CrossFit Shoes, The Perfect Xmas Gift for The Fitness Freak in Your Life

reebok nano crossfit shoesAs Black Friday disappears in the rear-view mirror and Cyber Monday is only hours away, now is an appropriate time to take a look at Christmas shopping the age of the Internet, smart phones, tablets, and yes even CrossFit Shoes.

For someone who has never really enjoyed the experience of shopping, the advent of digital stores was the best Christmas present anyone could ever ask for.  From the moment I step into retail stores I begin to feel a tightening in my back, right between my shoulder blades, and I quickly begin looking for an exit.

Now with shops like Amazon.com, Overstock.com, and any number of traditional retailer’s online sites, I no longer have to leave the comfort of my home to do any shopping at all.  Well, with the exception of grocery shopping, but I actually enjoy that.

And with very few exceptions this is exactly how I operate.  One of those exceptions would have to be clothes and shoes.  I do prefer to be able to try clothing on before I purchase it.  And if I go through all the trouble of trying it on, I’ll generally buy it at the same brick and mortar store.

The same goes with shoes.  I was recently looking for a good CrossFit shoe as I’ve worn out my old pair of cross trainers.  Generally speaking, the best prices are to be found online.  But I really don’t enjoy the hassle of having to return something if I don’t guess correctly on the size.  So I went down to my local Dick’s Sporting Goods to try them on first.  They had a wide variety of Crossfit sneakers for men, so I was able to find  a pair I liked.

In this particular instance my trip was very rewarding as the shoes were actually less expensive in the stores than they were online.  This is a very rare occurrence, but one of which I am more than happy to take advantage.  You can find all sorts of deals on CrossFit equipment at efficientgains.com.

For Safer Knives Invest in an Electric Knife Sharpener

best electric knife sharpenerDo you remember when you purchased your first real chef’s knife?  If you’re like me, you spent a couple of hours researching all of the available models online.  You might have even gone to a couple of kitchen stores to hold the knives in your hand, carefully judging the weight and balance.

And who could ever forget the first time you sliced through a ripe tomato and the knife slid right through as though through the air itself.  After each use, you would carefully rinse the knife and set it out to dry, specifically telling everyone NOT to put it in the dishwasher.

Then after a few weeks, the romance wears off.  You still appreciate the sharpness of the blade, but the knife is now just another tool in your kitchen.

But little by little, every time you use it, it is becoming more and more dull.  Eventually it is careening dangerously from side to side when you cut through carrots or an onion.  This is when become one of the most important tools in your kitchen becomes dangerous.  A dull knife is much more likely to cause injury than a sharp knife.

This is mainly because you are forced to use more an more pressure to cut through items that you used to cut with ease.  The dulling process of a knife is usually so gradual that we don’t even realize that it’s happening.  Then one day you nearly sever a finger trying to slice through a potato. This is when it’s time to invest in an the best electric knife sharpener.

Sharpeners come in many varieties.  Some are manual, others are electric.  The original sharpening system for knives was to use a stone to grind the edge to razor sharpness.  This requires a certain amount of skill since you must hold the knife at a consistent angle to ensure the blade is smooth.

First you ‘raise a burr’.  This is done by sharpening both sides of the blade one after another on a whetstone of a higher grit.  Once you’ve raised a burr, you need to then polish the edge.  This is done with a stone of a slightly higher grit.

Eventually you end up with a very sharp, just like new edge.  Of course, modern sharpeners make all of this much easier by guiding you through the entire process.  They also speed up the process considerably.

There are those professionals that swear against using any sort of sharpener other than stones.  But for most chef’s, amateur or not, there are better things to spend your time on.

Another option is to take your knives to a professional to have them sharpened.  While this can be expensive, and somewhat impractical if you only have one set of knives, it does insure that your blade will last a long time.

Whichever you choose, just make sure to always keep your knives sharp.  Not only does it make working with foods easier, it makes it MUCH safer.

If you’d like to read more about knife sharpeners and knife sharpening stones, check out bladeforums.com or www.thebestknifesharpener.org.  Both resources will provide you with great information on sharpening all sorts of knives.

How The Medical Industry Will be Affected by ObamaCare

While the implementation of ObamaCare is moving forward, the rules are about as clear as mud and many of the regulations are being written on the fly.  On top of that, there have been many surprises for both businesses and health care providers.

For many businesses the costs associated with the new health care law are far beyond what they were paying for their employees health care before the law passed.  The new law requires expanded coverage in many areas and this has of course driven up costs.  While businesses are used to seeing annual increases in premiums, new plans are far more expensive than those covered in the past.  This is a result of the plans covering so much more than before.

While one can argue that this is better for the employee, and certainly this is the Obama Administrations take, what actually happens is that employers end up dropping employees from coverage altogether and pay the mandated fine.  The employee is then forced to seek a plan from one of the state sponsored insurance exchanges.

One current frustration is that very few states have actually set up these exchanges.  In fact the Federal rules for the exchanges aren’t even completed at this point, and most likely won’t be ready for at least another year.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone give how inept the government is at doing anything.  But to attempt to reorganize 1/5 of the U.S. economy is a blunder of historical proportions.

It’s not just businesses that are being drastically affected by the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.  Doctors and health care facilities are feeling the pinch as well.  Many hospitals and clinics that see Medicare patients have recently discovered they’re reimbursements will be dropping as one of the cost saving measures of ObamaCare.  This has lead to clinics turning away Medicare patients because they can no longer afford to provide them care and stay in business.

Salary levels will most likely also be affected for health care professionals.  Much of the bills cost savings come from relying less on specialists like radiologists and more one primary care doctors.  These physicians will then make requests for imaging  and diagnostics directly from technologists.  X Ray Tech Salary Guide has a wealth of information on how the changes in the bill will affect radiographers and other technologist salary levels.  This site also has a good deal of information on ways to find jobs in a tough economy.

Undoubtedly this is just the beginning of the issues involving Medicare.  So much smoke and mirrors were used to get the law passed in the first place, that there are sure to be more surprises for businesses and doctors in the near future.

Of course average citizens are now feeling the pain of the increased taxes that are a part of the method of payment for this behemoth of a bill.  Some recent estimates have said that it will end up costing TRILLIONS more than was originally advertised.