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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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.

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.

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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Guide to Redesigning Your Kitchen

Good kitchen design starts early, even as early as locating the room within the house. If you’re lucky enough to be able to choose which direction your kitchen will face, consider orienting it toward the east or southeast, where morning sun will fill it with light. Unfortunately, in rehab, choosing the southeast orientation is not always possible, although we think it’s worth working hard to achieve. is a leading interior designer in handcrafted custom-made & luxury kitchens Sydney, bedrooms and bathrooms across the globe.

If this simply can’t be done, orienting the kitchen to the south or southwest is a good choice. If you go this route, provide some means of shading the room from the hot summer sun, such as deciduous trees or shrubs, awnings or overhangs above windows or even with good window blinds.

Once you get the kitchen oriented, there are some basic design principles that will help you with the layout.


A house is not an island; it requires frequent contact with the outside world, much of which is accomplished by car. An attached garage closely adjoining the kitchen or a back door opening on the driveway can reduce the burden of carrying groceries in and the trash out.

A mud room can reduce kitchen traffic by acting as a staging area for trips into and out of the house. It offers a buffer from cold air, storage space for coats, hats and boots and even pantry shelves for items you won’t be using immediately. Taking all this activity out of the kitchen provides more room for cooking and eating, which are, after all, a kitchen’s main events.

The Work Triangle

For most of the 20th century, kitchens were organized around what’s known as the work triangle — the geometry determined by sink, range and refrigerator. Since most kitchen work is a dance among the three appliances, a good design will make the distances between them comfortable. If they’re too short, the work area will be cramped; if too far, the cook will become worn out trotting between them. The rule of thumb is that the three legs of the triangle should add up to between 12 and 26 feet.

There are three basic layouts for the work triangle: u-shaped, l-shaped and galley. In the u-shaped kitchen, there’s a triangular path from the sink on one wall to the range on another, to the refrigerator on a third. In an l-shaped kitchen, one element of the work triangle is against one wall with the other two along another. In very tight circumstances, all three points are arranged along the same wall, like the cooking facilities on-board ship, thus the name galley kitchen.

Ideally no traffic should pass through the work triangle. Nothing is more irritating than having people crash into you when you’re trying to cook. If there’s going to be an island or table in the room, place it where it will neither obstruct the work triangle nor be too far to be a useful work station itself.

Keep in mind that people not directly involved in cooking often need access to the kitchen, particularly the refrigerator. Of the three components of the work triangle, the refrigerator should be located at the triangle’s outer corner for easy access. The sink should be accessible as well, but the cooking surface ought to be as protected as possible, and therefore at the most remote point of the work triangle.

Necessary Gadgets

To function well, the sink, cook top and refrigerator each need to be surrounded with a certain amount of floor and counter space. The refrigerator door needs a clear swing and, if possible, enough room for two people to reach in simultaneously. The doors of any cabinets around the fridge should not conflict with its door. And the refrigerator also needs an 18-inch run of counter as a staging area for foods going into or coming out of it.

By custom, the sink is placed beneath a window, both to provide daylight for chores done there and to give one a view outdoors. I suppose the custom derives from the days before dishwashers, when the task of washing up was a tedious affair done by hand. Yet working at a sink with a window is still much more pleasant than working at a sink without one. Designers often place the sink first and lay out the rest of the work triangle from there.

Minimum counter lengths are considered to be 36 inches on one side of the sink and 24 on the other, which gives you a staging area for dirty dishes on one side and a drying area on the other. It seems logical to locate the greatest expanse of counter on the side of the sink closest to the cook top, since that is where most foods prepared at the sink are destined.

The optimum location for the cook top is along an exterior wall, rather than on an island or peninsula. With a stove on an outside wall, it’s easy to install an effective hood and ventilation system, essential to expel grease, smoke and combustion gases. The stove or cook top needs a 21- to 30-inch overhead clearance so cooks can readily see and access rear burners and the ventilation system can do its work efficiently.

If you plan to install a dishwasher, place it close to the sink. Where you choose to put it might depend on whether you’re right- or left-handed and on the path dishes are likely to take when cleared from the table. Also consider the choreography of two people loading and unloading the machine.

Storage Areas

Glassware and dishes should be stored in cabinets or shelves near the sink. Frequently used pots and pans could be stowed between the sink and cook top or from a hanging rack.

Consider locating your silverware drawers close to the drying rack or dishwasher but out of the primary work triangle so that someone can set the table without interrupting the cook.

Professional cooks, who spend a great deal of time in their kitchens, prefer to have their utensils within easy reach. (Julia Child stows her knives on pegs above her sink.)

Shelves or cabinets above the cook top can hold foods that aren’t affected by warmth, such as pasta, rice, and cereal. A shelf just below these cabinets but above the cook top can transform the space into a cooking workshop, providing a handy resting place for timers, spices, cooking supplies and implements.

A large volume of kitchen goods can be stowed in a pantry, an efficient, relatively inexpensive means of storage. Since a pantry is essentially a closet lined with shelves, it’s easy on the budget. Also plan to reserve part of the pantry as a utility closet, where mops, brooms and cleaning supplies can be easily stored.

Eating In

Islands can serve as tables for informal meals. If it’s the height of conventional counters—36 inches—you’ll need stools and an ample overhang of about 12 inches to comfortably accommodate sitters’ knees.

If you’re thinking about placing a table in your kitchen, here are some basic parameters: A rectangular table with a seating capacity of four to six should measure 2½ feet by 5 to 5½ feet. You’ll need 2½ to 3 feet of clearance all around for chairs and adequate circulation. A round table takes up less space but can accommodate more people if need be. Remember that a small increase in radius makes for a big increase in the circumference of the table and therefore the floor space it will take up. Click here to inquire about your kitchen design.

How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

You can make a huge difference to the look of your kitchen with some simple renovations to the cabinets. By repainting doors and updating the handles, you’ll refresh the heart of your home without the need for a full redesign. With their minimalist cabinetry, neutral color palettes, and metallic accents, these modern kitchen designs Sydney have a subtle elegance that will never go out of style.

You’ll Need

  • Screwdriver Try: 11-in-1 screwdriver and nut driver ($14,
  • Steel tape measure Try: Stanley 25-foot measuring tape ($10,
  • Drop cloth, newspaper or old cloths Try: All-purpose canvas drop cloth ($20,
  • Respirator or dust mask Try: 3M paint odor valved respirator ($9 for two,
  • Safety goggles or glasses Try: Protective safety glasses ($7,
  • Fine- and medium-grade sandpaper Try: 3M assorted grit sandpaper ($6,
  • Power sander or sanding block Try: Heavy-duty sanding block ($5,
  • Soft cloth Try: Microfiber cleaning cloth ($15,
  • Paintbrush Try: Assorted paintbrushes ($8 for two,
  • Primer Try: Interior and exterior primer ($8.50,
  • Paint
  • New door handles, hinges and hardware, as desired

Getting Started

If you find it easier, use a screwdriver to remove your cabinet doors, drawer fronts, hinges and handles, and move them to your work space.

If you are replacing handles, take your old ones with you to the hardware store to ensure that you choose something with the same-size fittings. Remember to note how many you’ll need. Also, if any of the handles were held on by more than one screw, note the distance between the two screws, since you will need to find replacement handles with the same distance between them. Otherwise, be prepared to fill and drill new holes. It’s a good idea to buy one sample first to check the fit before investing in a full set.

What to Do

1. Lay down a drop cloth, newspaper or old cloths to protect your floor.

2. Put on your dust mask and protective goggles or glasses.

3. Using medium-grade sandpaper, sand down the front and edges of wooden, painted or varnished doors or drawer fronts with power sander or sanding block. No sanding or priming is needed for melamine doors, but you do need to use the right paint. Wipe off dust and give the doors a good clean.

4. Paint on a coat of primer, leave it to dry and apply another coat.

5. When dry, rub down surfaces with fine-grade sandpaper. Wipe off any dust.

6. Apply the first coat of paint and leave it to dry overnight. Repeat with another coat of paint for a more durable finish. Replace any old handles with new ones, if desired.

7. Replace doors and drawer fronts using a screwdriver to tighten the hinges.

How to Nail It

  • If you have a number of cabinet doors to remove, label them on the back so that you can easily find the right place for the right door when you have finished.
  • If your cabinet doors and drawer fronts do not completely cover the front of the cabinets, you can prepare and paint those surfaces in the same way. A good time to do this is while the cabinet doors are drying.
  • To save time, buy a combined undercoat and primer and eliminate one of the stages.
  • Before you start, wipe down all cabinet surfaces with a degreaser. No matter how clean your kitchen is, if even the slightest film of grease is on the cabinet, paint won’t adhere properly.
  • Clean all dust around the area (and even off your brush) with a vacuum before you paint. A few specks is all it takes to make your otherwise-smooth paint job look gritty.

Check out new kitchen design that we worked for so many years.

How an Artist Can Build a Sustainable Business Without a Record Company

Few would argue that back in the day, the record companies were the gatekeepers between the artists and their audience. Now it’s very easy and relatively inexpensive for an artist to record and produce a record independently, secure independent distribution channels or distribute their music electronically online. Concept artist is a key field of illustration that is relevant to a wide range of creative industries, including computer animation, games and film.

Before, even if you wanted your CD displayed in Record Stores, you had to have a record company. Sure, the company paid you a big advance. But then they would bill you for production, distribution, and marketing costs along with their sometimes questionable accounting methods. Then after all was said and done sometimes the CDs might not even be stocked in the stores.

But those days are gone, and here we are in 2010 and the Internet and its possibilities are ever expanding. Because of the internet, the distribution channel is closing. Today an independent artist can go direct to the fan to sell their CDs, DVD, T-shirts, and all other merchandise. This enables the Artist to continually market to that consumer, which is the opposite of traditional distribution lines, where the Artist never knew who purchased their music and could never follow up with them in the future.

Today with the right marketing system in place the artist can market directly to their buyers for the lifetime of that fan or the lifetime of that particular artist. So why is that few people have such a system in place. Even those that sell products directly from their website do not have systems set up for follow up and future marketing.

The concept of list building, auto-responders, giveaways, launch campaigns, squeeze pages, and content driven sales is a foreign language to most outside the Internet Marketing scene. But this is the model that has been around for a long time with other businesses, it is the standard for selling information products, and now we are just starting to see it emerge with Real Estate Agents, Writers, Photographers, and now with Musicians.

Providing there is talent and a good product, this is going to create a whole new model for launching a successful music career that is far from the traditions of the industry. Where the independent artist who embraces the internet with an open mind and determination will make a much better living than they could ever hope to make working for someone else, or by using an agent or distributing their music through traditional channels, and this includes iTunes.

So, what about continuing sources of income?

As with the release of any new product, CD sales peak around the release and then start to drop off. Then the artist does promotion and makes money on concerts and the selling of the merchandise at shows. But, what about expanding your business model to include a continual revenue stream, that is not based on CD sales or shows.

Welcome to the Members Area

Membership sites are becoming really popular for their continual income stream and can range from online fitness training, Yoga, instructional, and just about anything you could imagine.

Artists such as Kiss (the Kiss army) Green Day (Idiot club), Mathew Ebel, Terri Clark, and others have tied in “Membership Areas” into their websites, and they have been very successful. Why do they work? Because, the thing that fans want more of is… YOU!

Lets say for example you have 1,000 fans and they each pay only $120 yr. for access to your membership site or “Exclusive Fan Club”, that’s $120,000 yr. (1,000 fans x $120 = $120,000), or 500 fans at $100 yr is $50,000. You can adjust your price point depending on what you’re offering and how many fans you have, potentially making in the hundreds of thousands. You could make enough to fund your next record, pay back investors, or do music full-time so you do not have to work the day job anymore.

Imagine if you have more fans, you could charge less and still make a really good living. With low overhead the artist can really profit. You could also offer your new CD for free to those who purchase a membership; this is the model that Prince used years ago where every concert ticket purchased came with a free CD and they were counted as record sales. This applied the concept of the “giveaway” that I mentioned earlier.

The only catch with a membership site is it’s up to you to provide valuable content to engage the fans and give them something nobody else is getting that makes them feel special. You could have a behind the scenes blog, early access to discount tickets, never seen before footage, unreleased tracks, interviews, special merchandise, etc…you get the idea.

When utilized correctly this direct communication line allows you to: learn what your fans need or want, become more real to them as you give them a glimpse into your life, and develops a stronger more direct communication line, something every die-hard fan desires. And in exchange you make a really good living whether you’re releasing a CD or not. Now, here is where it really gets cool.

If you have other products like a clothing-line, make-up line, photography, guitar lessons, artwork, you can tie this in with the ability to cross-promote those other product lines directly to your fan base. And for those Musicians, who really have it together, they will form JV (Joint Venture) Partnerships and now the possibilities of having a booming sustainable business are endless.

The key to success is setting it up, understanding your fans, and being creative about how you deliver value to them. Another key is the Musician getting out of the mind-set of how things traditionally have been done, embracing the internet, and being able to foresee where we are moving with technology, as a society, and the benefits this will bring to them as an artist.

Established busy Musicians that are not too internet savvy, with a large fan base, will also need to consider having a “fan manager” someone to manage the database, HTML Newsletters, and more. Keeping the fans engaged and that part of your business organized will become an important role as direct marketing to them becomes a powerful income stream.

Now, obviously I have not gone into the details of launching such a site or setting up the proper marketing system successfully, but its really not that difficult if you know what your doing and compared to the benefits its well worth it, but that’s a whole other post.

As marketing methods become more content based and industries continue to tighten, I think were going to see much more of this from musicians who want a real business that is not solely based on them “scoring the big deal” but based more on having a good business.

The future of the music industry is online and it is in the branding. Just having a website is no longer enough, it is now about building a community within your business. The Independent Artist will need to embrace internet marketing or they will struggle to survive. Communication lines are expanding and effective marketing methods are changing. What worked one or two years ago will not work well today.

The Music Industry is changing, our World is changing, and there will be those who watch things happen, those that make things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Which one will you be?

Craig De Borba is a Musician and a Jeff Walker Trained Product Launch Manager. For more Free independent music promotion information.

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