Thursday, July 24, 2008

Learn a Small Trade = $$$

I am going to try and show you at least one idea each week that can help make you some decent side income. The first one is going to mostly apply to those that live in coastal areas. Rope splicing is very easy to learn and with a small investment in the tools needed you can make a nice profit, were talking $30-$50 or more just for one rope! I can tell you that this may sound intimidating but it's really easy as I learned to do it in the Coast Guard.

Double Braided Rope is where you want to concentrate your efforts, that's what people pay the most for. The following steps are for making an eye splice used mostly for docking lines. You can post advertisements for your services at local marina supply stores, yacht clubs, and fish and tackle shops. People pay big money to get their ropes spliced because buying it pre-made is very expensive.

The following easy to follow steps can also be found at Ropes Inc.

Splicing tools can be ordered online or at your local marine supply. I suggest the Samson splicing kit it will cost about $25. Note: You don't need to buy a bunch of different fids, just use a smaller size but use the measurements for the size of the line.

Step 1

From the end of the rope, measure back one full fid length, and make Mark "A".
Using Mark "A" as a reference, form the desired size eye and make Mark "B" on the rope directly opposite to Mark "A", as shown below.
From Mark "B", measure one long fid section (down the body of the rope) and make Mark "D".
From Mark "D" measure down the rope approximately 5 full fid lengths and tie a slip knot or figure 8 knot in the rope.
From Mark "A" count eight consecutive left or right strands toward the end of the rope and make a heavy mark completely around the rope. This is Mark "C".

From Mark"C" count five consecutive left or right strands toward the end of the rope and mark the 5th left and right strand pair. From this point, count another four consecutive strands and mark the fourth strand pair. Continue counting and marking in this 5:4 sequence to the end of the rope.
Step 2

Bend the rope sharply at Mark "B" and carefully spread the cover strands to expose the core. Pry the core braid out from the cover. Use care to avoid pulling any of the cover strands. Pull the end of the core braid completely out of the cover.

Tightly tape the end of both the cover and core braids. Holding the exposed core, slide the cover braid back to the knot. Then hold the knot and slide the slack cover back down the core in the direction of the end of the rope until all of the slack has been removed. Mark the core at the point where is exits from the cover. This is Mark "1". (Below)

Once again, slide the cover toward the knot. Measure one short fid length from Mark "1", toward the knot and make two marks that go completely around the core. This is Mark "2".

From Mark "2", measure one full fid length plus a short fid length toward the knot and make three marks completely around the core. This is Mark"3". (Below)

Step 3

Using masking tape place two wraps of tape around the bitter end of the cover. Taper this by cutting the end at a 45 degree angle. Attach the Uni-Fid hook through the cover and tape the tapered point to the fid as shown below. Insert the fid into the hollow core at Mark "2" and out at Mark "3". When exiting of entering the braid with the fid, always go between strands.

Pull the Uni-Fid, with cover tail, through the core until Mark "A" on the cover is exposed at Mark "3" on the core. (Below) Remove the fid.

Step 4

Remove the tape from the end of the cover. Cut and remove the marked strand pairs, starting at the end of the cover and working back to Mark "C".

Pull cover back out of core at Mark "2" until Mark "C" on the cover is aligned with Mark "2" on the core. To prevent the cover tail from disappearing inside the core, tie a loose overhand knot in the end of the cover. Vise grips or a long piece of tape may also be attached to the cover tail to keep it in place.

Step 5

Attach the fid to core tail using the procedure described above. Insert the Uni-Fid into the cover at Mark "C" and out at Mark "D". Pull core tail through at Mark "D" until all the slack has been removed. Remove the Uni-Fid from core tail.

1. The rope may be extremely tight where the fid is traveling between Marks "C" and "D". To create more space in this area, grasp the core as it exits the cover at point "B" and pull extra core out of the rope. This will cause the cover to "pucker" and give you some extra space.

2. If the distance between "C" and "D" is longer than the length of the Uni-Fid, hold the fid in place by squeezing it through the cover braid. Slide the cover slack back from the fid to Mark "C" to draw the core tail into the cover. Then continue working the fid through the cover to Mark "D". Repeat as necessary.

3. Avoid snagging the core with the tip of the Uni-Fid when it is passing through the cover in the vicinity of Mark "B". To check if the core has been snagged, pull on the exposed core where it exits from the cover at Mark "B". If the core moves freely, it's OK to proceed. If the core appears to be stuck, pull the Uni-Fid back until the core is no longer snagged and continue.

Step 6

The crossover is the point where Mark "C" on the cover and Mark "2" on the core meet. To tighten, hold the rope at the crossover point and alternately pull on the free ends of the cover and core. Continue this process until the crossover is approximately the same diameter as the rope.

To bury the cover tail, untie the lose knot (or remove the tape or vise grips used in step 4). Hold the rope at the crossover and smooth the core toward the cover tail, which will disappear.

To bury the core tail, hold the crossover and smooth out the slack in the cover braid from the crossover down to Mark "D". Repeat this process several times to remove all cover slack. Most of the core will disappear, however, some of the core tail will still remain at Mark "D" after this process.
Mark the core tail where it exits from the cover at Mark "D". Then mark the core tail at Mark "B" by inserting the marking pen into the opening at Mark "B".

Pull out the core tail at Mark "D" until the mark made at "B" appears. Cut off the excess core tail at the first mark (the one nearest the end of the core) and unbraid the core tail back to the second mark. Fan out the strands. Cut the strands at a 45 degree angle starting at a point about halfway back from the end.

Again, hold the rope at the crossover and smooth the cover braid from the crossover toward Mark "D". The exposed core will disappear completely inside the cover.

Step 7

Secure the knot tied in the body of the rope to a solid anchor point. Since a good deal of tension may be placed on the rope when burying the splice, the anchor point should be very sturdy.

The slack in the cover braid between the knot and Mark "B" will be used to bury the exposed core, crossover and cover down to Mark "A" to produce the desired size eye. This is accomplished by holding the rope at the top of eye and sliding the cover slack back from the knot towards the splice. Milk the cover from the crossover around the radius of the eye to the throat at "B" and pull that leg sharply with a spike to help seat the splice. Flex and/or hammer the splice section to loosen the fibers.

Seize or cross-stitch the eye to finish the splice. Refer to the diagrams at the top of this page.

If insufficient tension is placed on the rope while making up the slack, the crossover may tend to bunch up. If this happens, slide the cover slack back toward the knot until the crossover is the proper size. (Top image, above) Then repeat the milking procedure. (Bottom image, above)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Should You Have a Credit Card?

BEWARE! The moment that most people enroll in college they begin receiving multiple offers for Credit Cards. The problem is that many students begin envisioning all the great things they can buy with this new "Financial Freedom". Most students don't take the time to think things through before running up that bill. I can speak from firsthand experience, I can remember buying that Playstation (yes the first one, man does that date me!), and it only took me two years to pay off! The sad thing is that some people can take up to five years or more to pay for their purchases!

Before you sign up for every offer that you get take the time to do some planning and research, you'll thank me!

* Use one card and only for emergencies, unless you can pay it off each
statement cycle!

* Check the APR % you don’t want anything above 15% for your first card

* Make sure there are no hidden annual or monthly fees

* Resist the temptation to take it with you on the nights you go out, bar
tabs can get expensive especially when you’re drinking!

* If you can’t afford to pay cash for something you can’t afford to use

* Always try to at least double the minimum payment

* Most importantly always pay on time, late fees can turn into a nightmare
very quick

My best advice would be to try and avoid them at all costs, but it is good to have one for an emergency so you have some back up besides calling Mom and Dad! There is an article on the same subject at Credit cards teaching students a costly lesson

Give Some Plasma Make Some Money

Well as long as you're not afraid of needles you can make some decent cash from giving Plasma. More than likely whether you knew it or not there is probably a Plasma Center next to your College or University. Many college students already give plasma to make some extra money. I did myself back in the day and it was how I made sure I kept beer stocked in my fridge.

What is Plasma? Plasma is a straw-colored liquid that carries the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Plasma is made up of:

Water (about 90%)
Proteins and clotting factors (8%)
Small amounts of salts, glucose (blood sugar) and lipids (fats)

What do they do with my Plasma? Well the proteins and clotting factors in Plasma are used to make drugs and medicines to help save lives.

It's basically like donating blood with the difference being that the plasma is separated from the blood, and then the blood is returned to the body. Of course the other difference is that you get paid. However you are not getting paid for your plasma, but rather compensated for your time. It usually takes 30-60 minutes for them to extract the Plasma. Then 30-60 minutes before you can leave, just so they can make sure you are fine to drive or walk home.

Anyone over the age of eighteen and weighing over 110 pounds can give Plasma. Of course you have to be in good health. They do conduct a physical and medical screening including urinalysis for drug use history. Also I can personally attest to it being a bad idea to do this if you were drinking hard and heavy the night before. Just trust me and take my word for it BAD IDEA!

The best thing is that you can give Plasma up to two times for every seven day period. Most places pay $20-$25 per visit! That equals making up to $200 a month for doing nothing but taking a nap or watching TV as they do their thing.

All Plasma Centers are required to be licensed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and they have to comply with all Federal and local business regulations.

To find your local Plasma collection facility go visit Blood Banker.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Simple Way of Making Money

Freebie sites can be very profitable as I mentioned in my last post. Just as long as you are actively networking your links. A simple way that isn't going to make you rich is doing surveys. I currently belong to two different survey panels. Pinecone Research and Opinion Outpost are two of the best and I would do more, but I don't need to.

I make about $30-40 a week just from those two. Of course everyone is different. A lot of your income depends on the demographic that you fit in. Pinecone is harder to get into because you have to find their banner on the web and then apply. I found it by doing about 30 minutes of research through Google. They pay $3-5 per survey and on top of that I get to conduct trials on free products before they even hit the market. Opinion Outpost is easier as you just register and fill out their demographic surveys. The amount you make per survey has a fairly broad range. The least I have made was $2 and the most was $10 per survey.

Like I said you aren't going to get rich but if you need a little extra money without getting an extra job it's nice. Below is a list of the better survey opportunities:

One of my favorites pays well and only requires $5 to cash out!


One of the best out there! Pays well and has great games and prizes.

Clear Voice Surveys.

If you only sign up for one survey panel, let this be the one! Multiple survey opportunities each month with high payouts!

NPD Research.

Make a difference by voicing your opinions and completing surveys for cash & prizes.

Panda Research.

Get paid cash for taking surveys

Synovate Surveys.

Help improve products & services and test new products before they come to market.

LightSpeed Research
Lightspeed Research offers panel communities powerful incentives to join and actively participate.


By participating, you can share your opinions with major companies which will aide in their development of products, policies, and services.

Global Surveys.

Take short, fun surveys for cash, ipods, and other prizes.

Nielsen Netratings.

Take surveys and be entered to win large cash prizes.


Get cash - $4 to $25 for each online survey. (Worldwide)


Earn $1-$5 for every survey you qualify for!

ECN Research.

Get entered into big drawings for every completed survey.


An active survey panel with lots of invitations.

African-American Voice.

Get paid for taking brief online surveys just for African Americans.

NOP Surveys.

One of the oldest survey panels out there. Has paid out over 15 million dollars to date.

Survey Savvy.

New surveys are sent out every few days. Many chances to qualify!


Take surveys with the company that has already paid over $10 Million


Get paid cash for each survey you complete.

Epoll Rewards.

Take fun surveys for prizes from blockbuster, starbucks, etc

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sneaky Tips for Saving Money

I know a lot of people like to throw parties at their house, apartment, or whatever you call your domicile. You also want to be known for throwing killer parties. Well one little trick can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

You basically buy premium liquor once and save the bottles. Once you finish the premium liquor you simply refill it with the cheap store brand stuff as long as it doesn't taste like toilet water. Most people won't notice as they are going to be drinking more than just a couple. You can even charge a couple of bucks for drinks and turn a nice little profit. Pretty soon you will have a nicely stocked bar. Just remember to card people as they arrive unless you're willing to take the risk of serving minors. My roommate and I did this and were known for having a nice little stockpile of booze. We also turned a nice little profit that payed for the booze and then some!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Quick and Easy Recipe Friday

Here is a quick and easy way that I enjoy using to cook chicken. It's nice because you can use it for a quick meal for one.

First off you need Chicken, duh! I buy the frozen tenderloins, for one, they are cheaper than the breasts, and they cook a lot quicker. Just put a small amount of oil in a pan I prefer olive oil for the taste, but it does cost a little more. Toss the chicken in frozen, pour some balsamic or wine vinegar over the chicken, throw on a little garlic salt and pepper. 10 Minutes later you're done. If you don't like vinegar still give it a try. I hate vinegar but it tastes really good cooked with the chicken!

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