Allstate “Hands In The Community” Program

left to right - YDGA Board Member Brendan Sage, Scott Lebrick. Agent Ron Tocki

I was able to present the Youth Disc Golf Assocation with a check for $500 from the Allstate “Hands In The Community” Program. Allstate offers grants through its agents to non-profits which they volunteer their time to.

This group in focused on teaching kids the fast-growing sport of disc golf to youth in the San Diego area. They host free clinics, lessons and tournaments throughout the year.

It sounds a little silly but Disc Golf is actually a fun, cheap, family-friendly sport. San Diego hosts one of the countries first courses in Balboa Park (1979 – www.morleyfield.com). Many midwest cities actually have Disc Golf in the physical education programs. Give it a try!

Video Game Reviews For Parents

dadI confess that I do occasionally play videogames. I am not saying that I am good at them but I will sit down with my kids (when my lovely wife allows) and play a game here or there.

In case you haven’t been paying attention video games now cost an average of $50-$60 each! A friend of mine told me about some sites that help me as a dad sift through all the nonsensical reviews from uber-nerds that live in their moms basement. These sites are produced by parents for parents but have gained respect from many game companies worried about them being to “PC”. The is no father/son bonding time better than punching a videogame mime into a brick wall now is there? (PAIN for PS3).

www.gamingwithchildren.com
www.kidconfidence.com

Parent-Teen Driving Contract

teen-driver-femalePLEASE click on the link for the Allstate Teen Driver Contract. As an insurance agent AND a father of a 16yr old driver, every minute spent talking about safety is well worth the time. www.allstateteendriver.com

A Johns Hopkins Study has found that the states with the toughest graduated licensing requirements have a 20% reduction in teen fatalities for 16 year old drivers. And states that have graduated licensing have an average of 11% less fatalities for 16 year old teens.  Recommendations include 30 hours of supervised driving, night time restrictions, and restrictions on passengers in the car. According to a Virginia Tech and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study, distracted drivers accounted for 80% of the crashes in their study and 18-20 year olds were 4 times more likely to be involved in accidents.

hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

Main Entry: hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
Part of Speech: n
Definition: fear of long words

WHAT!?

Bad Christmas Present From Guys

bad-ideasGuys are really bad at giving gifts. Especially around Christmas time, we come up with the most bone-headed presents for those we love. Sometimes the gifts are so egregious that we dig ourselves into big emotional holes that take hours of conversation and several more gifts to extricate ourselves from. Others are just borderline awful.

Vacuum cleaner

The Gist: A common faux paux among new husbands is to give their wives house cleaning utensils as gifts. Bad idea. Double bad on the wedding anniversary. Vacuum cleaners are in vogue around Christmas and many stores even put on vacuum sales to lure unsuspecting newlyweds. The fact is that something associated with drudgery and work should never be given as a gift. Ever.

Better idea: Jeffrey Jones put together an excellent guide on “Making Housework Fun” a few years back that works great if you are trying to drop a subtle hint.

Floss

The Gist: Floss is a gift of convenience. Everyone needs it, most people don’t use it enough and it’s easy to wrap. It’s also cheap. Floss comes in many flavors and, thinks the male Christmas shopper, it might also improve the oral hygiene of the recipient making it an ideal gift. Floss is, however, like the vacuum cleaner, too obvious. It sends very subtle and undesirable messages about the smell of the recipient’s breath.

Better idea: Purchase a mirror – the more ornate, the better – that you can give instead of the floss. It will pass as an acceptable gift and could also fix the hygiene problem.

Orthodontist gift certificate

The Gist: Ever since medical professionals started handing out gift certificates for their service, I knew this would become a pitfall for Christmas shoppers. Guys, braces do not equal coffee. As the case goes, some people don’t understand that orthodontic treatment is a very private and somewhat embarrassing subject that a lot of patients are very sensitive about. It’s also very painful, irritating, and lengthy. You’d have to be strangely sadistic to give this gift to anyone who actually needed it.

Better idea: There really isn’t much you can do in one Christmas to solve your friends alignment, but you can keep it from getting worse by purchasing soft chocolates for the holiday.

Outgrown clothing

The Gist: There is nothing quite as deflating as getting someone’s “used” ensemble as a gift. The subliminal messages shout “This has no value to me, so you can have it,” making it more insulting than complimentary. Some gift givers add insult to injury by giving torn up jeans or dirty underwear. Not good.

Better idea: Try getting a new item of clothing. If the recipient isn’t worth the prices at Macy’s, a gentle hug and 99¢ Christmas card will do the trick.

Mascara

The Gist: For all our uninitiated readers, mascara is a goupy tar-like substance that is daubed beneath a user’s eyes to simulate depth. It is sometimes referred to under the euphemism “makeup” and is almost always used by women. Guys stuck for Christmas gift ideas who see mascara in a store might mistakenly connect “women’s product” with “gift for women.” Please don’t make that mistake. Women’s products are to be sold to women only because buying makeup is a complicated ritual that is completely impenetrable to men. It involves impetuous selections (which guys are good at), visualization of the future (which guys can manage), several minutes of indecisive wavering between several products (which guys are terrible at), and smelling (which guys simply cannot do).

Better idea: Turn around and walk quickly but inconspicuously out of the cosmetic section. Never return again.

Mace

The Gist: Mace is a good gift only if you have an uncle in the mafia or live in south Stockton. Even then it should be given only after careful consideration. The application for this gift is very narrow; avoid mascara unless you feel providence owes you a favor. Your money is better spent elsewhere. But if you decide to give mace this Christmas, do watch out that the recipient doesn’t turn the bottle around on you!

Better idea: Barnes and Nobles has a comfy collection of coffee table books on Karate and other martial arts. The pictures will be much better for your eyes, too.

One month gym membership

The Gist: Out of genuine concern for a loved one’s health, some unthinking males purchase gym memberships as gifts. With unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions just around the corner, Christmas makes a great time to spring a gym membership on some unsuspecting friend of family member. Please don’t risk losing a friend over this silly gift idea. Not only will the insinuation that they are fat bring stress to your relationship, but the recipient probably won’t even go to the gym. If they do make it out of the house, their workout efforts will be repaid by heavy yo-yoing, not health.

Better idea: Keep the house at a colder temperature to make the recipient sneeze off the pounds.

Mommy… I’m Learning To Drive!

driverds1Nintendo does it again…

Drivers’ Ed Portable features two modes: Test and Train. Test mode includes sample tests for the written part of the driver’s license examination for all 50 US states, 13 Canadian provinces and territories, as well as Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. User progress is tracked, so the player knows where they need to improve their study in order to be successful in their actual test. Train mode includes three fun and educational mini-games targeted to new drivers.

Features

  • Includes DMV practice tests for all 50 US states, 13 Canadian provinces and territories, as well as Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom
  • Fully interactive training simulations that put you safely behind the wheel before the big day
  • Exciting mini-games that combine learning with fun

San Diego Airport Flight Times

sdia1It’s the holidays and many of us have family flying in. Here is a link to the San Diego International Airport flight schedule.