Thermal Plants

SWITCHYARD and GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE

Electrical energy management system ensures supply of energy to every consumer at all times at rated voltage, frequency and specified waveform, at lowest cost and minimum environmental degradation. The switchgear, protection and network automation are integral parts of the modern energy management system and national economy.

The modern 3-ph, 50 Hz, AC interconnected system has several conventional and non-conventional power plants, EHV AC and HVDC Transmission system, Back to Back HVDC coupling stations, HV Transmission network, substations, MV and LV Distribution systems and connected electrical loads. The energy in electrical form is supplied to various consumers located in vast geographical area, instantly, automatically, and safely with required quality at all times. The service continuity and high quality of power supply have become very important.

For fulfilling the foresaid purpose, a state of the art, scientifically and technologically advanced SUBSTATION is required. Sub-Station is the load control center of the thermal plant where power at rated voltage, frequency and waveform is exported/imported as per requirements.

The substation at GHTP Lehra Mohabat has only one 220 KV switchyard. There are two output units each having a capacity of 210 MW. The generating voltage is limited to 15.75 KV and this voltage as stepped up by two-generator transformer 15.75/220 KV manufactured by BHEL. A part of 15.75 KV supply is fed to unit auxiliary transformer, which is stepped down to voltage 6.6 KV which is used to run the major auxiliaries of the plant.

After step up, the 220 KV output from the generator transformer is fed to either of the two bus bars through relays and circuit breakers and these are connected to various feeders through various equipments.

DIFFERENT TYES OF EQUIPMENTS USED IN SUB-STATIONS

1. BUS-BARS: –

Bus bar is a term used for main bar of conductor carrying an electric current to which many connections may be made. These are mainly convenient means of connecting switches and other equipments into various arrangements.

At GNDTP there are two 220 KV bus bars. These are made of aluminium and all the incoming and outgoing supplies are connected through the bus bars.

2. LIGHTENING ARRESTORS: –

These are equipments designed to protect insulators of power lines and electrical installations from lightening surges by diverting the surge to earth and instantly restoring the circuit insulation to its normal strength with respect to earth.

3. CURRENT TRANSFORMERS: –

The main purpose of current transformer is to step down the current to a level that the indicating and monitoring instruments can read. When rated current flows through its primary winding, a current of nearly 1 amp will appear in its secondary winding.

The primary is so connected that the current being passes through it and secondary winding is connected to an ammeter. The CT steps down the current to the level of the ammeter.

4. POTENTIAL TRANSFORMER: –

These are used to step do the voltage to a level that the potential coils of indicating and monitoring instruments can read. These are also used to feed the potential coils of relays. The primary winding is connected to the voltage being measured and the secondary winding to a voltmeter. The PT steps down the voltage to the level of the voltmeter.

5. POWER TRANSFORMER: –

These are used to step up down the voltage from one a.c voltage to another a.c voltage level at the same frequency. Shunt reactor in EHV substations is to provide reactive power compensation during low loads.

6. WAVE TRAP: –

Wave trap is used to prevent high frequency signals from entering other zones.

7. INDICATING AND METERING INSTRUMENTS: –

Ammeters, voltmeters, watt meters, KWH meters, KVAR meters are installed in sub-station to watch over the currents flowing in the circuit and the voltages and the power loads.

8. ISOLATORS: –

One of the cardinal measures for ensuring full safety in carrying out work on equipment in electrical installations is to disconnect reliably the unit or the section on which the work is to be done from all other live parts of the installation. To guard against mistakes, it is necessary that apparatus, which makes a visible break in the circuit such as isolators, should do this.

Isolators do not have arc control devices therefore cannot be used to interrupt currents at which the arc will be drawn across the contacts. The open arc in these is very dangerous, in that it will not only damage the isolator or the equipment surrounding it but will also cause the flashover between the phase in other words, it will result in short circuit in the installation i.e. why isolators are used only for disconnecting parts after de-energizing them by opening their respective circuits by use of their circuit breakers.

9. EARTHING SWITCHES: –

Earthing switch is used to discharge the voltage on dead lines to earth. An auxiliary switch to provide interlock always accomplishes it.

10. CIRCUIT BREAKERS: –

Circuit breakers are mechanical devices designed to close o open contact or electrical circuit under normal or abnormal conditions. CB is equipped with a strip coil directly attached to relay or other means to operate in abnormal conditions such as over power etc. In GNDTP three types of CB are used. SF6 CB is used to control 220 KV in switchyard.

VCB are used to control 6.6kv in switchgear & ABCB are used to control 415 KV in switchgear.

In sulphar puffer type SF6 CB is filled with SF6 gas at single pressure (4to6kgf/cm2). The pressure and gas flow required for arc extinction is obtained by piston action.

In double pressure type SF6 CB the gas from high-pressure system is released to into low-pressure system over the arc during the arc quenching process.

SPECIFICATIONS OF CB TYPE ELF-SL4-1

S. NO. SPECIFICATIONS RATINGS

1. Voltage 245KV

2. Normal current 3150 A

3. Lightening impulse withstand Voltage 1050V

4. Switching impulse withstand voltage 1050V

5. Short circuit breaking current 40KA

6. Short circuit withstand current And duration 40KA 3 sec

7. Line charging breaking current 125A

8. Operating sequence – First pole to clear factor 1.3

9. Supply voltage 220 V dc

10. Auxiliary circuit supply voltage 240 V dc

11. Air pressure 20.5 bar

12. Frequency 50 HZ

13. Mass 3800 kg

14. Rated current 1600 A

11. VARIOUS OTHER EQUIPMENTS

Shunt capacitors are used to provide compensation to reactive loads of lagging power factor.

Series reactors are used to reduce the short circuit current or starting currents. Neutral grounding resistors are used to limit the earth fault current.

Coupling capacitors are used to provide connection between high voltage line and power line carrier equipment.

Operating Voltage 230 V

Rated current 2000 A

Minimum short circuit current in bus bars 40 KV

Minimum phase to phase clearance 2.5 M

Number of horizontal levels of tubular bus bar/flexible bus bars 2.0 M

Height of tubular bus-bar of first level above ground 6 m

Height of tubular bus-bar of second level above ground 4 m

Tubular aluminium bus bar AL ASTMB241 4″IPS (International pipe standard)

VARIOUS SUBSYSTEMS IN SUBSTATIONS AND THEIR FUNCTION

S.NO. SYSTEM FUNCTION

1. Substation Earthing (Grounding) System – Earth mat – Earthing spikes – Earthing risers To provide an earth mat for connecting neutral points, equipment body, support structures to earth. For safety of personnel and for enabling earth fault protection. To provide the for discharging the earth currents neutrals, faults, surge arrestors over-head shielding wires etc. with safe step- Potential and touch potential.

2. Overhead earth wire shielding or lightning To protect the outdoor substation equipment from lightning strokes.

3.   Illumination  system (lightning) – For switchyards – Buildings – Roads, etc. To provide  illumination  for vigilance, operation and maintenance.

4. Protection system – Protection relay panels – Control cables – Circuit breakers – CT’s, PT’s, etc. To provide alarm or automatic tripping of faulty part from healthy part and also to minimize damage to faulty equipment and associated system.

5. Control cabling For protective circuits, control circuits, metering circuits.

6. Power cables To provide supply path to various auxiliary equipments and machines.

7. PLCC system power line carrier current system – Line trap – Coupling capacitor – PLCC panels For communications, telemetry, tele control power line carrier protection, etc.

8. Fire fighting system – Sensors, detection system – Water spray system – Fire protection control Panels To sense the occurrence of fire by sensors and to initiate water power spray, to disconnect power supply to affected region to pin point location of fire by indication in control room.

9. J Cooling water system – Coolers – Water tanks This system is required for cooling the valves in HVDC substation.

10. DC batteries sets and battery chargers Auxiliary low voltage DC supply.

11. Auxiliary stand by power System – Diesel generator sets – Switch gear – Distribution system For supplying starting power, stand by power for auxiliaries.

12. Telephone system For internal and external Communication.

12. BUS BAR ARRANGEMENT IN SWITCHYARDS

There are several ways in witch the switchyard can be connected in the electrical layout of generating station, receiving station or a switchgear in a distribution system. The following aspects in general affect the selection of the scheme:

1. Degree of flexibility of operations desired.

2. Importance of load and local conditions.

3. Economic conditions, availability, and cost.

4. Technical conditions.

5. Maintenance, safety of personnel.

6. Simplicity.

7. Provision of extension.

8. Protective zones.

DUPLICATE BUS BAR ARRANGEMENT

The duplicate bus bar system provides additional flexibility, continuity of supply and permits periodic maintenance without total shut down. In the event of fault o n one bus the other bus can be used.

While transferring the power to the reserve bus, the following steps may be performed:

1. Close tie circuit breaker, i.e. bus coupler. The two buses are now at the same potential.

2. Close isolators on reserve bus starting from far end.

3. Open isolators o9n main bus starting from far end.

Each pole of the circuit breaker comprises one or more interrupts or arc extinguishing chambers. The interrupts are mounted on support insulators. The interrupts enclose a set of fixed and moving contact. The moving contacts can be drawn apart by means of the operating links of the operating mechanism. The operating mechanism of the circuit breaker gives necessary energy for opening and closing of contacts of the circuit breaker.

13. RELAYS

Relay is a device by means of which an electric circuit (trip or alarm circuit) is controlled (closed) by change in the other circuit. Relays are automatic. The function of relay in power supply system is to recognize a start out and to initiate the operation of CB or other devices to isolate the defective elements with minimum disturbance to the normal power supply system. The must operate at required speed and stability to prevent the current and voltage to exceed their limits.

A few relays with their international codes are mentioned below:

S. NO. CODES TYPES

1. 27 Instantaneous under voltage relay

2. 99 Composite motor protection relay

3. 64 Earth fault relay

4. 87M Differential relay for motors

5. 50N Earth fault relays with times for time delayed operation

6. 95 Fuse failure relay

7. 80 Auxiliary supply for DC supervision

8. 80B DC supply control supervision

9. 80A Relay for mains

10. 500/L Triple pole over current definite term

11. 98 Trip circuit supervision relay

12. 87 Triple pole circulating current

13. 63 Auxiliary relay for transformer fault indication

14. 33B Auxiliary relay for stop

15. 25 Check synchronizing relay

16. 52SC Instantaneous high set over current relay

17. 2B Static time delay relay

18. 51RYB Single pole (IDMTL) Inverse definite Minimum time over current relay.

THE FAULT CLEARING PROCESS

During abnormal or faulty conditions the relays sense the fault and close the trip circuit of the circuit breaker.

As the relay contact close, the trip circuit is closed and the operating mechanism of the CB opens and an arc is drawn between them. The arc is extinguished at some natural current zero of a.c. wave.

o Fault Occurs: – As the fault occurs the fault impedance being low, the currents increase and the relay get actuated. The moving part of the relay moves because of the increase in the operating torque. The relay takes some time to close its contacts.

o Relay contacts close, the trip CB closes and trip coil is energized.

o The operating mechanism starts operating for the opening operations. The CB contacts separate.

o Arc is drawn between the breaker contacts. The arc extinguished in the CB by suitable techniques. The current reaches final zero as the arc is extinguished.

SWITCHGEAR

The switchgear constitutes all parts or equipments of power plant whose function is to receive and distribute electric power. It comprises of the following:

· Assemblies of switching apparatus

· Protective and indicating metering devices

· Interconnecting bus bar systems and relevant accessories

Functions of Switchgear: –

The functions performed by switchgear are listed below: –

· To facilitate redistribution of load, inspection and maintenance of system.

· To localize the effects of faults by operation of protective equipment so automatically disconnect faulty part from the system.

· To break efficiently short circuits without giving rise to dangerous conditions.

The switchgear has the responsibility of transmitting the power from the generator to the grid. However plant also needs power for its working. It is mandatory not to use more than 10% of the power developed by the plant. So that all the auxiliaries and lightening system of the plant must be designed in such a way that there consumption is in the limit.

There are two bus bars placed in ducts, which supply power to the switchgear and are fed by two station transformers ST-I and ST-II. The rating of these identical bus bars is 6.6 KV, 3150 Amps, 50 Hz. These are known as C-I and C-II station buses respectively. The material of conductor is Aluminium. C-I station bus feeds US-IA & US-2A buses and C-II feeds US-IB & US-2B buses. C-I & C-II buses are also interlinked. These unit service buses feed the different kinds of load.

The auxiliary voltage for the ac supply system is 6.6 KV and 415 V. 6.6 KV supply system is provided with high resistance grounded neutral with provision of alarm/ trip. 415V auxiliary supply system has solidly/high resistance earthed neutral. All the electric motors of 150 KW rating or below are rated at 415 V and motors above 160 KW are rated at 6.6 KV.

GENERAL ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES IN THE PLANT

Electrical Auxiliary System

· AC Auxiliary supply system

· DC supply system

AC auxiliary supply system is used to feed all the AC auxiliaries installed in the plant.

The DC supply system which consists of 220 V DC, 110 V DC,

+/- 24 V DC, 48 V DC etc. is used for control supplies as required for system control and protection equipment.

Head Torches – Hands Free Outdoor Lighting

A head torch is a great piece of kit to own. Even if you only use it at home for those all important D.I.Y jobs where you need your hands free. It is also a useful tool suited to a number of activities. If you’re into caving it is an essential item on your gear list and also if you’re a dedicated runner, a head torch allows you to get out and about on those dark nights and winter mornings. If you’re a mountaineer its likely you won’t leave home without one.

Since 1973 when Petzl developed their first mountaineering head lamp, head torches have got lighter, brighter and more reliable. There is a wide range available to suit a variety of tastes from the most extreme to everyday needs. Head torches can be water resistant, resistant to extreme temperatures and ultra compact at economic prices. Lamps can offer a maximum of up to 150 hours and some are so light in weight you can forget you’re wearing them. Some offer a single beam of light like the Petzl Micro while others like the Petzl Tikka Plus have 4 LED lights and offer 4 light intensity settings including a flashing mode. Beams can be adjusted and positions can be directed giving you light where you need it most. When looking at the different head torches available the key seems so be weight, or the lack of it. Some as so light you won’t even know they are on your head which is great for running. The Petzl E-Lite weighs just 28 grams including batteries! For convenience it also comes with a long range whistle that can signal your position if you need rescuing.

Cybalite from Ring also offer some great head torches at budget prices. If you want to save a few quid the Ring Cybalite Sport LED head torch is great value for money. It features the quality of more expensive brands but doesn’t carry the same price tag. It has 5 LED’s with a 4 mode operation. Lit on one LED the battery lasts up to 100 hours. The total weight including batteries is just 75 grams.

If you require a head torch designed for extreme activities there is the Petzl Ultra range. They offer comfort in any position and are flexible and ergonomic, ensuring stable positioning on the head. The Ultra Belt’s rechargeable battery pack can be carried in a pocket to keep the weight carried on the head to a minimum. The Petzl Ultra head torches offer exceptional output to weight ratio with 3 adjustable brightness levels and a rechargeable battery.

Head torches have developed over the years and have been tested in the field to bring forward hands free lighting suitable for any activity out there. If you are serious about being outdoors then a head torch should be your gear list. Look for a lightweight, comfortable and dependable model at a great price.

Top Luxury Great Barrier Reef Hotels

The Great Barrier Reef structure is an amazing work of art of the many tiny living organisms under the sea. It is included in the 7 natural wonders of the world and is located at Queensland, Australia. It is the biggest and most popular reef system in the whole world, which makes it a favorite tourist destination.

Stay and Enjoy at any Great Barrier Reef remarkable luxury hotels. There are many 5-star luxury hotels surrounding the barrier that can surely provide you with the most perfect get away experience.

Angsana Resort and Spa Great Barrier Reef – Start a calming retreat in one of the most beautiful luxury hotels, Angsana Resort and Spa. Angsana Resort is located at 1 Veivers Road Palm Cove Cairns Queensland, Australia. It is the single most priced resort in the whole Palm Cove.

Every Angsana suite offers a breathtaking experience. Suites are equipped with an exclusive sun terrace, barbecue area and swimming pool. Be swayed to a perfect romantic get away with beach front view and airy patios. Suites are also provided with basic room necessities such as big living rooms, elegantly styled dining areas, mini bars and small kitchenettes.

Couran Cove Island Resort – Discover this resort for an adventurous get away. The resort is located at John Lund Drive, Hope Harbour, Marina Ho Gold Coast, Australia.

Couran Cove pampers its guest with a wide variety of water activities surrounding the area. Activities include a kids club, Jet Ski tours, helicopters, seaplanes and kayaks. The resort offers recreational equipments for rent. It has 324 rooms with absolutely stunning views from the surrounding waters. Standard rooms are provided with phone, cable television, fast Internet, an in-room safe, mini bar, refrigerator, coffeemaker and hair dryer. Pets are not accepted in this hotel.

Palazzo Versace – Palazzo Versace is a 5-star luxury hotel with a classical touch of Renaissance elegance. It is located at Seawood Drive Main Beach, Gold Coast Australia.

Palazzo Versace is a mixture of Italian structure and craftsmanship. It is the summary of Donatella Versace’s choice of style and fashion. Inspired by different global destinations Palazzo Versace was born. Each room in this luxurious hotel offers Sony Playstation, CD Player, DVD Player, movie rentals, individual air-conditioning and voice mail messages on the telephone. Check in time is at 2:00 PM and check out time is at 11:00 AM.

All About Home Fire Proof Safes

If you are planning to purchase and implement home fireproof boxes and off-site digital storage devices, you need to consider certain features. Both the methods of storage are essential for better organization during emergency.

Features Of a home fireproof box

If you are planning to store paper documents, it is important to go for a fireproof box that has a temperature UL rating of a minimum of 350 for 60 minutes. The rating means with a temperature of 1,700 degrees lasting for 60 minutes, the inside temperature of the fireproof box will have a maximum of 350 degrees. As paper catches fire at 451 degrees, a rating of 350 is good for paper protection. If your location is close to a fire station, you can get along with a 30 minute fireproof box as well. And, if your place of residence is far from a fire station, it is better to go for a maximum rating of 120 minutes.

The fireproof box also needs to be waterproof so that the gushing water being thrown by the hoses of the firefighters does not damage the contents inside. It is important to go for box that is not only water resistant but fire resistant as well.

It is also important for the fireproof box to be fixed well to the floor and hidden from public view so that thieves may find it difficult to locate them easily. Ideally, the box should have security rating of B2, which is the standard of residential security. The rating signifies that it will take a minimum of five minutes for it to be broken by technicians trying to open it. One can go for better ratings (TL-15, TL-30, etc) for higher protection of boxes. However, the costs for these better ratings are higher though.

If the box needs keys to open, you need to keep the spare keys at safe places. It is recommended to keep one key in safe place of your home and one at a place far away from the house. In no way the spare keys should be placed in a safety deposit box at the bank as you will be unable to access the box without its key or correct identification.

Also emergencies can happen at odd hours and your bank may not be open at that hour. The same could be true at your office as well. You need keys to your office as well as proper ID to get inside your office, whatever be the time of the day. During a major fire at your office, you could focus very well on yourself and your loved ones without bothering about your wallet and keys.

There is no need to store photographs or digital media in your home fireproof safes as boxes with a rating of 150 is ideal for photographs while for digital media storing, 125 is enough.

It is better to go to the local hardware or safe store and check the different types of safes available, including their technical details and costs.

How to Hang Wallpaper Border Like a Professional

Hanging over a painted surface

If the painted surface is glossy or painted in a flat paint you will need to prime the surface with a wall covering primer. Use a primer that will adhere to glossy surfaces and will also seal a flat surface. Priming is important to ensure proper adhesion and removal of the border when it comes time for removal down the road. If you are hanging the border at the top of the wall at the ceiling line, you will need to measure down from the ceiling ¼” short of the width of the border and draw a line with a pencil parallel with the ceiling at this measurement. You will apply the wall covering primer from the pencil line up to the ceiling. Be sure that you are less than the width of the border on this measurement or you may have primer showing below your border once installed.

Hanging over wallpaper

The best way (and some will argue the only way) to install border over wallpaper is to cut the border into place and inset it into the wallpaper.

Hang your wallpaper as usual, and once you reach the end of the wall you will need to install the border over the wallpaper as you go. Position the border in place, and with a new razor, cut the border into place through the wall covering so that it may be inset into place. Lift up the border and remove the wall covering from underneath and lay the border back down.

If the wallpaper is already dry and installed and you later decide you want to install a border over the wallpaper, you will have to install the border on top of the wallpaper using VOV ( vinyl on vinyl ) glue as opposed to insetting the border as previously described.

Miscellaneous Tips

Start at an inconspicuous place. If hanging the border at the top of the wall at the ceiling line, start in the inside corner above the door that you enter the room. This will be the starting and ending point where you will get a mismatch at the end once you have circled the room. There are techniques for making this mismatch less noticeable which is a topic for another article at another time, but if you put you mismatch in this corner it should not be too noticeable.

Holding the border up. One challenge you will need to overcome is how to hold the border in place at the ceiling as you work your way around the room. The best solution I have come across for this is to hold the border to the wall with a thumb tack, which allows you to come down the ladder to re-position the ladder as you work your way across the wall. The hole left by the thumb tack can be smoothed out with a smoother and shouldn’t be noticeable once the border is installed.

Turning the corner. As a rule you will cut your corners as you turn them. The method used by most paper hangers is to turn the corner onto the next wall about ¼” and cut the border there, this creates a ¼” “buffer”. Next you overlap the border over this ¼” buffer and realign your border to level as begin down the next wall. I like to dab this overlap with a bit of VOV (vinyl on vinyl) paste to be sure the overlap holds.

Smoothing and cleaning. Smooth down the border with a smoother to remove air bubbles and to lay the border down onto the wall. Keep a small bucket of clean, warm water and using a sponge, wipe down the ceiling, wall below and above the border, and the border itself to keep it clean from paste. Clean everything as you go, don’t let the glue dry on anything thinking that you can remove it later- it may not come off later at all or without damage and / or a struggle after it dries.

Change blades often. Probably the number one error that many DIYers make is using a dull razor blade. If the blade snags or tears your paper as you cut, you will not get a clean and neat job – so change blades often.

Contemporary Glass Art

Art glass means the modern art glass movement in which individual artists are working to generate works from molten glass in relatively small furnaces of a few hundred pounds of glass. It began in the early 1960s and showed continued growth throughout the end of the century. The glass objects created are not primarily serviceable but are projected to make a sculptural or decorative statement.

Prior to the early 1960s, art glass would have referred to glass made for decorative use, habitually by teams of factory workers, taking glass from furnaces with a thousand or more pounds of glass. This form of art glass, of which Tiffany and Steuben in the U.S.A., Gallé in France and Hoya Crystal in Japan and Kosta Boda in Sweden are perhaps the best known, grew out of the factory system in which all glass objects were cast blown by teams of 4 or more men. In fact, the turn of the 19th Century was the height of the old art glass movement while the factory glass blowers were being replaced by mechanical bottle blowing and incessant window glass. In an art glass studio, “production work” shows more hand worked variation than was allowed in pure factory work environment and every piece shows some of the lead glass worker’s creativity. Most studio glass workers also try to turn out larger individual pieces which might be the corresponding of a master piece in the journeyman system of guild and factory work in addition to smaller production pieces.

Types of Art Glass:

  • Blown Art Glass
  • Cast Art Glass
  • Fused and slumped Art Glass

There’s one way to do it painlessly and easily by annoying some of the hot new paint shades that are available at your local paint store if you’re looking to stride away of your interior design comfort zone. If you’ve already lived in your home for a while, you can revitalize your walls by adding touches of bold colors. You’ll find that paint companies have made it much easier for you to add drama to your interior walls. You’ll be stunned at what a simple thing like varying the color of your walls can do to brighten up your spirits and add a little more relish to your life.

Endless Flooring Ideas to Freshen Up Your Home

Twenty years ago, the main choices for  flooring  were very limited and not all that attractive. Times have changed greatly and now with those changes comes a wide variety of beautiful choices. No longer are homeowners limited to a small scope of cheap laminate  flooring  choices or vinyl  flooring . Go to any specialty home improvement store and you will see endless  flooring  ideas that you can incorporate into your own home. Redoing your floors can instantly give your home a whole new feel and freshen it up with out a huge financial investment. Now is the time to look into your options.

When it comes to new  flooring , there are so many choices that it is almost impossible to pick right away. You can choose from bamboo hardwoods, cork  flooring , laminates and hardwoods. Don’t let the laminates scare you because they now come in a wide range of colors and patterns that are beautiful. There are even a wide range of choices for your garage!

With all these fabulous choices, the best place to get  flooring  ideas is to check out some discount warehouses that can offer the best laminate  flooring , but it is also cheap laminate  flooring . Also, try to find one central place that can offer you whole sale hardwood  flooring  and bamboo hardwood  flooring . If one place can offer you all those different choices, it will be much easier to shop. Instead of going to a few different places, you can spend your time choosing your  flooring . Every once in a while, you will also be able to find a place that will offer you choices for your garage too. Some of the more contemporary  flooring  ideas are checkered garage  flooring , epoxy garage  flooring , and the new flexitle flexible garage  flooring . These two are not only cool looking, but very easy to take care of too.

The key thing to remember is that you’ll want to get quality products, so you’ll want to make sure you do good research and find the best rated laminate  flooring . Purchasing the dirt cheap hardwood  flooring  may end up costing you more in the long run. You can still get discount hardwood  flooring  for a relatively good price.

Differentiating Muscle Pump and Mass Gains

There is nothing that feels as incredible as the muscle  pump  generated by a workout. Yet, it is very disappointing to know that the muscle you achieve immediately after a set of weight exercises has totally nothing relevant to do with, or any direct indication of muscle gains. Sample this.

You lie on the bench at the beginning of the chest raining workout. You raise your feeble hands and rap them around the steel bar, feeling its cold and its threatening weight. The spotter or training partner comes to your back and helps you to un-rack the barbell. Then begins the reps, powering the bar up and then down in repetitive movements. Strength feels absent at some time, as you squeeze the chest muscles alongside the triceps, rep after each grueling rep. after six reps, the partner comes in again and helps you re-rack the weight. You then stand up, the chest and biceps feel as tight as they never have. The whole of the chest regions and arms, are tight, engorged with hot blood.

You can’t help but glance at the full length mirror besides you. What you see is as amazing as what you feel. You are simply thrilled by the sight of the full and totally vascular pecs on your physique. At this point, you really feel strong and all powerful. You are motivated and energetic like nobody’s business. You jut want to blast through the remaining workout, psyched as you are by this newly achieved strength and muscle bulk. The only problem is, you are as big as you were, as weaker even than before you took on the weight. What you feel and what you can see is what we call muscle  pump .

A muscle  pump  is simply that exotic feeling you get when hot blood is successfully and voluminously entrapped in the target muscle tissues after an intense resistance training exercise. The blood is  pumped  into that target muscle for amplified circulation needs like provision of nutrients and the removal of toxins; as a result, your muscles swell up and greatly increase in their size, besides becoming vascular and tight.

But when you enter the gym having been docile and inactive the whole day and you approach a weight, what you feel and what you see is what your muscles are. The growth is achieved long after you leave the gym, mostly in moments of complete relaxation like sleep. You should therefore differentiate between a  pump  and muscle mass, in that, the muscle mass is at the natural, inactivated form and size. After you loose the  pump , that is after you spend some minutes after putting the weight on the rack, the body slowly reverts to the original muscle size. Don’t them ask why you look masculine wile in the gym and feeble when in your bedroom.

If you take the  pump  for muscle mass, you will end up overtraining since you feel stronger than you really are, or look muscular than you really are. Training intensity should be established independent of the  pump , and maintained at that level even when the  pump  makes you feel a million times stronger.

How Many Calories Do I Need?

One question I hear all the time is “How many calories should I be eating a day?” This, of course, varies greatly from person to person. It depends not only on your weight but also your height; the taller you are the more you burn because you have more lean body tissue and this lean tissue (muscle) uses more energy than fat. It depends on whether you are male or female; men typically have more muscle mass, so they burn more calories (not fair!). It depends how old you are because after a certain age (around 35) we start burning fewer calories and that number continues to decrease gradually as we continue to age. Finally, it greatly depends on your activity level because if you get a lot of exercise you naturally are burning a lot more calories.

Here’s a quick and convenient way to estimate of how many calories you need. Multiply your weight by 15 to get the number of calories you need per day to maintain your weight. If you weight 150 pounds and you are happy with this weight, you need (15 x 150) approximately 2250 calories a day to maintain it. This is a very general starting point, because from these numbers we don’t know whether you are male or female, active or sedentary, young or older. It’s just an estimate.

If you would like to lose weight, multiply your present weight by 10. If you weigh 180 pounds and you would like to weigh less, a good estimate is for you to eat (10 x 180) 1800 calories a day. Again, it certainly depends on how active you are, how tall you are, and whether you are male or female (a man could lose weight faster on this calorie level than a woman), but it’s a good place to start.

Play around with the range of 10 to 15 times your weight. If you weigh 160 pounds, look at the numbers from 1600 (160 x 10) to 2400 calories (160 x 15). You could probably lose a pound a week by limiting your calorie intake to 1600 calories, and you would probably maintain your weight if you ate 2400 calories a day. Remember if you are middle-aged, female, less than 5’4″, and not very active you will need to keep your calories in the lower part of this range to lose, and maybe even to maintain your weight.

If you are very overweight (say, 250 pounds or more) you should multiply the weight you would like to be by 15 to find a good starting calorie level. People who are nearly 100 pounds overweight are carrying that extra weight as fat tissue, which does not burn nearly the calories of our muscles, organs, and other lean tissue. So a 250 pound woman may aim for (170 x 15) 2550 calories to start losing weight if her goal is to weigh 170 pounds. It sounds like a very high calorie level for weight loss to occur, but people who are this heavy are usually eating more than 2500 calories a day! Therefore, reducing your intake to less than you usually eat will result in weight loss. You do not have to start with a 1200 calorie diet and starve yourself to lose weight. It’s okay to lose one or two pounds a week.  Eat a little less; take your time with weight loss. Make it permanent!

Buying a Circular Saw

Are you looking for a new circular saw? I am. I have an old, cheap one that I bought at Home Depot about 10 years ago that has just about had it with my torture. So now I’m looking at my options to purchase a new circular saw. Do I go cordless? How much will I use it? What do I need it for? How much power do I really need in my circular saw?

I spoke to my brother Joe about it. He’s a contractor in Buffalo, New York and a huge fan of DeWalt tools. He always goes for top of the line quality in his tools. Joe said that cordless circular saws are good for when you are working up on a roof or at places where there is limited or no power access. As far as strength, Joey says that the newer cordless tools have almost the power of corded tools. Almost, but not quite and certainly not if you are using them to cut framing pieces all day long. Joe has both a wormdrive and a regular circular saw. He pulls out his Skil HD77M wormdrive circular saw when he needs to get through the big stuff. But when he will be cutting 2×4’s all day, he uses the lighter weight DeWalt 368K. And, for cutting up on the roof, he uses his DeWalt cordless DC300K with a NANO battery. Joe said he got into the NANO technology because it gets damn cold in Buffalo and he wants the reliability of Lithium Ion batteries, which will perform just as well in cold temperatures. And the nicest thing about them is that the DeWalt NANO batteries are backwards compatible with all his DeWalt cordless tools.

Hmmm. But what kind of circular saw do I want? While I am not a contractor, I am an avid Do-It-Yourselfer who has a sweet job as the editor of a tool blog. Yup, I get a great discount on the high quality tools that are sold at the Toolking Superstore and you betcha, I’ve been taking advantage of that! (shameless plug ;0) Seriously though, even if I didn’t get the discount, ToolKing has the lowest prices, especially if you go for the reconditioned versions (believe me, I’ve checked around). ToolKing’s secret (for all you e-commerce wannabe’s) is that they purchase in very large quantities from companies like DeWalt and Makita and that leverage gets them a better price deal, which they then pass on to their customer, aka: You.

Anyhoo ~ back to my circular saw purchase.

Corded versus Cordless

I’m debating whether to go with a cordless or corded circular saw. My husband and I bought the crappiest, smallest house in our neighborhood so we are in the middle of remodeling pretty much our entire home. Because we both work full-time jobs, we remodel in spurts. Our circular saw just crapped out on us on the last project. We were framing an outdoor patio area with 6×6’s to lay pavers. Poop, went our circular saw, it had had enough. Like I said earlier, it was old, cheap and from Home Depot. Okay, maybe we were pushing it a bit on the 6×6’s but who doesn’t push their tools to the limit of what they are supposed to be used for? Especially homeowners, who typically don’t have the large selection of tools that a contractor would have, or don’t always have the ‘right tool’ for the job (the right tool for this job would have been a circular saw with a Prazi beamcutter attachment).

After a bit of debate, we decided to go with a corded circular saw or a Lithium Ion battery powered circular saw because we often go several weeks or months between projects. When we need to use the circular saw, we want to use it now. Lithium Ion batteries have a long shelf life, which means they will stay charged even if they sit on the shelf in your garage (in the cold) for several weeks. They are also extremely lightweight. So if we go cordless, we will opt for the Lithium Ion battery powered circular saw. Makita makes a nice LiIon circular saw and you can get one with the purchase of their LXT700 18v LiIon combo kit. The LiIon circular saw included in the LXT700 kit has a 6-1/2 inch saw blade though, not a 7-1/4, which is what we are looking for.

I went into the Toolking store. The ToolKing store has a great setup, Doug and the guys have redesigned the entire layout so now you can touch and hold all the tools. I love that! You can really get a feel for which one you like better because when it comes down to the options, there are a lot of high quality tools available but which one feels better in Your hands? Most of the contractor grade circular saws have a 15 amp, powerful motor, magnesium housing (for lightweight and strength), at least a 45 degree beveling capacity and excellent safety features. I personally need to pick up each one as if I’m using it, and check the position of the handles for comfort and how good my line of sight will be to the blade.

These are the circular saws that I compared:

1. I picked up the DeWalt DW368K. Lightweight at 9.5 lbs, it is durable enough to withstand a 1-story drop. The DeWalt DW368K also has a beveling capacity of 56 degrees.

2. The Makita 5007FAK is a bit heavier at 11.1 lbs but has this cool onboard LED light and a ruler on the foot plate. How many times are you working in a room with the light at your back?

3. I’m a big fan of the Bosch company because of all that I’ve learned about their power tool recycling program and other pro-active environmental projects. The very nice feature of the Bosch CS20 (10.3 lbs) saw is their Direct Connect Cord Management System. The Bosch CS20 doesn’t have a cord, you plug your power cord into it. So you never have to deal with replacing the cord or tossing your tool out because the cord has split. The Bosch CS20 also has a blower in the front that blows the sawdust out of your way as you cut so you can see where you are cutting. The Bosch CS20 also bevels at 56 degrees.

4. Then there was the Porter-Cable 324MAG. Super lightweight, the 324MAG weighs 9.6lbs. Out of the circular saws I looked at, only the Porter Cable brand had an exhaust port for a vacuum attachment, a nice feature for working in the garage or house.

5. Milwaukee makes the 6394-21   Tilt-lok . It is the most expensive of the bunch at $175 but features an exclusive  Tilt-Lok  handle that is probably more adjustable than I am. The  Tilt-Lok  on the Milwaukee 6294-21 adjust to 8 different locking positions, making it easier for working on angles and overhead. The Milwaukee circular saw also has a 10 foot, Quik-Lok cord for easy cord replacement and with a 3-horsepower motor, works as hard as my Polish carpenter father.

A good circular saw should have enough power to cut through wet wood without slowing down or dangerous kickback. A good circular saw should also be lightweight and durable because you inadvertently will drop it on the ground. You should choose a circular saw based on balance, maneuverability and how it feels when you hold it. Good luck!

Agro Textiles: A Novel Application

A textile fabric has a long history of application in agriculture. The word “agrotextiles” now is used to classify the woven, nonwoven and knitted fabrics applied for agricultural & horticultural uses covering livestock protection, shading, weed and insect control, and extension of the growing season. Agrotextiles help to keep sufficient soil humidity and increase the soil temperature

The textile materials mostly produce by synthetics in various decompositions, utilized in the mode of either woven or nonwovens. The fabric form is broadly utilized in the places where tensile strength and dimensional stability are measured to be compulsory for caring the plantations from natural circumstances.

The application of agro textiles will be helpful in terms of products with enhanced quality, higher production, less damages and bearable losses. It also allows us to apply less numbers of weed killers and pesticides. Alternatively, it helps the society by avoiding various hazards due to environmental pollution, etc.

The benefits of applying agrotextiles are:

. They increase crop production

. They avoid the soil from drying out

. They decrease the requirement of fertilizers, pesticides and water

. They make product quality better

. They increase the early maturing of crops and non-seasonal plants

There is various type of agrotextiles considered to train or tie up plants. Their object is

. To avoid branches from breaking

. To increase the cleanliness of the crop

. To make harvesting easy

. To give large space

HaiI protection fabrics

Hail protection fabrics supports shield vines from the fruit damage and defoliation connected with hail yet lets through adequate sunlight. The weightless netting is harsh, tear resistant, and extremely UV stabilized and processes an extra advantage of protecting vines from wind and birds. These fabrics are also applied to protect fruit, herb, and vegetable crops which are to be healthier and offer greater production when cared from the havoc of hail. The fabric provides light shading as well as safeguarding from wind and birds. These fabrics are produced by UV stabilized polyethylene mono filaments both woven and knitted form.

Structural aspects

. Diameter of monofilament: 0.25 to 0.30 mm

. Mesh width: 10 x 4 mm

. Weave : Leno

. Knitted Design: Raschel warp diamond design.

Advantages

. Hail shielding with smallest amount shading.

. Improved crop production.

. Durable, tear-resistant netting.

. Greatest ultraviolet stabilization for long life.

. Extra protection from birds and wind.

. Service life: 15-20 years.

Wind control fabrics

Wind control fabrics can get fruit quality better by decreasing bruising, shoot tip scorching. Trees that are cared from wind are normally healthier, achieve complete growth more fastly, and have greatest production. Wind break fabrics safeguard crops from wind, and in particular situations, orchard temperatures can be raised by decreasing wind speed. Windbreak fabrics start obstructing wind without delay, don’t harbor insects, consider less maintenance, and will not compete with crops for water and nutrients. UV stabilized fabrics offer years of wind safeguarding for crops. These fabrics are also produced by UV stabilized polyethylene mono filaments both woven and knitted form.

Advantages

. Instant wind protection.

. Less bruising, wind rub, and shoot tip scorch.

. Very useful and safety of orchard spraying.

. Unlike tree barriers, no competition for water and nutrients.

. May raise orchard temperatures by decrement of wind speed.

. Strong, long lasting fabrics.

Characteristics

. About 45 percent wind blockage.

. Protects nearly 8x windbreak height.

. UV and abrasion resistant.

Fabrics for weed safeguarding

Of all landscape maintenance programs, control or removal of weed progression is a foremost part. Weeds are not needed because of aesthetic detraction; competition for light, water, nutrients, and space; prerequisite of insect and disease habitats; and possible allelopathic growth suppression.

Nearly all landscape maintenance plans depends on hand weeding, herbicides, and mulches (alone or in combination) to suppress and manage weeds. Black plastic has traditionally been applied by majority landscapers to improve the effectiveness of organic and inorganic mulches, but many reports noted unfavorable effects on landscape plant growth because of its application.

In the last few years, a new group of synthetic materials has been established for use with mulches for landscape weed control. These geo-textiles (also describe landscape fabrics or weed barriers) have one key benefit over plastics – they allow the exchange of water and air between the soil and the atmosphere. Many reports have been observed on the weed-suppressing effects of these geo-textiles, with combination of results. While the majorities are quite effective at controlling annual weeds, managing perennial weeds is often weak. The producers suggested using a 2-3-inch layer of mulch atop the geo-textiles for aesthetic reasons, and as a consequence, numerous problems have been noted, mainly when organic mulches (pine bark, pine straw, hardwood bark, etc) are utilized.

Sunshade fabrics

The fabrics produced by polypropylene monofilament strands in both woven and knitted form are applied to provide as sun shade fabrics to improve a microclimate for plantation of flowers, ornamental plants and fruits.

Woven sunshade fabrics

It is produced by 100 percent polypropylene monofilament strands. The resin is prepared with additives and pigments to offer resistance to sunlight and weathering. Black pigmentation gives a high degree of sunlight resistance. It is UV stabilized to restrain under the most intense solar settings. It can be applied for several of uses like wind and privacy screen, shading for sports and recreation, livestock, patio, dog kennels and solar protection for plants.

Knitted sunshade fabrics

Knitted sunshade cloth is produced by 100 percent UV stabilized polyethylene. Its exclusive lock stitch structure permits customers the facility to cut the fabric with scissors without further unraveling. Knitted shade fabric is offer in several of colors and stripes. Its lightweight and durability make it a greater selection for all types of shade uses.

Uses

. It improves the condition of growth.

. Soil is not dehydrated.

. It provides savings in irrigation cost.

Insect repellent fabrics

A variety of pests like Whitefly, a number of insects harm some ornamental plants and vegetables regularly. Many viruses infect these plants. The affected leaves of the plants offer increment to the creation of black fungus due to the honey dew on the leaves left by the viruses. The creation of insect repellent fabrics has provided a way to protect the plants and vegetables. This kind of fabrics are extended from corner to corner in the open-air plantations so that the pests can no longer affected to the plants and also the climate will not be unstable in any way.

Setting up of areas cover:

. The whole walls of green-houses.

. On the roof-openings and vent openings of green-houses.

Structural aspects

. Weave: Linen

. Material: Polyethylene mono filament yarns

. Yarn Diameter: 0.25 mm

. Cloth density: 24 ppcm x 11 ppcm

Temperature control fabrics

Temperature control fabric is a nonwoven, spunbonded polyester fabric made to safeguard crops from cold, frost, insects and a range of unfavorable environmental aspects. Temperature control fabric supports in capturing heat on sunny days and keeps heat radiating from the ground at night. This helps in safeguarding precise ornamentals, nursery stock and foliage 24 hours a day.

Cold and frost control fabrics

Frost & cold protection fabric safeguards plants from frost kill in sudden late cold snaps and unseasonably early ones. Frost & cold protection fabric can be placed appropriately on the plants, unlike plastic covers that can draw attention to frost and burn any leaves that contact them. Cold safeguarding tough fabric row covers are ideal for safeguarding less developing, high value field crops from frosts, wind, cold, and birds. The woven, semi-clear fabric permits sunlight, air, and water through to the plants. The fabric can be applied unaided or over wire hoops. The covers are tough, and can survive in long run, for a lot of growing seasons.

Advantages

. Facilitate trap ground heat to warm crops.

. Permits sunlight and water through to crops.

. Prevents extreme heat build up.

. Re-applicable for many seasons

Rain protection fabrics

Rain protection fabrics safeguard the flowers and berries from harm in rainfall. The fabrics may have network like configuration to offer the purpose of saving from rain.

Conclusion

The practice of textiles is also now widen to safeguard the agro products like plants, vegetables and fruits from weather, weed and birds, etc, by method of agro textiles which has provided a novel applications to technical textiles.

Advertising Wall Clocks – Advertising on Every Wall

Wall clocks are one of those types of promotional materials that do not seem to go out of fashion. Despite the fact that these clocks are very old promotional gifts, companies today still freely use them as a means to promote their business. But being an old promotional material and one that has seen continuous use through these years, advertising wall clocks have to be continuously modified in order to make them remain effective promotional tools up to the present.

Designing Advertising Clocks

Any type of wall clock can be used as Advertising Wall Clocks. The key here is to see to it that the clock has enough area to which the name or the logo of the company can be printed for everyone to see. In some cases, innovation is taken further and even the shape of the clock itself is also critical. Here are some tips that you can do to obtain positive results with your Advertising Wall Clocks:

  • The shape of the clock must bear some semblance to the nature of the business the promotional company is engaged in. For example, companies that are producing food products may use a particular food of a certain shape. A company producing school and office supplies will do well to come up with advertising wall clocks in the shape of a pen or a notebook.
  • In other instances, Advertising Wall Clocks sport innovative design of the hands. A favourite and common example of promotional companies is to replace the minute hand with a spider moving around a web that passes through the numbers of the clock.
  • Gone are the days when clocks nothing to remind the owner of the time other than displaying it. To improve on this, use a unique clock that stirs a tune preferably every hour or announces the hour in a male of female voice. Other kinds of clocks also have a programmable scheme that allows the clock to serve as an alarm clock to remind of appointments or chores that has to be done.
  • Advertising Wall Clocks of today are not simply clocks. They are usually a combination of a clock and some other function that manifests the creative nature of manufacturers. Some examples include clocks that also serve as an emergency light. There are clocks that are available with a mirror. There are also clocks that has a small cabinet for storage of miniature things.

Child Road Safety

Roads wouldn’t be safe places for children even if every vehicle were driven within the speed limit by a driver who was alert and concentrating on the task at hand. Many accidents involve children in strollers or pushchairs, or who are pedestrians, cyclists or passengers in cars. Children need to know that the road is as dangerous as a cliff edge. Our job is to protect our children by helping them learn to respect traffic and cope with it as safely as possible. Most children have to travel near or on the roads, so traffic awareness is one of the most important skills they can have.

Never push a stroller or pushchair out into the road until it is absolutely safe to cross. Don’t use the stroller or pushchair as a signal to a motorist that you are there because he may not see it. Make sure your child is always safely harnessed into her stroller or pushchair. It’s easy to be distracted when crossing the road with a crying, talkative or whining child, so be especially vigilant then. If your toddler is walking by your side, don’t rely on her holding on to the stroller – she might run off to look at something interesting. She should wear reins or, failing that, you should hold her tightly by the hand.

Never take the chances you might be tempted to take on your own. When you are with children you can’t move fast enough to get out of trouble. Always behave in traffic as you would wish your child to behave when you’re not there.

Children shouldn’t be allowed to cross a road by themselves until you are confident they know how dangerous it is. They should know how to choose where to cross and how to cross. Make sure they know the Green Cross Code. If you want your child to make her own way to school, walk with her, letting her make decisions, until she seems able to do it safely. Plan the route so she can cross at a traffic light, pedestrian crossing or attendant-controlled crossing. Don’t let a younger child go on the   pavement  alone, even just next door.

It’s sensible to forbid your child to cycle on the road until she has passed a cycling-proficiency test such as the police organize in many areas. If she must ride at dusk, she needs well-maintained lights as well as reflective strips on her clothing. She should wear light-colored clothes as well.

Kings Highway Fiji – A Road Less Travelled

For sometime I have wanted to travel to Suva from Nadi via the Kings Highway. Unfortunately the opportunity hasn’t presented itself. However circumstances can change and before you know it you are travelling along the Kings Hwy to Suva.

Nadi Service Station the decision was made

We were checking the tyres for our journey to Suva via the Coral Coast (Queens’s Hwy) and just as we were ready to turn right along the Queens Hwy, Gary (my boss) asked me if I would you like to go via the Kings Hwy instead? (Silly question) “Well this is the deal”, he said “If all goes well and we have a great trip it’s my idea but if things turn pear-shaped it’s your fault”!….I can live with that. So we turned left on the road less travelled. We were driving on familiar road till we reached Ba we had been there the week before looking at the beautiful gold jewellery.

Rakiraki here we come

The rain started in earnest now pelting on the windscreen, nothing was said but perhaps this wasn’t such a great idea. Then the rain dissipated and a silent sigh of relief was felt. The road was honey-combed in some sections with potholes which is part of living in Fiji. After you get over the initial shock of the state of the roads in Fiji you just get on with it. It was Sunday and there was very little traffic on the Kings Hwy, most Fijians were at church listening to their Sunday sermon. We virtually had the roads to ourselves.The coastline was spectacular despite the dreary conditions; imagine what it would be like with sunshine and clear skies. The vegetation was lush and a vibrate green, sugarcane came right up to the roadside and gently swayed on the hillside it is stunning country.

Missed the turn for the coast route

Our intention was to stay on the coast road and turn off around Matawailevu Village, it would have been advantageous if we had a “proper road map” instead of a tourist map with limited detail. Before we knew it we were heading inland and passing through Rokovuaka Village it was too late to turn back. It had taken us 3 hours to get this far with the inclement weather conditions, so we kept going.The country was now becoming mountainous and to our right was a fast flowing and muddy swollen river that appeared through the vegetation. Looking at our limited map reference it indicated that there were sections where the road and river met. Up to this point the road had been a hard tarred surface with just a couple of areas of gravel. All this was about to change.

Dirt track – road deteriorates

The nice hard surface quickly evaporates and we are down to dirt track! With still a considerable distance to go suddenly everything turns pear-shaped. The road abruptly narrows now it’s only one lane, with a deep ravine to the right and muddy brown water flowing rapidly below. The dirt track which is the King Hwy takes a sharp right and stretched before us is a long narrow one lane timber bridge; resembling something you might see on the Discovery Channel in the Amazon crossing some raging river with impenetrable jungle on both sides. The narrow timber bridge in front of us was frightening.

  • No guard rails
  • Perched high above a fast moving body of water
  • Crosses nailed to the side where someone had come to a sticky end!

Gary negotiated the bridge… we had no choice it was too late to turn back. Two long continuous raised timber tracks the width of a car’s wheel base ran parallel to guide your wheels across. The only problem was the timber bridge was muddy and slippery. The van couldn’t get enough traction on the timber track and kept slipping off. So we ended driving over on a slight angle the passenger side seeing more of the water then I would have liked. I forgot to push record on the video camera, but I did get the next bridge. The next couple of bridges didn’t seem so frightening, it’s amazing how quickly you can adjust, but then I wasn’t driving thank goodness!

The rest of the journey to Suva was uneventful

After our tangle with the timber bridges the rest of the journey was uneventful. There is upgrading taking place with overseas loans. Further along the road large sections of rainforest and hillside had been removed to make way for a significant upgrade of the Kings Hwy with a couple of large bridges already constructed. If you intend to drive to Suva via the Kings Hwy check before hand with the local authorities.

We travelled on a Sunday and all roadwork were halted, however if this had been a Saturday or weekday there would have been extensive delays. It took us over 5 hours to reach Suva; speed was down to 60km and below in some sections of the Kings Hwy.Talking to some residents who had negotiated the coast road to Suva, they said the views were breathtaking but the road was atrocious it was 4WD drive the dirt track was narrow and muddy, but what an adventure was the comment!

Catch you later…

How to Choose a School Assembly

Back to school and the kids are coming soon…HELP!!!!!! After a summer off you are probably scrambling to get things in order before the students arrive. One of the tasks that may be somewhere down the list is planning your special school assemblies, an activity that sometimes gets overlooked, but is more important that some people realize.

As important as class curriculum is, there is also another activity that can deliver inspiration, motivation and curriculum featuring a variety of topics that may never be discussed in the normal flow of your school year. Topics like drugs and violence, bullying, character and more. This activity is the exciting and memorable school assembly. Students love the chance to get out of class, teachers love the break from the routine and the messages are often delivered by performers who the students will listen to and respect as a good school assembly should be equally entertaining.

As a performer myself, I get to see the excited faces, the approval, the respect garnered from the kids as they are amazed by witnessing things they may only see on TV. More importantly, I get to witness them listening and hanging on every word as our athletes deliver messages that reach “home” so to speak. These special school assemblies are a memory your students will take with them for life.

When you go about choosing your assembly I think the best approach is to satisfy all 3 parties involved. First, you want the students to enjoy the assembly. If the kids are bored you will lose them, and any effectiveness the program may offer. Second, the faculty! Your schoolteachers and administration should also enjoy the program, even if it is geared toward the kids. If you can find a program that accomplishes both, you are 2/3 of the way there. Finally, you MUST justify their out-of-class time by making sure the students parents would approve. Your students parents are entrusting you with the education of their kids and any time you take them out of class it needs to be worth it. Any school assembly you decide to schedule should pass the unwritten litmus test by promoting curriculum that will enhance your students lives.

First, I think the School Assembly should be inspirational. If the kids get nothing else, your assembly should inspire them to maybe believe a little more. You can capture this moment by encouraging your students to write out a big goal or dream after the assembly, and relate it to the performers. Second, the kids should get motivated. Watching a professional performer should encourage kids to not only set a goal from the initial inspiration, but it should motivate them to begin the process of working hard. Finally, they should learn something concrete. They should walk away with a clear message that drugs are no good, that violence is never the answer, that begin a bully is wrong and destructive. Then they should be able to connect the dots and realize being motivated, inspired and above all, drug-free, is the path to success in life.

I encourage your to consider a professional sports school assembly which can accomplish all of your objectives. There are basketball dunk teams, tumblers, amazing basketball dribbling/spinning shows and of course my “Go BIG” BMX Stunt Show. Have a GREAT School Year and I urge you to book your special school assembly early!