Contents

If you are like me, you do not like to travel to most cities and be dependent on the local taxi or transit systems. I want to be able to go where I want when I want to. More importantly, I want to be able to leave when I want to. Welcome to the world of car rentals.This is not going to be a commercial for any particular car rental company as I have no allegiance to any of them. This is going to be about the dos and donts of renting a car.First off, I never wait un...

Car Rentals The Skinny

Car Rentals  The SkinnyIf you are like me, you do not like to travel to most cities and be dependent on the local taxi or transit systems. I want to be able to go where I want when I want to. More importantly, I want to be able to leave when I want to. Welcome to the world of car rentals.This is not going to be a commercial for any particular car rental company as I have no allegiance to any of them. This is going to be about the dos and donts of renting a car.First off, I never wait until I get to a city to rent a car. I get online and make reservations before hand. And I do not go to the individual car rental companies; I go to places like Travelocity, Xpedia or Orbitz to check pricing and make reservations. These outlets save a lot of time and the rental costs are extremely competitive. In fact, you will find deals on free upgrades and price breaks on different styles of cars. Here is where I make my reservation. It costs me nothing; and if, for some reason I change my mind about the rental, I am not liable for any charges. Perfect for the person whose whims guide him or her.Flash forward to the car rental depot. Be prepared to show your valid drivers license and a valid credit card (MC or Visa) as it is mandatory. Next, they are going to present you with all kinds of different options. Listen to them and affirm or deny each dependent on your current needs. The one option I always deny is the insurance. It is expensive, and both my automobile insurance company and my credit card company provide this auxillary coverage.Once you get out to the car, check for damages, scratches, or anything that they could bill you for later. Make notes on their pre-damage check list for your protection. Check the fuel level and all of the gauges on the dash to ensure all is okay. Next, check the air, the windows and even the radio if you are dependent on niceties.Have fun on your stay. Only two things to do on your return. First, make sure you top off your fuel within 10-15 miles of the drop-off point so you pay no costly fuel surcharges. Second and most important, make sure you get everything out of the car that is yours.

Top Truck and SUV Accessories

Top Truck and SUV Accessories

If you own a pickup truck or SUV chances are your vehicle looks quite a bit different than from the day that you bought it home from the dealership. Im not talking about wear and tear, scratches or dings, or any other thing that may have happened to it over the course of time. Rather, I am suggesting that you have customized it to look the way you want it to look. Lets take a peek at some popular accessories on the market for pickups as well as for SUVs.There are literally hundreds of after market parts and accessories available for trucks and SUVs. The following list is an alphabetical example [well, almost] of add-ons for your consideration:Air Filter Reusable air filters are growing in popularity as motorists see both the performance and environmental benefits of using one.Bed Mats Scratches and stains are a thing of the past with a properly installed bed mat on any pickup truck.Car Bras Also known as hood protectors, many truck and SUV owners are opting for this important accessory to keep their vehicles free from flying debris as well as to give their vehicle a custom look.Dog Box Even poochie needs his place. Especially a great idea for protecting your GMC Yukon from pet hair and dander.Engine Module Looking for more power? An engine module will allow your truck or SUV to obtain higher horsepower and acceleration.Fender Flares Going for a custom look? If so, fender flares are the way to go and they offer additional coverage for the fender area too.Grille Guard Especially helpful if you have to round up cattle or want to offer extra special protection to your front end.Hitch Great for towing!Intake Tube More air for your engine, means more power.Jumper Cables You never knowKnock Sensor Not really an accessory, but listed because I needed a K to complete the example.Liquid Tank When you just have to keep it all coolMud Flaps A cool as well as useful accessory to keep your wheels looking great.Nerf Bars Tubular free form bumpers beat out stock bumpers every time.Overhead Storage Hey, you have to store your firearms somewhere, dont you?Performance Chip A great way to crank out more horsepower and thrust.Q Not much use for this letter, is there?Running Boards Sometimes you need something more than a pole vault to enter your 4 x 4.Seat Covers Custom fitted seat covers can protect your seats from rips, tears, and stains.Tailgate Door Remove the door and go with the net. Keeps everything in its place.Umbrella Youll need one to get from your truck to your home.Vent Visor Keeps the water from drenching you while exiting your GMC Suburban.Winch You just never know when youll get stuckX+Y+Z - Okay, close enough. They dont name hurricanes with these letters, so why should accessories be any different?If you were to fully accessorize your truck or SUV with all of these parts you would pay thousands of dollars for the privilege. Your vehicle would also look overdone too! Of course, it would be better for you to be selective and choose those accessories that mean the most to you. Shop an online wholesaler of automobile parts and accessories for the best prices too.

Pets: How to Take Care of your Dog

Pets: How to Take Care of your Dog

The Bond that can come between a person and a dog can be extremely strong, especially if that bond had been strengthened living with each other for many years, I have personally cried after loosing our family dog that had been like a best friend to me from my birth till I as 15 years old, when he was hit by a car one morning. Dogs serve many different needs for people. Some people get a dog because they are lonely and need a loyal friend or because they want a dog to protect the home. A dog that is taken good care of and given attention to regularly will give his life to help protect his home and his owner. For the blind a dog can be a pair of eyes to help them get around and for the police a dog can be an important tool and a loyal partner, with a nose that nothing can beat.The first thing you need to know about taking care of a dog is that dogs need lots of exercise. This is the same for large dogs and small dogs. All dogs need to be let out at least once every 8 hours and should given at least a 20 minute walk to give the dog some fresh air, exercise and a chance to relieve themselves.It is also important to play with the dog on a regular basis. This can mean going to the park on a weekend or day off and having a good game of fetch, tossing the ball around in your back yard or just wrestling on the ground with the dog, just make sure if you are ruff housing with a little dog that you dont accidentally hurt the dog. Playing with the dog for a half hour a day, is not only good for the dogs physical health but a dig that is played with regularly is mentally healthier and less likely to become a depressed dog, it also lowers your blood pressure as well and it will form an unbreakable bond between you and your pooch, which will extend to your family if you should start having one after having the dog.What you feed your dog is very important to the dogs continued good health. The better dog foods will be marked for what are groups the food is appropriate for. Younger dogs need certain vitamins and minerals in larger amounts then an adult dog, and the same goes for an elderly dog they need more calcium in their food to help protect their bones and joints. Feeding your dog the wrong food can stunt the dog's growth and opens the dog to a larger risk of surgery when they are older.Just like a person a dog should be taken to the veterinarian's office every 6 months, and must receive their shots every year. Regular checkups and vaccinations will also help assure that your dog grows to be an old happy dog.

Advantages Of Professional Drivers' Instruction

Advantages Of Professional Drivers

Having a driver's license is one of the major status symbols among high school students and teenagers, in general. Aside from being a "coolness" asset, a driver's license also provides kids with a sense of independence by providing them with the right to drive on their own. Though most kids can't wait to get behind the wheel, some schools do not offer drivers education. As a result, most kids learn to drive on their own, through peers, or other unqualified instructors. This puts the kids' safety at risk because they are at the phase when they are most impressionable. They are prone to picking up unsafe driving habits, wrong information, and false confidence from these instructors. This is extremely risky, as most teen accidents are traced from this equation. The American Automobile Association or the AAA actually states that although the teen driving population is relatively small (7%), they account for at least 14% of all fatal motor accidents. These figures make the need for competent driving schools and "drivers education" urgent.There are many advantages in enrolling in a drivers course handled by a professional instructors. Instructors from "driving schools" and drivers education provides objective observations and instructions about the students' driving abilities. Students are not saddled with instructions that are full of vague notions about driving, or about how a certain maneuver is done. Professional instructors are also able to give valuable and useful advice how to handle practice sessions with qualified supervisors. Furthermore, instructors address and discuss issues about the student's driving techniques to the supervisors which make for a comprehensive and coordinated training. Aside from teaching maneuvers and gear shifting, instructors also teach updated road safety precautions and traffic laws. They help students understand how certain laws apply to in-road situations. In short, professional instructors prepare you both for safe driving and road responsibility.Another advantage in enrolling at driving schools and drivers education courses is the opportunity to receive honest assessment of driving skills from the professionals. They identify areas and skills which need improvement and constantly call students' attention to the problems they spotted. As a result, bad habits are eradicated before they actually start. Plus, professional instructors usually give summaries and written reviews of the students' skills that are useful for private practice time with qualified supervisors. Driving schools and drivers courses provide structured and systematic training which builds and develops the students' skills bit by bit. There is no rush to learn one maneuver to another before the first move is mastered. The students actually learn and understand driving basics before tackling more complicated lessons. Exposure to other lecturers and providers of "road safety" is a bonus from professional drivers education. Visiting lecturers usually include firemen, the local mechanic, paramedic, police, and towing service personnel. They provide seminars wherein students learn what to do in accidents and driving emergencies.Lastly, an advantage often sought at driving schools and drivers education courses are the mock drivers' exams. These prepare the students for taking that all-important test and refresh their driving knowledge. Aside from this, there are also new policies that allow only students who have professional training to take driving tests and apply for driver's licenses. The purveyors of the laws see this as an extra measure needed to ensure the safety of the teen drivers, other motorists, and the pedestrians from irresponsible driving.

Americans Want American Energy

A new national poll released by PACWEST Communications of Portland, Oregon shows Americans overwhelmingly favor gaining access to American oil and gas from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, known as ANWR. In the face of soaring gasoline prices pushed by crude oil prices hitting $75 per barrel, nearly 60 percent of those questioned said they favor oil production in ANWR. "These are very strong results," said Paul Phillips, PACWEST's president. "Congress has failed previously in numerous attempts to pass legislation opening ANWR's vast oil and gas reserves. Hopefully, they will now be more responsive to the will of the people and address the people's energy needs."On numerous occasions, the powerful environmental lobby has defeated attempts to open ANWR, claiming that production there would harm the environment. However, as Phillips points out, it had no such qualms when the Clinton administration proposed oil production on another section of Alaska's North Slope. In fact, Mr. Clinton's Department of Energy published an extensive report in 1999 entitled "Environmental Benefits of Advanced Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Technology." That report found, "From the tundra of Alaska to the wetlands of Louisiana, a host of advanced technologies enable the oil and gas industry to produce resources far beneath sensitive environments."It describes techniques such as building ice roads for moving equipment that simply disappear without a trace when summer comes to the Arctic and directional drilling that allows many wells to be put down from a single location. These and other techniques would enable the production of oil and gas using just 2,000 of ANWR's 19,500,000 acres. Should the Congress vote to open ANWR to oil production, Phillips said, the effect of driving prices down could be immediate, even though actual production would be some years away. "Much of the price of oil is based on speculation that there will be shortages in the future," Phillips noted. "Any action which might even slightly lessen such shortages could have a strong impact on prices."Opening ANWR could well be just such an action. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated ANWR could hold as much as 16 billion barrels of oil. That is an amount equal to 30 years of imports from Saudi Arabia. Peak production, it is estimated, would yield approximately 1.5 million barrels per day, or about 7.5 percent of this country's daily usage--enough, according to experts, to impact world prices.

Seat Covers, Different Types Offer a Perfect Fit

There are three different types seat covers, a custom fit, semi-custom fit and universal fit. Let's take a closer look at the benefits you get with each style.The following paragraphs summarize the work of seat cover experts who are completely familiar with all the aspects of seat covers. Heed their advice to avoid any seat cover surprises.Custom Fit Seat CoversJust as an Armani suit is properly measured, cut and stitched to fit the unique shapes and contours of the wearer, so too is a custom fit seat cover meticulously designed for a precise fit over your seats. No part of your particular vehicle's seat is forgotten or overlooked - not the position of the head rest, nor the location of the seat's ergonomic controls, nor even where your seatbelts are mounted. Everything is taken into consideration, and these made-to-measure seat covers will fit like they were factory-installed. Moreover, custom fit seat covers will not obstruct your seat's side-impact airbags, so you'll be just as secure as before, only with better looking and better protected upholstery.Semi-Custom Fit "Seat Covers" While a tailor-made suit fits your body to a T, off-the-rack clothing still looks and feels great, and you usually have enough left over for a matching shirt and tie. Semi-custom fit seat covers are the economical alternative to the tailored suit. They are stitched together following patterns that will work with your vehicle's seats as well as with similarly sized seats in other cars, trucks and SUVs. Except for the 3 Star Semi-Custom Sheepskin Seat Cover, semi-custom fit seat covers do not leave access to lumbar controls, and they should not be used if you have side-impact airbags on your vehicle. Nevertheless, they deliver fantastic protection against the whole gamut of seating hazards.Universal Seat CoversLike the name implies, universal seat covers fit any high-back and low-back bucket seat, regardless of your year, make or model. Rather than being used as long-term coverings, our universal seat covers are a perfect companion in your vehicle for when life gets a little messy. They install in seconds, so you can slip them on when you need them and store them away in your trunk when you don't. Like the semi-custom seat covers, the universal seat covers should not be used on seats with side-impact airbags.

Summary

If you are like me, you do not like to travel to most cities and be dependent on the local taxi or transit systems. I want to be able to go where I want when I want to. More importantly, I want to be able to leave when I want to. Welcome to the world of car rentals.This is not going to be a commercial for any particular car rental company as I have no allegiance to any of them. This is going to be about the dos and donts of renting a car.First off, I never wait un...