Top Motorcycle Conventions, Expos, Rallies, Events And Festivals

All over the country and indeed, all over the world, bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts will be taking to the streets to visit and participate in conventions, expositions, rallies, rides, festivals and other events. Motorcycle enthusiasts love to get together to party, look at each other’s bikes, get some new accessories, eat, watch fireworks, ride and just generally have a good time. Here are some of the largest and most popular motorcycle events in the U.S.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Pretty much the top event of its kind in the nation, the Sturgis Rally is held in Sturgis, South Dakota during the first week of August. Considered a “classic” rally, due to its inception in 1938, the rally draws motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life, including families as well as die hard bikers. Annual attendance can sometimes reach over 500,000 people.

Americade

This “touring rally” bills itself as the world’s largest. It takes place in Lake George Village, New York every year during June. This event attracts over 50,000 people.

Bikes, Blues and BBQ

This is an event held in Fayetteville, Arkansas during September or October each year. This event starts of with a ride into the city from the beautiful Ozarks. The rally began in 2000 but has since grown to become the fastest growing rally in the world, hosting over 350,000 people in 2006 alone. One of the main events at Bikes, Blues and BBQ is a barbecue. This event also benefits charity and is considered to be very family friendly, with many bikers bringing their children.

Daytona Beach Bike Week

This event consists of a rally, street festival, concerts and many parties in Daytona Beach, Florida. Regularly attracting 500,000 people and up each March, this event competes with the Sturgis rally for the title of the largest and most popular motorcycle event during the year. A motorcycle race is a big part of this event, covering a 3.2 mile course that switches back and forth between pavement and beach. The event is held over a period of 10 days and also hosts a classic and custom bike show as well as a clambake and seafood festival.

Laconia Motorcycle Week

This is another rally type event held each June in Laconia, New Hampshire. Laconia Motorcycle Week features a wide variety of events including vintage races, swap meets, tours, fireworks, concerts, bike demos and bike shows.

Laughlin River Run

The largest motorcycle “run” in the western U.S., the Laughlin River Run is held each April in Laughlin, Nevada. Festivities include concerts, bike shows, charity events and a Poker Run.

Love Ride

A Southern California event, it bills itself as the largest one day motorcycle event. Largely a fund raiser, the ride boasts a range of celebrities as participants including talk show host Jay Leno, a well known auto enthusiast. Also joining the ride, celebs like Larry Hagman, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Hulk Hogan, Steven Tyler, Mary Hart, Pat Boone, Nancy Sinatra and Pamela Anderson. This event takes place each October and will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2008.



Source by L Quinn

What Is A Token Economy?

A token economy is a behavioral modification technique that was first used in mental institutions to reinforce and establish desirable behaviors in their patients. Today you can find token economies being used in schools, treatment programs, and some families have found its usefulness in shaping their children’s behavior. The token economy is a system in which targeted behaviors are reinforced with tokens (secondary reinforcers) and are later exchanged for rewards (primary reinforcers). Tokens can be in the form of fake money, buttons, poker chips, stickers, etc. While rewards can range anywhere from snacks to privileges/activities.

To establish a token economy in your home first you must identify the behaviors you want your children to change (desirable behaviors). These behaviors could include completing homework, brushing teeth, coming home on time, completing chores, not arguing, going to bed without a hassle, etc. You will want to limit your focus to a maximum of three or four behaviors at a time in order to keep things manageable.

Next, decide what you will use for tokens. You may want to assign different tokens for each of your children to reduce the risk of taking each other’s tokens. You will also want to use something that can’t be counterfeited.

Primary reinforcers need to be identified and can include such things as snacks, activities, or privileges like watching television, playing at a friends, computer time, etc. Now that the desired behaviors are identified, as are the primary reinforcers, you will need to set a value for each of them. That is, when a desired behavior occurs how many tokens is it going to be worth. Also, when your child wants to exchange the tokens they have earned for a primary reinforcer, there will need to be a predetermined value placed on the primary reinforcer. For example, if your child goes the entire day without fighting with their brother they could earn one or two tokens. As a primary reinforcer you could have playing at a friends house. It could cost them thee tokens. The trick is striking the right balance between what they are earning each day and what they will typically expend on primary reinforcers. If tokens come to easily then the primary reinforcers lose their value. While if primary reinforcers are priced too high or tokens are too difficult to earn then your child may give up.

Now that you have they system in place you are ready to implement it. First, identify three or four behaviors you want to reinforce. Then list them and decide how many tokens each behavior is going to be worth. You may want to put this list on the fridge or some place where it can be easily seen. Next you will identify what will be used as primary reinforcers and determine how many tokens each will cost. This list should be placed some place easily seen too.

When you catch your children engaging in the behaviors you have identified, reinforce the behavior by providing the predetermined number of tokens. It is important to couple the dispersing of tokens with a behavioral description of what you saw and verbal praise. Eventually, you will want to move on to other behaviors that you want to reinforce and will rely solely on verbal praise to maintain previously established behaviors. The reinforcement schedule should transition from a continuous schedule of reinforcement (1 behavior : 1 token) to a variable ration schedule of reinforcement (3-5 behavior : 1 token). Last you will fade out tokens completely using only praise to maintain the behavior. You will then focus on other behaviors and repeat the same pattern.

Your children will need to be responsible to keep track of and manage the tokens they earn. There will come a time when they will want to purchase a primary reinforcers. They should always pay for them before being allowed to engage in or partake of primary reinforcers otherwise the program loses its credibility. If they run out of or lose their tokens they simply can not purchase a primary reinforcer until they have earned enough.

What does this kind of a reinforcement system do for your children? It takes away the sense of entitlement a lot of kids have today. Instead of expecting privileges or activities for nothing on their part, they now have to earn them by the acquisition of tokens through their good behavior. A token economy can help a child be more responsible and teach them how to manage their resources. Something else that it does is teaches children to delay gratification where the world teaches them to expect and desire instant gratification. Lastly, the token economy can be used to extinguish misbehaviors and establish positive behaviors.

A token economy will require some effort on the part of the parent but the benefits far outweigh the small amount of time a parent has to invest in the program each day.



Source by Millard Franco

Brainpower Games Anyone Can Play

Brainpower games are those games which exercise your mental capacity. My personal favorite is Chess, but there are many others, some of which you probably already play or have played. Here is a look at a few of the more common ones and how they may help your mind.

Crossword Puzzles

For many years people have noticed that older folks who regularly did crosswords seemed to stay mentally sharper as they aged, compared to those who didn’t exercise their brains in similar ways. Recent research has supported this idea. As a mental exercise, one of the primary advantages of doing crossword puzzles is that it’s a brainpower game you can play by yourself.

Chess

Historically THE thinker’s game, chess is not – contrary to what many think – just a left-brain analytical contest. Playing well requires both hemispheres of the brain. Your left-brain will be analyzing possible moves and predicting responses of your opponent. Your right brain will be grasping the spatial relationships on the board and providing an intuitive grasp of good positioning. An interesting note: many top players are also musically talented, and handling music is right hemisphere function in most people.

Scrabble

You may think that this classic word game is all about vocabulary, and it can really help you learn a lot of new words, especially if you play with an open-dictionary rule. But to really play well, you have to learn strategy. You have to figure out where to place your words, and how to make multiple words in one play. A good understanding of how to score the most points on each turn can make you a better player than an opponent with a larger vocabulary.

Sudoku

Sudoku has recently become very popular, with the puzzle books appearing in most bookstores now, and even at grocery-store check-out displays. Though it’s all about numbers, it isn’t really about math skills as much as it is about deductive reasoning. Like crossword puzzles, it also has the advantage of being a one-person activity, and a small book of these puzzles can be carried with you anywhere.

Poker

Whether played for money or just chips, poker is one of the best of the brainpower games because it requires so many different kinds of mental skills. You need to understand probabilities and how to analyze a hand in relation to all the other information you have. You need to be observant to gather that information from the players around you. Learning to “read” other players is a big part of the game too. Poker is directly useful in training you for real life decision making, because it develops your intuitive grasp of what a “good bet” consists of.

Boggle

While not as popular as it used to be, you can still buy a Boggle game in many department stores. It is a word game based on observation and fast thinking more than vocabulary. Attempting to quickly find words in the letters is great for training your mind to look for patterns. Once you notice an “s” for example, you can look at every noun thereafter to see if the “s” can be connected to it to create another word and more points. It is a vocabulary game in part, but decent pattern recognition skills are the best advantage you can have.

Some Other Brainpower Games

The game of dominoes can be very analytical if you play it well. Card games like gin rummy are good for developing pattern-recognition abilities. The classic board game, Monopoly, or the pricier “Cash Flow” game by Robert Kiyosaki, are both good brainpower games, as well as being good for learning real estate investing principles and habits.



Source by Steve Gillman

Sciatica: How Can You Get Rid of Your Pain in the Butt?

Have you ever experienced a literal pain in the butt that continues all the way down your leg? Has it ever felt like someone was sticking a hot poker into your leg? If either of these scenarios is familiar to you, you’ve probably suffered from sciatica, a pain in the sciatic nerve. No one experiencing sciatica wants it to stick around any longer than, well, at all, so let’s not delay in discovering how you can make your leg pain a distant memory.

To understand and defeat the beast that is sciatica, it will be helpful to understand what it is and what causes it. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, which starts in the low back and travels all the way down your legs to the bottom of your feet. It controls nearly everything within your legs: from the large hamstring and quadriceps muscles in your upper legs to the smallest blood vessels in the bottom of your feet.

Sciatica is quite simply irritation of the sciatic nerve. This can happen several different ways at a few different points in the nerve’s journey from the low back to and through the leg.

Frequently sciatic nerve pain is a result of the joints in your lower spine being poorly aligned and putting pressure or stretching on the nerves as they come off from your spine. This problem is called a subluxation and is diagnosed and treated by chiropractors. Sciatica can also commonly occur due to spasm of a muscle in the buttock called the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve passes under this muscle as it travels through the pelvis near the hip down to the back of your leg. This problem is frequently treated by physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists.

If you aren’t able to get in to the chiropractor or physical therapist right away or you hope to help improve your situation at least in part on your own, here are some tips to help relieve the pain associated with sciatica.

Give it a rest. Exercise is a great asset to getting and staying healthy, but when your sciatic nerve is unhappy, exercise will frequently flare up your problem and slow your progress. Especially if the piriformis muscle is involved, exercise which causes pounding, such as walking, running, tennis, basketball, soccer, etc., will flare the piriformis spasm and put additional strain on the spine in the lower part of the back.

Take a break from your regular exercise routine to give your sciatic nerve a break. If you simply must exercise, try non-impact exercises of the upper body, like resistive exercise band exercise or exercise ball exercises. Swimming may be a helpful alternative to your regular routine as well.

Stretch yourself. Relaxing the muscles in the lower back, buttocks and upper legs through stretching will help reduce the strain on the sciatic nerve and the joints throughout the lower back and pelvis. Always stretch gently and avoid any further stretching if it causes sharp pain or if it aggravates your problem.

Stretching the piriformis muscle can be done several different ways. However, when your sciatic nerve is screaming, the easiest stretch involves lying on your back with your knees bent and pulling one knee at a time up towards the opposite shoulder and holding it for 5-30 seconds. You will know you are getting a good stretch when you feel a mild stretch in the buttocks near the hip.

Chill out. Ice will be your best friend when you are suffering from sciatica. Placing a cold pack or ice pack on the lower spine, tailbone and/or buttock for 20 minutes once every 2-3 hours will help reduce swelling and also reduce pain. It is important to use ice exclusively at the onset of sciatica, as it has been found to decrease the length of time needed for healing.

If after 4-5 days you choose to alternate ice and heat, keep it off from the spine and limit heat use, especially with a heating pad, to no more than 20 minutes. Avoid sleeping while applying heat, as it can cause burns and can dry out the tissues, slowing the healing process.

Get it straight. Your posture plays an important role in the health of your spine. Sitting and standing as straight as is comfortably possible will help to reduce the effects of nerve irritation and get your nerves healing quicker and more completely. Avoid sitting in soft couches or chairs, as they will not give you the support that you need to sit well. Instead, drag a kitchen chair into the living room and spend your time sitting in a more supportive chair. Use a back support cushions in every chair you sit in; whether at work, in the car or at home to help support your back properly.

Move it! While sitting in a straight-back chair is helpful in supporting your lower back and spine, be sure that you aren’t sitting for any longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Lack of movement in the joints of the spine especially can cause further damage, stiffness and muscle strain. Getting up and moving frequently, even if only to stretch or walk gently around the room will help to keep circulation fresh and facilitate a quicker recovery. Be sure that you stay well within your limits; if you are pushing yourself too hard and it is causing pain, then stop and give yourself a rest.

Get some sleep. Sleep is one of the most critical components in helping start and in maintaining a healing process. When you sleep, your body does its best work of healing and repairs the damage done throughout the day. Following any injury or during any illness, regular sleep is critical in helping your body get the upper hand.

Drink like a fish. To drink like a fish, you need to drink what a fish drinks: water, lots and lots of water. When your body isn’t hydrated properly, the tissues become tacky and adhesions form. If adhesions form, this slows the healing process and causes increased scar formation. Adhesions can form between your sciatic nerve and the surrounding tissues, causing your healing process to be incomplete and leaving you vulnerable to frequent, repeated sciatic episodes.

Put on some relief. Topical analgesics can help alleviate some of the bite of the pain of sciatica while helping soothe the spasm in the muscles of the low back, buttocks and upper leg. Getting even temporary relief from your sciatica can help your healing process by providing you an opportunity to rest or sleep.

Go for a massage. It stands to reason that if your sciatica is due to irritation of the sciatic nerve from spasm of your piriformis, hamstring or lower back muscles, deep tissue massage can be of great benefit to you. Getting a massage or even using a massager at home that is able to get into the deeper tissues of the buttocks and low back may help relieve some or all of your sciatic pain. At the very least, it can help to reduce the stress that commonly accumulates when you are in pain.

Get professional help. It is always a good idea to seek help from a chiropractor, medical doctor, physical therapist or massage therapist when you experience pain in the low back and/or legs. Waiting too long to effectively treat a condition involving your nerves can cause problems as mild as missing time from work all the way up to irreversible nerve damage. It is wise to effectively and completely deal with any problems involving your nerves, as doing so will help prevent similar problems from rearing their ugly head again down the road.

Even if you end up seeking professional help to deal with sciatica, incorporating practical home care can help shorten your recovery time and get you out of pain quicker. If pain in your buttocks and legs is something that you would rather avoid than deal with again, use these tips regularly to give yourself the best chance of preventing sciatica for years to come.

The better you take care of yourself, the greater health and vitality you will enjoy.



Source by Nick Preston

Cabinet Hardware for a Themed Décor

While planning for a new decor or refurbishing one’s house, a lot many people dread the job of selecting the appropriate cabinet hardware. It is a very true fact as a lot many options available in the cabinet hardware industry, confuse the buyer. Though it appears to be a very tedious task, but it is not possible to even pass it on to someone other… After all its your home! The endless options including colors, shapes, materials and finish makes it difficult for a person to choose just the piece that he or she is looking for. However, to avoid this one can pick way to narrow the field pretty quickly, that is to make a general decision about whether your cabinet hardware should be old fashioned, traditional or modern.

Having decided, this helps the hardware vendor to eliminate dozens of styles from the mix, thus thinning the options and therefore the confusion about which cabinet hardware to select. This portion can further be narrowed by bifurcating the various finishes, eliminating chrome, and brush finishes.

The building hardware industry is humongous and presently a lot many modern designs of cabinet hardware are present. Today it is not impossible to give your rooms the mush sought, specific themes. Some of the most popular themes are described below.

Poker Room Design – Simply macho, is what poker room decor is often related with. Besides putting up mafia posters, humidor, and audio equipment, one can use designer cabinet pulls, cabinet hinges and cabinet locks to make it look more surreal. The poker room collection includes a spade, heart, club and diamond cabinet knob (in five finishes) and a cabinet pull to match.

Football Theme Room – If you are a football freak then surely there are a lot many options to make your room have the feel of a football ground. A football shaped cabinet knob can be place on your drawer slides or cabinet racks to make your bedroom a perfect sports room.

Bar Cabinet Design – All those who have a bar room in their homes can add extra zest to the room by installing cabinet latches and cabinet fastener of bar theme. There are cupboard pulls and cabinet knobs of the same shape. While choosing for cabinet lighting use LED lights, Halogen cabinet lights or the puck style of Xenon lighting to give that modern bar touch to your house.

Antique Room Design – To give your room that quintessential ancient look, use the antique cabinet hardware. Use the rustic knobs and pulls to create the desired ambiance. There are various cabinet legs that too are available in rustic designs and texture.

Choose the theme that suits your space and mood the most. The cabinet hardware industry has been revolutionized and its not restricted to simple and plain designed cabinet pulls, cabinet knobs and cabinet hardware anymore. Besides the above mentioned themes, there are many other themes (animal themes, jungle theme, aquatic theme, ocean theme) to be adopted before planning to decorate or redecorate a home.



Source by pvyas

Bold Lady Gaga Halloween Costumes

Creative and Stunning Lady Gaga Halloween Costume 2010

Lady Gaga is known for her bold, crazy and unusual outfits, but that doesn’t stop her fan following from increasing day by day. And when it’s a gala time, most young ladies try to impersonate her extreme look. This year 2010 Lady Gaga brings you an official Halloween collection which is receiving huge media coverage these days. If you want make your Halloween creative and enjoyable, choose your favorite Lady Gaga Halloween costume which will be distinctive and exclusive.

With different styles, makes, accessories and outfits to choose from, you can get yourself a rocker look this October 31st. Here are 5 hot Lady Gaga Halloween costume ideas 2010 which can bring you a great way to spend a fun and enjoyable time with friends and closed ones.

Basic Tank Top Unitard (Adult) 2010

Available in adult-small, adult medium and adult large size, the basic tank top is a great looking outfit. This pretty outfit can be the best way to reveal your curves. Get this sassy collection this season and flaunt your well-toned body.

The black-colored tank top styled Unitard offers you the right adjustable straps for that perfect fit. It’s a pure cotton outfit, and can be hand washed. This costume is available at estimated measurements, including small or medium (Waist 20-28″) (Chest 23-30″). And lastly Medium to Large- (Waist 24-30″) and (Chest 26-32″).

Black Strapless Leotard 2010

Stylish and sporting your sassy looks; here comes Black Strapless Leotard for hot ladies to flaunt your curves this festive time. The black leotard can go well with a flirty frock. Check this costume online and decide whether it can be your choice this Halloween. This strapless leotard can be ordered online right away. This alluring strapless Leotard is available in three sizes- medium, large and X-larges.

Blue Swimsuit Costume 2010
It’s the blue swimsuit costume which can really make you a dazzling sensation in any event. This is an exciting blue swimsuit and spotted exactly the same as pictured in the Poker Face Music Video. This outfit features shimmering trims, deep neckline, appealing side cutouts and impressive structured shoulders. Complete the entire look with blue gloves in the Lady Gaga’s own elegant style. This is marked as the licensed Lady Gaga outfit.

Video Vixen Costume 2010
This zebra print mini dress including a black colored waist corset can offer you the right rock star look. The Video Vixen is another best choice for Lady Gaga Halloween costume to steal the show. It’s a two piece set promising you lively looks. This outfit is available in 4 sizes-small, medium, large and X-large.

White Performance Outfit 2010

Last but not the least, here comes the Lady Gaga White Performance Outfit. This outfit stands the right symbol of her signature fashion and style. With a feminine flair of its own, the white laced performance outfit also offers deconstructed top, including attached sleeves, matching shorts as well as boot covers. This comes attached with the fish-net thigh highs and a laced face mask as well. This is another official Lady Gaga Halloween costume in stock for sale.

With a wide range of Lady Gaga Halloween Costumes, be sure to get a creative and refreshing new look this October 31st.



Source by Terrance Oneil

2011 BCS Championship Odds: Teams to Watch

The defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide have opened at online sportsbooks as 4-1 favorites in college football odds to win the BCS Championship for the 2010-11 season and that may be a solid price. Bama coach Nick Saban has loaded the program with outstanding recruits and the team has the confidence of a deep and loaded champion that has dominated the best teams in the land last year including Florida who has opened at 10-1 and Texas. Saban has built a machine and will face teams in the SEC that are not up to the Tide’s level which should help their campaign as college football betting favorites.

Even Florida, strong as they are, will be rebuilding on offense and the Tide will catch them at home which will make their most dangerous game of the year much more winnable. Sportsbooks have Ohio State as a 6-1 choice in BCS betting and that also looks like a solid price. The Buckeyes are the class of the Big Ten and should not have much difficulty getting out of the league and into a BCS Bowl game. One team that could derail Ohio State in the Big Ten race, however, is the Iowa Hawkeyes who have opened at 20-1 which could be one of the best values in college football odds. Iowa won the Orange Bowl last year and has plenty of returning starters and a favorable schedule. Bet Alabama 4-1 as favorites in BCS betting odds with up to 260% in total bonuses and a 200% poker bonus.

The Big 12 trio of Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska will also rate highly with gamblers. Sportsbook have Oklahoma at 7-1, Texas at 14-1 and Nebraska at 15-1 in college football odds for the upcoming season. Oklahoma is loaded and if they can beat Texas in their Red River Rivalry showdown they will have the inside track to the South Division title. Nebraska nearly upset the Longhorns in the Big 12 title game last year and is also loaded and with a favorable schedule. They would love to leave the Big 12 as champions before joining the Big Ten next year. Perhaps the best value on the board is Notre Dame at 40-1. With a cushy schedule and national following they could quickly leap ahead of better teams if new coach Brian Kelly can ignite them early on.



Source by Bishop Whitmore