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Traveling With Alexa: How Amazon Echo Frames Can Assist Backpackers Throughout Their Journeys

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It seems that the world is getting smaller and smaller as our access and accessibility to it grows and grows. From the rough and ready nature of travellers to the cool and calm nature of hotel hoppers, technology had become a huge part of the travelling experience for so many people. With the smartphone being a modern-day tool for travellers, the accessories that come paired with it are making more of an appearance too.

The growth of smart technology and intelligent virtual assistants 

The growth of smart technology has been one of the biggest developments in the modern world and the introduction of intelligent virtual assistants (VA) into the average home is becoming more of a staple than a novelty. 

An intelligent virtual assistant is a personal assistant software agent that can perform tasks and services based on an individual’s commands or questions. Amazon Alexa or Siri by Apple are perfect examples of a virtual assistant. 

Amazon Alexa was first platformed by the use of Amazon Echo Smart Speaker which is a tool used to accommodate smart technology. The Echo, in particular, is a voice-controlled speaker that works with Alexa and has the capability to enforce a range of commands, such as music playback commands, creating to-do lists, playing audiobooks, providing weather information and operating your smart home features.

Statista

(Image: Statista)

Alexa has become a common household feature and can be used to control so many areas of our lives and the technology that we can use to facilitate that is only widening and developing. 

Outside of the household, consumers are now trying to travel with Alexa. With wi-fi being the necessary factor when using a virtual assistant, people are now taking their speakers with them and then connecting them to hotel wifi connections to use them on holiday. With some hotels and holiday destinations accommodating the reliance that some people have on Alexa and having smart speakers installed on their premises, the demand for virtual assistants is becoming more and more apparent. 

Although it seems like a convenience that hotels are offering the option for their customers to use their Alexa devices, it can’t always be the most convenient thing to have to travel with a speaker as part of your travel arsenal.

How do travellers currently use smart technology?

In the modern world, travellers are more often than not heavily reliant on smart technology to create efficiency and ease of travel. From using smart technology to book tickets, plan and calculate routes and establish an itinerary, a whole experience and the credentials for it can be housed using smart technology.

The introduction of the smartwatch provides an opportunity to have more accurate tracking and give insight into a person’s daily movement and activities without being in the vicinity of their smartphone. This variety in smart hardware use when travelling is only predicted to grow. The remote nature of smart accessories offers an even more personal way to interact with your virtual needs and the use of glasses within this can be said to assist.

The Amazon Echo Frames 

As the use of smart technology is growing, the repertoire of accessories available to consumers is widening and becoming more personal. We no longer have to rely on our smartphone to stay connected with the virtual world and our online requirements. The popularity of the smartwatch ensures ease of access to information, particularly when travelling and the introduction of smart glasses is adding another dimension. With over half of the American population wears glasses, the use of this accessory and eyewear as smart technology very much has a place. 

The Amazon Echo Frames are a piece of hardware that is compatible with Alexa and can give consumers a way to use Alexa without using a smart speaker. Reviewed by some critics as having comfortable frames, these smart glasses could be making more of an appearance amongst travellers and backpackers alike. 

Providing efficiency and ease of access that the hardware of the Amazon smart speaker doesn’t, the Echo Frames provide backpackers a gateway to information and virtual needs whilst on the go. Establishing a more personal way of using a virtual assistant, the features of these smart glasses could start becoming a more popular remote smart wear choice

How can smart glasses assist backpackers?

With regards to the Amazon Echo frames the audio features within the glasses can aid a backpacker whilst on the move. The glasses are linked to Alexa and could arguably be more accessible than using Alexa on a smartphone and of course, the hands-free element is a plus.

Having been commented on for their comfortable nature, the Amazon smart glasses, unlike some other smart glasses has very streamlined hardware, which makes taking calls and setting reminders more conspicuous – this is ideal for travellers who are arranging schedules and navigating routes whilst on the move.

The frames themselves are accommodating to those with varying eyesight needs. So backpackers who need and wear any kind of prescription lens will be able to use smart glasses whilst on the go. This also goes for specific situational lenses, such as night vision glasses or specific climate requirements.

The frames are designed for everyday wear so provide the functionality of smart notifications whilst having the ability to replace your everyday glasses frames. The audio notification functions could be both a positive and an annoyance to travellers, however, the world of smart wearables are ever-widening and being developed.

Although the world of smart glasses is still very much in its infancy, the option to have them as a travel accessory is very much plausible. We are yet to see the wide adoption of smart glasses in modern-day life so are still yet to create a general rapport amongst the travelling world.             

Dmytro is a tech, business and finance writer based in London. Founder of Solvid and Pridicto. His work has been published in Entrepreneur, TechRadar, Investing.com, IBM, Investment Week, FXStreet and FXEmpire.

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Is It Possible To Prevent Stretch Marks?

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Before you can prevent stretch marks you first have to understand what stretch marks are and what causes them to appear. Stretch marks are formed when the skins ability to stretch has been exceeded by it’s growth. Simply put, it means that your body grows more quickly than your skin does. This can be due to growth spurts, pregnancy, weight gain or muscle growth. Since the body is pulling the skin taut it tears slightly and scars over, this scarring is the stretch mark itself. When a stretch mark first occurs, it will often appear red and feel itchy, then slowly starts to fade to a lighter color.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent stretch marks?

Even though you can’t stop natural growth spurts you can control other aspects of your skin. Proper nutrition is essential. You want to make sure that you are giving your skin it’s best building blocks by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies as these contain a high water content that will hydrate your skin and also micro-nutrients that are essential for healthy skin. Don’t yo-yo diet as this causes you to gain and lose weight at a rate which is usually faster then your skin can adapt to.

You also want to make sure that you are avoiding circumstances that can dry out your skin as dry skin is more likely to get stretch marks than soft and pliable skin. This means that you should avoid the sun or at least wear a high quality sun tan lotion with an SPF or 30 or more and one that blocks both UVA and UVB sun rays. Treat your entire body the way you would your face. After all, skin is skin and although you don’t really notice wrinkles on your calves or thighs, if you look close enough you may be surprised. On second thought, don’t look at your knees as I don’t want you to start worrying about wrinkled knees, we have enough other skin areas to stress about. Also try to avoid any harsh soaps and body gels, and if you go to the beach or swim in a chlorinated pool be sure to rinse thoroughly as soon as possible. Both salt and chlorine can really wreck havoc with your skin (and hair).

Hydrate your body from the inside out by drinking plenty of plain water and avoid caffeine. If you must drink products with caffeine be sure to drink equal amounts of water over and above the recommended eight glasses of water a day. Apply skin lotion often if you live in a dry climate or have the heat turned on due to chilling temperatures. To counter act the effects of dry air, place a pot of water on the stove and let it simmer for a while. The steam will permeate the air and add moisture to the room. Another trick is to turn a hot shower on for a few minutes ( but don’t go in it) and let it steam the room right before you go to bed. This steam will dry out when the heat comes on, instead of drying out your skin.

When you do shower, avoid very hot water as this opens up your pores and dries out your skin.

If you remember these few simple tips you may be able to avoid some unnecessary stretch marks.

  • Eat healthy with lots of fruits and veggies
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated products
  • Rinse your body after swimming in the ocean or pool
  • Bathe in lukewarm, not hot water
  • Apply skin lotion frequently
  • Avoid gaining or losing weight quickly and often

By treating all your skin gently and with the same respect that you give towards your face, you may be able to prevent some stretch marks from appearing, and the ones that you do get will be smaller and less noticeable.

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How To Create An Image Using Symantec Ghost, Ghostcast Server?

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If you want to create an image of your hard disk it can be done in several ways. A way to do this is to boot the computer from a Symantec Ghost floppy disk and to create the image by multicasting, unicasting, disk to disk or peer to peer.

So if you want to create an image the first thing you have to do is to create a Symantec Ghost boot disk. This boot disk doesn’t boot to Windows but boots the Symantec Ghost utility in DOS.

How to create an image using GhostCast server?

GhostCast server is a utility of the Symantec Ghost software. Using GhostCast server you can create images of computers in the network or you can restore an image to several connected clients at the same time. The only thing you have to do is to boot all the clients with a Symantec Ghost boot disk, then you accept all the connected clients in the GhostCast server utility and then you simply send the image to all connected clients.

First you have to make sure that the computer of which you want to create an image of, is connected to the network. Of course the GhostCast server computer has to be connected as well.

Boot the client from the Symantec Ghost boot disk.

Now return to your GhostCast server computer and start the GhostCast server utility by clicking Start -> Programs -> Symantec Ghost -> GhostCast server.

Here you have to enter a session name in the Session Name box.

Then you enable the ‘Create Image’ option to create an image from the clients.

Then you click the ‘Browse’ button to browse for a place where the image must be stored.

If you want to create an image of the entire hard disk of the client you select the ‘Disk’ option. Do you want to create an image of a particular partition you select the ‘Partition’ option. (In this example I describe how to create an image of a disk).

Then you click the ‘Accept Clients’ button.

Now GhostCast server waits for the clients to connect.

You can see that there are no clients connected until now.

Now you go to the client which is booted in Symantec Ghost and you click (or by keyboard) ‘GhostCast’ -> ‘Unicast’.

You enter the session name exactly the same as given in GhostCast Server.

Leave the option ‘Discovery Method’ to ‘Automatic’ and click ‘Ok’.

The next thing you do is, you select the drive of which an image must be made of.

and click ‘Ok’.

Here you can choose if the image must be compressed to safe disk space. The options are ‘No’, ‘Fast’ or ‘High’ compression.

I recommend you choose ‘Fast’ compression.

The next thing you need to do is to confirm the image creation by clicking ‘Yes’.

Now Symantec Ghost is waiting for you to click the ‘Send’ button in GhostCast Server.

So, return to the GhostCast Server computer and click the ‘Send’ button.

After you clicked ‘Send’ the image will be created and stored at the location you chose in GhostCast Server.

You can see the details in GhostCast Server.

After the GhostCast progress is 100 % your image is created and you can close GhostCast Server.

You have successful created your Ghost image using GhostCast Server!!

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Motivate Your English Language Learners To Speaking Improvement Using Comedy, Anecdotes and Stories

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Add These Suggestions to Your “Bag of Tricks”

Inherently, most people really do like to talk. That includes your English language learners too, although sometimes you have to literally pry the speech from their frozen lips by any means necessary. Have you tried using comedy, anecdotes, stories and fairy tales to lure them into speaking activities? If not, consider adding these five suggestions to your English or foreign language teaching “bag of tricks”.

1. Tell an Anecdote

Everyone has a personal store of humorous stories, happenings or anecdotes that they’re willing to tell. With learners and teachers alike, many of these might even originate in the EFL classroom. Family, friends, romantic interludes and vacation travels can also account for a number of these.

2. Tell a Story

In many countries there is a tradition of passing down stories, fables and history through a series of verbal sessions by “Griots”, or village story-tellers. Your learners may well a few of these they’re willing to share before the class. Why not open up this option to them? There’s no problem either, with using a few small, well-chosen props to aid in the story telling exercise.

3. Narrate a Fable

It’s not only children who love stories, fairy tales and fables. Whether the origin is European, African, Latin American or Asian, your learners can try their hand at relating a well-known, or not so well-known, story or fable they know. If it originates from a local culture, it could be quite interesting for you too and is an excellent way to help to delve more deeply into the local or national culture.

4. Re-Tell a Fairy Tale

The most popular fairy tales, in practically any country, are often ones you heard or learned as a child. Allow your English language learners to try their hand at telling or re-telling these fairy tales in English using their own words, idioms, expressions and language skills to do so. They needn’t stick to the “original” version either. A change of endings, modified characters and plot twists are most welcome, thank you very much.

5. Tell a Joke

Who doesn’t enjoy humor? Everyone knows a few good jokes or a joker or two who can give you a few good jokes to tell. Go onto the internet for a slew of these. Check out your local library for collections of riddles, jokes and humorous stories that might be used to stimulate speaking practice in English class. Did you hear the one about …

So if you haven’t tried using comedy, anecdotes, stories and fairy tales to lure your English language learners and reluctant students into speaking activities consider adding these five suggestions to your English or foreign language teaching “bag of tricks”. Remember, if you have any further questions, comments or assistance, just e-mail me. I’ll be happy to help.

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On Page SEO Tips And Tricks For Higher Rankings

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Search engine optimization is an important part of any website. I would like to share some on page SEO tips and tricks with you today to help you improve your website’s visibility and performance in search engines.

Performing search engine optimization on your website includes a vast variety of tasks, and can be broken up into two different parts. The first is on page SEO, and the second is off page SEO. I am focusing on page SEO here since on page SEO is the first part of your search engine optimization strategy that should be dealt with. The on page SEO tips and tricks I am sharing with you today includes a variety of objectives and tasks you can use to better optimize your website, and increase your website’s search engine rankings.

Google has made quite a number of updates to its crawling algorithm over the past few years. This is why it’s so important to always ensure your website and all your web pages comply with the latest updates like Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin. The on page SEO tips and tricks I’m sharing here will all help you to stay away from an update attack, and will help you to keep your rankings steady.

1. Optimize the speed of your website

The very first thing that you should do when performing on page SEO on your website is to optimize the speed of your website. If your website takes too long to load, it will affect your website’s search engine ranking in a negative way.

Start by checking the current speed of your website, and comparing your speed to the speed of your competitor’s website. The faster your website loads, the better. If you find that your website takes longer to load than your competitor’s website, then you should do some optimization to speed up the loading time of your website.

If your website is a custom HTML or PHP based website, you should start with your CSS and JS files. Use a script to minify them. This can reduce their size, which in return will make your website load faster. You also need to optimize the images on your website – try to compress them as much as possible without losing too much quality. Images are usually the largest parts of a website, and can affect the loading time of a website by a couple of seconds. Compressing your images will allow your website to load faster.

Websites based on a CMS system like WordPress is also quite easy to speed up. Simply install a cache plugin that will serve your website as static files. This will help you to increase the speed of your website, and decrease the loading time.

2. Include meta tags on your website

Even though meta tags are considered to be depreciated by some, it is still useful to use them on your web pages. The most important meta tag would be the title tag of your website – this is the text that shows up at the top of the browser bar when your website is accessed.

You should also include meta tags for keywords and a description on each of your web pages. This will give search engines an idea of what keywords you are targeted, and will allow Google and other search engines to display a relevant description for your website in search results.

3. Use tags on your web pages

When building a website, whether it’s a custom HTML or PHP based website, or powered by a CMS such as WordPress, you should always ensure you use the right tags on your web pages.

By using the right tags, search engines like Google will be able to index your pages easier, and your rankings can also increase. This is a big plus for on page SEO.

Start by using header tags where appropriate. Header tags include h1, which is the header 1 tag. This tag is used for main titles. Thereafter you need to use h2, h3, etc on your sub-header tags. This also helps you to break up content into different parts.

Images should also contain appropriate tags, such as title and alt. This will also allow your images to be indexed by search engines based on certain keywords.

4. Keyword-optimize your content

To rank in search engines, you have to target keywords. Think of keywords as search phrases – terms people will enter into search engines to find results.

Before publishing or writing any content for your website, start with keyword research. Decide on a topic, then search for relevant keywords and choose a keyword that will best suit your content. Be sure the keyword doesn’t have too much competition, and make sure there’s a large enough search volume for the keyword you choose.

Choosing long-tail keywords for some of your content pages is also a good idea.

You should include your target keyword in your pages. Include your target keyword in the title of your page, in the first header of your page and also in your content. Include your target keyword in the first sentence / paragraph of your content, a couple of times in the body, and once or twice in the ending / conclusion paragraph.

Conclusion

While building high authority backlinks to your website is an important part of search engine optimization, doing proper on page SEO is just as important. Without the proper on page SEO, you won’t be able to take advantage of all the benefits of search engine optimization. Take a moment and use these on page SEO tips and tricks I shared with you to check and ensure your website’s on page SEO is relevant and effective.

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7 Valuable VMware Infrastructure Backup Tips

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At small companies or in brand-new virtual infrastructures, backup can be straight forward. You may be able to use a free tool that makes VMware backup deceivingly simple.

However, over time, your infrastructure will probably grow, as well as the number of virtual machines and the amount of data needing backup. As this happens, you’ll find what other virtualization experts have already figured out – virtualization backup can be much more complex that it seems and you need the right tool for the job.

In this article, you’ll learn how to save time, prevent data-loss, and create a bulletproof VMware backup infrastructure by employing the 7 valuable VMware infrastructure backup tips from virtualization backup experts.

Selecting the right tool for the job of backing up your virtual infrastructure is the critical piece of your entire virtual infrastructure protection plan.

1. Here are the steps I recommend to select the right backup tool for your virtual infrastructure:

1. Don’t assume you have to select the same tool as everyone else. There are a number of good tools on the market. Just because a tool has the best marketing strategy doesn’t make it the best tool. Do your own research and find the best tool for your environment.

2. Test tools for yourself and take your time doing it. Every tool offers a free trial period that allows you to test their product on your own infrastructure (plus, if you are really interested in the product, most companies will give you a free extension to try their product longer than the original trial). Make sure that you test these tools in a test environment and not your live infrastructure. Put these tools through their paces, with your applications, and focus on features related to recovery.

Remember, you aren’t just getting a tool to backup your VMs, what you really want is them to be restored and FAST. Test things like multiple restores at a time, file level restore, and application integrity after restore.

3. Make your life easier by selecting a tool that has the latest features. Your tool should offer features like fast restore for multiple VMs, application integrity in your backups, replication, backup of multiple hypervisors, backup of physical and virtual servers, deduplication, and more. Cost make effect your decision here…

2. Avoid VMware Snapshots of Virtual Machines

Snapshots aren’t backup. Snapshots should only be used for very short-term and not as your primary backup method. Let’s say that you are about to perform an application upgrade, you would take a snapshot (and do a backup) before the upgrade. Then, the next day, if the app upgrade was successful, you would remove your shapshot.

A week later you needed a pre-upgrade database then you could restore if from your backup and not the snapshot.

Snapshots take up tons of disk space and space in your backup repository. Space used by snapshots is, many times, forgotten and easily overlooked, causing unexpected results.

3. Plan for Offsite Backup and Replication

The problem with so many VMWare backup tools is that they stop once something is backed up. They leave the files on a disk and leave it up to you to figure out how to get them offsite in case there is a disaster.

Something else to consider is that you may need to recover a virtual server on a physical server or vice versa. Can your backup product cover all of these scenarios?

I recommend moving to 100% virtualization, backing up all VMs, and then replicating those backups offsite. In the event of a disaster, you’ll be able to bring them up at the DR site. And more importantly all your data will be on another site if you just need to restore one VM.

4. Test your backups!

Just because your backup software tells you that backups were “100% successful”, doesn’t mean that you can restore your data. You need to either manually test your virtual machine restores AND applications inside or have your backup software do this for you.

How many VMs have you restored that bluescreened when they were booted up?

How many VMs have you restored that had corrupted Exchange or SQL server databases?

To ensure that your backups will be 100% recoverable, make sure that you test:

• VM image level restore

• VM file level restore

• The VMs boot successfully and filesystems (like NTFS) mount perfectly

• The application databases mount and services start (e.g. Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint)

Testing all of this on a periodic basis can be very time consuming but it is vital to save your bacon and your job / company should it ever be needed in an emergency.

5. Cloud Backup and DR

Replicating to your own secondary datacenter is an option however not everyone has a secondary datacenter, nor does it make sense for everyone to build one. Cloud-based disaster recovery services are now available that can store your replicated data pretty affordably so worth considering.

6. How Applications Affect Backups

End users now expect applications like Exchange, SQL, and Sharepoint to be available 24 x 7. There is no more backup window. Your backup software must be able to:

• Backup mission critical applications without downtime

• Verify that backups have application integrity

• Restore individual items from mission critical applications back into production

The purpose of your backups is to also protect your applications. Make sure that your backup software not only backs up VMs, but recovers your critical application data.

7. Agent-less vs agent-based backup

From our experience, agents may be a headache to deploy but they do tend to be more reliable communication with the agent and server. However, agent-less backups means it is very simply to deploy and manage. So look at both options and see which one works best for you.

Conclusion

Make sure that you plan for offsite backup and replication, consider cloud-based backup, and use automated testing to ensure backups are recoverable. Selecting a backup tool that knows your applications and can reliably restore them is crucial. Finally, don’t dismiss any tool without fully understanding and testing its capabilities, personally in your test environment.

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How to Double Hardflip – The Complete Tips and Tricks to Double Hardflip Like a Pro in 2 Days!

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What you need to know about a double hardflip is that it is a handful combo of one front side pop shuv-it plus a double dosage of kickflip. It’s a more high tech version of the normal hardflip which is followed by an extra spanking of a kickflip. How neat is that? So, if the basic hardflip is your thing then double hardflip will not be a difficult trick to learn.

This trick would be effortless if you have already mastered hardflip and double kickflip as it is actually 2 sets of tricks combined to make a really cool motion on your skateboard.

So, how to do double hardflip?

First, in doing a double hardflip, you must position the ball of your back foot at the skateboard’s tail, the same as you do for a typical hardflip.

Secondly, the front foot should be placed at the front of your board and the only difference is you need to place it slightly lower to the board’s deck.

Next, bend your body as you roll slowly to a faster pace where you can pop this combo which will seem to be like you are doing the normal hardflip.

Fourthly, as you are popping the tail, simultaneously use your back foot to begin the rotation of the board with enough force.

While you are doing that, in a similar motion of a normal hardflip, you need to drag your front foot upwards to the board. You also need to adjust the timing in dragging your foot upwards as currently it is slightly more positioned to the back comparing to a normal hardflip.

Now, flick your board as you drag your front foot upwards reaching just before the nose. Now, in a normal hardflip, you might only need sufficient force to flick the board. But in a double hardflip, you need to double the force than usual. Usually those who had mastered the normal hardflip, would find that putting more force into the flicks is not a problem at all.

As you flick your board, remember to jump high and pull your legs to make the trick really work. The board will flip faster than usual so make sure that you have set in mind to lower your back foot as soon as possible to catch the flipping board. After several practice, to catch the flipping frenzy board wouldn’t be so difficult to be dealt with the more familiar you know this trick. Lastly, catch the board, stomp on it and roll away.

Click Here for more tips on How to Double Hardflip Fast!

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10 Great Reasons You Should Join a Football Team

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If you enjoy football, and having a kick about with your friends, perhaps you’ve never seriously considered joining a football team.  You might have thought that you weren’t good enough or were too old or too young.  These days there are many local teams, and if there isn’t one near you, why not start one up?

1. Improve as a player

If you’re a keen footballer already, you might be getting a bit frustrated with the people you play with. Perhaps you take your game seriously, and want to improve, whereas your mates might just see it as a bit of fun.

2. Play regularly

Playing football regularly will help you improve, and you’ll learn a great deal about the game.  You might even change position; you might have seen yourself as a defender, but the manager might see you as a winger, or a striker.

3. Exercise and fitness

Playing football will keep you fit and healthy, and if you take your game seriously, you might begin to think more about your body, and your diet. Lasting 90 minutes on a Sunday is a hard task, especially if you’re not used to it, and not in the best shape.  You’ll soon improve though, if you’re serious about your game.

4. Improve as a person

Becoming a regular in your football team will give you added responsibilities and will help you to mature.  You’ll have to turn up on time, and bring your kit, and be prepared for a training session or a match.  This can help you be more organized at work and at home.

5. Make new friends

Joining a team will be a great opportunity to make new friends, and benefit from their skills and experiences.

6. Not expensive

Football is a cheap sport to get involved in.  There’s no need to spend a fortune on expensive equipment.  As long as your boots are comfortable and you have suitable shin pads and gloves if you’re a goalkeeper, that’s probably all you’ll need, as the rest of the kit is likely to be provided by your team.

7. Work as a team

Working as part of a team will help you to play as a team, rather than 11 players.  You’ll need to follow the manager’s instructions during a game, and the coaching sessions will enable you to learn formations and tactics, as well as improve fitness and skills.

8. Achieve your potential

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a footballer, you’ll want to give it a go, and not wonder if you could have made it as a professional.  Joining a team will give you this opportunity.

9. Play like a professional

You might wear the same boots as your favorite player, and try and emulate them, especially if you play in the same position.  You might spend a lot of time watching other football, to help you improve, or have the same discipline as a professional, as you take the game seriously

10. Because you enjoy the game

If you didn’t enjoy playing football, you wouldn’t want to play it.  So if you’re playing for a team, and you’re not enjoying it, for whatever reasons, why not consider putting in a transfer request, and trying out for a different team?

You might not be the speediest winger with all the tricks, you might not get a hat trick every game, but as a player in the team, you’re just as important.  If you let the team down, you let yourself down.  If you take your football seriously then you owe it to yourself to be the best player you can be. 

Who knows, you might even be spotted by a scout, become a professional footballer, and hit the big time!

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Dos and Don’ts While Shopping Baby Clothes

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Little Infants are the most amazing and loveable creatures in this whole wide world. Babies have 5 times more sensitive skin than an adult so they also need extra special care of every expect either clothing or baby products that we are using for them. If you are confused of what to shop for your new born baby then you don’t need to be embarrassed or worried because there are plenty of parents like you out there.

Many first time parents find themselves confused when it comes to buying clothes for their infant. From my experience I am telling you that buying clothes for these little adorable babies is a very exciting task. From the experience of raising 2 kids I would like to share some do’s and don’ts while buying clothes for your infant.

Do’s

1. Give Priority to Fabric:-

There are varieties of fabrics available in the market for sensitive baby Skin. Always keep in mind that a baby’s skin is much more sensitive than you can even think of, that is the reason why parents must look for soft smooth and skin friendly fabric. You can turn the cloth inside out and feel the softness with your hand. Babies get rashes to easily so try to avoid harsh and scratchy stuff, they can harm baby’s soft skin. So cotton is the best option. Cotton cloth gets shrunk 10% after the first wash; buy 1 or two size ahead than your actual baby size.

2. Comfortable Clothes Gives You Happy Baby:-

Always buy comfortable cloth for your baby. Avoid harsh patches on the clothes. Look for no collar or soft collar upper-wear. The collar and the patches make the cloth adorable but does not feel comfortable for baby it can give rashes to baby’s neck. You will regret just after 5 minutes you put it on your beautiful child’s body. Make sure the cloth that you are buying has enough space to go through baby’s head; putting tight neck cloth through the newborn infant’s head can hurt him many ways.

3. Buy Clothes According to Weather:-

Always buy clothes that are appropriate for your baby according to the different weather conditions. For winter season consider one-piece outfits that even keeps baby feet warm. Avoid something like sticks around the baby’s waist and makes him comfortable. Don’t buy jeans or pants, although they look fashionable by they are not comfy. For summer season look for open neck cotton upper wear with soft shorts. Buy those cloths that can protect them for heat.

4. Save Money:-

Do not buy exact size cloth of infant always go for 1 or 2 Size ahead of its actual size, the reason behind is babies grow quickly and some fabrics get shrink 10% after first wash. Some stores sell clothes at cheaper rates when you buy them in sets, it does not mean you buy all clothes for summer only. If your baby is 8 months old, buy 14-18 months baby clothes also. You can even sell your old used baby clothes at various websites online.

Don’ts

1. Avoid Choking Hazards:-

Always avoid clothes with extra buttons and zips, your precious baby can swallow them accidentally and from time to time always look for any loose button and broken zip on baby cloth if there is any fix it or change the cloth. In summers buy open neck t-shirts for baby and for winter season buy one piece outfits with no button on sleeves.

2. Don’t Buy Expensive Fashionable Clothes:-

Never buy expensive clothes for your baby there are two reasons for it. First one is babies grow faster so soon those expensive clothes will be worth nothing. Summer clothes are of no use in winters vice versa. The Second the most important reason is fashionable clothes are not comfortable for babies they got patches, zips extra buttons and many more which can irritate baby skin even give him red patches.

3. Don’t Buy Tight Elastic:-

Try to avoid tight elastic pants, jeans, and t-shirt sleeves. Tight elastic cloth can make infant extremely uncomfortable and it can even scratch the part of the body where the elastic rubs. Always look for shorts or pants with mild elastic or with no elastic. Always consider skin friendly clothes for little toddler.

Some Tips Parents Must Take Into Consideration:-

  • Buy mild colors for newly born baby.
  • Choose fabric that does not create any problem in baby’s breathing.
  • Try to find the reason if baby is crying constantly, clothes could be troubling him.
  • Don’t buy tight clothes, always look for bit bigger size than actual baby size.
  • Choose clothes that are easy to be put on and put off.
  • Baby gloves and socks must be extra soft. Giver extra care to the baby’s neck, hands, feet and waist.
  • If you are tempted by fashion go for it but stay in baby’s comfort zone.
  • If there is a sale going on do not buy clothes in bulk for one season, think intelligently
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Silver Quarters – The Ultimate Child Distraction

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Kids are extremely difficult to deal with. In fact, if pressed to describe kids, “difficult” is probably the third word I’d use, after only “small” and “sticky.” The secret to successfully navigating these tiny, gummy enigmas is the same as the secret to surviving falling into the tiger habitat at your local zoo: captivation. My personal favorite way to enthrall a child in my care is by showing him or her my wonderful collection of silver quarters; I haven’t successfully used this methodology on tigers, but it could work, I suppose.

Silver quarters are excellent at keeping the interest of a child for one reason above all: they are shiny. Children, like certain species of muskrats, are drawn to things which catch light in appealing ways. Once you’ve seen the sun glint playfully off the ridged edges of your coin, you will instantly understand the sway that a small, relatively worthless circle can have over the mind of the young.

Silver quarters are also good to use around children because they aren’t very expensive. For just a few bucks, you can pick up a beautiful one. The upside of this is that if your child puts it into the toaster, or feeds it to the cat, or ties it to a balloon and watches it sail lazily into the aether, you’re not going to be as angry; unless, of course, you were particularly fond of your toaster.

They can also be activities unto themselves; silver quarters are great for all sorts of games. You can practice flipping them with your thumb and catching them cleanly (a highly impressive trick, if I do say so myself), you can teach your children how to roll them over their little knuckles, how to spin them like a top, or even how to get them to stop on their edge. silver quarters are also particularly impressive in magic tricks; while any coin will often do, there’s something exciting about one so shiny and beautiful.

If you’ve got a houseful of kids and nothing to do with them (and even one can seem like a houseful sometimes!), try breaking out a few silver quarters. You’d be surprised how much peace and quiet 25 cents can buy you.

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How To Think Like A Guitar Player

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Playing the guitar (and music in general) means learning to think in new ways and, sometimes, work against human nature. I’d like to give you some great mental tricks to help you learn guitar concepts and become a better guitarist.

This is not a music theory article. Instead I’m going to show you how to get past some of the all-too-human blockages that keep you from playing better. And some of it may sound New-Agey, but don’t let that scare you off. There’s nothing hear that I haven’t used myself and taught to private students to great effect. I give you these ideas as someone who has taught hundreds of students and played thousands of shows.

1. A bad note never killed anyone. Have you ever seen an audience member fall over dead because the musician on stage made a mistake? Me neither. Chances are nobody even heard the mistake. Music is one of the safest activities in the world. Much safer than say, amateur brain surgery.

And yet we have a very human fear of mistakes. We don’t want them to happen and when they do we want to go back and fix them. But when you’re playing with and for other people, you can’t do that. Most likely, nobody heard the mistake and the band won’t know what you’re doing and will keep going without you.

Here’s how I want you to practice this. Grab your guitar and play a song you don’t have down perfect yet. Play through the whole song and do not stop for mistakes. Stay on the beat, get back on the horse, and finish the song. It’ll be an uphill battle with your brain if you’re not used to doing it. It’s waaaay more important to keep the groove than to play every note perfect.

If the best guitarists in the world look they like play their instrument fearlessly, it’s because they do. And you can too.

Now, I don’t want to sound irresponsible here. It is important to learn to play correctly as well. After you’ve played the song, you’ll want to go in and work on the details that you missed, one at a time. That’s a different process and one that should be taken just as seriously.

But when you’re playing through a whole song, ignore the mistakes. Or embrace them. That’s fun too. One of my tricks is to play the part wrong the same way the next time it comes up in the song. Then they think you meant it that way!

2. You must have focus, Grasshopper. Being able to focus and concentrate on playing a piece of music for 3-6 minutes is no easy task. If you find your focus wandering (and mistakes being made) in the short 2 or 3 line pieces your teacher gives you, this is something you can work on.

You’re obviously focused on playing guitar, but it’s easy to let other thoughts slip in that can ruin your performance. A friend of mine was just telling me about a show she did recently. Her ex-boyfriend was in the audience and during her whole performance she kept running over their relationship in her head. As a result she made mistakes and was unhappy with the performance.

You need to clear your mind (let’s get all Jedi here!) and focus solely on the song. Meditation can help with this. Choose a simple word, something innocuous, like “chair”. Now, set a subtle alarm of some sort for 3 minutes. Maybe a vibrating cell phone so it doesn’t jar you too much. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Repeat your word over and over in your head or aloud. Whenever some other thought starts to creep in, push it out and go back to your word. It will take practice, but your focus will improve drastically if you do this often. When you can focus well for 3 minutes, try 4 then 5.

3. Boobs are distracting. Picture yourself the rock star you want to be. You’re on stage in a huge arena in front of 50,000 people. It’s blazing hot under the lights. People are screaming their fool heads off every time you hit a chord. Cacophony everywhere. And yes, chicks are flashing you and throwing panties on the stage.

You think some of this might be distracting while you play? Not only do you need to be able to focus in your quiet practice time, you also need to be able to play through any distraction thrown at you. Even if you’re playing a tiny coffee shop gig, some moron will order an espresso while you’re playing and that hissssss of the steamed milk can seriously jack up your groove.

I encourage you to practice playing with distractions. Try to play a song while the TV is on. Or for an even bigger challenge, try playing while a different song is playing on the radio. Do some finger exercises while you’re talking to someone on the phone. Working through these ideas will help your fingers do their job even if your brain is thrown off for a second.

If you work at these three ideas, you’ll become a better guitarist, enjoy the experience more, and arrive at that fearless musical Nirvana you’re looking for.

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