Five Alcohol Hobbies Gaining Popularity

Spirits, wine, and beer have been a part of society’s food and beverage scene since historical times, but humans are extremely inventive when it comes to enjoying these old favorites with a new twist. Trends in alcohol exist just as in any other aspect of modern life, and current trends are running hot on quality and small-batch products created in boutique distilleries, wineries, or microbreweries. Many consumers are even making their own spirits and cordials legally in the privacy of their own homes. We’ve come a long way since Prohibition, and society’s general attitude toward alcohol consumption is evolving into a more mature outlook. Intoxication isn’t the goal; an added enhancement to an already high quality of life provides the motivation for many modern adult beverage connoisseurs.

Modern wine lovers now have the option of enjoying vacations on the water while sampling and sipping some of the finest wines from around the globe. Wine tours range from sojourns on small, intimate ships that explore hidden coves and serve evening meals by the light of the sunset to grand adventures that sail through the heart of Europe’s wine country, stopping to celebrate centuries-old village wine festivals with the locals.

Wine and food pairings are old school, but beer and food pairings are still relatively cutting-edge, and we don’t mean mass-produced domestic beer and pizza. Many small craft breweries routinely host pairings as well as beer tastings. The atmosphere at these gatherings is almost always casual and friendly, and they provide an excellent way for craft beer lovers who are new in town to find a sense of community.

The average householder in many states can now produce spirits in the privacy of his or her home without having to worry about attracting the unwanted attention of federal law enforcement agencies. However, bear in mind making spirits is for hobby purposes only and not to be viewed as an opportunity for entrepreneurship. Laws vary by state and also by county, so be certain to check local statues before ordering that copper still from Kentucky.

Although home wine making has been legal in the U.S. for decades, the current trend among wine connoisseurs is to grow a mini-vineyard in their back yard and use the grapes they grow in their home wine producing projects. Others who’d rather not become amateur vintners can have the fruits of their labor turned into wine by local companies that specialize in small-batch, custom wine and beer making.

The practice of crafting unique cocktails with healthy ingredients and embellishing them with all manner of fruits and vegetables as garnish has been around the trendy eating and drinking establishments for several years now, but most homeowners are just now beginning to get on board. The grandmother of these drinks is undoubtedly the classic bloody Mary with her celery sticks and pickled green bean decorations. A couple of fingerfulls of culinary herbs are the hottest new addition to the garnish tray at residential cocktail parties.

Other alcohol hobbies and trends will come and go. Some will fizzle into the sunset while others will be recycled somewhere down the road. A few will prove to have the staying power to become adult beverage classic. We’re putting our money on bacon-flavored vodka.


The Beginners Guide To Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography can capture some incredible scenes, but it may seem a little overwhelming for those just getting into photography. No worries, here we have a step-by-step guide for you on how you can begin to take time lapse photos and have them look incredible.

What Do I Need?

There are a few basic things you’ll want to make sure you have. You definitely want a sturdy tripod, as time lapse photography absolutely depends on stability. As far as your camera, any DSLR camera will make it easy for you to take beautiful time lapse photographs.

You will also need an intervalometer of some kind, which does automatic shutter triggering. If you have one built into your camera, you’re all set, but if you don’t, you will need to purchase one separately. For an inexpensive option, we suggest something by Linkdelight. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, consider a Satechi brand.

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Last but not least, you’ll need neutral density filters, or ND filters. These filters allow for slower shutter speeds, limiting the amount of light going into the camera without changing the colors.

Getting Ready For Shooting

Like any good photographer, you want to make sure you capture the best possible aspects of whatever it is you’re photographing. In this case, you’re looking for things that will change over time. What will change over time in your scene? How can you best capture this change? What do you want in your foreground? Are you going to follow the rule of thirds? Make all these decisions before you set up your camera.

Once you know where exactly you want your camera to be, set it up with your tripod. We suggest using the gear in the center of the tripod or even just a heavy bag of rocks to help really press your tripod into the ground. Take the extra time to make it stable now will keep you from having correct a shaky time lapse.

Choosing Your Time Lapse Interval

Your time lapse interval will determine the speed at which the scene moves in the final video. Your time lapse interval must exceed your exposure time by twenty to forty percent. Your camera needs time to clear the image buffer before taking the next frame. If you’re not sure what interval to choose, consider this. For time lapse photography, moving traffic or fast-moving clouds are typically photographed at 1-second intervals, sunsets and sunrises at 3-second intervals, and the sun moving across the sky at 15-30 seconds.

Setting Your Exposure

There are various exposure settings you can use on your camera, and which one you should use will depend on what you are photographing. If you are pretty comfortable with your camera, you can play around with the various settings to find the look you want. We suggest shooting in manual mode if you have relatively constant light, as this will reduce any “flickering,” which is when photos in your time lapse are constantly changing brightness. If your light is going to change, however, Aperture priority mode is likely to be the most helpful setting for you. In the end, you may have to play around with it, shoot photos for half an hour, and then look through them to see if you’re getting the effect you want.

Putting It Together

You’ve taken all the photos, now what? You can put together your photographs with software like LRTimelapse and Photolapse 3 (both free) or Adobe Software (not free, but excellent software). Once you’ve put together your first time lapse compilation, share it with your friends, family, and whoever else you want to show. Be proud of it. You’ve worked hard on it. Then, sure, go ahead and start planning your next time lapse project!


4 Common DIY Auto Repairs That May Be Better Off Left To Professionals

It’s no doubt that your car is a valuable piece of machinery. With the terrible economic climate, more and more people are trying their hand at repairing their own cars. This is a great thing! People are becoming more independent and don’t end up breaking the bank at shops for every little problem. However, it isn’t very uncommon for people to try to repair their own car and end up completely in over their head. While repairing your car can be a great idea, there are still some common repairs that are better off left to professionals. This can prevent further damage to your car and save you money in the long run.

1. Getting A New Paint Job: Whether there are a few spots on your car that need some touch up paint or you just want to give your car a new paint job altogether, paint jobs are best left to those who paint cars for a living. Painting a car is not the same as painting a house. It requires a lot of precision and patience to get the paint job just right. An inexperienced person trying to paint their car is going to walk away with awful results. Plus, there’s a reason why professionals paint cars in those sealed rooms: They are dust free. Not having access to a dust free booth while painting will leave you with a terrible looking paint job.

2. Repairing An Air-Conditioner: Fixing your air-conditioner can amount to a lot more than changing some Freon. The A/C system is very high tech and involves a lot of understanding of how it works. There are a bunch of tubes and components that are connected to the computer. Everything is extremely specific. If you don’t know exactly how the A/C system works, you would probably be smart to just leave it alone. No one wants to drive without A/C during a hot summer.

3. Repairing Factory Car Stereo Systems: While you may have been able to repair the stereo system 20 years ago, things have changed quite a bit. Newer car stereo systems have become a lot more advanced and complicated. Things are connected to computers and stereo systems have a lot more functionality these days. A lot of cars have their stereo system connected to the navigation system. Fiddling with all of these different electronics will probably just leave with an entire system that doesn’t even work. Good thing there are professionals who specialize in repairing factory car stereos!

4. Oil Changes: While there aren’t any huge dangers in changing your own oil, it simply isn’t worth the hassle. A lot of people will tell you that you save a ton of money by changing your own oil. However, most shops get oil in bulk. The price differential is modest at best. It doesn’t save a lot of money when you do it yourself and you’re the one doing all of the work. Changing the oil is messy and not usually an option if you don’t have your own garage. All in all, unless you enjoy doing it, there’s no real reason to change your own oil. You don’t save a lot of money and an expert will always do a better job than you will.

Saving money is always a good thing. Wanting you repair your own car is perfectly natural. However, if you don’t want to have to keep repairing your car, it’s important to know your limits. Sometimes, professional help is the best way to go.


How To Make A Pallet Coffee Table In 4 Easy Steps

Coffee tables that are made of shipping pallets are one of today’s hottest furniture trends. Better yet, coffee tables made from pallets are not only easy to make but they offer endless possibilities for design variations. This article will serve as your primer to creating a coffee table from pallets that you and your friends will enjoy and get many years of practical use from.

1. Get two or more shipping pallets.

Shipping pallets are easy to find. They can be purchased new from makers or can often be picked up for free from contractors and others who receive materials on them. The trick is to get the ones you want to use that have as little serious damage to them as possible. To make it even trickier, choosing pallets that are not in pristine condition often serves to add character to your finished product. Try to avoid those pallets that have pieces of the wood that are look and have jagged edges. Imperfections such as knotholes or nail holes, for example, can serve to make the look of your table more interesting.

Most people use a maximum of two pallets for their tables, but more can be added, depending on the height desire for your table. Before deciding on more than two pallets, you should also consider the additional height that will be taken by wheels, the glass top, and other factors.

2. Sanding.

Just as is the case above, the trick with sanding is to determine when to stop. Otherwise, you will sand a lot of the character off of your pallets. Your sanding should be aimed at eliminating rough spots that might cause injury to yourself or others, not necessarily to take off all of the roughness. You may choose to use a power sander or hand sand. Further, such things as holes should be considered since they can add character to your finished table. Many decorators also refuse to cover the imprints or brands of the pallet’s maker.

3. Fill.

Using a good wood filler can add a lot of attractiveness to your pallet coffee table. This step will fill a lot of the dings and other imperfections in the surface of your table and make it safer to use. After the filler dries, go over it again with a sander to even out the rough surfaces. After the sanding is complete, stack the pallets on top of each other in such a way that it is attractive and fits in the area you want to use. You can use metal joints to hold the pallets together.

At this step you will want to paint the surfaces of the table, add wheels to each corner, then add a glass top.

The instructions give above are kept very general for a purpose. That’s because a pallet coffee table offers a lot of opportunities for making it as individual as you are. For example, the pallets can be fitted together top to bottom in order to maximize the space in between for stacking magazines, decorative nicknacks, and other materials. Decorative additions such as flowers can also be painted on the surface of your table.


How to Get Into Quilting And Have Fun Doing It

Beginning quilters are sometimes confused by the new techniques and terms that they encounter when making their first quilt. That confusion is frequently compounded because there are a number of methods to achieve every quilt making task. This is the reason why people sometimes decide to quit quilt making before they get started. However, there are several ways to get into the quilting groove and have fun doing it. Learn About Fabrics Fabrics are the most important tools used in quilting. It is much faster to