Playing Football Is Safer Than Playing With Guns

Playing Football Is Safer Than Playing With Guns

Oct 20

When reading about the ongoing scourge of gun violence across the United States of America, no-one is sadder than I am. It seems as though where war and international terrorism is concerned, the Americans are always the first to voice their objections, particularly when their own citizens are affected. And where international terrorism is concerned, we are not immune either. But even so, thanks to our country’s laws, we are safer than most other countries. Or so we think.

The American conundrum

It is said that hundreds more Americans die each year due to domestic gun violations than through global acts of war or terrorism. The statistics are there to bear this out if you are one of those who don’t believe what I’m saying. It is all true. Not even that country’s president, Barack Obama, is able to stem this scourge. His ongoing call for the repeal of lax laws on gun ownership continues to fall on deaf ears. Vigilant federal law enforcement agencies don’t seem able to stop guns falling into the wrong hands either.

It also seems to be quite easy for depressed young men, bearing a grudge against others, to pick up a firearm or sub-machine gun and head off to a cinema, community town hall or high school and randomly start shooting to kill innocent boys and girls. Sadly, it is all very strange for this young life-skills coach to comprehend in light of America being one of the most progressive nations on earth.  Even in less-developed nations, gun ownership laws are stringent and heavily policed.

Thank goodness for football

In extreme cases, severe punishment awaits those who choose to illegally obtain an unlicensed firearm. But usually, particularly in advanced democratic nations, those who wish to keep guns and rifles, mainly for sporting reasons and as collector’s items, have to abide with laws that ensure that everybody remains safe. And according to Top Gun Safe, one of the most salient rules is that all responsible gun owners store their weapons away in a secure gun safe.

No matter who you are in the world today, teacher, parent, youth leader or community activist, rich or poor, you should always be teaching youngsters not to play with guns. In fact, we should be teaching the youth what sort of effect heavy tools can make if used wrong, especially guns. Responsibility is key. Thank goodness for football, though. Greater Manchester has had its fair share of problems over the years. But I’m happy to say that the tide turned for the better a number of years ago. Every year, more and more youngsters are finishing school and going on to get a decent university education.

Scarves and songs

And when our youth are not busy studying or doing a weekend job, the only bit of warfare they have an interest in is that of the beautiful game. Whether they are supporting the Sky Blues or the men in red, the only weapons they carry with them to the stadium are their scarves and an armory of songs.

Awesome Hobbies to Follow

Awesome Hobbies to Follow

Jun 17

Now I understand the title here might be a little misleading, since I’ll be compiling a list of some of my favorite hobbies and the fact I think they are awesome doesn’t necessarily mean you will think they are awesome. However, it’s more or less impossible to escape bias, as far as I know. People have their preferences. That said, even if you read through this list and find you dislike the majority of the hobbies I’ll mention, I can more or less guarantee you’ll find at least one which you would enjoy. So, without further ado, here are several awesome hobbies to follow and maybe even try.

As a man, I’m often looking for hobbies that will make me appear more masculine, manlier. While I do that well enough on my own, it helps to create a good first impression when meeting people, you know? I find a great way to do this while showing off how manly I am is to invite folks over for food which I grill myself. Grilling and cooking in general is something every guy should know how to do anyhow, kind of a basic survival skill that people need to understand, regardless of gender, age or other variables. It does help that I’m good at grilling, but like any other hobby on this list, you get better with more practice.

I’ve found one of the best complementary hobbies for grilling is hunting, and that’s something else I do now and then. While it’s true that it’s kind of limited since there are only certain seasons and stretches of time where hunting is even legal to do, that fact doesn’t stop me from getting out and bagging something to bring home, cook up and eat every year or so. It’s a great way to get active too, especially when you consider all the hiking through woods, marshes and other terrain necessary to track game. What could be better than a veal chop? Veal I’ve hunted and butchered myself, thank you very much.

Do you like thrift stores? I love them. Rooting through the junk of people who are probably deceased might seem a bit morbid to some folks, but it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. Being that I love the sound of vinyl and I know how superior it is to CD and DVD quality sound thanks to some studies about compression which I’ve read, I’m kind of a record buying fiend. 33s, 45s and 78s are all fine, though you might need some specialized machines to play the older records. These make great conversation starters and really, lots of people like older music compared to the stuff of today, don’t you agree?

Longboarding is another thing I’ve always enjoyed, as well as another hobby which I know isn’t for everyone. If you don’t have the legs or the balance for it, longboarding could be a huge mistake and a painful one at that. However, since I’m already used to skateboarding thanks to riding when I was younger (which wasn’t so long ago, mind), longboarding feels kind of natural to me, like it’s something I already know how to do. It is too, essentially – there is a board, four wheels and you propel yourself with your feet and so on. Free transportation with an attached workout never hurt anyone.

Sleight of hand is a skill which is useful for more than just entertaining if some of you readers take my meaning. Being good with your hands can be highly beneficial at times, which is why I extoll hobbies that keep the hands busy. I’m thinking of magic like card tricks and the like as I write this, but I know there are other ways to get more in touch with your fingers. Have you ever tried picking a lock? There’s nothing illegal about it if you’re working on a lock of your own. Developing those fine motor skills can be difficult, but these are a couple ways of doing it well while having a good time.

Hobbies which stimulate the mind also have their benefits. Did you really think you would get through a long, written list about hobbies like this without me advising you to read and write more often? People struggle to speak in public; just visit any town hall meeting or other gathering of amateur speakers and this will become quickly apparent if you don’t believe me. Reading and writing both get you working with words, which helps you to understand them better. Knowing the etymology is kind of secondary here to being able to read and speak the words well in my opinion. It’s all beneficial though.

Landscaping is just a glorified way to say gardening if you ask me, but there are differences between the two. I mean, do you think of planting trees when you hear someone say “gardening”? No, you don’t. Things like planting flowers come to mind, not digging two foot deep holes to drop a tree into. However, both of these are good hobbies to pick up. They teach you about the land, how to cultivate it and how to grow things in it. It might not be farming exactly, but developing the skills to create edible plants from soil and seed is right up there with cooking in terms of viability. Everyone should know how to do this.

Sailing is another one of those things people should just learn to do, but unlike cooking or landscaping, the necessity of it is kind of limited to people who regularly interact with the water, rather than people who eat food to live, which includes everyone. There are all kinds of watersports like waterskiing, parasailing, swimming, canoeing and more to enjoy, but at the end of the day knowing how to tie a dozen different knots and set a sail that won’t get ripped to shreds by a strong gust of wind is a useful talent that lends itself to an entertaining hobby – unless you’re the type to get seasick easily, of course.

Golfing with My Uncle Mike

Golfing with My Uncle Mike

Sep 15

Uncle Mike and I are close. He is only five years older than me, and it’s like he’s an amalgam of a fun uncle and a cool big brother. I always admired the things he taught me. Fishing, hunting, and golfing. A couple of weeks ago, Uncle Mike paid a visit to my town. He likes to travel and since it’s been a year since he has last seen me, I told him that he could stay in the spare room. We planned beforehand to go head to the green and make some hole-in-ones. A good game of golf and intellectual talks were great memories I have gained from him.

Before he showed up I looked at my brand new tool I purchased at RangeFinderAdvice.com where it hosts a wide variety of range finders and how to choose which one is right for you. Before I get into the website, let’s talk about what a rangefinder is and how it functions. A rangefinder is a device that calculates the distance between the device itself to another point the person wants to measure. Horizontal distance (or range) is calculated to measure distances between itself and the intended target. They are helpful when a GPS signal is unavailable and for activities such as hunting, photography, and of course, golfing. There are specific types of rangefinders that caters to one’s needs. I will talk about what a golf rangefinder does.

Okay, so a golf rangefinder measures the exact distance from where the golfer is standing to the flagstick. I explained this to Uncle Mike, but he told me he has used them before and brought his own after looking at the neat golf rangefinder reviews. He told me of a website that was recommended by his boss, who is an avid golfer. The boss knew Mike was a golf enthusiast (might have been the golf clubs in his office…big giveaway), so he sent him an e-mail with the site I mentioned to you readers earlier.

I have been using this nifty laser golf rangefinder at the golf course with Uncle Mike and it worked like a dream. I have been getting the exact measurements and perfected my accuracy. Better than the old one I used to own. Uncle Mike and I had fun discussing the reviews we read about our devices and even talked about going to a shop to look at other golfing accessories. I learned about what is allowed by the professional golfing associations since it is not allowed to have rangefinders that calculate the slope. Lucky for us we aren’t professionals,  and we were simply trying to have some fun. I showed him the capabilities of mine and vice versa.

Today, I have gotten three hole-in-ones, and Uncle Mike earned two. We had so much fun on the green. So much fun that memories started to flood our minds back in the old town we used to play at. I hope to golf with Uncle Mike again real soon.

Getting My Partner a New Sewing Machine

Getting My Partner a New Sewing Machine

Sep 14

My girlfriend Rae has a hobby for making clothes. T-shirts, skirts, and short are usually what can be found in her storage containers. Her birthday was coming up this past Monday, and I knew I had to get her something. She has done amazing things for me for my birthday and Christmas, so I wanted to do something special. I knew sewing was what she loved doing ever since she was a little girl. She would tell me stories of when she would visit her Grandmother on the weekends. Together, her and her grandmother would talk about threads and yarn and how to make beautiful masterpieces. The smile Rae gets when she reminisces those times make me smile, so I was able to figure out what to get her.

I saw these nice advanced sewing machines that I knew Rae would love. She told me how her old sewing machine wasn’t doing the trick anymore, and besides, she wanted to look at recent models. I agreed with her since I have seen her look at some online. Anyway, I saved up enough money to get her what she needed. Sewing machines can take up space, so I knew I had to have it well-hidden before her birthday party.

This website – http://www.sergerpro.com – is a godsend for anyone interested in purchasing a serger. For those who do not know what that is, it is a machine that stitches items together efficiently. You have to make sure that you or the person you are buying this device for knows what their specific needs are and the serger is in the right budget range. I was kind of uncertain as to which model, color, and brand I should look into in-depth. That is why I had to narrow it down.

I knew Rae’s favorite colors were pink, black, and red, so I narrowed those options. I had saved so much money from my coaching for the local high school football team, so price was not an issue really. Brother and Singer were the best brands I knew of, so I looked into that and saw a white Singer with red trim. I read the serger reviews and decided that this was the one. I cannot tell you how excited I was to get it for her! I knew she was going to love it.

I wrapped the box with pink and purple wrapping paper with a bow. Well, okay, I asked a friend to help me wrap it. The point is, I chose and bought the wrapping supplies and I hid it in our garage so she wouldn’t find out. The night of Rae’s birthday party, our friends and I started to hand out gifts. She received a sweater, some movies, two gift cards, and lovely makeup to add to her already overflowing makeup bag, and tickets to a festival she has been dying to check out. When Rae finally opened my gift, let me tell you, she was grinning from ear-to-ear. She said to me, “This is a wonderful gift, I am lucky to be your girlfriend.”

My Acquaintance with Sport in Brazil

My Acquaintance with Sport in Brazil

Aug 21

As a football coach for junior level teams in and around Manchester, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching people how to play football. It’s a popular sport here in the United Kingdom, but if you were paying attention to the world cup coverage this year than you know how much more popular it is in Brazil. I recently visited Brazil, which I believe is the spiritual capital of football. I was looking to find other sports which are highly popular with the people of Brazil, and I ended up discovering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Let me tell you a little more about that.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a mixed martial arts style that focuses on downing an opponent quickly and efficiently, with a minimum of wasted movement and energy between strikes, parries and attacks. It’s a very fluid fighting style which requires a sort of elegance to pull off effectively, so it’s not for everyone. Big bruisers with bulky muscle aren’t as mobile as smaller, trimmer people who are just as healthy but lighter on their feet. For them, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu may not be the best choice of martial arts.

Combat is entertaining regardless of where you are in the world. In some places, people fill up event halls to watch two boxers bash each other upside the head for a number of rounds. In other places, it’s all about seeing how far and how hard one person can throw an opponent. Combat, fighting, it sells if you ask me. It’s like the best type of drama, because you have clear sides at the start and the story is resolved in a short amount of time. A fight is far different from a book, that’s for sure.

Because it’s so popular in so many places, I kind of figured that some sort of martial arts or combat sport would rank highly in Brazil, up there with other popular sports like Football. I didn’t know it would be Jiu Jitsu though. Back in the day, I heard a lot about Brazilian kickboxing and Muay Thai, which is a combat style focusing on the use of legs to attack and defend. Apparently they’ve come up with something even better, because this was what I saw studios all over advertising when I was visiting.

I saw gear for the sport in various retail outlets as well. Seeing as the people appeared to be so serious about Jiu Jitsu, I figured it would be a good idea to pick up some souvenirs for myself – a decent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi and a true quality grappling dummy. That second bit was especially heavy and a real pain to fly back home, but it’s got to be the best training dummy I’ve ever seen. It feels like hitting muscle when I hit it, and there aren’t any sharp metal bits of patches of thin stuffing hiding under the exterior that I’ve noticed yet.

The gi is the ideal outfit for training of all types. It is non-restrictive clothing, allowing for free movement. It’s nice for just walking around in during the day too, but it’s really intended for combat and training alone.

My Visit to Zombie Survival Camp

My Visit to Zombie Survival Camp

Jul 20

Though I do like adventure sports and game to some real bone chilling adventure, I was not that much into the ghost busting or troll hunting thing. My adventure into the dark, eerie and forbidden world was very much limited to watching ghost buster movies and Halloween costumes. But while all these horror filled things did not appeal to me much, the Zombie camps certainly roused my curiosity.

Are they as frightening and terrifying as promised? I enlisted myself in a Zombie Boot Camp deciding to try the camp for myself and find out what the ruckus was all about. Zombies are already dead and I didn’t know why make such a fuss about dead and decaying creatures.

Training day

There are specially trained military guides who helped me out with my battle with the Zombies. I was given full weapon paraphernalia to fight the imaginary and fictional characters. With the weapon equipment, you also receive a uniform, with high quality military boots. The tools I had with me included pistols, grenades and rifles. I was taught on how to handle these survival tools.

This was followed closely by a briefing on how I would take on the enemy and dispatch them as fast as I can. I was now part of the heroic mission of annihilating the zombie hordes and cleaning the warehouse (World?) of the evil zombies

The Mission

The main mission involved clearing the Zombie infested facility of which the guard force gave a detailed briefing. Now all I’d to do was unleash the power of my tools on the Zombies, which I did with much enthusiasm. After all it is not every day that you get to play with such deadly tools. The paint guns along with the riot tools were worked on the wily zombies.

I was given specific instruction on how I need to stick with my team and render the dead zombies a final deadly blow. After I’d successfully neutralized the zombies who I encountered, I was sent back to base and readied for deployment again. I’d by then got the hang of the whole thing and started to get into the spirit of the battle. The gear along with the boots made me look really mean and strong.

Warehouse attack

The attack on the warehouse is the actual one with the earlier attack serving as a rehearsal.  I was faced with a warehouse packed to the full by dead Zombies who nevertheless were wandering about in a stupor.

I was then paired with another volunteer and we were supposed to attack and destroy the zombies as a team. Now all I’d to do was repeat my earlier action sequence with the guns. The only addition here was I got to use the grenades to clear out entire rooms. And if still the zombies came at you, the next and only option was to take them on in hand to hand combat.

The entire mission lasted for 4 horror filled hours, after which I was clearly disabused of the notion of apocalypse and aliens.