A Vegas Family Vacation

It’s easy to think of Las Vegas as an adult town. There are the risque shows featuring scantily clad showgirls. There are bars with cheap drinks, clubs with heavy-duty parties, adult-themed shows featuring plenty of “blue” comedy and, of course, gambling. If you’re not twenty-one years old, you can’t roll the dice or bet on a football game. It’s easy to think of LasVegas as a grown-up getaway.

There’s no doubt about it, there’s a lot of things to do for the adult set in LasVegas. However, thinking of the city as an adults-only vacation destination overlooks the many different family-friendly activities that are available. That’s right, Las Vegas really is a great place for the whole family. Just consider a handful of the hundreds of things in Vegas that will appeal to the young and the young at heart.

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel. The giant hydroelectric dam is an awe-inspiring site with a fascinating history. Hoover Dam tours are available and their guaranteed to drop the jaws of young and old alike.

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

Las Vegas Springs Preserve whisks visitors away from the blinking bulbs and neon of downtown and the strip, providing travelers with a great look at interactive exhibits that provide insight about the area’s ecology. Nature buffs will love the Preserve.

Las Vegas GameWorks

You may need to be twenty one to play blackjack, but there are great games available for people of any age at Las Vegas’ massive arcades. Operations like the Gameworks Arcade at Showcase Mall feature hundreds of video games and other activities suitable for all ages.

Bonnie Springs Old Nevada

Before the lights and the concerts, there were cowboys and trains. You can take a trip back in time at destinations like Bonnie Springs Old Nevada. It’s a complete old western town located within twenty miles of LasVegas featuring everything from western souvenirs to gunfight reenactments.

Rides

Many of the casino properties offer rides that would fit in at any high-end amusement park. There’s the Gondola Ride at The Venetian, roller coasters at New York/New York, and a score of different routes to the high-rises providing an unforgettable view of the well-lit city from above.

Amusement Parks

If you want to wrap yourself up completely in the amusement park experience, you can do it at places like Adventuredome at Circus Circus. It’s one of a handful of full-featured amusement parks that will keep kids happy in Las Vegas.

There’s no shortage of family-friendly things to do in LasVegas. You can see sharks in aquariums, make your way to the top of an Eiffel Tower replica, visit a wax museum, or do just about anything else you can imagine!

LasVegas is a great place for the grown-ups to cut loose, but it’s also an A-plus vacation destination for those who happen to be under twenty-one. Not everything that happens in Vegas needs to stay there for the sake of discretion-there are plenty of adventures that any kid will want to talk about for years to come.

Theme and Amusement Parks

Theme and amusement parks have made a fun and exciting place to be for people of all ages. The best part about going to a theme or amusement park is all the fun rides you get to go on. There are so many things to do at theme and amusement parks to keep families busy for hours on end. Many of these parks offer tours, rides, games and food. It’s nice when children as well as adults get to play and have fun when they go to these kinds of parks.

Theme and amusement parks have been established in the United States for years. The first known amusement park was at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY. Where they had carnival rides, circus sideshows for their guests along with games, funfair and food. Another exciting thing about theme and amusement parks is the food. If you like snacks and goodies you’ll love eating at theme parks. There’s so much to choose from and most of the food snacks are easy to eat while walking around the parks.

Theme and amusement parks have come along way since Coney Island. Like Walt Disney for example, who has taken amusement parks to a whole new level! Walt created a wonder world known as Disneyland “The Happiest Place on Earth” which is located in Anaheim, CA. Not to mention another empire of his known as Walt Disney World that sits in the heart of Orlando, FL. These two parks have changed the way we view theme parks with bigger rides, more food options and sites to see.

Roller coasters especially can be one of the most exciting things to do at a park. The adrenaline rush you get when riding a roller coaster is the best feeling in the world! The US has the tallest and fastest roller coasters around which can be found coast to coast. If your not into the fast pace speed of a roller coaster then you might want to check out some of the games most theme and amusement parks offer. What ever your pleasure is you’re sure to find it at most theme and amusement parks throughout the United States.

The Best Ways to Purchase Video Games Without Spending An Arm And A Leg

Everyone can discover something they enjoy in the world of video gaming. Preschoolers could find out basic math, grandmothers can rule the globe, and everybody could get some kind of enjoyable from the experience. Keep checking out into the following article for even more about the benefits of video games, as well has exactly how to take advantage of them.

It is very important to understand exactly how video games are ranked. Today’s computer game aren’t only allowed for children, so you need to know whether or not it is family oriented. Every game has some kind of a rating and they vary from very early childhood to just for grownups. If your game purchase is for another person, particularly a minor, be sure that the game’s content is appropriate for that individual.

Use the adult control settings offered with most games. See if the game is on-line appropriate.

Some video game titles are tailored towards education. By selecting academic choices, you could offer your youngsters with hours of enjoyable and safe games enjoyment. Look at on-line reviews offered by various other mindful moms and dads and you must have the ability to discover some great games with high informative worth for your child.

Discover about the Metacritic score prior to acquiring computer game that are on sale. The game might be on sale due to the fact that no-one appreciates playing it. So, if you get an unplayable game, you won’t conserve cash. Examining out Metacritic scores of every game you’re considering purchasing can help.

There are probably certain games or genres you like even more than others. This does not mean to have blinders on to other games. Sample different styles of games every from time to time. You may simply discover that you truly love the brand-new game, even though it’s not one you would have thought about playing before.

Attempt playing video games online. By playing characters that various other people command, you can much better develop excellent approaches that are effective around many different titles and platforms. Despite the kind of game you are interested in, you will certainly locate lots of that have on-line abilities. Chances are you will certainly be great playing almost everywhere else if you are good at online gaming.

Seek sales on video games. A great deal of rental stores aren’t lasting long. If you look, you may find a video shop that is going to close soon and find some wonderful offers on games and accessories. While the discs must be in working condition, a fast clean works marvels.

Don’t toss out video games that are dated or aging. There are numerous shops that will enable you to trade in old games for money. Usage the money you receive from offering old games to purchase brand-new ones.

Video gaming transports members to unidentified globes and truths and can teach us brand-new things each and every day. There actually are some remarkable perks to video gaming. If you remember the insight above, you will appreciate it more and be more skilled.

If your game purchase is for another person, specifically a minor, be sure that the game’s material is appropriate for that person.

Learn about the Metacritic score prior to spending in video games that are on sale. Try playing video games online. Look for sales on video games. If you look, you could find a video shop that is going to close quickly and locate some fantastic deals on accessories and games.

Swimming Pool Inflatables: Choosing the Right One for Your Child

Children come in all shapes and sizes, and in all ages and stages, just like inflatable  swimming  toys. With all of the products available, it can hard to figure out which one to buy for your little one. This guide has been written just for parents. Follow these tips to make sure that your child has a blast with their inflatable toys by choosing the appropriate toys for the appropriate ages.

Under Five

Children under five years old often enjoy the simpler things, like a giant beach ball. Bigger toys are fun, and rafts are a great idea for lounging around while being supervised. When considering what to buy for children of this age, don’t forget about baby seats for really young children or inflatable arm bands. Life jackets are a great idea for parents that are uncomfortable with their children only wearing floaties on their arms.

Five to Eight

Children of this age will may be embarrassed at the mere thought of wearing a life jacket for a backyard barbecue if other children are not, but arm floaties are still perfectly acceptable, particularly for smaller children that do not know how to  swim . Regardless of how your child feels, safety should always be a top priority.

Children in this age range will enjoy the same toy selection of  swimming  toys as younger children, such as a giant beach ball, but you can add quite a few to the selection. Products like rafts and noodles are a fun addition, and some children may enjoy fun games that they can play in the water.

Eight to Ten

Eight to ten-year-old children fall into a separate category because this age range usually is a bit past the life jacket stage or arm floaty stage. Parents tend to be more concerned with making their child happy, and children know better than to jump into the deep end if they are unable to  swim . For these children, pick up a few noodles and some rafts that float.

This age range is perfect for introducing fun things like games as well. These children are usually too old to simply enjoy getting wet anymore, so these will keep them entertained at the next cookout while the adults relax, or they can provide hours of wholesome family fun.

Above Ten

Once children are above ten, most parents simply ask them what they want. Kids that exceed ten years old do not usually need a life jacket for the backyard, and arm floaties are out of the questions. Many children are tall enough to go in a couple feet of water without the concern of them drowning, unlike smaller children.

If a backyard barbecue is right around the corner and children of this age will be attending, inflatables of all kinds are appropriate. They can play pass with a beach ball, will love some more interesting  swimming  toys, such as  games , and relaxing rafts will let them kick back. Simply pay attention to the age range listed, and your children are guaranteed to have a blast.

 Swimming  inflatables are the perfect choice to make an otherwise dull backyard barbecue a fun family event. The simple addition of a beach ball can turn a pool into a fun place to play pass or to practice a few new volleyball techniques. Inflatables for younger children can help keep them safe, letting parents relax and enjoy themselves instead of constantly feeling anxiety. Parents will still have to keep an eye on children, but a life jacket or inflatable arm bands means that as soon as a child falls into the water, they will not instantly begin to drown. That peace of mind is enough to make most parents consider the best products for their children.

The Lost Art of Play

Five Activities Guaranteed to Bring Smile to Your Kids Faces

Dads need to remember how much fun it is to play with the kids. It today’s super busy world dads act like being a father is more about driving kids to playdates or music lessons. At EliteDad we believe dads need to reconnect with their masculine role in the family. Dads who play with their kids are better dads, bottom line. If you aren’t finding time to play with your kids you are missing opportunities to build bonds that will help you survive their more challenging teen years.

The squeal of laughter from your kids with big smiles on their faces is what being a parent is really all about. If you can’t make you kids laugh doing one of these activities we will retire from the business. Kids at this age are an absolute pleasure if you take the time to play with them and it is so easy to make them laugh and have fun, these are the ‘salad days’ of parenting.

HIDE AND SEEK

Outcomes: problem solving, analytical thought, counting, time appreciation, patience, spatial appreciation, mirroring, fun

There is no easier or more enjoyable game for a young child to play than hide and seek. It can be played in the house or in the backyard. As a dad this game is a gimme. Here’s a suggested way to create tonnes of fun for you and your kids. You and your only child can play, but a few more kids or mom makes it more fun. Although we are sure that most, if not all of you are well familiar with this game, having a refresher after not having played it for many years can’t hurt. Here’s how it can go:

o Gather all participants, identify a place to count.

o Dad is ‘it’ first, tells the kids to go and hide, make sure they know the ‘no go’ zones for safety (furnace area, tools etcetera, you are the dad you know where they are).

o Establish a number to count to, for example 25 seconds. Tell them to go and count very loud so they can hear the numbers.

o Listen to their laughter as they try to find a place, usually you know where they are just from listening

o Finish the counting loudly and tell them you are searching, conduct an out loud dialogue so that they can hear you searching (children will get bored in their hiding spot quickly otherwise). Tell them you are going to find them, that you are the best finder in the world.

o When you see their little feet sticking out of the couch, depending on the age of the child you can change your out-loud dialogue, ‘I know I will find Jenny, she can’t hide from her daddy, oh I know where she is, she is in the closet (when you know she is behind the couch) .” You will hear the giggles as they know they have tricked you. “She’s not here! I thought I would find her, where can she be?” Usually at this point with little children, they say, I’m here daddy! They are so excited they tricked you that they forget the game.

o Get the kids you find first to help look for the remaining hiders, when they are all found, it is time for the kids to be the searchers and you to be the hider.

o Have them count out loud to 25 and go hide in a smart spot where they will initially miss you

o After they come through your room and leave, sneeze, they will squeal and run back into the room, eventually they will find you and marvel at the good hiding space.

o Depending on your kids, you can pop out and surprise them and start chasing the searchers. You can expand the game into a game of chase where you the monster (chaser) chases after the searchers. Kids love this!

o There’s a 90% chance that when you search the next time they will be in your last spot. Ham it up that you don’t know where they are. It is so cute to see them right were you just hid thinking they are being clever.

Hopefully you can see why this is an immensely pleasurable game for both kids and dad. Chase and hide and seek are classic games that have thrilled kids forever. The really cool thing is your kids are learning from you while they have a great time. You are teaching them counting, patience, and how to look at things differently. The spots you choose reflect a highly developed sense of space and dimension. Whenever they find you and copy you they are seeing objects in the house differently. This game is easy, fun, and beneficial, it should be part of every dad’s repertoire.

Here’s something else that’s really neat to do. In the middle of playing this game and right after you have heard your children scream, giggle and you have caught them, go have a look in the mirror. See the huge smile on your face, see the joy your kids bring you. It’s infectious! Our faces reveal how much pleasure we get from our kids, from seeing them happy and being part of the family. Remember how life steals all our time and remember how rare it is that we smile like that, and remember that your kids need to see that smile on your face!

PLAYGROUND CHASE

Outcomes: fitness, coordination, quick thinking, problem solving, time appreciation, patience, special appreciation, mirroring, fun

Ok, as an Elite Dad you want to have fun with your kids. Here’s a secret, it’s a blast to let go for a while and act like a kid. Too many fathers are stoic, reserved and concerned about appearance. The Playground Chase is the perfect opportunity to let loose with your kids.

Kids love to be chased, look at any young animal in the animal kingdom, they are constantly chasing each other. It is very natural for all young to chase and evade. This game is always a success because it is very natural.

Hopefully we don’t have to tell you guys to go for walks with your family, ideally a walk after every meal is nice, but at least one solid walk on the weekend is a must. The walk should be somewhere close to a playground, public playgrounds are free and a wonderland for a child. Why parents pay to take their kids to a playground is ridiculous, but that is a topic of another Elite Dad lesson. So when you get to the playground let the kids have five minutes to explore it, while they are doing that you should check it out for safety concerns; slippery areas, broken equipment, age inappropriate areas.

When your safety check is complete call the kids in for the “Chase Briefing.” Show them the danger/out of bounds areas; have them pick a ‘home base’ (usually a bench surrounding the playground where they are safe from capture). You will be the ‘lion’ who chases them the ‘antelopes’. You show them where the lion’s den is. Explain that the lion’s den is where all the captured antelopes go. Once placed in the den, they can’t leave unless another antelope touches them. Explain the rules of the chase i.e. no jumping, everyone must stay on the equipment – no touching the ground , whatever you guys end up agreeing works out for the most fun (this group agreement is also a great benefit of the game.)

Give them a five second head start and then try to capture them. Intentionally miss them. They like to trick you so ham it up. This gives them a sense of accomplishment but with the thrill of the chase thrown in. Kids love it when the chaser lurks under the playground and tries to ambush an ankle from below. Slides are usually the focus, they will linger at the top of a slide and hurl themselves down as you approach.

If there are multiple antelopes put them in you designated den as you catch them. Usually the smallest child is left uncaught, at that time he/she is the only one who can save the other kids. The chaser can start talking about how he will catch him/her and then eat them all. Have fun with it. Be theatrical! But the young child knows he just has to outsmart you to release them, this is when you make a tragic chase mistake and the little one runs to the den and releases them just as you arrive they scatter squealing with delight. Repeat as necessary J

Watch the other parents if there are any at the playground. If there are women there, they will have smiles on their faces watching you. The truth is, women are attracted to men who show they can raise children. Many times I have played this game and been approached by female spectators who comment on how much fun we were having. It is chemical when they see a fit man making children laugh and have fun, in the back of their mind they are thinking why can’t my man take some time to have fun with his kids. If there are other men at the playground, bystanders to their children playing as they check their blackberries they will be sheepish and embarrassed by the obvious fun you’re having.

We created a weekend tradition where we try to find all the good chase playgrounds in our city. The kids kept a log, took pictures of each playground and put them on a piece of Bristol Board with a map to remember them. Trust me; it is better than walking through a shopping mall.

SHARK

Outcomes: water comfort, fitness, coordination, quick thinking, problem solving, time appreciation, patience, spatial appreciation, mirroring, fun

Shark is similar to the chase game only it takes place in the water. When our family travels there has to be a pool at the hotel because the children look as forward to playing ‘shark’ more than most of the other activities.

Kids love to play in the pool, dads should play with them. Shark is a version of chase, in smaller pools we change the game to “Blind Shark.” The adult is an old blind shark hunting for seals, he keeps his eyes closed and tries to pinpoint the little ones by sound. Children love to narrowly escape capture by being quiet as you try to locate them. Once the blind shark captures a seal, he is usually prevented from eating it by the swarming attack of the other seals which results in him letting the seal go.

Expand on this game as you see fit. One of the key things about this game is you the dad creating opportunities for the kids to act as a team toward a common goal. Guaranteed fun. They will be begging you to play for longer. At the end of the day, your kids will think you are the most fun guy in the world.

TENNIS BALL HOCKEY

Outcomes: sports agility, fitness, coordination, fun

This is a one on one activity for boys and girls but boys usually get addicted to it faster. Simply this is an indoor sports game, look at your house/apartment and find a place to play. It could be a room with doors opposing each other (they become the goals) or a room where the furniture can be moved to the side and goals made against the wall.

Dads, this is usually where you get a bit of flack for making a mess if your wife is around. Simply tell her you and the child will clean up the mess and return the room to normal afterwards. Insist on being able to have some leeway, you will likely at some point break something in this game. If you do, keep the focus on the kids and not the broken item- this sends the message that things are less important than having fun with your kid.

Mark and pick goals and play this game from your knees. The game is simple, no grasping the ball, just use your hand like a hockey stick and try to score. Younger kids love to score on their dads and make good saves. Keep the score even and run it to 9-9, tell them the next goal wins and see what happens, make extravagant saves, bold claims and agonize in defeat as they score the last goals to snatch victory from you. Struggles for the ball in the middle of the room are hilarious, bank shots off the wall are effective. Have a height restriction for the ball to keep damage low.

The end result will be sweat, laughter and worn out knees (so wear old jeans).

TREASURE HUNT

Outcomes: Problem solving, adventure, fitness, coordination, quick thinking, fun

Alright guys, this is the penultimate activity for dads. Unlike the other activities, this one requires some work. But fathers who pull this one off are the champs. The kids talk about this for years, they tell their friends at school about it, your wife will… nah won’t go there.

Kids love excitement and adventure, sadly the suburbs don’t always provide that, but kids find a way to have fun wherever they are. The treasure hunt likewise can be done anywhere and is limited only by your imagination. To help you along I will cover a version of the game we have performed and you can change it to your circumstances.

The activity is based on the standard scavenger hunt game with clues. It begins with an introductory message that the kids discover, usually this is a secret plea for help from the hero. He has been captured but has managed to sneak out notes hoping some children can save him. The notes can say he does not have time to write more but he has left a message hidden somewhere else (you write in the clue where the next message can be found). Each note/clue leads the kids to a different part of the house or the backyard and continues the narrative. I include objects with the notes to make them more real. Your imagination is the only limit! The kids love figuring out the clues and running around the property, working together and figuring out the clues and discovering the next treasure.

Some Ideas:

o Our scavenger/treasure hunts usually resemble a recent movie or story we have watched. I copy the themes and main characters, the kids like it because they easily recognize the themes and characters.

o Make the captured hero someone small, a mouse or tiny dwarf, it makes the process easier.

o One of the notes can just be a map, crudely written out marking where a secret item is buried in the backyard, they can pace out the measurements and find the clue.

o Get some string and weave a trail for them to follow.

o Usually the game involves a search for a key that will open a safe or treasure chest, it is more fun if you buy a cheap lock with a key, hide the key and have the kids actually open a lock containing a treasure/prize.

o Ideas for notes and clues:

– Spill some flour in the kitchen and make little footprints to the clue.

– The clues can take the kids to a nearby forest or park.

– Make a map and make it look old, burn the edges, write it on cloth (let your imagination guide you).

– If you have a spouse she can supervise the kids through the clues, if not, you can supervise them until they are close to the end, try to let them do the last clues by themselves for an extra sense of adventure.

– Place yourself at the end of the activity, I usually say the final clue is guarded by something, a dog, a monster, or a dark knight for example and hide myself there to give them a fright just as they are discovering the treasure.

– We had a shed at our old place, the final clue had the kids come to the wall of the shed where I had left a mark (small X). They were told to bang 3 times on the wall and see what happens. I was on the roof, they couldn’t see me, and after they knocked 3 times, I began to lower the last note on a string, you should have heard them freak out, “Oh my god! Where is that coming from, who is lowering that?!” You can let them take the note and never know how it was lowered or you can surprise them by revealing yourself with a roar.

– You can put yourself or your spouse into the game. When the kids are moving to their next clue, insert yourself into the game. I circle them and pretend I just saw the bad guy take away the hero, exasperated I tell them they went that way and that the hero left a message and another clue, “Hurry” I tell them.

As I mentioned, I center the treasure hunt activity on a recent story we enjoyed. I regularly made up stories with my kids and usually the most recent story (it could be a recent movie) serves as the theme of the adventure. In whatever narrative you use there is a bad guy and a hero. I start out by writing the narrative out on a piece of paper and then chart out the steps or clues.

Trust me, it might seem like a lot of work at first, but once you started planning and thinking about it, it becomes a blast. This is the type of thing dads do well and kids love and remember forever! They become part of the legacy moments we talk about in the Elite Dad program. Take a risk, let go a bit and embrace life and your kids. Screw complacency and routine. You will find you learn so much from your kids by engaging with them that you will never go back to the way most parents are parenting.

SUMMARY

Every time you engage your children and facilitate fun and learning your credibility goes up. Being a dad is not driving your kids to activities; it is not telling them when to go to bed. It is being present so they can observe, interact and learn from you. The EliteDad program empowers fathers, helps them build credibility and brings happiness and fulfillment to their lives. Most dads demand or want obedience just because they put food on the table or just because they are dad. It doesn’t work, you have to invest in your kids and there is no way around spending quality time with them.

Outdoor Activities in and Around Carson

While the Carson and surrounding Southern California area might not be world renown for it’s outdoor adventure activities, there are quite a few ways to get your fill of the outdoors. There are many great parks in Carson as well as the nearby beaches and nature preserves.

Carson is home to over fifteen beautiful parks as well as several public aquatic centers including the Dominguez Aquatic Center on Santa Fe Avenue. This large swimming pool complex features water sprays and fountains, shade structures, a kiddie pool, adult pool and activity pool and it even has water slides for both kids and adults. The nearby Hemingway Aquatic Center, located on South San Pedro Street has both kiddie and adult pools, water spray structures and twin 16.5 foot water slides.

Anderson Park, located on Wilmington Avenue features a wading pool, a Frisbee golf course, picnic areas and an outdoor amphitheater that hosts free concerts and other fun events throughout the year. Just minutes away at Mills Park on Diamondale Drive you will find more Frisbee golf courses and another wading pool and there are also plenty of picnic areas and two playgrounds.

For even more outdoor adventures, make the 15 minute drive directly south to San Pedro where you can visit three beautiful parks located right on the Pacific Coast. These parks include Cabrillo Beach Park, Angels Gate Park, Point Fermin Park and White Point State Park. For even more adventure, travel 25 minutes south west to Rolling Hills to explore the Portuguese Bend Reserve. This large park offers tons of picturesque trails that meander through canyons and vistas that feature great views of Catalina Island. These trails are suitable for hiking, equestrian and off-road bicycling. On the way back to Carson, check out the George F. Canyon trail just north of the Portuguese Bend Reserve. This park is an easy hike that offers a great way to learn and observe the natural world.

If you or someone in your traveling group prefers skateboarding to swimming or relaxing in the park, be sure to make a visit to Veteran’s Park located on Moneta Avenue in Carson. Veteran’s 12-acre site offers a 10,000 square foot skate park named Carson Skate Park. This fun park features lots of great small-scale tranny and street skating and it even has a 4-foot capsule and a 4-foot horseshoe bowl. All skaters at this park are required to wear a helmet as well as knee and elbow pads.

Another fun outdoor type of attraction located in Carson is Go Kart World located on Recreation Road, conveniently just off of Interstate 405. This highly popular adventure spot offers six different go kart tracks, a track just for small children, a bumper car track, an extensive arcade room, a restaurant and much more. Go Kart World was also voted the best go kart destination in the greater Los Angeles area several years in a row and celebrities like Kanye West and Andrew Garcia have been seen having fun Go Kart World, so keep your eyes open, you never know who might be on the track with you!

For outdoor water adventure, check out the Redondo Beach Pier, just a short six mile drive directly west of Carson on the other side of Torrance. Aside from great shops, bars and restaurants, the pier offers tons of opportunities for water sports like paddle boarding, scuba diving, surfing and kayaking just to name a few. There are also several places that rent out bicycles to ride up and down the shoreline. While you’re in the area, you can also check out Redondo Beach International Boardwalk and Marina which offers similar activities as well as boat charters for tours or deep sea fishing.

For the golfing enthusiast, check out one of Southern California’s best public golf courses, The Links at Victoria located in the heart of Carson on 192nd Avenue. Other public courses in the area include the Dominguez Hills 18-hole golf course on Main Street in Carson or the New Horizon’s municipal 9-hole golf course on Maple Avenue in neighboring Torrance. Also in Torrance on Lupine Drive is the Sea Aire 18-hole municipal golf course.

Collapse – The House of Cards Game

The other day, I was over at a friend’s house, and someone brought out a box of playing cards. There must’ve been for five decks there, and no one could agree on which game they wanted to play. Some want to play bridge, others poker, and then they couldn’t decide on all the variations of those types of card games.

The kids wanted to play Go Fish, one of the adults want to play solitaire on her own, and things were not working out. Since most of the people in the home were left-leaning Democrats, and rather fancy themselves smarter than everyone else and really want to build a perfect utopia, I made a suggestion just for kicks.

I told him that we should play “Collapse” and I’m not really sure what the name of the game is maybe I should have called it “Detroit”, but it’s when you build a house of cards, and that you allow people to take cards out without allowing the whole thing to come crashing down. If you take out the wrong card, it is much the same as taking an apple from the bottom of the pile at the grocery store, all the apples end up on the floor, and you end up looking like; a big dummy.

Still, did you know there are multiple ways to play that game? One way is to see how big you can build the house of cards without it crashing down, and the other is to see how many cards you can take out. For those that like “groupthink” or a collaborative team effort, you can break people up into teams and the team can decide which card to take out, as this also works well, and those who are left-leaning of the political spectrum find this more intriguing – perhaps because it is all-inclusive?

So we ended up having each team build their houses of cards no more than seven stories high. Then after they were completed we allowed each team to take turns taking one card out of which ever house they chose. If your team collapsed one of the houses of cards, your whole team was out. The others kept playing. I don’t know why I ended up making up those rules, but I did, and everyone loved it so much, they were taking pictures while we were playing and posting it on their Facebook page.

If you are looking for something fun to do, and if your friends are groupthink type people, and left-leaning on the political spectrum, they might really like playing the game “Collapse” using these rules, which I think is very apropos because socialist countries always come crashing down in the end; like a house of cards. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

The Three Disciplines

One of my favorite moves of all time is “The Three Amigos.” This awkward group of three individuals who are clumsy and goofy, but in the end come together to win victory for a town over a group of thugs. I also enjoy movies like “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Lord of the Rings.” These movies take real life characters and personify them into beings and creatures to tell a story. The result of my loves for both of these movies is that I want to write a series of posts that tell the story of the Three Disciplines of Triathlon. We will use personification to take these three disciplines and bring them to life. There will be some odd ball characters that come along the way. We will see where this series goes, but it should be fun if for no one else but me. I am literally doing the Three Amigos dance in my head, Olay!

The Swim – The swim is a discipline that is high brow and luxurious. This character doesn’t want to get dirty, nor does he want to deal with the brute strength of the other characters. He is all about style and being speak. He wants to emphasize technique and style much more than shear energy. He wants to make sure that everyone knows he is the flash and dash. He is shorter than the other disciplines, but he is proud to be leading off each race. He is hard to deal with because he thinks so much of himself. He always has slicked back hair and uses chlorine as a cologne.

The Bicycle – (Cycle for short) – Cycle seems to always speak in a French accent even though he is not from France. He is always mumbling about the Tour de France. He is always about conserving energy so that he can save energy for the run. He is the tallest of the disciplines and is fine with someone else leading off and someone else finishing. He is simply a team player that wants to do his part. He doesn’t have much of an ego, but knows that he is crucial to the success of the disciplines.

The Run – The run is the true leader of the disciplines. He is the all-American dude. He knows that he needs the other two disciplines to make him great and for him to get the glory. He is like the quarterback of the team. He wants the other disciplines to do their job with a passion so that he can be good in the end. He is the closer and the finisher. He sometimes can get out of hand with his yelling at the other disciplines. He wants them to improve, but he really wants it to be all about him. He and Cycle don’t seem to get along very well because they are constantly battling over energy and how hard Cycle should push. The Run sometimes races by himself more than the others to try and see what he could really do if he didn’t have these other disciplines hanging on.

The Coach – (Buzz) – The Coach is one tough hombre. He is always trying to find ways for each of the disciplines to go faster. He is the one in charge of the game plan. He is in charge of nutrition and of training. Buzz is the one that has all the choices of how hard to push in each race and what needs to be done to improve. He likes his team of disciplines, but he knows they can always do better. Buzz will always be ready for the next challenge to get his team of disciplines across the finish line first.

Fatigue – Fatigue is the nemesis of the disciplines. Fatigue is always trying to convince the coach and each discipline that they need to stop this madness. Fatigue is always pushing to rest and relax. Fatigue attacks before training even starts on any given day with his so called “Snooze” attacks. Fatigue wants each discipline to fail and will work his hardest to just make it all stop.

There will be many more characters that arrive in this series. For now, we get ready for the adventure to begin.

Pool Time Fun

If you have a backyard pool there is plenty to be excited about come the summer months. You can laze in the pool, have friends over, host parties, hang out with the family and enjoy the warm weather before the fall and winter come again. Of course having a pool means that you have cool pool toys and accessories to make the experience all the more exciting and if you don’t then why not?

Pool floaties are probably one of the most popular pool items you can have. You can go from the basic flutterboards to the large adult size sit/lay ons and of course there is always the pool noodle! What can’t you do with a pool noodle? They are great for riding on, for play fighting, for pulling each other around and for bobbing up and down on in the water.

Floaties come in all shapes and sizes and have cool things like cupholders and places to store snacks or attachments to spray water so that the fun just never stops. They come with sunshades for the little ones, with space to sprawl out for the adults and even big enough to fit you and your honey side by side. Want one in the shape of a donut or unicorn? They’ve got you covered!

Slides and diving boards are great additions to your inground pool, but what about a rock climbing wall? If you fall off, you’re in the pool, and if you choose to jump off, you’re in the pool. It’s a win-win for all. They are also great for exercise and they just add a different something to the pool idea.

Don’t like to vacuum the pool? Never fear, there are robotic vacuums that simply go about their business day in and day out with nary a push from us humans. What will they think of next?

Volleyball nets, floating basketball nets and all manner of other sports can also be played while enjoying the pool. And don’t forget the toys that are specially made to sink so that you and the family can practice your diving skills.

With so much to do to make the backyard pool ‘the’ place to be this summer you’ll be hard pressed to get the kids out! Just throw in the sunscreen the snacks and the bottled water and your backyard party will be a sensation all summer long!

ESL Bingo Card Generator

ESL (“English as a Second Language”), also known as “EFL” (“English as a Foreign Language”), or sometimes as “ESOL” (“English for Speakers of Other Languages”), is the term used to refer to the study of English by people (usually adults), who are native speakers of other languages. Such people may wish to learn English for business or professional reasons, for personal reasons, or perhaps because they are immigrating to a majority English-speaking country such as the United States, Great Britain or Canada.

In today’s world, English is the principal lingua franca in many fields of endeavour, including business, science, medicine, and aviation. For this reason, as well as for reasons such as immigration and personal interest, many adults who are native speakers of other languages often want to learn or improve their English. One of the main ways that they do this is through ESL (“English as a Second Language”) classes – note: sometimes the acronyms “EFL” (“English as a Foreign Language”) or “ESOL” (“English for Speakers of Other Languages”) are also used.

One particular group activity that many ESL teachers have introduced into their classes is the game of bingo. Students can find this both enjoyable and educational – even though bingo is a relatively simple game, explaining the rules, setting up, and then playing, entirely in English of course, can be quite a challenge to a non-native speaker. Additionally, the mechanics of the game can also be modified by the teacher – at Christmas for example, the bingo cards might be printed with Christmas themed items rather than numbers. Likewise, on other occasions, the bingo cards might be printed with English words or phrases, or even with place names. The teacher’s imagination is really the only limit, since bingo cards containing virtually any kind of item can be easily and cheaply printed using a PC and some bingo card generator software.