Six Awesome Motorcycle Parts to Soup Up Your Hog

Ask any biker: your motorcycle is not only a high-powered vehicle built to create awesome experiences, but also an expression of your personality.

Even though machines come off the lot stacked with great features, there’s always room for modifications. Working on your bike is just one more fun part of ownership, while adding and subtracting components lets you to create the look, feel, and riding experience you desire. Let’s look at some super-cool motorcycle parts you might consider adding or altering to perfect your bike.

1. Frame Sliders and Engine Guards

Frame sliders are very simple add-ons that prevent your frame from touching the ground, in the event that your vehicle tips over. These metal components create a short cushion between ground and bike, preventing impact to your frame. Similarly, engine guards are steel bars that fit over the cycle’s engine to protect it if the craft keels over. Both of these are easy to install, and give you some cheap insurance against frustrating damages.

2. Fender Eliminator Kit

Most bikes come with bulky, unattractive rear fenders. It’s not a surprise, then, that fender eliminators are one of the most common alterations riders make. Look for a good eliminator kit that works with your rear brake light and gives your vehicle a sleeker appearance.

3. Exhaust System

You feel the need for speed, but do you also feel the need for… noise? Many riders are excited about the powerful sound of their engines, and adding an exhaust system gives you control over that sound’s character and intensity. Though this isn’t the cheapest of motorcycle parts, it adds some power to your engine and is usually easy to install. With so many systems that create unique sounds, you have control over how you announce yourself to the streets.

4. Air Filter

The air filter is the exhaust system’s partner in crime. If you opt for a new exhaust system, you’ll need a filter that can handle it. Air filters heighten performance by keeping the engine clean and aerated. Well-maintained filters can last for tens of thousands of miles, so it’s smart to invest in a good one.

5. Custom Suspension

Suspension is much different for motorcycles than it is for cars. A biker’s weight is much higher in comparison to his or her vehicle’s weight. When you buy a bike, have the suspension adjusted precisely to handle your weight. Very few riders do this, but it makes for optimal handling and performance once you hit the road.

6. High-Performance Tires

Tires are crucial motorcycle parts. Good ones allow you to ride on a wider range of surfaces, while also optimizing handling and fuel efficiency. The tires included with new bikes are functional, but basic. Look for tough, high-performance tires that are built for the kinds of surfaces you plan to encounter – it will make a big difference in the feel of each ride.

Working on your bike can be just as fun as riding it. With these motorcycle parts and modifications, you can transform a good machine into a great one.

Displaying Photography on the Web

Getting Started:

When deciding to display your photography online, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account as presenting imagery on the web. What I will cover today is image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the impact of image file formats.

Image Scan Quality:

Resolution is the image quality measured in terms of how many pixels make up your image. It is commonly referred to as “ppi”; (pixels per inch). One of the common dilemmas when scanning photo transparencies to digitize them for use on a person’s website is how detailed of a scan do you need to provide your webmaster to post your imagery online. I’m going to sidestep the issue of image copyright concerns for the time being as I’ll cover that in an upcoming article on its own. However, because your images are to be viewed on a screen, all web graphics should be no larger than 72 ppi and thus anything higher has no improved effect, and only creates longer download times. This will also reduce what an individual could do with the image file if they had alternate motives.

Image Dimension Size:

Pixels are the unit of measurement for the screen and most webmasters design a website to fit one of the standard display sizes. Based on statistics that can be looked up on the internet, we have found that most people today have their monitor’s set to display at least 1024 x 768, if not larger.

Why this is important, is that if your scan dimensions in Adobe Photoshop say that the image is 8.5 inches by 11 inches, saving the file at those dimension will not allow a user at 1024 pixels by 768 pixels to see the image in its full presentation without scrolling both vertically and horizontally. Adobe Photoshop provides the ability to resize the image to a size that will fit within your website design. As an added bonus, it will also reduce the download size of the image that the view of the image will experience without losing image quality. This is something that you will need to work with your webmaster to come up the proper tradeoff between file size and the presentation size of the image in your portfolio. It is important to realize that not everyone has broadband connections, so thumbnails are very much appreciated by those who use dialup connections. One thing I would recommend is to come up with standard dimension sizes for your horizontal, vertical, panoramic and thumbnails and stick to them as it will make your life, and your webmaster’s much easier.

Image File Format:

There are two types of color that can be used in Web graphics. The colors can be associated with the Web graphic file formats we just mentioned: GIF and JPG.

GIF:

GIF is short for Graphics Interchange Format and consists of the 216 common colors found on all computer monitors and within all Web browsers. These common colors reside in a Web palette and its advantages are that it is supported by practically all web browsers, can include transparent backgrounds, supports interlacing (providing a low-resolution preview of the graphic to the viewer while it downloads), and can be used as an image map (allowing the viewer to click on the graphic as they would a regular link to another site).

JPEG:

JPEG is short for Joint Photographers Experts Group and is superior in rendering color and detail found in photographs or graphics using blends, gradients, and other tonal variations. JPEG files use red, green, and blue (RGB) for graphical color. The strength of these colors is set in from zero to 255 with zero being the least intensity and 255 being the highest intensity. When red, green and blue are combined at zero intensity the result is black. At full strength, high intensity, where the values are set at 255, 255, 255, the result is pure white. As a photographer, it is important to utilize photographs as much as we can within your Web portfolio to present your work in the best possible quality so that it captures the true spirit of the subject work.

Choosing between the two image formats:

These full color images should not be saved as GIF files because of the limited number of colors. By having limited colors, the full color image will represent the true colors using the existing Web palette of 216 colors and will create a poor, dithered, and ugly image. That is why it is very important to use the right file format for each specific graphic. Sometimes it’s obvious that a graphic on someone’s web page was saved in the wrong file format. Photos may look too grainy, or flat-color images may look too fuzzy. When selecting GIF or JPEG for your graphics conversion, it is important to consider the type of image you will be working with. Use a GIF format if you’re graphic consists primarily of line art or flat colors without gradients. JPEG-converted graphics are best for photographs or images with fine tonal variations in colors, such as images with gradients or metallic images. Choosing the right file format is not only important for the quality, but for keeping your images file size to a minimum.

Summary:

With proper usage of image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the correct image file format, you will be presenting your web portfolio in a manner that the rest of the world can fully enjoy your work.

The New Wedding Chic – Wedding Favor Designer Trios

Times are changing. Bridal gowns are more colorful, bridesmaid’s dresses don’t have to match, destination weddings are in vogue and wedding favor trios are bursting on the scene. But what exactly is a wedding favor designer trio?

So many weddings are themed: beach weddings, black tie, fairy tale, heart themes, and the list continues forever. Everything in that wedding points to who the bride and groom are and what they love. So many times while consulting on a wedding, the bride would turn to me and say, “But why do I have to do it that way?” I never had an answer for her, because most of what we do at weddings follows tradition. Then who’s to say that tradition can’t be changed.

This exact situation happened just recently. The couple’s theme was “love.” From the ceremony to the honeymoon, they planned it around this word and showed it in every area of the day. Then we came to the final decision; what wedding favors were they going to choose, considering there are so many with their specific theme. That’s when she turned and asked me that question which has changed the way we look at wedding favors.

We went through every favor we had: love coasters, love bottle stoppers, love candles and the list seemed to continue forever. She liked too many of them. Suddenly, I had an idea. Why not mix and match the wedding favor to coordinate with the love theme of the wedding? She was so excited she could hardly contain it. She turned to me and said, “I can do that?”

So happily we chose a trio of wedding favors that coordinated perfectly with each other and with the couple’s theme. That day, for us, the wedding favor designer trio was born. And since that day, wedding after wedding – even the ones I had no part in – have trios of favors gracing the tables of the guests.

I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep repeating myself; it’s your wedding. You have to be happy with your day. Hopefully it will be the only one you’ll ever have. So break the rules. In this case, overturning that wedding favor tradition is now the chic thing to do!

Unique Gifts – Are They a Thing of the Past

Well are they? How did you stumble across my article? No doubt you were looking for this very thing "Unique" am I right?

Lets face it times have changed long gone are the days of knitting and crocheting. Yes I know what you are thinking; there are still a few talented people around that do these crafts. But let's admit it now with the introduction of computers & Xbox the next generation is more interested in helping scratch than ice age rather than doing embroidery. And with mass production of goods, from China and other countries unique is becoming rarer.

Well I have made it my personal quest to find "Unique".

Let's start by saying that on a trip to Africa, I most definitely found it. The African tribal people would unduly have to be some of the most talented people in the world.

There Beadwork / Wirework designs are really amazing. Yes you heard right! These talented artisans for the Ndebele tribe express themselves through this very art form.

Dating back they used the beadwork mostly for ceremonial occasions, using organic materials, but now with the introduction of glass beads through overseas visitors, there artist has turned to something with a more modern and creative twist.

Traditionally over the years, the tribal women were renamed for the ceremonial costumes and for basket basket weaving, put the two together and they started creating
the most beautiful designs.

Today Africa is experiencing a revolution. Numbers of talented artisans, are making these steel wire sculptures and then beading them with bright bold colors. Animal sculptures, jewelry, mobiles, wall art, decorative bottles, vases, and cutlery the list is endless.

This truly is unique artisanship.