Give Your Five Year Old His Birthday On A Bus

Turning five is a big birthday! It’s the age they leave pre-school and start school proper. Kids turning five think they are the hottest stuff ever and certainly the coolest! Let your five year old show his friends just how cool he is when he invites them to his birthday party on a bus. Not just any old school-type bus either but a party bus!

Full of bright lights for the night time or have games during the day. Hire a clown to entertain the kids while a professional chauffeur takes care of the driving. How great for you that you won’t have to clean the house before the party or after the party either.

Hosting your 5 year old’s birthday celebration on a party bus is much better than having a party at the local fast food place too. You won’t have to worry about non-guests sneaking in on the cake and games for the birthday guests, nor will need to worry about losing one of the little guests, because they are right there on the bus. Party buses come in sizes big enough for 10 or 20 kids or more and their parents too if they want to come.

With big screen televisions on board, the dads can watch the big game while the kids party and the mom’s socialize. Dress up the party bus with decorations just like you would at home, even bring the same games you have too. You’ll have plenty of room for the birthday cake and party favorites and the children will be able to have the whole works including party hats and horns.

How cool your daughter will be when she goes back to school and hears her friends talking about her fifth birthday party on a party bus! With little more expense that reserving a place at one of the usual, local fast food places, you have a party venue that’s all contained in one area, no fuss, no mess and above-all a safe environment. All you have to do is just bring the cake, the treats, the presents and invite the guests.

Your daughter or son will be the birthday party champ of their grade when you rent a party bus. If you include a clown to entertain the group, there won’t be another birthday party talked about so much at the next ballet class or little league baseball field.

Parents will be calling you wanting to know how you came up with such an original idea. Rent a party bus and let your child reign in their class for “birthday party of the year”!

Enjoy Your Party Bus Hire With Fun Themes And Activities

There are no rules when it comes to planning a party. In fact, some of the best events are unplanned ones. Of course, a planned party can ensure your guests will have something to do, enjoy, and eat during the event. You do not have to follow a template for party planning, either. Thinking outside the box can make any occasion truly personal and enjoyable.

Consider taking the party to the open road if you are thinking of a nice and new way to celebrate. When you hire a bus, it does not have to simply transport you to the venue. Buses can now be mobile venues themselves! In fact, you can decorate your bus according to every imaginable theme. Below are a few suggestions that are perfect for party buses:

Mobile Club

Most people who rent buses for parties are celebrating bachelor or bachelorette parties. Party buses are excellent for more mature-themed parties. Decorate the bus with a lot of bright, neon colors and set up a small space for finger food and a cocktail bar. You can plan a route that visits different restaurants, bars, and clubs for an unforgettable night.

Outer Space

No matter how old people are, the universe strikes everyone’s interest. There is something about the stars, the vast universe, and the mysteries surrounding it that make it so interesting for many. Decorate the party bus for hire as a space ship and plan your destination to include wide fields, deep canyons, or even the local planetarium. This could be a fun party theme for a young boy.

Murder Mystery

One of the most famous mystery novels happened inside a moving vehicle. You can adapt this story and ask your guests to dress in period clothing. Playing out a mystery story is not only a fun way to spend the time; you will not have to worry about the entertainment. Choose destinations that are in keeping with the theme to add to the experience.

Wine Tasting

Another fun theme is to visit different wineries and vineyards and have a wine tasting party. This is a classy and sophisticated way to spend an afternoon for mature guests. Some bus companies may even include this type of party to their package, saving you time and effort in researching a destination. Best of all, they might get you discounts for wine bottles at the destinations.

City Tour

You may not be a tourist in your home city, but chances are, you have not seen even the most famous tourist attractions your city can offer. Experience your home in the eyes of a tourist by booking a tour bus and visiting all the common sites. You might learn something new about your home or see your city’s beauty like you have never before.

No matter the special event, the most important thing is to make it memorable. Even well planned themed parties could have imperfections. Try not to get too caught up with the details and focus on enjoying yourself. If you think a themed party bus party is something you and your guests will enjoy for a specific occasion, check out online resources for party bus for hire.

The Benefits of Renting a Limo Bus for Your Next Event

Planning an event takes a considerable amount of time and effort and the overall success of an event is often based on your ability to make the right choices. One of the most difficult things to plan for any event is transportation. It is not easy to figure out the logistics of how you are going to get people to and from an event, especially if you have a large size group.

One of the best and most fun options is a party bus. Party buses, which are available through most limo rental companies, not only simplify the process of organizing transportation for your event, it also allows your entire group to travel together and enjoy themselves at the same time.

The Benefits of Renting a Limo Bus

Party bus rentals continue to grow in popularity because they are advantageous in a number of key ways. Benefits include:

• The ability to accommodate large groups: Transporting a large group of people is no easy task. Party buses eliminate this issue as most accommodate 20 or more passengers. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about figuring out car pools and travel arrangements for people. Everyone can travel together. All you have to do is figure out a pick up location and you will have simplified transportation for your groups.

• Amazing amenities: A limo bus has everything you need to have a party on wheels. They are equipped with couch style leather seating, multiple bar areas with ice compartments, accent lighting flat screen TV, surround sound, and most importantly, a space to have a great time while you are on your way to your event.

• Cost effectiveness: When you break down the cost within a large group, travelling in a limo bus is actually very cost effective. For the minimal fee that each person will have to pay, it is more than worth the luxurious travel experience.

• A memorable experience: A limo party bus is an experience that you will never forget. Remember how great riding in a limo is? This takes a limo ride to the next level.

• Flexibility: The best thing about a party bus is that you can rent it whenever you need it and for whatever ever event you will be attending with your friends. You can use it to attend concerts, sporting events, weddings, bachelor parties, wine tours, and anything else you want to use it for.

• Worry free and safe environment: The decision to rent a limo party bus is a safe one. You will be in the care of a professional driver. This allows everyone else to enjoy a few drinks without having to worry about drinking and driving.

Renting a limo bus for your next event has its benefits. It will not only impress all of your guests, you will also be able to have a great time without the worry of trying to worry about the logistics of planning travel for a large group. A party bus will be an experience that you won’t see forget.

Dalaman Airport Explored – Everything You Need to Know About Traveling to Dalaman Airport

Dalaman International Airport is the gateway to some of Turkey’s most stunning Mediterranean resorts from the traditional Fethiye and Atakoy to the more lively escapes of Marmaris and Hisaronu, known as much for their nightlife as their beautiful enclaves. This makes it a particular shame then that guests first introduction to this beautiful land is the international terminal of Dalaman Airport, only built in 2006.

Fairly drab and uninspired the negative comments most commonly leveled at Dalaman Airport are about the astronomical food and drinks prices. Think EUR5 for a coffee and it is the reason many regular visitors have taken to bringing their own refreshments when traveling. If you decide to risk it though, there is a reasonable selection of restaurants, cafes and bars on offer, selling traditional Turkish fare through to well established fast food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald´s and Pizza Hut.

For some retail therapy, there are shops galore in the arrivals and departures area selling Turkish products, duty free and designer gear from Gucci to Calvin Klein, as well as newsagents, accessory stores and a toy shop. Unifree duty free shops are open 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day, so you will never miss out on a chance to buy some last minute gifts and goodies, while AIRLET duty free in the departures area sells everything from dresses and textiles to china and glass, below market prices.

Once you leave the airport, the best form of onward travel is a Dalaman Airport Car Hire. There are just 3 Dalaman Airport Car Rental companies based here – Avis, Budget and Europcar – but all offer a good range of cars that are generally no more than 8 months old. The criteria included in the quoted price varies from firm to firm so check with each individual provider before booking.

Another efficient way of getting to your destination is to organise a Dalaman Airport Transfer, particularly a good idea if you are traveling in a large party. With this option a driver meets you in the arrivals hall and takes you straight to your transportation without delay. Alternatively you could catch a cab from outside the terminal which charge around EUR50 for a 70km journey, the distance to Fethiye, or if you are traveling with either Turkish Airlines, Onus air, FlyAir or Atlasjet you can board one of the shuttle buses from the domestic terminal to the resorts of Marmaris and Fethiye. Otherwise, you have to get a Dalaman Airport Taxi into one of the main areas and get a bus from there, as there are no regular bus routes from the airport.

One other major peeve people have with Dalaman International Airport is the lack of seating. This becomes especially problematic when flights are delayed. People frequently have to resort to camping out on the marble floors or else give into the high prices of the restaurants. The alternative is to pay a fee to enter the VIP lounge which has Wi-Fi Internet access.

Other services include the Caria Clinic (open 24 hours a day to cater to any First Aid matters and which has an equipped ambulance on standby), a post office, a small mosque, synagogue and chapel and several places to withdraw or change money including a bank branch, ATMs and a currency exchange bureau. Facilities for the disabled include specially adapted toilets, lifts and ramps for those in wheelchairs.

Why International Travel Is One of My Top Priorities

Eight years ago the idea of traveling overseas seemed totally unrealistic. I thought I was too short on time and even shorter on money to even consider it. However, the seed of this distant dream began to germinate when my mom took a teaching job in Japan. She had an apartment in Kagoshima, the southern-most city on mainland Japan. Then, on top of that, she told me that a friend had offered her the use of a house in Tokyo if she wanted to stopover there for a week on her way back to the states at the end of the school year. Before booking my plane ticket I had to tackle fears that began to pop up unexpectedly. For the first time I would be in the minority-my mom told me she had only seen one other person with blonde hair in the “small city” where she lived that had a population of six-hundred thousand people. She also told me that the only signs of Western culture were a Kentucky Fried Chicken on one side of the city and a McDonald’s on the other side. I tried to imagine myself in this completely “foreign” place where the street signs were in Chinese letters, few people spoke English, and I would stand out as the one who was different. I pushed through my fears and booked my ticket. My fear quickly turned into excitement as soon as I hit the “purchase the ticket” tab on the screen of my laptop and knew that my bank account was now down by $1400.

I was 26 years old when my plane landed at the international airport in Tokyo, and I immediately had to find the bus to the domestic airport where I would connect with a plane that would take me 500 miles south to Kagoshima. During my domestic flight I was shocked how my many attendants were at what seemed like every few steps and seemed anxious to help. I was also taken aback when each one I asked responded with a bow, as though it was an honor to serve me. My fear of being an outsider began to dissolve into intrigue.

My first week was spent in Kagoshima exploring by myself different parts of the city while my mother packed up to move out of her apartment. Unlike Tokyo or Osaka, Kagoshima has a very homogenous population. My 6’2″ height gave me a clear view down the street over the heads of everyone, and I stuck out like a sore thumb. Also, my 210-pound frame seemed to take up all of the width of the narrow sidewalks. I immediately noticed that no one looked at me directly in the eyes, but everyone’s eyes darted sideways from me to the sidewalk several times as they passed me. That week I only saw two non-Japanese people and encountered just a handful of people who attempted to speak English to me. Again, however, every store attendant greeted me with a big smile and bent over backwards to help me in spite of the language barrier.

The following week my mother and I took a ferry to a beautiful remote island called Yakoshima, where we spent a few days in a hostel run by Japanese hippies who did not speak English. Our main activity in Yakoshima was taking a bus tour that was packed with Japanese people who did not speak a word of English but communicated with many smiles and much laughter as they watched us try to follow the directions of the tour guides who only spoke Japanese. We also took a day trip to Nagasaki, where we visited the Atomic Bomb Museum, the Peace Park, and China Town. The Atomic Bomb Museum was where being an American in Japan was quite unsettling. The first couple exhibits were of an old grandfather clock that had stopped at the exact time the nuclear bomb was dropped by the Americans. Then, there was a replica of the bomb. Next were graphic photos of Japanese people, including children, who died or suffered horrific injuries as a result of the bomb. As we were looking at these images (keep in mind we are the only Americans in this museum), a group of twenty Japanese people who were old enough to have been alive, but living elsewhere, when the bomb was dropped came into the exhibit room. They skipped the grandfather clock, the replica of the bomb, and walked straight towards us. I was so sure I was about to be told off, yelled at, or given looks of disgust. To my surprise none of this happened, instead most of the people in the group smiled at me warmly.

My last four days in this welcoming country were spent in Tokyo, being intrigued to see the way people expressed worship with smoke in temples in Asakusa, eating raw fish I had never heard of in the Tsukiji fish market, being dazzled by the bright signs and shoulder to shoulder crowds of Japanese shoppers in the Shibuya district that is one of the busiest crossings in the world, and a public park where we joined hundreds of other tourists catching a glimpse of the Imperial Palace. I felt especially blessed to discover that my arrival in Japan had coincided with the bloom of the cherry blossoms. Because they are in bloom for only a couple of weeks and the celebration of the blossoms is the paramount annual event in Japan, parties were held underneath the trees in every city in Japan. I felt honored to attend one in Kagoshima with a group of families and another one in Tokyo. It was almost surreal to experience Japanese culture on such an intimate level.

During my flight home to the states, I reflected on my experiences in Japan and the fears I had overcome. I felt I had grown and matured more in those three weeks than I had in the previous five years. As I contemplated all this, I made a commitment to myself to travel internationally every year until something substantial held me back. Since then I have been blessed to be able to live up to and beyond that commitment by going on eight international vacations that took me into nineteen different countries throughout Europe, Central and South America, and Africa.

Staying committed to my goal wasn’t always easy and sacrifices were made financially. The most surprising difficulty is a social one-I have found that many of my friends and peers find it difficult to relate to me because my travels have stretched and changed me so much. It is as though a new layer of veil has been lifted from my eyes with each new experience abroad and I have, in turn, adapted a new perspective of the world that has added fresh contours to my beliefs, political views, and most importantly, to my character. Looking back now, however, the financial sacrifices now seem so minuscule and the changes in me have in some ways added value to the lives of those who have stuck by me as I have shared with them the takeaways of my trips.

A few of my friends have caught the travel bug and made their own sacrifices to go on these travel adventures abroad with me or on their own. These friends would probably have never traveled abroad if they had not been a part of my takeaway sessions, and we now have a unique common bond that has added to our friendship in countless ways. Our shared experiences and perspectives of the astonishing world that is out there for the experiencing have brought us closer together than ever before and immensely broadened our global view.

Only the Strong Survive by Seth Soul Man Ferranti

U.S. vs Ferranti: that’s how the case was styled. The United States of fucking America versus me. At nineteen, I was charged with running a Continuing Criminal Enterprise by the feds and sentenced to twenty-five years. I turned to look at my mother as the US Marshals moved in and Judge Hilton of the Eastern District of Virginia said, “You will be committed to the custody of the Attorney General.” Great I thought, Janet Reno, my fucking babysitter.

I never thought I would get busted and prison was the furthest thing from my mind. I was white, middle-class, and from the affluent suburbs of Burke Centre, Virginia. I did the college thing: Penn State, West Virginia University, Virginia Tech, Radford, University of Virginia, East Carolina. My life was a party on wheels. Kind bud. Acid. Brick pot. I figured I was a career man. It was like, have drugs, will travel. But I found out that the feds don’t fuck around and justice doesn’t discriminate. My white skin and middle-class upbringing would only be a drawback in prison and that was no laughing matter.

The marshals handcuffed me and put me in leg irons. They pointed Mossberg twelve-gauge riot-guns at my face and put me on a bus with bars on the windows and an armed escort riding shotgun. It reminded me of some Mad Max type shit. The convicts on the bus called it “diesel therapy.” I could feel the eyes on me as I made my way down the aisle. I tried to look tough as I noticed there weren’t many white people and no one struck me as a suburbanite. In fact, I saw the only other white guy on the bus getting exposed. “What the fuck you looking at cracker?” Yelled a black prisoner. “Nothing.” Replied the white dude meekly with his head down. What a chump I thought as I sunk deeper into my seat and wished I was invisible.

When I hit the compound this old-timer, White Shoes, pulled me aside. I was wary at first, because you never know what a fucker wants in here. But I learned that he only wanted to help. He could tell I was green and I guess he saw convict material, because he took me under his wing. He wanted to see my paperwork to make sure I wasn’t no rat motherfucker. When I checked out he schooled me on prison etiquette. “Don’t gamble, don’t do drugs, and don’t fuck with punks,” he said. “When you talk to people look them in the eye and always be polite, because you never know when someone will lose it. Be cool and if you have a problem, come and get me.”

The advice was right on time as I was adjusting to my environment learning the more disturbing aspects of day to day life on the inside. Like the rest of middle-class America I had seen the movies, but this wasn’t any movie. This was real life. And the realities of prison, I learned, were vicious.

That first morning when the doors cracked I went to go to chow. But as I stepped out the cell this shorty creped on a sleepy-eyed brother and cracked the “nigga” on the dome with a lock in a sock, a favorite prison weapon. The sleepy-eyed con stumbled as he started bleeding profusely from the head. The little shorty punished him and screamed, “Don’t ever be dissing me again nigga.” I stood transfixed by the violence before me as shorty noticed me and said, “You didn’t see nothing did you, white boy?” I shook my head and went back into my cell, skipping breakfast. I later learned this was all about respect and in prison respect was the most important thing.

In prison they say that your word is all you got and if your word ain’t no good then you’re some shit. The concepts of respect and disrespect go hand in hand with that and are at the root of most beefs in prison. Say you bump into dude and you don’t say excuse me. This is a serious sign of disrespect. To get his respect the convict you accidentally bumped might stick six inches of steel into your gut.

In prison you get respect by giving it and demanding it back, by force if necessary. If you lose face just once you could be labeled soft. And if someone thinks you’re soft, they’re gonna try you.

I remember this one white kid Stevie from Maryland who came in. Nice, polite, slightly built, and middle-class. He was in for trying to blow up a gay bar. Some Gangster Disciples took him for a chump and pushed up on him for some commissary. Stevie, fresh to the system, thought he was doing them gangsta’s a favor and bought them a couple packs of smokes. But it didn’t stop there. The next week it was a carton of Newports, the week after some Nike high tops. Then they broke into his locker, taking everything Stevie had. Some white dudes stepped to Stevie and told him he needed to get down and handle his business. Still the idiot did nothing. And in prison you can’t help those that won’t help themselves. Finally the Gangster Disciples raped Stevie. He ended up being pimped out by the gang and is probably still sucking dick to this day.

If you want respect you gotta keep the other prisoners in check. Being nice won’t get you respect but fear will. There is a saying in here, don’t mistake kindness for weakness. Still many of these ignorant fuckers do, so it pays not to be nice. You have to close yourself off and become known as a man that will do something when provoked. Because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Even if it means getting a shank and spilling blood. Better theirs, than yours. Don’t try to talk tough in here either, because your bluff will be called and if you don’t jump when called out you will be branded as a punk and your ass will be ripe for taking.

The best course to follow is to be respectful and assertive. Try not to draw attention to yourself, but don’t back down from a confrontation either. Most times, if you stand up for yourself, you’ll find an out, and avoid looking like a pussy. The problem could be laughed off, like “Chill out man, I was only joking.” But if the situation escalates you can get fucked up. It is a fine line to walk, but if you want to survive, you’ve got to learn when and where to draw that line.

Prison isn’t a nice place. There ain’t no good Samaritans here. When the tension boils it erupts like a volcano. As the pressure builds, you can feel it seeking its release. It’s not something easily described, it’s just an awareness. The air grows still, the silence becomes deafening and you can sense the drama about to unfold.

When the shit jumps off you don’t want to be around either. The best thing to do is just walk the other way and act like nothing is happening. Don’t even try to look or watch. Because if you’re seen watching when people handle their business you might be next or worse still you might be labeled a snitch.

It took about 6 months to scope out the basic social order in the joint. I noticed that the prison gangs played a big part in the social structure. There was a sort of prison politics going on with little diplomacy and lots of violence. The gangs were very active and protective of their hustles and interests. White gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood and Dirty White Boys co-existed with the Bloods, Crips and Gangster Disciples. The Latinos had their own crews also with the Mexican Mafia, Latin Kings, and Texas Syndicate. These fractions sometimes suffered violent and bloody struggles for power and control.

Prisoners also affiliated themselves by home states. So you had loosely organized homeboy crews from North Carolina, D.C., New York, or wherever. The Muslim religious sects were another faction that made power moves and were feared as their numbers were always deep.

It’s smart not to join or beef with a gang, because in such disputes or an all-out gang war things get brutal and you can wind up dead. The gangs controlled the drugs, the gambling, and the gumps. And if you fucked with their money they would hurt you bad.

There was this one DC cat who came down from the super max huffing and puffing. What a bad-ass he was. Dude was big, alright, and cut up. Straight diesel, like a Mack truck. But he started making his own moves, fucking with the gumps and shit. The queers he was banging belonged to the North Carolina Bloods and when they got the scoop they pushed up on the DC brother-man, telling him he got to pay to play. The DC convict told them bammers, “Fuck you.” So the Bloods retaliated, and stabbed “da nigga” 37 times. Leaving him dead with a shank up his ass.

There aren’t any fair fights in prison either. “Anything goes” as they say. If you take a wrong step you might get gangstered by a crew of homeboyz. The prison gangs always jump people and the Mexicans are the most notorious for it. If you put it on a Mexican you better have some back because like White Shoes says, “Thirty of those little burrito-eating motherfuckers are coming for you.” La Rasa will swarm like locusts, attacking in numbers to inflict maximum damage.

Most disputes are handled quietly and decisively though, because a gang war leads to bodies and that means lockdown, which stops the flow of the crews hustles. Most killings are internal also as up and comers make power plays and attempt to knock off rivals. As long as you are assertive, handle your business, and got some back, the prison gangs will leave you alone, because they prey on the weak and unconnected. In some prisons it pays to be affiliated if that is what the custom dictates, but in the end you’ll have to make your own decision, and live or die with it.

The gangs operate on the fear principle. They know their numbers and affiliation will intimidate you. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes a crew might get into something they can’t handle and end up getting punished.

A favorite prison maxim is “Go hard.” Some convicts live their lives following this creed. To the prison gangs these are words to die for. I knew these Dirty White Boys who thought they were the shit. They tried to lock down a wine hustle in their unit. They had most of the unit in check when this “2701b nigga”, Tank, decided he wasn’t paying no crackers for no fucking wine. He stole the Dirty White Boy’s hooch from the stash spot and dared them to do anything. It was put up or shut up time and the Dirty White Boys were going hard. They strapped up with pipes and went to apply justice, prison style. They were outclassed and chumped out though as Tank took their pipes and beat the shit out of their whole crew. The gangs depended on fear and violence, but clearly the intimidation factor was lacking here, because the Dirty White Boys ran to the cop for protection from Big Tank.

In prison most people fit into two categories, good or no-good. There are old-timers, like White Shoes, who go around and talk of nothing else, but who is good and who isn’t. They have spent so many years inside they are consumed by it. Any slight infraction like reneging on a bet or bullshitting too much can get you the no-good label. But if you carry yourself right, handle your business, keep your mouth shut, and are true to your word then you will be considered a stand-up convict. If you have been exposed or exploited without getting your respect, hang around the man too much, or go in and out of the hole all the time without showing any paperwork, you will be considered shady and fit into the no-good category. Prisoners might call you a crackhead, a whaler, a punk, or the worst, a rat. If you pick up one of these labels you are fucked, because reputations stick with you and count as much as respect. Being labeled a rat will hinder you for the rest of your time inside.

Prisoners who are on time might be called a tough guy, a stand-up con, a solid dude, or a crazy motherfucker. Real convicts are known to “keep it real.” A solid reputation will help you to be perceived as a no-nonsense guy who doesn’t fuck around. Clowning is okay, but constant goofing is frowned upon by guys doing life. Jailing the right way earns you respect and a good reputation will make predators think twice about trying you.

The biggest way to get respect is to “make your bones” by taking out a no-good motherfucker. Rats, snitches, and chumps are all fair game. But if you show up the man you get big props. This young dude, Scott, from Kentucky handled his business one day at count. The hacks were hassling him to stand-up for count and he tripped on them, cursing and spitting like a lunatic. The cops hit the deuce and bum rushed him. Tackling him as he fought like a wildcat. He ended up in the bucket four-pointed to the bed for six days. When he finally came out after 90 days hole-time he got big respect because he went hard and defied the man.

Another time this crazy ex-marine dude, Trevor, really freaked. He was in the yard getting plastered on hooch. Then on the move he said, “I’m going back and kicking the shit out of the cop in my unit.” We were all like “Yeah, right dude, go for it.” We thought he was kidding but this motherfucker was dead serious. Later when they locked the prison down we found out Trevor with his drunk, dumb-ass had gone back to his unit, waited for the cop to settle in his office and went in and beat the fuck out of him. I never saw Trevor again, but I’m sure he is serving an extra five years for assault, because the feds don’t fuck around when you attack their guards.

A lot of crazy shit happens in here but if you use your head and aren’t a shifty dude you will be okay. Basically, in prison it’s all about respecting the next man and getting that respect back. We are herded in here like cattle with no privacy, and no rights. We are subjected to strip searches, accountable to the man at every moment, shook down, and humiliated by the powers that be. The little dignity we have left is guarded fiercely and protected violently. If you stay true to yourself, treat people with respect, and carry your weight you will be alright. If you’re a fake-ass, phoney motherfucker you’re gonna get exposed or worse, by far, violated.

You have to remember, ain’t no motherfucker in here gonna help you. If you get in a beef you better fight your way out of it. And always be polite to other prisoners, because you never know how that other dude is feeling or what is going on with their life. Maybe they just lost their appeal and have twenty years to serve. Or they just found out their girlfriend is sucking mad cocks. Or their moms just died and they are looking for an excuse to flip out. If you are not careful you could end up being that excuse. And being on the receiving end of another man’s wrath can be vicious, even deadly.

And the cops don’t care one way or another. Most of them are just punching the clock. They really don’t give a fuck if you make it through the day or not. They’re not getting involved to break up any fight. This ain’t kindergarten so if you step up you better be prepared to “take it to the wall”. When you’re down and bleeding the hacks might step in, cuff you, and take you to the hole. But other than that, the pigs are staying out of the way.

In prison you gotta handle your business and keep it real. That means that you can’t hide out in your cell for your whole bit, or try to sleep away your time. You have to face the killers, thieves, cutthroats, bullies, reprobates, hoodlums, crackheads, gangsta’s, chicano’s, gangbangers, junkies, and hustlers everyday. You have to meet them on their turf and represent. You have to put yourself out there as a man who will be respected and who will die going hard. If you’re not prepared to do this then you better check into PC and be the punk that you are.

The “No Duhs” of Social Media

Ah social media. The latest golden goose to grace our world with promises of untold riches, a slimmer waistline and the perfect tan. The one every girl wants to go home with and every dude wants to be. The prom queen, the rock star and the cult leader all in one.

Getting the picture yet? If you listen to the hype, social media is the answer to all that ails you and your company. It will increase your sales, touches and impressions by 800%…if only we could figure out how it all works.

Truth be told, so much of what’s happening in social media is simply the infiltration of the same sheisty individuals who have previously occupied the world of infomercials and used car lots. If I had a dollar for every time that a “social media expert” followed me on Twitter, I wouldn’t have written this article, since I’d be chilling in Hawaii as the youngest retiree in the islands.

But I’m not, so here we are. Given the omnipresence of social media these days, surely there’s something to it, right? The answer is yes, but it’s often light-years away from the hype and hyperbole. So how do you drill down to the real benefits of social media? You get back to basics.

Hence the “no duhs.” There aren’t any quick fixes to make social media work for you. That’s why I don’t consider myself an expert in the field. I’m a social media grunt. I get in the trenches and get the work done, and that’s ultimately where you’ll find success.

Without any further ado, the “no duhs” of your social media strategy:

Know your purpose
Before you ever set foot in the shared space of social media, you absolutely have to establish why you’re doing it:

What’s brought you to this point?
Do you have a specific product or line of products that you’re trying to sell?
What’s your brand?
What’s your mission statement?
How have you presented yourself in other media up to this point?
What do you expect to achieve?

Get the idea? Before you spin your wheels creating a Facebook page, setting up a Twitter account, broadcasting via a YouTube channel or utilizing whatever else pops up on the scene in the future, you need to have a good grasp of what you or your company hopes to accomplish. Define your expectations before you take the plunge.

Learn the platforms
Not all social media outlets are created equal. This may be the biggest “no duh” statement of all, but you can’t do the same things on Facebook that you can do on Twitter. You can’t run a YouTube channel the same way you create a music profile on MySpace.

Do your homework. Each of these sites is like visiting a new country, or at least driving across the border to a new state. Each one does things just a little bit differently.

For example, I love good southern barbecue. For those of you who know BBQ, you know that I just made a sweeping generalization. What kind of southern BBQ? North Carolina or Kentucky? Western Carolina or Eastern Carolina?

The same is true of social media. There are shades and variations of capabilities and opportunities, so you have to know what you’re dealing with before you can properly engage.

Learn the culture of each of the various social media platforms. This will help you make good decisions about where to make your presence known and give you the understanding to make your efforts more effective. Facebook might be a great place for you to create a page about your products or services, while Twitter could be a waste of your time unless you have solid, regular bites of news and information to share.

Know your audience
This goes hand-in-hand with familiarizing yourself with the social media platforms and knowing your purpose. In the same way that you need to learn the culture, you also need to learn the language. When I moved to France as a teenager, it was one thing to pick up on the fact that there was a good bus system (culture) but quite another to figure out how to purchase tickets to ride across town (language).

Learn who your audience is and how they communicate. Don’t assume that they’ll understand the jargon that you and your coworkers use to discuss your products or services. If you try using that lingo without some form of translation, you’ll end up alienating the very people you want to reach.

Be authentic
Of all the “no duhs,” this is probably the most self-explanatory. Just be real. Be real about your identity as a representative of a company; be real about the products and services that you provide. Don’t oversell or overhype who you are and what you offer. People can see through that, especially in the world of social media. It’s generally very easy to pick up on who’s legit and who’s not.

Be patient
This really gets back to the root of setting expectations. Unless you’re marketing the next iPhone or the next search engine (and good luck with that if you are), chances are you’re not going to have thousands or millions of people beating a path to become your fan on Facebook. It’ll take time for your company ad to get some traction on YouTube. Growing your Twitter following won’t happen overnight, unless you’re Ashton Kutcher. And honestly, does the world need another Ashton?

Be realistic, and let your presence on these sites develop organically. Much like the language/country analogy, it takes time to get acclimated to a new culture and to become more effective at communicating according to the social norms of that culture.

Have fun
Admittedly, this final “no duh” might seem a little goofy. But let’s be honest. Any time someone comes in with plans to formalize a previously underground environment (i.e. big business entering the world of Facebook), there can be a vibe of killing the party. Social media has taken over our lives for one very good reason: It’s fun!

It’s fun to play silly games that measure your brain capacity versus your friends’. It’s fun to discover a new band or movie that your friends haven’t heard about yet. It’s fun to retweet a good joke from a comedian you like. It’s fun (usually) to reconnect with old friends after years of being out of touch.

Social media is, at heart, social. It’s meant to connect people. We form and build relationships (whether in person or online) because it brings joy and meaning to our lives, so don’t let the business of doing business via social networking sites rob you of that. Take the time to invest in the lives of others, and the riches that you reap will be far greater than can be measured in balance sheets and ROI calculations.

By the way, if you’re just not a very social person, that’s all well and good. But maybe you shouldn’t be the one managing your company’s social media efforts. Seek out those who truly enjoy the medium, and allow them the time and space to explore the various “countries” of social media. Let them learn the languages and the cultures that go with each.

Final word? A successful social media strategy depends on good old-fashioned hard work and common sense. Stay alert, and stay engaged.

Jimi Hendrix – A Birthday Tribute

Born 27th November 1942 in Seattle, Washington, Johnny Allen Hendrix was to become one of the most iconic figures ever to be associated with the electric guitar.

His father, Al Hendrix, who had not been consulted about the naming of his son, officially changed young Johnny’s name to James Marshall Hendrix on 11th September 1946.

Noticing that the young boy had a penchant for strumming on a broomstick — for a while in fact, Jimmy and his broom were inseparable, he even took it to school — Al relented and got him his first acoustic guitar for five dollars.

Jimmy was strumming away, teaching himself to play. He soon started hanging around the porch of a local bluesman who lived nearby, picking up whatever he could. This mysterious guitar-slinging bluesman no doubt had a great impact on Jimmy. After playing for a couple of years and hankering for an electric guitar, Jimmy persuaded Al to get him a white Supro electric guitar. Soon he was playing at local gigs and parties around Seattle.

Joining the army for basic training in 1961 as part of his duty to the country, Jimmy eventually got posted to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It was in the army that Jimmy was to meet fellow serviceman and bassist Billy Cox. The two put a five-piece band together and, as the King Kasuals, started entertaining soldiers in the Service Clubs, with the occasional gig around town.

After 14 months, a broken ankle and a feigned back injury got Jimmy out of the paratroopers in 1962.

Moving to New York’s Harlem district, Jimmy took on the stage name Jimmy James. Times were lean and Jimmy took whatever gig came his way. In 1964, Jimmy was offered an audition with The Isley Brothers after being spotted at a club where he would often beg to sit in with the resident band.

For the audition, Jimmy was so broke that he didn’t even have a full set of strings on his guitar. As part of the agreement for Jimmy to come for the audition, Ronnie Isley would have to buy him a set of strings.

Jimmy was hired and recorded the single ‘Testify’ with the band. A tour immediately followed and Jimmy found himself playing before stadium-sized audiences. On a tour back to his hometown of Seattle, Jimmy missed the bus back to New York and also had his guitar stolen. Once back in New York, he purchased his first Fender guitar, a Duosonic, from Manny’s Music on 48th Street.

Quitting the band in 1964 — Jimmy felt the Isley’s had too many rules, especially when it came to dressing and choreographed dance routines — he found himself drifting once again. Changing his stage name to Maurice James, Jimmy eventually found himself in Little Richard’s backing band.

Jimmy soon realized that he had stepped into another regimented musical outfit, worse than his experience in The Isley Brothers. Little Richard was a star, and he did not like to be outshone, let alone by his own sideman. Jimmy’s flamboyance onstage, coupled with his wild hair and colorful dress-sense made for an uncomfortable situation in the Richard camp.

While on a break from Little Richard, Jimmy did some gigs with Ike and Tina Turner. Ike too saw that Jimmy was stealing the show and dropped him. By this time Jimmy had also been fired from his gig with Little Richard.

Arriving back in New York, Jimmy wrote this piece of prose:

I was just a little square

Like the cat with unconked hair

Now I’m hip to the chicks

And far from a drip

The cats on the square

Call me Joe Ad-Lib

Joe Ad-lib, it would seem, would be discovered while playing to an empty house at the Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village by the ex-bassist for The Animals, Chas Chandler. Chandler had just just gone into the management business and was looking for new talent to boost his music management portfolio. Signing on Jimmy, Chas brought him to England on 24th September 1966.

With only a Fender Stratocaster and a change of clothes, Jimmy descended on London’s bustling music scene. In a very short time, Jimmy’s name became a buzzword, and rock’s royalty — Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Pete Townshend and Jeff Beck — had been won over and become ardent, although sometimes begrudging admirers.

Chandler’s business associate, Mike Jeffery, recruited guitarist Noel Redding to play bass in Jimmy’s fledgling trio. Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames had just broken up and their drummer Mitch Mitchell was also invited to audition.

When Jimmy came to London he had reverted to this real surname. It was Chandler’s idea to change the spelling of his first name to Jimi to make it unique and memorable.

With the trio of Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was born.

Happy Birthday Jimi. In one short lifetime, you taught us several lifetimes of lessons.

Fraudulent and Deceptive Practices That Film Crews Face

While most production companies are honest and upstanding, a few bad apples make life miserable for film crews. Scams and “oversights” occur mainly in the ultra-low or limited budget fields, so for crew members it’s beneficial to know up front the various problems you might encounter. You should realize that producers are prone to stretching the truth to secure financing.

This same mindset prevails when it comes to hiring crew members. Their strategy is to minimize compensation, maximize output, and avoid accountability. For non-union crew members, there are limited protections as to compensation, working hours, or fringe benefits. In addition, with numerous applicants for almost every position, ones negotiating position is severely weakened.

Just the same, a little knowledge may up your earnings and lessen your headaches. How does one avoid being ripped off? First off, be aware and vigilant. Be assertive when dealing with management and know the scams and cons you’re likely to encounter. This article covers the more blatant ones and listed complaint sites profile others.

To pull in quality people producers sometimes play up big names they’ve purportedly signed. A well-known actor, a respected director, can pull in experienced crew members, some willing to work below their standard rates. This is all well and good, if it were true. Such bait and switch tactics work well on investors, so why not use it on production personnel. And if unable to sign these people, there’s a bevy of excuses waiting in the wings. By then crew members are committed to the picture based on this erroneous information.

Job listings can be misleading, especially when it comes to the credits and credentials of the principles. A producer may imply working on a feature when his actual title was associate producer. These little faux pas are reflective of management’s integrity and character. Check out credits on IMDb.com as well as the credited films’ websites. It is better to question early on than to face entanglements during production.

In the hiring process, a deal memo should be your number one priority, as it helps avoid problems down the road. It outlines your compensation, working duration, and your screen credits. At FilmContracts.net, there are online forms for such agreements. If you are unable to get a deal memo, restate the hiring conditions in an email to the hiring party and sent a cc copy to yourself. In this email, state that this is your understanding of the terms and if incorrect, please reply by return email. Hold this email in a special email file and use it as proof that this was your understanding as of that date. While such emails have limited legal standing, they do provide some leverage should problems occur.

In negotiating compensation, one should be aware of the “favored-nations” clause. Such a provision in the agreement guarantees that no other crew member on the picture (in the same job category) will obtain more advantageous terms. Such a cause ensures that you receive a fair deal compared to that of others.

A clause producers sometimes push is a run of show fee agreement. Such a contract locks you in and usually makes no allowance for additional shooting days. Thus, you may be hired to work a schedule of 18 days and actually end up working 22. That works out to a 22% reduction in your pay. A more equitable method is to assign a set rate for days worked beyond the scheduled shooting days.

If part of your duties requires purchasing production supplies, avoid out-of-pocket payments. Instead, get cash from the production manager. Getting repaid can be a hassle as reimbursements can be delayed for months and cause you undue hardship in the mean time. Also, make copies of the receipts and tabulations, as management can conveniently lose these items.

Crew members that bring their own tools and supplies to the shoot may qualify for a box rental or kit fee. This fee covers items such as ware and tear on tools, makeup supplies, script supervisor expenses, and expendables used during production. Replacing or replenishing these items can be a big expense and figures from previous productions can provide good leverage. Funds for these items are not relinquished easily and it’s unfair for you to “contribute” to the production when other crew members receiving similar pay do not.

Working conditions is another major scam. Production companies promise reasonable hours, yet these are often stretched to fourteen, even sixteen hour days. This leaves little time for commuting and sleep. While there are many excuses given the reason can usually be traced back to bad planning. This abuse, especially when prevalent, soon wears down production personnel to where they neither function or performance properly. The way to rectify this abuse is to establish early on a reasonable turnaround time. Simply put, if you work late, you start later the next day.

Another scam is not adequately staffing crew positions. As such crew members are overworked, their hours extended, and the quality of their work suffers. Management’s usual fix for this problem is to add interns, volunteers, or PA’s. However, these people have limited craft experience and thus paid crew members are more involved in teaching than they are in doing their jobs. Management’s ploy is to count heads rather than qualified workers. Adding this unskilled labor creates a numerous problems including lower production quality, safety issues and longer hours. While it saves management’s money, it sets up a culture where the bottom line supersedes producing a quality film.

Messy bookkeeping is another way film crews are cheated out of rightful compensation. Whether done on purpose or through carelessness the result is the same; the crew member loses. Discrepancies are difficult to prove, especially when discovered weeks later. I would suggest keeping your own time sheet. In this way, you have a record of your work hours and a rebuttal against such abuse. Also, hold onto call sheets, as they are proof when you worked.

If you are paid in cash, you might be leery about the integrity of the production company. Without a paper trail, your employee rights could be in jeopardy. Rights to such things as deferred payments, workman’s comp, and state disability. Paying in cash allows the producers to keep your efforts off the books. In addition, producers can cook the books the investors see and inflate production expenses. They also avoid paying state and federal employee benefits such as welfare and SDI. If the producers are hiding funds, then cash payments allow monies to move undetected. While cash payments seem beneficial to the employee, they could lead to problems down the road. When applying for unemployment, pay stubs show that you were employed and eligible to receive benefits. There are also the consequences of not reporting all your income to the IRS. Not issuing 1099’s is another sign the company is a little flaky as there is no federal record of your employment.

On the same topic, producers have been known to put down crew member’s work saying it’s not up to par. Then they use this excuse to renege on or reduce promised wages. This ploy is usually done after the crew member’s work is completed and the production has wrapped. The situation then becomes a take it or leave it stand-off, one that can only be settled in court. A crew deal memo has great value in such cases as does support from cast and other crew people. Document your complaint in writing and send it via return receipt registered mail. With the advent of videophones, some crew members query an appraisal of their work during production. Such footage provides additional proof of ones worth.

Vehicle use, parking, mileage is another area where production companies cut corners. Runners, buyers, and production assistants are the most abused on this issue. Running production errands in their own cars, these people are the least able to afford this additional expense. They are also the least assertive members of the crew and thus the easiest to scam. And in their quest to obtain experience and screen credits they will avoid making any waves.

On limited budget films, production companies avoid taking out liability and worker’s compensation insurance. If the company has a shooting permit, then it’s likely they have this insurance coverage. If not, being aware of the risks should you be injured or seriously maimed. Such knowledge may dictate how you accomplish your work. Stunts, lighting and set construction have high insurance premiums due to their higher injury rates. With so little protection, slow and cautious is your only defense.

Productions that are partially funded look for ways to get more money. One way is to convince crew members to defer part or all their salaries so the picture can be complete. They promise they will pay back deferred salaries out of the film’s distribution deal (yet to be negotiated, of course.) Another ploy is to give points in the production in lieu of salary. These offers are bad, bad, bad ideas as the prospect of seeing any money is either nil or none. According to AMPPA, only 2% of non-studio films completed make any money for the producers. Taking such an offer is like betting on a plow horse to win the Kentucky Derby. The same goes for putting your own money into a struggling production. When you clear away the hype and the pressure to be a team player, it is still a bad idea.

This next scam happens often on student films and calling card films. These films are usually made for the expressed purpose of gaining entry into the industry. The ploy is to get people to work on the film for free with the promise of working on the group’s other projects later on. However, when later comes about, the scammer has excuses for not honoring his commitment. The first filmmaker lucks out as he’s got his ticket in. The others have to find other people to help with their projects. Sharing equipment also comes into play with the first filmmaker reneging on use of his stuff. A written agreement usually takes care of this scam.

Low budget films tend to get behind, both money wise and time wise. To take up the slack, management pressures the cast and crew by making unreasonable demands and deadlines. It could mean working faster and doing less coverage. It could also mean working through lunch and/or working late through a second meal break. Compensation for such extra effort is non-existent aside from the ‘appreciative’ thank you. In filmmaking you never catch up, you just lower expectations.

Occasionally, crew members are asked to do something that is illegal. Most are money-saving misdemeanors that can have a serious downside if caught. They include bogus non-profit status to obtain discounts, bogus wholesale permit to avoid paying sales tax, bogus production permits, and bogus insurance coverage. They could also include no safety officer for use of guns, explosions, or fire in a scene. Production companies have also been known to put up bogus no parking signs, block off traffic without authorization, and use locations without permission. Other violations include not getting product/literary clearance and unauthorized use of signage. To cover yourself in these situations, question the legality. If caught, pass the accountability up to the person making the request, such as the producer or production manager. Don’t be thrown under the bus for bad decisions delegated by a superior.

Collecting your rightful compensation can be a long arduous task. Production companies have done everything from outright reneging on your pay to renegotiating a lower wage. Be ready for a multitude of delaying tactics and excuses. “We’re waiting on a distribution deal.” Or, “We’re raising money for a feature that we’ll be able to pay people considerably more.” Another is an offer to up your screen credit in return for less money. Some will denigrate the work you have done or say that it was not authorized to lower their obligation.

What are your options? You can, of course, sue in small claims court and hopefully get full compensation that way. Such action requires documentation, time, filing fees and court time. You can also file a complaint with the Department of Labor, ESA Wage & Hour Division. Such a complaint usually stirs up other violations, some of which can result in severe penalties for the production company.

Another method is posting your grievance online at one of the many complaint sites. These would include BBBOnline.org, Complaints.com and Ripoffreport.com. Another site, Scambook.com, offers a resolution service. Accountants and lawyers use these sites to steer clients away from bad investments. Such postings help spread the word and if nothing else, shame the production company into paying you your rightful compensation.

There are, of course, multitudes of upstanding and honest production companies in this industry. These companies treat their crew members amicably, compensate them fairly, and pay wages in a timely manner. They also listen, communicate and are open to solving grievances. It’s an enjoyable experience and crew members take considerable pride in being a part of the final product. No scams, no cons, just one happy family working together to produce a quality film. That’s how it should be done.

Going to the 2013 Kentucky Derby in Louisville KY? 10 Tips for a Great Visit to the Kentucky Derby!

Louisville’s Kentucky Derby is a two-day horse racing extravaganza, famous for attracting an international crowd and inspiring elegant and unique attire, in tandem with memorable parties, social gatherings and wide variety of entertainment options. Traditionally held the first Saturday in May, and sometimes called the “fast two minutes in sports,” the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs will be held on Saturday, May 4.

If you have never been to the Kentucky Derby and you are coming to Louisville from outside of Kentucky, chances are you’ve got some planning to do to make sure your experience during this special event goes smoothly. While the Derby experience can range from infield tickets costing around $50 a piece to box seating priced at thousands of dollars, planning ahead, regardless of your plans, makes for a smoother and easier time.

10 Things you Need to Know About and Plan for Before you go to the Kentucky Derby

Transportation to Louisville, KY – Whether you are planning on arriving in Louisville, Kentucky, by car, bus or plane, you have a range of options. Louisville is home to an international airport (IATA airport code SDF) called Standiford Field. You can catch many of the major airlines there including Southwest, Delta, United, American, and more. In addition, the airports in Cincinnati and Lexington are comparatively short drives to Louisville, offering you more flight options if you can’t find the air travel you are looking for coming directly into Louisville.

Tickets to the Kentucky Derby – If you haven’t been lucky enough to land a free box with a finish line view from a rich uncle or a generous boss, you can buy tickets to the Kentucky Derby that range in price from around $50 for general admission to upwards of thousands of dollars for box seating. If you are looking for premium seating, it is advisable that you do this as early as possible since availability narrows and prices often tend to climb as the event draws closer. It is important to note that general admission tickets to the Kentucky Derby do not include a seat or visual access to the Churchill Downs racetrack. You can plan on seeing the races through TV screens situated throughout the track facility.

Transportation to the Churchill Downs Race Track – Unless you are planning on staying in a neighborhood very close to the tracks so that you can walk, chances are you’ll need some type of transportation to Louisville’s Churchill Downs racetrack. Provided that you have a vehicle, you can drive a car to the Churchill Downs. Many of the houses around the tracks offer parking for prices ranging from $10 and up for the day. If you are planning on taking a cab or a bus to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, it is helpful to plan ahead. This is a very busy time of year in Louisville and it can sometimes be difficult to get the cab or van service you want without advanced reservations. For the adventurous, there are sometimes rickshaw bicycles pedaling around town offering transportation to and from the tracks to downtown Louisville and nearby neighborhoods like Old Louisville.

A Place to Stay During your visit to Louisville, KY – If you are coming to Louisville from out of town to attend the Kentucky Derby, you’ll want to find a place to stay well before you arrive for the event. Hotels often fill up far in advance for many miles around the tracks and many charge higher than usual prices for this premium event. If you are traveling with your family or in a larger group, you may want to rent a house in Louisville during your visit to the Kentucky Derby. There are many comfortable and appealing house rentals located near Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby.

Something to Wear to the Kentucky Derby – If you dress comfortable, coordinated and elegant (with a hat) you will fit right in at the Kentucky Derby – If you like dressing up with your own stylish flair, than the Derby is just the event for you. People wear all sorts of gorgeous and memorable attire to the Derby – you’ll see hundreds of very fancy and well-coordinated suits, dresses and shoes, many with matching hats, of course.

A Plan for Food (box lunches, eating from vendors at the tracks, packing snacks) – There is plenty of food at Churchill Downs for those who don’t want to plan ahead and bring food to the Kentucky Derby. You can also opt to bring your own food and many of the local restaurants in Louisville feature special Kentucky Derby box lunches that highlight local fare. For example, Louisville’s own Cheddar Box cafe features a Derby Week Box Lunch menu complete with beef tenderloin and Henry Bain sauce, Turkey with Chutney Mayonnaise and Country Ham.

A Change of Shoes – One thing about the Derby is that it really is a full day event and unlike other events where you might plan on sitting for most of the day, the Derby provides you with plenty of opportunities to get up and walk around, whether walking to and from your parking place, placing your bets, checking out the horses in the paddock, searching for some of the famous faces attending the Derby, or connecting with friends. If you are wearing the perfect shoes that match your outfit but offer little in the way of comfort, consider bringing an extra pair of flip flops or slip on shoes in case you find yourself needing a more comfortable option when you are walking around.

Dinner Plans for After the Event – Many people leave the Kentucky Derby around 7 p.m. and are ready to hit Louisville’s local restaurant scene for some drinks, dinner, and more fun and excitement. Louisville is home to dozens of wonderful local restaurants offering up all types of food ranging from steaks and seafood to local produce and meat, Asian cuisine, southern fare, and anything else you can imagine. If you have your heart on a certain destination, make your Derby eve dinner reservations in advance so that you aren’t disappointed.

Spending Money for horse betting, tipping in the restrooms, buying mint juleps, etc. Even if you are not all that knowledgeable about horse racing, chances are, the excitement of the Kentucky Derby might make you interested in plunking down a few dollars for a possible win. You’ll also want to be able to tip a few dollars to the kind people who keep the restrooms clean and also provide you with various toiletries and other cosmetics you might unexpectedly need, and then… of course… don’t forget about the official drink of the Kentucky Derby – the world famous mint julep – served at the tracks in collector derby glassware featuring a complete listing of all the winning derby horses over the decades.

An Alternative Weather Plan for rain, snow, sleet or heat. Louisville has a gorgeous spring and if luck prevails, the Derby can be quite a time to show off this temperate and beautiful time of the year… but sometimes nature doesn’t quite cooperate and you are sure to hear some stories about the year it stormed, sleeted or snowed during the Kentucky Derby. In the event that you should experience unpleasant weather, it is advisable that you have a backup plan for your shoes and attire, whether it be the addition of boots, if needed, or an attractive coat or sweater to match your outfit if it feels more like winter than spring.

Like a lot of famous destinations and international events – e.g. the Olympics, the Boston Marathon, Mardis Gras, Tour de France, Scandinavian Summer Solstice, Orlando’s Disneyland, Quebec’s Winter Carnival, New York City’s Madison Avenue, the Louvre or Eiffel Tower in Paris, or Egypt’s Pyramids – attending Louisville’s Kentucky Derby is truly an amazing trip where you are sure to have truly cherished memories that last a lifetime. If you are planning on attending the 2013 Kentucky Derby, start making your plans now so that you can kick back and enjoy yourself during your visit to Louisville!

Diane Watts-Roy is a Louisville local and co-owner of Louisville Derby Rentals, a house rental company offering premium housing rentals to visitors attending Louisville’s Kentucky Derby. Specializing in large, comfortable and elegant rental homes situated close to the Churchill Downs racetrack, Louisville Derby Rentals offers a wide range of accommodations to serve individuals and groups of all sizes. Find out how to list or rent a house for the Kentucky Derby at [http://www.louisvillederbyrentals.com] today!