call. It might mean that it's time to replace this utility in your home.
When Do I Need To Replace My HVAC Systems?
Your home's heating and cooling is essential to staying comfortable year-round, and keeping it in good shape and well-maintained is a must. As a typical family spends about a third of its annual heating and cooling budget — roughly $350 — on air that leaks into or out of the house through unintended gaps and cracks, continued maintence on this unit is crucial.At the very least, HVAC systems need to be inspected twice yearly for maximum efficiency. It's likely that your HVAC system won't need to be fully replaced for quite some time unless something breaks down fully, and even then, it's usually better to replace individual parts. Some parts are meant to be swapped out on a regular basis, like the filter; most HVAC system filters need to be changed every one to three months.
When Do I Need To Replace My Carpets And Flooring?
Believe it or not, even the floor in your house has an expiration date. Certain types of flooring can trap more dirt, dust, and germs than others depending on the material it's made out of, giving some flooring options shorter lifespans. Carpeting, for example, is only meant to last eight to ten years, with some carpeting lasting even less time in higher traffic areas. On the other end of the spectrum, wood flooring, especially wood flooring that is well cared for and maintained, can last for a hundred years or more. When selecting flooring for your home, be sure to account for the lifetime cost of your material choice.
Appliances And Appliance Parts
Even if your years-old refrigerator is still working great, you might want to consider an appliance upgrade sometime soon. Modern appliances are designed to be more energy efficient, meaning you'll end up spending less on energy bills. However, if you want to keep your old appliances, it's still important to replace certain parts every so often to keep them operating efficiently. For example, most newer refrigerators will have an indicator to tell you when to replace your water filter, but if yours doesn't, try to replace the filter every six to twelve months. And if you need a washer and dryer, remember that The Rock Father™ says never buy Samsung.
Keeping track of everything in your home that needs replacing can be a hassle, but doing so guarantees your house is in good repair. Have you replaced any of these items as part of your spring cleaning?
On May 10, Jasmine Cain will drop her long-awaited new record, SEVEN — her first album in four years, and seventh overall. This Saturday, May the 4th, Cain and her band will celebrate the album with an out-of-this-world Cantina-themed Nashville throwdown that happens to fall on the globally-celebrated Star Wars Day. Ahead of the festivities, The Rock Father™ Magazine caught up with Cain to get the full details on the new record, and the southern-flavored space shindig that's about to go down.
The Rock Father Magazine: Other than being your 7th album, the number 7 is viewed as lucky in some cultures and mystical in the spiritual world. How has the journey been to create this latest chapter and what are your reasons for the title?
Jasmine Cain (JC): We are super excited about this new album! We did our last studio album, White Noise, in 2015 and then our Live album in 2017, but SEVEN has been in the works for 2 years now! We took our time and did everything the way we WANTED to do it instead of what time allowed for. When determining the name for this album, I just kept being drawn to the number SEVEN. Usually I find a title I like on the record and name the album after that, or find a common thread in the writing that brings me to the title. But this time, it was much different. This title came as a feeling, and energy if you will. I tried some new things on the record that I've never done before and never considered doing in previous records and it was a freeing move. I let go of the death grip I usually have over the direction and let it take it's natural course and that pattern of higher thinking brought me to the name. SEVEN is harmony. SEVEN is completion. SEVEN is lucky. How can you go wrong with that? Now watch...those SEVEN's will be popping up on you all day tomorrow. Just wait!
The first single is “Be Brave,” a mid-tempo rocker that recalls the best of Heart, Halestorm and Whitesnake. What was the inspiration for this song and how has the early reaction been?
I couldn't be more thrilled with the initial reaction to Be Brave. I just had someone send me a photo of her new tattoo with those words after hearing the song. It is her new mantra. Radio has been more than responsive with it and it seems to be the perfect bridge between the gap of the extremes that we actually are. I love what the lyrics say. I love the way it puts you in a mindset to take on whatever comes. I love the message it sends to anyone out there that may be struggling with something. The song was written with and inspired by my longtime friend and co-writer, Paige Logan, who has walked through fire more times than I can count and always walked out the other side out of the ashes better than she was before. We all need someone to look to when trying to decide what kind of person we want to become. She has been a teacher to me for many years. She is really amazing.
Other key tracks include “Ghost,” "Real World,” Burnout,” “Money” and “Are You Ready.” Is there an overarching theme that threads the record? Which track(s) is your favorite?
JC: I write what I know or what I'm experiencing at the time. Most songs came to me because of something I was dealing with at the time. I can't really find my favorite track because I really love them all. I'll leave finding those favorites up to you guys!
Tell us a little bit about your “Cainiacs,” your supercharged superfans, and the Patreon campaign you’re offering?
JC: Let me just start by saying, we have the most incredible fans in the world. They are our family. They bring us home cooked meals and give us space, time, and silence when we need it most. They offer us their homes to rest and hide out in when we are out on the road. They share their lives and life stories with us and inspire us when we need it most. They are truly the reason I keep moving every day. Now that we've established that....
Patreon is ahhhhmazing! I love the fact that we can interact on a more personal level withe our superfans. We do live web chats and play songs they request and design custom artwork...you know...all the things artists are supposed to be doing instead of figuring out how this new song we just recorded is going to pay rent. This platform takes all middle men out of the equation and puts us exactly where we want to be...which is with our fans and friends making music, creating art, writing songs that change the world and resonate with people's lives.
On your last album, 2015’s, White Noise, you had cameos from Michael Starr of Steel Panther and Jeff LeBar of Cinderella. Who’s in the mix on this one? Any special guests on board?
JC: This album was such a strain on me for who to use musically. I always like to include my band because I want them to feel a part of everything we do! But I just couldn't turn down the chance to bring in Christopher Williams (Accept) on drums for this album. He gets it. He's always gotten it. He was a member of this band for 2 years and was always a ridiculous talent, but he's grown as a person and a drummer more than I could've ever imagine. He was perfect for this project and we did not edit one single drum hit. It was perfect. Every. Single. Hit.
Our guitarist, Jordan Roepke, was fairly new to the band when we started this record and we didn't really have any idea what he was really capable of. He is a progressive metal junkie and we were making a pop/rock record, so I didn't think he was going to be interested in contributing, but once I gave him the reins...he took it and ran! The solos he was coming up with were well-thought out and perfectly executed. Once we let him loose on these songs, we decided it wasn't worth it to have anyone else take a stab at it. He was the one the entire time.
In your music, we hear a lot of the classics but also a fresh modern rock sound. Who are some of your influences and which is the one band you would love to tour with the most?
JC: I don't think it's a secret that I grew up with Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, and Heart as a kid. I internalized what made those songs great. As a kid, you're just a sponge soaking everything up and it stays with you always. The real trick is staying current. I listen to all kinds of music, but we get the most out of progressive metal and pop to keep it modern. I gotta give Caleb Sherman a lot of credit on this record for bringing some really fresh and current sounds to these songs. He and Monique Staffile (HER) really brought that New York rock 'n roll attitude to our Southern Rock and Progressive Metal party. It was a very unorthodox and interesting collaboration. But in the end, it totally worked. I really hope we get the chance to work together again.
On Saturday, you’re hosting a “May the 4th Be With You” Cantina Party in your hometown of Nashville to celebrate the album release. Tying into Star Wars, you’ll have prop replicas, live lightsaber duel demonstrations, and a full-bore rock show. Plus, Hip Hop Trooper (who we just saw at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago) and Femi Taylor (Oola from Return of the Jedi) will be on hand, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This sounds like a blast. Death Star beware! Give us the full details.
JC: This show is going to be DOPE!!! I wanted to give Nashville an opportunity to get the new album before we hit the road and stay gone all Summer. This seemed like the PERFECT opportunity for us to host a real EVENT in Nashville. The (death) stars were aligning and we just had to make this happen. We had the hardest time finding a venue. Why doesn't anyone have to have a party to celebrate not only The Force but it's also Free Comic Book Day? This was a no-brainer. We finally got Little Harpeth Brewing Co. to come onboard as a venue and we started slamming this together immediately! Our first call was to Jeremy Miller, who is the head of Epoch Entertainment to make this come to fruition. He contacted Femi Taylor and she agreed instantly to make this happen. Jeremy also had connections in the 501st Legion, which is a non-profit organization who donates all proceeds they earn to Make- A-Wish Foundation. That was something we really wanted to include, and The Midsouth Garrison came on board. We also were able to secure Hip Hop Trooper in his red Stormtrooper costume and his oversized boombox. He will be doing his street routine and then hosting the dance party after the show. Additional entertainment includes a Shannon Million & The Space Force Burlesque show, and a light saber duel with The Saber Legion of Nashville. Life size replicas of C-3PO and other props will be on display and we will have a cash payout costume contest. General Admission has early bird tickets for $12 and after the first 100 are sold, tickets are $15. We also offer VIP for meet & greet with Femi Taylor, a swag bag from our sponsors, catering, and the first keg from Little Harpeth is on us! You can get tickets on Eventbrite.
You typically do about 150 shows per year and have opened for the likes of Skid Row, Great White, Heart, Powerman 5000, Finger 11 and Three Days Grace. Where will you be visiting in 2019 and what can fans expect at this year’s edition?
JC: People can always expect to see me at most major motorcycle rallies across the country, but this year we are taking this show out West! It's been 8 years since we visited the Southwest/Southern California area. I just can't stay away any longer. I've devoted the entire month of April to the Southwest. We kick it off in Scottsdale, Arizona during Arizona Bike Week at Dirty Dogg Saloon and then bounce around between San Diego, Los Angeles, and Phoenix before landing in Las Vegas on the last weekend at the Golden Nugget during Laughlin River Run. I'm so pumped to come back. I've always loved it out West. Los Angeles was my destination originally and I ended up taking a wrong turn and landing in Nashville. Don't get me wrong, I love Nashville and I'm glad I'm here...but I'll always have love in my heart for LA. \
A lot of your touring hits the motorcycle circuit, playing at rallies and massive bike weeks in Sturgis, Myrtle Beach, Daytona Beach and Arizona. Which one is your favorite? Give us an inside scoop on what these events are like.
JC: Who doesn't love being on the beach? I mean, I get to experience all of the beaches throughout the year and it is so different and so beautiful at each one. But if you're asking me about a favorite, I have to give it to my hometown of Sturgis, South Dakota. Nothing fills my soul more than going home and seeing my family and long time friends and exploring the lands I grew up in. I know it like the back of my hand and yet it's like the first time every time I go back. There is so much history there and it will always be the place I belong. I have such a connection with the Black Hills.
In addition to a full assortment of apparel and limited edition glassware, you also have your own line of coffees under the names, Suicide Blonde and Coffin and you’ll soon be offering a special reserve blend, a line of wine and a craft brew. Now, we’re thirsty. Give us the full rundown.
C: Coffee is what keeps me going! I have partnered with Sturgis Coffee Company to bring you guys the best coffee out there. We take this shit seriously...I mean...really seriously. We have a dark roast 3-bean blend called Coffin Coffee that is full bodied and what I love about it is that you don't get that burnt bean bitter taste at the end. It's smooth. It's kind. I love it. If you need a little more kick, the Suicide Blonde is a lighter roast. Another three-bean blend with a hint of blueberry for you breakfast blend lovers. The lighter you roast a bean, the more caffeinated it is, so you're getting more bang for your buck here. Most of the time, this was the only two blends we offered, but this past year we got a little creative and decided to combine my South Dakota roots with my Tennessee home! We worked together with Jack Daniel's to get several barrels to the facility and let those coffin coffee beans age in those barrels for two months...rotating the barrel a 1/4 turn every week. That labor of love cranked out our Whiskey Kiss coffee and we are #SorryNotSorry. It's so delicious we decided to keep it on small batches and so it's only available for a limited time. We definitely plan to do this again later this year and we've been kicking around doing a wine cask/coffee combo with a chocolatey concoction next year. I'm hoping to bring some Nashville based (Kix Brooks owned) Arrington Wine Casks to the party next year if all goes well.
JC: Oh yes. I'm one of those that sees every Go Fund Me come through and it just breaks my heart to see people struggle. I know what it's like to struggle so hard it makes you hurt. I donate quite often to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, ASPCA, Humane Society, and spend some time serving the homeless meals on holidays. I actually love that. In my opinion, everyone should do that at some point of their lives. If you ever forget what the holidays are about...that is a great reminder.
Bonus Round: Top 5 Desert Island Discs
- Karnivool - Sound Awake
- Ghost - Meliora
- Taylor Swift - 1989
- Mastadon - Once More 'Round The Sun
- Ed Sheeran - Divide
I don't have an ego. I love all music.
Connect with Jasmine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jasminecainrocks/