The Benefits of Summer Basketball Camps

Summer basketball camps are one the best places for our young aspiring athletes to improve on their basketball skills, gain a better understanding of the sport and an even greater appreciation of the good moral values that comes with the sport. Basketball camps are also a great way to introduce all the new comers to one of the greatest sport ever played in the world.

During their stay in these facilities they will all enjoy a fun, intense and vigorous training. Every aspect of the game will be tackled during their summer training making sure that all the trainees will gain new athletic prowess and abilities, responsibility, sportsmanship and a deeper understanding of teamwork. Also it’s a great way for our young athletes to meet and greet new friends who shares a common love of the game. The fun activities and workout drills will also help those children who need to get in better shape and at the same time improving their self-discipline and increasing their self-confidence as well.

These summer basketball camps will focus on every aspect of the game. Each child will learn the basics of the beloved sport of basketball. Their ball handling skills will be one of the main focuses of the training course, an intensive one handed ball control training drill and one handed moves will give our aspiring athletes an advantage and a deeper sense how to play the game properly. This is just one of the trainings your children will gain, for each day they will learn more and more of the skills they will need in order to be a responsible honest and a well-developed athlete.

The staff members of the summer basketball camps will our athletes the drive and motivation they need to improve themselves both physically and mentally giving them the edge they need in this competitive sport. The camp counselors will help each camper even those who might need special attention. They will be given extra attention trough one on one counseling by doing so they may identify what the child needs to improve on and help them gain more confidence trough dedication and hard work.

Each facility has a group of professional staff members on board with occasional guest speakers to teach and motivate every young aspiring athlete on camp. Each of the staff members are all trained in basketball and physical exercises to insure that during the campers stay on summer basketball camps they will experience a fun and learning environment.

Motorcycle Accident Attorney On Your Side

Any motorcycle accident attorney will tell you that the bike is one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Since the year 2000, deaths from bike collisions have increased in an appalling 78%. This means that the motorcycle is a more accident-prone vehicle compared to an automobile. It also means that this is a serious problem; people love to drive motorcycles and even if they are experienced there is a big chance that accidents will happen.

Here are a few facts about motorcycle accidents:

1. 10% of bike riders who end up in a collision have no helmets or eye protectors.

2. 95% of motor accidents are attributed to human mistake.

3. 5% of road troubles are from motorcycle crashes.

4. 80% from that 5% figure above die instantly on the spot or suffers grave and permanent injuries.

Safety precautions are not scarce but people feel invincible when on a bike. They feel that they are untouchable until something happens to them. They come knocking on motorcycle accident attorney doors to ask for help but the damage has been done.

Effects of a Motorcycle Crash

Nobody wants to be in an accident. But it happens to some. It will be considered a blessing if the driver is alive but what if the crash has caused the driver’s death? This is a suffering for the loved ones left.

There are no doors or windows to protect the body when a collision occurs. When hit, the body is in direct contact. It can be car, another bike, a tree, a wall, a gutter or whatever hard surface. It can leave a person with broken ribs, fractured bones, dislocated jaw and concussion. And this is not a grave problem, imagine that!

One other thing that people often forget is emotional trauma. Sometimes when all the physical wounds have healed, the mental condition of the person who was involved in the bike accident is not yet in normal functioning mode. With a person like that, how can he move on with life?

Why Look for a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you are the victim, you have rights. These rights will be enforced through your motorcycle accident attorney. He or she will defend your legal rights and claim whatever it is that you need from the other party, the company involved with your accident (if there is) or both parties.

If you are in a hospital with a head injury and casts all over your body, can you work on the legal documentation and filing on your own? You will not be able to protect yourself and filing for a suit involving crashes is a complex move. You need someone who is skilled in the art of suing.

How to Choose your Motorcycle Accident Attorney

You can ask for referrals or better yet, search online for reputable firms who possess a successful motorcycle accident attorney. What are the requisites? Experience in the field, previous cases won, claims (in monetary unit) received by his clients and reputation – with this you can make an informed judgment. Do this as soon as you can after the accident and do not prolong anything if you want to be compensated accordingly.

A Guide to the Three Layers of Snowboard Clothing

One of the main appeals of snowboarding is the fact that you are taking part in an activity in some of the most dramatically beautiful landscapes on earth, but spending time in mountain regions also exposes you to changeable and potentially harmful climates. As a result it is vitally important that before heading out onto the slopes that you have the correct clothing and equipment to keep you warm, protected and ultimately able to enjoy snowboarding for longer. Ideally your snowboarding clothing should keep you warm, be lightweight and keep you dry by wicking sweat away from your skin. The best way to achieve this is be using the layering method which allows you to react to sudden drops in temperature by adding layers or increases in temperature by taking a layer off. The three layer system is applicable for most winter sports with the base layer trapping warmth and wicking moisture away from your skin, the middle layer, which is usually a clothing or fleece jacket providing additional insulation and the outer layer protecting against the wind and rain. Below is a short guide to what each layer consists of and why it is important in your overall snowboarding equipment.

Base Layer

The base is the layer that is in contact with your skin and is there to trap a layer of air and remove moisture from your skin to keep you both warm and dry. The base layer should cover you from head to toe and as such consist of a long sleeved top, full length leggings and socks made from a moisture wicking material such as polypropylene. Avoid wool combination materials if you are have a low itch tolerance and cotton altogether as it loses all its thermal properties if it gets wet.

Base layer check list:

Thermal Body Shirt – Must have long sleeves and will ideally be made of polypropylene to ensure moisture is transferred away from your skin.

Thermal underwear – Again opt for polypropylene as this will not itch and provides great thermal and anti moisture properties.

Snowboarding Socks – There’s nothing worse than having cold feet and protecting your extremities in freezing conditions is of vital importance. Good quality snowboarding socks will not only keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable but also improve the fit of your snowboarding boots and protect against impacts. Your socks should come half way up your calf and shouldn’t be too thick as this will encourage sweating.

Second or Middle Layer

The job of the second layer is to trap warm air as you ride and transfer moisture further away from your body as your ride, it can also be used as the outer, protective layer on warmer days. Commonly used materials include wool and fleece with fleece being particular popular due to its lightweight properties and breathable properties which draws moisture towards the outer layer of clothing.

Second layer check list:

Jacket or sweater – Made of either wool or preferably fleece, this should be lightweight and breathable allowing moisture to evaporate through the material. It will not however protect against wind or rain.

Snowboarding Pants – Placed over the top of your base layer, snowboarding pants should have a nice, roomy fit and provide additional warmth and moisture protection with padded areas in the knees and backside area for impact protection and to prevent melting snow seeping through to your base layer.

Snowboarding Boots – Available in regular shoe sizes, snowboarding boots are the link between your snowboard and your feet. As such fit around your feet and ankles is highly important. Take time to try a number of pairs to ensure you get a comfortable and secure fit as a decent pair will last you a while.

Outer Layer

The outer layer of your snowboarding equipment is there to protect you from wind, rain and impacts, prevent moisture from entering and allows moisture to escape from the inner layers.

Outer Layer Checklist:

Beanie, Hat or Helmet – Whatever you use make sure it covers your ears and for impact protection opt for a specialist snowboarding helmet.

Snowboarding Goggles – Snowboarding goggles should protect your eyes from wind, snow, rain and UV. Lenses vary in terms of their light transmission capabilities with different lenses available for different light conditions.

Snowboarding goggle lenses should also have a scratch resistant coating, anti fog coating and 100% UV protection. The goggle frame should fit comfortably to your face with a cushioned foam surround that also removes moisture from your face improving comfort and reducing fogging. Snowboarding goggles have a broad head strap that should fit snugly holding the goggles firmly to your face.

Snowboarding Jacket – Your jacket is your final protective layer against the elements and as such should be wind proof and water repellent. As with the rest of your snowboarding clothing your jacket should be breathable allowing moisture to escape.

Snowboard – Snowboarding is pretty difficult without one but make sure you get a snowboard that is suitable for your dimensions, riding style, experience and budget. Snowboards vary in terms of construction materials, camber, flex, dimensions, effective edge and sidecut so again make sure you try a number out and discuss your requirements with a snowboard supplier before taking the plunge.

Snowboard bindings – Good quality sturdy snowboard bindings are important to ensure your boots are firmly attached to your board. Available in small, medium and large sizes your bindings should be bought in combination with your boots to ensure the most secure fit.

Snowboarding Gloves – Use specifically designed snowboarding gloves with fleece insulated glove liners to protect your hands from snow, ice and impacts. They should be waterproof and have padded and reinforced palms and fingers which are both high impact areas.

When buying any snowboarding apparel ensure that it fits well to prevent chafing and to maintain the breathable nature of the fabrics. Your snowboarding clothing is there to keep you warm, safe and comfortable over long periods in the winter climate and as a result it is worth spending the time and money to ensure you get the best possible equipment.

Vinyl Windows Design, Shapes And Sizes

Vinyl windows come in all shapes and sizes, and they’ll all do the basic jobs you expect them to — let in light, frame a view and keep out the elements. Beyond that, you’ll want to choose a window that works with your home’s architectural style, whether it’s clapboard colonial, red-cedar contemporary or comfortable eclectic. Looks aside, each type of window has its own personality. Knowing what works best where will help you choose the right windows for any building or remodeling project.

Early builders chose windows according to the number of panes in each sash – six over six, for example, or nine over 12. Today your choices are much broader. Casements, sliders, tilts, fixed glass, and combinations of all these styles pose a myriad of alternatives to the classic double-hung window.

The amount of light any type of window will admit depends largely on its size, but shape and location do make a difference. For example, a horizontal window placed high on a wall may provide more light than the same window turned vertically.

Ease of cleaning is also worth thinking about, especially if yours is a two-story house or if some windows are just hard to reach. A tilt-in or removable sash that can be washed conveniently from the inside makes it a lot easier and safer to keep upper-story windows sparkling.

What colors suit you best?

In most cases, the colors that suit you best are the colors you like best. You should be able to find your favorites represented not only among wall coverings and fabrics and accessories, but also in a range of styles and patterns to suit almost any decorating mood from contemporary to country to traditional.

Window Design Principles

Think of the walls of your home as blank canvases waiting to be painted with light from the sun and views of the outside world. As you consider this ever-changing image for your new or remodeled home, it’s helpful to keep certain principles in mind.

Seeing the Light.

Light — and the shadows created by it – plays a major role in any interior space. As the sun shifts, it subtly changes the shapes and patterns in a room.

Bigger is brighter as far as windows are concerned. This means not just larger windows, but more of them. Arrays of operable sash and fixed glass can reach for the ceiling, stretch wide or even make an entire wall disappear. Ceilings dictate how high you can go, but dropping windows to floor level, or near it, can bring in a lot more light than standard sill-height windows.

How’s the View?

Just as the right frame enhances a cherished painting, so windows — now available in just about any conceivable shape — define our experience of the world outside. Of course not all views are created equal. A wooded ravine, for example, offers more visual interest than the side of a neighbor’s garage — so analyze your home’s best views and orient your windows accordingly.

Step Outside.

Today’s patio doors are every bit as attractive and energy-efficient as windows and come in matching styles and finishes. Top one off with a transom or fanlight or flank it with a pair of sidelights, and you can make a design statement that’s as strong as a well-thought-out front entry.

Setting Cap Stones – Installation Techniques

One of the biggest areas of failure in masonry wall construction is the cap stone or lack of one. This article will deal with the proper installation of a cap stone and leave inferior design (lack of one) for another day!

For centuries the cap stone was the proper termination method for sound masonry construction. With the modern technology available today you can be assured a leak proof termination to your new masonry walls with a cap stone system that protects the masonry wall from unwanted water infiltration.

What are cap stones? – Simply, cap stone are cut stones that ‘cap’ or terminate the top of a masonry wall such as garden walls, parapet walls, firewalls, etc.

After the masonry has reached it final height the collar joint (the joint between the inner and outer masonry walls or wythes) is carefully filled, smoothed and brushed. Then a sheet of copper flashing is cut to the desired length and width of the wall.

Some contractors lie this directly onto the wall and lay their cap stones on top of it. Others may use a bituminous coating to cover the top of the entire wall prior to laying the copper flashing in place. Butt joints in the flashing are covered with a bituminous coating approx. 12″ – 16″ from the joint and a top piece of flashing is lapped over the joint. Either way is acceptable but the bituminous coating offers an additional layer of protection.

Why use copper flashing? – Copper is used because it has a strong history of holding up to the elements. In this situation any leaking that occurs through the cap stone or joints will drop to the copper flashing and flow out from under the stone and down the wall face, keeping it from the interior of the wall.

You can also crimp the flashing with drip edges and locking seams for the joints if you so desire. Each increase in details adds increased cost to the project but also increases the durability of the wall.

Setting the stones – Now that the flashing is in place and secure you begin to set the cap stones by placing a full bed of mortar on top of the flashing where you will place your first stone.

Smooth and level the mortar bed as needed and set your stone into place. Then level you stone with a mason’s level cut your joints beneath the stone making sure all voids are filled and then continue the same process for each additional stone. As you proceed with each additional stone, leave the head joints (the joints between each individual stone which is 3/8″ – ½”) open.

Filling the head joints – Now that the stones are in place it’s time to come back and tuck-point (fill in with mortar) all the head joints. Some stone will stain very easily from the cements used in mortar so test your stone. If needed, tape the stone on either side of the joint until you have completely filled (tuck-pointed) and ‘tooled’ that joint, at which time you remove the tape and brush the joint clean.

Your tuck-pointing mortar will be the same mortar that you used to ‘bed’ the stones with but will be ‘stiffer’. This will allow you to compress the mortar into the joint with a tuck-pointing tool assuring a tight and full joint. When you ‘tool it’ (finish the joint with a concave joint tool) you will compress the joint even further and as you ‘slick it’ you draw the cements to the surface of the joint giving you a water proof seal between each stone.

Following these few tips and suggestions you can have cap stones that will provide a lifetime of protection from water entry for your new masonry wall.

Killer Alpha Male Chest Workout

Everyone wants to develop a lean muscular physique. The quickest way to get there and stay there is via resistance training. My favorite style of resistance training is old school weight training accompanied by the sound of clanging plates with heavy loads on a barbell. Do you know who trained / trains like that? Arnold, Zane, Reeves, Coleman, and Cutler are a few of the guys with that training mentality. What do you think of their physical development? These men have mastered the Alpha Male Physique.

Although a well balanced physique is essential, nothing screams Alpha Male Physique like a HUGE MUSCULAR CHEST. Let's look at Arnold … arguably the greatest chest of all time. How did he get there? He trained with intensity. He trained with power. He trained with a goal in mind. He trained with real deal heavy weight Home Gym. The result was a chest that made history. As far as I'm concerned, if it's good enough for Arnold it's good enough for all of us!

There are many maximum lift miles along the way of building your ultimate alpha chest. Oftentimes 135 lbs, 225 lbs, 315 lbs, 405 lbs and even heavier weights are popular goals that we aspire to conquer at one point or another during our training careers. Others take more of a "pound for pound" approach to measure their success. Some people have the goal of benching their bodyweight, 1.5 times their body weight, or even twice their body weight. Most of the time when people talk about this, they are talking about their Flat Barbell Bench Press One Rep Max. This is a great exercise and a good way to establish quantitative goals; but, do not forget the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is a great chest … not just moving a certain load on the bar (unless you are a power lifter). The great chest you are going to create is a result of more than just the development that comes just from Flat Bench.

So how do you develop your most impressive chest?

You need to pack on lean mass and slash excess fat. Like the greats, you must move serious weight and focus on training all areas of the chest. Often people do just flat bench and forget about the variations to get well rounded results. To put on slabs of pectoral beef you must hit flat, incline and decline chest movements. Time and time again you will see chests that look like ski slopes. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is simply excess adipose tissue. Extra fat on the chest it tends to collect at the lower portion of the pec area. This creates the "slope effect." To lose this one has to lose total body fat. The second contributor to the "slope effect" chest is that the mid and lower portion of the pecs are somewhat developed; however, the upper portion is strictly underdeveloped. This is a result of doing just flat bench and neglecting incline movements.

You combat this and build your alpha chest by following a well designed chest training program that puts an appropriate emphasis on the upper chest, mid chest, and lower chest. One way to ensure this is to start one out of two or two out of three chest workouts with the emphasis on the upper portion of the chest. To place more emphasis on any particular muscle group simply start the workout with exercises that are specific to that area. Because you are fresh at the beginning of the workout the results for that area will often be greatest. I suppose by now you are looking for a killer Alpha Male Chest Workout? Well here you go!

Sample Workout

Month One

Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3x 15-20 reps
Decline Barbell Bench Press: 3 x 15-20 reps
Flat Barbell Bench Press: 3 x 15-20 reps
Feet on Bench Push-Ups: 2 sets of MAX reps (one minute rest between sets)

Month Two

Flat Barbell Bench Press: 4 x 10-15 reps
Incline Barbell Bench Press: 4 x 10-15 reps
Decline Barbell Bench Press: 4 x 10-15 reps
Hands on Bench Push-Ups: 3 sets of MAX reps (one minute rest between sets)

Month Three

Incline Barbell Bench Press: 5 x 5-10 reps
Flat Barbell Bench Press: 5 x 5-10 reps
Decline Barbell Bench Press: 5 x 5-10 reps
Regular Pushups: 4 sets of MAX reps (one minute rest between sets)

Now you know what to do. How do you go about getting it done? You need the proper equipment. There are many options out there; but, do not be fooled by inferior products. Make sure to invest in a bench that can handle the weight you can do today and more importantly the weight you will be able to do tomorrow. Also chose a piece of equipment that offers versatility while maintaining the integrity of each position. Often companies cut corners and the functionality is sacrificed for increased versatility. When it comes to a piece of equipment that is both functional in all positions and versatile, which leads me to the most fit equipment for these kind of workouts.

More versatility exists because of the dual sided rack station posts. You can use them for holding the barbell elevated to shoulder height for squats. Or you can rack a loaded barbell at hip height for rows, or deadlifts from the opposite side of the bench. No matter how you look at it there are numerous options and no excuses when using this sturdy and versatile bench.

No more excuses! It's time to make it happen and create your Alpha Chest.

Conserving and Protecting the Natural Beauty of Baja California

Terra Peninsular is a lovely gallery and community center with an important mission. Located in the heart of Ensenada's tourist village, visitors are invited to see the "Real Baja." The idea began with just a few like-minded souls in 2001 as a way to create public awareness for the need to conserve the remaining natural coastline of northern Baja, as well as the protection of the National Forest corridors as important water shed regions. The mission statement to conserve and protect the natural ecosystems and wildlife of the Baja California Peninsula supports the vision that one day their efforts will change the present course of how the lands of Baja are used. With community awareness and private land owners coming together, the natural resources of the Baja California Peninsula will be protected and managed.

How is that to be accomplished? It starts with just a few being aware of what has already been lost in development from Tijuana to San Quintín. These few crusaders are lighting a fire in others to face the need for change. Horacio Gonzales is one such visionary. He was one of the mission's original founders and now works with both private landowners and the public. I met with him at the Gallery and was stunned by the beauty of Alan Harper's photography that captures the light, the color and the feeling of the Baja landscape. Alan, also one of the founders has worked with large format photography to capture the landscapes and the extraordinary biodiversity of Baja California. He points out, "Rapid development and serene beauty are found in close proximacy." He hopes that these photos will help the people of the region appreciate what they have, and what they will soon lose if no action is taken. The images he calls, "Real Baja."

One of the areas being focused at this time is the corridor that runs along the coastline of the agricultural valley of San Quintín. Some photos show the fields tilled just a few feet from the bluff overlooking the Pacific. What is not realized by most is that first there is the loss of the rich mix of flora and fauna as well as, the problem of the pesticide poison runoff entering the world of the Pacific marine life.

Horacio said that what is helping is the public's need for organic produce. This pressures the farmers to give the public what will sell. Spokespersons from the organization go out to talk directly to farmers and ranchers asking them to consider changing their current methods. The "coastal disturbance" is well documented in a video brilliantly produced to show what has already been lost, and how significant this loss affects us all.

Land acquisition is very important to the vision. Horacio and others interface with the landowner in the critical areas. They might convince a rancher that he could use his land in sustainable ways by inviting eco-friendly tourism such a hiking, fishing, camping that would replace some of the money that might occur in the change. If there is an opportunity to buy the land, Terra Peninsular's task is to find the fund. In addition, another most recent option is to actually lease the lands known as "Federal Zone" from the Mexican government. The Federal Zone was created to protect ownership of the coastal waters of both Baja coastlines. Developers then "leased" the land to build permanent structures. WildCoast activist, Serge Dedina, first awakened to the idea of ​​leasing federal land as a conservation program to protect from further development. Horacio is quick to clarify that he and the organization are not against development, as long as it is sustainable and sensitive to the natural ecosystems and wildlife.

City of Ottawa Deck Permits

So, you’ve decided that it’s time to turn your back yard into the paradise you’ve always dreamed of by building a deck. After much deliberation with your better half, you decide to take the project on yourself – after all, Bob down the street built his own deck, and he’s not nearly as bright or as capable as you are. Plus, he didn’t have your secret weapon: a really handy brother-in-law.

The first step is to come up with a design, and answer the numerous questions that go with it: how big? how high? do I attach it to the house? floating or on piers? what type of material? where to put the stairs? what type of railing? do I need a railing? and so on and so on. Then you remember that disagreement you had with your neighbour last fall and it hits you. Do I need a permit? What if I build without a permit and that neighbour reports me to the city and they make me tear it down? Or worse, I try to sell my house at some point and the potential buyers check with the city and find out that there wasn’t a permit pulled for the deck. Who wants to buy a house for which they could be liable if there is ever a problem resulting from a bad deck design that would never have passed inspection?

No problem, you go on to the City of Ottawa website and check out the requirements. Can’t be that complicated, right? You soon realize that there is a lot of information and it isn’t quite as concise as you had hoped.

The following is a brief outline as to what it all means and why these specific requirements came to be in the first place.

You will need a permit if:

  1. Your deck is more than 600mm (24″) off the ground. At some point, somebody came up with the precise measurement of 600mm (24″) as being the distance you could fall off of something, like a deck, and seriously hurt yourself. Especially in a back yard setting where there may be rocks, stone retaining walls, etc., to land on. Therefore, if your deck is going to be more than 600mm off the ground, the City of Ottawa (and the province of Ontario) wants to make sure that you have adequate safeguards in place to make sure that anyone that occupies your deck is protected.
  2. Your deck is attached to your house. Attaching a deck structure to your house structure is obviously something that needs to be done properly, especially with today’s construction methods. For example, with the use of engineered floor joists, it is not uncommon for the web section of the rim joist of your home to be 3/8″or ½” OSB, where you would normally expect to find a 2×8 or 2×10. Attaching the ledger board of your deck to OSB is never going to end well, despite using the appropriate lag bolts and spacing. The City of Ottawa (and the province of Ontario) wants to make sure that the structural connection between your deck and your house is sound.
  3. Proximity to the property line. Picture yourself laying in your lounger on your beautiful deck that you had a permit for and specifically built to code, only to look up and see your neighbour watching you because his deck is four feet off the ground and snug up against the other side of your six foot fence. You may be fond of your neighbour, but now we have a problem. The City of Ottawa (and the province of Ontario) wants to make sure that your privacy is protected.
  4. Floating or piers. If you plan on attaching your deck to your house, but you decide to save a few bucks by putting the deck supports on deck blocks (also called pyramid blocks), there could be a serious problem when winter comes and your deck experiences frost heave but your house hopefully doesn’t (if it does, you have more to worry about than deck permits). The City of Ottawa (and the province of Ontario) wants to make sure that if you attach your deck to your house that you also place it on the proper piers/footings.

The Ontario Building Code also defines the minimum requirements for a multitude of other factors, such as joist size, beam size, handrail requirements, etc. Do your homework before you build, and should you have any further questions, please contact C3 Ottawa Renovations for more information.

How to Establish Your Container Garden

Vegetable production is not only applicable in the countryside or in the gardens but can be grown now within the heart of the city or just in your home even with only a limited space.

If your home has an area with ample sunlight – a requirement for growing vegetables, you can grow them successfully. What are the locations that can be used for container gardening? You can use your patio, balcony, terrace, rooftop, deck, window sill, pathways, etc.

Be aware of the sunlight requirement for each kind of crop. For leafy vegetables, the required sunlight should be about four hours the whole day, for fruit vegetables, at least 7-8 hours sunlight is needed daily, and root vegetables requires around 6 hours of sunlight a day.

And besides of producing your own vegetables in a safer way, the attack of common pests and diseases can be greatly minimized. You can also improve the soil conditions by adding some soil amendments; like manure, compost, and other essential food nutrients needed by the plants.

Everything in your home that are considered as garbage can be utilized to the maximum by making them into compost. Even your household waste water can be used to irrigate your plants.

In other words, container gardening is considered to be the practice that makes use of useless things.

What Containers Are Ideal For Container Gardening?

Growing vegetables can be executed in any type of containers such as; cans, plastics, pails, split vehicle tires, cement bags, feed bags, bottle water plastics, gallon cans, cylinder blocks, milk container, bamboo cuts or any containers that have been thrown away. Even coco shells, banana bracts, leaves of coconut is ideal as potting materials especially for short season vegetables, like, pechay, lettuce, mustard, etc.

Good growing containers should possess the three important characteristics as suggested by Relf (1996);

1. They must be large enough to support fully grown plants.

2. They must have adequate drainage.

3. They must not have held products that are toxic to plants and persons.

Containers that drain poorly can affect the success of a container garden. It is therefore vital to have your containers above ground or any support that would raise the containers such as; slats, hollow blocks or anything to provide space below them to allow excess water to drain freely.

For bigger plants, you should use big containers and for small containers use small plants.

Small containers (1-2 gallons) are suited for lettuce, spinach, mustard, pepper, radish, green onions, carrots, beans, and dwarf tomatoes. Medium size containers (3-10 gallons) are best for eggplants while for larger ones (bigger than 10 gallons) are good for cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes.

For most plants, containers should be at least 15 cm deep minimum especially for shot season vegetables.

Recommended Container Size and Type/Crop

5 gal. window box – Bush beans, Lima beans

1 plant/5gal.pot, 3plants/15 gal. pot -Cabbage, Chinese cabbage

5 gal. window box at least 30 cm deep – carrot

1 plant/gal. pot – cucumber

5 gal. pot – Eggplant, tomato, okra

5 gal. window pot – Lettuce

1 plant/2gal. pot; 5 plants/15 gal. pot – Onion

5 gal. window box – Pepper, spinach

Soil Media Composition

Plants grown in containers will depend on the kind of soil mixture to provide a maximum growth development. It is a must that you should provide the best soil media composition to give the possible return of your toil. Failure to give the plants with the necessary food nutrients in their growing period would results to poor growth, lanky, and stunted plants that will results to your failure.

The ideal soil mixture for container-grown vegetables crops are as follows:

1. It should be light in weight and porous.

2. It should easily drain excess water.

3. It should have high water holding capacity.

4. It should be free from soil borne disease, nematodes and insect pests.

5. It should supply the right and balance amount of nutrients for the plants.

The best mixture of soil media should compose the following; synthetic mix of horticultural-grade vermiculite, peat moss, limestone, superphosphate and complete fertilizer.

Compost can also serve as an excellent growing medium.

In your country where the above media are not available, you can make your own potting media by mixing 1 part loam soil or compost manure, 1 part fine river sand, and coconut coir dust.

If your country is producing rice you can replace coconut coir dust with the rice hull charcoal (carbonized). But this should be thoroughly sterilized to kill some deadly microbes that are detrimental to the plants.

Sawdust is another medium that could be used in preparing your growing medium in the absence of coco coir dust and should also be sterilized.

Sowing Seed and Transplanting

Before going into the sowing procedure, give your utmost attention to the selection of seed you’ll use as planting materials. Good quality seeds should be your first concern.

Good quality seeds possesses the following characteristics:

1. damage free

2. free from other mixture with other varieties

3. free from seed borne diseases

4. and with good vigor and germinating capacity.

To get a quality and reliable seeds, you should buy from certified seed producers or seed suppliers.

All vegetables that undergoes transplanting are excellent for container gardening. Transplants can be purchased from local nurseries or other successful gardeners in your locality.

Before transplanting, fill plastic or germinating tray with the growing media preparation using the following ratio: 60% rice hull charcoal(carbonized), 30 % coconut coir dust, 10% chicken manure (60-30-10 ratio).

In the absence of the above materials in your country, you can use the old soil media preparation – 1 part sand, 1 part compost, and 1 part garden soil (1-1-1 ratio). Make sure to sterilize them before the seed are sown. This is to kill some microorganisms that may cause damage to the seedlings.

You can also purchase a prepared growell medium sold in local agriculture stores in your respective country. Inquire from your agriculture experts available in your area.

Once the growing media is ready, fill the holes of the germinating or potting containers. Press the soil medium lightly with your fingers in every hole filled with the medium. Then follows the sowing of seeds.

In sowing seeds some techniques should be followed to insure germination:

Watermelon (Seeded) (Citrulis lunatus). Soak seed 30 min.- 1hour in top water. Incubate by using moist cotton cloth. Spread the seeds and cover. Place in an improvised cartoon for 24-36 hours. After this period, sow the seeds at I seed per hill. Seed must be level in the soil guided by a finger or stick at 1 cm deep. For the seedless type the procedure is the same as the seeded but the tip near the embryo should be cut with the use of a nail cutter before inserting to the soil. Cutting the end portion of the seed hastens germination.

Bitter Gourd/Ampalaya (Momordica charantia). Soak seeds for 30 min.-1 hour. Cut the tip near the embryo and sow with the seed deep of ¾ of the soil at 1 seed per hole.

Upo ( Lagenaria siceraria ) and Patola ( Luffa cylindrica ). Cut the tip covering only near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole.

Squash (Cucurbita spp). Soak seeds 30 min.-1 hour. Then pinch the tip near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole.

Pepper (Capsicum annum L.), Eggplant (Solanum melongena), and Tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1-2 seeds per hole.

Pechai /Pechay (Brassica pechai), Lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis ), and Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica ). Sow seed directly to the germinating at 1-2 seeds per hole.

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), Honey Dew / Muskmelon (Cucumis melo). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole.

Carrot (Daucus carota) and Raddish (Rafanus sativus). Directly sow the seed to the field at 2-3 seeds per hill.

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis ) and Beans (Phaseolus limensis ). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill.

Corn (zea mays). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill.

Papaya (Carica papaya). Soak the seeds for 30 min.-1 hour then sow to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole.

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus ). Directly sow the seed in the field at 1-2 seeds per hill.

Container size for specific crops.

o Medium – Beans, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, broccoli

o Large – Cuccumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, okra, squash, papaya

o Small – Onions, parsley, radish

Light Requirements

o Sun – Beans, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, carrots, okra, squash, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli papaya

o Partial shade – Lettuce, onions, parsley, radish

Fertilizer Requirements

To get the right amount of fertilizer for your vegetables, you should analyze your soil media mixture. And if you can do it, organic or inorganic fertilizer should be used.

Fertilizer combination of organic and inorganic would be much better with the correct proportion depending on the plant requirement.

When using inorganic fertilizer you should prepare a base nutrient solution by dissolving 2 cups of complete fertilizer in 1 gallon of warm water.

A growing solution is prepared by diluting 2 tablespoons of the base solution in 1 gallon of water.

Application starts by pouring 2-3 tablespoons of the growing solution on the soil media around the plants at the time of transplanting.

The frequency of application may vary from one crop to another, but one application per day is adequate. It is advisable to leach all unused fertilizer out of the soil mix once a week by watering tap water to cause free drainage through the holes in the bottom of the container.

This practice will prevent buildup of injurious materials in the soil media. If you want to use organic fertilizer, you should use pure or 2/3 compost in the growing media.

If both the organic and inorganic fertilizer will be used, at least one part of the growing media should be compost and one tablespoon of the growing solution applied at least once a day.

If you’ll use synthetic mix growing medium, which is already enriched with superphosphate and complete fertilizer subsequent fertilization may not be necessary for early maturing crops.

For late maturing crops, daily application of the growing solution is necessary until maturity or shortly before harvesting.

Water Management

Water is the life for container garden plant. It’s important that you should not neglect this requirement. Proper water management is vital for a successful container gardening.

Basically, one watering a day is enough for container-grown crops. But for vegetables grown in small containers may require 2 times of watering a day.

Plants grown in clay pots needs more frequent watering since pots are more porous and extra water is allowed to drain out from their sides.

If the growing medium appears to be excessively dry and as the plant shows signs of wilting, the containers should be grouped together so that the foliage creates a canopy to help shade the soil and keep it cool.

Poor drainage of the growing media or container can lead to water-logged condition that may results to plant death due to lack of oxygen.

To make sure you have a vigorous plants, always check the containers at least once a day and twice on hot, dry, or windy days and to feel the soil to determine whether it is dump.

To reduce water evaporation for container plants, you should apply mulching materials such as plastic mulch or putting windbreaks.

You can also install trickle or drip irrigation system to the plants base if you think you can’s attend to your plants daily.

Pests and Diseases Control

Control of pests and diseases in containers needs your careful assessment because wrong use of pesticides may cause damage to the environment, especially children who may often come closer to your container plants.

To be safe, you should implement the Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This approach is focused on the so called systematic pest management which means to prevent problems before the pests and diseases appears.

How you can do this?

It is done by monitoring pest population, identifying pests, and choosing a combination of control methods to keep pests population at a minimal level. These methods includes cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods.

Recommended Practices…

o Select insect and disease-resistant varieties of vegetables. Avoid insect attracting plants in the garden or those that are susceptible to pests. Beans, peas, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce and squash are more resistant to insect pests.

o Water the plants adequately to keep them healthy. Fertilize and thin plants to reduce competition for moisture and nutrients.

o Remove weeds to conserve soil moisture and eliminate hiding places of pests.

o Encourage natural enemies of insect pests, such as predators and parasites. Attract beneficial insects like; Western Damsel Bug, Lady Beetle, Green Lace Wing, and Minute Pirate Bug into your garden by planting small flowered plants such as; daisies, cosmos, marigold, and clover. Be sure they are in flower bloom throughout the growing season.

o Avoid growing the same types of vegetables in the same spot year after year. A 4-year rotation cycle is recommended.

o Exclude pests from plants by using fiber materials, row cover, and other barriers such as plastic bottles and plant collars.

o Remove infested part of the plant right away. Remove all plant residues from the containers after harvesting all the crops.

o Use traps to disrupt mating cycles of insects. Yellow sticky boards catch winged aphids, whiteflies, and leafhoppers.

o Handpick pests or knock them off plants with a stream of water from a garden hose. Kill the insects by putting them a soapy water.

o If all other control methods fails, the least toxic insecticides includes botanical control such as neem and pyrethrin. Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil may also be used for insect control. Always identify the pests before choosing a pesticide and use according to label directions.

Harvesting

Harvesting varies with vegetables. Leafy vegetables may be harvested when the desired leaf size is required for every use they are intended. Others harvest leafy vegetables after the required age is meet. For fruit vegetables such as, Luffa, Cucumber, Eggplant, beans, Okra, and Upo they are harvested when their size are big but tender. For squash varieties, they are harvested either matured or big but tender depending on the preference of users.

Cabbage, cauliflowers, and broccoli should be harvested when their heads are already compact. Peppers and tomatoes may be harvested when their fruits have started to ripen.

If you’re growing container-grown vegetables just for home consumption, you can harvest only some part of the plant and retain the rest for future use. But if you think you have more than enough for family use, you can harvest them all and sell or give them to your neighbors.

Never allow your vegetables to bear flower before harvesting them except when your purpose is to collect the seeds for future planting.

Maturity Indices of some Vegetables

o White potato, onion, garlic – Tops begins to dry and topple down

o Cowpea, sitao, snap beans, batao, sweet pea, winged bean – Well-filled pods that really snap

o Okra – Full-sized fruits with the tips that can be snapped readily

o Lima beans, pigeon pea – Well-filled pods that are starting to lose their greenness

o Upo, luffa – Immature (if thumb nail can penetrate easily)

o Tomato – Seeds slip when fruit is cut, or green color turning pink

o Sweet pepper – Deep green color turning dull

o Musk melon – Color of lower part turns creamy yellow, produces dull hallow sound when thumped

o Cauliflower – Curd compact (over mature if flower clusters elongates and begin to loosen)

o Broccoli – Bud cluster compact (over mature if loose)

o Cabbage – Heads compact s (over mature if heads cracks)

o Sweet corn – Exudes milk sap when thumbnail penetrates kernel

o Eggplant, ampalaya – Desirable size is reached out but still tender

o Honey dew – White color cream with aroma

o Squash – Big enough with dried leaves

o Watermelon – Dull hollow sound when thumped and lower color part turns yellow

o Water spinach – Leaves at their broadest and longest

Problems Encountered in Container Gardening

In container gardening you’ll meet some problems that may hinder your daily operations. This is sometimes discernible when you’ll not attend the plants due to negligence.

However, you can prevent these problems if you’ll religiously observe your plants closely. Small pests and diseases can’t be seen visibly if you’ll not see the plant appearance closely. You’ll only see the affected plants once you come closer and actually touch them.

Some symptoms, causes, and corrective measures you should observe…

o Tall, spindly and not productive. The plants receives insufficient sunlight and excessive supply of Nitrogen. To correct them, you should transfer the containers to a place where there is sufficient sunlight.

o Yellowing from bottom, poor color, and lack vigor. The plants receives too much water and low fertility. To correct this, you have to reduce watering intervals and check the pots for good drainage.

o Plants wilt even with sufficient water. The plants has poor drainage and aeration. To correct, you should use a potting mix with high percentage of organic matter. Increase the number of holes of the container for good drainage.

o Burning or firing of the leaves. The soil medium is high in salt. To correct this problem, you have to leach the container with tap water at regular intervals.

o Stunted growth, sickly, and purplish color of leaves. The temperature is low and low phosphate. To correct, you should relocate the containers to a warmer area. Increase phosphate level in base solution.

o Holes in leaves and distorted in shape. The plants are pests infested. To correct, you should use non-chemical insecticides or other biological control for insects.

o Spots on the leaves, dead dried areas or powdery or rust occurrence. The plants are affected with a disease. To correct them, you should remove the disease affected parts or the whole plant in serious condition. You can use non-chemical pesticides if the disease is in the early stage of infestation.

Jealousy in Lesbian Relationships

When I was growing up my mother always told me, “Do not be jealous of others. Do not wish for what others have. Do not fight to possess and control someone, because in the end you will be alone as nothing belongings to us but is merely an experience.” She was a wise Buddhist that attempted to sooth a young adolescents’ tantrums of wants that weren’t fulfilled.

It is true today, that I rarely feel jealous or envy, which I account for my upbringing and the love I was given as a child. Therefore, in the spirit of my mom I would like to pass on a footnote of knowledge hopefully, lightening up the weight of those emotions that have a hunger for our soul: jealous, anger and envy.

I have often heard in therapy and in my own life people projecting this emotion as a trigger of someone else’s behavior, “She makes me Jealous. It’s her fault she makes me this way.” Basically, when it comes to jealous we very quickly pass the buck onto our partners as the creator of this unwelcome feeling. Unfortunately, they are often not to blame as no person is able to create feelings and emotions within us. Only I have the power to create and control what is within me.

Now I know, some of you are thinking “cut the crap with this Zen shit it’s definitely not me, it really is her.” Well, sure they are cases where partners work very hard to make you jealous, but I would bet money that they are very jealous people themselves and that you are both in heated water suffering from the same illness just different symptoms. The illness is one you probably know as Low Self-Esteem and Insecurity.

When we have negative beliefs about ourselves we are off balance, and feel very much powerless to the world. We will even try regaining this power by bargaining with our partners by saying things like: “If you wouldn’t… then I wouldn’t react this way.” However this has very little success in the real world often neither you achieve your goal because this is not a balance within yourself and simply a quick exchange of false power.

So, in order to eliminate jealous we must only look within ourselves and start the change there, addressing our beliefs that create the emotions. Your relationship will change once you eliminate jealous, and even anger and envy will subside.

Here is how to begin the process:

  • Build your inner power, so that you see that you have control over your emotions and don’t become a bulldozer that is reactive.
  • Look at the whole picture. What are you jealous of? What is the underlying emotion. Focus: is it perhaps fear, abandonment, unworthiness that your experiencing? Delay you reaction by understanding where it is coming from?
  • What are you inner core beliefs about yourself and the world? Identify you triggers? Example: I get jealous of my girlfriend, because I fear abandonment and that she may leave me for someone better.
  • Just because you feel and believe something does not make it a fact. Learn to separate and question yourself.
  • Be the creator of your inner world. You have the ability to create the images you project into your mind and the emotions you choose to experience.

Alex Karydi~The Lesbian Guru

KX-RM 65 Suspension Tuning and Modifications

In this article I will briefly familiarize you with the original equipment (o.e.) Kawasaki/Suzuki 65cc suspension design, tuning tips, and modifications. As a suspension tuner and motocross hobbyist I have observed a lot of discussion over o.e. KX/RM65 suspension. There are numerous message boards filled with ambiguous suspension modifications and specifications for this motorcycle.

The front forks on the KX/RM65 are outdated by several decades but can be adjusted for certain riding conditions. Damper rod forks as found on KX/RM65s are outdated since they create an overly progressive dampening curve (they are too soft initially and too harsh during fast fork movement). The rebound adjuster on the front forks can be used to adjust for some cases of head shake and cornering difficulties. Head shake may occur it can due to too much or to little rebound dampening. This may be fixed by turning the adjuster in increments of two clicks and test. The rebound adjustment can also aid with cornering problems. If the bike washes out in corners, turn the rebound adjuster clockwise in increments of two clicks. If the bike does not stand back up from corners fast enough, turn the rebound adjuster out in increments of two clicks. The front of the bike can also be lowered by moving the forks up in the triple clamps. This may aid in cornering but can cause head shake.

The KX/RM65 models are equipped with a rebuildable rear shock that is mounted to a modern linkage system. This system increases the shocks work load as the rear suspension compresses further towards bottoming. A starting point to adjusting the rear shock is to set race sag at 70-75mm but to not exceed static sag by 25mm. If meeting the two conditions is not feasible, a different rate shock spring may be needed. The rebound adjuster can aid rear end stability and traction. If the rear of the bike swaps to the sides or kicks up it may be due to too much or lack of rebound dampening. To solve this turn the rebound adjuster in increments of one turn and test. Rear traction is often times lost when there is too much rebound dampening and this may be solved by turning the rebound adjuster counter clockwise one turn.

The o.e. KX/RM65 suspension performance does not suffice most competitive motocross riders. There are two effective popular tuning services available for the KX/RM65 forks. An emulator valve can be installed which offers a less progressive and more predictable feel to the front end of the bike. This mod is sold as a “bolt on kit” but is not effective if installed in that fashion. Additional damper rod modifications are needed to tune rebound dampening properly. A cartridge system is also available for the forks that can be installed after machining of the lower fork legs. This cartridge system can be tuned by replacing shims and via rebound and compression adjustments. The o.e. KX/RM65 rear shock has a lot of potential and can be tuned by a revalve service. The KX/RM65 suspension may be mediocre initially, but with proper suspension tuning services it can become a very competitive 65cc dirt bike.

More Brake Power on Your Kawasaki ZZR1100

The Kawasaki ZZR1100D series motorcycle went through several evolutions culminating in the D9. The machines enjoyed several cosmetic developments and a change to bigger carburetors, but throughout the years Kawasaki stuck with the same front Tokico four piston brake calipers.

Anyone who has owned these machines will know what a vivid performer they are. The chassis is planted and stable with it’s long wheel base and smooth suspension. The riding position in unison with the full fairing presents the rider with a superb platform to cover fast long mileage with ease. This of course was rendered possible by the power plant. The ZZR1100 engine was legendary against its contemporaries and put the icing on the cake of this fabulous bike. The only problem now was stopping it!

What was the solution to the under specified front brakes? Several manufacturers came up with bespoke adapter brackets that would take an off the shelf, uprated caliper and marry it to the OEM forks. There were also after market bespoke calipers for direct fitment but both these solutions came in at an excess of £700.

Luckily there was a high performance bike (the Suzuki GSXR 1000K1/2) whose front calipers fit the ZZR1100 fork almost without modification. The GSXR calipers are a six piston Tokico unit in an attractive gold finish. They are significantly more powerful than the OEM four piston units on the ZZR1100. The caliper mounting lugs take M8x1.25 (coarse pitch) bolts and when offered directly to the ZZR fork, are slightly off lateral alignment with the brake rotor by about 2mm. The only modification necessary is to reduce the the fork leg diameter on the ZZR1100 from 10mm, the original brake mounting bolt size, to 8mm to take a bolt that would fit the GSXR1000K1 calipers. This is a simple adaptor kit you can see on this installation video.

See my other article for technical tips on installation, improving power through re routing your original brake hoses and guidance on finding good Tokico six piston calipers to use with the adapter kit. Also, don’t forget to see our author bio underneath for our contact details too. Happy Braking.

Different Concepts Regarding Concrete Resurfacing

Concrete re-surfacing otherwise called splash on solid offers an awesome technique for property holders to get a flawless new surface at a much lower cost when contrasted with the cost required in remaking another surface. In the course of recent years, enlivening cement re-emerging has seen a gigantic transformation. With cement re-emerging you can without much of a stretch say farewell to each of those dull looking old surfaces and change over them to new amazing ones.

Frequent individuals neglect to understand the capacity of cement to change the look of your homes. Whether it is your carport, divider, lawn, garden, or pool, concrete re-emerging is perfect to change the look of any these surfaces. You can now utilize corrosive recoluoring, concrete stamping, and numerous different ideas to achieve a lovely compositional and enhancing appearance. Recorded benefit are some famous strategies utilized for cement re-emerging:

Shower on clearing is an incredible method for changing your old, broke, and exhausted solid surface into an astonishing new surface. It is essentially a polymer adjusted bond covering that is connected in the current solid surfaces. Pertinent on both old and new solid surfaces, shower on clearing is four times more grounded and sturdy than custom cement. Moreover, the splash on clearing surfaces is anything but difficult to clean, slip safe, and blur safe.

An extensive variety of shading decisions alongside a plenty of stencil examples offer you several outline blend to browse. Splash on clearing is turning into the most favored approach to give your current cement another look without spending much. This strategy for cement re-emerging includes utilization of a limestone or quartz covering that looks simply like genuine stone. This concrete re-surfacing technique was at first used to re-establish chronicled landmarks and structures. Be that as it may, of late it has been utilized for a wide exhibition of modern and business applications furthermore in spots like event congregations, sports stadiums, eateries, and healing facilities.

The surfaces with stamped cement are made by utilizing finishing operations like finished and designed mats over a shower on solid surface. The look of the surface can further be upgraded by including shades copying regular stone and block. These days, a great deal of advances and procedures are utilized for making entrancing solid surfaces. Alongside the solid re-emerging methods said above, level work is likewise accepting a considerable measure of unmistakable quality. In the event that you are going for item, try to first check if the proposed surface is worthy for re-emerging. In the event that yes, it will be ideal to profit the administrations of cement re-emerging from an accompliced ​​proficient. This will guarantee a superior life and search for your solid surface.

Plastic Slip Sheets – A Good Option For Construction

The construction of the foundation has to be a fairly exact science. If everything is not calculated correctly, many issues can arise. Experts have devised many construction tricks and techniques that are used to avoid potential pitfalls during the building process. One of these involves the usage of plastic slip sheets. Using a slip sheet as reinforcement has been successfully used for many years in construction.

What is a Plastic Slip Sheet?

A slip sheet is a piece of plastic, typically polyethylene. It can be made in varying thickness, but it is often used in a 10ml form. Like the name suggests, the slip sheet is used to reduce friction and prevent movement or slippage. Using plastic slip sheets as reinforcement in foundation building helps to prevent cracking.

The Post-Tension Process

Slab-on-grade foundations are one of the most commonly used types of foundations in the United States. These foundations are quick and inexpensive to build (which is why they are so popular); however, they can be prone to cracking during the curing stage. Concrete can shrink as it dries; this can cause cosmetic damage to future floor finishes like tile, vinyl, wood, and carpeting. The type of soil – called expansive soil – is what ultimately causes the shrinkage and cracks. Expansive soil shrinks and swells as the water content changes.

To avoid the cracks, a process using plastic slip sheets is generally used. This process is called post-tensioning. Post-tensioning compresses the concrete, which helps it to resist shrinking and cracking that can be caused by the difficult soil conditions. In order to post-tension a slab foundation, steel strands are run through the concrete in a squared grid pattern. Each strand of steel is covered in plastic sheathing that protects the steel from corrosion and allows it to move during the stressing operation. The strands have an anchorage on each end. Each strand, along with its sheathing and anchorage, is called a tendon.

During the post-tensioning process, the tendons are usually stressed along one end; however, sometimes they are stressed along both ends. When they are stressed, the steel stretches — but it is kept in place by the anchorage. This works to compress the concrete, which, in turn, works to keep the concrete from cracking.

How are Plastic Slip Sheets used with Post-Tensioning?

The plastic slip sheets are installed directly below the slab, or between the slab and the bearing surface. They work to allow the tendons to move the slab smoothly across the ground. Without the slip sheets, the tendons would not have a flat, even surface across which to move. The tendons must be able to move easily across the ground in order to correctly stress the steel, as this is the only way in which the concrete will be compacted in order to avoid shrinkage and cracks.

If builders were to neglect to install plastic slip sheets – or if they were to install them incorrectly – the slab would resist moving, which would prevent the post-tensioning process from being successful.

How to Buy the Right Gymnastics Equipment for Home Use

Buying gymnastics equipment for home use doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Knowing what to look for will save you time and money. Don’t worry about buying the wrong brand or some cheap piece of equipment. We’ve narrowed down the best to save you hours of internet searching. We give you must know details on gymnastics grips, balance beams, mats, and training bars.

First, you need to decide on the type of grip. You can choose between the Palm grip or Dowel grip. Then decide is you prefer a Velcro wrist strap or a buckle grip wrist strap. The advantage of a Velcro wrist strap is ease of use. You can put the grips on quickly and without assistance. Velcro wrist straps tend to be a little more comfortable as well. The only disadvantage is longevity as the Velcro tends to wear down over time. The advantage of a Buckle wrist strap is holding power. The Buckle wrist strap will not wear down over time and always provides a solid hold on the wrist. Most high level gymnasts choose buckle grips for the fact of holding power. Buckle grips won’t slip or move around on the wrist. The disadvantage of Buckle grips is comfort, but there is a solution. Since buckle grips can be tightened down firmly on the wrist, most gymnasts will wear very thick and long cotton wrist bands. The thick wrist band provides cushion for the wrist. Gymnasts may need assistance in putting on Buckle grips which is a small inconvenience. Finally, it’s essential to purchase the correct size. Each brand of grips will come with a sizing chart specific to the brand. This is a fairly easy process and requires a ruler or tape measure as indicated in the sizing instructions. Now you’re ready to purchase.

Choosing the right balance beam is a rather simple process. Home practice balance beams come in three different styles. Low beam, folding beam, and semi-high beam. First determine how much you’re willing to spend as home practice beams range from $80 to $350. Ensure enough space to safely use the beam at home. You must have sufficient clearance on all sides

of the beam for safety. Folding balance beams offer the most versatility. This type of beam can easily be moved around due to its light weight and folding characteristic. One major advantage of a folding beam is the ability of gymnasts to perform difficult skills without the worry of falling to an injury since the beam sits directly on the floor. This type of beam is great for practicing back handsprings. Another advantage is the cost savings since folding beams are generally least expensive. Low beams are another great choice for home practice. Low beams are elevated 3″ to 4″ off the ground and do not fold in half. The low beam is very stable and solid making it a great choice for all around beam practice. It’s great for practicing hand stands, back walk overs, back handsprings (with a spotter), and many other skills. Low beams tend to offer a more competition like feel and quality. Finally, the semi-high beams are also a great choice for home practice. This type of beam is elevated 12″ to 24″ off the ground. Semi-high beams offer all the great benefits of the low beam while a bit higher off the ground.

Investing in a good quality gymnastics mat is an important decision for the safety of gymnasts. When researching gymnastics mats you’ll want determine your budget. Gymnastics mats range in price from $100 to $800. As a general rule, the bigger the mat, the more expensive it is. Determine what you will use the mat for. Are you placing it under a Junior training bar? This would require a landing 4″ to 8″ in depth. If you’re using the mat under the low beam a depth of 2″ to 4″ would work. If you need a mat for tumbling skills, a 2″ depth is sufficient. You will need increased mat length for tumbling skills and less mat depth. If you just need a mat for stretching or yoga, 2″ depth or less is sufficient. Keep in mind that mats will differ from each manufacturer. While the square footage of mats may be the same, foam density could be different. Not all 2″ mats are created the same. You don’t want a soft squishy mat for stretching or yoga, but rather a firm mat. You don’t want a firm landing mat under a training bar, but rather a softer mat to break a fall.

Finding the right pair of gymnastics grips should start with asking the coach what, if any, brand and type of gymnastics grips they prefer. (If you want a good guide on everything about gymnastics grips, click the gymnastics grips link). While a good starting point, the gymnast ultimately has the final say and should be satisfied with the quality and feel of the grips. The majority of grips on the market are high quality which makes choosing a rather simple process. All of the grips reviewed on this site are high quality and used in gymnastics competitions all over the country and range from $10 to $55. There are, however, a couple of key points to keep in mind before you purchase a pair of gymnastics bar grips.

Choosing a gymnastics training bar for home use can be simple if you know what to look for. When choosing training bar, keep in mind you are not purchasing a full scale uneven bar system as seen in gymnastics facilities across the country. The training bar is not meant to perform full routines and high level skills. The purpose of a training bar is to practice basic bar skills, drills, and conditioning. All training bars are basically the same in size, construction, and material. There are some small differences that could impact which bar you end up buying. You will want to check the weight limit of the bar. Some bars only hold up to 100 lbs. while other bars hold up to 140 lbs. One common problem with all training bars is the lack of floor anchors as seen attached to the bars at your local gym. This may allow the bar to move around the floor while in use. To remedy this common problem, leg extensions can be attached giving the bar more stability. Keep in mind that you will need sufficient padding beneath the bar for safety. 4″ to 8″ of padding is recommended. A good landing mat will provide adequate safety. Training bars are expensive. If you can’t afford the ongoing monthly fee for extra classes at your local gym this is a great alternative for extra practice.