Do You Want a Real High – Go Surfing Every Day

How can I explain surfing in one word? WOW! Surfing is the best “high” you will ever experience. This article will tell you about the special feelings that you will get once you get hooked on surfing. There are many ways to explain what surfing is all about. Here are a few. Surf Comp app is another useful app for surfing that will help you to keep track the competition.

Surfing is Aloha. Surfing is Freedom. Surfing is Living. Surfing is Stoke. Surfing is a Feeling. Surfing is Happiness. Surfing is like having a Love Affair. Surfing is in your Heart. Surfing is Love. Surfing is Wonderful. Surfing is God Given. Surfing is Life.

There are nearly as many expressions of surfing as there are watermen; the art of surfing is about the different elements that bring joy to each individual in the water. So, go surfing and get a real natural high!

You can experience the joy of surfing on just about any surfboard type or design. You can get the feeling of surfing from everything from a bodyboard to a skimboard, a wakeboard, a short surfboard, a long surfboard, a Standup Paddleboard, and even bodysurfing.

I love surfing and being in the water. I want to share this experience with you so that is why I am writing this article in hopes of getting someone excited about surfing.

Here is what one surfer says about sharing the surfing experience, “There is no better feeling than getting another person stoked on surfing. Truly, it does not bum me out that there are more surfers in the water these days. It just means that I have to get up earlier in the morning. When I saw this man rise on a wave for the first time, I felt as if I had gotten up on a wave for the first time.” -Shaun Tomson. Surfer’s Code.

I grew up in Laguna Beach and it continually surprises me that I don’t see more Laguna Ticks, as the locals are called, in the water and on the beach every day. Yes, there are a myriad of reason to avoid the beach when it’s windy, when it’s raining, when it’s too hot or too cold, the sun burns, but there are so many better reasons to find the reason to be on the beach and in the water on those days that I can’t stay away. It’s like a wonderful natural high. With the ocean and the surf as your friend, you are set for life.

You don’t have to be a pro surfer to enjoy surfing. It’s too bad that most all surfing movies show the professionals doing all of these wild and difficult maneuvers in waves that most surfers can’t and will never ride. Most of us mere mortals can have fun riding waves that are only one foot or maybe 3 to 5 feet on the face of the wave. Most of the movies send the wrong message to the general public because the waves are scary and beyond the capability of 99% + of all the surfers in the world.

So, forget the big surf and go to the beach and ride the little to moderate sized waves that God created for all of us to enjoy. Ride you boogieboard or your soft surfboard. Go out and have fun,which you will. If you really get hooked on the sport of surfing then you can graduate to the bigger waves, but that takes practice, lots of time in the water, physical stamina, and the will and determination to get better. Most of us just want to feel comfortable and have fun riding the friendly waves.

Here is what one of my friends recently told me, ” A friend asked if I enjoyed retracing my steps, going slow, riding mushy waves… For me, there was never a pro career and never will be. Surfing is a vocation for me and my job is to share my love for the sea, for the water and the spirit that I find with others, one way or another. It’s not about “liking” it. It’s that I can’t imagine not doing it”. This is the feeling of love that will build in you from surfing. You will grow to love it and it will become irresistible.

In the opening paragraph of this article I wrote, “Surfing is Aloha. Surfing is Freedom. Surfing is Living. Surfing is Stoke. Surfing is a Feeling. Surfing is Happiness. Surfing is like having a Love Affair. Surfing is in your Heart. Surfing is Love. Surfing is Wonderful. Surfing is God Given. Surfing is Life.

When you discover surfing, you will experience all of these feelings. Now, it may not be immediate, but if you go to the beach on a warm sunny day with warm water or wearing a wet suit that keeps you warm, you will get the taste of what it is all about. You will see many people from the smallest kids to senior citizens playing in the water, riding waves on various surfing devices, all of them with a smile on their face. They are silently feeling the warm inner feelings of surfing. However, they will also become very expressive and sometimes yell and shout when they ride a good wave.

The waves are a special gift of God that gives the surfer the feelings of happiness, love, excitement, feelings that you are free, that you are alive, and that your are surfing life. You are experiencing Aloha, which is all about love and happiness and the sharing of these warm feelings with everyone you encounter. This is what Duke Kahanamoku promoted.

Surfing is “stoke”, which is a surfing term that means excitement. When you get involved in wave riding and surfing, you will feel the stoke! Surfing is wonderful, it grows in your heart and becomes like a love affair.

How can I explain surfing in one word? WOW!

So my friends, don’t stay out of the water on those cloudy days or when the surf isn’t just perfect. Go to the beach, take a walk, get in the water, ride those little small mushy waves, and have fun. Take the wonderful feelings you get from surfing and fill your life and relationships with them.

Surf Life for the rest of your life and feel the stoke!

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

Oak Street Surf is an online, one stop, surf shop representing the latest surfboard products. You can get a good review of top of the line surfboard types and designs including bodyboards, skimboards, Custom SUPs, longboards, and shortboards.

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

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

Visit Oak Street Surf at [] to find out more about surfboards, surfing, Standup Paddleboards, and what types and designs of water sports products are available.

You will be able to talk to the experts with over 70 years of surfing experience. They will tell you about the “stoke” of surfing. Visit the site now!

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How Much Do Home Inspector Certifications Matter Anyway?

A trend I’ve been noticing in a down economy is that when people are losing their jobs, unemployment rises, and work is harder to come by, education systems come out of the wood-works. As people have been forced to become more creative and ‘entrepreneurial-minded’, a whole new industry has boomed, offering professional certifications for just about anything, as long as you have the money to spend. Besides inspecting the property yourself, you can also arrange for property inspection reports, such as a building inspector report.

For example, before I made my way into the home inspection industry in Colorado Springs, I obtained two different certifications while experimenting with other careers in 2007 and 2008 for two very different fields: heavy equipment operation, and personal fitness training.

The heavy equipment operating school I attended in Las Vegas (The Nevada School of Construction, a.k.a. NAHETs) was straight forward, and not completely relevant to what I’m about to point out, except for this: I spent a lot of money to acquire training and certifications to market myself to prospective employers, but in the end, those certifications were basically just ‘marketing tools’. Telling a construction company that I was ‘certified’ was supposed to help me stand out above the rest, but aside from some very basic proficiency with the machines, by the time I found a real job running that heavy equipment, it was completely obvious to that employer how painfully ‘green’ I was while working. Spending a lot of money for that certification was just a way market myself, and it did not mean that I was a good heavy equipment operator.

When I went into personal training, the certification schools available were extremely similar in structure to the certification organizations involved in the home inspection industry, which I’ll get into in a minute.

Most large gyms in Las Vegas only employed trainers who were certified by one or more certain educational organizations. I obtained my certification through NESTA (The National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association), one of the larger (but not the biggest) educational companies out there for trainers.

And here’s how it works:

You pay NESTA $300 or so for some study material (an e-book and a few DVD’s, as I recall), which, upon passing the multiple choice test at an approved testing location, you become a member, and have the right to utilize their logos in marketing yourself. To KEEP your certification and membership, you must regularly enroll in continuing education, choosing from various other courses, indefinitely. Keeping that membership and the title of being ‘NESTA-certified’, you’d have to continue paying the organization, year after year.

Now, in all honesty, I enjoyed the education. But I didn’t learn anything from their materials that I couldn’t have learned just as easily on my own. But I had been convinced that education provided from a certification company was special.

NESTA, and other larger educational organizations like it, have utilized a tactic to carve out a business niche and change the standards of the personal training industry across the country to propagate the belief that such certifications are necessary. And this circular belief continues to reinforce such a standard, while anyone serious about going into the business for themselves could accomplish the same education on their own. Such educational entities ultimately enjoy forcing these small entrepreneurs into becoming a member to satisfy this artificial perception.

In 2012, after years in the construction and home improvement industries (and a brief stint in personal training, of course), I took my residential construction and marketing experience, and set my focus on the home inspection business.

And I was not surprised to see the same, similar model of self-serving professional certification businesses there.

Now, in the home inspection industry, there are likewise many certification companies to choose from. The big ones are ASHI (The American Society of Home Inspectors), NACHI (The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, a.k.a. InterNACHI), NAHI (The National Association of Home Inspectors), and NIBI (The National Institute of Building Inspectors). There are many others, less-widely known.

The model is the same. You pay a few hundred dollars to take their exam and become a member. Some organizations will try to sell you expensive in-person training, and match you up with one of their certified instructors in your state, if possible. You will have to pay substantial yearly dues to remain a member, and you will also need to take continuing education to keep your certification valid. You’ll continue paying the organization, year after year.

To someone new to the real estate or construction industry, this basic education in home inspection (if you opt to pay for the expensive training) can be valuable to an extent, but only as valuable as my basic heavy equipment operating training was to me. A brand new home inspector with a certification may have never raised a hammer before in his life. And even though he may be very inexperienced, even incompetent, he can then use that certification as a banner to get business because the real estate industry has been manipulated to believe that having a big-name certification means he’ll do good work.

The major advantage of being certified is the ability to use the certification organization’s logos and their marketing tools. Some may have a marketing ‘network’ on the web to help provide leads. This marketing ability can actually be quite powerful and effective, because just like with the personal training industry, the home inspection certification industry has carved out their own niche in the real estate world to where many realtors and customers are led to believe that certifications are necessary. And you’ll often see home inspectors with these large, expensive certifications helping to continue this myth, because they are now bound to it by the recurring expense they incur to maintain them.

I believe that the focus of professional certification businesses is to build their own cash flow more than it is to provide the great educational background that people are led to believe a certification stands for. A professional certification can be extremely valuable as a marketing tool for an inspector going into business, but that’s about it. The organization may provide (for sale, of course) the inspector with various forms, maybe a business model, and other shortcuts to get them on their way, but when you examine these things, it becomes clear that the primary goal is to just make more money for the certification companies.

In my business, for instance, I examined some of these forms (available for sale from certification companies) before designing my own, and found their legal strength convoluted and weak. When I first considered getting into the business, I bought an excellent book/manual for the industry from Amazon, and found that many certification companies use that very book for course materials. And as far as their testing standards? One of my inspectors informed me that when he, himself, was perusing the major certification companies, he applied to one of the big organizations online and aced their exam without a lick of study, based on his construction background.

Christopher Solomon of MSN Real Estate, author of the e-article “4 tips for finding the best home inspector”*, states:

“Don’t trust an inspector simply because he or she has a state license or certification… the training may be so minimal that it is ineffective.”

What this all boils down to is that, whether you are a customer looking for a home inspector, or a realtor networking with home inspectors, a builder or construction professional considering home inspection as a new career, or anyone else in the real estate industry exposed to the myth that a certification is required… remember that it’s a myth. Certification organizations are in the business of making money from people who believe they need certifications. And you can bet that those companies, and the successful home inspectors who are tied to them, will continue pushing the myth, even so far as lobbying for state regulation that ends up giving those organizations even more business.

That’s why I don’t pay much attention to certifications, but, instead, focus on the experience a potential (inspector) applicant already HAS, in real estate, development, home building, renovations, etc., before he ever decided to get into the property inspection business in the first place.

And you should too.

Eddie Patin is the Managing Director of Alliance Home Inspections Inc. in Colorado Springs.

He is not certified. And if he ever becomes certified, it will be for marketing purposes.

All of the Home Inspectors working for Alliance (some certified, some not) have many years of experience in construction, building, renovations, and real estate. When you’re looking for a property inspector, make sure they have lots of practical experience and will know exactly what they’re looking at when evaluating a house, and especially WHAT to look for.

Alliance Home Inspections Inc. – A Colorado Springs Home Inspection Firm

Washing a Car – Simple, But Has to Be Done the Right Way

You’ve spent a lot of money on your car, you are proud of it and want to keep it looking nice, right? Despite your best intentions, you are likely damaging your car’s paint in your attempts to take care of it. You make a practice of regularly going to the drive-through car wash. However, you don’t know what sand, oil, contaminants and assorted muck the other cars left behind that are being kicked up and pelted into your car’s finish. You trust that the operator is using appropriate car washing detergent in the right amount, but are they? provides professional car cleaning products and automotive detailing products and supplies used to keep cars spotless and clean, inside and out.

I once went through a “touchless” car wash only to have the attendant come out at the end of the wash and start scrubbing the front of my car with a push broom! I yelled at him to stop. He looked amazed and said that most people want that because it gets all of the dirt off. Arrrgh… a push broom on my paint! He might as well have pulled out his electric sander and sanded my car!

If you are really careful you may hand wash your car at home, taking great care not to damage your paint. You wash with a terry cloth or shop rag, dry with a “shammy” and wax it like your dad taught you, not realizing how rough these materials are on your paint.

Yet when you are giving it a good last wipe, you see fine swirl marks in your reflection. Are they getting worse? How did those get there in the first place? Well, I hate to tell you that if you are washing your car like most people do, you are the one putting that lovely swirl design in your “baby’s” finish. And those marks signify damage. Car paint has changed from when your dad purchased his first car. You have to treat it differently than what you may have thought, in order to protect the clear coat (the clear, protective layer applied on top of the paint at the factory). In years past, paint was laid on thicker than it is today.

Now it is thinner, with a protective clear coat that is about as thick as a single sheet of paper. Once you scratch through it, your paint is exposed and vulnerable to the elements. Those swirl marks are scratches in your clear coat. How can you avoid damaging your paint in the first place? Can you repair damage you’ve already done? You can start by not making the five mistakes listed below and by following the guidelines that are provided. You will be amazed at how inexpensive and simple they are to follow and how great your car will look after you make a practice of doing them.

5 Car Washing Mistakes That Will Damage Your Car’s Paint

-DON’T use a sponge or brush to wash your car.
The surface of the sponge and stiff bristles on the brush will scratch your car’s paint. They will also pick up micro-contaminants such as small grit and sand that will act as sandpaper as you move the sponge or brush over the surface of the car. Only use a brush on your wheels and tires.

–DON’T wash your car under the blazing sun.
Although it feels nice to get a little sun as you wash your car, the sun dries the soap on your car and you get a dull, soapy residue as a result. Also the water will evaporate faster than you can wipe it off and you will get damaging water spots on your paint.

–DON’T wax your car.
Wax only lasts about 30 days in warm weather and is especially vulnerable to melting at high temperatures. It also gets washed away during rainy days and when you wash your car. So your car’s paint surface is not as protected you think. Besides that, you’ve wasted a few hours for no real gain. Also think about this. Waxing involves fairly hard rubbing of our paint’s surface to both apply and remove the wax. If the surface of your car isn’t really clean and contaminant free, you could be grinding small grit into the surface.

–DON’T use dish washing detergent.
The chemicals in these detergents are very harsh on your paint and can damage it.

–DON’T Use a “shammy”, bath towel or shop rag to dry your car.
Boy, this goes against what many people think, doesn’t it? They think a “shammy” is great for soaking up water, but again, like using sponges and brushes while washing, it can trap particles that can scratch your car’s paint as you rub it all over your car. So now you know what not to do, here is what you can do to avoid damage, better protect your car’s finish and have a fantastic sheen on your “baby”.

5 Easy, Inexpensive Techniques To Wash and Detail Your Car

–DO use a micro-fiber cloth or mitt when you wash your car.
These products are particularly well suited for use on the surface of your paint without inflicting damage. They can be found at most auto part stores and even though they may cost a little more than what you may have been using, the investment is well worth it.

–DO wash your car in the shade.
Find a shady spot. They key here is to avoid direct sun so that the soapy residue won’t have time to build up on your car’s paint. It also allows more time to thoroughly dry off your car before damaging water spots form.

–DO use a synthetic paint sealant on your car.
Not only does waxing not really provide the protection you think it does, it’s unnecessarily hard work! Synthetic sealants are much easier to apply and far easier and faster to wipe off. Plus they don’t melt or wash off and offer up to six months of protection. Again, they can be found in most auto part stores.

–DO use soaps formulated specifically for car paint.
Like the special detergent recommended for your delicate clothes, automotive detergents are formulated specifically to clean your car’s finish. The nice part about them is that a little amount goes a long way, so you really will be saving money in the end by investing in a high quality auto detergent.

–DO use micro-fiber towels when drying your car.
Like washing your car, using a micro-fiber towel is crucial to not rubbing left-over grit into your car’s paint. They are amazingly effective at removing water, too, much more so than a towel.

Car Paintwork Damaged by Bird Lime? Learn What to Do About It

Bird poo, bird s***, bird lime, bird droppings, whatever you want to call it, if you take pride in the appearance of your car, you can’t ignore it. Depending upon the weather, after a decent ‘fall’ the finish on your paint can be so badly damaged it’s going to need a trip to the body shop. Car paint protection Adelaide will last long but it depends on the painter that works in your car, if they knew what they are doing the paint will really last longer than you expected.

If you haven’t experienced it you are either very lucky, are extremely diligent, or don’t take too much notice of your car’s paintwork condition! The usual tell-tale is that when you wash your car you notice a dull patch on your pride and joy. All the washing (and usually all the polishing) in the world and it’s still there.

First of all, a little about what actually causes the damage.

Until fairly recently it was assumed that the lime itself within bird droppings was actually eating into the paintwork itself. Recent studies by car polish experts Autoglym (whose products are approved by manufacturers such as Bentley, Jaguar and Aston Martin, so they know a thing or two) have carried out extensive tests that dispelled that myth.

The lacquer that covers your car paintwork expands and softens slightly as it warms, such as when parked in direct sunlight. Those warm panels soon cause any ‘deposit’ to harden. When things cool down again the lacquer moulds itself around the offending item and behold, the damage is done.

Tests were carried out with strongly alkali, neutral and strongly acidic ‘bird dropping substitutes’ (I know, the mind boggles doesn’t it?) and negligible differences between the damage caused was seen. It was noted that those ‘deposits’ with a ‘higher grain to liquid content’ caused a greater levels of dullness.

So, if your pride and joy has suffered, what can you do?

Well, depending on the severity of the damage you have different options;

Catch It Early
Ideally of course you will spot the droppings quickly and be able to wipe them off carefully with a wet cloth. If so, well done, no damage done.

Light Lacquer Damage
If after a wash you see a dull patch (it’s the light refracting badly through the damaged lacquer), you can try and gently polish the area and see what happens. Don’t do it if you’re not comfortable with what you’re doing. If in any doubt, go see an expert. You may just be very lucky and the lacquer damage is sufficiently minimal that an accommodating body shop may be able to ‘flat and machine polish’ the offending area with 100% success. Or you may decide that the ‘almost perfect’ result is acceptable to you in the face of the alternative, which is…

Irretrievable lacquer and/or paint damage
In a lot of the cases we see, the finish is too far gone for polishing. The only alternative is to refinish the offending panel, which will invariably involve a visit to the bodyshop. It’s worth mentioning that the damage can be inflicted in hours, it needn’t take days or weeks to happen.

If you are unlucky and it’s necessary to repaint part of the panel, if the resultant repair ends up within around 150mm from an adjacent panel, it may also be necessary to ‘blend’ the new colour across the adjacent panel to avoid any colour mismatch.

In terms of costs, shop around to find a reputable bodyshop that will charge less than £200 for a single panel, plus around £110 per ‘blend’ if needed. Bonnets (hood), bootlids (trunk) and roofs are of course very often the damaged panels and you can expect to pay a little more for those.

So, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The fact is that untreated bird droppings very often causes damage that needs a bodyshop.

The only way to avoid it? Don’t park outside (tricky) or carry some specialist wipes (Autoglym make some) and be extremely vigilant!

Oh, and on a final positive note: Try imagining all those Autoglym testers mixing up a range of different ‘bird dropping substitutes’ without smiling to yourself…

Paul Martin is Managing Director of Scuffbusters Ltd, a car care centre in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.

Scuffbusters specialise in carrying out the more minor levels of bodywork repair, often disliked by traditional bodyshops (who invariably price accordingly). Although bumpers and light panel repairs make up a large proportion of our work, we are able to handle panel replacements and everything up to full resprays.

We use the very latest materials and equipment and our highly cost effective prices mean that our specialist low-bake over is usually kept pretty well occupied!

For more details on our services, visit our website at, where you can send us photos of your damage for a super-fast quotation, sign up for our car-care and money-saving newsletter and see examples of our work.

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Federal Highway Administration Unveils National ‘Alternative Fuel and Electric Charging’ Network

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced 55 routes that will serve as the basis for a national network of “alternative fuel” corridors spanning 35 states. Though the network is nearly 85,000 miles long, more miles will be added in the future to accommodate electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas vehicles as additional fueling and charging stations are built. Finding a good company that can provide a detailed print for your business stickers Sydney is the first step to achieve the design that you want.

“Alternative fuels and electric vehicles will play an integral part in the future of America’s transportation system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We have a duty to help drivers identify routes that will help them refuel and recharge those vehicles and designating these corridors on our highways is a first step.”

Those corridors designated as “sign-ready,” meaning routes where alternative fuel stations are currently in operation, will be eligible to feature new signs alerting drivers where they can find fuel for their alternative fuel vehicles. These signs are similar to existing signage that alerts drivers to gas stations, food, and lodging. The designation of these corridors fulfills a directive in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act.

In July, Secretary Foxx called on states to nominate national plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen, propane and natural gas fueling corridors along major highways. The specific fuels were designated by Congress in the FAST Act.

In 2015, the United States pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050. By supporting lower-emission vehicles, alternative fuel corridors will help to reduce transportation emissions, the leading source of U.S. GHG emissions. According to new FHWA data, U.S. drivers consumed nearly 72 billion gallons of gasoline in the first half of 2016 – a 3 percent increase over the same period a year earlier and the largest percentage increase in nearly two decades – and drove more than 3.15 trillion miles last year.

“Identifying where alternative fueling stations can be found will help the public in many ways,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “This initial designation sets the stage for the next round of nominations early next year and begins a conversation with stakeholders about developing and implementing a vision to enable coast to coast travel using alternative fuels.”

The new alternative fuel corridor signs were designed to be easily recognizable. The new signs, and a list of the new sign-ready corridors, can be found on the FHWA website at

Taking The Dread Out Of The Car Hunt

Want to go shopping for a new or used car but aren’t sure how to start? Perhaps you are just too busy, or maybe you don’t know what to look for. Stop yourself from wasting valuable time and finances with inefficient car hunting by employing the advice of this article. You are sure to gain all of the necessary insights. Wide variety of car wash products is now offered by detailing companies but the question is what product is applicable to your car? I think you should consider that question before going into shopping for car products.

If you can’t afford it, don’t be persuaded by a talented salesman. Many people get hoodwinked into buying a sports car because salespeople say the person looks good in it. Keep in mind that a salesperson is trying their best to make a decent commission, so selling a more expensive car benefits them.

Washing Car with Sponge

Do you know that it is possible to get yourself a car loan over the Internet without visiting a dealership? A big reason why the process of buying a car takes a long time is because they have to run your credit and find a lender. This will help to expedite the entire process.

Figure out your budget and then go to see the dealer — in that order. If you are shopping for a car, never exceed your budget. He doesn’t have to pay the bill!

If you are paying a high payment on a luxury vehicle right now, do not take that car with you. This will end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.

Shop at month’s end. Everyone has a quota to meet each month. As month’s end approaches, salespeople who have not yet met their quotas may be more amenable to giving you a better deal in order to increase their numbers.

Social security numbers should not be given until a deal is made. Some dealers will ask for this info upfront so they can run your credit. You should not let multiple dealers run your credit. Therefore, wait until you have negotiated a deal before giving out your Social Security information.

Make sure you stay silent about any trade-ins. Until you settle on a good price for a car you are buying, do not say you want to trade in a car. When a salesperson knows about your trade-in, he or she may factor it into the sales price, which can work against you.

Read everything before you sign it! You should not just sign the contract without reading. Ensure you read it from top to bottom. Once you sign, you are legally bound by the entire document. If you do not want to read it when you’re in the dealership, ask them if you can bring it home to read it. If you can’t do this, then obtain a purchase agreement or a copy of the contract to look at.

Research properly when you want to buy a car that is used. You can find a lot of information on the Internet. Blue book websites are great for finding out about a car’s value. When the dealer won’t come close to those rates, leave.

Try to avoid an as-is warranty at all costs when car shopping. You will probably regret that decision if you make it. The dealer needs to give you a 30 to 90 day guarantee if you’re buying a car. Be aware that if the engine or transmission breaks once you drive away, you will end up having to pay for the repairs.

Try to get all of the prices possible for the car that you want. You may discover that other zip codes in your region offer better prices than you can find closer to home. Looking at price trends online will help to give you an idea of which cities offer the best prices.

Prior to negotiation, figure out what incentives are available. Do some research on trade-ins, rebates, warranties, incentives and bank fees. You can only negotiate well if you understand what is realistic.

The first offer a salesman gives you won’t be the lowest possible offer. The second time will be the better deal, and likely the lowest. They want to reach an agreement, thus they are likely to stop wasting time by then.

Make sure you have discovered any rebates ahead of time. A lot of dealers will offer the rebate to you as an incentive for getting you to buy the car. Less reputable dealers won’t tell you about the rebate and just keep the money for themselves.

After negotiating a bit on the price of the car you want, talk about your trade in. You might be disappointed by the price your old car brings, but it pays to stay flexible in order to take advantage of the new car price you found appealing. You’ve done enough work, now it’s time to buy.

Now that you understand more about car shopping, you should have no trouble finding a great car. Getting a car that works with your lifestyle is very important these days. Begin searching for the perfect car today!

So You Want to Be a Professional Storyboard Artist?

It is a truth that many individuals are unable to visualise a scene for a movie, TV commercial, training video, sales video, or any other kind of video merely from looking over the script or a text.

Present those same individuals with a picture or image of some sort and they will understand the idea immediately. The old expression is that “a picture tells a thousand words” and for very lots of people that holds true. Try, for instance to describe the appeal of a Red Admiral butterfly to somebody in words by themselves. Unless your name happens to be Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, or Colleen McCullough, you might discover it really difficult attempting to get across to them exactly what it looks like. In fact, you might have a tough time attempting to visualise it for yourself as you attempt to describe it. Some concept artist are not good in visual but once you explain to them about the story that you want they can easily conceptualized the whole thing.

However, present those same individuals with a picture or a painting of a Red Admiral and they will get the message immediately.

The Same With A Film Script

It is precisely the exact same with a movie script or a book that you desire to develop into a movie. It can be extremely hard to describe to somebody how great your TVC or video is going to be when you only have words to describe it. In numerous circumstances, they literally cannot “see” it.

What you need is a method of creating an image revealing your idea in a manner in which it can quickly be understood by the individual or individuals to whom you are presenting it.

Enter the freelance storyboard artist. A storyboard artist is somebody who has the ability to visualise the concept of a script or other piece of text and turn it into an image or series of images so that it can easily be understood. In other words, he (or she) can see an image in his mind’s eye and after that draw it so that anyone can comprehend what is going on in a scene.

An Additional Step

Some people believe that having a storyboard developed prior to starting production of a movie or TVC is merely an additional action which includes higher expense to the overall budget and truly isn’t a needed step. However, this is far from the truth. Certainly, employing a freelance storyboard artist adds a little extra expense, but the time and cost savings later can far outweigh this.

Your storyboard will show each shot of the film or video in the correct order and will have notes stating exactly what is going on in the shot and explaining any script that is being used in the scene. This makes it very simple to describe to your prospective customer, your group, or undoubtedly anybody else, how the video will continue and exactly what it is all about. Many stakeholders discover it very hard to visualise something from a script, however your storyboard reveals them exactly how the video will play out.

It Will Help Considerably When It Comes To Production

Your storyboard will also help substantially when it comes to production. In effect you have actually created a prepare for shooting your film or video that includes all of the various shots, the order where they happen, and how the script will connect with them. It allows you to prepare your coverage– the numerous electronic camera angles that you will use– and it also ensures that you do not mistakenly leave any scenes out and have to go back to film them later: that of itself might conserve a considerable amount of cash if you are shooting on location. It will likewise conserve you time invested in modifications later if you do not have a storyboard and something doesn’t rather work out the manner in which you considered.

Some individuals will tell you that you can develop a storyboard on your own, however it is a lot much easier said than done, specifically if you are not good at drawing. It’s real that you do not need to be a Picasso given that a poor illustration is better than no drawing, but nonetheless you need to portray each shot as accurately as possible. You likewise have to add the script beneath each drawing with notes about what is going on in that certain shot.

Lots of people simply do not have the abilities to produce their own storyboard, so it is far better to utilize the services of a freelance storyboard artist such as Dean Mortensen who can visualise exactly what it is that you desire to state and then draw the shots properly for you.

Making Storyboards For 30 Years

Dean Mortensen has actually been an art director of an advertising agency for 30 years, and has been producing storyboards for all 30 of them. He has now left the advertising business and is working out on his own as a freelance storyboard artist. He has the unique ability to look at your script or text and after that create a storyboard revealing each shot precisely as it need to look, together with the accompanying notes and script. What’s more, since he has been creating storyboards for many years he can produce them really quickly when there are time restrictions.

Dean has actually produced storyboards for the major companies such as Revlon, Y & R Group, Avis, Foxtel, Cuddly, Emirates, NSW Transport Maritime, Colgate, Tabcorp,, BWM, and much more. He has actually operated in many markets consisting of alcohol, FMCG, tourism, telecoms, retail services, entertainment, motor cars, and sport, amongst lots of others. He has also won distinguished awards consisting of Gold & Bronze Cannes Lions, London International, D & AD, One Show, and New York Festivals.

Dean is fully able to handle freelance jobs from Australia clients, and international assignments with ease. Thanks duly to Dropbox and the inter-webs, he is able to create your frames remotely and supply his same exceptional quality and accuracy, as if he were just in the next studio, in the next room.

Dean’s storyboards can be produced in various designs such as quick line standard, graphic pencil, line and a splash of colour, or what he calls line and the entire caboodle.

So now you know why you ought to have a storyboard developed and why you must utilize a freelance storyboard artist in order to get the very best outcomes. You can call Dean at +61-432564690 or email him at [email protected]

Car Woes? When To Call In The Professionals

You have probably had problems with your car at some point and you know how frustrating repairs can be. With all of the dishonest auto shops, it can be hard to find a good one. This article will tell you all about getting your car repaired right. Brand your location and turn foot-traffic into sales by using a signage Sydney in your business.

Prior to letting a mechanic touch your vehicle, ensure that they are A.S.E certified. This certification means that the technician has passed a written test and has over 2 years of experience under his or her belt. This also means that you have an experience, knowledgeable repair person working on your car.

Your car should be washed regularly so that rust doesn’t become a problem. While cars are going to rust eventually, you can definitely slow this down by ensuring all chemicals are cleaned off your car as quickly as possible. A good wax is your best friend: a friend that will protect that shiny new paint job for a long time.

Look over the manual that came with your car. Do not hesitate to let your mechanic know about what you learned from the owner’s manual. By knowing the manual, you may actually find you can fix some issues yourself.

Watch out for mechanics that don’t know what they’re doing. If your mechanic talks in confusing terms or tells you not to worry about the details, then it may be time to find one who you have confidence in.` Make sure that you trust the person that you are working with.

You should make sure to have a spare tire and jack with you all the time. They are included with most new vehicles. They are extremely helpful if your car experiences a problem while you are out on the road and you don’t want to call a tow truck. It is a whole lot easier and cheaper if you do it yourself.

Always get a second opinion, a reputable mechanic will not be offended because he knows his diagnosis will be confirmed. Although shops usually can be trusted, you could end up having to pay extra money that you don’t have. Try to find shops that are experts in fixing your specific type of car. Your car is more likely to be repaired properly at these shops.

Is a work-at-home mechanic a viable option? As long as they have experience they can do the same work but they often charge far less for the labor. Next time your car is in need of repairs, ask around for referrals for an unlicensed but fabulous mechanic.

Remove fluffy, fun key chains or have it so that your car key can be removed from the bunch. The ignition on your car is not devised to hold all the weight, even when you don’t consider it heavy. If the key starts to stick, its time to replace the tumblers and say goodbye to your troll buddy!

You do not always have to have your dealer repair your car. There are great techs everywhere whether there’s a great shop 10 minutes from your house or whether you decide to go to the dealer further away. Trust someone that you’re comfortable with.

It is often best to get minor issues checked by a qualified professional if you are not sure how to fix them. Even small issues can lead to much larger ones.

Believe it or not, there are a few shady auto repair businesses that will take your newer tires and switch them with older tires. It is a scam that is used to make more money off of uneducated people. Prior to going there, you should put chalk on the tires so they’re marked. If the chalk isn’t there, you’ve been taken advantage of.

If you’re experiencing a major problem with your brand new car, call the manufacturer immediately. There may have been a recall on the car already, or one may be needed. Manufacturers will often fix the car in these cases.

A portion of auto repair comes from consistency. Find one shop that you like and stick with them. Shops do not all give you the same diagnosis of your vehicle’s problems. The amount that they charge can be different and may cost you more.

The dealer’s mechanics are expensive but worth it. The technicians at dealerships are trained to work on your particular model of car. They can pinpoint the problem quickly and are trained to fix problems common to your model. They also undergo regular training programs.

When you have paid for a new part, ask the mechanic to return the old one to you. If he cannot provide this, he may not have done anything with your car. If this happens, call him out!

The need for repairs is an inevitable part of owning a car. The next time your car needs repairs or maintenance, the tips you’ve learned about here will surely come in handy. One of your best protections is knowing your repair shop’s reputation for reliability.

Weather and Alpine Ski Touring

How Weather Affects Skiing

You should know what weather you are heading into so you’ll be aware of the kinds of conditions you and your equipment may be up against. Often the knowledge of a possible storm may cause you to cancel a ski trip and seek other plans. Or maybe you are a person who enjoys skiing the backcountry in changing weather conditions, in which case the possibility of a storm makes you want even more to keep your plans. Here are some considerations to take into account. I choose ski Canada deals this year’s bucket list for adventure, their agent is really friendly.

Clear Conditions

Clear and quiet conditions are great for skiing. But if you are only a fair-weather skier you are missing a beautiful part of backcountry skiing. Understanding mountain weather allows you to take advantage of good conditions and avoid violent conditions. Always ask yourself, “If the weather does change, how will it affect me?” The best rule is this: Be prudent! Make camp or turn back before you are forced to. The good backcountry skier has a habit of constantly looking above and behind for weather changes and making mental notes on the route already skied.

Mountain Weather Changes Quickly

Each mountain has its own weather pattern that is associated with its shape and surroundings, causing air currents to lift, cool, and condense into clouds – this is called orographic lifting. Mountain valleys are warmer during periods of warm weather, but during the winter they become cold sinks holding super-chilled air at night. With the morning sun, air heats and rises up the mountain to create wind and storms on the peak tops. After sunset, air cools and once again descends into the valleys for the night.

Changes of Season and Storm Frequency

In the United States, storms occur more regularly during the middle of winter, from January up to and including March (roughly June, July, and August in southern latitudes). During winter, the sun is lower in the sky, with sunset occurring much earlier than in summer. Skiing normally occurs between about 8:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. during deep winter. It gets cold quickly as the sun drops in the sky. Spring brings fewer storms and longer days more suited for ski touring. For a seasonal overview of sunrise and sunset times and the length of days in the United States, consult the Farmer’s Almanac and the internet.

Regional Influences

Mountains close to oceans with coastal climates (Sierras, Alps, Cascades, and New Zealand Alps, for example) have higher humidity, and snowfalls of 3 feet (0.9 meters) are common. Mountains far inland from oceans have Continental climates (for example, Rockies and Wasatch) and have less humidity and snowfalls of 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) are more common, with occasional snowfalls over 2 feet (0.6 meters). Humidity is a natural junk maker as it keeps the snow saturated with water, but this wetter snow stabilizes quickly with few avalanches (although it allows snow to stick to steeper slopes). Inland areas of the United States such as Colorado and Utah have dry, cold conditions perfect for dehydrated dry powder snow and powder avalanches.

New Snowfall

New storms bring in new snow and powder skiing, but new snow can also impede progress by forcing you to break trail and thus increase energy expenditure and food demand. Waxing your skins with anti glop wax may be needed to accommodate new wet snow that is slowing your travel. Avalanche danger may increase, forcing you to reroute. Increased cold and wind demands more clothing. During deep winter ski tours, you will need more food, more stove fuel, and more clothing. With this in mind, snow camping could be reserved for spring tours while hut tours are more ideal for the deep of winter.


Rain is the scourge of skiers. It can follow a recent snow when a warm, low-pressure system hits coastal mountains. Rain destroys the snow pack by cutting bonding layers between snow layers or between the whole snow pack and the ground. Skiing becomes difficult in rain because the snow is reduced to slush. Climbing skins can fall off due to moisture if they don’t have a backup attachment system besides adhesive. The skiing is miserable and sloppy. Goggles fog up, making navigation difficult. It might be a good time to make camp or turn back.

Planning for Bad Weather

Have alternate routes planned in case of bad weather. It’s good to have several high (haute) routes and low routes to choose from. Remember that the temperature normally drops 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius) per 1,000 feet (305 meters) in elevation gained. Valleys may be sunny and comfortable, but you might still find blowing and snowing higher up. Higher routes are exposed to more weather and so they are better suited for periods of stable weather and low avalanche danger, like in the spring. Low routes are below the tree line, sheltered from the weather and avalanche activity. These two route design options let you ski the backcountry all winter long.

Getting the Complete Weather Picture!

You can get a good idea of what the weather will be doing by getting up to-date weather forecasts before leaving home and by being observant in the field. An altimeter will back up your observations by detecting pressure changes in the atmosphere. At home there are several different sources of weather information. The internet and television are the primary sources of weather info these days. The satellite radar image shows where the big “storm cells” are. Ask yourself: How big is the storm mass? Does it have breaks and clearing areas? A mountain travel advisory with a winter storm warning that alerts motorists of blowing wind and poor visibility will also hold true for skiers. If you know where ski resorts are located and the snow amounts they are receiving, you can deduce the direction and speed of the storm. For long-term planning, a national weather bureau will have 5-, 10-, and 30-day forecasts that are invaluable for multi day trips.

Jean Vives Ed.D. has his degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Northern Colorado. He has published over 25 articles in such sources as Ski, Skiing and Outside Magazine. His research on skiing won the Charles Houston Grant from the Wilderness Medical Society. He has skied and climbed all over the world. He has done sport science research as Everest Base Camp while teaching at Kathmandu University, Nepal. He has written several books on backcountry skiing. He is a guide and writer living near Boulder, His new book “Alpine SKi Touring Handbook” is due Fall, 2013.

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Replacing Lead-Based Paint Protection System

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today launched their push to secure more than $5 million critical federal funding for the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. Specifically, Schumer and Gillibrand are urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to allocate a first of its kind, $5,013,600 grant through the new FASTLANE program, which Schumer and Gillibrand fought to create. Schumer and Gillibrand said this funding would allow the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to replace the failing, lead-based paint protection system on the bridge. The Senators explained that this bridge serves as a critical link between the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority in Northern New York and Johnstown, located in Ontario, Canada, which is an important avenue for international commerce between the two. However, the current system used to cover and protect the steel girder spans is nearing the end of its usable life and no longer provides adequate protection from corrosion. On top of this, the lead-based substance could post a potential risk to the environment. Therefore, Schumer and Gillibrand said a more environmentally friendly and substantial, zinc-based protection system would not only present fewer threats to area ecosystems but also ensure this bridge is capable of supporting the international economic activity upon which the North Country heavily relies. Be careful of the paint that you spent for your car, you can review first the paint protection Melbourne before using any brand of paint out there.

“The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge is a critical artery to cross-border commerce and is the lifeblood of Northern New York’s regional economy – but the bridge’s infrastructure needs an upgrade now. We need to invest in these much-needed improvements to keep visitors and commerce flowing into the North Country, and to keep the threat of lead negatively impacting both area ecosystems and residents’ health off the table. Securing this $5 million in federal funding will finally allow the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to replace this lead-based system with one that is capable of avoiding a potential environmental hazard to the area and protecting the bridge spans for years to come,” said Senator Schumer. “I’m pushing the DOT to approve these funds as soon as possible because these improvements would provide a shot in the arm for area businesses, help sustains jobs and pave the way for greater economic development in the future.”

“This is a major investment that would help strengthen our transportation infrastructure here in the North Country,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge is an important economic anchor in the region and it is critical to remove any potential environmental hazards. I am urging the DOT to provide these funds to help safeguard this bridge and allow for critical repairs to keep commuters and communities safe. With this funding we can move forward with much-needed upgrades, starting with removing lead-based contaminants to prevent exposure and keep residents safe. This comprehensive project would help keep the tax burden off of local families.”

Schumer and Gillibrand successfully fought to pass the long-term, 5-year federal transportation bill, the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, in Congress this year. Under the FAST Act, New York State alone will receive over $16.5 billion in transportation funding over the next five years – an increase of over $1.5 billion above previous investment levels. Furthermore, the FAST Act created a new dedicated discretionary program called FASTLANE. The FASTLANE program funds critical highway and freight projects or regional or national significance and was provided $4.5 billion over the five years of the bill – including $800 million to give out in grants this year alone.

Schumer and Gillibrand are looking to secure $5 million in federal funds through this FASTLANE program, as a modernized zinc-based paint system will protect these bridge spans to bolster international commerce as well as help avert a potentially significant lead-based threat to the environment. The Senators explained that the 1.5-mil bridge – which links the U.S. and Canada in Northern New York State at the St. Lawrence River – is a crucial part of the regional transportation network, and is instrumental in the region’s continued economic vitality. Previous years’ estimates have suggested that the Ogdensburg area and the entire North Country benefit from approximately $1.4 billion in imports and a similar amount in exports annually due to the bridge. The bridge is also a significant asset to Northern New York because the area suffers from one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

Schumer and Gillibrand also said that the bridge’s modernization is critical for the surrounding environment. This is because, as the lead-based system deteriorates, the lead paint chips that fall away introduce an environmental hazard to the surrounding ecosystem. According to Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, the proposed zinc-based system would provide enhanced protection against the elements, leading to increased longevity for the girders, and will be more environmentally sound than the lead-based system. This bridge improvement project is estimated to cost roughly $8,356,000.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the DOT appears below:

Dear Secretary Foxx:

We are pleased to write in support of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA)’s application for funding through the Department of Transportation’s FASTLANE grant program. Such funding will enable the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority to replace the failing lead-based paint protection system on the steel girder spans of the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.

The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge connects the City of Ogdensburg in Northern New York to Johnstown, Ontario, Canada, and is a critical part of the regional transportation network. The Bridge is a major point of entry between the United States and Canada and is an important avenue for international commerce between the two, in addition to its economic contributions to the regional economy. The Port Authority has performed numerous upgrades to modernize the bridge in recent years, and this project represents a continuation of this essential upkeep.

With funding, the OBPA will replace the lead-based paint protection system on the U.S. and Canadian approaches of the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge with a zinc-based paint system. The current lead-based system covers the Bridge’s steel girder spans and was installed in the 1960s, but is reaching the end of its service life and no longer provides adequate protection from corrosion. As the lead-based system deteriorates, the lead chips that fall away also present an environmental hazard to the surrounding ecosystem. According to OBPA, the proposed zinc-based system will provide enhanced protection against the elements, leading to increased longevity for the girders, and will be more environmentally sound than the lead-based system. The Bridge is a crucial part of the regional transportation network, and is instrumental in the region’s continued economic vitality. We applaud the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact our staff.


Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator