I grew up in a tea farm about 20 miles from Taimu Mountain in eastern Fujian province of China. Fujian is one of the major tea growing regions in China. The famous Oolong tea Iron Goddess (aka Tie Kuan Yin) is from southern Fujian. Taimu Mountain is the origin of the exotic White tea.I spent most of my early childhood in a tea farm with my parents and three brothers and a sister along many other families and their playful kids.The farm is very large with two separate locations on two different mountains several miles apart. Aside tea growing and processing, the farm also grew crops and raised boars. The farm was state owned. The majority of the workers were young single man and women. Some of them just graduated from high schools. This is during the time of Cultural Revolution when every graduate was sent to a remote farm to learn from the physical work. For most kids, there was no chance to go to college at that time. We all lived in the same apartment building and shared a big dinning hall. It was like a big family.As a kid, I went to the tea garden with my mother and other women to pluck the tea leaves during the day. My father who was the accountant inspected and weighed the leaves at the workshop. The women were paid according to the weight of the leaves they plucked. Night time was when the tea processing began. The farm mostly produced green teas. The processing involved the drying of tea leaves by firing and frying. The process was continued overnight. The workers took a break in the mid night and had snacks, typically a bowl of congee or noodle. I along with other kids would stay late until it was snack time so that we got our share. It is not because we helped in any way; it was just because we were kids. Some times, we even slept in the workshop. We would take a large linen bag used for storing tea leaves and used it as a sleeping bag. One night, my cousin tied my older brothers bag while he was sleeping sound. Later on, my brother woke up and tried to go to bathroom and could not get out. Unfortunately, he wet himself.After tea leaves were processed, some of them became broken. The broken pieces need to be separated out form the whole leaves by hands. I would join my mother and other women in this effort. Picking out the smaller broken pieces was a painstaking manual process and required a great deal of eyes and hands coordination. The faster one could pick, the more she would handle and the more she would get paid. The outcome was inspected to make sure the tea is free of broken pieces.Our farm was not a tea refinery where teas are further processed and packaged for final distribution to stores. The coarse teas were transported by feet from the farm to a refinery in the town many miles away. This was the time when we got to go with to visit the town and get our hair cuts, get good snacks and buy industrial products made in big and famous cities like Shanghai.I moved to my home town about 30 miles away to live with my grandparents and to attend school when I was about eight years old. Since then, I only visited the farm during the summer break.Chinese people recognize tea as one of the seven necessities of living. Every family, poor or rich, one person or several generations under the roof, all have tea and use it as a way of receiving and entertaining guests. It is a custom that you greet a guest with a bowl of hot tea. Most of times some home made snacks are also served along with the tea. There was no soda, no ice cream when I was a kid. Only tea and the courteous receptions I got from other families as I visited them. Those moments are in my sweet memories and are very much missed as I now live a modern life in the industrialized society full of all kinds of gadgets and gismos along with the fast and convenient sodas and ice creams, thousands of miles away from where I am from.I came to the states at the end of 1990 as a graduate student. Since then I have joined millions of people here in the pursuit of prosperity. I worked at one job to another, moved from one city to another. I raised one kid to and now two and tried to make the ends meet. Soda had taken the place of tea with its convenience when the fast-paced living leaves me with no time and no mood for tea. I had no tea for about 15 years until two years back when I went to visit my home town and brought back some teas. Now I am reunited with tea and started enjoying and learning more about it.Tea takes me home each and every day with its refreshing and reflective aroma and taste, even though I am oceans and continents apart from my root.
Haven't you ever had time you wanted to get away from it all? In March/April 1978, www.motherearthnews.com published a story about a couple who bought McLeod's Island a 90-acre island off the coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.They have a few animals, spend very little on groceries, and are pretty well sustained by the island itself. Although it does present them with some challenges: "The sea, you know, is not called "restless" for nothing. A glass-smooth bay (as we've learned so well!) can churn-sometimes seemingly in seconds-into a windswept chaos of currents and combers. We've also seen that same bay (the one in which our island is located) thaw and then completely refreeze in just hours on a single December day. Winters up here can be especially variable. Continual spring-like thaws throughout 1976's cold season, for instance, kept our bay filled with slushy ice that was too thick to push a boat through ... but too dangerous for even a fox to walk on. We were marooned for three full months, from the first of January until the end of March. Last winter's record cold snap, on the other hand, filled the bay so solidly with pack ice that we could hike back and forth to the mainland for our mail and toboggan loads of supplies any time we wanted."For some of us, we find the Internet gives us the freedom to be able to work and live almost any place we want to. These people didn't have that luxury. I use the past tense as I can't find any current information about them. Who knows? Maybe the tide swept the out to sea.Life is full of sacrifices. Some are just more dear than others. Still, I don't think buying an island is in my future.You can read the whole article here.http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1978_March_April/We_Homesteaded_an_Island
Although craps is not a very complicated game, many people find themselves confused by its strange terminology and large numbers of betting options. This article focuses on the most recommended craps books available in the market including beginners books, strategy books for the advanced player and books that introduce the concept of dice control.1) Craps for the Clueless: A Beginners Guide to Playing and Winning by John PatrickAs its name indicates, it provides basic information on playing craps. The book is written in simple language that makes the terminology easy to understand even if you have never seen a craps table before. In addition to the object of the game, Craps for the Clueless, reveals the winning secrets of professional gamblers.John Patrick is a professional gambler, an author of many gaming guidebooks and the former host of the TV show "So You Wanna be a Gambler", which was aired on national cable network for over a decade. According to Patrick, a successful gambling is a result of four essentials, he calls "The Big Four", which are a proper use of the bankroll, knowledge of the game, money management and discipline.2) Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win by Frank ScobleteThis book supplies useful information for the newbie as well as for the experienced player. The book explains how the game can be beaten including explanations on which bets can lower the house edge and which bets should by avoided by the smart player.Frank Scoblete is one of the top selling gambling authors in the US and the director of Golden Touch, which offers seminars on craps and blackjack. Other recommended books by Scoblete are "The Captains Craps Revolution", "Forever Craps" and "Get the Edge at Craps".3) Craps: Take the Money and Run by Henry J. TamburinTake the Money and Run focuses on how to make fast profits from playing at casinos. In addition to introduction on the mechanics of the game and recommendations on best bets, the book offers the Increased Odds craps betting system and the Take the Money and Run discipline, which both promise to maximize the profits. The book also provides a special chapter on using the pass line bet for maximizing your profits. Take the Money and Run has special chapters on tournaments and new variations.Dr. Henry J. Tamburin has been playing for over 25 years, and his betting system and discipline are based on his winning experiences.4) Dice Control for Casino Craps by Yuri Kononenko.This guide book offers an easy to understand introduction to the concept of dice control from the mathematical and mechanical points of view.Other recommended books that teach how to gain advantage over the house by using dice control are Frank Scoblete's "Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution" and "Craps Underground: The Inside Story of How Dice Controllers are Winning Millions from the Casinos", which offers a fascinating inside look on the game system.Conclusion:Unlike poker or blackjack, this game is not very popular, but in that lies the biggest opportunity. The casinos focus on getting a profit from the popular games. Take advantage of this, and make your profit at this game instead.
When discussing whisky the first thing that needs to be know is that there are two legitimate spellings. The Scotts and Canadians spell whisky without the e, while the Irish and Americans spell it with an e as in whiskey. This should be the first indication that the world of whisky is a very complicated one and has many regional differences in taste and production. This is part of what makes whisky such an interesting and enjoyable spirit.Historically it is believed that the Irish were the first to make whiskey, however the Scotts have also laid claim to being the first whisky producers. The Irish used the term uisce beatha ("Water of Life" in Gaelic) to describe whiskey, so it must have been important. Both the Scottish and Irish make whiskey the same way, except for the malting and distillation process. In Scotland the malted barley is roasted over open peat fires to dry, this results in the grain picking up the peat flavour. In Ireland, the malted barely is dried in closed ovens, and is never exposed to the smoke. The process of mashing and fermentation is much the same for both countries. In the distillation step, the Irish, most of the time, distill their product three times, which results in a very pure distillate which makes Irish whiskey exceptionally smooth. The Scottish distill their product twice and this results in more flavour in the spirit.In North America there is Canadian whisky and American whiskey, which has a number of regional classifications including Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey. Each product in North America is unique and is regulated by the government. Canadian whisky is the number one imported spirit into the United States and is second in consumption only to vodka.American whiskey has a number of regulation depending on the definition of the product. Bourbon must be made from fermented mash of not less than 51% corn, rye, wheat, malted barely or malted rye grain. It cannot be distilled at a proof higher than 160 and must be stored in new oak barrels at a proof of 125 or less. Blended American whiskey must be made from at least 20% whiskey aged two or more years with the remainder made from unaged neutral grain spirit. American corn whiskey must be made from a minimum mash of 80% corn. Tennessee whiskey follows the same regulations as Bourbon, but is charcoal filtered (Lincoln County Process), so it does not qualify as a bourbon. Canadian whisky must be ages for at least three years, but for the most part the Canadian government allows the expertise of the distiller to define the characteristics of the final product so there are no limits on distillation proof or barrel requirements. Any Canadian whisky that is aged for less than four years must have the age listed on the bottle. Most Canadian whisky is aged for six or more years. Canadian whisky is generally a blended spirit. The term blended means that the final product is made from a number different types of distilled product. For example, a Canadian whisky may be composed of corn, barely, wheat and rye distillates that have been aged in selected used or new oak barrels. Some Canadian producers put all of the grains in one vat and ferment them as a whole and pre-blend and age the distillate. Other producers ferment each grain individually and age each distillate separately and then blend a final product from a mixture of spirits. Most Canadian whisky is distilled twice.This article has only scratched the surface of the whisk(e)y world. There are many regional characteristics of whisky and many other counties are producing this fine spirit. It would take a lifetime to explore the complete world of whisky, but it would be a worthy attempt.
Ive found a cool apartment! Okay, okayso its not perfect. Just a few bugs. I mean literally! First expense? An exterminator! Is it worth the cash? Well, I cant afford a more expensive place, so a one-time (please!) cash outlay should be okay. Maybe just a can of Raid?I need a way to move my stuff. Daddy, can I borrow your truck? You dont have one? Why not? Do you want one? Ill help you pick it out! Well, it was just a suggestion. No need to get all bent out of shape! I guess Id better call the truck rental places. What do you mean$200PLUS mileage? AND Gas? Good grief!While Im on the phone Ill call the utility and phone companies. Yes, I know I havent used your services before. No, I dont have a credit card; this is my first place. You want what? A $100 deposit? For EACH? Holy cowdo you people have a license to steal? Daddy, I need $500 for moving expenses! I used all my money for the first and last months rent AND the damage deposit. Well, how was I to know this was going to be so expensive? Sell something? DaaaaadI NEED my TV!Boy, this place is pretty empty. Maybe I should buy a couch and a chair. NahI have my bed. Thatll be good enough. I dont need a table; Ill just use this box.Renters Insurance? I dont think so! What do I have to insure?Just got my first phone call! Id love to come to your party! Daddy, I need a car. Because its too far to walk to work, thats why. Umm, Daddytheres car insurance too! Thanks, Dadyoure the best! And gas? I didnt think soTime for dinner. Lets look in these boxes. Oh, No! No dishes or pans. No FOOD! Uhhh, Mom?