Kategori: Uncategorized

Get Good!

We all face a crossroads in life where it is put up or shut up and retire. I only have to start with this: If you are serious, get good!

I repeat: if you are serious, get good or get out of the game you are trying to play. For as Yoda in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” says: There is not “try”, there is just “do”. Reality comes down to what we actually do, not what we try or attempt.

When I think about reality, real living is more than a boast or an attempt. Real life is pure doing. In short getting good instead of consistent potential that never gets genuinely realized. In fact, consistent potential success without fulfillment of that potential is the ultimate mental and spiritual block in life. “I could have”, “I would have”, “I should have” is the epitaph of every loser. Every winner is, “I did it” and that is it. Why do you think or postulate in your consciousness those three sayings and realities of losers do not count, while that direct one response from a winner does count totally? It counts because it is fulfillment instead of unrealized potential sitting in a garage like a prized and beautiful car that never gets driven and just sits in a garage with great potential for speed or saved wealth that never gets enjoyed and goes ultimately to someone who does genuinely enjoy it and live with it.

“I would have”, “I could have”, “I should have” instead of the reality of “I did it”. That is all it comes down to, and if you want to get to I did it, you or anyone must use their potential to get good genuinely.

I did it is the King Harvest, I would have, I could have, I should have is the eternally unrealized and wasted seed. I did it is cold, hard cash being spent in for your benefit by you. I would have, I could have, I should have is like the checks and Double Eagle thousand dollar coins that sit in the safe or deposit box and never get cashed or benefit anyone.

My only message in this article is get good, step up, work your dream into reality actively. Because the real bad is unused potential, not so much losing at your attempts to succeed. For, even if you miss there is another shot as long as you are alive, breathing and working with a chance! Get good as long as you can practice and attempt (Until you succeed or are satisfied personally with your efforts).

6 Key Elements of a Contract

1. Offer. An offer can be oral or written as long as it is not required to be written by law. It is the definite expression or an overt action which begins the contract. It is simply what is offered to another for the return of that person’s promise to act. It cannot be ambiguous or unclear. It must be spelled out in terms that are specific and certain, such as the identity and nature of the object which is being offered and under what conditions and/ or terms it is offered.

2. Acceptance. As a general proposition of law, the acceptance of the offer made by one party by the other party is what creates the contract. This acceptance, as a general rule, cannot be withdrawn, nor can it vary the terms of the offer, or alter it, or modify it. To do so makes the acceptance a counter-offer. Though this proposition may vary from state to state, the general rule is that there are no conditional acceptances by law. In fact, by making a conditional acceptance, the offeree is rejecting the offer. However the offerer, at his choosing, by act or word which shows acceptance of the counter-offer, can be bound by the conditions tendered by the offeree.

3. Consideration. Consideration for a contract may be money or may be another right, interest, or benefit, or it may be a detriment, loss or responsibility given up to someone else. Consideration is an absolutely necessary element of a contract. As a word of caution, it should be noted that consideration has to be expressly agreed upon by both parties to the contract or it must be expressly implied by the terms of the contract. A potential or accidental benefit or detriment alone would not be construed as valid consideration. The consideration must be explicit and sufficient to support the promise to do or not to do, whatever is applicable. However, it need not be of any particular monetary value. Mutual promises are adequate and valid consideration as to each party as long as they are binding. This rule applies to conditional promises as well. As additional clarification, the general rule is that a promise to act which you are already legally bound to do is not a sufficient consideration for a contract. The courts determine the application.

4. Capacity of the Parties to Contract. The general presumption of the law is that all people have a capacity to contract. A person who is trying to avoid a contract would have to plead his or her lack of capacity to contract against the party who is trying to enforce the contract. For example, he would have to prove that he was a minor, adjudged incompetent or drunk or drugged, and so forth. Often this is the most difficult burdens of proof to overcome due to the presumption of one’s ability to contract.

5. Intent of the Parties to Contract. It is a basic requirement to the formation of any contract, be it oral or written, that there has to be a mutual assent or a “meeting of the minds” of the parties on all proposed terms and essential elements of the contract. It has been held by the courts that there can be no contract unless all the parties involved intended to enter into one. This intent is determined by the outward actions or actual words of the parties and not just their secret intentions or desires. Therefore, mere negotiations to arrive at a mutual agreement or assent to a contract would not be considered an offer and acceptance even thought the parties agree on some of the terms which are being negotiated. Both parties must have intended to enter into the contract and one can not have been misled by the other. That is why fraud or certain mistakes can make a contract voidable.

6. Object of the Contract. A contract is not enforceable if its object is considered to be illegal or against public policy. In many jurisdictions contracts predicated upon lotteries, dog races, horse races, or other forms of gambling would be considered illegal contracts. Yet in some states these types of contracts are valid. Federal and some state laws make contracts in restraint of trade, price-fixing and monopolies illegal. Therefore, a contract which violates those statutes would be illegal and unenforceable. This is true for drugs and prostitution or any other activity if considered criminal.

The Tarot, Terrorism And Global Warming: What The Tarot Has To Say About The Modern World

I wanted to write this article to demonstrate how the ancient philosophy behind the Tarot is still relevant to us today, and to show how these ideas can be used to illuminate our modern world. Whether or not the Tarot has any mystical power I believe a lot can be learned from the view that it gives of the universe, which goes back to antiquity. As someone who teaches and practices Tarot I also wanted to create a guide to help people understand the meanings behind each card, by reframing tarot in a modern context which can be related to more easily.

When someone receives a Tarot reading the cards offer meanings that are universal but also personal to the questioner. If one was to carry out a reading for the state of the world, how then could the reader interpret the cards? What are the pressing issues for us all at this time? I asked myself this question and, whilst thumbing through the pack, the meanings became quite obvious and stark to me. Below I have listed these meanings for the 21 Major arcarna or trump cards.

FREEDOM – The Fool

TECHNOLOGY – The Magician

RELIGION – High Priestess

HUMAN RIGHTS – The Empress






INNER WORLD – The Hermit










POPULATION – Judgement


Incidentally if you wish to read the complete article alongside images of the cards there is an illustrated version on my website at http://www.tarot-cards-reading.com/about/tarot_world_article.html

FREEDOM – The Fool

As card number zero in the pack the Fool represents all that is new, free and innovative. In medieval times the court jester was someone who was not expected to follow the same rules and conventions as everyone else and so was free to be spontaneous and creative. The Major Arcana is often described as a journey through life starting at the childlike simplicity and freedom of the Fool and ending with card number 21 – The World. However, for many in the world, freedom or lack of it, is a big political goal which they need to achieve before they can start their journey.

TECHNOLOGY – The Magician

Technology is now the backdrop to all our lives and to those who don’t understand it or haven’t witnessed it before it seems like magic. When people first saw inventions such as moving images or photography some believed it to be witchcraft or some kind of trickery. On the card the Magician shows a powerful figure performing his tricks with us as his audience. He is about to make things happen before our eyes that we never thought possible. The message of this card is that if you know what you are doing and you have the energy of commitment behind you, you can achieve incredible things. This is a valuable lesson for the modern world.

RELIGION – High Priestess

The High Priestess is a woman of God who sits in silence and contemplation. She seeks understanding and looks for the greater meaning behind everything. She is an antidote to the dangers of materialism that can stem from the technological ability and energy of the Magician.

HUMAN RIGHTS – The Empress

The Empress is a ruler that respects her subjects. She is a motherly figure who believes in nurturing and caring rather than controlling and dictating. It is perhaps an unusual card considering its historical origins. We tend to see this regard for individual human rights as quite a modern enlightened view. The Tarot’s values however are timeless and not subject to fashion.


The Emperor has a different approach than that of the Empress. He is an old-fashioned ruler who believes in running his empire efficiently and systematically. He believes in looking after the many and not compromising for the needs of individuals. One of the big debates at this time is how much power should the state have? Many argue that with the greater need for security at home and abroad we need a government that is strong and which from time to time is willing to lessen the human rights of a few in order to safeguard the majority. Others disagree, arguing the state has too much power and should behave more like the Empress. This argument will probably never be resolved and so these two cards sit side-by-side in the deck reminding us of this dilemma.


The essence of this card is about doing things in a conventional way and following traditional wisdom. The Heirophant asks ‘The conventional way has been tried and tested and it works, so why try to reinvent the wheel?’ In this age of individualism where people want to do things their own way the message of the Hierophant is not always a popular one. However, he is still worth listening to because there are times when it is better to fit in and go along with the crowd; and sometimes being different is ill-advised.

WORLD PEACE – The Lovers

Traditionally this card shows a man making a choice between two women and its message is that, like love, most things in life come down to a matter of choice. If we are in a relationship with someone it is because we chose to be with them and we are choosing to stay with them. The same is true for all the relationships we have with people. Also, whether we find ourselves fighting, loving or being distant from others is down to our choosing. If we are to apply this idea to the modern world it seems clear that peace and harmony are not things which just happen but that many active choices need to be made in pursuit of them.


This card needs little explanation. There have always been wars and probably always will be. There is therefore no need to put this ancient card into a modern context.


Although this card often depicts a man wrestling a lion, the strength referred to here is strength of will and courage rather than physical strength: the ability to endure and overcome difficulties. In fact it could be seen as the strength of will and character to resist the temptation to use physical force to solve a problem. For today’s modern world many problems could be solved by a stronger political will and greater courage. Perhaps one day more world leaders will realize that there is something stronger and more enduring than military might.


In trying to write this article about how each of the Tarot cards says something about the state of the world and how we are as a gloabal society, there is one card that seems to shout out against this idea. That is the card of the hermit. The hermit advocates withdrawal from the world, suggesting that the inner world is more instructive for us and within our scope to change. Therefore the hermit stands here to remind us of the limitations of analysing the world as a whole.


This card reminds us that life can be a bit of a lottery and fortunes can go up as well as down. It often depicts someone partying whilst someone else (or is it the same person later in time?) plummets to his doom. It is a stark reminder and warning of the fragility of life. In the week after the 9/11 attack Wall Street remained closed for several days, and nobody knew what was going to happen. It was clear the markets were going to slump but would they go into free fall? Were the US and world economies to be dragged into a downward spiral of recession? Our modern lives depend on financial markets and world economies. The card is a reminder not to be complacent.


The meaning is simple: that is the need for justice, judgement and good decision making. The card perfectly illustrates the need for international cooperation over rules and legal matters.


The Hanged man represents sacrifice, giving up and letting go. His message is that the way to get your needs met is to give up trying and let go – a philosophy that fits with many religions. This idea doesn’t square with the way many of us behave in the west, as our sacrifice might entail giving up some of our material comforts that could help alleviate world poverty. The way the G8 countries behave regarding poverty in Africa it seems this may be too much to ask. If, however, we were to listen to the message of this card, we might realize that sacrifice is the way forward and that maybe with a prosperous third world we might actually gain in the long run.


The image of the reaper is a reminder that life exists in cycles and that all things come to an end. It speaks more of change than actual death, and how this change can be painful. There seems little doubt that the world climate is moving into a new phase. These climate cycles have always existed – such as the various ice ages – but never has the change been so rapid or man made. This change will inevitably result in the deaths of individuals and of species. Global warming may be one of the biggest challenges we have faced in our history.


One of the most interesting cards in this exercise is Temperance, as it is difficult to fit its meaning into a modern context. The card signifies moderation or self-restraint, but the word temperance itself is rarely used today. We have even changed the word ‘temper’ to mean its opposite, thus losing its traditional meaning. It is difficult to find many examples of moderation in the modern world. Perhaps this is a flaw of the world’s media, choosing to report so many headline hitting stories rather than stories of a more gentle nature. This is especially the case with stories regarding acts in the name of religion: so much of what we hear is in relation to radicals and fundamentalists that we miss the numerous incidents of kindness, love and care in the world. We are therefore left with an unbalanced view of the state of our world.


This is perhaps one of the most straightforward interpretations. The Devil has always been a figure of fear, a corrupting influence that has no compassion or feeling for others. Unfortuneately we live in a world where a few individuals wish to induce this level of fear in others, motivated by self-interest or warped philosophies. Sadly they can become trapped by world-views which can convince them their philosophies are right. This perhaps is the definition of evil; and strangely often done in the name of God.


When creating this list there was such a temptation to make this card about the 9/11 attacks. I have heard that some people have made this connection but I think this is taking the card at face value rather than trying to understand its full meaning. The card in the modern deck actually makes reference to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The card does stand for upheaval and disruption but it also warns of the dangers of over-stretching oneself and getting involved in things beyond one’s understanding. In Genesis the tower is struck down; and the punishment for challenging God’s authority is that the people are cast out and made to speak in different languages. If for ancient people the tower represents diversity, then for us in the modern world diversity is represented by the human gene. Genetic engineering now gives us the power to do what may be thought of as challenging the authority of God. We could do worse than look at this card for advice on this matter.


The Star in the Tarot refers to a way forward and to hope for a better future. When I was growing up, hope for the future seemed to centre around the space program. It was the only area over which the then two super-powers would cooperate. Maybe this was because the expense became too much for one nation, or maybe as I like to believe because when one looks to the stars it makes our differences down here on Earth seem less important. It certainly does seem that if human beings are to progress then we must embrace collaboration. The card reminds us to hold the star as a symbol for hope, and whether it is a star of David or a star of Islam shouldn’t matter.


This card represents knowledge and understanding. When we understand something we are enlightened and that’s what the sun does to the earth: it shines light on dark corners and illuminates the globe. One of the most significant inventions of the last forty years which brings knowledge and illumination to the world is the internet. It is interesting to note that the internet has been made possible by lasers transmitting information through high-speed fiber optics. Thus, the internet, in effect, is made of pure light. The card also depicts a happy couple who could be lovers: the inference being that understanding between people is the key to harmony. Never before has so much knowledge been available to so many. The couple on the card reminds us however, that unless this knowledge is used to build closer links between people, it is a waste of time.


The word ‘lunatic” derives from the belief that the moon’s rays had the power to intoxicate and send people mad. In the modern world one of the most dangerous forms of intoxication is that of people becoming drunk on power. We see this throughout the world where leaders are corrupted by their power and become self-aggrandizing tyrants. We also see it in the board-rooms of multinational companies where individuals can be seduced by the love of money and the power it brings. The card itself refers to corruption and confusion and to all the dark dealings that happen hidden from the light of day. It has the opposite meaning to the Sun; thus the antidote is to shed light wherever possible.

POPULATION – Judgement

With shrinking resources and rising birth rates, population control must be one of the most pressing world issues for this time. This card speaks of a judgement day when things come to a head and decisions have to be made: when the result of our actions good or bad must be accounted for. In the judgement day myth all the people that have ever lived are risen back to life. Best estimates would put this at about 107 billion souls!


The World card simply represents fulfillment and completeness. Having the World at one’s fingertips means having everything one could possibly want. The problem with having everything we want however, is that this is usually at the expense of the planet. The card’s meaning of completeness and self-containment is a reminder that we must get what we want in a way that is sustainable. This is the final card of the Major Arcana and the end point for our journey. This is our home and we cannot get away from it until death; so we should look after it.

Where Training Design Goes Wrong

I’m gearing up to teach an online course on curriculum design. This has led me to consider the reasons why some training design results in ineffective training programs.

I came up with 35 reasons. In no particular order of importance, here they are:

  1. Wrong reason for the training;
  2. Wrong target group;
  3. Unclear goal;
  4. Wrong content;
  5. Wrong methods;
  6. Desired level of learning not identified;
  7. Learning activities cannot achieve the desired levels of learning;
  8. Heavy reliance on lecture and PowerPoint;
  9. Places all of the training content on PowerPoint slides;
  10. Lack of specific, observable and measurable learning objectives;
  11. Disconnect between objectives and learning activities
  12. Over reliance on one or a limited number of learning activities;
  13. Does not accommodate different learning stages or preferences;
  14. Focus is on the trainer instead of on the learner;
  15. Unaware that skill-building and attitude-changing training programs need different formats;
  16. Unaware that skill-building and attitude-changing training programs require different sets of learning levels and learning objectives;
  17. Focus is on content rather than how learners will learn;
  18. Neglect to have learners demonstrate what they’ve learned;
  19. Doesn’t recognize and disconnect negative transfer;
  20. Assumes that everything can be taught the same way;
  21. Too much content/learning activities for the allotted timeframe;
  22. Overwhelming amount of information;
  23. Content not made meaningful to the learners;
  24. Doesn’t include a way to achieve learner buy in;
  25. Doesn’t incorporate activities to check for learning comprehension;
  26. No logical flow;
  27. No transitions;
  28. Unrealistic about learners’ current knowledge level;
  29. Doesn’t build on what the learners already know;
  30. Doesn’t incorporate real life situations familiar to the learners;
  31. Uses terms and acronyms unfamiliar to the learners;
  32. Focuses on theory instead of practice;
  33. Ignores the organizational culture;
  34. Doesn’t hold the participants accountable for learning; and finally,
  35. It simply isn’t done- the trainer has no lesson plan.

Are there any other pitfalls that I missed?

When I teach curriculum design, I pride myself in showing trainers how to use a practical, proven and painless lesson design process that will enable them to anticipate, avoid, and address each of these potential pitfalls.

Some of these reasons are clearly philosophical. I am an avid proponent of participatory training, so the lack of necessary participatory components figures prominently in my list.

Some of the reasons relate to steps in the lesson design process that were omitted, either consciously or unconsciously. For example, a good needs assessment would help a training designer avoid a number of these problems.

Some of the reasons relate to a lack of awareness that learners bring knowledge and skill into a classroom. Their existing knowledge and skill can be a boon or a bane to the effectiveness of a training program.

Some of the reasons are due to ignorance of how the brain works and how that affects the learners’ ability to learn and retain information.

Some of the reasons are due to limited knowledge of the nature, scope and infinite variety of possible participatory learning activities.

Finally, most of the reasons can be attributed to the lack of a logical and comprehensive lesson design process.

Hooray for the Federal Rules of Evidence!

The Federal Rules of Evidence used in the United States federal courts and adopted by many states and the military are codification of many years of common law evidence rules. The development of the modern rules of evidence has been a process of nothing more than putting old wine into new bottles. If one can understand common law notions of evidence the Federal Rules will be easy to understand.

The purpose of the Federal Rules of Evidence is to secure fairness in administration of trials; eliminate unjustifiable expense and delay; and to promote the growth and development of the law of evidence in order that truth may be ascertained and proceedings justly determined. As a former trial lawyer and current law school professor who teaches the rules of evidence to students, I view the Federal Rules of Evidence, adopted by Congress in 1975 as a master work of putting the old common law wine into a new bottle. I have used the Federal Rules of Evidence throughout my career.

This article is not about any specific common law rule or rules that may have been put into the new bottle known as the Federal Rule of Evidence. Instead, I write this to show how influential and widespread has been the use of the rules. Forty-four states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the military have all adopted all or parts of the Federal Rules for use in their court systems. This is a very good trend because the evidence rules of most states will be roughly the same throughout the United States.

The following paragraphs provide fundamental information about the jurisdictions that have adopted evidence rules patterned on the Federal Rules. They include information concerning the date on which the local rules became effective and when amended, if at all:

ALABAMA. Adopted by the Alabama Supreme Court effective January 1, 1996. No amendments.

ALASKA. Adopted by the Alaska Supreme Court effective August 1, 1979. Last amended October 15, 2003.

ARIZONA. Adopted by the Arizona Supreme Court effective September 1, 1977. Last amended June 1, 2004.

ARKANSAS. Adopted by the Arkansas Supreme Court effective October 13, 1986. Latest amendment on January 22, 1998.

COLORADO. Adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court Effective January 1, 1980. Latest amendment July 1, 2002.

CONNECTICUT. Adopted by the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court effective January 1, 2000. No amendments.

DELAWARE. Adopted by the Delaware Supreme Court effective February 1, 1980. Latest amendment December 10, 2001.

FLORIDA. The Florida Evidence Code was enacted by the Florida Legislature effective July 1, 1979. Latest amendment July 1, 2003.

GEORGIA. Governor Nathan Deal signed a House bill which made the Georgia rules effective January 1, 2013. No amendments.

GUAM. Adopted by the Guam Judicial Council effective November 16, 1979. Latest amendment July 18, 2003.

HAWAII. Enacted by the Hawaii Legislature effective January 1, 1981. No amendments.

IDAHO. Adopted by the Idaho Supreme Court effective July 1, 1985. No amendments.

ILLINOIS. Adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court effective January 1, 2011. No amendments.

INDIANA. Adopted by the Indiana Supreme Court effective January 1, 1994. Latest amendment January 1, 2004.

IOWA. Adopted by the Iowa Supreme Court effective July 1, 1983. Latest amendment February 15, 2002.

KENTUCKY. Enacted by the Kentucky Legislature effective July 1, 1992. Latest amendment July 1, 2003.

LOUISIANA. Enacted by the Louisiana Legislature effective January 1, 1989. Latest amendment August 15, 2003.

MAINE. Adopted by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court effective February 2, 1976. Latest amendment July 1, 2002.

MARYLAND. Adopted by the Maryland Court of Appeals effective July 1, 1994. Latest amendment January 1, 2004.

MICHIGAN. Adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court effective March 1, 1978. Latest amendment January 1, 2004.

MINNESOTA. Adopted by the Minnesota Supreme Court effective April 1, 1977. Latest amendment January 1, 1990.

MISSISSIPPI. Adopted by the Mississippi Supreme Court effective January 1, 1986. Latest amendment May 27, 2004.

MONTANA. Adopted by the Montana Supreme Court effective July 1, 1977. Latest amendment October 18, 1990.

NEBRASKA. Enacted by the Nebraska Legislature effective December 31, 1975. Latest amendment July 13, 2000.

NEVADA. Enacted by the Nevada Legislature effective July 1, 2004. No amendments.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Adopted by the New Hampshire Supreme Court effective July 1, 1985. Latest amendment January 1, 2003.

NEW JERSEY. Adopted by the New Jersey Supreme Court and the New Jersey Legislature through a joint procedure effective July 1, 1993. Latest amendment July 1, 1993.

NEW MEXICO. Adopted by the New Mexico Supreme Court effective July 1, 1973. The latest amendment became effective February 1, 2003.

NORTH CAROLINA. Enacted by the North Carolina Legislature effective July 1, 1984. Latest amendment October 1, 2003.

NORTH DAKOTA. Adopted by the North Dakota Supreme Court effective February 15, 1977. Latest amendment March 1, 2001.

OHIO. Adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court effective July 1, 1980. Latest amendment July 1, 2003.

OKLAHOMA. Enacted by the Oklahoma Legislature effective October 1, 1978. Latest amendment November 1, 2003.

OREGON. Enacted by the Oregon Legislature effective January 1, 1982. Latest amendment July 3, 2003.

PENNSYLVANIA. Adopted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court effective October 1, 1998. Latest amendment January 1, 2002.

PUERTO RICO. Enacted by the Puerto Rico Legislature effective October 1, 1979. Latest amendment August 30, 1999.

RHODE ISLAND. Adopted by the Rhode Island Supreme Court effective October 1, 1987. No amendments.

SOUTH CAROLINA. Enacted by the South Carolina Legislature effective September 3, 1995. No amendments.

SOUTH DAKOTA. Enacted by the South Dakota Legislature effective July 1, 1978. No amendments.

TENNESSEE. Adopted by the Tennessee Supreme Court effective January 1, 1990. Latest amendment July 1, 2003.

TEXAS. Adopted by the Texas Supreme Court effective March 1, 1998. No amendments.

UTAH. Adopted by the Utah Supreme Court effective September 1, 1983. Latest amendment November 1, 2004.

VERMONT. Adopted by the Vermont Supreme Court effective April 1, 1983. Latest amendment May 27, 2003.

WASHINGTON. Adopted by the Washington Supreme Court effective April 2, 1979. Latest amendment September 1, 2003.

WEST VIRGINIA. Adopted by the West Virginia Supreme Court effective February 1, 1985. Latest amendment January 1, 1995.

WISCONSIN. Adopted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court effective January 1, 1974. Latest amendment March 30, 2004.

WYOMING. Adopted by the Wyoming Supreme Court effective January 1, 1978. Latest amendment February 28, 1995.

THE MILITARY. The Military Rules of Evidence were adopted by Executive order No. 12,198 March 12, 1980. Latest amendment by Executive Order No. 13,262 April 11, 2002.


THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS. No date of adoption found.

What an impressive list of adoptions and enactments patterned after the Federal Rules of Evidence! Several jurisdictions have not adopted rules of evidence based on the Federal Rules of Evidence. They are: California, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York and Virginia.

The Elf on a Shelf – 10 Sets of Mischievous Ideas For Adding Magic to Your Holiday Season

The Elf on the Shelf Christmas and Elf Magic traditions are sweeping the nation — for good reason. They offer a delightful way to build excitement for the holidays, and keep children on their best behavior. Here is how they work.

The “official” Elf on the Shelf, Elf Magic Elf or a another elf, arrives at your home early in the Christmas season to spend the holidays with your family.

Each night the Elf on a Shelf returns to the North Pole, while your children are sleeping, to report to Santa regarding their behavior.

While the Elf on the Shelf Elves have a more staid reputation, the Elf Magic Elves are a mischievous bunch, and have a tendency to make a mess or pull a crazy stunt while everyone is asleep. Your kids will love to wake up each morning and see what trouble the Elf got into the night before.

Here are ten ideas found around the internet and from local families to inspire your elf:

Elves Love to Do What Your Kids Love To Do

Elves adapt quickly to a household, and many mornings are found busy with the favorite activities of the kids who live there. Reading favorite books, playing games (including the Wii or Nintendo DS), having a tea party with best-loved dolls, and riding skateboards are all favorite Elf past times.

Elves Are Into Computers and Social Media

Elves in homes with teens have been known to have email, Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep an online eye on the kids and send funny emails, status updates and tweets. Many elves also seem to surf the internet late at night, finding fun new sites for the kids to enjoy.

Elves Love to be in Pictures

Apparently, Elves are very good at self portraits. Many families have found their digital cameras full of pictures of their Elves in all kinds of crazy poses.

Elves Often Have A Driver’s License

If an Elf cannot be found in the morning, the car is the first place to look. Elves are often found in the driver’s seat, sitting on a stack of pillows or books. The car may be parked backwards or in a crazy position, and in some cases even down the street or in a neighbor’s driveway. Typically, Christmas music is blaring through the speakers and the gas tank is mysteriously closer to empty than before.

Elves Write in Journals

Elves and children often learn more about each other and build bonds by writing letters back and forth. Some Elves arrive with a festively decorated journal to keep all the correspondence in one place. It has been rumored that some Elves only write backwards, so children must hold the note up to the mirror to read it. A few are conversant in Pig Latin or other codes that older kids must decipher.

Elves Tell Potty Jokes, Too

Bathroom humor spans all languages and species. Elves love to turn the toilet water green (with food coloring), decorate Christmas trees in underwear, toilet paper kids rooms or whole houses, and write on bathroom mirrors with mom’s lipstick.

Elves Spell Their Names – Everywhere!

Each Elf has a name. Some are named by the children they watch. Others arrive with a note introducing the Elf. Either way, all Elves seem to love to leave their signature as often as possible. Maybe the Elf’s name is written in Cheerios, flour, or chocolate syrup on the counter. Other times in toothpaste on the bathroom mirror. Best of all, in food coloring on freshly fallen snow.

Elves Love Things That Remind Them of Home

Cotton ball snowball fights are a favorite past time of elves. Also, Elves often make elf sized snow angels. If real snow is not available, then Insta-Snow or flour make good substitutes. A favorite game for Elves is Candy Lane. If the house does not already have a copy, Elves have been known to bring one from the North Pole as an early Christmas gift.

Elves Do Not Always Come Alone

What could be better than an Elf on the Shelf? Several Elves, of course. That means the mischief can multiply and children awake to elaborate scenes of Elf mayhem. Maybe a poker game or baseball or football match or a play with Elves in costume (borrowed from other dolls).

Elves Play With Their Neighbor Elves

So many families have their own Elf on a Shelf during the holidays that Elves join with neighbor Elves to increase the fun. Many neighbor elves have been waiting together at the bus stop for their children to arrive. Other Elves host a Christmas party for neighborhood kids.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless for your elf tradition. Happy Holidays!

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is not fresh news. It has become one of the top rated and most popular games world-wide. What really is this craze and crave for Pokémon Go?

The popular Nintendo-built Pokémon which exploded in fame around the late 90s, has revived the game world with its latest GO version, and is taking the world by storm.

The Pokémon Go is apparently one of the series largest admittance into the mobile gaming. It is obtainable for a free download on Android and iOS. The game’s fame at the moment is comparable to that of Twitter’s daily active users on Android.

Pokémon Go is a game which utilizes a person’s phone’s GPS and clock to sense where the game player is within the game, and then conjures a Pokémon to “appear” around you within your phone screen. It is your mission to proceed in catching them. The Pokémon series and games happens in a world inhabited by strikingly powerful monsters. These game monsters can appear as rats, dragons, snakes, birds, eggs, trees, dinosaurs and even swords.

As you move within the game, several forms and numbers of Pokémon’s will appear randomly near your location and your phone’s time tracking. The main goal of the game is to inspire you to trip around the real world to catch a Pokémon while within the game scene. By utilizing your phone’s capacity to track time and your location, Pokemon Go mirrors what it would be like if the monsters really were wandering around. The monsters must be caught and collected.

The principal entry of Pokémon games started with 151 creatures. However the catalog has since evolved to more than 720. With the Pokémon Go, only the original 151 creatures are accessible.

Pokémon Go is now fulfilling the fantasies that Pokémon fans world-wide have had since the game’s first launch. It is a hot game for adventurous game players, and is one of the free trending games currently available. Fans should play now if they haven’t yet.

Further than attaining childhood dreams, Pokémon Go is everybody’s intro into a new kind of game that connects the real world with a virtual one which is also referred to as Augmented Reality.

Why play this game? Since everyday activities can get boring, it can get better by spicing it up with the new craze, Pokemon Go!

How Can My Marriage Survive the Stress of Everyday Life?

In a world where one trillion is a household world, the stresses of just surviving life can become an overwhelming endeavor. More than ever, couples need to know how to stay connected through the trials coming their way.

I work with couples every week who are in complete survival mode. It’s like they are on a treadmill playing a game of ping pong. That plastic ball keeps coming at them from who knows what direction. They bat it away but it comes back. All the while they are trying to stay upright and running on the moving platform beneath them. Sounds like quite a tricky situation, no? OK, now picture two people doing this same action staying connected and communicating.

What I described is your typical young family in today’s culture. Somewhere in the mix of taking care of the things at hand, the marriage becomes disconnected, overwhelmed and shut down.

“Stop the world, I want to get off,” becomes the frequent cry for help. Amazingly enough, stopping is the first step to pushing back this ominous cloud of frantic activity. Here are some steps that might help your marriage reconnect.

1). Be intentional. Nothing ever happens unless you purposely schedule it. You have everything else on your daily task list… everything from taking out the garbage to putting food in the parakeet’s cage is on your list of things to do… why not put your marriage on the list too? Decide together that you are going to “meet” each other ten minutes a day to re-connect. This “meeting” has to be uninterrupted, so make it when the kids are in bed or before they get up. This might mean getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning or going to bed 10 minutes later at night. Either way, this time is some of the most valuable time of the day so make the sacrifice.

2). Have eye contact. Sit quietly. Take 10 deep breaths. Look each other in the eyes. Do you remember when you first met how you probably sat and stared at each other longingly? This is the same concept except on an abbreviated basis. Eye contact is a very important component of communication. Don’t let that person at work be the only one who looks into your partners’ eyes.

3). Do you know that the average couple talks meaningfully only 20 minutes a week? Imagine if you spent 10 minutes a day gazing into each other’s eyes and having heart to heart communication. You would be three times more connected than the average couple in America! So during these 10 minutes of connection you talk about “heart subjects.” Here are some examples of “heart subjects.”

“How are you doing today? Are you feeling scared, overwhelmed, angry?”

“Where is your heart today? Can you tell me what you are feeling?”

“Help me understand how you are doing today. Tell me about where you are in your heart.”

4). Rules of the game as you can see above means you will explore how your partner feels. This “heart subject” connection means talking about “f-things”…feelings! You are not allowed to argue, try to settle past arguments, solve a problem or especially talk about finances! You are only allowed to look into your partner’s eyes and find out what is going on in their heart. Are they feeling alone, scared, overwhelmed?

Does this sound too hoakie or simple or just plain corny? Don’t knock it until you try it. I challenge you and your spouse to sit down and intentionally connect for ten minutes every day. You will not believe the difference it will make in helping you survive the insane ping pong treadmill of life.

College Athletic Scholarships – The 5 Misconceptions

Families seem to be in the middle of a perfect storm as they look to send their sons and daughters to college. The stock market has wiped out a lot of the savings people thought they had; college tuition has climbed; the economy has wiped out millions of jobs; house prices have collapsed and destroyed equity; and more kids than ever want a higher education.

Maybe the promising circumstances for you is that your child plays a sport – even plays it pretty well. Sounds like you, right? You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise. So help in the form of an athletic scholarship may well be on the cards. You will need to navigate the recruiting process, and make some difficult judgments about contacting college coaches, bringing on college consultants, negotiating terms (if you are lucky enough to get that far) and all the rest of a potentially complicated process. But for those with prospects, and need, there is just no other way.

And there is no question that a sports scholarship can help pay for that college education. It may not be a full ride – but any contribution would be welcomed by most of us. The challenge for parents though, especially those new to the college recruiting process, is to navigate the unfamiliar terrain in a race where the stakes could not be higher. Hey, it’s only your child’s education!

Jennifer Noonan of College Sports Quest has been counseling high school athletes in Southern California for around 10 years and has advised over 500 families in that time. She warns against leaving everything to the student. It is just too important for the athlete not to have the full backing of the family.

And as Jennifer Noonan she sees it, there are five common misconceptions when it comes to college recruiting and sports scholarships.

Myth #1: If you are good enough, coaches will always find out about you

And all good things come to those who wait. In a perfect world, this is exactly what would happen. Alas, our world is less than perfect. And a college scholarship is too important to leave to chance. You must be proactive. I

Myth #2: You have plenty of time

Not nearly as much as you think. Around 25% of high school athletes are identified as college scholarship prospects when they are freshman. Another 35% are identified as sophomores. And another 45% or so are identified when they are juniors. Not that many get identified as seniors. So you don’t have as much time as you think. According to Noonan and College Sports Quest [http://www.collegesportsquest.com], the time for you to start your own recruiting efforts – in most sports – is by September 1 of your junior year (or earlier).

Myth #3: Your coach has connections and will get you recruited

Coaches’ first job is to train you – so you can get recruited. And they are busy – many have teaching duties on top of their athletic duties. Not to mention families and personal lives and all the rest of it. Sure, use the help you get offered from coaches, even ask for it and leverage all the connections they have. But don’t make this your only recruiting strategy.

Myth #4: College camps and exposure tournaments mean you will get noticed

By the time most college coaches get to tournaments, they have a very short list of prospects in mind that they are watching. In a camp of 500 student athletes, a college coach may only be seriously looking at 2 or 3. The lesson is that you need to do the work getting on their radar screens before the tournament. And be realistic (but optimistic) about your abilities and the college tournaments you target.

Myth #5: Grades don’t matter

Colleges and the NCAA have high school course requirements and GPA/SAT/ACT minimum standards that you will need to clear. But meeting the minimum standard the NCAA and your college set does not mean you will be able to continue to meet the required levels of academics. And, all things being equal between you and another prospect, higher grades will count.

It always helps to visit the colleges you are interested in. Try to time your visit so you can see your sport being played. Avoid applying to colleges for sports scholarships that you would not consider attending otherwise. In other words, whatever happens with the team – you still have a degree to get!

How to Create Wealth on the Internet, What You Should Know

The most definite way of how to create wealth on the internet is finding someone or an organization who has accomplished this and copy them. Most people think that this is hard stuff, it’s not. The hardest part of creating wealth on the internet is just doing the work. If you believe you can create wealth, you can, if you think you can’t, then you can’t. You have to have the right mindset in any thing you do. Being successful is knowing that you are. Before you can become successful you have to act that way from the beginning.

The greatest way of how to create wealth on the internet is in Direct Sales Internet Marketing. There are companies out there that are highly promoting MLM opportunities that have a lot of pitches and promises. In my opinion, that’s not the way to go. The old ways of internet marketing is gone. The infinite down line compensation plans are a thing of the past. If you want to pitch your opportunity to friends and family and have them hating for you to come to family gatherings, then that might be for you. There is a better way.

You want to be involved with a company who has a system that does all of your sifting, selling, and telling. This is how to create wealth on the internet . You do not want to talk to people who are curious about your business, only ones who are serious. Your system should have something in place that weeds those lottery mentality people away, attracting only like minded people to your business. When these people come through your system, most people hate selling and most can’t sell. The company should have a call center that closes all of your sales for you.

Having more than one way to earn income is essential. Your opportunity should have at least 8 streams of incomes. Bringing the most prospects through your system in massive action is extremely important on how to create wealth on the internet. The company you join has to have all the training you would ever need to accomplish this. Help enough people get what they want and the wealth will start a snow ball effect that will keep growing infinitely. That wealth creation will leave a lasting legacy for your children and Grand children.