Are You Eligible for These Sunshine State Travel Discounts?

If a Florida vacation is in your future, then find out if you’re eligible for these travel discounts in the Sunshine State. Although they are relatively easy to get, if you don’t know how or where to apply for them, you’ll totally miss out on some hefty savings.

Save at the Toll Booth

First and foremost, if you have a significant dexterity disability, you may be eligible for a free pass when it comes to Florida’s toll roads. The Disabled Toll Permit saves drivers both time and money; and although it’s often overlooked by visitors, it’s easy to obtain if you meet the minimum qualifications.

In order to qualify for a Disabled Toll Permit you must have:

A valid driver’s license
An upper limb or dexterity disability that prevents you from tossing coins into a toll booth basket
An adapted vehicle
The permit is valid for five years, and it can be used at manned toll booths throughout the state. Just show the toll booth operator your permit, and you’re good to go. For more information about the Disabled Toll Permit, call (800) 983-2435.

Once you receive your Disabled Toll Permit, you can also apply for a Sun Pass non-revenue mini transponder. There is a $4.95 fee for this electronic device that attaches to the windshield, and allows users to pass through unmanned toll booths at no charge.

For more information about a Sun Pass non-revenue mini transponder, call the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged at (561) 488-5344.

State Park Savings

Additionally, veterans with a service-connected disability can receive a free military entrance pass, good for admission to all Florida State Parks. This lifetime pass is valid for park admission of up to eight people, except at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife and Weeki Wachee Springs parks, where it’s good for up to two people.

Proof of identification, service-connected disability and honorable discharge are required. Acceptable documentation includes:

Valid driver’s license.
Documentation from Department of Defense or another appropriate agency of service-connected disability.
DD Form 214 showing honorable discharge.
The military entrance pass can only be obtained in person at any Florida State Park. Surviving Spouses and parents of US military members who have died in combat are also eligible for this pass.

Honorably discharged veterans can also receive a 25% discount on individual or family passes. These passes, which are valid for one year, are good for admission to all parks. A valid driver’s license and a DD Form 214 are required to get the discount; and like the military entrance pass, it can only be obtained in person.

And if you don’t qualify for either of those passes, but you plan to visit a number of Florida State Parks, you can still save some money by purchasing an individual or family annual pass. These passes are good for one year and they can be purchased at any state park entrance. The individual pass is priced at $60, while the family pass costs $120.

So plan ahead, bring your documentation, and rack up some savings on your next Florida vacation.

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The Secret My Lawyers & Accountants Didn’t Even Know About – How to Get a Business Loan

Stop! Turn off your cell phone.

Quit tweeting and texting for the next 4 minutes. Grab a cup of coffee.

Shut the door so there are no distractions. This is that important!

Because I’m about to reveal to you the greatest secret to getting a business loan for as much as $25,000, $50,000 or even $250,000 – even when the bank says “NO!” and even if you don’t have perfect credit.

I have to warn you though… Don’t pay attention to the credit card companies. Forget everything you’ve heard. You can actually hurt your chances of getting the small business loan you need if you follow their advice.

It’s true. Why? Because they’re more concerned about raking in record profit margins and reaping huge bonuses! They don’t care about your business or if you get a business loan.

Credit cards companies want you to keep piling up debt on your high-interest personal credit and hold you personally liable for your expenses.

Do you think they really care if it takes you 10, 20 or 30 years to pay it back? Or if lowering your spending limit for no good reason has affected your business? Or if your personal credit is destroyed while you try to build the business of your dreams?

Of course not. Not when it means more money for them! And let’s not leave out the banks. Business lending is at all-time lows. Think they’re interested in taking a risk, however small it may be?

The secret… How to get a Business Loan

But there’s a little known secret that most small and mid-size business owners don’t know about. Heck, even most credit card companies don’t advertise it. I didn’t even know about it and I’d been running businesses for years!

Accountants I’ve used for years weren’t aware of it. Lawyers who I’ve paid up to $700 an hour didn’t know about it. But I’m about to reveal it to you right now and it won’t cost you a penny…

I’m not going to make you read every word of this or make you jump through hoops to get the secret. I know you’re busy so I’m going to give it to you right now and then explain how to make this secret work for you.

Here it is: You can get a small business loan. Usually reserved for large corporations, there’s a 7-step process for small and mid-size business owners to get the business loan they need without a traditional personal guarantee.

Mystery solved! More about that in a moment…

Whether you’re looking for a start up business loan, have an existing business or if you’re buying a business or franchise, you can now access working capital.

Don’t have perfect personal credit? No problem.

It doesn’t even matter if you have less than perfect personal credit. You can still get business financing, whether that’s a merchant cash advance, or business loans with bad credit.

That’s right. You no longer have to rely on your personal credit to finance your business. You can rebuild your personal credit and create a business credit profile to get the business loan you need to grow your business.

Imagine not relying on just personal credit cards to finance your marketing, purchase inventory or pay for expenses… sleep easier every night knowing one misstep won’t cost you your family’s home… and get access to much needed working capital so you can expand. That’s a dream come true for many business owners I work with, especially right now.

Does this sound familiar?

“We’re very sorry to inform you that your credit limit has been reduced due to current economic conditions… “blah, blah, blah!

Take one client we’re working with right now. Mike owns a dozen wireless phone stores. This is his most recent venture after successfully running other small businesses for more than 30 years. And just like he’s always done, he financed his inventory with his American Express card.

Every month he bought $50,000 worth of inventory, sold it and paid it off before the end of the month. But just a few months ago, his purchase was declined. American Express reduced his credit limit from $50,000 to $30,000 without any notice – not because of anything he had done.

The only response he got went something like this: “We’re very sorry to inform you that your credit limit has been reduced due to current economic conditions… ” blah, blah, blah! So he had to scramble to find other ways to finance his inventory. A short while later his $30,000 inventory purchase declined. Why? Because his credit limit was reduced to $20,000. Then his credit was squeezed again to $10,000.

It gets worse. As his credit is getting squeezed American Express is reporting to the other credit bureaus that his credit is being reduced so they also follow suit.

Meanwhile, the amount of debt as a percentage of his total available credit or what’s called his debt utilization rate increases. This is one of the most important indicators creditors look at when evaluating a credit score – and Mike’s personal score was dropping like a brick.

When he came to us, we immediately showed him how he could separate his business credit from his personal credit and his first reaction was, “I didn’t know I could do this. Are you telling me that I could have been building business credit and may still be able to get a small business loan?”

The answer is, “Yes!”

We’re working with him to help him and he’s borrowed $100,000 that does not have a traditional personal guarantee.

You really can get the funding you need without putting your personal credit at risk.

I’ll show you how in just a moment. But first I think it’s important that you know a bit more about me.

I own a firm that specializes in helping business owners get the business loans they need to finance their businesses without sacrificing their personal credit.

If you’re like me you probably thought business funding wasn’t even an option.

As a small business owner (prior to starting my own financing company), I personally guaranteed everything because I thought that’s the way it was done. I even prided myself on how well I did it while growing my Internet marketing business. I started with a $5,000 line of credit on my American Express and I played the 30-day float. Over time, I was regularly spending $300,000 on my card – every month!

If anything went wrong the expenses would have crushed me. I didn’t have that kind of money to cover the costs! Fortunately, I was lucky enough to avoid disaster.

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Make Money Online by Selling Other People’s Products

A lot of people are now getting into internet businesses and online marketing either to add extra income or eventually making it their primary source of income. Why? Because online marketing can provide better benefits!

First, you can contact and communicate with just about anybody in the world who has internet connection if you advertise your products online. That indicates a broader market reach for you, which can convert to larger profits. Second, setting up an internet based business needs only a portion of the cost required to set up an actual company establishment, which indicates lesser expenses for the business owner

Another thing that has drawn a lot of attention from people towards online marketing is the fact that you are not required to have your own product to begin. In online marketing, anyone can start generating profits online just by promoting, or even by just trying to sell other people’s items. Getting started with this type of marketing procedure is actually quite simple. All that you need to do is to set up a compliance agreement with an online merchant or vendor, and after everything is set up, one can instantly begin to generate profits by promoting the vendor’s or the store’s items.

Furthermore, the most popular and the fastest method of selling other people’s products and services on the internet is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, in its basic definition, is a relationship between an internet merchant or store, who has items to sell, and his affiliates, who are willing to sell the vendor’s product on their website.

In a common affiliate marketing set up, the vendor provides his affiliates with advertisements, either banner or text type that directly links to his site. The affiliates will then get these ads placed on their site and they get compensated whenever visitors or product purchases directed to the vendor’s web page. Affiliates are often compensated on sales by commission, although other online product vendors would opt to pay a set fee for the affiliate’s compensation.

Getting started to make money online through affiliate marketing is fast and simple. You just need to sign up as an affiliate marketer to an affiliate program. Another option is to sign up as an affiliate on an affiliate network that hosts different affiliate programs. Signing up usually costs nothing, although some networks might require you to pay a small fee that may be the amount as a payment for the additional service those companies render like tools, webinars and training materials.

When you sign up with an affiliate program, you are usually required to fill up an information form about yourself. Some affiliate marketing programs may also need you to present the URL of your web page and describe its content. This will allow the retailers to verify that you actually have a web page with material that are relevant to their products. Some affiliate programs, however, does not require you to have a website. After filling out the form, you are then free to choose the affiliate programs you want to use.

After signing up with an affiliate program and becoming an affiliate, you are now ready to make money online by selling other people’s products. How do you make money? There are actually various ways for you to generate income as an affiliate marketer, and most of these ways depends on the type of affiliate program you’ve sign up for.

A lot of affiliate programs pay their affiliates in either of three methods: pay-per-click (PPC), payper-sale (PPS), or pay-per-lead (PPL). In pay-per-click marketing, the affiliate is compensated whenever he directs traffic to the vendor’s site. PPS and PPL online marketing programs is different. In PPS, the affiliate only gets paid when his referral converts into a sale. In typical PPS online marketing program, the affiliate would usually get 15% to 20% commission for each conversion. Pay Per Lead works the same way, although affiliates are paid a fixed compensation whenever his referral converts into a lead for the vendor.

Some affiliate programs are two-tier, which means the affiliate is also allowed to refer other affiliates to the vendor. In such affiliate program, the affiliate would not only be paid for the visits or sales that he would redirect to the merchant’s site but also for the visits or sales directed by the affiliates who signed up with the program through his referral.

Another way of earning more profits with affiliate marketing is through residual affiliate programs. Residual marketing programs are affiliate programs where the affiliate gets compensated a number of times for as long as the vendor keeps the customer the affiliate has recommended to his site. One type of residual program gets the affiliate compensated a commission every time the referred customer purchases something on the vendor’s site.

Another form of residual program gets the affiliate paid every month for as long as the merchant keeps the customer being referred.

With a lot of choices available and a lot of methods to generate income, affiliate marketing is simply the most popular and the easiest way to earn cash by selling other people’s products on the internet. As to how much cash an affiliate can generate from affiliate programs actually depends on the affiliate. A persevering and diligent affiliate would certainly get more from affiliate marketing compared to those who would simply sign up and forget about it later on.

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The Benefits of Network Marketing – 3 Top Reasons Why Network Marketing Rocks

Let’s face it, there are a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to network marketing. Some people love it and some people hate it but in this article, we are going to talk about the 3 top reasons network marketing rocks.

Time Freedom

When you are a MLM professional, you are able to set your own hours. You can work when you want to work and shut your cell phone off whenever you choose not to work. You can spend time working on the beach or in any part of the world that you want since you have the ability to travel and still have your business.

Residual Income

Residual income is work you do something for once and then you just keep getting paid over and over again. Whenever you get team members and customers that are buying and selling products every single month, you have residual income and that is very powerful.

Leverage

Being able to build a team in network marketing enables you to build leverage. When one of your team members is working and you aren’t there, that is leverage. Being able to have something done when you are not there is what the goal is so the more leaders you help develop, the better.

As you can tell, network marketing has many great benefits and there are more that could be listed but these are the top three that always get me excited. Building a network marketing business to the top may not be easy but the rewards are plentiful. It is possible for anyone to be able to achieve their dreams with this amazing profession.

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Best Tips to Avoid Squandering Your Inheritance

When you receive an inheritance, it is important to figure out what will you do with that money. If you do not plan properly on how to spend that money, it will slip out of your hand within no time. If you have already got the cash, or you are about to inherit the money, here are some five tips for using it properly.

Don’t Rush Your Decision

People generally do not allow the money for a cooling-off period, after receiving the cash. This is one of the worst mistakes that people usually do. They are always in a hurry of spending the money without thinking twice. You can save the money either in a money market account or savings for at least two months in order to plan your options. You can also put the money into a short-term deposit for saving it, because you have to pay penalty if you withdraw it before time.

Assess Where You Are

If you analyse your present financial situation, you can get an idea about your future move. You can plan to start a college fund for your children, add the money to your retirement savings or keep it as an emergency fund. Make a goal in life, so that you can achieve it with the help of your inheritance.

Be Realistic About Your Inheritance

A sudden chunk of money will you lead to towards a changed lifestyle. The things like a new car or a luxury vacation that you could not afford before will now seem to be very tempting. You have to be careful to control your temptation and save your money for future needs.

Establish Boundaries

It is evident that when you receive an inheritance, many people come with a try to have a share in the money. Bank or financial sales people may call you so that you invest your money in their products. You may also be asked to make a huge donation by any charitable organisation. So, it is very important to set boundaries and prepare yourself for saying no to the people.

Be Proactive

You may need some professional help to figure out how to save your inheritance. It is absolutely fine to hire a financial advisor, but do not make your decision solely as per his guidance. In the end, it will be you who will take the final decision. Do some research and set your goals before taking professional’s help.

Thus, though an inheritance is like a blessing to you, but along with it comes responsibility. Plan properly to make sure that your money lasts for a longer time.

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Financial Education Services Review

Financial Education Services also known as FES is headquarter in Farmington Hills, MI and has approximately 200 plus employees worldwide. The majority of the services offered by FES are proprietary products developed by FES. There are as well some partnerships most notably, LifeLock the number 1 provider of identity theft protection.

The founders of this company, Mike Toloff and Parimal Naik come from a very successful background relating to the financial services industry and over the last 9 plus years have taken what was once an operation ran from a small back room in a shopping mall to a state of the art facility with representation across the country

Financial Education Services Products

Today’s market place demands products that will not only help consumers reenter the market place but as well help to educate them on important factors related to financial literacy that were never taught during formal educational years.

It is this combination of products, service and education that has helped FES to become a powerhouse in the market place today and what separates them from there competition. When you educate your customer base you have a potential for not only referral business but as well retention of existing clients.

Financial Education Services products consist of Credit Restoration, Positive Credit Building, Pre-Paid MasterCard, Wills and Trusts and the inclusive FES Protection Plan Membership that includes previous mentioned services along with DebtZero (Debt Pay-off System) and My Financial Lockbox.

Financial Education Services Business Model

The business model or distribution of these financial services is delivered through a network of independent distributors or what FES refers to as “Agents”. Agents are compensated for the sale of these products and also have the ability to build teams of agents and receive overrides and bonuses based on their team production.

The business model is a form of MLM or as more commonly referred to as Network Marketing. The unique thing about the FES model as that agent’s can opt to simply sell the products and not participate in the team building aspect of the business although to maximizes the compensation plan you will want to participate in both sales of products as well as team building.

Is Financial Education Services Right for You

Well let’s examine the facts; it is estimated that over 50 million Americans have less than a 599 credit score (Sub-Prime Credit), 90% of the population does not have a will and trust combination, the average consumer household debt is approximately 20K with no plan in place to pay it off and identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. With that being said, it’s almost a certainty that most people know someone that can use the services that Financial Education Services provides.

The most likely candidates for the FES business opportunity are professionals in the financial services industry such as mortgage brokers and Real Estate professionals. There has also been a recent surge in interest from the insurance industry.

This opportunity just like any other home based business is great for anybody looking to enter the network marketing industry. There are no license requirements for the agents since FES is licensed and bonded in all 50 states including Puerto Rico.

The bottom line is if you’re the type of persons that needs the services offered by FES, will to sharing products that can benefit others or enjoy working from home than the Financial Education Services opportunity could be right for you.

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6 Types of Rolling Contact Bearings

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20 Anytime Gifts That Will Last Forever

It’s that time again. You need a gift to take to a birthday, wedding, anniversary or any other occasion. Most of us don’t want to get just another gift, we all want to give and receive gifts that are timeless.

From the thoughtful custom necklace to the one-of-a-kind handmade trinket; we have you sorted out with our list of 20 anytime gifts that will never go out of fashion

The Thoughtful Gifts

1. Personalized Letter

In this day of technology, who wouldn’t love receiving a handwritten personalized letter? Personalized letters are particularly a great gift from children to grandparents or vice versa.

2. Memory Capsule

Memories are timeless. The best gift you could ever give a loved one is a piece of encapsulated memory. Recreate old photos taken with loved ones to form your memory capsule.

3. Quality Time

Sometimes your present is enough of a gift for that special person. Set aside ample time to spend a day together or go on a getaway.

4. Personalized Gift Cards

Personalized gift cards are still a timeless favorite from kid to parents or vice versa. Give out several with thoughtful tasks that they can be redeemed against.

5. Technology Lessons

Time has flown by and our grandparents, and parents, might need a little help catching up. Kids can gift their grandparents and immediate parents technology lessons to teach them about social media as well as the use of other gadgets.

Gifts for Him

6. RFID Wallet

Wallets are overly popular gifts for men, but not the RFID wallet. The RFID wallet will protect unwarranted card data theft, and it is one wallet he’ll be keeping for long.

7. Bartender Kit

Men love their drink, well most do. There isn’t a better gift for that drink lover than a bartender kit. A bartending set will also benefit you because, with it, he’ll be whipping up those delicious cocktails well into your hay days.

8. Balance Board

Balance is necessary for everyday life, and as we age, we lose our elementary balance. For the man looking to regain balance or just to keep fit, a balance board would be the perfect gift for them.

9. Smart Sprinkler Controller

Who is in charge of the sprinkler system, or just about any electronic, in your house? For that man, an intelligent sprinkler system would serve them well. Men love gadgets, and he will rave over the ability to control the sprinklers conveniently from a laptop/tablet/phone.

10. Watch

A good watch is always a great gift for that man in your life. It doesn’t have to cost much but go for a durable timepiece that will end up being an heirloom.

Gifts for Her

11. Jewellery

Let’s face it; time has proven it, women love jewelry. You can’t go wrong with a good custom necklace or just about any tasteful jewelry that she can pass on down the family tree.

12. Tea Set

Know a woman who loves tea? Then a tea set would make the perfect gift. This isn’t necessarily an age-restricted present; any woman who hosts company will like to add a good tea set in her collection.

13. Character Apron

Aprons are functional pieces of protective clothing and contrary to tradition; they don’t have to be flowery. Character aprons can instantly transform a lady into her beloved hero.

14. Scarf

Often overlooked, scarves are exquisite and complimentary outfit accents. Most women keep them for years, and that’s why they make it to our list of timeless gifts.

15. Handbag

Next to jewellry and shoes, women love handbags. Women also keep bags for years and getting her a good, quality bag is an ideal gift choice for any occasion.

A Custom Necklace and Other Custom Gift Ideas

16. Custom Pendants

A custom necklace is a good gift, but a custom locket is a great gift. A pendant allows you to take a treasured photo with you on the go. Anyone would love getting a personalized jewelry as a gift.

17. Picture Mug

Who doesn’t love a photo mug? Why not get her or him a collection of mugs with pictures of the people dearest to them?

18. Keychains

Everyone uses keychains at one point or another. Personalized keychains are thoughtful gift options.

19. Clocks

Clocks are also great options to personalize with custom photos. Go for a traditional wall clock or a wrist watch for a custom gift option.

20. Map

Have someone you have shared countless of adventures with? Get them a customized photo map to map out your travel memories.

There you have it; with our list of 20 anytime gifts that will never go out of fashion, you are equipped to give timeless and ageless gifts for any occasion.

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Fun Games to Play With Children, 10 Spontaneous Games to Enrich Their Lives

1. NATURE BRACELETS

For Ages: 1-5

You can start your little one’s exploration and appreciation of nature with this game of making a masking tape nature bracelet. They’ll notice all the lovely color and shape variations there are in petals and leaves and adorn their wrists with beauty.

MATERIALS:

Masking tape

Leaves and flower petals

DIRECTIONS:

Wrap a piece of masking tape around your child’s wrist, sticky side up, and then go exploring to find wonderful leaves, beautiful flower petals and other interesting things to attach to the bracelet.

Before bedtime, snip the bracelet off and attach it next to his bed or somewhere in view so he can admire his work and remember his fun time.

2. RING OF STRING

For Ages:3-10 years

In this game, children are encouraged to really look closely at one spot and see all there is to see. There is a lot of pleasure to be had from noticing the tiny wonders of nature that are in our own back yard.

MATERIALS:

String

Magnifying glass or jar with water in it (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Make a small circle on the ground with the string. Look carefully at the enclosed area with your child and notice what is growing there. Pull out a weed or blade of grass and see what the roots looks like. Is there a seedpod in the area? What’s inside?

Poke a hole and see if there are any insects around. What are they? What are they doing? Use a magnifying glass or a jar with water in it and look at different things up close.

Gather small things to examine and collect such as pinecones, acorns, petals, seeds, bark, leaves and pretty pebbles.

3. A SPOTLIGHT IN THE DARK

For Ages 1-5 years

Babies are fascinated with anything new. It’s fun for us to be with a little one when she discovers something for the first time. In this game it’s the delight of a flashlight in the dark

MATERIALS:

One or two flashlights

DIRECTIONS:

Keep the lights off in the room that you are in and scan the room with a flashlight, spotlighting different familiar things. “Look there’s the television. Here is the table and there is your high chair.”

You know your little one is going to want a chance to hold the flashlight. Let her. She can shine it wherever she wants or she has to find, with her flashlight, an object you name.

As she gets older and more coordinated, continue this game, but this time you both have flashlights and you encourage her to “catch” your spotlight. You move your spotlight around the room and she has to move hers so it “catches” yours by covering your spotlight with hers.

Your turn to chase next.

4. THE KNOCKING GAME

For: All Ages

Listening to and identifying the different sounds objects make when you knock on them is a game that can be played at any time. When you want to change the focus of fussing children, try saying: “Hey, let’s play a game. Close your eyes and see if you can tell what I’m knocking on. No peeking”

MATERIALS:

Common objects found around the house

DIRECTIONS:

Ask your player to close her eyes and turn her back to you. Then see if she can guess the object you are knocking on with your fist (or a spoon). Start with easy things such as a table and a window, and work towards sounds that are harder to identify, such as knocking on a book or lamp.

Take turns being the identifier and the “knocker”.

5. TOOTHPICK ART

For: All Ages

There are many ways to teach the hands to have more finesse. This is one of them that you can play together.

MATERIALS:

Toothpicks, plain or colored

DIRECTIONS:

Make an abstract design by laying toothpicks out on a table or floor, with each player adding their toothpick to the design. The first player puts down one toothpick. The next player adds his at just the angle that seems pleasing to him. The next person then adds theirs to that design and so on and so on until an interesting design is formed.

Instead of an abstract design, you can make a specific scene. For example, make a house with a picket fence and trees.

!It takes concentration to pick up a skinny toothpick and decide the best place to put it. Placing each toothpick down carefully and trying not to jiggle the design encourages awareness of hand movements.

It also develops the pincer grasp, the small muscles that control the index finger and thumb.

But mainly, it’s fun to make art together.

6. TOE STEPPING

For: All Ages

Here’s a fun and silly game that requires concentration and quick movement. Try it sometime at a birthday party gathering, when you want to redirect excess energy, or when the kids are bored and want something quick and new to do.

MATERIALS:

None but fancy footwork

DIRECTIONS:

Two people, both barefoot or in stocking feet, face each other and hold hands. Each person tries to step on the others toes while at the same time keep their toes from being stepped on.

You might remind the players to step lightly on each other’s toes so that others will do the same to you. In other words, follow this game’s Golden Rule: Step on others as you would want to be stepped on.

Concentrating on both keeping out of the way and going for the goal is a kind of trial by fire. Pressure on their foot lets them know when they weren’t paying close enough attention!

7. BALLOON BASEBALL

For Ages: 1-5

Baseball may be fun but those balls can hurt and are hard to hit. For young ones, use a balloon!

MATERIALS:

Balloon

Bat: Make a bat out of anything handy, such as the inside cardboard tube of a paper towel roll or a rolled up section of yesterdays newspaper secured with tape

DIRECTIONS:

. Give the bat to your player and toss the balloon to her. The slow movements of a balloon floating towards her gives her plenty of time to line up her bat, swing at the ‘ball” and get the satisfaction of “connecting.”

If there is just the two of you, take turns being the pitcher/catcher and the batter.

If there are other players, their job is catching the “ball” as it leisurely floats down. Who ever catches it can have the next turn at batting or give it to someone who hasn’t had enough turns.

After everyone gets all the turns they want, you can change the game to “Golf”. Use boxes turned on their sides as “holes” and players see how many strokes it takes to hit the balloon in the box.

8. BACK WRITING

For Ages: 5-12 years

Writing invisible letters on a child’s back a fun way to write a secret message.

MATERIALS:

Paper

Pencil

DIRECTIONS:

One person sits with his back to another and a pad of paper and pencil in front of him.

The other person, using his finger, “draws” a letter on the person’s back.

At the same time, that person draws on the paper what he thinks is being drawn on his back.

Keep writing letter by letter until a whole message is given. The message could be a clue to where a treat is hidden!

Take turns so both the writer and the person written on get to experience what it feels like.

Have an older child play this game with a younger sibling as a fun way to help him learn his letters.

9. SELF PORTRAITS

For Ages: Teens

Many teenagers go through a phase where they become fascinated with their reflection in the mirror, especially during the period when their faces make that change from a child’s to a young adult’s.

In this activity, you and your changing child can take advantage of this fascination by drawing your mirror reflection

MATERIALS:

Mirror

Felt tip marker

Paper (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Both of you sit facing a mirror and draw your reflection directly on the mirror using a felt-tip marker.

You can also draw each other’s on paper but don’t look at the paper until the drawing is done. This often gives a kind of Picasso look to the work

10. SHOE MOUNTAIN

For: All Ages

When the kids are bored but antsy with energy, here is a quickie that is guaranteed to win the hearts of all ages. Your twelve year old will l be just as excited to play this game as your two year old.

MATERIALS:

Shoes

DIRECTIONS

Pile all the shoes you can readily find in a pile in a large cleared out space in the room. Tell the kids that this is not a pile of shoes (silly them to think that!) but is actually a huge mountain and they have to start from a distance away and run towards the mountain and then with one gigantic leap, make it over the top of the mountain to the other side.

It adds to the thrill if the others provide a drum roll–slapping their hands on the floor or on a table or on their knees as the next Leaper makes her run and then when that person is in the air, call out her name!

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Crony Capitalism – How Bad Has It Gotten In The US?

We all know the problem of the revolving-door in our political leadership and bureaucracy. Folks are in and out of government, keep their contacts and make a fortune from the known reality: it’s not what you know but whom you know. The problem with all this is exactly what Adam Smith warned us about; the incestuous relationship between government and business. Corporations in the US are large and powerful, and have and hire the best talent, retain and control endless resources – these corporations do not NEED government favors, nor does their executive leadership, they are doing fine.

To secure the most optimum efficiency in our economy, we must keep the free-market as free as possible, when we allow a skew due to political favors or inside information, or allow lobbyists to the run the table, often at the expense of the people all we do is prove the cynics correct that; the game is rigged. Perhaps this is why Donald Trump has promised to; Drain the Swamp. And, he’s human too, I have no doubt he will drain the left-side of the swamp first, but it’s still a good start. The trick is to set a new set of rules, lay down the letter of the law, and move forward.

In Harvard Business Review, December 2013 Issue, there was an interesting article titled; “Unwinding Inequality” and in that article was a quote by Angus Denton; “When people use their success to change the rules in their favor, that success is no longer to be celebrated.”

“Yes,” I say, “Indeed.” But let’s take this argument to a higher level shall we. First, I find it rather hypocritical to read of this in the Harvard Business Review, as most there believe in the concepts of Adam Bellow who wrote the book “In Praise of Nepotism” which might explain why all the Supreme Court Justices went to Ivy Leagues, Harvard or Yale, some both. Worse, look at the academic records of the last 5-presidents of the US, and a darn good many senators, and heads of major bureaucracies, corporations and NGOs.

Second, if we dissect that quote, it talks about “success” and the concept of changing the rules once one, a group or corporation gains in the synergy of their own success. Well, isn’t this really the same challenge with guerrillas or terrorists attacking the status quo, authority and government – if they succeed, they are then in control and then they inevitably seem to use the same so-called tyrannical methods of ruling that their predecessors had before they ousted them – thus, the word “revolution” as it just goes round and round as another group comes along to then unseat their new authority.

Now, one can see a similar process in business and industry. For instance, read;

1. “Rule Makers and Rule Breakers,” by David Garnder
2. “First Break All the Rules,” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
3. “The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business,” by Clayton M. Christensen

Once the company garners market share synergy, and industry status, it moves to change the sector’s associations to lobby to get the rules and regulations changed to its way of doing things blocking future disruptive competitors from coming along to change the industry just as they had to get to where they are today.

The easiest way to do that is through crony-capitalism, campaign contributions, public-private business partnerships, which also leads to selling goods and/or services to the government and secure a free flow of money to further continue their dominance by playing with the political elite – who all went to Ivy League schools. Thus, I find it so fascinating that HBR (Harvard Business Review) had the gall to even publish that article – due to the obvious hypocritical nature of the norm which comes from that elitist institution. Please consider all this and think on it.

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