Could Solar Flight or the Silver Surfer Inspire a Generation?

The Solar Impulse flew all the way from Switzerland to Morocco and back. This surf events prepare your mobile phones to keep update for the results.

Compared to its fossil-fueled brethren, it didn’t set any speed records. The plane, which has the wingspan of an Airbus A340 and 12,000 solar cells integrated into the wings to supply four electric motors, travels about as fast as most people in a residential 25 mph zone when they think nobody’s looking.

The solar cells also charge the 400kg lithium polymer batteries so the aircraft can fly at night.

But the Solar Impulse is a one of a kind, a vanguard, something that could inspire a generation to believe in the power of the sun. I’d liken it to the Herald of Galactus in issue 48 of the Fantastic Four. Although the concept of the cosmic Silver Surfer was far different, his arrival made the citizens of earth (in the Marvel Comics universe) look to the sky.

There they saw unbridled power.

A new generation

I’d argue that power is there even without the Surfer. Every day the societies of this tiny planet of ours use about 15 terawatts of power. A terawatt is a trillion watts.

Derek Abbott, a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, says his country could capture enough solar energy to satisfy the world. Maybe more. The sun, he says, produces enough energy to power about 10,000 of our planets, or 174,000 terawatts.

Abbott explains in videos available on YouTube that with 500-by-500 square kilometers of parabolic mirrors, enough of the sun’s rays could be reflected back to boil water and create electricity. Excess energy would be used to generate hydrogen, which could be exported as a clean-burning fuel.

Simple? Certainly more straight-forward than letting Galactus into our solar system so he could suck the planet dry.

Challenge of Galactus

While that threat may seem to those of you who didn’t grow up reading Marvel comics, pollution and climate change provide a threat nearly as scary. Thus, a little inspiration can’t hurt. Little things, like the Solar Impulse, may trigger interest in just one kid who’ll go on to unlock the key to tapping zero-point energy. The Surfer served as herald to Galactus until he was freed by the Fantastic Four.

And while I’m on the subject of cool new stuff, there’s another electric plane in the news. This one was recently flown by Chip Yates, the guy who drove the world’s fastest motorcycle into the record books.

Flying electric, fast

This time Yates climbed into the cockpit of an odd experimental-looking aircraft, dubbed the Flight of the Century Long-ESA electric test plane, and took off from Inyokern Airport in California on July 19, according to Paul Ridden of Ridden says the plane was converted from a Long-EZ aircraft, which is an outfit that provides materials and parts to the do-it-yourself airplane builder.

“During the flight, Yates managed to ramp the speed up to 202.6 mph and lay claim to yet another speed record,” Ridden writes.

So, will these developments affect the solar industry? Perhaps. But Tom Cotter, sales manager of Real Goods Solar Central Valley in Fresno, Calif., put my initial exuberance in perspective.

Another perspective

“The solar electric plane is cool technologically, makes a great newsworthy story and could be used by educators to wow students into interest in solar/renewables/physics,” he says. “As far as the North American solar industry, it doesn’t do much.”

Cotter, an astute follower of the clean energy industry and a true believer in clean air, explains that the solar industry is undergoing its own evolution as air conditioning contractors, furniture companies, Joe-in-the-truck handymen, electrical companies and others get into the business of installing photovoltaic panels.

Many have said that the real answer to building the potential of clean energy is to put solar panels on every available rooftop and push for net-zero energy buildings. But this requires building a bullet-proof reputation. A lot depends on word-of-mouth sales. Spotty work could torpedo growth.

“There will be small advances in technology, but the real advance will be adoption of what is already available,” Cotter says.

Inspiration from the Surfer

There are quite a few technologies in the pipeline that will enhance the experience. We have the power to transform our environment now. We just have to take the initiative.

Don’t be afraid to innovate. Young people are the future of the clean energy industry, and their inspiration is pivotal. Whether it takes a solar plane, electric motorcycle or coming up with a cosmic-powered atmospheric encapsulated surf board, we need their hope and determination.

And we need to do all the other stuff right. As my former boss Courtney Kalashian would repeat to me (especially in my darkest moods), “Mike, as I’ve said before, ‘Failure is not an option.’ ”

Mike Nemeth, project manager of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, spent 24 years working as a newspaperman editing and reporting from Alaska to California. The SJVCEO is a nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life through increased use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO is based in Fresno, Calif. and works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley. For more information, go to

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Most Effective Forms of Cross Training for Surfers

Surf contest is one of the most physically demanding sports there is today. Mainly because it’s ride or die out there; shred or get shredded. The waves don’t stop for you, which means that you don’t stop. This type of physical fitness requires a great deal of endurance, strength, agility, and balance. One of the best ways to become a stronger surfer in all areas is surfing itself. However, not all surfers live right by the ocean, or have the opportunity to go out for a session whenever they want. Also, if you are truly out of shape and lacking in any of these crucial aspects of fitness, the ocean is probably not the safest place for you right now. Fortunately, there are numerous forms of cross training that can drastically improve your surfing performance and experience as a whole. The most effective forms of cross training for surfing specifically are those that work the same muscle groups, have similar movements, and give you the feel or the flow that surfing has, also known as functional training. The focus of functional training is on exercises that involve or mimic the movements you would make while surfing. Let me introduce you or refresh you on some forms of cross training that will get your strength, endurance, agility, balance, and much more up to par.

Swimming is an excellent form of functional training especially if it’s in the ocean – that way you really get the same feel and become more acquainted and knowledgeable about your playing field. Swimming is probably the most obvious way to increase your paddle power (just like surfing improves your surfing), plus it works multiple muscle groups simultaneously- just as surfing does, and the same ones you use while surfing. At the same time that you are swimming and gaining strength in all of the necessary areas, you are improving your cardiovascular fitness as well, which helps to build your endurance. Swimming, or paddling to be more exact, is what you are doing about 90 percent of the time you are surfing. Therefore, it’s worth it to practice and become better and necessary if you want to become a better surfer.

Running is a very common form of cross training for many sports. It can be extremely effective in advancing your surf performance as long as you are careful, after all, running is one of the most injury prone sports there is. That’s why it is best to run either on sand (wet sand, or dry for more of a challenge), grass, or trail for less of an impact on your joints. Places that are most commonly available for most people to run on are a mixture of grass and concrete, so it’s important that you have a good pair of running shoes for protection and support. The greatest thing about running is that you can manipulate the flow into a more functional training. What I mean is that when you are running, you don’t have to limit yourself to any there and back, boring routes. Running a set, decided on distance is good, but to really put running in gear for your fitness advancement and surfing improvement specifically, interval running is the most functional and effective. Interval running has you run through a set of time intervals where you run hard and easy on and off; for instance, 20 seconds fast, followed by 40 seconds of less intense or easy running, for a total of 20 minutes. This quick and constant switch of low intensity to high intensity is what makes interval running such a functional form of training for surfers, because when you’re surfing you constantly have to switch from a low intensity (waiting for a wave) to a high intensity (catching the wave). Interval running increases your agility by getting your body used to this strong and sudden shift making it faster and more fluid. It also builds your strength and stamina.

If you’ve never taken a yoga class, it’s time to get on that! Yoga is becoming more and more popular among surfers today and it is clear as to why. Yoga not only helps to increase your flexibility, strength, balance and endurance but it also develops mental stamina which are all very crucial for surfing. What’s more is that it develops a sense of calmness and patience- you’re going to need this definitely for surfing but also at all times for life in general! And if that isn’t beneficial enough, hang tight. Yoga gives you improved posture, breathing, and also minimizes your risk of injury. It also is extremely effective in clearing out toxins and helps a lot with blood circulation, bringing necessary oxygen and nutrients to places that normally don’t get enough. It is one of the most complete and balanced forms of exercise there is because you’re stretching, strengthening, balancing, and meditating all at the same time. There are many different types of yoga but all of them will leave your mind, body, and spirit feeling completely cleansed and refreshed. And the benefits it will bring to your surfing experience make it all the more worth your time and effort.

Finally, we have functional training! Like I stated earlier, the focus of functional training is on exercises that involve or mimic the movements you would make while out in the surf. By focusing so specifically on these surf-like movements and exercises, doing them repetitively and regularly, your body will develop muscle memory. This means that when you get out in the water and have to paddle through a massive set it, or if you are suddenly forcing your way into a wave, it will be a breeze since you have been doing these same movements every day. Your surfing ability and overall fitness will be heightened immensely. Mostly all forms of exercise need some kind of equipment, whether it is a certain type of shoes or clothing, a specific place like a field or a pool, or a hoop or a goal. For functional training, all you will need is a stability ball, a set of dumbbells, and a resistance band to give you an intense, multi-targeted workout that you can do at home, at the gym, or where ever suits your mood. Functional training uses running, swimming, strategic exercise and stretching sequences to improve your total fitness spectrum: agility, flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance. Functional training is the best-rounded form of exercise there is, especially for surfing, and has the potential to get you to live up to yours.

Stop by my blog to read a comprehensive review of Total Surfing Fitness: Functional Training for Surfers. It’s []

Peace & Love to all!

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No Waves – No Surfing Today – What Are Your Alternatives?

If you are a water person, a day with no waves to surf opens up whole new horizons for water activities. Sometimes it is a blessing, kind of like a reprieve. Do you ever get tired of surfing every day? Don’t answer that question! Consider all of the possibilities that are available to you if there are no waves to surf. Enjoy the waves competition in every surf events held in your place especially right now there is a mobile app for surfing.

Here are some Surfboard Types for a no surf day:


· Skimboard

· Wakeboard

· Paddleboard

· Wave Pool Surfboard

You have some real good alternatives. You can take your SUP to the ocean or to the nearest body of water and go for a leisure cruise or a great physical workout. It seems that more surfers are adding a SUP to their quiver. Many families are adding one or two SUPs or even more so that everyone in the family can get in the water. If they do not have a SUP, they go down to their local surf shop or water sports rental shop and rent one for the day for a very nominal amount.

As I have mentioned in prior articles, standup paddling has become a very popular activity for individuals and for families. It has become a great way to have fun while getting a good physical workout, cruising by yourself in a waterway, joining your local group of friends or a SUP club and turning your SUP experience into a social affair. Consider adding a SUP to your quiver of surfboards.

If you are younger, or a person with a lot of energy, you can go skimboarding. A skimboard is a small surfboard made to skim or slide in very shallow water with you standing on it. You can skim in water as shallow as 1/8th of an inch or less. In order to skim, you run as fast as you can carrying your skimboard, building up speed and momentum, drop your skimboard in the shallow water or wet surface, jump on it and then skim and slide for long distances. As you build your skill level, you can do spins, turns, jumps, and ride forward and backward. Be very careful when you are learning because you can lose control and land on your butt on the hard sand.

You can skim on lakes, rivers, and shorelines of just about any body of water of even on a wet lawn as long as there are no rocks or debris to inhibit your skim. Some of the kids riding skimboards ride them on grass hills in parks or on golf courses. You can also tow a rider on his or her skimboard behind a boat or even pulled by a car in an aqueduct. Skimboarding is a fun event and has turned into a small professional sport, with more and more companies making them. Most of the skimboards are hardboards made from fiberglass or wood, but there are also soft skimboards on the market called “the ONE” designed by Tom Morey the inventor of the Morey Boogie Board.

Wakeboards are another possibility, but you need a boat to tow you. You can ride behind the board as if you are water skiing or you can ride the wake of the boat letting go of the rope as if you are surfing. As a special note, Hobie Alter rode the wake behind a motor boat from Long Beach, CA to Catalina Island, which is approximately 26 miles and in the Guinness Book of World Records. You can also buy a wakeboard specifically designed for wakeboarding or you can use your surfboard, SUP or skimboard. Most surfers, engaging in this sport, will use their surfboards, either long or short.

Paddleboarding is another great way to spend time on the water. Paddleboards have been around for a long time and were made popular in Hawaii by Tom Blake back in the early 1900’s. A paddleboard is paddled in the prone position or on your knees. However, you can sit on the board and leisurely paddle around checking out the underwater foliage, fish or cruising around enjoying the fresh air and the view. You can also paddle your surfboard to keep yourself in paddling shape. There is a small group of individuals that race paddleboards. The most famous race is the annual Molokai to Diamond Head Race in Hawaii. It is a rough open ocean race where paddlers in the past have lost their lives.

Surfing a man made wave is another venue that has become somewhat popular. There are wave parks with simulated ocean waves some as big as 4 to 6 feet. There are also Standing Wave Machines where water is pushed under force up a wall simulating a wave. Special little surfboards are used and provided by the operators of the standing wave machines. The wave pools, wave parks, and standing wave machines are few and far between. Some are pretty good, but most are mediocre at best.

If you really need a break from surfing and don’t feel like riding one of the boards mentioned above, forget the couch and TV. Go to the gym and do some cardio, abs, and lift some weights. You can get a great workout preparing yourself for your next surf session and walk out of the gym feeling great because you have accomplished something for yourself. In a future article, I will be talking about a physical conditioning routine that all surfers should follow. I will also tell you about healthy eating, which is a big part of your physical well being, which will also help you improve your surfing.

So my friends, don’t let a day with no surf get you down. Make the most of it by having the proper surfboard types in your quiver that will make it possible for you to diversify your water experience. This is all a part of learning how to Surf Life. Enjoy the water, surf or no surf! It’s a blast!

Oak Street Surf was founded by Chuck Herpick, a Stanford graduate and former Naval Aviator, an accomplished surfer who has spent his lifetime in or near the ocean surfing most of the California and Hawaii breaks over the many years.

Chuck has been a friend and associate with legendary surfer Tom Morey who invented the Morey Boogie Board. Together, he and Tom have designed and made many different types of soft and hard surfboards and other surfing products.

Oak Street Surf, [], is an online surf shop representing the latest surfboard products. You can get a good review of top of the line surfboard types and designs. You can talk with Chuck to discuss in detail the various options for you to ensure that you select the proper surfboard type and design that will bring you surfing fun and success.

Chuck believes that surfing, whether it is bodysurfing, boogie boarding, board surfing, skimboarding or riding a Standup Paddleboard (SUP) will change your life forever. You will be able to apply the love you will obtain from surfing to everything you do and will learn how to Surf Life! What a joy!!

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What do you Choose Between Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveways?

In this article, you’ll learn

  • The differences between concrete and asphalt.
  • How to maintain and care for both types of driveways.
  • The important issues that need to be considered before making a decision on your driveway.

So you’re in the market for a new driveway or perhaps you’re building a new home and need to decide how to pave your driveway. Either way, you’ll probably have two traditional options to choose from- concrete or asphalt. They are similar but have key differences you should consider before making a decision. These considerations include aesthetics, climate, maintenance, cost, and restrictions. Disregard the cost for concrete driveway especially if the results will be more than the cost as you expected.

Both concrete and asphalt must have well compacted bases of gravel before application. Both take time to ‘cure’ before they can be driven on, although concrete takes several days while asphalt takes several hours. In addition, both are made from the same general material- stone and sand. However, the difference comes from the adhesive.

In asphalt the adhesive is tar and in concrete its cement.

These two substrates give asphalt and concrete their unique characteristics. They also affect costs, durability and maintenance. Tar, while more inexpensive than cement is softer and degrades easier and faster. However, with proper maintenance this negative attribute of asphalt can be diminished.


As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is true for driveways as well. Some people like the look and concept of the driveway being an extension of the road and therefore have asphalt driveways. The differences between asphalt and concrete are as different as black and white, literally. However, there are some different things that can be done to both asphalt and concrete to get away from the traditional black or off-white colors.

As a general rule of thumb, concrete is an easier material to work with to get different finishes. Concrete can be stained or tinted to an array of colors and can be stained differently in a single driveway to get unique patterns. Concrete can also be stamped into different designs, etched or engraved to get different looks and it can have different finishes such as brushed or exposed aggregate. All these different options can create a plethora of unique options when designing your driveway.

Asphalt is more limited. Since asphalt must be rolled and compressed, there is little in the way of unique finishes. Moreover, until recently, there was little option in color apart from standard black. However, there are now tints that can be added at the end of as a sealant or even integral coloring that is added during mixing.


For those who live in areas that have either very cold winters or very warm summers, climate can be an important consideration. Concrete has the tendency to crack and suffer from frost heaving in cold and freezing winters. Furthermore, salt used for ice melting can create pits in concrete leaving blotches across the driveway. Alternatively, asphalt has issues in hotter climates. The tar in asphalt can become soft in the high heat of summer and can become tacky and even deform in some cases. It is important to talk to a reputable contractor about the effects the local climate will have on both asphalt and concrete prior to finalizing any decisions.


There are definite differences when considering maintenance. After about six months to a year after installation, asphalt driveways should be sealed. Asphalt should then be subsequently sealed every three-five years afterwards. This can be done by anyone and does not require any special tools or machinery. Sealing the asphalt will extend the life of the driveway, which when properly maintained may last upwards of 30 years.

Concrete driveways do not necessarily need to be sealed to last upwards of 50 years. However, sealing a concrete driveway can preserve the look and finish. Concrete driveways will stain easier than asphalt (although sealing will help) and will require a degreaser to remove any oil based stains that may occur.

Both asphalt and concrete driveway cracks can be repaired. However, asphalt cracks are easier to repair and blend into the original. Meanwhile, concrete repairs are more obvious due to weathering. An added plus with asphalt is that it can be resurfaced fairly inexpensively leaving a brand new top coat if the old layer falls into disrepair, which is impossible for concrete.


Ignoring any maintenance costs, asphalt is generally much cheaper to install than concrete. On average, the cost per square foot for asphalt will run between $2.50 to $4.00. Fluctuations in crude oil prices can cause fluctuations in asphalt prices but the price will remain around this range. Concrete, on the other hand, can run between $4.00 to $6.00 per square foot for basic installation and can cost more depending on different finishes and detail. It’s not unheard of to have a stained concrete driveway with a smooth finish cost over $15.00 per square foot.


Finally, before you get too far, you may want to check with any local building codes to see if there are any specifications. For those that live in a development, your HOA may have very specific restrictions on color, finish or even type of driveway material you can use. Go here to inquire for your driveway costs.

How Much Does an Electrician Make?

Do you feel a spark when you touch? Is the electricity palpable, and does every inch of your body feel alive with excitement? Well, if you’re an Electrician, these things may indicate a problem with your work. When you do your job correctly, no one ever feels those things and everybody’s protected from the dangers of electricity. Our after hours emergency electrician Brisbane cover everything from new wiring to electrical maintenance and troubleshooting.

You may specialize in new construction or remodeling, but you may also choose to split your time between the two areas for a change in scenery. The technical side of your Electrician career entails reading blueprints and installing circuit breakers, transformers, outlets, and all other electrical system parts.

What is the average Electrician income?

An Electrician career typically begins with an apprenticeship to learn how to complete electrical work, during which time you likely will earn between 30 and 50 percent of the average Electrician income. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average Electrician income is $22.32 per hour, or $46,425.60 annually based on full-time employment. The lowest-paid 10 percent of Electricians earn less than $13.54 per hour, or $28,163.20 annually, while the highest-paid 10 percent make more than $38.18 per hour, or $79,414.40 per year. The middle 50 percent of Electricians earn between $17.00 and $29.88 per hour, for an average annual income ranging between $35,360 and $62,150.20.

The location of employment and experience level have the greatest impact on the average Electrician income. For example, the five top-paying states for Electricians are Alaska, Illinois, Hawaii, New York, and New Jersey. The average Electrician income in these states ranges between $66,850 and $69,010 per year.

Nearly all Electricians belong to an organized labor union, which rewards longevity through pay increases. This means the more experience you have, the more money you can expect to earn.

Are Electricians still in demand? Can I find a job?

The employment rate of Electricians is expected to grow by 12 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This increase is about as fast as average when compared to all other occupations. The increasing population of the U.S. will result in the construction of new homes and businesses, while older structures will require updating to meet new standards. More info about 24 after an hours electrician.

How to Search for Family Skiing Holidays

Many types of holidays can help you enjoy your time off, be together with your family, and have a wonderful time. Skiing holidays can be great fun for you and your loved ones. However, when you are going on skiing holidays, there are several things that you must plan for ahead of time. These things include flights to get you to your destination, the accommodation that you choose to stay in when you are there, and transportation such as rail services and car hire services. All these things are important items to consider as you begin planning your skiing holidays. To make the most of a deals for ski Canada with, you may wish to visit one of the four main national parks – Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho.

Choosing A Destination

The first thing to remember when you are planning skiing holidays is the importance of the destination. There are many great ski slopes all over Europe, and lots of these places offer anywhere from a weekend to a week or more of skiing fun. Many resorts provide skiing holidays in mountain areas that are some of the most beautiful in the world. However, there are several questions that you need to ask before you choose the best place for your skiing holidays.

The first things you need to focus on while choosing skiing holidays are how long you are going to be there, the number of people who are going, and their ages. These are probably the most important factors in deciding where to take your skiing holidays. The length of your skiing holiday will have a lot to do with the destination that you choose. If you are only going for the weekend or a couple of days, you can find a remote and beautiful place to go to for your family skiing holiday. If your trip is short, your focus will be on skiing, and it won’t matter if there are not very many amenities or family things to do. The other attractions that might be in the area won’t be as important as the family ski resort itself. You want to choose a ski resort that will allow you to do as much skiing as possible in the short time you have for your holiday.

If your skiing holiday is going to be longer than a few days, the location and amenities of the place that you choose for these skiing holidays are both very important. When you are going to take a ski holiday that lasts longer than just a few days, the other things that you can find to do become much more vital to you. For a long trip, you will need other things to do, no matter how much you love skiing. You will need to make sure that you choose skiing holidays at places that have restaurants, shopping districts, entertainment, and other activities. These will allow you to take a break from skiing, and make your skiing holidays more enjoyable overall.

The ages of the people going on your skiing holidays are also very important. If you are going on skiing holidays with your children, you need to choose places that have ski lessons for children, and fun activities for them as well. With your children along, you also want to research the safety of the ski resort even more thoroughly than you otherwise would. Remember again, that with children, you are going to want to pick your skiing holiday locations where there are lots of things for them to do besides skiing.

Getting There

Once you have chosen a place for your skiing holidays, you have to decide on the best way to get there. The travel that is involved often costs more than the actual skiing. However, there are many deals on flights and packages to various destinations for skiing holidays, if you know where to look. If you can save money on airline flights, you will have more money to spend on your skiing holidays.

The accommodation that you choose is also an important part of planning skiing holidays. Whether you stay on the actual site of the family resort, or somewhere near the slopes, you want to be able to get there easily each day to ski. Remember, if you are staying at the place where you are skiing, it might be more expensive. However, your ski slope fees will usually be included. If you find an accommodation that is much cheaper than the resort, but where skiing is nearby, you might find this to be less expensive, but you probably will have to pay for the ski slope fees.

There are other things to consider as you plan your skiing holidays. Things like rail services that can get you to your destination, and whether or not you want to do a car hire are all decisions that you have to make before you leave on your trip. You will find that if you take the time to plan your skiing holidays before you go, you will be able to relax and enjoy them much more.

Skiing Holidays Tel: 08700 490002 or +44 (0)1780 484824 Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm or Sat – Sun 10am – 4pm or visit or for general business travel inquiries visit

Our staff are multilingual and very friendly with many years of experience.

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What Does it Cost to Pave a Driveway?

The driveway may not be high on the list of renovations or improvements, but it’s the easiest way to make a great first impression. Whether you’re installing your first driveway or replacing your current driveway to improve the curb appeal, you need to know all costs involved. Cost of new driveway Perth have changed a lot in the last few decades.

Driveway Installation Cost

Although the price of installing or paving a driveway can dramatically differ from property to property, the average cost to install a driveway is roughly $4,300, with most homeowners paying between $3,198 and $4,860. Fortunately, by understanding what costs go into the project, you can make sure you pay less than the average driveway price.

Driveway Installation Cost Factors

All driveways were not created equal. Some are bigger than others and some use more expensive materials than others. No matter what kind of driveway you’re considering, it pays to know factors inflate or deflate your total cost.
Driveway Materials

As you’ll see below, materials play a major role in your driveway installation cost. We’ll get into all pros and cons later, but the prices do vary quite a bit. The two most common options are asphalt and concrete. Asphalt driveways are typically black in color, have an average lifespan of 20 years, and they cost as little as $3/sf. Concrete, while much more durable and lighter in color, can cost closer to $5/sf.
Size of Driveway

As you might expect, it’s more expensive to install a larger driveway than a smaller one. Larger driveways mean more materials and more labor, both of which come with higher costs.

Additionally, the driveway design will play a role as well. A straight driveway is easier to install or pave than a circular or curved driveway. If you want to keep costs down, keep the design simple.

While most homeowners hire driveway contractors to install their new exterior entry, some prefer to take on this challenging DIY project. While it may take longer to install a driveway on your own, you could save up $2,000.

If you do go the conventional route and hire a pro, you’ll quickly find that different contractors charge different amounts (always get at least three quotes). Factors such as the company’s location, how many workers they have, how long they’ve been in business and more can affect the price.


Weather can drastically affect the time and difficulty of installing or replacing a driveway. With asphalt driveways, colder weather makes the asphalt settle faster (no room for mistakes). In very cold and snowy conditions, concrete can’t be poured.

In addition, where you live in relation to where the materials and your pro are coming from can affect your total driveway cost. While we can’t control these outside factors, you should always try to schedule your driveway installation during ideal weather conditions.

Finally, access to your driveway can affect the total driveway price. If you’re installing concrete, your pro will need plenty of room to bring in a concrete mixing truck. Construction in your area, neighbors’ cars, toys, landscaping ornaments and more can all obstruct their access. To keep costs down, try to mitigate all impediments.
Driveway Options & Costs

It’s time to jump into materials. Just like flooring, you have plenty of options when it comes to driveway materials.

Driveway Pavers

Pavers offer more variety than any other driveway material. You have plenty of options when it comes to materials, designs and colors. As you just saw above, some pavers cost as much as $50/sf, but luckily, those added costs come with an assortment of advantages.


Besides variety, pavers last for a very long time. In fact, 20 years is typically the minimum lifespan. Furthermore, since there are so many options available, there is a driveway paver perfect for every budget. In terms of maintenance, while pavers can crack over time, they’re much more durable than concrete driveways.


While 20 years may sound like a long time, other driveway options last anywhere from 40 to even 100 years. Reason being, like all driveway materials, pavers are not immune to repairs. If you ignore them, you may need to replace it sooner than you thought.

While driveway pavers can be as cheap as $4/sf, they also go up to $50/sf, no small feat for any homeowner. Finally, some homeowners think all pavers look cheap. As a result, driveway pavers could hurt your home’s value.


Driveway pavers do require regular maintenance, driving up the total cost. First, you must fill in the cracks when the pavers expand and contract due to weather. In addition, just like any driveway, you should sweep and spray your pavers every month (not in winter). Finally, seal your pavers every two years to maintain their pristine finish.
Asphalt Driveways

If you want to really keep your driveway installation cost down, go with asphalt. Prices start at $3/sf and rarely climb beyond $5/sf. Nonetheless, that lower installation cost brings some challenges.


For a trained driveway professional, installing an asphalt driveway is easy. Asphalt dries very quickly, so you can use it right away. That’s not the case with concrete. While asphalt can last for only 20 years, it can hold up to inclement weather. In fact, if your town sees a lot of rain or snowfall, asphalt is a smart play.


Mentioned already, asphalt typically lasts 20 years, which is less than any other driveway material mentioned in this guide. As such, it’s not as durable as brick, pavers or concrete. Furthermore, asphalt comes in black and black only. There is no variety when it comes to color. Finally, to ensure a 20-year lifespan, you’ll have to seal your asphalt driveway every three years.


Just like pavers, you should sweep and spray your asphalt every month (not in winter). If you get an oil stain, scrub and rinse off using a commercial de-greaser. Also, you have to seal it to protect your costly installation.

Concrete Driveways

Midway through the driveway option wheel is concrete. Just as popular as asphalt, concrete offers another inexpensive alternative with just as many color options.


When it comes to repairs and maintenance, you wont find an easier or simpler driveway option than concrete. As such, most concrete driveways last at least 40 years, and that assumes minimal maintenance.

If you live in a hot climate, concrete is perfect because it does not soften over time. The same can’t be said for asphalt. Finally, while the cost may go up, you can install a stained concrete driveway if you want some color in your life.


While repairs are not common, they can happen from time to time. In particular, concrete driveways are not ideal in very cold climates. These cold temperatures can lead to cracks in the concrete. Sadly, repairs are anything but cheap, as your pro will have to remove the concrete, deliver new concrete and then level the concrete before it sets.


Minimal maintenance does not mean no maintenance. To extend the lifespan of your concrete driveway, you must remove stains right away, spray it down every month and seal it every few years if the color is fading. Finally, avoid products with ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate.

Gravel Driveways

If you want to install or replace your driveway on your own, gravel is a terrific choice. All you have to do is lay the gravel, rake it into the driveway formation and compact it with a steamroller. Nevertheless, easy installation isn’t the only perk.


Just like concrete and asphalt, gravel tends to be less expensive than brick and most pavers. If any repair work needs to be done, you just need more gravel, a shovel and a rake. It’s quite easy to maintain and since it’s permeable, it’s considered an eco-friendly product that allows replenishment of ground water.

Moreover, gravel can last up to 100 years and has the ability to adapt to any kind of décor or style you want. It can add a rustic charm or lend a modern feel to your home exterior.


There are a few drawbacks homeowners should consider. Just like certain pavers, weeds can form. You’ll have to remove them quickly to prevent additional growth.

Gravel also tends to move around during heavy rain or snow storms. And speaking of snow, snow removal is not easy. More often than not, you’ll have to lay salt or sand to eliminate. Lastly, maintenance is no easy feat.


If you install a gravel driveway, you’ll have to constantly monitor and replace your gravel. In fact, even in perfect conditions, tires can form large gaps in your driveway. If you’re installing a new gravel driveway, always buy extra.

Unlike other driveway options, gravel attracts dirt. Therefore, you may need to clean your driveway more than once a month.

Brick Driveways

If you really want to make a statement with your driveway, brick is the way to go. While installation may take longer than other options, the wait is well worth it.


Brick comes in a wide range of colors, sizes, shapes and textures. Therefore, you can personalize your brick driveway design unlike any other drive alternative. While repairs are not as common as most homeowners think, they do happen. Luckily, replacing one or two bricks is an easy DIY project.


Installing a brick driveway is a long and tedious project. There is no quick way around it. That’s because professional masons have to lay each brick one at a time. Furthermore, the base must graded, leveled, sanded and graveled before brick can be added. Expect your brick driveway project to take at least a week.

Additionally, brick driveways are not cheap. Evident by the labor involved, brick driveways can cost as much as $50/sf.


As previously stated, repairs are rarely needed, but when called upon, easy to complete. The only other maintenance item is frequent cleaning, just like any other driveway paver.

DIY Or Hire A Pro?

As you’ve hopefully noticed by now, installing a driveway is no easy task. In fact, unless you go with gravel, almost all driveways installations are done by the pros. Whether it’s delivering concrete, grading the land, drying the asphalt or laying a brick driveway brick by brick, most homeowners enjoy the piece of mind that comes with hiring a reliable and experienced contractor. Like I said if you want to inquire for cost of Driveway you may go here.

How Much Do Electricians Earn Annually?

Electricians install the electrical systems that allow homes, businesses and industrial centers to operate. Electricians also perform the necessary maintenance and repairs that these buildings require. Some electricians have formal postsecondary training in electrical repair and installations, while others have only a high school diploma, but all electricians must undergo an apprenticeship of up to four years before they can become licensed. We have a dedicated after hours electrician Brisbane service available to all our commercial and domestic customers.

Average and Median Earnings

As of 2011, electricians earned an average of $52,910 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly pay for an electrician was estimated to be $25.44. The median annual income of electricians in the United States was $49,320, and the median-earning 50 percent of electricians made between $37,570 and $65,260 a year.

Salary by Employment Sector

As of 2011, the highest-paid electricians were those who taught at business schools. These workers earned an average of $79,250 a year. Most electricians worked as building equipment contractors, earning an average annual income of $52,600. Electricians employed by local governments tended to earn slightly above the national average for this occupation and made an average annual income of $57,580. Those who worked through temporary employment agencies earned some of the lowest salaries, an average of $46,360 a year.

Regional Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians working in the West and Northeast regions of the United States tended to make the most on average. Alaska ranked first in average annual salaries for electricians, at $72,030, followed by New York at $70,680, Illinois at $70,430, Hawaii at $68,430 and New Jersey at $67,630. Nevada, Oregon and California were also high-paying states for electricians. The lowest average salary for electricians, $39,640 per year, was reported in North Carolina.
Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job growth among electricians will occur at a rate of 23 percent between 2010 and 2020. This is significantly higher than the expected growth rate of 14 percent across all industries and will result in an estimated 133,700 new positions by the end of that decade. Because the employment of all building contractors tends to rise and fall with the construction industry, electricians working at factories are expected to have the steadiest employment.

2016 Salary Information for Electricians

Electricians earned a median annual salary of $52,720 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, electricians earned a 25th percentile salary of $39,570, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $69,670, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 666,900 people were employed in the U.S. as electricians. Get in touch with our electrician Brisbane in case of emergency.

What Skis Are Best For Me?

Whether you’re looking to buy or rent/demo skis the following may be helpful information how to select the best skis for you. Valentines Day is a good time to visit big white Canada for a date skiing.

First you must decide what is best for you, to rent/demo (renting top of the line models, not rental stock skis) or buy? Beginning skiers or those just trying out the sport to decide if it’s for them, it makes sense to rent ski equipment. Once sure you’re going to spend enough time on the slopes to justify buying ski equipment you can invest in your own ski gear. Considering today’s economy and the cost to ship or fly with your equipment you may just want to rent/demo till things improve and our economy improves. You can demo top of the line skis for what it would cost you to fly round trip with you equipment- you may want to consider carrying-on your own boots.

What is the Best Ski for You? With a numerous skis to be had on today’s market, choosing can be overpowering. Deciding what skis will cater to your ability level, gender and your goals can be difficult. You must consider the ski conditions you will ski the most, your honest ability level, your terrain preference and type of skiing (racing, downhill, or off piste, for example), and how much experience you have – number of days, years on skis -when choosing skis. With honest answers to these questions you can start generating a list of what skis may be right for you.

Advanced technology in ski construction has allowed downhill ski manufacturers to make excellent skis for various skiers and conditions but understanding the different ski categories is essential. When potential buyers ask for suggestions, many skiers or shop personnel will recommend their personal favorites. What ski works for them may not necessarily work for you but interpreting your friend’s descriptions can be useful in helping you find the best ski for your unique needs.

Today the most popular terms I like to use in categorizing different types of skis are:

Technical, racing or carving skis are for skiers who engage primarily in technical carving on hard or groomed snow and skiers honing basic technical skills. These include all racing and race carving skis, cross skis and recreational carvers. This is the choice of many teaching pros and advanced expert skiers. Typical waist measurement is 71mm or less. Turn radii are typically 15 meters or less depending on length skied. Typically these type skis are skied short.

Tactical, multi-condition, aggressive all mountain, good everyday skis for skiers for whom the relationship of the ski to the snow is of paramount importance. These skiers roam the entire mountain, or at the other end of the spectrum, simply cruise around the groomed on flat edges. These types of skis are the most popular with wide-ranging selection to choose from. Waists are generally in the 68 to 82mm range, with a turn radius from approximately 15 meters to 19 meters

Freeride Skis are for those who enjoy the freedom of the backcountry. If you want a ski that can take you into the backcountry as well as the rest of the mountain this is the one current label that seems to work for everyone. Many do have twin tips and many can do double duty as deep snow skis and park/pipe skis. Still, in my view these wide skis focus on deep snow and crud expertise. Formerly called deep snow, or powder, or “big mountain” skis. Waist range from low 80’s to over 100 mm under foot with a turn radius from 15 up to 35 meters.

Specialty Skis – everything else, especially twin tip skis that fare best in park and pipe conditions and mogul skis. Most shops concentrate on more mainstream models and it’s been my experience that dedicated slope-siders and committed bumpers rely not on reviews but on peer-to-peer communication and coaches’ recommendations.

Hopefully you now have a reasonable working knowledge of types of skis and the criteria to determine what is suitable for your type of skiing it’s to time to put the info to use and head to the shop.

No matter whether you are renting, demoing or buying you need to find a shop that has knowledgeable technicians to assist you in your needs. You will find it hard to talk to a person that only has snowboard background to buy or rent skis and visa-versa. Experience of shop personnel not only in sales but in local knowledge of the area you are skiing will make the process easier.

More guests may be renting/demoing equipment this winter than ever before. Airline bag fees have sky rocketed with the increases of fuel prices and other airline problems. Along with baggage fees guests are trending to give up buying, lugging equipment through airports and taking the chance their gear will be at their destination. Under these circumstances shops need first-rate, well tuned equipment for our specialized guests. In the past shop have only provided rental performance skis and boots now have to provide better equipment.

It is common for shoppers to check out the stores and then go on line to look for cheaper prices. There are a growing number of web sites where new and older model skis are for sale at prices that can vary across the Internet. A lot of the difference in prices is due to the popularity of certain model skis that are designed for specific snow conditions. I only recommend buying online if you have already tested and know exactly the ski you want. You may find it difficult to find this year’s current gear on line till after Christmas or cheaper than the minimum advertised price determined by the manufacturer. Give your local merchants the business you may be surprised what deals are out there.

Don Jewkes, is a 32-year certified PSIA-RM level 3 Pro for the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen at Snowmass, local resident and owner of Sunset Ski Repair. Drop him a line at Visit his website

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Spectacular Trips for People Who Love Surfing

Watching a surf contest can be a great stress reliever, seeing as you are constantly near water and water is proven to have calming effects on the psyche. Imagine yourself just sitting on your board, riding the waves the ocean provides and just watching the sea life around you. It seems almost magical, and a lot of surfers report that it is that “one-ness” they feel with the water that keeps them coming back to the sport. Surfing is also a great way to work up your muscles, since the paddling and constant balance it takes to stay on a surfboard needs a lot of strength and muscle endurance. Taking trips with your family to exotic locations is one other way that people get into surfing. They may not start out going on the trips for just surfing, but as soon as people see the water there is a strong desire to tame it and capture the beauty.

Beginning surfers may start off their journey by questioning other surfers or locals what the sport is all about. It seems that right away after the first couple tries to stay on that board, there is a determination that builds into a need to master the board and the water. After the initial meeting of surfer and board, the bond is set and the next part of the journey is to travel wherever possible in search of the coolest and most fun surfing spots. Traveling around the world is not only one pastime that most everyone wants to partake in, but it is especially daring for surfers wanting to ride on any water that they can. Some pretty famous surfing spots include the Gold Coast of Australia, the Mentawai Islands of Indonesia, Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa, Bali of Indonesia and Samoa.

Finding a surfing spot to call your own can be one of the most intriguing parts of being a traveling surfer. Constantly going to new countries and islands, discovering what they have to offer, and – if you’re lucky – finding a surf spot to truly call your own. Somewhere chill, where the swell is perfect and the waves are never-ending. A place not overwhelmed by tons upon tons of other surfers all trying to catch the ultimate wave. If you have a family, a nice place would be somewhere secluded where your kids can play or a nice rocky area where your wife can relax. Some of the best surfing spots are the best kept secrets, and there are still tons more out there claimed by no one. If you aren’t into the scene of competing, or just want a more serene ride, look into finding your own personal surfing spot.

International Surfing Day is on June 20th each year and is a fantastic time for surfers to unite and share their own favorite chill spots. As most of you know, the sport of surfing is an ancient one that has existed for thousands upon thousands of years before us. That being said, it is magnificent to think that we can still find spots that are brand new to us as modern age surfers. There is no status quo or stereotype that can be applied to surfers. People enjoy the sport no matter what ethnicities and religions they may be. Some places are united by surfing, such as California in North America. California has a very large surf scene and is home to many different surfing competitions worldwide. Australia’s Gold Coast is also a very popular surfing spot where people all gather to enjoy the same vibes.

Discovering new and exciting surfing spots has never been so easy with our modern age. The internet lets us share information indefinitely and will continue to be a great source for finding many new places to check out. If you want to try somewhere that has never been mentioned before and find an all new spot, I recommend just blindly putting your finger on a map and traveling to that country. Try and find a translator that may be able to show you the ropes and help you meet up with other surfers. See where they like to surf, and take it farther from there. Always make sure you surf prepared and be safe! Surfing is extremely fun but can be very dangerous at times. Never surf somewhere completely new to you without some sort of supervision. Surf’s up!

Take a look at our trips [].

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