How to level up easily in pokémon ruby or sapphire

Each and every Pokemon can reach a max level of 100. Unfortunately, after awhile it becomes really tough to reach that next level. Luckily, there are a few techniques you can use to boost the incoming experience points.

  • Train a Pokemon received in a Trade. The first obvious choice is training a traded Pokemon. Pokemon received from a trade with a different Trainer ID will receive more experience points than Pokemon you catch in your own game.
  • Increase your Pokemon's affection in Pokemon-Amie. Another way to get extra experience points from any Pokemon in your game is to increase the Pokemon's affection in Pokemon-Amie. Play games with it, pet it, and feed it until the hearts are filled up. You can check a Pokemon's Pokemon-Amiestats when you try to switch to another Pokemon at the Pokemon-Amie menu.
  • Give your Pokemon the Lucky Egg. The Lucky Egg is a held item that will increase the experience points given to the Pokemon at the end of battle. This item can be found on Wild Pelipper. See also: How To Easily Find Lucky Eggs.
  • Use the Exp. Point Power. If you use this O-Power, Pokemon will obtain even more experience points after battles, but only for three minutes after using the O-Power. This O-Power can be obtained in the Mauville CityPokemon Center. Keep using it and the Exp. Point Power level will increase, allowing your Pokemon to earn even more Exp!

When it comes to finding the right battles to earn a ton of experience points, you can always rechallenge the Pokemon League. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, you can now easily skip the credits! You can also challenge a few masters around the Battle Resort, but they only take challenges once a day.

Another option is to look for a Mirage Spot with wild Audino. Audino give a great amount of XP each time you defeat them.

The best option is to make friends with certain people from Super-Secret Bases. Yes, you can search for Super-Secret Bases around Hoenn and challenge various people to a battle. The AreaNav will help you find Secret Bases and trainers that want to battle. Some people even set up bases specifically to help one another gain easy experience points. They use three Blissey that only know Healing Wish, which will cause themselves to faint. Blissey give a massive amount of XP each time they are defeated. You can find these trainers by scanning their Secret Base QR Codes using your Secret PC in your Secret Base. Tell them to join your base so you can challenge them to a battle once a day.

How to stay on track

How to stay on trackGoals are the key to success. We need to set goals and targets to ensure progression. Without a structured idea of where we are headed plans will simply remain as plans. A structured and informed set of goals will ensure your ambitions are reached in the quickest time, with maximum effect. What is often the most difficult part is staying on track, particularly if the goal in question is a long term one. There are a number of tactics that can be employed to assist you lasting the distance!

#1 Keep a diary

Keeping a journal or diary of the small steps involved is one of the best things to do. Weeks may go by where you feel de-motivated but taking a look at how far you have come can be a huge inspiration. It will also be a useful tool for looking at where you are going right and wrong

#2 Tell people

Involving others and telling family or friends of your plans can be nerve wracking. But putting it out there means it’s real and people can be a huge source of encouragement. So be brave and spread the word!

#3 Get a friend involved

There is nothing quite as good as having someone to bounce ideas off and discuss problems with. The goal doesn’t have to be mutual. Just having a mate to turn to for guidance or advice is a big plus.

#4 Rewards

All work and no play isn’t maintainable in the long term. If you are working hard and smashing your goals then take to time to treat yourself. It could be a bath, a manicure or splurge on ASOS. Rewards will keep you going and in a positive frame of mind.

#5 Re-evaluate

As you work harder and invest both time and effort into your goals they may change. What you initially considered to be important may become less so. It’s necessary to take stock and re-evaluate where you are headed. This will make you feel reinvigorated and allow you to strive on for success.

#6 Commitment

Being fully committed to the process is essential for success. Full engagement with the goals you have in mind will excite and motivate you. Taking time to remember why you are doing this will boost commitment and lead to positive outcomes.

#7 Take action

Taking action is hugely important to staying on track. Just getting started is key to success. If you change nothing, nothing changes. There is no alternative to getting stuck in and working hard. Being busy and productive will lead to good things.

#8 Have a deadline

This is an absolute game changer when you are struggling to keep on top of goals. Having a specific time frame to work within is fantastic for focusing the mind. If you are unable to reach the deadline you have set yourself it is a great opportunity to reflect and consider what can be changed to ensure success will be achieved.

#9 Be realistic

Empires aren’t built in a day! If your goal is to write a book, it won’t be written overnight. There is a fine balance to be had between ambition and realism. Work hard and success will come, it may take time. A touch of realism is necessary. Without it you may become disillusioned and demotivated. This could lead to you deciding to give up. Manage your own expectations.

#10 Plan well

Careful planning is crucial in goal setting. If time is taken to prepare and visualise the next steps necessary then success is much more attainable. Taking half an hour on a Sunday evening to plan and strategize will ensure a productive week. Planning and organisation will motivate you to stay on track to reach the top.

Follow these hints and tricks and I promise you will be meeting your goals ASAP!

How to get a construction job

Oct. 13—Everyone in Mitchell is hiring, but nobody is applying, businesses in the Palace City say.

According to a survey conducted by the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, 90% of businesses polled said their biggest struggle was getting potential candidates to apply. Over 50% said their next biggest challenge was getting employees to regularly show up on time and to offer employees a good benefit package.

To help resolve some issues local businesses face amid a nationwide workforce shortage, the Mitchell Area Development Corporation hosted a workforce solutions summit to help businesses plan how to address workforce problems while connecting them to resources.

Wednesday's event at the Corn Palace saw over 60 representatives from area businesses gather for the summit, which kicked off with Mike Henke, a recruiting and training consultant from Nebraska, explaining that the workforce is out there, but businesses must find fresh practices to convert into applications.

"There's job offers everywhere. Everyone in Mitchell is applying and everyone in Mitchell is hiring," Henke said. "(Job seekers) are applying to multiple places. We need to move along fast in our process — check applications daily."

Henke believes job-search engines make it easier than ever to apply for multiple jobs, and businesses need to jump on applications they receive.

"With sites like Indeed, it's become so easy to just click and apply here and apply there. Is someone really going to show up for all of those interviews," Henke asked. "If (an applicant) can come in today, do it today. That's where we need to schedule and how fast we need to move."

With workers applying to multiple businesses at once, mentalities like "hire slow, fire fast" should actually be inverted, Henke said, in order to bring in new employees.

Companies can also institute a variety of programs to increase a company's retention — both focused on new hires and longtime employees.

"People say there's not enough people in Mitchell. I ask how many people have left the company. 17? Well, what if six of those 17 were still here," Henke asked.

Henke advocated for engaging onboarding and immediate paid time off handouts for new hires, and encouraged referral bonuses and an excellent company culture for longtime employees.

Devon Bartscher, manager of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office in Mitchell, estimated that unemployment in the Mitchell area is around 2.6% — just under the state average of 2.9%.

"We have about 410 candidates for 890 job openings in the Mitchell area," Bartscher said. "There are less people than there are job openings. That statistic is stunning, especially thinking about where we've been in the past."

School officials with Mitchell Technical College (MTC) and the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy (MCTEA) say businesses could look to work with students to secure longer-term employment.

Shane Thill, director of Second Chance Alternative High School and assistant principal of Mitchell High School, said students at MCTEA are offered a wide variety of industry-specific courses that help connect them to MTC and other local businesses.

"We see hundreds of students move through our programs each year, and we see quite a few staying in Mitchell," Thill said.

Job opportunities in the community is a topic constantly shared with students, according to Thill, in an effort to help students secure jobs in Mitchell.

"I think it's a hidden secret in Mitchell that we're spoiled, because not every AA school has a CTE academy. The things that our students are able to do in our district and connect through MTC is amazing," Thill said.

Clayton Deuter, vice president of enrollment services at MTC, said the technical college's connection to both students and businesses helps make recruitment from within city limits much more practical.

"There are some easy ways for businesses to connect with students," Deuter said. "(Businesses) being involved with high school students and getting a student exposed to what their career options could be will help drive them to go to school."

Partnerships between the Build Dakota and the Double Edge scholarships build connections by committing students to stay in-state and with a sponsoring company for a period of time after graduation.

Each of the scholarships are specific to high-demand industries, such as construction, health and manufacturing fields.

Changing tactics: Mitchell leaders using QR codes to advertise jobs inside Corn Palace

"The majority of our scholarships are tied to industry partners. It's for South Dakota and South Dakota companies in those high need areas," Deuter said. "If you enter an industry partnership, those students are not only staying in South Dakota, but also staying in your company."

Nearly 90% of students who receive these scholarships successfully complete their obligations — those who don't are required to pay back the scholarships. Deuter says when the employment commitment ends, those who leave are typically newlyweds looking to start their life elsewhere.

If businesses truly can't fill their workforce locally, other programs exist to advertise to out-of-state residents who may be interested in relocating.

"We did receive some grant money for marketing. The idea is you have to market outside of South Dakota and for jobs that are $20 or more per hour," said Karen Whitney, regional workforce coordinator with the MADC. "We have a limited number of workers, and there are people that want to move to South Dakota."

Other speakers at the summit included Darwyn Persson of AKG, who spoke about maintaining workplace culture; Brenda Blumenberg with Cornerstones, who explained the value of job coaching and life skills training; Jill Beaton of LifeQuest, who explained some tax programs to help businesses recruit high-risk candidates; and Fredel Thomas, who informed businesses of opportunities to work with students at Dakota Wesleyan.

Any business who may need additional resources for recruiting is encouraged to contact the MADC or the Department of Labor and Regulation office in Mitchell.

How to clean a roomba

How to clean a roomba

If you want your Roomba to last longer and clean effectively, you need to keep in good shape by maintaining it regularly and properly. You can choose to perform basic maintenance after every cleaning cycle and then perform high-level maintenance once a month.

Of course, how often you maintain your unit depends on how often you use it. If you don’t use it as often, still, make sure you clean the filters of your Roomba after every cycle even if you won’t clean anything else.

Why you need to ensure that your filters are clean before the next cleaning cycle is because they can become clogged. If the filters become clogged, your unit can overheat and its performance can also reduce greatly.

While different Roomba models have varying prices, they are fairly expensive. This is why you should first know how to clean the components of a Roomba before doing it.

This article discusses the basic steps of how to clean Roomba filters. So read on and learn how it’s done.

How to clean a roomba

Cleaning your Roomba filters

To keep your Roomba in sterling shape, you need to clean it regularly and preferably after every cleaning cycle.

For starters, you need to detach the dustbin and empty it. Before you place back the dustbin, remove the filters and tap them against your trash can to remove any debris. You can also get rid of the debris using compressed air.

If you choose to clean your filters with water, ensure that they are completely dry before you put them back. Otherwise, if you put them back before they are completely dry, this may damage your unit.

How to clean a roomba

You can also clean your filters using a wet cloth if you don’t want to use water. But make sure that they are completely dry before you put them back.

It is recommended that you change your filters every once month, but you can choose to change them once every two months. However, it all depends on how often you use your Roomba.

Regular maintenance

To get your Roomba to perform optimally over a long period, it is essential that you perform routine maintenance. Surprisingly, some people are not aware that a Roomba requires some level of maintenance for it to maintain its good performance.

But the fact is that it does. So whether you decide to perform some level of maintenance after every cleaning cycle or after several cleaning cycles, it is better than not doing it at all.

And the most basic of maintenance should involve cleaning your Roomba’s filters, brushes and other detachable components. And of course, emptying your Roomba’s dust bin preferably after every cleaning cycle to avoid a buildup of dirt.

Cleaning the brushes and bearings

How to clean a roomba

Cleaning the brushes and bearings

Your filters are not the only components that need regular cleaning. Your brushes and bearings also require some cleaning at least every once a week, if you use your Roomba every day.

So all you need to do is detach the combs and remove any fur or hair. You can do this using a comb or any other tool that can do the job. Make sure to also clean the bearings of any debris or dirt.

Cleaning the sensors and front wheel

Your Roomba vacuum has sensors that enable it to navigate during a cleaning cycle. And sometimes they may collect dirt. So make sure to clean them regularly as well if you want your vacuum cleaner to run efficiently. You can use a piece of cloth to remove any dirt or dust.

The same goes for the front wheels. They detach easily so you shouldn’t have a problem removing and placing them back. Remove any dirt or debris before placing them back. Make sure to take great care when cleaning the front wheels to avoid damaging the sensors situated at the back of the wheels.

General cleaning

How to clean a roomba

clean the inner parts

Consider cleaning your entire Roomba every once a month if you want it to clean effectively. You may need to detach some components to reach the inner parts of your unit to clean out any dirt and debris using a regular vacuum cleaner or blow dry.

Also, handle your Roomba with care when cleaning. If you are not confident about opening up your unit to clean the inner parts, you can take it to a professional to do it for you.

Cleaning tips

  1. If you clean your Roomba filters with water, ensure that they are completely dry before putting them back. However, it is recommended that you don’t wash the filters with water to avoid damaging the unit.
  2. Clean your Roomba filters after every cycle if you want your Roomba to perform well. If your filters are clogged with dirt they may cause the unit to malfunction.
  3. If the filters start to look old or tattered, it’s time to replace them.
  4. How often you replace your filters depends on how often you use your Roomba. But with proper care, filters can last up to 5 months.
  5. Buy the appropriate filters that will fit your model.
  6. Take great care you don’t damage the filters when cleaning them. They may be cheap but you honestly don’t want to keep buying filters just because you broke or damaged them.
  7. Give your Roomba a thorough clean at least once every month.


How to clean a roomba

Your Roomba requires regular cleaning to avoid the buildup of debris and dirt which can lower its performance or cause it to malfunction.

Not every component needs to be cleaned regularly. But you need to clean the filters and brushes routinely to ensure your vacuum works properly. You also need to empty the dustbin after every cycle.

But if you lucky enough to afford the Roomba 7i+, emptying the dustbin is not something you’ll worry about since it can empty itself.

If you need more information about filters and how to clean them, visit iRobot’s website.

How to treat trichomiasis in doves

How to treat trichomiasis in doves

Trichomonosis in domestic fowl, pigeons, doves, songbirds, and hawks is characterized, in most cases, by caseous accumulations in the throat and usually by weight loss. It has been termed “canker,” “roup,” and, in hawks, “frounce.”


Both Trichomonas gallinae and T stableri are causative organisms of trichomonosis. These flagellated protozoa live in the sinuses, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and other organs. Trichomonosis is more prevalent among domestic pigeons and wild doves than among domestic fowl, although severe outbreaks have been reported in chickens and turkeys. Some trichomonad strains cause high mortality in pigeons and doves. Hawks may become diseased after eating infected birds and commonly show liver lesions, with or without throat involvement. Pigeons and doves transmit the infection to their offspring in contaminated pigeon milk. Contaminated water is probably the most important source of infection for chickens, turkeys, and songbirds, and the parasite has been shown to survive at least 2 hours and potentially up to 24 hours in distilled water. Cleaning of outside bird baths and waterers frequently is important to minimize transmission.

Clinical Findings

The disease course of trichomonosis is rapid. The first lesions appear as small, yellowish areas on the oral mucosa. They grow rapidly and coalesce to form masses that frequently completely block the esophagus and may prevent the bird from closing its mouth. Much fluid may accumulate in the mouth. There is a watery ocular discharge and, in more advanced stages, exudate about the eyes that may result in blindness. Birds lose weight rapidly, become weak and listless, and sometimes die within 8–10 days. In chronic infections, birds appear healthy, although trichomonads can usually be demonstrated in scrapings from the mucous membranes of the throat.


Courtesy of Dr. Jean Sander.

Oral cavity of a pigeon with lesions consistent with trichomonosis, including caseous necrosis. Further diagnostic testing is needed to confirm trichomonosis because other parasitic, bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases have similar gross lesions.

The bird may be riddled with caseous, necrotic foci. The mouth and esophagus contain a mass of necrotic material that may extend into the skull and sometimes through the surrounding tissues of the neck to involve the skin. In the esophagus and crop, the lesions may be yellow, rounded, raised areas, with a central conical caseous spur, often referred to as “yellow buttons.” The crop may be covered by a yellowish, diphtheritic membrane that may extend to the proventriculus. The gizzard and intestine are not involved. Lesions of internal organs are most frequent in the liver; they vary from a few small, yellow areas of necrosis to almost complete replacement of liver tissue by caseous necrotic debris. Adhesions and involvement of other internal organs appear to be contact extensions of the liver lesions.


Gross lesions may be suggestive for trichomonosis but infection is confirmed by saline wet mount or culture from nonfrozen carcasses to observe characteristic undulating movement of trichomonads.

Additional diagnostic tests include histopathology and PCR.

Lesions of trichomonosis are characteristic but not pathognomonic; those of pox, fungal disease, Salmonella, and other infections can be similar. Trichomonosis has sometimes been confused with histomoniasis Histomoniasis read more because of the similarity in liver lesions. Diagnosis should be confirmed by microscopic examination of a smear of mucus or fluid from the throat to demonstrate the presence of trichomonads. Trichomonads can be cultured easily in various artificial media such as Diamond’s media, 0.2% Loeffler’s dried blood serum in Ringer’s solution, or a 2% solution of pigeon serum in isotonic salt solution. Good growth is obtained at 98.6°F (37°C). Antibiotics may be used to reduce bacterial contamination. PCR is often used to determine the Trichomonas genotype.


Control of trichomonosis centers around sanitation and biosecurity. Bird feeders, baths, and waterers can be a major source of infection for wild and domestic birds, so frequent cleaning of feeders and waterers is important to minimize transmission. If an outbreak of trichomonosis is documented or suspected, feeders and waterers should be removed for

2 weeks and cleaned with a 10% bleach solution.

Because trichomonads in pigeons are so readily transmitted from parent to offspring in the normal feeding process, chronically infected birds should be separated from breeding birds. In pigeons, recovery from infection with a less virulent trichomonad strain appears to provide some protection against subsequent attack by a more virulent strain. Successful treatments include carnidazole (10 mg/kg body wt), metronidazole (60 mg/kg body wt), and dimetridazole (50 mg/kg body wt, PO; or in the drinking water at 0.05% for 5–6 days). None of these drugs is approved for use in birds in the USA, but they could be used in non-food-producing birds by veterinary prescription.

Key Points

Trichomonosis is an emerging disease in songbirds and continues to be important disease for doves, pigeons, and raptors.

Good sanitation of bird feeders and waterers is imperative to minimize transmission.

Trichomoniasis is an infectious disease of birds caused by the single-celled protozoan Trichomonas gallinae and Trichomonas stableri. The parasite inhabits the upper digestive tract, mainly the crop and esophagus. While some strains of the protozoa do not cause disease, others can result in death. In pigeons and doves this disease is also known as Canker, in raptors it is known as Frounce. Trichomoniasis is one of the oldest known wildlife diseases with written records dating back to the 1500s. The protozoan responsible for the disease was not isolated until 300 years later.


Trichomoniasis is considered the most important disease of mourning doves in North America and can result in major mortality events in these species. The largest outbreak of trichomoniasis occurred between 1950-1951 in Alabama and neighboring states resulting in the death of 50,000 to 100,000 mourning doves. Since it is a feeder-associated disease, it may also lead to serious population declines in some species of songbird.

Species Affected

Trichomoniasis is primarily a disease of pigeons and doves, but raptors are also commonly affected. On rare occasions waterfowl and upland game birds have been affected. Domestic turkeys, chickens, and other captive birds can also be infected. T. gallinea and T. stableri are not known to infect humans.


Trichomoniasis occurs in birds worldwide except Antarctica, Greenland, and the northern reaches of North America, Europe, and Asia. The protozoa likely occurs wherever rock pigeons and mourning doves are found.


Adults birds are the reservoir host for this organism. The protozoa are shed into the environment in the oral secretions of infected birds. Protozoa may directly pass from one adult to another through bill-to-bill contact, which is common during courtship. Young doves and pigeons acquire the protozoa when they receive regurgitated food from infected adults during feeding. Susceptible birds may also consume T. gallinae and T. stableri in contaminated food or water. The protozoa are transmitted to raptors when they feed on infected birds.

T. gallinae and T. stableri are killed by drying but can survive for up to 5 days in moist grain and 20 minutes to several hours in water. Supplemental feeding and other practices that congregate susceptible bird species can lead to local mortality.

Clinical Signs

Clinical trichomoniasis is primarily a disease of young pigeons and doves and is often fatal. 80-90% of adult pigeons carry T. gallinae and/or T. stableri but show no clinical signs of illness. The severity of the disease depends on the susceptibility of the bird and the pathogenicity of the strain of the parasite. Mild infections can produce immunity to more virulent strains.

The protozoa inhabit the upper digestive tract of all affected birds, leading to inflammation of the lining of the mouth and esophagus, which can develop into cheese-like masses. The lesions within the upper digestive tract grow rapidly and coalesce to form masses that frequently interfere with eating and drinking. Birds that are unable to swallow often become emaciated and listless. Affected birds may also exhibit ruffled feathers, be unable to close their mouth, develop ocular discharge, diarrhea, and have difficulty breathing. Their necks and faces often appear puffy or swollen. Birds lose weight rapidly and usually die within 8-10 days from starvation because they cannot swallow or suffocate due to blockage of the trachea.


A presumptive diagnosis can be made based on the presence of classic lesions on necropsy. Laboratory identification of the organism microscopically, by culture or PCR, is required for a definite diagnosis.


Medications are available that can successfully treat trichomoniasis in birds. Captive birds can be treated by oral administration of the medication or by adding the medication to food and water. Treatment is challenging and likely not feasible in wild populations.


Management of trichomoniasis centers around sanitation and biosecurity. Doves and pigeons should be prevented from congregating in large groups, particularly at birdbaths and feeders. Where feeding does take place, both food and water should be kept fresh and changed daily. Feeders, platforms, and other associated surfaces should be decontaminated regularly with a 10% bleach solution (9 parts water: 1 part bleach). Infected captive birds (symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers) should be culled or treated.

Suggested Reading

  • Cole, R. A. Trichomoniasis. Pages 201-206 in M. Friend, and J. C. Franson, technical editors. Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases: Birds. United States Geological Survey.
  • Forrester, D. J., and G. W. Foster. 2008. Trichomonosis. Pages 120-153 in C. T. Atkinson, N. J. Thomas, and D. B. Hunter, editors. Parasitic Diseases of Wild Birds. Wiley-Blackwell, Ames, Iowa, USA.

The NWDC mission is bring together regional stakeholders for the protection of wildlife as well as domestic animals and humans, because the health of all species is inextricably linked.

How to pour exposed aggregate concrete

How to pour exposed aggregate concrete

Both solid concrete (with a standard tooled finish) and aggregate driveways are durable, long-lasting options. Aggregate driveways are commonly known as exposed aggregate because the gravel (or stone chips, in some cases) in the concrete mix is partially exposed in the finished surface. Aggregate variations allow you to add color and texture to your driveway, creating an eye-appealing design that coordinates with your house and landscaping. A standard concrete finish is relatively smooth and for a driveway typically includes a broom finish for slip-resistance.

Decorative Differences

Exposed aggregate and standard concrete driveways have very different looks. Exposed aggregate is multicolored (due to the natural color variation of the aggregate material) and highly textured. According to Shamrock Concrete, the tops of exposed pebble and rock are approximately 1/16- to 1/8-inch above the base concrete surface of the driveway. Standard concrete can have the familiar flat, gray finish but can also be colored and/or textured with stamping techniques and other decorative treatments.

Installation Procedures

Expect a somewhat longer construction process with aggregate driveways. Once an aggregate driveway is poured and smoothed with a trowel, but while the surface is still wet, installers spray it with specially formulated chemicals. The chemicals keep the top layer that surrounds the small pebbles and rocks from solidifying. The surface is covered with plastic sheeting for approximately 24 hours to help keep the top concrete layer from hardening. Once the plastic is removed, installers power-wash the surface, removing the top layer of soft, paste-like concrete from around the small pebbles and rocks. The result is an exposed aggregate surface.

Deterioration Factors

Both standard and exposed aggregate concrete driveways are highly durable, but many installers recommend sealing the surface to ensure longevity. Aggregate driveways are especially susceptible to weathering and deterioration due to their textured surfaces. When weathering happens, small stones and pebbles dislodge and break apart from the underlying concrete foundation, causing damage that is often irreversible, according to experts at the Stain and Seal Company. All concrete structures are vulnerable to cracking. Small cracks should be filled with an appropriate sealant to prevent further damage. Large cracks and shifting sections of a driveway are more serious and often indicate a problem with the subbase under the concrete.

Maintenance Considerations

Due to the uneven surface of aggregate driveways, you must hose them down frequently to retain their optimal appearance. Sand, dirt, grass clippings, leaves and loose flower petals can get trapped in the surface, making the driveway appear dirty and dingy. However, you don’t want to use a high-force power washer that might dislodge the small pebbles and result in small gaps or holes. Standard concrete surfaces get dirty, too, but you can use power washers without cause for concern, as long as the surface isn’t cracked.

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

You would have surely seen decorative driveways, sidewalks and patios and perhaps wondered how they are achieved. Those are achieved by using exposed aggregate concrete. Those floors are done by removing the top layer on concrete from a surface to reveal the color and texture of aggregate beneath it. Exposed concrete floors are durable and provide skid resistance.


There are both pros and cons of using exposed aggregate concrete. The advantages include:

  • Get gorgeous decorative effects at an affordable cost as very few additional materials are needed. You may will only need some decorative aggregates, surface retardant, sprayer and a garden hose. So, exposed aggregate concrete is not expensive.
  • The construction procedure is quite simple and anybody experienced in handling concrete can do it.
  • The surface is weather resitant, lasts long and also skid resistant.
  • There are variety of decorative aggregates like small or large size, round, colored etc available.
  • It suits with the other decoratives around.
  • No additional maintenance except occasional cleaning with water and resealing every few years.


Here are the three ways of having aggregate exposed concrete:

Monolithic – This is the easiest and hence the most popular way of making such floors. The aggregate is batched into concrete at the time of making concrete. Smaller aggregate known as ‘pea stone’ is generally used.

Seeded – Soon after concrete is laid, the decorative aggregate is mechanically or manually placed over the surface of concrete and floated by hand.

Overlay – This method is suitable for already existing concrete in good health. Aggregate is mixed in the overlay material and applied over the old concrete to give it a new look.

How to pour exposed aggregate concrete

In any case, the top layer of the cement paste is kept soft while the concrete below it hardens. This is done by spraying a retardant on the surface immediately after concrete and aggregate have been installed. Subsequently, the cement paste is washed clean using a garden hose or pressure washer to expose aggregate on the surface. You can read this post about making exposed aggregate concrete . exposed aggregate concrete


While an exposed aggregate concrete adds color to front yard or driveway and looks exclusive and ornamental, compared to concrete slab, you need to consider its limitations before installing one. The disadvantages of exposed aggregate concrete is listed below.


Though exposed aggregate can be tough and long lasting as long as the concrete holds together the aggregate, the decorative stones on top are prone to damage. Movement of heavy objects and water damages can dislodge or loosen the stones close to the surface to create small pits therein. And, once the process starts, the damage spreads pretty fast as surface water deteriorates the bond between the concrete and aggregate.


Repairing a part of such floor is more difficult, compared to repairing cracks in concrete floors . The toughest part is blending of the patched surface with the rest of the floor. You may tint the patch of concrete to go with the older concrete and then fill that hole as in case of concrete surface. Avoid using excessive amount of compound to fill the hole to make easy the leveling of the affected part with the rest of the floor. Subsequently, add stones to the new concrete. You’ll need to find aggregate that best matches with your existing surface.


How to pour exposed aggregate concrete

Cleaning exposed aggregate is certainly more difficult than cleaning of concrete slab that can be hosed off. Dirt and debris gets stuck between its surface, necessitating using wire brush or powerful jet of water for their removal. Whether you have exposed aggregate surface on the walkway, driveway or patio, it needs sealing once in two years to enhance its life and strength. exposed aggregate concrete maintenance is difficult

Nevertheless, on comparing with other decorative concrete styles; it is realized that exposed aggregate concrete offers an economical way of having a great looking decorative concrete look.

How to compress large files

How to compress large files

The best file compression software will make it simple and easy to compress files for easy storage, with the option to work with multiple compression file types.

Click the links below to go to the provider’s website:

With the right file compression software, sharing and archiving files is easy. The ever-growing size of hard drives means the need to reduce file sizes when storing data has been reduced, but SDDs still cost significantly more per gigabyte than traditional spinning hard drives, so compressing files can still be very useful.

Compression is also very helpful when you want to send several files via email and keep them within the attachment size limit, share them via a service like WeTransfer, or send them to a remote cloud server.

That’s not all – in addition to reducing file sizes, compression software offers plenty of extra features to take into consideration. Perhaps the best feature of compression tools is the ability to encrypt files and protect them with a password – something you’ll find in all the tools we’ve picked here.

The most commonly used compression format is ZIP, but there are various other available. You never know which type you may encounter when downloading and sharing files, so it makes sense to have a program on hand that can handle more than one type. Here we take a look at a selection of the best tools, taking into account ones that offer the highest compression rates, and those that support the largest number of file types.

How to make oliebollen dutch new year’s doughnuts

Ollie-bollen, or Oliebollen, are a Dutch pastry similar to a doughnut. It’s typically a deep-fried pastry filled with raisins and dusted with powdered sugar. Some modern variations serve them topped with berry filling, but this is a traditional recipe. Oliebollen are a traditional treat on New Year’s.


Recipe Summary test


  • 1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup dried currants
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Step 1

Break up the compressed yeast, and stir into the warm milk. Let stand for a few minutes to dissolve. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir the yeast mixture and egg into the flour and mix into a smooth batter. Stir in the currants, raisins and apple. Cover the bowl, and leave the batter in a warm place to rise until double in size. This will take about 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, or heavy deep pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Use 2 metal spoons to shape scoops of dough into balls, and drop them carefully into the hot oil.

Fry the balls until golden brown, about 8 minutes. The doughnuts should be soft and not greasy. If the oil is not hot enough, the outside will be tough and the insides greasy. Drain finished doughnuts on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve them piled on a dish with more confectioners’ sugar dusted over them. Eat them hot if possible.

Editor's Note

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount may vary depending on cook time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

How to use a punch down tool

110 punch down block is also referred to as cross-connect block, terminating block, or a connecting block for network cables. It is a tool that connects one group of wires to another group of wires through a system of metal pegs that the wires are attached to. 110 punch down block is often used in telecommunications closets that connects station cabling to the trunk cabling that goes from an IDF to the MDF. Being the predecessors to patch panels, 110 punch down blocks were commonly used to support low-bandwidth Ethernet and token-ring networks.

How to use a punch down tool

What Is 110 Punch Down Block

A 110 punch down block is an updated version of punch down block, is the core part of the connection management system, used to connect wiring for telephone systems, data network wiring, and other low-voltage wiring applications. 110 type wiring block is flame retardant, injection-molded plastic to do the basic devices and the termination cabling system is connecting on it.

The 110 punch down block is designed for 22 through 26 gauge solid wire. This is the termination used on Cat5e Patch Panel Wall Mount, Cat 6 patch panel and RJ-45 jacks. They are also formed into block type terminations the size of small 66 blocks. The 110 blocks are designed for 500 MHz (1 Gb/s) or greater bandwidth. 110 blocks are acceptable for use with AES/EBU digital audio at sample rates greater than 268 KHz as well as gigabit networks and analog audio.

How to use a punch down tool

110 Punch Down Block Wiring Diagram

The specifications of 110 Connecting Block are as follows: 25 pairs 110 type wiring block, 50 pairs 110 type wiring block, 110 pairs 110 type wiring block, 300 pairs 110 type wiring block. The distribution frame package of 110 type wiring blocks should also include 4 or 5 blocks, connection block, blank labels, and tags folder and the base. 110 type wiring block system uses easy quick-fit plug-hop loops which can be simply rearranged, so it provides a convenient cross-connect to the non-professional and technical personnel management system.

How to Punch Down 110 Block with Tool

A Punchdown Tool is used to force solid wire into metal slots on the 110 punch down block. Present residences typically have phone lines entering the house to a sole 110 block, and then it is spread by on-premises wiring to outlet boxes all over the house in a star topology.

How to use a punch down tool

How to Punch Down 110 Block

Both styles of punch block use a punch down tool to terminate the wires to the block. To terminate a wire, you place it into the terminal and then push it down to make contact with the punch down tool. The punch down tool fits around a 66 block terminal or into a 110 punch down block terminal. One side of the blade is sharp to cut the wire off flush, this is normally marked on the tool with the word cut. Be sure to have this side oriented to cut off the loose end of the wire and not the end going to the other block. Hide extra cable behind the block in case you ever have to re-terminate a pair so that you don’t have to re-terminate the entire cable. More details on punch down tools and how to punch down 110 blocks, read How to Use a Punch Down Tool for 110 Block

Whatever the dimensions of the punch down tools are, usage is the same. Many tools have a dual blade that can be flipped depending on which style of block is in use.

How to choose low carb breakfast options

How to choose low carb breakfast options

A low-carb diet restricts your intake of foods containing carbohydrates. Food like pasta, bread, starchy vegetables and sugar will be extremely limited. How restrictive you will have to be with your carb intake depends on your current carb intake, activity level and weight-loss goals.

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Types of Low-Carb Diets

The standard nutrition recommendation from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to get 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. For a basic 2,000-calorie diet, this amounts to between 225 and 325 grams of carbs per day.

There are several types of low-carb diets. The most popular is the keto diet, a very-low-carb diet that restricts your carb count down to 20 grams per day. Other moderately low-carb diets allow between 100 to 150 grams of carbs per day.

A very-low-carb diet usually pushes you into a state of ketosis, in which your body burns fat more efficiently and produces chemicals called ketones to fuel your brain in the absence of carbs. A ketogenic diet features a high-fat and moderate protein intake and is often accompanied by an uncomfortable phase-in period during which you experience side effects, including sagging energy, poor physical performance, headaches and nausea.

It's important to note that when you're calculating your carb count you are focusing on net carbs. "Net" carbs are the ones that affect your blood sugar. You can calculate a food's net carb value by subtracting its grams of fiber from its total grams of carbohydrates.

How to choose low carb breakfast options

What to Eat on Each Low-Carb Plan

All low-carb diets encourage you to avoid bread, pasta and sugary treats, which are high in carbohydrates. Low-carb diets tend to put a focus on eating more meat, poultry, fish, cheese, oils and leafy greens.

A moderate low-carb diet of 100 to 150 grams per day might include 1/2 cup of grains, such as brown rice or pearled barley, at two or three meals. According to the USDA, brown rice contains about 21 grams of net carbs per 1/2 cup serving. You could enjoy 1/4 to 1/2 cup of starchy vegetables, such as winter squash or carrots; one to two pieces of fresh fruit, such as one-half of an apple and a whole peach; and 1/4 cup of black or cannellini beans at meals, too. Moderate servings of healthy fats, such as an ounce of nuts or one-quarter of an avocado, are also allowed at most meals.

A very-low-carb diet, like the keto diet, has you subsist mostly on animal protein, fats and non-starchy vegetables. Even your vegetable intake at each meal is restricted to keep your carb intake extremely low. Coconut oil, fatty fish, olive oil and modest servings of cheese contribute most of your fat as these items are low in carbs. You might have eggs and bacon for breakfast; a cheese stick and almonds as a snack; a burger patty with cheese and an egg for lunch; and chicken and vegetables stir-fried in coconut oil for dinner.

Did you know that keeping a food diary is one of the most effective ways to manage your weight? Download the MyPlate app to easily track calories, stay focused and achieve your goals!

Which Low-Carb Diet Is Right for You?

It may take some experimentation to determine which low-carb diet is right for you. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, a very-low-carb, or ketogenic, diet might be right for you in the short-term. Usually, this diet yields pretty dramatic weight loss, but it isn't without risks and side effects, so you should consult with your doctor before starting. Harvard Health Publishing notes that extremely low-carb diets like keto are unlikely to be followed long-term due to the highly restrictive nature of the diet.

When you first start eating low-carb, a moderate low-carb diet may not feel too restrictive and still provides you with energy for exercise and enough carbs to ward off the unpleasant symptoms that can accompany extremely low-carb plans. Active individuals may find this moderate-carb reduction meal plan best supports their lifestyle and weight-loss goals, and provides adequate energy to fuel workouts.

Low-carb diets may not be the right fit if you have certain medical conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always consult with a registered dietitian or physician before starting a low-carb diet.