Friday, March 23, 2018

Stretching Your Calf Muscles for Soccer Training

Soccer Training - Photo: Pixabay
The best method to prevent injuries to the legs when participating in soccer training is to ensure that you appropriately stretch and work out the muscles before the session. The most important muscles to work out during this stretching session are the calf muscles. It is easy to stretch this particular set of muscles and get warmed up. Basically, you will need just about a half hour and a good sturdy wall. 

You should engage in stretching your calf muscles for soccer training approximately a half hour before the start of the practice session. For the average adult, you should stand to face a sturdy wall. The wall should be able to hold your weight for an extended amount of time. You should stand anywhere from two to three feet away from the wall. Once you determine that you are in the proper position, you should take your left foot and place it approximately one step in front of you. 

The next thing that you will want to do in order to stretch your calf muscles for soccer training is to place your hands flat on the sturdy wall that you are facing. All parts of your body, such as the hips and the shoulders should be angled in such a way that they, too, are facing the wall. However, it is important to ensure that the elbows are slightly bent for comfort. This also helps to maximize the benefits associated with this particular calf muscle stretching exercise for soccer training. 

At this point, you should begin to bend the knee of your left leg slightly. It is essential that you keep your left foot flat on the ground. You will want to allow your body to lean forward with the movement of your left leg. However, the heels should remain firmly on the ground at all times. You should start to feel pressure in your right leg in the area of the calf muscle. You should start out with a slow amount of pressure and gradually work out until there is a stronger amount of pressure in this area. You should then hold the position. The times for this vary, but it is a good idea to hold the position for at least twenty-second or more. 

Once you have held the position for the amount of time that you wish to designate, you should then go back up into the starting position. Now, you should stretch the calf muscle in the left leg. You will accomplish this by placing your right foot forward and proceeding with the same steps as you just did to stretch the calf muscles in the right leg. It is important that you hold the position for the same amount of time that you did previously. This will allow both sets of calf muscles to receive the same workout for soccer training preparation. 

When performing this exercise, you may opt to have a partner. This is beneficial in numerous ways. First, a partner can time the amount of time that you hold the position. They can also inform you if your form is off in any way. Additionally, when you are stretching for soccer training, it is important to ensure that someone is with you in case of an accidental injury. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Imperfect Presidents

George Washington Caricature - Photo: Flickr
More important than proving perfection on your parties side, is a willingness to seek out the mistakes and correct them; to improve; to monitor your integrity. In the face of the opposition bashing away and looking for any sign of weakness, it is tempting to deny any fault at all, but it is still weak to ignore potential improvement. For a leader to inspire confidence, he must maintain a balance between claimed efficacy and a willingness to examine and adapt when changes will make a real impact; Not because the opposition is demanding apologies for not adhering to their views, when their only cause is your destruction, and only when reason makes a strong case. 

There are those so hungry for a disaster to blame on a president, nothing will prevent their finding fault with the opposition while their party's errors are given a pass.

I've been reading 1776 by David McCullough. George Washington was a confident optimistic leader in public while in his personal conversations and correspondence he admitted great concern for the Patriot Army's success. He made several bad decisions in the defense of New York City; splitting his army against a superior force; picking the wrong leader for a post and then switching midstream. The changes which confused soldiers prior to battle. Washington also overlooked a lesser used Long Island road which allowed the British to flank and surrounds his troops. 

Fortunately for Washington, he didn't have a post-battle press conference with reporters loyal to the enemy demanding he admits he was a failure. No, he had done his honest best and he and his troops learned and grew better eventually defeating Britain, which was considered the period's military superpower. Though he made mistakes, he was still the best man available for the job. Though he did modestly tell congress he felt inadequate to the job, he put all into its success. The enemy made many errors as well, but if Washington had been dismissed for his lack of perfection, our history would be much different. Congress knew of his error's but saw past them to his leadership and intelligence, rather than using every opportunity to improve their political positions.

Politicians today tend to look for anything that can tarnish the opponent, with no regard first for the facts, and no regard for damage to the country. The media plays along amplifying the agenda, to the detriment of the business at hand. More and more of us see through the shrill deceits of the knee-jerk politicians. We see who is working for our safety and who is busy spouting whatever sounds good to their political circles. If they only knew how nutty, how empty their words are, how devoid of purpose and integrity they appear to the discerning public.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Understanding Mexican Laws While Vacationing in MEXICO

Coat of arms of Mexico. Español: Escudo Nacion...
Coat of arms of Mexico
(Photo credit: 

Each year, millions of individuals travel to Mexico.  Many travels to Mexico for a vacation or a business trip. Whatever your reason for traveling to Mexico, there are a number of important things that you must consider.  Perhaps, the most important is the laws in Mexico.

Whether you are driving to Mexico or flying there, you will need to have the proper forms of identification.  Picture identification and proof of citizenship will be required.  To prove citizenship, a birth certificate or passport can be used.  Without the appropriate documents, you may be denied entry. 

Before leaving for Mexico, it is advised that you make multiple copies of your identification documents.  You are encouraged to leave a copy at home and carry another copy with you, in addition to the original documents.  If you should have a problem with the Mexican authorities, these documents will come in handy.  

Out of all of the people that to travel to Mexico, most will not encounter a problem with authorities.  To prevent a problem from occurring, you are encouraged to know and understand some of the laws that are currently in place in Mexico.  Knowing and abiding by these laws will not only keep you safe, but it will make your vacation enjoyable.  

As with any country, Mexico has a large number of laws that are currently enforced. While it may be impossible for you to examine each and every one of these laws, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the most important ones.  For instance, many individuals believe that checking in at the border is all they have to when they arrive in Mexico.

If you are like most of the other individuals who visit Mexico, you are there on a vacation.  Arriving in Mexico by car is different than arriving there on an airplane. If you plan on driving yourself around Mexico, you will need to register your vehicle.  This can be done by obtaining a vehicle import permit.  Car owners that do not have the proper approval can be fined or lose their vehicle.  

If you are traveling to Mexico for a business trip, you will be required to fill out a business form.  In Mexico, you are not allowed to conduct business in the area, without first making your intentions known.  Business travelers are required to fill out a conduct of business form.  If you are self-employed or work for a small company, you will often be responsible for this paperwork.  If you work for a larger, international company, the paperwork may already be taken care of.

Once in Mexico, you are encouraged to use alcohol with caution.  Mexican authorities often arrest individuals that illegal purchase alcohol, cause a public disruption, or drink in areas where alcohol is not permitted.  In the United States, illegal drinking activities are taken seriously, but it is nothing compared to Mexico.  All punishments will vary, but you easily spend a number of months or years in jail.  That is why all tourists are encouraged to use their best judgment when alcohol is involved.

While in Mexico, it is likely that you will take risks. For that is what Mexico is all about. There is a difference between taking risks and breaking the laws. It is always important to keep in mind that the laws in Mexico vary from the laws in the United States and other countries.  In addition the laws, the way they are enforced and the punishment for breaking them vary.  

If you are vacationing in Mexico and you find yourself in a predicament with the Mexican authorities, you are urged to contact your nearest embassy.  If you are from the United States, you will need to be in contact with the United States Embassy. By contacting your nearest embassy office, you can seek assistance on what to do next.  

As previously mentioned, the best way to stay out of trouble in Mexico is not to cause it. When partying or participating in other activities, be sure you know what you are doing. When in doubt, it is best to avoid any activities that may land you jail.  If you are interested in learning more about Mexican laws, you can easily do the research online.

Monday, March 19, 2018

HO Toy Trains - An Antique of Today

HO Toy Train - Photo: Flickr
Collecting toy trains is referred to as the world's greatest hobby; and for some, it isn't just a hobby. It's a passion and a way of life, perhaps beginning in childhood. Several toy train collectors started their hobby as children when they were given a toy train as a gift. Toy trains, at one time, were a very popular and much-desired toy among children. Over time, that concept faded and was replaced by razor scooters, iPods, and Webkinz. Most children of today aren't familiar with the classic toy trains from back in the day, so the legacy is left to be carried on by adults who choose to start a collection of their own. One such popular toy train that is desired by many collectors is the HO toy train, developed by Marklin in 1935. So what makes these miniature locomotives so much different than the others?

The construction of the HO toy trains is one aspect that makes them stand apart from other toy trains. HO toy trains are jagged and are scaled at 1:87, making them the perfect starter electric train. Appearance is also a major factor in collecting HO toy trains. The flawless detailing gives them a realistic appeal, making them an attractive addition to any toy train system. The Marklin HO toy trains resemble the Z gauge in that they are built from diecast metal. Most of the frames and wheels are constructed from 100% metal. The engineering of HO toy trains is also quite brilliant. The wheels of the freight and passenger cars have a low center of gravity to avoid derailment, making them a reliable addition to electric systems. 

The third-rail track systems of HO toy trains make them a hassle-free operation. The electrical current is carried by miniature stud contacts found in the middle of the ties. If you don't look closely, chances are you'll miss these clever additions. This helps prevent wiring problems and electrical pickup issues. Given the careful engineering and construction of HO toy trains, most collectors consider HO toy trains part of a scale hobby. At the debut of HO toy trains, they were sold as a toy train rather than a scale model as they are often sold today. 

Scale model railroading didn't become a popular hobby among collectors until after the 1950's. Until that time, HO toy trains were thought of as just another size of the train. Therefore, the Lionel Corporation began to make HO toy trains as smaller versions of the classic freight and passenger cars. It wasn't long before the Louis Marx Company began constructing their own version of HO toy trains, and they even started to sell them with complete scenery and in slot car sets.

Although finding HO toy trains on the shelf at your local toy store may be a challenge, they aren't all that difficult to come by. A simple search of the internet will provide you with a detailed listing of available HO toy trains for sale as well as places to locate these classic toy trains. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Prairie Style Architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House, in Buffalo, NY. - Photo: Wikimedia
If you are looking for an interesting, and beautiful style of architecture for a house or smaller sized commercial building, then you may want to look towards the prairie style architecture.

The prairie style architecture was drafted originally in the loft room of the Steinway Piano Company building in Chicago, Illinois in the 1890’s. The Prairie Style was popular from the 1900’s through about 1912.

Probably the most famous follower of the Louis Sullivan teachings on Prairie Style architecture was Frank Lloyd Wright.

Also termed Prairie School Architecture, the Prairie style was and is most commonly found in the Midwestern United States.

Prairie style homes are distinct in their design. Created with horizontal lines, flat roofs with overhanging eaves and windows grouped in horizontal bands.

Some of the most famous Prairie Style homes are the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, NY, along with the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania.

There is one thought that stands out above the rest, the Robie House. Located on the campus on the University of Chicago, it is the quintessential example of the Prairie Style Architecture.

Illinois still holds the greatest number of Prairie Style Architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright lived for a time in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Here you will find street after street of Prairie Style Architecture.

Prairie homes were made to function efficiently in the prairie climate. The horizontal lines were thought to match those of the native prairie landscape. The interior was designed to be multifunctional and utilizing the suns natural light and natural air flow throughout the house. The Prairie Style architecture is by far some of the most beautiful you will find in the Midwest.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


English: Cropped version of Thomas Jefferson, ...
Thomas Jefferson, painted by Charles Willson Peale.
(Photo credit: 
Thomas Jefferson is one of those almost mythic figures from early American history that stand tall as one of the great heroes of the revolution and the early definition of what this country was going to become.  Sometimes it’s easy to look at a figure that stands so tall in history and thinks, perhaps some of that is a myth.

 But when you look at the history of the times, he was every bit as great as our adoration of him suggests he was.

Thomas Jefferson’s service to the new American union lasted over fifty years.

 He not only contributed to the core philosophical underpinnings upon which our democracy I based, he served in a variety of offices and made some phenomenal contributions to the developing country including…

* 1775 - Served in the Continental Congress 
* 1776 – Wrote the Declaration of Independence
* 1779-1781 - Governor of Virginia
* 1783 – Elected to Congress
* 1784-1789 – Commissioner and minister to France
* 1790-1793 – America’s first Secretary of State under George Washington
* 1797-1801 – Served as Vice President of the United States
* 1801-1809 – Third President of the United States
* 1803 – Approved of and helped launch the Lewis and Clark Expedition
* 1803 – Purchased the Louisiana Territory for the United States
* 1815 – Launched the Library of Congress
* 1825 – founded the University of Virginia

This phenomenal record of achievement is virtually unmatched in any public service record of comparable public servants.  But Jefferson’s contribution was more than just offices served, he was one or two or three key philosophical thinkers of his time that laid the ideological foundations of America. 

It is impossible to overemphasize the accomplishment he writing the Declaration of Independence.

 This document has taken on such a central position in American history that it is viewed with the reverence usually reserved for religious documents.  It so eloquently communicates the beliefs and the values of the American system of government that Jefferson can be seen as a true minister and prophet of those ideals.

Thomas Jefferson also believed strongly in Manifest Destiny and the westward expansion of the country as far as the Pacific Ocean.  He provided the inspiration, the funding and the political muscle to launch the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition that was responsible for discovering vast new lands and treasures in the heartland of America and providing inspiration to a country to “go west young man” and to achieve that dream of becoming a nation that stretched “for sea to shining sea”.

Jefferson had a thirst for knowledge that was virtually unquenchable.  He passed that passion for learning on in the building of the University of Virginia.  But his contribution to education that has made such a huge mark on American society was the building of the American library system by which citizens of any community can have access to large volumes of information at no cost.  It was an amazing experiment in public education.  But today few of us can imagine a world where we cannot at any time just “go check it out at the library”.  Libraries have become that central to the American way of life.

It seems that Thomas Jefferson made an impact on every aspect of society from the educational systems of the growing country to government and even making his viewpoints on religious freedom an important part of how America approached this crucial topic.  The entire concept of “separation of church and state” was one that Jefferson championed.  

It should be noted that in his writings it was clear that the separation of church and state works because it is there to restrict government from illegally restricting the religious rights of citizens.

 Sometimes we misinterpret Jefferson’s concepts that this governmental restriction is there to limit religious freedom when in fact, it is there to encourage all the religious freedom that the citizens of America need to honor and worship with complete openness and to never fear that the government will hinder who, what, when, where or how they go about expressing their religious ideas.

It’s important to look back at the genius of this man, Thomas Jefferson and be grateful that he was the man of the hour for such an important time in the development of the great nation of the United States of America.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Easy GENEALOGY Search with the Right Tools

Ahnentafel von Herzog Ludwig (1568-1593) Holzs...
Ahnentafel von Herzog Ludwig (1568-1593) Holzschnitt Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart
(Photo credit: 
Your ancestors play a significant role in why you exist today. There are some individuals who give high regards to their ancestors which led to the birth of genealogy. Aside from paying respects to your ancestors because of who you are today, there are more advantages genealogy can bring into your life.  

Interest and fun are the two most important key considerations why people are into genealogy search. With genealogy, you will be able to identify which part of the country or even in the world you have relatives with. Moreover, you will also be able to know the specific meaning of the names of your relatives.  Most importantly, it is with studying genealogy that will help you be familiar with the possible health conditions that may run in your family which you ancestors had before. 

To be successful with your genealogy search, there are helpful tools which can aid you to find your ancestors.  

By Word of Mouth

Story-telling from immediate family members and relatives is the most common step one undertakes when doing a genealogy search. Oral history is the appropriate term for this in genealogy studies. 

The memories of an individual are evidence you can gather to track your lineage. Face-to-face interaction is not the only means of communication you can assume when doing oral history. You can also opt to send a letter by post indicating your motive. Phone interviews can also be done. 

It is best to prepare a set of questions when doing an interview, may it be formal or informal, to avoid repetitions.  

Through the Internet

With the advent of technology, you can now enjoy a hassle-free genealogy search through the internet. The internet offers different genealogy search website. You can choose a paid or free service to help you with your search. 

There are several information you can gather on the internet such as your ancestor's surname. Different documents can also be obtained via the internet such as papers concerning your ancestor's birth, marriage, and death. In some sites, the location and type of employment can also be viewed.  

Through DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) 

DNA testing is a medical technology utilized to determine and establish proof of the existing relationship of one person to the other. There are two types of DNA testing which can be done to help you with your genealogy search:  

1. Y-line Test – this type of DNA test is extremely helpful to genealogists due to its distinctive features. Y-chromosome is only present with male individuals which are passed on from father to son.  Additionally, the said chromosome is the only chromosome that breaks out in the repeated rearrangement of the parental genes. 
2. mtDNA Test – mtDNA Test is the short term for mitochondrial DNA test. This type of DNA test is also known as the "maternal lineage test."  The test determines if the individuals have the same maternal lineage.  

DNA Testing is the common last resort option of those who study genealogists. You need to exhaust all the possibilities of knowing who's who in your family line through oral history and via the internet.