The entertaining Night in Venice Boat Parade is Saturday, July 13. (Photo courtesy City of Ocean City) Ocean City will celebrate the 65th anniversary of Night in Venice at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13.The boat parade and decorated bayfront home contest provide a chance to be part of the highlight of the summer season in Ocean City.Thousands of spectators line the bayfront, and thousands more attend private parties at homes along the route from the Ocean City-Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue. The evening ends with a fireworks display over the bayfront at 9 p.m.The parade includes a lineup of stars who will perform shows and greet fans throughout the weekend.Special guests will include the legendary Chubby Checker, Kate Flannery from NBC’s “The Office,” and Caissie Levy, star of the Broadway production of “Frozen.” Former Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver Freddie Mitchell also will be part of the parade.The optional theme is “Celebrate: 65 Years of Night in Venice,” a chance to reminisce about favorite memories from Night in Venice history. Entries for boats and homes are still being accepted online at www.ocnj.us/niv or by calling 609-399-6111. Deadline for entries is at noon July, 11.Homes along the bay will be decked out for Night in Venice. (Photo courtesy City of Ocean City)Here’s our guide to 2019 Night in Venice:When is Night in Venice?The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.Where does the parade route begin and end?The boat parade begins near the Ocean City-Longport toll bridge and travels along the bayside to Tennessee Avenue, looping in and out of lagoons along the way.Where can I watch the parade?To view the Night in Venice boat parade, grandstands will be set up at street ends along the bay from Battersea Road to 16th Street and also at Tennessee Avenue. These are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Streets include: Battersea Road., North Street, First Street, Second Street Marina, Fourth Street, Sixth Street, 11th Street, 13th Street, 15th Street, 16th Street and Tennessee Avenue.Tickets are also on sale to view Night in Venice from the Bayside Center (520 Bay Avenue), which will be open with a picnic area, snack food for sale, bleacher seating and entertainment.Tickets are $4 for children (12-and-under) and $8 for adults.A DJ will play music from 4:30 p.m. until the first boats in the parade arrive.Face-painting will be available for children.The band will resume after the parade until the fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice or 609-399-6111.What does it cost?The parade is free to watch at all locations except the Bayside Center.Where can I park?Free parking and shuttle service will run starting at 4 p.m. Parking will be available at:Ocean City Municipal Airport: 25th Street and Bay AvenueSoccer Field at Tennessee Avenue: Off Shelter RoadOcean City Community Center: 1735 Simpson AvenueParking restrictions begin at midnight Friday (July 12) and continue through midnight Saturday (July 13) for the following locations:Shuttles will drop off spectators at street ends where they can watch the parade and return them to the parking lots afterward. The shuttle also drops off at the Bayside Center. The service is free and will be available until 10 p.m. Both sides of Bay Avenue between 16th Street and 24th StreetThe east side of Bay Avenue between 14th Street and 16th Street.West 16th Street, West 17th Street and West 18th Street will have parking restrictions in place.Parking regulations will be strictly enforced. Violators will be ticketed and in severe cases, the vehicles will be towed if public safety is affected.This is to allow for safe passage of all pedestrian and vehicle traffic and emergency vehicle access to isolated areas of the bayfront.The Amoroso family of Ocean City enjoys Night in Venice from Bayside Center in 2018.Can I watch from the Ninth Street Bridge?All pedestrians and bicyclists should use the Shared Use Bike Path and stay to the south side shoulder for viewing.No persons will be allowed to bring chairs for seating onto the bridge. At no time will persons block the free movement of the Shared Use Bike Path.No open alcoholic beverages are permitted on the bridge at any time. Persons are not permitted to walk along the bridge with motor vehicle traffic.Ocean City Police will be present monitoring the bridge while the parade is in progress for assistance.Can I watch online?A video stream of the parade will be available through Facebook Live at Ocean City NJ. The video will be captured from the Bayside Center toward the beginning of the parade route.When and where are the fireworks?Night in Venice will include a fireworks display launched after the parade at 9 p.m. from a barge in the bay north of the Ninth Street Bridge, roughly off Third Street. The display should be best viewed from street ends or the bayfront between the Ocean City-Longport toll bridge and 16th Street.Night in Venice will showcase boats and homes decorated for the celebration. (Photo courtesy City of Ocean City)How do I participate?You can register your boat or house online at www.ocnj.us/niv. The NIV Committee is seeking volunteer patrol boats to assist with keeping the parade together, monitoring the parade route, and general safety. If you’re able to help, email Michael Hartman at [email protected] by 4 p.m. Thursday (July 11).Are paddleboards and kayaks part of the parade?For safety reasons, paddleboards and kayaks are not part of the Night in Venice parade.What are some other parade highlights?The Ocean City Theatre Company Show Choir, the Cousin’s Band and Andrew Hink will perform from boats in the parade. The cast of the upcoming “Newsies” also will be part of the fun.Kate Flannery, best known for her role as Meredith, on The Office, will be part of the exciting lineup. (Photo courtesy City of Ocean City)What else is happening on Night in Venice Weekend?Tickets are on sale now for the following:Chubby Checker and the Wildcats: Chubby Checker will help kick off Night in Venice weekend with a special concert 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 12 at the Ocean City Music Pier. The rock ‘n’ roll icon will perform “The Twist” and other hits from his legendary career. He will return on Saturday to appear in the Night in Venice boat parade. Tickets are $25 to $30.Meet-and-Greet with Kate Flannery: Flannery will greet fans before her appearance in the Night in Venice boat parade. The Philadelphia native, who starred as Meredith on “The Office,” will be at the Ocean City Music Pier starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13. Tickets ($15) are available for an autograph and a selfie photograph with Flannery.Caissie Levy with the Ocean City Pops: The star of the Broadway version of Disney’s “Frozen” will be the featured performer for this Ocean City Pops concert at 7:30 p.m. July 14. Levy also has performed on Broadway in “Les Miserables,” “Wicked,” “Hairspray” and “Rent.”Tickets are $45 to $55. Any child dressed in prince or princess attire for the concert will have the opportunity to meet Levy after the concert for a quick photograph and autograph. The meet-and-greet is complimentary with purchase of a ticket to the concert. (Levy will perform “Let It Go” but will not be in costume, and the show will include songs from other Broadway musicals.)Tickets for all events are available at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice, by calling 609-399-6111, or by visiting the Music Pier Box Office, the City Hall Welcome Center (861 Asbury Avenue) or the Roy Gillian Welcome Center (on the Route 52 causeway). Sand Sculpting contest will be held at Sixth Street Beach Thursday, July 11.ALSO COMING UP‘MAMMA MIA’ (July 9 to 12): The Ocean City Pops and Ocean City Theatre Company team up to present the popular Broadway musical featuring the timeless music of ABBA. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. on July 9, 10 and 12 with a 2 p.m. matinee on July 11 at the Hughes Performing Arts Center (beach block of Sixth Street). Call 609-399-6111 or visit oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice.WACKY WEDNESDAY (July 10): Use your creativity to shape and sculpt french fries into your very own unique masterpiece. Contest is free. Open to all ages. Start time: 10:30 a.m. at the Music Pier.FRECKLE CONTEST (July 10): Registration is free and begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Music Pier. Contest starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call 609-399-6111.PHILADELPHIA FLYERS COMMUNITY CARAVAN (July 10): Gritty, the high-energy orange mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, will make an appearance in Ocean City on Wednesday, July 10. He will be there for a portion of the Flyers’ Community Caravan, which will visit Ocean City 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, at the Ocean City Sports and Civic Center on the beach block of Sixth Street.The first half hour of the Caravan will be reserved for participants in Ocean City Recreation Department morning programs.From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event will be free and open to fans of all ages. Flyers alumni are scheduled to attend and sign autographs.The Caravan is part of an initiative to promote the sport of ice hockey and support youths across the region.Each stop in the family-fun series includes an inflatable rink hosting alumni-run clinics and shoot-arounds, inflatable games and activities, tailgate games, and more.SAND SCULPTING CONTEST (July 11): Registration is free and the informal, family-friendly contest begins at 9 a.m. at the Sixth Street Beach. Judging takes place by 11 a.m. For more information call 609-399-6111.The Antiques and Collectibles Fair hosted by the Ocean City Historical Museum draws a crowd every year.ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES FAIR (July 13): The Ocean City Historical Museum invites some of the best known antique and collectible dealers in the region. China, glass, furniture, vintage collectibles, postcards, jewelry, textiles, and more. Free admission for the 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. event at the Stainton Senior Center within the Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Avenue). For more information call 609-399-1801.40TH ANNUAL T. JOHN CAREY MASTERS SWIM (July 13): One-mile ocean swim starts at 43rd Street or 25th Street (depending on favorable current) and finishes at 34th Street. Register online at raceforum.com/johncarey. Race-day registration opens at 8 a.m. at 34th Street and the beach. The race will start at 10 a.m.
Today, Tedeschi Trucks Band premiered the music video for their latest single, “Hard Case”, from the band’s forthcoming album, SIGNS. Marking the band’s first studio release since 2016’s Let Me Get By, the band’s fourth studio effort is scheduled to arrive next month on February 15th via Fantasy/Concord Records.The 11-track album was co-produced by TTB leader and guitarist Derek Trucks along with Jim Scott and Bobby Tis, and will include all original songs which were recorded live on two-inch analog tape at their Swamp Raga Studio. TTB brethren Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Doyle Bramhall II, and Marc Quiñones also appear on the record. Some of the tracks to be included on the album are titled, “Strengthen What Remains”, “Still Your Mind”, “All The World”, and “Hard Case”. The latter was written by Mike Mattison, Derek Trucks, and Susan Tedeschi, and was debuted as the album’s soulful lead single last week.The music video’s story–which features an imprisoned buffalo man looking for a way out–was written by Mattison, and animated and designed by Brett Underhill. Watch TTB’s music video for “Hard Case” below, and follow the buffalo man’s adventures from the prison to the beach.Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Hard Case” – Official Video[Video: Tedeschi Trucks Band]“Hard Case” LyricsYou got a lot to learnI got a lot to loseGuess I hold a candleFor singers of the bluesYou’re a hard case to refuseCall down any witnessLord, I stand accusedBut I’ll be back in businessIf they cut me looseYou’re a hard case to refuseYou’re a hardYou’re a hard case to chooseLiving a lie and loving youYou’re a hard case to refuseOh such a hard case to refuseYou got a lot to learnI got a lot to loseGuess I hold a candleFor singers of the bluesYou’re a hard case to refuseLord I got it in meWhat it comes down toClimb that concertinaAnd come back when you’re bruisedYou’re a hard case to refuseYou’re a hardYou’re a hard case to chooseLiving a lie and loving youYou’re a hard case to refuse – oh yeaHard case to refuseHard case to refuse – I’m a witnessHard living the bluesHard case to refuse – I ain’t giving up on youHard case to refuseRead Lyrics“SIGNS reflects on the losses suffered by the band in the past few years while still finding cause for hope and celebration in the beauty of life and nature,” the band shared in a statement to their Facebook last week, dedicating the album to their friend and mentor Col Bruce Hampton (Ret.). Other losses include the recent deaths of TTB mentors like Leon Russell and Allman Brothers Band members Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman.Tedeschi Trucks Band will celebrate the official release of SIGNS with a show at Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday, February 20th. Tickets for the album release show at Brooklyn Academy of Music are on sale now. Every pair of tickets purchased for this show will come with a digital download of the new album.SIGNS Tracklisting1. “Signs (High Times)”2. “I’m Gonna Be There”3. “When Will I Begin”4. “Walk Through This Life”5. “Strengthen What Remains”6. “Still Your Mind”7. “Hard Case”8. “Shame”9. “All The World”10. “They Don’t Shine”11. “The Ending”View All Tour DatesThese updates should be a silver lining for what’s been an interesting couple of weeks for the popular rock band. On Christmas Eve, the band announced that bassist Tim Lefebvre would be leaving the group. They also revealed a week later that keyboardist Kofi Burbridge will be taking time away from the band as a result of a recent follow-up procedure to a 2017 surgery, with Gabe Dixon coming on to fill the role until his return. On a lighter note, the band is also charging into the new year with their first-ever official fan community with the newly-established “Swamp Family” fan club.TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND 2019 TOUR DATES1/17/19 – Cedar Rapids, IA – Paramount Theatre SOLD OUT1/18/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/19/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/22/19 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre1/23/19 – Chattanooga, TN – Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium1/25/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/26/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/28/19 – New Orleans, LA – Saenger Theatre1/29/19 – New Orleans, LA – Saenger Theatre1/31/19 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium2/1/19 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium2/2/19 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium2/15/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/16/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/17/19 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Theatre2/20/19 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music – Howard Gilman Opera House2/22/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/23/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/26/19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia2/28/19 – Birmingham, AL – Alabama Theatre3/1/19 – Augusta, GA – William B. Bell Auditorium3/2/19 – Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium4/2/19 – Paris, FR – L’Olympia4/4/19 – Eindhoven, NL – Muziekgebouw4/5/19 – Winterbach, DE- Salierhalle Winterbach4/7/19 – Copenhagen, DK – Amager Bio4/8/19 – Stockholm, SE – Cirkus SOLD OUT4/10/19 – Oslo, NO – Sentrum Scene4/11/19 – Copenhagen, DK – Amager Bio SOLD OUT4/12/19 – Randers, DK – Vaerket4/14/19 – Bochum, DE – Rurhcongress4/15/19 – Hamburg, DE – Mehr! Theater4/17/19 – Milan, IT – Teatro degli Arcimboldi4/18/19 – Trieste, IT – Politeama Rossetti4/20/19 – Zurich, CH – Theater 114/23/19 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique4/24/19 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg4/26/19 – London, UK – The London Palladium SOLD OUT4/27/19 – London, UK – The London Palladium SOLD OUT5/10/19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater5/11/19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater5/12/19 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Civic Theatre5/14/19 – Tucson, AZ – Tucson Convention Center5/16/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre5/17/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre5/18/19 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre5/21/19 – Sacramento, CA – Memorial Auditorium of Sacramento5/23/19 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater of Seattle5/24/19 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater of Seattle5/25/19 – Salem, OR – LB Day Comcast Amphitheatre6/28/19 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place *6/29/19 – Boca Raton, FL – Mizner Park Amphitheater *6/30/19 – St. Petersburg, FL – Al Lang Stadium *7/03/19 – Orange Beach, AL – Wharf Amphitheater *7/05/19 – Charleston, SC – Volvo Car Stadium *7/06/19 – Simpsonville, SC – Heritage Park Amphitheater *7/07/19 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion *7/09/19 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek *7/13/19 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion *7/14/19 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center *7/16/19 – Canandaigua, NY – CMAC *7/19/19 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion *7/20/19 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at the Heights *7/23/19 – Rochester Hills, MI – Meadow Brook Amphitheatre *7/24/19 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park *7/26/19 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks *7/27/19 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks *7/30/19 – St. Louis, MO – Fox Theatre *7/31/19 – Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater *8/02/19 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre *8/03/19 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre ** 5th Annual Wheels of Soul tour with Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope (Additional dates to be announced)View All Tour Dates
The image that often comes to mind when people think of a gamer is a male loner playing in his parents’ basement, but as the world’s premier event for computer and video games, E3, kicks off it’s time to dispel that stereotype with new data.An extensive survey of 5,763 video game players in 11 countries, commissioned by Dell, has revealed that today’s gamers are quite diverse — from your coworker with two kids, to the woman next to you at the gym. Gone are the days that being called a gamer is derogatory. According to those surveyed, less than one in 10 feel either “judged,” “childish” or “embarrassed” being called a gamer.“As pioneers in PC gaming, it’s our responsibility to continuously innovate to deliver the best gaming solutions possible for our community,” said Frank Azor, vice-president and general manager of Alienware, Gaming and XPS for Dell. “This E3 is no exception. This year we are enhancing the ultimate gaming experience with a new online training platform, brand new peripherals and some awesome esports partnerships, helping all players take their game to the next level.”You can see more of the research results in the infographic below. We’re bringing more than industry data to the gaming industries biggest event, however.New Gaming HardwareAre you heading to E3? If so, you’re invited to join Alienware and Dell Gaming there at booth #647 in the South Exhibit Hall to check out our new, high-performance, gaming hardware.At E3 last year, we launched our first branded keyboard, mouse and monitor. This year we’re bringing the Alienware Wireless Gaming Headset to complete the Alienware ecosystem. It’s designed for diehards demanding game-dominating audiophile detail, and will give you up to 15 hours of battery life with AlienFX turned off. But, if you choose to turn it on, the headset also has lighting customizable via the Alienware Command Center with 6.8 million – million — colors and four animations from which to choose.We’ll also be showcasing the newest addition to our Inspiron Gaming line – so customers can compete at all levels. The Inspiron Gaming Desktop with 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen™ processor will have some of the highest multiprocessing, multitasking performance gamers can get on a mainstream desktop PC. It joins four other Inspiron laptops with high-performance AMD Ryzen™ Mobile Processors with Radeon™ Vega Graphics or 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors.Gaming Community SupportJoining Alienware Arena is FREE and members receive access to the most exclusive in-game items and early beta access to some of the most sought-after pre-released games. They also have access to the Arena Rewards program that has been in place for eight years.Next week at E3, these benefits will expand with the launch of the Alienware Arena App. Allowing gamers to stay connected to the Alienware gaming community and rewards, the official Android app was built from the ground up for gamers to create and access their accounts on the go and interact with features of the site such as Arena Awards.Although often find myself blogging about gaming here on Direct2Dell, I’m not an Alienware Arena member because I’m not actually a gamer. Should I opt to change that, though, our State of Gaming Report shows that I would find the gaming community welcoming and accepting of others. When selecting an opponent to play, ethnicity, political view or sexual orientation make little difference – it’s all about skill.And to help gamers increase those skills, we’re launching the new Alienware Academy.It’s a digital PC gaming skill-building platform, in closed beta right now, featuring a series of video lessons, training challenges, and performance feedback. It’s not really designed for n00bs like me, but rather to help amateur athletes learn to game like an esports pro.Alienware Academy courses (example below) are guided by Team Liquid and enabled by Tobii eye-tracking gaze overlay, heatmaps, statistic and pro player comparison tools.Elevating EsportsDid you know that in 2017, more people tuned in to watch esport’s League of Legends finals than the World Series and Super Bowl combined? And, the esports fanbase is predicted to grow from 383 million today to more than 500M in 2019.You may be surprised by that, but we’re not. Dell and Alienware have been supporting the esports industry and historic franchises like Team Dignitas and Team Liquid for more than a decade. And ELEAGUE, an Atlanta-based esports league operated by Turner Media and the WME/IMG agency chose Alienware to be the official sponsor and exclusive PC systems provider, equipping their tournament facility with Alienware systems.Now we’re furthering our esports legacy by forging new partnerships with the NBA, Detroit Renegades, Miami HEAT and Misfits Gaming, and taking our partnership with Team Liquid into unchartered territory for North American esports.Alienware and Dell hardware will be utilized throughout the NBA 2K League live studio experience during league competitions. Renegades athletes will train and compete on newest Alienware hardware. Misfits players will train and stream on all Alienware hardware including the Alienware Aurora desktops, Alienware 15 laptops, AW2518H 240Hz monitors and mixture of Alienware keyboards and mice.On March 7, Alienware and Team Liquid celebrated the grand opening of the Alienware Training Facility. This tech-rich, 8,000 sq foot space — designed to mimic the kind of high-tech training offered to traditional athletes — supporting multiple competitive teams with an in-office chef, sports psychologists, nutritionists, dedicated coaches and analysts. Plans are now underway with Team Liquid to establish a second training facility in the Netherlands by the end of 2018, which will serve as their new European headquarters.All of these announcements are a lot to take in, and it’s only a portion of what we’re showcasing at E3. Beyond the individual gamer and even the esports team support, Dell is here for the people creating the games themselves. Check out the behind-the-scenes video with one of those customers, CD PROJEKT RED, on our Direct2DellEMC blog.
In my sophomore year of school at Warren Wilson College, I took a Sports Psychology class with Dr. Bob Swoap. I found the class to be absolutely fascinating, and the material definitely left a lasting impression, helping me immensely in how I viewed competition.Dr. Swoap got in touch with me recently, and I was honored and excited to be invited back to speak from the opposite side of the classroom about my experiences with whitewater kayaking and how they related to real life and tapping your potential in any pursuit. As the day approached, I was admittedly a bit hesitant about getting in front of the class. I knew that it was a Freshman Seminar, and I dreaded the possibility of blank stares and awkward silences following my attempts to engage them.What I was met with, however, was completely the opposite! These young adults came from all walks of life… amongst them were writers, competitive mountain bikers, varsity basketball players, musicians, and everything in between. They were amazing, and the hour and a half literally flew by before I knew it. I walked back to my car that day thinking that Dr. Swoap was a pretty lucky guy to be able to hang out with people like that as his job.Our discussion ran the gamut in the field of Sports Psychology and elsewhere, but one thing that we focused on was the search for that feeling of flow in which everything seems effortless and perfect. Often referred to as “the zone,” this state of mind is as incredible as it is elusive. It is something that you can recognize when you see it, and something that feels incredible when you are experiencing it.I shared with the class one of the most poignant representations of an athlete in the zone that I have ever seen. To preface this video, Danny is a young biker on the scene, competing in the biggest race of the season, on the steepest, gnarliest course, and in the worst possible conditions! Watch him rise to the occasion…Before I had time to flash my own slide up on the screen to frame how I approach my search for the zone, the students had already listed off most of my strategies plus some even better ones! Everyone has a different way of doing this, but I focus on a couple of things:1) WORK HARD. I believe that the biggest advantage in the world is knowing that you are prepared for an event. All sports carry with them a huge amount of mental challenge as well, but the physical foundation needs to be there.2) Self-Affirmation Statements. There is a huge difference between athletes who can persevere through hardships/unexpected incidents and continue to perform well, and those who can’t. These statements are things that you say to yourself when you don’t think you can go any further, or you feel things unraveling. Repetition of a few simple words or a phrase can center you and bring you back to what you know you are capable of. One of my favorites is “strong, fast, focused.”3) Metronome Analogy. I have always loved music. It gives me motivation and provides a soundtrack to my life. I compare the physiological functions of my body to a musical metronome… pulse, breath, paddle strokes, etc. I have my best races when I tune into that metronome and pace myself perfectly based on what I know about the race course. Too rushed or too lax and I will not compete to my potential.These are a few of the tricks that help me, but once you’ve done all of the preparation you can possibly do and have gotten yourself into that optimal state of mind, it’s time to put your head down and give ‘er hell!Nobody ever said it was going to be easy…(Author’s note: After all the great insights offered up by the class, I’m very interested to know what our readers find is most helpful to achieve that optimal mental zone? Feel free to comment here or on the BRO Facebook Page.)
The folks over at Green Guru sent us the Spinner Recycled Bike Tube Backpack a few months ago. We decided to do a long term test on this unique backpack, because we feel that only after a bit of time do you really get a feel for a pack.Unique you ask, well the Spinner has quite a few things that set it apart from other companies offerings. The first and most obvious is that it is made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes and recycled performance fabrics made from post-consumed water bottles. In fact every product that Green Guru offers is made from a combination of recycled materials. I dove a bit more into their story and this use of recycled materials stems from their love of the outdoors and the accompanying realization that a lot of the gear they used was not exactly made in the most eco-friendly ways. Instead of sitting on their laurels they did something, and now offer some great products that also have low environmental impacts. This is a huge plus in our opinion here at Blue Ridge.Alas I digress, back to the pack. So I put this pack through its paces. Daily commutes to work, hikes, overnight trips, a gear pack, you name it I used the pack for it. After all this abuse, it doesn’t look a bit worse for wear. This thing is tough. The inner pockets of the pack have plenty of organization so if you’re OCD like me this thing is right up your alley. I never found a problem stashing all my gear and belongings in this pack on hikes or short trips. At 1268 cu. in. of space it has room for everything you can imagine.I can’t say this is the lightest pack I have ever worn. The recycled tubes make for a heavier feel, but as I mentioned earlier this is also the cause of its durability. At $99.95 this pack is at a very competitive price point. Many other companies offerings are much more than this, and are not nearly as environmentally friendly as Green Guru.Bottom line: This pack helps you experience the outdoors, and doesn’t come with the accompanying guilt of less environmentally friendly offerings.
Recently, we wrote about the reality of budget season: how budget season always begins with ideas for big programs and changes for the year ahead, but ends with a tightly sealed budget, a small list of usually regulatory-driven “must do projects”, and only memories of the grander projects proposed at the outset of the year. And how credit unions can break through that annual archetype by identifying at least one signature project that they will commit to for the year ahead and renewing that commitment at the beginning, middle, and end of the planning cycle.Finally, we suggested 3 specific ideas for potential signature projects:Build a New ProductImplement or Enhance a ChannelGo Deep on a Marketing Campaign.We looked closely at the first of these ideas – building a new product – and wrote about how to build a new product based on your members’ wants and needs.Today, we’re going to dive into the second of these ideas, to help you make it the one thing your credit union does in 2016.Implement or Enhance a Channel It’s safe to say that, in the last decade, credit unions have been forced to make significant investments in digital channels. Some credit unions have led the charge, some have been quick to jump onboard once a new channel gained traction, and some have been pulled along kicking and screaming. Regardless of which category your credit union falls into, there are some digital channels that are an absolute necessity if you plan to attract new members, curb attrition, and have any intention of remaining a relevant institution.Simply put, if you do not have a viable Online Banking platform, Mobile Banking, and integrated Bill Pay, please stop reading this article and call an emergency meeting with your senior leaders and BOD. You’re officially in triage.For everyone else, 2016 presents an opportunity to contemplate a new channel of service for your members, and the last couple of years have given us some exciting new technologies. Full service Kiosks and Person-to-Person (P2P) payments are hot channels to consider.P2P, in particular, has seen a huge explosion in our industry, especially among the younger demographics that have an inherent trust in technology. They have gladly ditched checkbooks for the more convenient digital wallets and are quite comfortable with this method of sharing money with friends, family, and small businesses. In fact, Apple recently made it known that it is working with U.S. banks to develop its own network to execute P2P transactions with the iPhone. Clearly there is a demand. And you thought Apple Pay was a game changer.That said, you may find that the best course of action is revisiting and enhancing an existing channel. In our digital world, it does not take long for a platform to become obsolete, cumbersome, or even a bit embarrassing if it’s not keeping pace with contemporary trends.When was the last time you updated your Online Banking and IVR platforms? What about a Mobile Banking update? Are you reluctant because you just implemented mobile 36 months ago? Don’t be. More intuitive solutions are made available every day and, like it or not, it is a key element for providing high quality member service.There is a lot of research available about what channels consumers prefer, and the results are often broad and varied. Therefore we advise you look at your own data and understand your members’ preferences in channel usage and transaction activities. Consider these insights when deliberating what makes sense regarding your estimated costs and potential revenue.Last, but certainly not least, incent your members to adopt your new channel and/or increase their engagement with a current one. Our industry is waking up to the incredible power of loyalty programs that compliment your strategic initiatives.Consider evaluating a platform that allows your credit union the flexibility to create and update loyalty programs with ease, speed, and based on your goals. Don’t get locked into some cookie-cutter program that may limit your flexibility or do nothing to promote your new channel.That’s it. Two down and one to go! Watch for our upcoming article on Doing One Thing: Idea #3 – Go Deep on a Marketing Campaign. 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Damien Hayes Damien Hayes is the Senior Revenue Consultant at Saylent Technologies,Inc. with over 15 years of experience working with banks and credit unions. Today, Damien puts his energy into working … Web: www.saylent.com Details
With all the complex rules credit unions must follow, it is not surprising that CU leaders sometimes seek a legal opinion from the agency that wrote a particular regulation. What is required in a specific circumstance or whether a planned service fits within legal limits are two common subjects of requests for a legal opinion.Sometimes the agency responds with clarification. For example, last year the National Credit Union Administration’s Office of General Counsel, which writes NCUA opinions, addressed the permissibility of credit union indirect lending participations, with certain caveats. This was done in response to a request from the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. The business of credit unions is complicated, and such opinions can be useful in applying a legal provision to a credit union’s operations or products.An agency legal opinion, which also may be termed an “advisory opinion” or “legal interpretation” among other things, represents the agency’s views regarding the application of the law or rules, and can be relied on by the party making the request as an authoritative determination. An agency legal opinion also can provide guidance for other credit unions regulated by the agency that have the same or closely related issues. An opinion also can be very useful, for example, in settling a dispute with an examiner.An agency legal opinion does not create new authority, but rather must be based on and be consistent with current law, rules or other agency interpretations. Otherwise, the agency would likely need to seek comments from stakeholders and the public regarding the impact of the interpretation. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
May 18, 2009Egypt reports two new H5N1 cases, one fatalEgypt’s health ministry recently reported two new H5N1 avian influenza cases in young children, one of them fatal, according reports from Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). A 4-year-old girl with a history of contact with sick poultry died from her infection today at a hospital in Dakahliya governorate. She got sick on May 9 and was hospitalized May 17. The second case involved a 3-year-old boy from Gharbia governorate. He got sick on May 12, was hospitalized on May 15, and was listed in good condition. His family said the boy had contact with sick poultry. If the World Health Organization confirms the cases, they will be listed as Egypt’s 71st and 72nd cases, with the girl’s death marking the country’s 27th fatality. In other developments, the WHO on May 15 confirmed an H5N1 infection ion a 5-year-old girl from Sohag governorate. She became ill on May 7, was hospitalized 2 days later, and remains in stable condition. On the same day the WHO also noted the deaths of three previously confirmed case-patients from Egypt: a 6-year-old by from Qaliobia governorate, a 33-year-old woman from Kafr el Sheikh governorate, and a 25-year-old woman from Cairo governorate. The WHO confirmations raise the global H5N1 total to 424 cases, 261 of them fatal.[May 15 WHO statement]WHO virus-sharing meeting ends without agreementAn intergovernmental group convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) met in Geneva on May 15 and 16 but did not complete an agreement to share influenza virus samples and vaccines, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported yesterday. In a statement, the group said they reached an agreement on most elements of the “pandemic influenza preparedness framework for sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits.” The unresolved issues are sharing of data between laboratories and intellectual property rights relating to viruses. The dispute over virus-sharing began in December 2006 when Indonesia, the nation hardest hit by the H5N1 virus, stopped sending samples to the WHO to protest the high cost of vaccines made by pharmaceutical companies from the isolates the country provided. Since then, the intergovernmental group has met several times but has not forged a final agreement. At the last meeting, in December 2008, the group asked Margaret Chan, WHO director general, to help them flesh out a traceability mechanism, set terms of reference for WHO collaborating centers, revise a material transfer agreement, and outline needs and priorities for benefits such as vaccine stockpiles and financing. Chan’s office published a report on the four tasks, dated Apr 30, in advance of the recent meeting.[Apr 30 WHO director-general’s report on virus sharing issues]New York City names new health commissionerMayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that Dr. Thomas Farley, a pediatrician and epidemiologist from Louisiana, will head the city’s health department. He will replace Dr. Thomas Frieden, who was named this week by President Barack Obama as the new director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Reuters reported. Farley heads the Department of Community Health Sciences and the Prevention Research Center at Tulane University in Louisiana but has worked as a senior advisor to Frieden since 2007. He will step into his new position in June. Farley said today that his top priority would be handling novel H1N1 influenza issues, but he also intends to continue Frieden’s fight against obesity and smoking. Farley.[May 18 Reuters story]
E-sports aficionados can catch their favorite regional Dota 2 teams compete against the best Dota 2 teams in the world. The teams, namely T1 of Indonesia, Tyrants Uprising from Singapore and Team Oracle from Malaysia have made it through to the ONE E-sports Dota 2 invitational regional qualifiers in Jakarta to square off with invited team Boom Esports!Winners of the regional qualifiers from Southeast Asia automatically qualify for the ONE E-sports Dota 2 Jakarta invitational, where they will be able to compete against the world’s best Dota 2 pro teams for a share of the US$500,000 prize pool. Flights and accommodation for winners will be covered by ONE E-sports.The Jakarta regional qualifiers will be held from March 14 to 15 at Taman Anggrek shopping mall. The action can also be streamed through twitch.tv/oneesportsgg. Topics : E-sports is luring many youngsters as players and game producers. Singer turned-political figure Giring Ganesha, who recently organized the President’s Cup, the country’s biggest e-sports competition, said the government had vowed to improve the sports and online game industry.
Topics : New York’s governor threatened to roll back phased reopening plans Sunday after large crowds gathered outside bars in New York City in violation of coronavirus lockdown guidelines.Andrew Cuomo said his office had received 25,000 complaints of reopening violations by businesses as New Yorkers flocked to streets to enjoy a weekend of late spring sunshine.”Lots of violations of social distancing, parties in the street, restaurants and bars ignoring laws,” he tweeted. “Enforce the law or there will be state action,” Cuomo warned local authorities.New York City, the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak, is in phase one of Cuomo’s four-phase reopening plan.Restaurants and bars are allowed to offer takeaway food and drinks but are not permitted to offer outside seating until phase two, expected later this month.Under social distancing guidelines, gatherings are meant to be capped at ten people. It is also illegal to drink alcohol in public places in New York. The governor retweeted a video showing hundreds of people partying in a street in Manhattan’s East Village on Friday evening with the words, “Don’t make me come down there.”COVID-19 has killed almost 31,000 people in New York state, according to Johns Hopkins University.At the height of the crisis in early April almost 800 people were dying a day in the state. On Sunday, Cuomo reported that 23 state residents had succumbed to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours — a new record low.He also said that total virus hospitalizations fell to 1,657, the lowest since March 20.