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What Happened to Lincoln City Archery: The Short Version

Lincoln City Archery Penguin Logo

If you’ve been following us on social media or at this blog, you know that we opened up an archery range and shop in Lincoln City, Oregon. You probably also know by now that we have since closed the shop. But why did we close?

We had numerous people tell us Lincoln City needed something for the kids to do and for tourists to do when the weather didn’t cooperate with beach plans. Many people told us the idea was cool and unique (even though I took it from Malta Archery and Armin Hirmer). Anyone who used our range was happy with the instruction and learning how to shoot traditionally. People walked in the door, looked around, and wished us well in our pursuit. They hoped we would make it. I’m pretty sure their thoughts and prayers were with us if they had any to give. And we still had to close.

Nothing ever happens for one reason. There are a lot of moving parts to any decision, and so it went with Lincoln City Archery. Sure, the economy tanked as gas prices rose. We lost a store that was good at bringing people to our side of the mall, and I may have made a few mistakes in forecasting and calculating.

One major reason we closed was time. We live on the Oregon Coast, but for all the time I spent in the shop, I would never know it. Working from 10 to 7 everyday, and being excited because Sunday was 10 to 6, is too much for anyone. And after hearing my grandma talk about why she worked overtime and what that did for us as grandchildren, I realized that I wasn’t getting any benefit from working 70 hours a week or more.

Work shouldn’t be the focus of anyone’s life. Automation and time-saving devices were supposed to give us time to become fully human. Instead, we’ve become smaller cogs in a machine that will grind us up and wear us out if we let it. Any great small business owner will realize that they own the small business and it shouldn’t be the other way around.

If you’re interested in the full breakdown of how things broke down, join our Patreon and check out my post there. If you have a small business, it may help you avoid some of the pitfalls we found.

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Snow White’s Enchanted Wish Replaces Snow White’s Scary Adventures

Meeting Snow White at Disneyland's 25th anniversary

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, he included the “Snow White Ride-Thru” as seen in the guidebook “The Story of Disneyland.” Guests boarded a mine car and went on Snow White’s adventures, but many guests were disappointed. They never saw Snow White in the attraction, and they wondered why. Where was Snow White?

The missing princess wasn’t the only problem parents had with the attraction, which took them and their children on a 3D ride through the 1937 movie story line. The witch shows up numerous times, threatening, changing into the old apple peddler, and the mine cars head through the castle dungeon and into the scary forest, which in the film is a figment of Snow White’s imagination. This attraction was terrifying for some of the younger audience.

According to “The Disneyland Encyclopedia,” the attraction changed to make clear what was going on. Snow White was added to the interior, and “scary was added to the official attraction name. But why wasn’t Snow White in the original plan?

“The park achieved a kind of reality. Like these virtual reality games the children are playing with. I told them we were doing this 40 years ago! Disneyland is virtual reality.” – John Hench

The attraction developers wanted people to experience the attraction as if they were Snow White. This may be one of the earliest examples of first-person shooters if you don’t count the Frontierland and other shooting galleries themselves. It was a way for Disneyland to immerse its guests in the films they loved, but for some this proved too traumatic, and even through 2019, Snow White’s Scary Adventures were, well, scary.

When Disneyland reopened after the COVID pandemic on April 30, 2021, the Snow White attraction changed names. It is now called Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. Disneyland Resort Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering Kim Irvine said:

“The Snow White attraction has such a rich history. We wanted to take into account the beautiful scenic work that has always existed and retell the story in a special way. We believe guests will enjoy this sweet story line in a stunning experience.”

The Snow White Ride-Thru has been a part of the park since the beginning, and like the park, it was meant to change and grow. This latest incarnation reminds us of Walt Disney’s words, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” It also shows us that scary things can become less scary when we use our imagination to create new solutions.

Support and Disclaimers

We use affiliate links. When a link takes you to Amazon and you buy a product, we get a finder’s fee. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it helps us write more great articles.

If you’d like more articles about Disneyland and the Disney Company, check out I have also written books available at Amazon and on this website.

If you’d like to support us directly, my wife and I have a Patreon page. Thanks.

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Blog Returns to Positive Creativity

Penguins brainstorming creativity

We have several people who signed up for this blog while we were using it for Lincoln City Archery. The posts that are up will remain up, as will the videos on YouTube (for however long YouTube allows). Our blog, on the other hand, will be reverting back to its earlier form. We will be looking at positive creativity and relying on creative principles to help you feel empowered enough to create something to make the world, your world, or the world of someone you love, better. This doesn’t mean that we will be eliminating archery altogether. It just means there will be more diversity. What does that look like?

Travel Blogs

You don’t have to travel to write a travel blog. Books can take you to places that you never knew existed, that may not have ever existed, except in someone’s imagination. They can also take you to places that exist but that you can’t get to. (My “Adventures on the Amur” books are meant to take you to Blagoveshchensk, Russia; it’s a real place, even if the stories are fictional.)

However, travel blogs are also great when they are about actual travel. In the short term, you may see articles about Lincoln City, Newport, or other areas close by. A staycation, when done correctly, is traveling to places you typically ignore right in your own (figurative, possibly literal) backyard. We are also going to take a trip to see my grandma and uncle and Disneyland. Longer term, the travel blogs may be few and far between. It just depends on how much support we get from our Patreon and this website.

Disney Blogs

As the author of “Disneyland Is Creativity,” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” you might suspect that I am a huge Disney fan. You’d be right. Some of my most viewed articles have been on why certain movies were bad, like Maleficent 2. However, I also like to write about the joy and the creative principles that Disney uses in its production of intellectual property. I still have some amazing articles on my Weebly site that explore synergy and other aspects of the Disney company.

Book Blogs

Books help improve focus and concentration. They also improve creativity through the use of imagination and increasing working vocabulary. Plus, I like to read, and I hope you do to. Some of the book posts will be to showcase an Indie Author. Some of it will be to explore themes of a book. Some of it will just be to tell you about a book I love to read.

Penguin Blogs

You gotta love our stuffed penguins. Every stuffed penguin that gets adopted allows us to send a donation to the Royal Albatross Centre for their work with little penguins and other birds. From June 2021 to July 2022, we were able to donate over $130 to the New Zealand non-profit. Of course, we love real penguins, so having blog posts here only makes sense.

Positive Creativity Blogs

Creativity requires special and general knowledge. You need to be an expert at one subject, but then you need to know about another subject in order to make the connections that creativity requires. The guy who invented Velcro was an engineer (expert) and a hiker (generalist). When he became interested in how burrs attach themselves to, well, almost everything, he put his engineering knowledge to work. The curiosity linked the two things he knew to bring a third thing into being.

But here’s the thing most people miss, YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR CREATIVITY. There are a lot of others things out there that require you to make money – your rent, medical bills, food… The figurative list is endless, even if this one only has three items. The entire capitalist system tells you that if you’re making something and not selling it than you are somehow losing. People want you to turn your positive creativity into your side-gig. Make a little extra cheddar because that’s better than making something just for the joy of it.

BAH! Meh! UGH! You can be creative, you can make something, and you don’t have to turn it into a cottage business. You don’t have to find a place to sell it. You can, and I won’t discourage you from sharing your creativity with the world. In fact, I want you to share your positive creativity with the world. But I also want you to know that sometimes, an artist creates something because he or she has to. Often, the world is not ready for that something.

It’s sad. It’s hard, and when you have bills to pay, it gets more difficult to justify that part of you. As a human being, it is important to recognize that your creativity is more of who you are than your job is… unless you’re making bank on your creativity, then good for you!

(One note: If someone asks you to use your creativity for them, you have every right to demand payment of some form. Too many artists, writers, and others are willing to give their creativity away for free or for exposure. This not only hurts the specific person giving the items away, but it also hurts everyone else who could’ve earned some sort of living from the creative endeavor. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you for your special gifts. This could be a blog post on its own, but I’ll let it go for now.)

Thank You

I want to thank each and everyone of you for being with us on our blog. We appreciate you and look forward to your positive creativity.

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Get Darren Lamb’s, aka the Worst Buddhist, Books Today

Buddhist fiction and non-fiction Author Darren Lamb at Salt Lake Comic Con

When Lincoln City Archery closed, we were left with a lot of books. I mean boxes of books, so many books… and sure, over 300 of them are copies of my books (which you can also find on Amazon at this affiliate link), but many of them are from other authors, some I know personally, some I know from the Internet, and some I don’t know, but the titles sounded cool and were likely archery related. One of the authors who was super helpful in getting our store stocked is Darren Lamb, who calls himself the Worst Buddhist. (This article will use affiliate links. When you but using an affiliate link, it doesn’t cost you or the author anything extra, and it helps support our blog and other activities.)

Darren’s Books

Darren writes a lot of cool stuff, usually with a Buddhist and/or Geek slant to them. His Sea of Sin trilogy is three books about friends, who experience horrible tragedies and how they deal with them. In the second book, a serial killer is on the loose. In the third, the venture into the sex-trafficking world of Thailand. These books are well written and engrossing.

Rebirth: A Zombie Tale” takes place during the zombie apocalypse when a Buddhist monk must set out to find the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

The Book of Benjamin” explores what happens if the mysteries of the universe are really found within a person or within every person.

His latest book, “The Happiness Program,” offers up advice to get you moving toward greater happiness.

If you’re traveling a spiritual journey by yourself, “Ronin Buddhism” is the book for you. Sure, it has “Buddhism” in the title, but anyone can take the geek-related wisdom and use it for their religion. It’s especially helpful for anyone feeling alone in their search for truth. Plus, it has a Batman Buddha on the cover. A related book is his “Little Book of Loving Kindness,” which focuses on Tonglen meditation and over 100 prayers to help you manifest a kinder, more loving life.

The Worst Buddhist” is illustrated by Darren’s daughter. It features the comical adventures of the worst Buddhist in larger format and provides guidance for parents to help their children learn to quiet their minds.

(Full Disclosure: I have edited many, though not all, of Darren’s books.)

Darren and Lincoln City Archery

When we opened Lincoln City Archery, Darren asked if there was anything he could do. I told him I wanted to feature Indie Authors in my store and asked him what he could sell his books to us for. He refused to take any payment for the books and sent us three copies of each. When we closed, he made the same offer of help. We have the books mentioned above, in very limited numbers, just waiting to find a home. They can be yours for $5 each (plus shipping and handling). If you’re in Lincoln City, Oregon, I can bring them to you.

If you prefer, you can go to Amazon and order them or you can go to the and support Darren directly. Darren will also be at Salt Lake FanX 2022, where he will have his books, geek Buddhas, and other fun stuff. You can even get his autograph!

About Darren Lamb

Darren is a former Marine and former Buddhist monk. We met on Free Comic Book Day when he was sitting in a comic book shop selling his books. I got a copy, he posted a picture of us with his book on social media, and we became friends. Darren also did a forward for my book: “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

If you want more information about Darren’s books check out these articles:

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Make Money Online with InboxDollars

shopping cart with money on top of a laptop

On May 31, 2022, I signed up to make money online with InboxDollars. On August 1, I had made $100 by doing surveys, playing (mostly) solitaire, receiving PaidEmails, using the InboxDollars search engine, and uploading some very small Magic Receipts. I took advantage of one offer to see how it worked. With my two referrals also earning money, it only took me a little over 63 days. That’s about $1.60 a day. It won’t pay the bills, but if I’m making that in my spare time, it’s not too shabby.

Referrals to Make Money Online with InboxDollars

When you sign up with my referral link, I get a 30% bonus based on your activity. If you make a dollar, I get 30 cents, and more importantly, you get your whole dollar. The money doesn’t come from your account. Obviously, I want you to make as much as possible, but even a couple cents a day goes in the pot and contributes to the $10 minimum withdrawal currently on my account. Once you’re signed up, you get your own referral link that you can send to family and friends. You’ll get a 30% bonus based on their activity. (I’ll get nothing but a percentage of what you earn through activity, at least as far as I understand it.) Referrals are obviously the easiest way to make money because once they’re signed up and working, you don’t have to do anything.

Using Offers

I’m always skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true. However, because I had a good experience so far, I thought I would try one out. One of my PaidEmails had an offer for Golden Hearts. The website has a small number of casino slots and other games to play. The offer was to donate $10 and you’d get $15 from InboxDollars. That’s Golden Heart’s shtick. The money goes to a charity of your choosing. Did I have $10 to lose? Education isn’t free, so I thought I could make it up on other activities if something went wrong, like I clicked on the wrong link. I got my $15 from InboxDollars about a week later, maybe a little longer. Even better, the coins I got from Golden Hearts had me at $10.82, which means I made my money back twice!

Golden Hearts offers its members the opportunity to spin, once every 24 hours, for more bonus coins. As long as you remember to visit the site once a day after the hour you first spun the wheel, you’ll be able to continue to play whatever casino game catches your fancy on the site and win more money. (If for some reason, you don’t want to sign up through InboxDolllars, use this referral link. But seriously, you should sign up through InboxDollars.)

Other Parts of InboxDollars

I’ve already covered a lot of the others to make money online with InboxDollars in a previous article. If you’re looking to supplement your income and have a little fun doing it, InboxDollars provides a way. In their July 2022 break down of site statistics, InboxDollars reports that the most made from surveys by one person was around $366. One member made over $2,000 through offers, and someone made $670 from referrals!

All the information I have written is true as far as my experience. This article contains referral links as explained above.

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What the Financial Experts and Almost Everybody Gets Wrong about the Lottery

hard cash on a briefcase

With Mega Millions reaching over $1 billion and people of every income level buying tickets in quantity, financial experts everywhere are decrying the lack of financial education of the common man. They talk about the near-zero chance of winning the lottery, and how that money could be better invested in the stock market. Some even go so far as suggesting that taking the lump sum over the annuity is the better option.

The Stupid Person Tax

Back in the day, someone close to me described the lottery as a tax on stupid people. There were (and are) a lot of poor people playing the lottery with the hope of striking it rich. According to a Washington Post demographic study, “Those with middle-class and lower-middle-class incomes are more likely to play the lottery than those with higher incomes. Those with low incomes are just as likely to play as the wealthy – although they presumably have less to spend.” In 2005, a Texas Lottery report found the same proportions of players amongst income levels.

The presumption of my friend, who wrongfully believed that poor people were poor because they were stupid, was ill-conceived in its origins. However, less educated people are more likely to play the lottery than those who have graduated from college. More significantly, those who are employed are more likely to play than those who are unemployed.

Rather than a tax on stupid people, because there have to be few people that actually believe they’re going to win the lottery, especially when report after report tells them that how low that possibility is, it appears that the lottery is the American Dream tax. Admittedly, there may be some who, like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, are thinking, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

The American Dream

As much as every American would like to believe the American still exists, that the average person can still get ahead, and that working hard will allow you to retire in comfort, it’s just not the case anymore. The gig economy, freelancing, and hobby-cum-business will not be able to support a majority of workers throughout their lives and into retirement. While the jobs within these areas have grown, they just don’t provide enough income for people to afford retirement, health care, or sick days. No matter how hard a person works at doing these things, in and of themselves, they will not lead to financial security. It’s a terrible business model for the working person when their income relies on the strength of someone ordering something and them receiving a tip large enough to cover expenses.

Even if you have a steady job paying a “living” wage of $15 an hour ($600 a week, $2,400 a month, $28,800 a year before taxes) unless that job includes retirement and other benefits, most people are stuck spinning their wheels. There’s no way to get ahead at that wage level, and those wages are what the U.S. economy is built on while being supported by freelance and gig workers. The structure is precarious and untenable. It is also unlikely to change. (Check out “the Hard Truth of the Gig Economy and Freelancing” on Medium.)

The Myth of Compound Interest

Some are still preaching tuppence prudently, thriftily, frugally invested in the bank will have compounded interest that will make a difference in your later years. Hogwash. A 401K, with interest rates of three one hundredths of one percent (.0003) doesn’t work for those who have low amounts invested. With $9,500 in my retirement account, I am making about 8 pennies (.08) a month; by the end of the year, I have 96 cents – not quite a dollar. The money in a retirement account is trapped unless the person has the financial savvy and time to find out how to reinvest it elsewhere without the financial penalties of early withdraw.

Even in a bank manage Money Market savings account, where interest rates are five times higher than those of the retirement account (.0015), the compound interest on any kind of account is easily wiped out by one bank fee, a candy bar, or a single lottery ticket. Still, most people wouldn’t count $1 as a positive gain, even when inflation is lower than its current percentages.

Play the Stock Market

Most professional financial people will tell you that its better to put the money in the stock market, where returns have been between seven (7) and 15 percent. Averaged out over whatever the number of years the analyst wants to look back on. “There are three types of lies in this world: lies, damn lies and statistics.” (The quote is variously attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain (who may have taken it from Disraeli), and Arthur James Balfour.) The problem with this statistic is that it doesn’t represent individual performance. It might be true of the group for the time period taken into account, but it has no bearing on an individual stock or an individual year.

In 2008, I lost $1000 of invested, real money and $4000 in gains because I chose the wrong stock. At the end, I had to pay extra to the robot account manager because the stocks I had were forced to be sold at a negative number after brokerage fees. That year, not only did I not make seven to 15 percent, I also lost all of what I had invested in the stock market with no way to recuperate it. For the brokerage firm, it was still a win because they got my fees for selling worthless stock. That same year, my mom lost half of her retirement account, which meant she had to retire later than she had planned because the stock market did not recover fast enough to refund her retirement account.

The stock market takes skill, knowledge, and resources to invest in. Those who are spending $2 a week on tickets have spent $104 over the course of a year. They would have to find a place to store that money and then find a firm or program (like Robin Hood or Acorns, which didn’t exist until recently) to use for investing. Then they would have to decide what to invest in, and with all the choices and possibilities for fraud, it’s too much overload for most people.

The Lump Sum Fallacy

While the accepted statistic is a fallacy, there are several tragic stories about lottery winners who had to declare bankruptcy within a decade after they won the lottery. Presumably, they took the lump sum payout. It’s a lot of money to ignore, especially for smaller prizes. But even at a billion dollars, there are some people who would still take the lump sum, reducing their prize to less than $700 million dollars.

If you happen to be the winner of the big prize, take the annuity. This is a sum of money that pays out every year for 30 years, and each check is worth more (percentage-wise) than the last. For someone younger than 70, that’s 30 years of guaranteed income. If you mess up one year, you still have next year to bail you out.

Someone Has to Win

Some people will say, “Someone has to win, it might as well be me.” The thing is, no one has to win. In fact, the reason why the jackpot is so large is because no one has won it, yet. They didn’t win for several weeks in a row. No one has to win this time or the next. One guy spent $100,000 on the Tuesday drawing (July 26, 2022); he didn’t win. If you’re playing because you think someone has to win, you need to rethink your strategy.

The Dream

What the lottery does do, for those who have realized that their hard work is forever going to keep them where they and for those who see no way of struggling out of their own financial issues, is gives them a ray of hope to cling to. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to have the financial means to live life on their terms, rather than having to constantly be at the beck and call of customers, bosses, and bills. They can hold onto this glimmer and for a few days dream about what the windfall would mean to them, what they could do with the money, how they could change their circumstances.

If you happen to fall into this category, don’t go out and act like you’ve won, but feel free to indulge in the fantasies of winning. May those uplifting thoughts release you from your burdens, even if only for a little while, and allow you to practice using your imagination. Play only what you can afford to lose, and make sure this indulgence has more meaning than just a piece of paper that will likely be only paper come Friday night.

If you don’t fall in this category, stop telling people what they can do better with their money. Most people are working hard to change their destiny, let them have this moment of lightness and dreams, especially since so many others have been crushed.

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‘Aim Small, Miss Small’: Archery Philosophy Leads to a Better Day

bullseye center illustration round

In archery and other shooting practices, there is the concept of “Aim small, miss small.” The idea is that focusing on the smallest spot you can see within the area you want to hit will get you closer to hitting that area. For example, if you look at a 22-inch square target, and you miss just to the outside, you’ll be 11 inches or more from the center of that target. Look at a three-inch bull’s eye, and you’re likely to end up within the 22-inch square target. Look at the nail holding the bull’s eye in place, and you’ll come close to hitting the bull’s eye if not dead on.

Focusing on the small spot allows you to shoot better.

Recently, I’ve had a string of bad days. Even days that should’ve been good end up being bad. Part of the problem is that I am aware of everything else beyond the day. I know how much money we owe and have to pay back. I know what our monthly income needs to be (and we haven’t been close). I lost someone close to me. I am under so much financial pressure and am working so many hours a day that I have no time to deal with the stress or to decompress. I have to hold in emotions that would be better expressed. I have to deal with worries of another day because I know that another day will arrive before I am prepared. Unfortunately, I am not the type of person to let it go.

When no day is a good day, you need to find those moments within that are good. You need to focus on the moments in the day that are good.

In the service industry, you meet a lot of people, and a small percentage of those people are a-holes. Most people are neutral; some are great. As a society, we tend to focus on the problem people. Karens and Kens take up a majority of our energy and our time. They’ve become particularly unpleasant cultural phenomena. It’s hard to remember the good people you’ve dealt with throughout the day when a rude, obnoxious, entitled, adult brat decides they are due something they have no right to. As the employee or owner of a business, you have to figure out how to be civil and placate the person while protecting your business and staff.

However, what you really need to do is remember that these people are not your focus. You are here to serve your other guests. Focus on the good interactions that you have every day. The people that enjoy your shop, have fun coming, and want you to succeed are your focus. Cultivate them and make a point to remember the enjoyment you got from interacting with them.

Remember three good things that happened during the day.

At the end of the day, Jenya and I have gotten into the habit of telling each other three good things about the day. Sometimes, it’s been the corn on the cob that we got from the Salvation Army (It was so sweet). These three good things don’t have to be earth-shattering. They can be the normal things you see every day; you just have to notice them. A bee going from flower to flower, the smell of the ocean air, the feel of the sun on the walk home from work, an achievement in a favorite video game… There are millions of good things out there, you have several good moments in the day. Aim small for the good things, and you likely miss small, making the bad days seem a little better.

My friend Darren Lamb is working on something called “The Happiness Program.” Check out his website or get his book from Amazon (affiliate link).

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Why ‘Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil’ Is Bad

maleficent costume

A spoiler tainted review of the Disney Film

(This article was originally published on Medium. It was my most read article on that website.) If you haven’t seen “Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil” and you want to, do not read any further. There’s no reason to spoil the film for yourself, and you might love it more than I did. Otherwise, the discussion starts after the trailer.

‘Maleficent 2’ Forgets Its Origins — Twice

In 1959, Maleficent made her screen debut in Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” She was the elegant, ideal version of evil. Her motives were petty — she wasn’t invited to the party. Her punishment was excessive — Aurora’s death by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. The spell was changed so that Aurora would only awake after Prince Phillip kissed her; Maleficent would hold Prince Phillip hostage for 100 years before he’d be able to rescue the princess. She was, in her own words, “The Mistress of All Evil,” which is the phrase used in the title of the second film. The Maleficent of the second film, is clearly not the mistress of evil, not even a little bit. Disney wanted to do a different take on the character, fine, but why then harken back to Maleficent’s role in every other film and video appearance since then.

In 2014, Disney struck gold with “Maleficent,” which scored over $750 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie rode the coattails of the “Frozen” phenomenon by exploring the relationship and love that women can have for each other. “Frozen” addressed the love between sisters. “Maleficent” addressed the love of a mother-figure for a daughter without becoming the evil stepmother. The success of this movie was based on the idea that women can create a loving relationship and bond that supports one another. “Maleficent 2” takes that idea and stomps on it with all of the force and bravado of a long-drawn out and unnecessarily dumb battle sequence. In essence, the movie becomes Michelle Pfeiffer, the Mistress of Evil, versus Angelina Jolie, the dark fairy phoenix.

It’s Grey and Dark

All 3D movies still have an issue with dark scenes, and “Maleficent 2” suffers from it. Even the scenes at the beginning that are supposed to be colorful and show the beauty of the fairy world and the scenes in the middle that show the beauty of the dark fairies are muted. The scenes that take place in the rain, water, and dark are much harder to see and enjoy.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

It seems that Disney didn’t learn anything from “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” the ill-fated sequel to “Alice In Wonderland.” “Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil” has some of the same issues. It’s not a sequel anyone asked for. There are pacing problems and scenes that are completely unnecessary to the plot and film. However, the worst part about this film, featuring Angelina Jolie in a role she was born to play, is that it wasn’t true to itself, it’s not true to the spirit of family, and it isn’t true to the audience that made the first one so popular. You can rent this same film under the title “Snow White and the Huntsman;” the only difference is that film is Kristen Stewart versus Charlize Theron. Or just return to “Maleficent” for a much better film experience.

Want more Disney discussion? Try my book “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” It combines Disney articles with suggestions based on researched principles to help you become more creative. You may also enjoy “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

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How to Make Money Online with InboxDollars

shopping cart with money on top of a laptop

July 1, 2022 – I did a web search to find out how to make money online, and InboxDollars came up. I decided that the worst thing that could happen was I would get spammed or not get paid, so I joined on May 31. In about one month’s time, I’ve made almost $25. It’s not going to pay the bills, but an extra $25 comes in handy. I’m still exploring the sight, but here are some suggestions that could help you earn more if you decide to join. (Use my referral link above. It doesn’t cost you anything. When you earn rewards, I also earn rewards. More on the referral system below.)

Playing Games

The first thing that caught my eye about making money online with InboxDollars was that I could do so by playing solitaire! I figured I play enough point and click games that give me nothing beyond the satisfaction of doing well and seeing Disney characters interact with the park I built (in Disney Magic Kingdoms). A couple of games of solitaire a day for a little cash would be a little more productive.

Can you really make money playing solitaire? Yes, you can, but only indirectly and don’t expect it to buy you coffee. Basically, as you play Solitaire, Mahjongg Dimensions or one of the other games, your progress bar fills up. When the bar gets to the first dollar sign symbol, you get a scratch card for up to $10. Don’t play it. The second dollar symbol on the progress bar gets you a scratch-it for up to $25. However, the real winner is the third dollar symbol, which gives you a scratch-it for up to $100. It’s the last one that I wait for, and I generally win between a nickel and nine cents. If playing these games is all you do, you’re still pulling in a nickel when you fill up the bar (depending on what scratch-it you go for.)

Games are probably the hardest way to make any money, but if you’re playing solitaire, three match, or word games anyway, you may as well hook yourself up with the opportunity for $100. If you have a smartphone, there are other game opportunities with better rewards.

The Daily List

As long as you have decided to make money online with Inbox Dollars by playing games, you should really maximize your efforts. Start everyday by checking out the Daily List and doing the simple tasks they have there. Answer and Learn is the daily poll that requires you to answer one question. Add a Magic Receipts Offer requires nothing more than for you to choose something to add to your grocery list; you can remove it later. Visit the Deal of the Day and any other pages they may have in the list. These are easy pickings, and if you do five of them, you get a bonus. Do all of them and you get a second bonus.

Make Your Daily Goal

Your Daily Goal will vary from day to day. In order to achieve the Daily Goal, you must earn a certain amount of money each day. Sometimes, it can be 30 cents; sometimes, it’ll be more. Whatever it is, you get a bonus every day, and if you keep a streak going, you’ll get larger bonuses as the month goes on – as much as $3. The Daily Goal is relatively easy to attain if you do the right surveys, but a foray into the Offers area can also get you to the goal on some days.

Take a Survey

The surveys are where you can rack up your money total. The surveys section lists a number of surveys with the amount they are worth and the approximate time the survey will take. It’s important to note that you will not qualify for every survey. In fact, some estimates say you will qualify for about one in five or 20% of the surveys that you click on. Also, some of the surveys will cycle you through three or four qualifying survey pages before you actually take the survey. You may also run into surveys that you seem to have completed, but they never bring you back to InboxDollars. It’s frustrating, but it’ll be better if you don’t get too angry about it.

Find an Offer

InboxDollars has 100 percent free offers. Many of these offers are related to games that you can download to your smartphone and play to a certain level in a certain timespan. Some of them are point and click quizzes that take you multiple web pages while asking questions about which picture matches which.

Perhaps, the most important of these 100 percent free offers are the Click and Earn and Explore and Earn. With these offers, you get between one and four cents for your click or clicks. These links will take you to another page that will send you to the actual place where you can get credit for your effort. While the amount of pennies you can pick up this way varies, it has helped me to make my daily goal on numerous occasions. I have found that I need to go through these pages all at once rather than try to get them in separate sessions. If you see a penny, click it up!

Do a Search

Searches are a great way to earn progress points. This is the information they are looking for, and they are willing to boost your winning potential to get it. Of course, they want a natural search, so it helps if you know what you are looking for. Start with InboxDollars instead of one of the other search engines, and you’ll be able to fill your progress bar. (This is an especially good idea for authors or people who need to search for info because of their job.)

Upload Receipts

Magic Receipts allow you to upload your grocery receipts and make money online with InboxDollars. You need to pick out the Magic Receipts offers related to your grocery receipt and add them to your list. When you get to the list, you need to click on them again. Every receipt is worth a couple of cents. But the price can go up depending on what you buy. Deals can and do change, so it’s important to know what you are looking for.

Because you have a 14-day window to upload receipts, I generally wait until the last possible moment to do so. My Magic Receipts are a last-ditch effort to meet my daily goal.

Paid Emails

Paid emails are another way to drastically increase your progress bar. The email comes to your personal email, click on it and you get progress toward a Scratch and Win. The emails are also in the messages section of InboxDollars.

Refer a Friend

If you have the kind of friends who like to play games online or do surveys, the Refer Friend link will help you increase your earnings. As of this writing, you can make 30% of whatever your friends make when they do activities. For every dollar they earn, you get 30 cents. It doesn’t cost them anything other than their time.

With all of the activities available to make money online with InboxDollars, there is certainly a way to help you supplement your income. Join today with my referral link, and we’ll both be enriched!

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How to Finish Reading a Book a Week

Penguin with books

A Guide to Making the Goal Happen

Reading a book a week is easy. All you have to do is open a different book on each Sunday and read a page. You’ve read the book or at least a portion of it. Finishing a book a week can be a little more difficult. Still, it’s far from impossible, and if you’ve set this as a goal for yourself, you can achieve it, and it will be easier than you think.

There are a couple of things you need to realize about this goal. It’s your goal. Whether you make it or not, you’re only accountable to you. There’s no reason to get distraught if you’re not completing your goal. Life happens. There are important things that happen and may come as a surprise. Hopefully, they are good surprises that distract you from the goal. If they are not, simply push through the difficult times and get back on track as soon as you can. Finishing a book a week should be considered the average over a certain time period. If you don’t finish a book one week, you may be able to finish two books the next week to compensate.

What’s Your Motivation?

Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or tools to write.” As a writer I recognize the importance of reading to my art, craft, and work. If you’re not a writer, you may have other reasons to accomplish the book a week goal. You need to know what these reasons are. Do you want to be able to brag about your reading? Do you want to improve your compassion? Do you want to delve into the classics or become a specialist in an area? Do you just want to be smarter and have things to talk about with other people? Knowing your motivation will help you choose the books you’re motivated to read.

What Is a Book?

The first thing you need to do is decide what “a book” is for your goal. Are you going to count everything in the book section of your local bookstore? Are comic books magazines or are they books? Do graphic novels count? What about children’s books and novelty books? You’re in charge, so you get to decide what counts as a book and what doesn’t. Personally, I count graphic novels and children’s books. Graphic novels allow me to see how stories are visually presented, and they allow me to consume a different genre than I may otherwise. They also allow me to catch up on reading if I get behind.

There’s nothing wrong with children’s or picture books being a part of the equation. You can learn a lot from the books in the children’s section because they are written at a child’s level, and they generally stir clear of any political agenda. With a children’s book, you either get a non-fiction just the facts type of book, or get you get a gentle story that will improve your mood and outlook.

Children’s books are often the first place I go when I want to learn about a new subject. They are entertaining and easier to understand. The bonus is that many children’s books are cheaper than non-fiction books written with more jargon and larger words, which means if I’m not sure that I want to know more about a subject, I don’t have to invest a lot of money to find out. Young adult books are another good source to go to for quick reads with a lot of pages.

Do Audiobooks Count?

This is your goal. If you want to count, audiobooks, you can. It’s entirely up to you. When I first started, I was big into audiobooks, but my goal was to finish reading them. So, I kept track of the audiobooks I finished and how much time I spent listening to them, but I did not count them toward the number of books I finished reading. You totally can, though.

What’s Your Genre?

What genre do you love to read and read the fastest? My niece reads a lot of dystopian fiction, and she burns through them at a rapid pace. I tend to read fantasy at a breakneck speed. I get bogged down in nonfiction books and collections of short stories because there’s no thread of a story to pull me through. Chances are that you’ll read your favorite genre faster than you read others. If you know what it is, you can choose those books when you need to boost your speed or the number of pages read. You probably don’t want all of your books to be in that genre, but it depends on why you’re setting yourself the goal of reading a book a week.

Set a Baseline

Since 2010, I have finished a book a week every year on average. In that first year, the books I read had an average of 221 pages each. I was going to college for an Early Childhood Education degree, so that helped. But this first year was just a baseline for me. With all goals, you should try to get better. In 2019, my average book was 261 pages. Every year, I set the goal at just one more page than the last year. In 2015, I missed my goal, but I made up for it at the end of 2016.

In order to set up a baseline, you want to keep track of the books you read, and I suggest, the number of pages. There’s a temptation just to go down to the children’s section of the library, sit down for four or five hours and read 52 picture books. Goal accomplished! However, do you really want just children’s books on your list when you’re done with the goal?

How Many Pages Can You Read?

Another baseline, you want to consider is how fast can you read. I read about a page a minute, which is faster than my mom but super slow compared to my niece. However, this isn’t to compare myself to them; knowing how fast I read, in general, allows me to understand roughly how many pages I can finish in an hour. The reality is that I finish between 48 and 60 pages an hour depending on a variety of factors and variables. At the end of the week, if I’m close to finishing a book, I can set aside the extra time to get it done based on how many pages are left and how quickly I read.

What Counts as a Page?

You get to choose what counts as a page. For me, I read the introductions and prefaces of all the books, even when those pages are notated with Roman numerals and won’t count toward my final goal. I tend to skip bibliographies and reference notes, unless they provide additional information. That means the book will end at “The End” or when the last complete sentence is written. However, I will count the About the Author page as part of the numbered pages, especially if there isn’t anything in between it and the story but a blank page or two. The big thing here, though, is you don’t want to overthink it. (Too late, right?) It’s your goal; you choose how the page count is going to work for you. You could even leave page counts out all together; I just find them motivating.

Choose the Books

Once you’ve set the goal, you need to choose your books. You don’t have to get all 52 books at once; though, if you’re setting this goal, you probably have a to be read pile somewhere. I suggest picking up four or five to start with. Go to the independent bookstore and choose the newest books if you’re looking for conversation starters, or go to the used store and get some classics if you want to beef up your cultural knowledge. If you know what minimum page count per book you want to achieve, choose only books that are bigger than that. You can also go to the library depending on your book reading speed and check out the books, but remember to return them on time. Better yet, check to see if your library has a selection of books you can buy.

Do the Actual Reading

Now, you have to do the actual reading. There’s no magic bullet. There’s no secret sauce. If you want to accomplish your goal, there are no shortcuts. You have to do the reading. If you want to get fit, you have to exercise. If you want to play the violin better, you have to practice. If you want to save money, you have to cut your expenses. If you want to read a book a week, you have to make the tie to read.

Fortunately, one rule will help you accomplish the goal: ABAB. Always bring a book. It doesn’t matter where you’re going or how long you think you’re going to be there, bring a book. If you end up having to wait for someone or something, or your car breaks down, you’ll have an opportunity to read. If you’re going to the dentist’s or doctor’s, take a book. Going to meet the principal of the school? Take a book. Is your computer updating? Don’t watch the bar; read a book. Even if something happens, your eyes will notice the lack of movement (and some of those updates take forever). Going to work? Take a book. You can read it on your lunch hour (or half hour) and on your 15-minute breaks. Paperbacks are good for this. Stick them in your bag and bring them with you.

Once you have ABAB working in your favor, you will still need to set some time aside every day to read. Most people will choose to read before going to bed. However, some will find it easier to get the day’s reading done in the morning. If you set aside an hour, you’ll be golden. Be sure to turn off the phone, turn off the computer, and go to a good place to read where you won’t be distracted by your electronics and their communications.

You can take ABAB a step further and always have a book handy. (I’d make an acronym of that, but it doesn’t read as well: AHABH.) If you have a pet that likes to sit in your lap, you can cuddle with them and still get some reading done. My dad does a lot of reading in the bathroom. Having a pile of books on the nightstand next to the bed is good, having books in the kitchen, near the couch, and wherever else you tend to spend your time is better.

Chances are you’re going to have to cut something out. For me, it was magazines. I like to read them; I think they have good information. I have one magazine subscription that I swear I’m going to get to. Those are stacked up a decade high. (I will read them one day!) I don’t read them because I haven’t figured out how to get them to count toward the goal. I thought about moving to a straight page goal rather than book goal, but that seems like too much work.

If you’re like most people you binge watch your favorite shows. Stop it. Instead, watch one episode and then reward yourself by reading a book. You’ll spread out the enjoyment of the show while also getting your reading done. YouTube is another time waster. Do you really need to see another cat video or a makeup artist doing whatever it is they do? Do you need to watch another review about movies coming out that no one has seen or the reactions to their trailers? There’s some wonderful, informative, entertaining content on YouTube, but like Netflix, you should binge watch it. Don’t go down that rabbit hole!

What games do you play on your phone? Candy Crush, Farmville, Match 3… Whatever you play, is it adding to your life or just wasting time? Do you pull up the game because you have nothing better to do? Get your book out and use that time to read: a sentence, a paragraph, a page or whatever you can instead of wasting time with the game, you can waste it with a book. If you have five minutes to watch a video or play a game, you have five minutes to read.

Stop driving! Unless you’re counting audiobooks and listening to them in your car, which I don’t recommend because it can be a distraction, you spend a lot of time in your car doing nothing but driving. (Hopefully, driving is a complicated task and it should be the only thing you do in the car.) Take the bus or public transit. I get it. In most places in the U.S., the public transit system is terrible, but you can make it work for you. Once you know the route, you can read at the bus stop while waiting and on the bus while it’s getting to your stop. The same applies for a light rail system. Side benefits include not dealing with road rage or other dumb drivers, saving money on gas and other car-related expenses, and improving the environment.

We all do things out of habit that aren’t good for us or take time away from our day. If you can find those things that you do without thinking about it that are time wasters, you can eliminate them. It might take some examination, but you can become more efficient and gain more time for yourself and for reading. Small steps are the key to accomplishing great things.

More than One at a Time

You should try to read more than one book at a time. This may seem counter-intuitive, but consider this. You have a goal of books that are 240 pages or more. You read about 30 pages a day. You’ll finish your first book in eight days and be a day behind in your reading.

If you’re able to read the same book at 25 pages per day and a second book at 5 pages a day, you’ll finish your first book in 10 days, and you’ll have read 60 pages in your second book. This reading habit will allow you to read larger books that will reduce the overall number of pages you need to read per book, without slowing you down too much. If you can keep books in different places, you’ll be able to read more variety and get more out of your goal. Paperbacks are great for travel. Larger books can stay at home.

Keep a Record

When you’re finished with a book, write it down and keep a record. I use an excel spread sheet. It contains the position in which the book was finished, the title of the book, the date finished and the number of pages in the book. I used to make notes about the book, like series and subject, but I’ve given that up. You can always read a book twice. Classics are great for that, especially “A Christmas Carol.”

Additional Motivation

Your local libraries probably have an adult reading program with prizes. Free stuff for reading? Yes, please. They usually happen during the summer, so go down in mid-May and ask about it. The best part is that they often require you to read different genres, which will allow you to get out of your comfort zone and explore new books. Some local bookstores offer the same type of deal. You don’t even have to buy books from them. A book club, where a group of people gets together to discuss a book on a weekly or monthly basis could also provide you with extra reasons to read. Reading is more than fundamental; it’s the key to improving imagination, being more compassionate, and ensuring freedom. But you don’t have to take my word for it:

At Lincoln City Archery, we support independent authors. In addition to a collection of books on archery, we have a wide variety of books written by self-published writers. These are books that you generally wont’ find in larger bookstores that rely on publishing house distributors. Many of our books are written or edited by local authors (including the range leader at our location).

At Lincoln City Archery, we provide archers the opportunity to increase their knowledge of traditional archery and practice their skills at our indoor archery range in Lincoln City, Oregon. Like traditional archery, reading books takes focus and concentration. Turning off your electronics and reading a book for an hour will improve your focus and concentration. If the story is good enough, it won’t even seem like practicing. Plus, it’s a great way to pass the time when you can’t make it to the range. Happy shooting, happy reading, and let’s get on target.