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Fun Uncategorized

Activities you should avoid this summer for maximum fun

Overview: With summer on everyone’s mind, we’re talking about the worst summer plans you can make this year that’ll RUIN your fun

In this special edition blog, we’re shifting gears and talking about things you should avoid doing during summer because we want you to have a fun summer, not a bum one. And if you’re all about fun like we are, you know that summer is the season of fun (right up our alley), but we also know that summer can be ruined by a bad batch of plans.

You trust us with all things fun, right? So if you really want to enjoy this summer to the max, avoid the following activities.

Avoid crowded indoor spaces, like restaurants and bars

After staying at home for a whole year, it’s understandable that people are looking forward to a meal at their favorite restaurant or a drink at their favorite bar. California recently getting the green light to open things back up, however, indoor spaces are still risky.

It’s harder to maintain social distance in a confined indoor space, and any airborne particles may linger in the air longer than they would outdoors. Thankfully, many restaurants and bars have added outdoor seating to the mix.

You might not be able to avoid the crowds this summer, but the least you
could do is opt for outdoor seating options. Besides, there’s nothing like eating a good meal and drinking a nice beverage on the rooftop of a building during summer!

Related article(s): Four Activities You Should Avoid this Summer — and What You Can Do Instead

Avoid taking a summer vacation anywhere that requires flights or the airport

For many, “summer” is synonymous with “vacation.” These trips are often what people look forward to throughout the year, and they typically succeed in creating lifelong memories. But while vacations are great for unwinding, this summer might not be the best for long-distance travel.

While airlines and other modes of transportation are doing their best to keep things safe, long-distance travel still comes with a significant degree of risk from passengers and from shared, high-touch surfaces. And guess what? Places like airports and train stations are no exceptions.
Remember: Summertime travel madness begins at the airport.

Avoid spending every day indoors watching Netflix

Summer is often linked to an increase in leisurely activities, which means you have more time to catch up on anything and everything on Netflix. But we’re suggesting that you don’t do it.

Of course, we’re not suggesting you don’t watch any Netflix. That would be crazy. And we’re not ignoring our previous points. That would also be crazy. But we’re saying to have a balance.

Our recommendation for maximum summer fun: Go outside every other day. Be a person. Don’t spend the season cooped up indoors binge watching 40 different TV shows and movies in one week. That’s not what summer is meant for. Maybe spend one or two days a week staying indoors and watching Netflix, but be sure to spend some time actually getting outdoors.

Avoid hanging out at all the same places

Last year made us all realize that, even if we don’t want to do it, we all have the ability to frequent one place for an extended period of time —months, actually. However, since we finally have our summer “freedom” back, the last thing we should do is repeat the mandated pattern from last year.

Rather than spending your free time frequenting the same place, go exploring. Similar to the previous point, the goal this summer is to try and get out of your comfort zone a bit without compromising on safety. You might end up finding some more exciting (and safe) places to spend your summer days and nights.

Avoid popular places like Disney World, the obvious attractions in famous cities, and the hottest destinations on Instagram

So, what about when you get out of the Orlando airport and head to Disney World? Is summer the worst time to go to the park? The truth is that popular places such as Disney World are packed year-round. Is this summer going to be different? Well, yes and no.

Yes because people are itching to just get out and do something. No because of the reason we stated above: Disney is packed during summer… there’s nothing new here. But Disney expert Laura Begley Bloom says, “Late summer is generally better than early summer.”

Begley suggests that if you do decide to check out Disney World, lines to enter the parks and lines for the rides will be the shortest in the early part of the day.

Now regarding popular travel destinations (those that are popular year-round), they actually do see a surge in tourism during the summer months. And don’t go straight to a location that’s blowing up on social
media — at least, not during the summer. Travel journalist Matt Meltzer learned his lesson the hard way.

He set a day trip to the highly Instagrammed Antelope Canyon during a recent visit to Arizona. Located in a Navajo tribal park, the otherworldly sandstone formations are often portrayed as mysterious, empty passageways on the Internet. But when he showed up for a tour he reserved, it was anything but empty.

Meltzer discovered that the park was “like a Walmart parking lot outside the canyon.” He says that the reality did not match the expectation.

Related article(s): How to have the worst summer vacation ever

Avoid Work Extra Hours at Your Summer Job

Some people are workaholics, but summer is coined as the season of leisure and relaxation. If you end up getting a summer job, congrats! Especially with last year’s employment situation (or lack of) for many, getting a job is a great deal. However, don’t overwork yourself.

While you may want to have the extra cash to spend on experiences, working overtime might take away from time you’ll have to actually do things you actually enjoy.

If you have the option to pick up someone else’s shift or add more hours, try to avoid jumping on the opportunity — ask yourself if it’s really worth it, and learn how to say no. Give yourself the opportunity to do something more exciting instead. It’s what summer was made for (unless work is the most exciting thing for you… then more power to you!).

Related article(s): 10 Things You Should NOT Do This Summer

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Pool Uncategorized

U.S. restrictions and curfews: Going to pool halls & staying safe

Covid-19 restrictions and curfewsWith pool halls opening up, learn more about how different states are addressing the recent Covid-19 restrictions and curfews.

As vaccinations continue to roll out, restrictions and curfews from the pandemic continue to be lifted including being able to go to pool halls.

For example, Maryland’s Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. eased restrictions on business activity and social gatherings. Hogan removed limits on retail businesses, religious facilities, casinos, fitness centers, hair and nail salons, and indoor recreational establishments — including bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks and — you guessed it — pool halls.

Here are some things we’ll consider in this article regarding the reopening pool halls:

  • Why people still love pool halls

  • Extended closing time for venues; communities slowly edging toward a semblance of normalcy

  • Ways to stay safe playing pool as restrictions lift

Keep in mind that some governors have lifted restrictions with mask orders and distancing requirements still in place, per the request of professional health experts.

People still love pool halls, with or without a pandemic

The pandemic hasn’t left, yet pool devotees are excited to check out pool halls that have recently reopened around the country. In fact, one publisher reminisces on his childhood and the beginning of his appreciation for pool in a somewhat prosaic perspective:

The pouring out of loud jolly talk and laughter, but most of all the hard clicks of cue balls breaking the racks, […] and the lighter clicks of wooden scoring beads, as men I could not see slid them along strung wires above the green felt-covered slate pool tables in that magic room above.

FULL ARTICLE: WHY I LOVE POOL HALLS

How states around the country are handling the lifted restrictions and curfews on pool halls

In New York, pool players head back to the halls as restrictions loosen. “I was lost, missing this place forever,” said Greg Bombard, an avid pool player from Halfmoon. For months, the pool hall has been closed to the public and its owners, awaiting an OK from the state to resume operation.

Read the full article here.

In Kentucky communities slowly edge toward a semblance of normalcy in 2021. Billiards play in Owensboro is bouncing back even though the COVID-19 pandemic left a mark.

“It drastically impacted billiards play in Owensboro and across the country.” said Quentin Spooner, who has been league operator of the Owensboro American Poolplayers Association (APA) for 14 years. “Billiards is an indoor sport that is primarily played in smaller establishments, which have faced multiple restrictions over the past year.”

Nonetheless, Spooner says with optimism that billiards play is on the rebound. The vast majority of players in Owensboro are still learning the game — and, more than anything else, they play because they like it.

Staying safe while playing pool during Covid

Sanitizing Pool Balls (Manufacturer Recommended Cleaning Process) & Rails

Clean pool balls are always preferred but shiny and pristine is not necessarily the same thing as sterile. It used to be that we just cleaned our dirty balls so they played better and more consistently but now we have a higher bar to reach. We actually weren’t sure what the best way was to disinfect billiard balls, so we reached out to our friends at Aramith. Here is what Yves Bilquin, COO of Saluc recommends:

“To disinfect the Aramith balls, we recommend the use of alcohol (min. 65%), and then it is important to apply the Aramith ball cleaner to recover regular surface properties. The use of bleach is not recommended.”

Also, wipe down rails frequently. You’ll probably be touching the rails more than any other part of the pool table. Keep it as clean as possible.

Bring Some Gloves for Racking

If you don’t have alcohol/ball cleaner available just use some gloves for wearing while you rack the balls. Bring your own pair of work gloves, or some other thin, dexterous glove, like the kind billiard referees use when they need to rack. You don’t know who’s been handling those balls before you!

Practice Playing With Masks Before a Competitive Match

Speaking of communication, masks are a great form of non-verbal communication. They show that you care about the people around you, and that you appreciate some social distance. Come to think of it, they really help with your poker face.

Wearing a mask is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from germs, but I’m not gonna lie: they take some getting used to. If you’re not in the habit of wearing masks, try them on, and maybe run a few racks at home or while warming up. It’s weird at first, but you soon get used to it.

BYO- Bring Your Own Items/Equipment

The chalk and bridges at a pool hall are being touched by everyone, they’re strongholds for germs even on a good day. There’s never been a better time to own your very own chalk. Fortunately we’ve got you covered, with a wide selection of pool table chalk. Hold onto your chalk with a pocket chalker. Some chalkers attach your chalk cube to a stylus that goes in your pocket, others go in a magnetic holder, which grabs onto a clip in your pocket. With a chalker, you’ll know where your chalk is at all times, which means you’ll always know where it’s been.

Bridges? Where to begin… at PoolDawg.com, we carry a broad array of billiard bridges. We’ve got everything from bridge-heads that fit on your cue, to retractable bridge sticks that fit into any accessory pocket, to large, dedicated two-piece bridge sticks. Whatever kind of bridge you choose, a bridge of your own means one less accessory you’ll have to share with everyone else.

Use Your Stick As A Guide For Social Distancing

Most health guidelines recommend keeping about eight feet apart to stay safe. Fortunately for pool players, the game has given us an excellent ruler to measure this distance. A typical pool cue is about 58 inches long, just under five feet. If you hold out your pool cue at arm’s length, you’ll get an excellent sense of how far apart people should be. Be careful not to get chalk on someone, though!

FULL ARTICLE: 10 TIPS FOR POOL PLAYERS TO PREVENT SPREADING COVID-19

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Uncategorized

How responsible is technology for the changing gaming industry?

changing-gaming-industryTechnological advancements continue to change the gaming industry each decade… how will the future of gaming be affected?

The gaming industry continues to change as present online gaming expands more than ever, inevitably affecting in-person gaming.

Since its commercial birth in the 1950s as a technological oddity at a science fair, gaming has blossomed into one of the most profitable entertainment industries in the world.

The mobile technology boom in recent years has revolutionized the industry and opened the doors to a new generation of gamers. Indeed, gaming has become so integrated with modern popular culture that now even grandmas know what Angry Birds is, and more than 42 percent of Americans are gamers and four out of five U.S. households have a console.

So, let’s consider 2 specific aspects of the gaming industry that have changed over the decades:

  1. The transition from halls to arcades to at-home game rooms to online & mobile gaming

  2. How to handle the changing future of at-home games

Today, video games make up a $100 billion global industry, and nearly two-thirds of American homes have household members who play video games regularly. What changed from the early American billiard/pool hall days to the current mobile gaming industry?

What happened to billiard/pool halls? “A game of billiards requires a great deal of patience and practice.”

On one forum, the original poster comments, “Seems like are dying off. Seems like the actual good halls with real tables are going the way of the dinosaur.”

The implication is that the commenter believes that billiard halls are dwindling down. And, after paying homage to a popular billiard hall that was once frequented, the commenter finishes the post by unambiguously holding brands like Xbox, Snapchat, and the good ole’ “bookface” responsible for the riddance of game halls.

However, the reality is that billiard halls have been around for decades, and so have video games. From arcade systems to home consoles to handheld consoles and, most recently, mobile devices, gaming has had its fair share of makeovers, so to speak. The changed generation might have a big role to play in this.

According to an article published by The Circuit, Millennials (also referred to in the article as “The Microwave Generation”) is a generation that thrives on instant gratification. Children and young adults yearn for immediacy at the touch of a button and everything is just a click away.

Millennials are born and bred into a generation of rapid receipt of information and entertainment; it’s hard not to blame them. This thought process is created with a more connected environment. Children hold and navigate iPhones before they can read the alphabet, immediately weaving new relationships between them and the efficiency of an industrialized, technological world.

The reality is that these connections are the only form of communication that today’s adolescents have been exposed to.

One commentor put it simply: Seems there is just no interest in pool anymore. And this is especially true when it comes to playing a game of billiards that is said to require “a great deal of patience and practice.” Realistically, in a generation that thrives on instant gratification, drawn-out games such as billiards simply don’t fit the norm for the younger generations.

The solution (as one commentor writes): Get with the times… download the Billiard App on your phone.

RELATED ARTICLE: THE HISTORY OF POOL: WHO, HOW, WHERE, AND…BILLIARDS?

Home gaming: “Arcades used to be on every street corner. Now we’re lucky if we can even find one.”

Everyone who grew up in the 80s or 90s has fond memories of visiting the local arcade and wasting quarters on classics like Rampage and Street Fighter. Nothing could beat the environment of an arcade — the hypnotic sounds of pinball machines, chiptune music, and laughing kids as you tried to beat the next level of Dig Dug.

The truth is that people loved arcade games so much that they wanted to take them home. As a result, developers made the wise decision to capitalize off of this need. The introduction of consoles lead to the rapid decline of arcades.

It took years to port an arcade game to a console in the 80s, and developers didn’t have the technology to create an accurate rendition. Things changed in the 90s when developers were finally able to create an exact replica of arcade games for consoles.

Once Nintendo ported games like Punch-Out!! and Bubble Bobble to the NES, people didn’t have to go to arcades anymore. As the sales of video games and consoles increased, more arcades began to close.

Read more about how technology changed the arcade scene here.

Too many video games… and a need for change.

The video game boom (caused by Space Invaders) saw a huge number of new companies and consoles pop up, resulting in a period of market saturation.

Too many gaming consoles, and too few interesting, engaging new games to play on them, eventually led to the 1983 North American video games crash, which saw huge losses, and truckloads of unpopular, poor-quality titles buried in the desert just to get rid of them. The gaming industry was in need of a change.

Real advances in “online” gaming wouldn’t take place until the release of 4th generation 16-bit-era consoles in the early 1990s, after the Internet as we know it became part of the public domain in 1993. In 1995 Nintendo released Satellaview, a satellite modem peripheral for Nintendo’s Super Famicom console.

The technology allowed users to download games, news and cheats hints directly to their console using satellites. Broadcasts continued until 2000, but the technology never made it out of Japan to the global market.

Mobile Gaming: “Another rapid evolution that has changed not only the way people play games.”

Perhaps the most interesting change in the video game industry is the expanding demographics of gamers. Since smartphones and app stores hit the market in 2007,  gaming has undergone yet another rapid evolution that has changed not only the way people play games, but also brought gaming into the mainstream pop culture in a way never before seen.

Rapid developments in mobile technology have created an explosion of mobile gaming. With more people playing games, creating demand for more immersive entertainment, and looking for easier ways to access games, the future of the video game industry looks bright.

RELATED ARTICLE: HISTORY OF GAMING: AN EVOLVING COMMUNITY

Be sure to check out other related articles on this topic below:

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Why Bumper Pool Could Be Your Ideal Game

For as long as most can remember, billiards has been a game favored by just about everyone. As fun as it is, it can be a hard game to master. With so many different angles and shots, winning a few rounds isn’t always as simple as it sounds. If you’re the type who enjoys the game of pool but only picks up a cue stick a few times a year, then bumper pool could be the ideal game for you.

But, what is bumper pool exactly? This game is not one you could find at your local bar, but this hidden gem has the potential to be the perfect addition to your game room.

Our showroom displays a few different types of bumper pool tables. Although the most popular shape is a rectangle, you can find octagon-shaped tables at Games For Fun as well.

While a traditional billiards table isn’t practical for all homes and players, bumper pool gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy the classic game in unique style.

Here is why bumper pool shouldn’t be a game to miss out on:

Objective

Unlike regular billiards, learning how to play bumper pool is fairly easy to achieve. There are only two pockets on the table- one for each player. In order to win, you must sink all 5 balls into the opponent’s pocket with 12 obstacles, called “bumpers,” in between. With only a few strategies to win, this is a billiards game for the masses. Having a bumper pool table in your home will create lasting entertainment the whole household.

Size

One of the most beneficial aspects to bumper pool games is the table’s compact size. Unfortunately, not every home is equipped to hold a full-sized pool table. This leaves a lot of billiard enthusiasts having to result to other places to play the game they love. Bumper pool is the perfect alternative, as the table is only a fraction of what a conventional table is. Also, the cues are about half the size of a regular cue. The smaller size allows you to hold the bumper pool game in your living room or game room, without sacrificing space.

Simplicity

After a long day at work, most of us just want to immediately sit on the couch and relax for the rest of the night. While playing a few rounds of pool after a hectic day sounds fun, sometimes it takes more physical and brain power than we have the energy for. Especially if you don’t have your own billiards table at home, going out is not always ideal for weekdays. The rules and size of bumper pool create a game that allows the players to de-stress in a much more simple manner, while still enjoying the classic roots of pool.

Interested in shipping one of our bumper pool tables to your home? Check out our Renegade Slate Bumper Pool Table. This model is sleek in design, yet sturdy enough to withstand years of play. This table includes two 48-inch cues, 10 bumper pool balls, a table brush, chalk, and free shipping.

We want to ensure you get the table of your dreams that can stay in your family for years to come. Right now, we are offering 0% same-as-cash financing on orders $500 and up for 12-months!

We would be happy to walk you through our different bumper pool models in our showroom in San Bernardino. We are right off of the 215 freeway on exit 43 for West 2nd Street.

Not in the area? Give us a call at (909) 885-3604, and we will answer any questions you may have.