Sunday, August 14, 2016

10 Tips for Training for Equestrian Endurance Riding

Competitive trail riding is a perennially popular equestrian discipline. Endurance riding is even part of the annual eight-discipline FEI World Equestrian Games.

Endurance riding competitions generally range from 25 to 100 miles, with events lasting up to five days. Throughout endurance riding competitions, horses are examined by judges and veterinarians to ensure their overall health and soundness.

Equestrians must carefully prepare themselves and their horses and pace themselves throughout these long-distance rides. Although the first horse (in each division) to finish an endurance ride may be tagged the winner, most long-distance riders consider any competitor who finishes such a taxing event to be a victor.

How can equestrians prepare themselves and their horses for long-distance endurance riding competition? Here are ten tips for training for long-distance trail riding competitions.

Training for Endurance Riding: Check Horse for Confirmation, Health and Soundness

Choose a solid, strong horse with excellent conformation and stamina for long-distance riding. A well-muscled horse (perhaps even with a bit of extra poundage) is optimum for endurance competitions.

A trusted farrier and equine veterinarian are valuable allies for the equestrian endurance competitor. Participating horses need to be in peak form to compete successfully in long-distance events. Farriers and veterinarians may recommend nutritional supplements (especially electrolytes) for horses gearing up for endurance rides.

Training for Endurance Riding: Condition Horse Gradually for Long-Distance Riding

Although many endurance riders advocate 12-week training regimens for long-distance competition horses, a lengthier program is ideal. Some equestrians take up to three years to prepare their horses for long endurance riding events.

To begin training in earnest, most long-distance competitors start with regular schooling sessions of about five miles per day (four to six days per week). By increasing distance and speed gradually, equestrians can build their horses’ strength and stamina for endurance riding.

Eventually, after several weeks, horse and rider teams may be ready for longer rides, finally reaching the goal of about 40 miles per day (for most longer endurance riding competitions).

Training for Endurance Riding: Work Towards Optimum Fitness for Rider

Although the horse does the footwork in a long-distance ride, the equestrian must also be fit and strong for the endurance competition. Cardiovascular fitness, core strength and overall fitness are essential for the long-distance equestrian.

In addition, the endurance rider must be prepared for the possibility of having to lead his or her horse on foot for long distances, if the mount should become injured.

A fair number of endurance riders sign up as race volunteers for a few long-distance events before entering, so they can size up the challenge before participating firsthand.

Training for Endurance Riding: Practice Trail Riding on Various Terrains

Long-distance rides generally take horses and equestrians across all sorts of ground: up and down hills, through water, across fields, into woods and perhaps even along busy highways. Horses must be conditioned to take these variables in stride.

In particular, equine competitors need to possess muscle strength, flexibility and energy to master steep terrain, both climbing and descending.

Training for Endurance Riding: Teach Horse to Handle Obstacles

Unplanned obstacles are a given with endurance riding events. Horses must practice ahead of time to readily accept fallen logs, bridges, water, mud, rocky trails and other surprises.

Training for Endurance Riding: Rehearse Trail Riding in Large Groups

Throughout much of the year, equestrians enjoy riding their horses in arenas (both covered and exposed). Horses may work obediently and easily in these controlled settings. However, endurance riding competitions – with their mass starts – are a completely different deal.

Horses in competitive long-distance events need to be willing to go forward easily in large groups, with unfamiliar horses crowding them. Alpha horses may have to follow, while less aggressive horses may have to take the lead.

Endurance riding competitors may prepare by practicing these variables on group trail rides.

Training for Endurance Riding: Master Trailer Loading and Tying Together

Long-distance trail riding competitions may be held in various regions. Inevitably, competitors will have to transport horses by trailer. Upon arrival and throughout the enduring riding competition, equestrians will need to tie horses – to trailers, hitching posts or tie poles or even to tent stakes. Horses may be placed in temporary stalls or round pens overnight during multi-day endurance riding events.

Competitors do well to practice all of these steps in advance of the endurance ride.

Training for Endurance Riding: Begin Timing Horse and Rider on Distance Rides

Once endurance training is underway, equestrian competitors will want to clock and record their ride times at various distances. Tracking progress is an essential component to successful equestrian endurance riding.

Training for Endurance Riding: Ride Prescribed Course

If possible, long-distance riders will want to ride the prescribed competition course ahead of time. Often, however, this is not an option.

Training for Endurance Riding: Give Horse and Rider a Rest Before Event

Just as marathon runners generally rest for the last few days before a race, endurance riders usually do the same. Giving a well prepared horse and rider a short time off before a long-distance event can be the secret to endurance riding competition success.

By taking these ten steps for training for endurance riding, equestrian competitors may find themselves and their horses well prepared to go the distance and finish in good form.

Sources:

http://www.actha.us

http://www.aerc.org

http://ift.tt/2aVra6I

http://ift.tt/1SVSuyz

http://www.natrc.org

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10 Tips for Transitioning to Dorm Life

Living in a dorm has chances to be with other people, share experiences and split expenses. There’s also the potential for lack of respect and other problems. Planning for your transition to dorm life is important, with keeping your space as tidy as possible combined with the challenge of small spaces to begin with.

1. Try to set up loose “house rules” before there’s a problem. Examples might be everyone cleans dishes off as they’re dirtied which eliminates one person being stuck with a sink of dirty dishes every night . Another might be shoes off at the door, reducing the amount tracked in and amount of cleaning needed. What do you want vs what is needed? If agreements can be made before there is a problem it takes the pressure off for a discussion rather than a venting or blame session.

2. How will food costs be split is another discussion topic. While it’s easy to say all buy their own food it’s silly to try to fit two or three gallons of milk in a dorm refrigerator! Things like seasonings and common food make sense to split costs on, keeping ‘specialty’ foods separate. Still others might plan and split all meals.

3. If cooking is allowed in the dorm or there is a dorm kitchen often it is small so you will need to maximize efficiency. Slow cookers and sandwich makers are small appliances that can provide easy or quick meals that are hot and much less expensive than eating out. Microwaves are handy but with all of these it’s pointless for each person to bring one.

4. Probably one of the biggest considerations is clothes storage and with space a factor often traditional dressers are tough to fit in a small dorm. One solution is getting 6-8 milk crate type storage ‘boxes’ and stacking 3-4 high – this allows storage in several compartments without taking up a great deal of floor space. Another idea for those who don’t want to LOOK at the open ends is drape a fabric over it or use plastic storage tubs with lids – perhaps one for underclothes, one for casual pants and jeans and one for shirts. These are easily stacked, and a fourth tub can be for dirty clothes making it easy to take to the laundry and return with clean folded clothes. Remember to allow extra for summer vs winter clothing, rain clothes and so forth.

5. Keeping books clean and in good shape increases value if you sell them back or extends their life if you keep for future reference. Blocks and boards have been a long time inexpensive answer to book cases. The previously mentioned crates or tubs also do well for keeping books stored and out of sight.

6. With laptops it is so easy to have notes stored in electronic devices rather than paper noteboos but supplies are still needed. Data storage disks, printer, ink and other items as well as pens and desk basics help maximize what you learn as well as communication with dorm mates via a message board. Small things like paper clips, stapler and other desk items make projects much easier. Digital cameras allow for photos that can last a lifetime.

7. Individual items to pack – while it’s true some things such as small kitchen appliances can be shared other things each person should have. One of the big ones is an alarm clock – even if you’re on the same schedule most of the time it pays to have another backup including an inexpensive windup just in case power is out but classes go on! Other things here are dorm decorations, photos from home or other items to make your space more YOU. A comfortable pillow, blanket or other items can be small comforts but in other ways be big comforts!

8. Stereo, video games and “down time” things are a question of how much are they shared. If someone breaks it who replaces? It pays to not have the best stuff here for that reason – accidents happen so it sometimes pays to keep in mind don’t bring what you can’t afford to lose. At the same time, these things can pass the time as can board games or cards.

9. Consideration items – think clamp on space light for your bed or desk so the overhead doesn’t have to be on while you’re cramming for a test.

10. Dorm supplies, as mentioned in #2, make sense to split the cost on. This is something often not considered and while all may have personal supplies things like cleaning supplies, air fresheners or other “home” products are important to consider. While it might be a small expense it’s an important one. Other joint supplies might be laundry soap (cheaper and better value in larger quantities) and dish soap.

These dorm tips will get you started to considering discussion or planning to make it a great year in the dorm!

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10 Tips for Transitioning from Summer to School Schedule at Home

Here we go again. Summer is almost over and school will be starting again in a few weeks. If your kids are like mine, they like to sleep in and stay up late but with school starting, we need to get back on a good schedule that works for our family. Along with shopping for clothes, school supplies and making sure we get that last great family adventure in before school starts, we will be changing our schedule. Here are a few tips that i have found helpful during our transition from a summer schedule to a school schedule.

Sleep for school: Everyone knows that school can be mentally and physically draining, especially the first couple weeks. Students need to start a good sleeping schedule a few weeks before school starts. Start changing bedtimes a half hour earlier each week. Also wake up a half hour earlier. Keep taking 30 minutes away until you have reached the correct time to go to bed and to wake up for school. Most children need eight hours of sleep.

Look up to learning: Children can sometimes worry and stress out about starting another school year. They are worried that they won’t be in the same class as their friends, the teacher won’t like them or they won’t like the teacher or maybe they are starting a new school this year. Whatever the reason, if parents keep a positive attitude about learning and starting school, the child will catch onto that positive attitude and they will feel better about starting school. Remind the student about how much fun they had the previous year and that they will have more fun this year.

Walk through it: Take your child to see the school and meet their teacher a few days before school starts. Most schools will allow you to walk around and familiarize the child with the school. Most teachers are also in the classroom preparing for school to start, so stop by the classroom and let your child look around and possibly play for a little while. Another idea is to walk your child to class during the first week.

Suit ’em up: Take your child shopping for clothes and school supplies. Let your child pick a few things out that they like. It helps them feel responsible and that will help them feel better about starting a new school year.

Talk it out: Talking to your child about school before it starts. Explain some of the things that they will be learning and what they will be doing. Also, when your child comes home from school, ask them about their day and if everything is OK. Kids are always willing to talk about their day, what they did and what they learned.

Bring it home: Help your child with his or her homework. Answer any questions they might have. Spending time with your child and helping with homework, shows the student that homework is important and that you care about their education and that will make them feel good about learning.

Go farther: Get involved with the school. Volunteer for field trips and class parties. Join the PTA and get to know other parents. The more that parents are involved and know what is going on in the school, the better the school is and the students learn more.

Keep your eyes and ears open: Children love to talk about their day and show you what they did in school. If your child stops talking about school or does not bring home papers or projects anymore, they might be struggling in school. Remember, keep the lines of communication open.

Read, read, read: Read to your child or have him or her read to you. It is a great way to spend quality time together every day. It also helps you to determine how they are doing in school by the level of their reading.

Connect: Communicating with your child’s teacher is a very important part of your child’s education. The teacher can let you know if he or she is concerned about any learning, emotional or behavior problems. As the parent, you need to keep the teacher informed about any changes in your family such as a birth, death or divorce. Also let the teacher know if there has been any behavior changes at home or if there are any health issues. Attending parent-teacher conferences is a great way to keep in contact.

Source
www2.scholastic.com

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10 Tips for Using Decoys for Turkey Hunting

Here are a few tips that I have picked up to improve your turkey hunting success by using turkey decoys properly. Here is a bonus tip: carry your decoys in a bag when not in use. Walking around in full camouflage with a turkey decoy over your back is inviting trouble.

Remember to place your decoys fairly close to you. By placing your turkey decoy at about 20 yards you are putting yourself close enough to the gobbler for an ethical shot even if he won’t call all the way to a decoy.

Another tip to get the gobbler in close enough for a shot is to partially obscure the decoy.

With motion the decoy can be spotted through brush, but the gobbler will have to come in close for a better look. While turkeys will often come all the way up to a motionless decoy, one that moves is much more realistic. You can rig your decoy to move in the wind or simply run a drab color string to the decoy post for you to pull on to add motion.

Another tip regarding decoy presentation is to face the decoy toward a good shooting lane. I’ve seen them approach from all sides, but many state that gobblers prefer to approach a hen from the front (possibly to strut for the hen).

If you are hunting a new area blindly, decoys can significantly increase your chances. Place a decoy in a field edge or opening in the woods and call.

If you have a small area to hunt build a blind near an opening. Place four or more decoys around your blind in obvious locations and call. Gobblers might hear and / or spot your decoys and come in for a look.

If you are consistently spotting a gobbler in a field or other opening, use a decoy to stop him at the edge of the cover for a shot.

A breeding pair of hen and jake decoys can be a deadly presentation. A breeding hen is created by placing the hen decoy directly on the ground and the jake standing behind her. At times a gobbler will coming running to this display.

Remember that decoys can’t make up for bad hunting. Learn to call, camouflage yourself and your gun well, and most important be ready to make the shot when it presents itself.

In the off season your turkey decoy can be laid on its side and flopped around as a predator decoy. Be ready to shoot as you don’t want a coyote to ruin your decoy!

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10 Tips to Visiting Southern California Amusement Parks

When you think of Southern California, besides thinking of beautiful weather and beaches, you may also be thinking amusement parks.

Southern California has some of the best theme parks in the world such as: Knott’s Berry Farm, San Diego Zoo, Six Flags, Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, Disneyland, Legoland and Seaworld.

Visiting these Southern California amusement parks can be a wonderful experience or it can be down right stressful but with time saving tricks, cheap alternatives and secret strategies that will be shared in this article, you will be sure to have the time of your life and make memories that will carry through a lifetime!

1. The theme park crowds are much smaller in January to mid February and August to mid-December so there will be a lot less wait time in lines. Also, since the theme parks are trying to lure more visitors during the off season, there are more deals to take advantage of to make the tickets more reasonable in price.

2. If you are staying at Disneyland, plan on staying at one of the Disneyland hotels on site, guests receive special perks and privileges. Also being that you are onsite you will not have to worry about a car rental, trying to find your way around and also traffic.

3. Arrive when park opens, the crowds will be smaller as many people come in the afternoons. Lines will be much shorter and you will get on rides much quicker.

4. If you plan on going on the water rides and do not want to get soaked, do not buy the expensive rain smocks the parks sell, instead bring big plastic garbage bags that you can put on and throw away after you are done with the water rides.

5. Theme park food is expensive, eat a good breakfast at home and bring lunch in a cooler. Parks do not allow food in the park so leave your cooler in the car and eat your lunch at your car and return to the park when you are done eating.

6. Coupons for discounts on admissions to parks can be downloaded by clicking on individual parks and scrolling to the bottom of the individual park pages at: http://ift.tt/1PKDLKO

7. Plan a budget on how much you will spend at each park and stick to the budget!

8. Consider buying a CityPass, you get 3 days of unlimited admission to Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure, admission to Universal Studios, admission into either San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal park and admission into SeaWorld. The CityPass is valid for 14 days, the adult price is $247 and the kid’s pass is $199.

9. Try to beat the heat: wear sunscreen, drink lots of liquids and take breaks in air conditioned buildings.

10. Buy group discount passes if possible, churches, play groups, or clubs are a great way to get groups of 15 or more together.

Your visits to theme parks will be a pleasure if use these 10 tips to visiting Southern California theme parks.

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10 Tips for Winter Home Protection

The winter temperatures, winds, snow and ice can take its toll on property and on your nerves. They can also create situations for injuries if you’re not careful. Although you likely can’t avoid all problems, you can at least take measures to prevent as many as possible. Keeping ten tips in mind for winter home protection can help prevent problems and ease many frustrations during the winter months and long after the harsh cold weather passes.

Clean out the gutters

Leaves get blown into the gutters in fall and after awhile they start to build up. When there’s a snowstorm, all that gunk buildup causes ice and snow to build up on the roof and add extra weight. Clean out all the gunk out of the gutters before the cold weather comes in.

Prepare for space heater usage

It’s easy to just set up a space heater in your home and let it go, but taking a few precautions can help protect your home throughout the winter. Have a talk with any kids in the home about the importance of staying away from the heater and keeping anything flammable away from it. Check the heater to make sure it’s been tested for safety before even using it. Whenever it’s set up, place it on a flat surface and away from anything flammable including clothing, curtains and bedding.

Check fire and carbon monoxide alarms

With the furnace running, space heaters being used and extra decorations plugged in for the holidays, you want to take extra care to make sure the fire and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly. There should be at least one placed near the bedrooms and one near the kitchen. Change the batteries and test the alarms before you need to start using heat in your home.

Do roof repairs

Get any cracked or missing shingles on your roof repaired before winter rolls in. The nasty weather can cause severe leaks and damage to your roof and inside your home if they’re not repaired beforehand. Not getting them fixed can create many more problems than what would have been necessary had repairs been initially done.

Repair any small entry spaces

It’s not uncommon for animals to try to sneak in during winter to try and stay warm; we found a couple of squirrels who decided to hunker down in our attic crawl space rent-free. They gained entry from a spot we didn’t check. Do an entire check of your home and repair any holes where animals can get in especially attic crawl spaces, small holes in the foundation and crawl spaces under the house. Even the smallest holes can be an open invitation. It’s not exactly a pleasant experience, but neither is finding a pile of animal feces or dead animals in unexpected spots in your home.

Build a winter emergency kit

You know what happens when the news announces a snowstorm is coming – sheer panic as everyone rushes to get the items they don’t have, and usually those items are either hard to get or they’re sold out all-together. Get a new snow shovel, snow blower and any other snow removal tool you need. Buy several bags of rock salt, get new waterproof snow boots and stock up on extra batteries, candles and matches in case the electricity goes out.

Winterize your windows

To help lower heating bills and keep the heat in, consider getting a window insulator kit, especially if you have extra large windows. Put insulating foam around air conditioners and use rubber weather sealing around the frames of your windows. Make sure to change out your screens with storm windows.

Have your furnace inspected

With the heat going throughout the winter, you’ll want to make sure your furnace is in perfect working order. Don’t do the check or repairs yourself unless you’re qualified to do so. What you can do is move anything flammable away from it to prevent any fires.

Check your fireplace

Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned out before winter. Put a screen in front of the fireplace to prevent any embers from jumping out and sparking a fire and move anything flammable at least four feet away. Stock up on firewood and keep it close to the house so you won’t have to trek in a snowstorm to get it.

Trim trees

Back in October, many of us were caught off guard when a snowstorm rolled through our area in the Northeast. Many were killed or injured by falling tree limbs that were weighed down with snow. Although it’s odd for weather like that in October, many still wait until the very last minute, if at all, to take care of tree limbs that need to be cut down. All it takes is one giant pile of snow on a weak tree branch for it to come crashing down on you, someone else, or right through your home. Get your trees inspected and have any questionable branches cut down to prevent any problems.

Although it seems like a hassle to check everything before winter, it really can save you a huge amount of money and aggravation once the bad weather strikes. No one ever thinks something is going to happen to them or their property, but it’s always quite possible. In the long run, taking precautions is better for your safety, your home and your wallet.

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10 Tips I Wish I Knew Before I Entered College

When you’re in high school, one of the many things you look forward to other than prom and graduation.. is getting accepted into college! College can be scary, intimidating and even exciting. When I entered college, I didn’t really get any “insight” or advice from anyone. I plunged into my freshman year alone and had to figure out all the hard things by myself. Here are 10 tips I have for any high school seniors that are entering college, or even current college students! I plan on taking these tips well into graduate school! Here they are..

1. Do not choose your classes unless you’ve been on Rate My Professor! (via http://ift.tt/13nvFjr): When you’re in high school, you don’t get the luxury to pick who your teacher is. This website is complete genius. It rates the professor from easiness, helpfulness, down to clarity. This gives you the opportunity to steer away from the bad teachers.. the ones who grade hard, seem to always be in a bad mood or the ones who can’t teach. Ever since I’ve discovered this website, my journey through college has been much smoother! (And easier!)

2. Pick classes that fit your schedule: I tried to keep my regular high school time schedule by taking morning classes until one semester, I kept missing class because I registered for a 7am class. I realized that there was no way I could force myself to wake up every morning to take a class I wasn’t interested in.. and actually enjoy it! I took night classes and I passed with a 4.0 GPA. Remember, you have leniency is college so you can pick the days AND times you choose to be in school.

3. If you need help, ASK FOR HELP!: Being in college, I thought of myself as the big girl.. I could do whatever I wanted and however I wanted without the help of mommy and daddy or school staff. I was WRONG! For the longest time, I didn’t know how to calculate a college GPA with units or quarter units. I started registering for classes I didn’t need. I thought I was capable of doing whatever I wanted.. just because I was in college. Newsflash! You’re only capable of doing so much.. you need to ask for help once in awhile.

4. Visit your counselor as much as you can: In college, your counselor is your other best friend. They hold ALL the answers to whatever you need.. graduation requirements, prerequisite info, transfer info, etc. They’re even there if you want to just talk or vent.

5. Steer away from the “Freshman 15”: Because of the freedom I had, I was able to go to fast food chains for its extreme convenience. I didn’t have my mom’s homemade cooking and I wasn’t a chef myself so I constantly bought out. I gained the freshman “10” and I had to work it off 5 times harder than usual in my ballet class. Just because its easier doesn’t mean its better. Take time and cook yourself a nice dinner. If you can’t cook, invite friends over that can cook or make simple meals: macaroni and cheese, a sandwich or even salad. Anything is better than eating out! Not only is it unhealthy, but those $5 value meals can add up and your bank account will slowly decrease.

6. Don’t pull out student loans: I thought I was set for life when I pulled out student loans. Do your research! They have grants which is free money for college that you don’t have to pay back. There are also lots of scholarships you can apply to. Before college, I thought if you didn’t have money, you HAD to pull out student loans. My sophomore and junior year of college, I’ve had the help of grants and scholarships to fund my tuition and books. It’s easy to research and even easier to apply. You will end up getting SOMETHING. My first time around, I received $500 in a scholarship I won for writing a one page essay about my role model. I took that $500 and bought my books.

7. If you’re short of cash.. don’t buy your books! RENT THEM!: I use to dish out HUNDREDS of dollars every semester (twice a year) just so I could buy books that I never intended to keep. I’ve found dozens of websites where you can rent your books for the semester! They ship them to you within 2-5 days and you mail them back when the semester is done. Because of these websites, I’ve saved myself hundreds of dollars a year.

8. Find a study buddy: This one will be simple.. If you find a study buddy at the start of the class, this will be your buddy throughout your entire college years. Not only that but whatever you’re studying, you’ll be able to see a 2nd, 3rd and even 4th perspective. They’ll even give you insight on how to study certain items. My study buddies came in handy when I studied Human Anatomy and Physiology.. Now they’re going to be my future bridesmaids!

9. Call home more than often, appreciate your parents/guardians!: My parents provided for me the best way they could. They sent me to the college of my dreams. When I moved out, I thought I had my freedom.. I rarely called home because I wanted to get the best college experience ever imaginable but I let my parents stay up all night waiting for a phone call from their youngest daughter. I felt bad because I never considered my parents’ feelings when I moved out. Now, not only do they get a phone call or text but we webcam multiple times a week, its great! All I’m saying is.. don’t forget about the people who’ve helped you get into college.

10. Before you turn in any assignment.. proofread, proofread.. PROOFREAD!: The difference between high school and college is detail. In high school, I use to get away with tiny mistakes. Sure, it’d be marked on my paper but it wouldn’t affect my grade. In college, you WILL get marked down and it WILL affect your grade. College professors are similar to hawks.. they don’t miss out on anything! I thought I could get away with making my font size 12.5 to make my paper look longer.. that didn’t work. One time, I even noticed that I spelled my name wrong. Something so simple like not putting page numbers with your last name in MLA format, heavily affects the weight of your grade. Sometimes sentences don’t flow and it doesn’t make sense. Get a second opinion! Go to the writing center at your school and have someone take a look at it. Don’t turn anything in unless it’s your absolute best work.

With these 10 tips, I hope incoming college freshman or current college students can benefit. These are my top 10 tips and advice I wish someone told me about! Good luck!

Tags:10 Tips I Wish I Knew Before I Entered College

10 Top Dumb Calls that a Resort and Hotel Operators Get

We assume that people who are traveling have basic common sense, although we have been proven time and time again that this may not be true, yet all the guest seem to still find away to make it to our location. Working as an operator at a Resort or Hotel, there are all kinds of crazy things heard from guest calling looking for help or information. Here are the top ten dumb question questions/calls that Hotel or Resort operator are asked.

  • Caller: “I just left my home and I need directions on how to get there.”

I’m sorry but you would think the caller would look up some directions at least until they are close to their location. Many people carry things called maps to help get them to where they would like to go.

  • Caller: “Speak Spanish Please”

I understand that there are Spanish speaking people and that is ok, but they call demanding for the operator to speak in Spanish is just wrong when we are an english speaking country. So we do our best to explain that no one speaks Spanish here. After all if I called a place in Mexico I wouldn’t expect them to speak English.

  • Caller: “My reservation number is…”

Maybe you want to know who you are talking to and if they can help you before giving out your personal information including reservation numbers.

  • Caller: “What do we get for free for staying here?”

Really there is nothing for “free”. You paid a price that may include things, but nothing is really for “free”.

  • Caller: “Can you get rid of the fog, so we can see…”
  • Or “Turn the water off so we can see Mother Nature.”
  • Or “What is the weather going to be like in May?”

Sure I’ll just turn off the fog machine, sorry for your inconvenience. We have total control of weather on the resort, please call and ask for what kind of weather you would like. This list goes on and on for this one, but guest think we should know a lot about the weather. Hmm, my crystal ball says 70 degrees with sun on May 9th next year, but no guarantees. Weather men can only give a ten day forecast so I don’t know why then think we can tell months in advance.

  • Caller: “Where is my own personal Golf Cart.”

You are coming to the mountains and someone claimed to promise you would have a golf cart. Hmm. I don’t see any dangers in golf cart going up and down the mountain hills here.

  • Caller: “I’m lost and don’t even know what state I’m in.”

I feel sorry for you, really I do. Ever hear of a gas station. Pull over and ask. I can’t see you from here either.

  • Caller: “Do you have nice rooms.”
  • Or “I’m deciding between to places to stay. Which would you prefer?”

This is my job, so the answer is going to be “Yes, we have nice rooms and are the best hotel/resort around” even if there are bug climbing all over the walls. I need my paycheck.

  • Caller: “Does a Jacuzzi, need to have water in it?”

“Will a Jacuzzi hole two people?”

Well a Jacuzzi will need water to operate, as you won’t be able to see air bubbles. Many times couples like to be in a Jacuzzi together.

  • Caller: “Your place is pet friendly. What are we suppose to do with our pet?”

Personally I like to take my pet for walks and feed them, but you may do as you wish with your pets as long as they are not being abused or damaging anything.

One Extra

  • Caller: “I didn’t understand what you said.”

Does it really matter? I had to say the name of the place you just called along with my name and how can I help you or at your service. This spill is said over a thousand times a day and we don’t mean to say it fast, but we do say it in our sleep as well. Please just tell us what you need.

Tags:10 Top Dumb Calls that a Resort and Hotel Operators Get

10 Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas Your Christmas Shopping List

Filling stockings with fun little Christmas surprises is one of best parts of Christmas Eve, but it can sometimes be hard to find stocking-sized gifts that are will really impress your family members. So if you really want your loved ones to be surprised with what they find in their stockings this year and are looking for some unique socking stuffer ideas, try some of these fun gifts:

MX-1: World’s Smallest R/C Copter
The newest trend with remote control toys is to make them smaller and smaller, and this tiny helicopter is the smallest you can buy. It makes a perfect stocking stuffer for any male in your family, whether young or young at heart. It is really a great unique and fun gift idea because I’m a 25-year-old woman, and I’d even be happy to receive one of these! You can find this pint-sized flyer here for the pretty steep price of $39.99, but it’s honestly worth it.

Squishy Fishy
This is another of many of the fun unique stocking stuffer ideas on this list. It’s great for someone who spends a lot of time at work, and this clear squishy ball can serve as a mini aquarium desk decoration or a squeezable stress relief ball. You can find it here for the very low price of $2.99, and there are a variety of bright colors and styles of fish to choose from.

My Life Digital Photo Clock
This is another stocking suffer idea that’s great for someone who spends a lot of time at work. It’s a palm-sized digital picture frame and travel clock that can hold up to 50 pictures of your loved ones and friends, and it has a folding stand so it can sit up on your desk. It makes a great Christmas gift for anyone who travels a lot, enjoys taking photographs, is into technology, or just likes having a way to keep their loved ones close to them. You can find this unique gift here for $39.95.

Sugar Cube
It can be hard to please teen girls, especially when it comes to something as “babyish” as stocking stuffers, but this pretty pink cube will be sure to please any teen girl who’s into making herself look pretty. The cube unfolds to reveal two shades of lip gloss, eight eyeshadow colors, bronzer and blush, a mirror, and all the beauty tools needed to apply the makeup. You can find this girly gift here for $32.00.

Hannah Montana Air Jammerz Guitar Pick
Hannah Montana gifts are going to be very hot with tween girls this year, so be prepared for Christmas lists that contain anything and everything with Hannah Montana’s image plastered on it. This fun stocking stuffer is a real version of an air guitar: when a girl strums near the motion sensor of the device, which attaches to a belt or waistband, the hit Hannah Montana song “Best of Both Worlds” plays. Sure you’ll get tired of hearing it over and over again, but at least your daughter will enjoy this creative gift. You can buy it at Target for $12.99, and there’s also a version that plays another of her songs, “Rockstar”.

The Dark Knight Staff Strike Batman
While girls will be hoping that Santa has a toyshop full of Hannah Montana merchandise, boys will be begging for plenty of The Dark Knight products. I know this idea isn’t as unique as some on this list, but if your child doesn’t already have a Batman action figure, you better get him one. You can find this pretty basic action figure at Toys R Us for $8.49, or you can choose from a wide variety of other Batman characters. (Just be sure you know which ones your child does and doesn’t have!)

Give Pink Cherish Earrings
For the lovely lady in your life, this is a great unique stocking stuffer. These beautiful sterling silver earrings with pretty pink rhodolite stones can be purchased here for $39.95. They’re a more unique jewelry gift idea because 10 percent of the proceeds from the purchase will go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, an organization that is searching for a cure to breast cancer. So not only will she be impressed with the beauty of these unique earrings, she’ll also view you as being even more giving and caring than you already are.

Victoria’s Secret silk tap pants
My husband got me a few pairs of these silk female boxers for my birthday, and I absolutely love them. They’re another perfect stocking stuffer for any woman you want to make feel pampered and special, and these luxurious, sexy lounging shorts can be found at Victoria’s Secret for $30 a pair.

Zippo lighter with favorite sports team logo
This is a great gift for any hardcore sport fan! You can find a variety of stylish Zippo lighters with sports team logos here for $34.99+, and they cover a variety of teams and sports, from football to baseball to NASCAR. These sleek lighters are a classic American favorite, and their small size makes them great unique stocking stuffers.

Gelaskins iPod covers
These unique iPod covers are great stocking stuffer ideas for anyone who wears their iPod like a fashion accessory. There are a variety of skins available for $14.95+ here, and you can also find skins for laptops, Blackberrys, and iPhones. Some of the designs may seem a little bizarre, but they’re all extremely cool and unique. (You’ll just definitely need to know a little about the personality of whoever you are buying one for.)

There are a lot of unusual and different stocking stuffers out there, you just have to take the time to look for them. But if you’re already starting to feel that holiday crunch and feel that you won’t have much time to search for unique gifts, I at least hope these unique stocking stuffer ideas have given you a few great ideas that will lead to some smiling faces on Christmas day.

SOURCES: Think Geek
Office Playground
Brookstone
Sephora
Target
Red Envelope
Toy R Us
Fan’s Edge
Gelaskins
Gifts.com

Tags:10 Unique Stocking Stuffer Ideas Your Christmas Shopping List

10 Unique Uses for Baking Soda

We all know you can clean with baking soda. And we know it whitens teeth. But there are so many other things that baking soda can do, that you may not have known. Heck, I didn’t even know some of them, and I love frugal living and finding cheap alternatives. My grandma taught me a lot of what I know about this stuff, and she is long gone. Oh, the things I could teach her now!

Uses for Baking Soda in Beauty
1. Add a tsp. of baking soda to your bottle of shampoo and it will help remove buildup from your styling products.

2. If you swim in pools a lot, rinse your hair with a ½ tsp. of baking soda in 1 pint of water to remove the dull, discoloration that chlorine causes.

Uses for Baking Soda in Home Remedies
3. Soak a wash cloth in a quart of water blended with 4 tbsp. baking soda and then apply to sunburn to help relieve the burn and pain.

4. Make a paste out of equal parts salt and baking soda, mixed with a tiny bit of water, to help sooth bee stings and bug bites. This can be applied with a cotton ball.

5. Relieve itchy skin by soaking in a warm bath with 1 cup baking soda and 1 ¼ cups baby oil. The baking soda soothes, while the baby oil replenishes the moisture in your skin.

Uses for Baking Soda With Babies and Pets
6. Baking soda can be used to remove urine stains, whether it’s from a baby/child, or a pet. Blot the wet area dry and then sprinkle with baking soda. Once the area dries you can vacuum it up!

7. Take the stink out of the kids stuffed toys, or your pets stuffed toys, by placing them in a paper bag with some baking soda and shaking well. Store them overnight in the bag, and repeat for tough odors.

8. Stinky dog and no time for a bath? Sprinkle your pooch with baking soda. Rub it in and then brush it out. Works for cats too!

Uses for Baking Soda in Crafts and Hobbies
9. Want snow on your indoor Christmas tree? You can use baking soda to simulate snow. Use this false snow on wreaths and other decor too.

10. Green thumbs can get great uses from baking soda too. In fact, if you sprinkle baking soda around your tomato plants it will sweeten them, as it lowers the acidity in the soil. Baking soda added to the water of cut flowers helps them last longer!

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10 Unique Uses for Olive Oil

Olive Oil has long been known for its health benefits. It contains antioxidants, helps protect against heart disease and gallstones, and it helps heal stomach ulcers. But, did you know there are many other uses for this oil as well? Learn about ten unique uses for olive oil by reading this article today!

1. A Health Benefit for Your Dog and Cats
Mixing a little olive oil in your pets’ food will help lessen your cat’s chances of producing fur balls. It will also help your dog shed less fur. Mix an eighth of a teaspoon once a week into your cat’s food. For your dog, add one teaspoon of olive oil into his/her food on a weekly basis.

2. Quiet Squeaky Hinges
Have a noisy door hinge around your house or in the garage? Fill a small spray bottle with olive oil. Adjust the nozzle so it produces a stream instead of a spray. Squirt oil on any squeaky hinges, or on hinges that don’t move freely. Use a paper towel to wipe up any runs.

3. Make an All Natural Furniture Polish
Mix up a solution of a cup of olive oil and a cup of real lemon juice; stir well. Use a dab of the solution and a clean, soft cloth to polish your wood furniture. This all natural furniture polish will remove any residue left by commercial cleaners and will add moisture and shine to your furniture.

4. Effective Treatment for Ear Infections
Heated olive oil can help soothe and heal painful ear infections. To use olive oil for this unique use, pour a teaspoon of oil into a metal spoon. Gently warm it by holding a lit match underneath. Check the temperature of the olive oil to make sure it’s not hot. Then, place half of the oil in each affected ear. Place a cotton ball in each ear so the oil won’t run out. Repeat this process two or three times a day.

5. Remove Paint Spatters From Skin and Hair
The next time you work on a painting project around the house, have a bottle of olive oil and an old rag handy. Whenever you get paint spatters on your skin, pour a little oil on the rag and easily wipe them off. Place some oil on the rag and wipe paint spatters from your hair too.

6. Release a Wad of Chewing Gum From Hair
Because gum is a sticky substance, it can be a real mess if it gets stuck in your hair. But, since olive oil is such an excellent lubricant, it can be used to easily get that gum out. Simply pour some oil on the gum and surrounding hair. Then, use your fingers to pull on the gum- you may need rub the oil around to loosen the gum up.

7. Use as a Substitute Shaving Cream
If you run out of shaving cream and you’re in a hurry, use olive oil as an effective substitute. It will soften your whiskers, and even the hair on your legs and underarms, and give you a smooth, close shave.

8. Moisturize and Shine Leather Items
Do you have a pair of leather shoes or slippers that are looking dreary? How about a leather belt that needs revitalized? Another unique use for olive oil is to wipe some on dry leather items. Let the oil set a few minutes, then buff them to remove the excess oil and make them shine.

9. Liven Up a Palm Tree
If you have a sad-looking Palm Tree in your house, spruce it up again by giving it a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Pour the oil on the roots; repeat monthly.

10. Get Rid of a Snoring Problem
If you snore at night and keep your partner awake, try taking a tablespoon of olive oil before you go to bed. The olive oil will help keep your throat moist so you won’t make a sound.

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10 Top Porter Beers to Try and Enjoy

Porter beer first garnered its name from the river and train porters of London in the 1700’s who had acquired a taste for the dark malt. Porter beer is also often referred to as stout but a true porter beer on todays market tends to have a bit of a sweeter flavor and also be a little lower in alcohol content then its stout cousins.

The Porter was truly the first beer to be mass produced in England and marketed as a ready to drink beer. Often the Brits would combine several beers together and label it as a ‘porter’. Back in the old days it was an extremely hard beer with a strong bitter flavor. Even today breweries have worked to retain it the strength of its taste. The coloring of Porter beers tends to be quite dark, even bordering on black with some varieties.

Microbreweries across the US have produced a true resurgence in the demand for Porter beers. They have began to produce these beers using a variety of ingredients to lighten the taste a bit. Many now have the flavor of pumpkin spice, honey and even vanilla laced through them to sweeten the taste.

If you like a beer that is just a tiny bit sweet with a taste of true hops laced throughout then you should definitely try a porter beer the next time you are out.

Here is a list of ten top porter beers available today.

1) The Taddy Porter by Samuel Smith of Massachusetts

This beer has the taste of strong barley and a tang on your tongue. This beer came out in 1979 and is extremely popular.

2) Anchor Porter by Anchor Steam Brewing Company of California

This is a dark beer that tends to have a very thick foamy head. It is is hopped at a high rate to bring out intense flavor. I can personally taste the rumored flavor of coffee in this beer when I drink it. The company boasts that it contains a taste of coffee, chocolate, and toffee to set this beer away from other porters and give it a unique flavor combination.

3) Arcadia London Porter by Arcadia Brewing Company of Michigan

Almost black in color, this beer pours thick and rich. If you hold the glass up to the light you will see a glint of red to highlight the blackness. This beer is strong in flavor with a hint of coffee and roasted nuts. This beer tends to taste sour to most people who try it.

4) The Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter by Duck Rabbit Brewing Company of North Carolina

A deep dark brown beer with virtually no head. This beer is sore in taste and quite thick with just a very small hint of coffee in flavoring.

5) Polygamy Porter by Wasatch Brewery of Utah

This beer is dark and smooth with a slightly drying flavor. Produced out of Park City, Utah by the growing brewery Wasatch

6) Southern Oregon Porter by Southern Oregon Brewing Company

This beer is brewed with lager yeast at ale temperatures which makes it a unique in the realm of porter beer brewing. When you first inhale this beer you will definitely note the strong smell of coffee. The coloring is a medium to dark brown with a light cream head. The taste tends to be dry with a bit of chocolate flavoring.

7) Rogue Mocha Porter which also goes by the name New Porter is by Rogue Ales Brewing Company of Oregon

A wonderful bittersweet beer that is now distributed nationwide

8) Deschutes Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewing Company in Bend Oregon

A black beer that has a heavy chocolate taste.

9) Mayflower Porter by the Mayflower Brewing Company of Massachusetts

This beer is a deep brown with strong reddish coloring. You can definitely taste the hop in the Porter when you take a drink of this wonderful brew and there is a little bit of a toffee flavoring to back it up.

10) Steelhead Scot Porter by Mad River Brewing Company of California

A unique porter with a bit of fruitiness to the taste that is mixed well with a hint of coffee. Its a very nice dark brown with a coffee smell and just a hint of peat. A nice all around beer and definitely worth trying.

Tags:10 Top Porter Beers to Try and Enjoy

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