Programming For Adults and Families in 2009

Whether you order cable TV or satellite TV in 2009, you can rest assured that you will get more channels than ever before-even if you have subscribed to cable TV in the past. Satellite TV currently offers the most channels, though cable TV is expanding their lineup every day. What can you expect when you sign up with a premium provider?

For starters, both satellite and cable TV can offer you well over 200 channels. Your TV viewing can sample the best of entertainment and education with basic channels like the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel and the History Channel. You also get family friendly entertainment such as Animal Planet, Disney and Nickelodeon. You get all of this in addition to the major networks and other local channels in your area.

You probably realize many of the hottest shows today are on cable television. Just glancing at the Emmy Award Ceremonies, you see series like Entourage, Mad Men, Weeds and South Park tend to dominate the categories. Premium channels like HBO and Showtime are available through cable or satellite, while basic pay networks like FX, Comedy Central and Cartoon Network bring you exciting too-hot-for-network programming like The Shield, The Daily Show and Adult Swim.

What about sports? Satellite TV has the advantage thanks to its exclusive deal with the NFL for Sunday Ticket. This option allows viewers to watch more NFL games as well as enjoy innovative new features like split-screen viewing, remote recording and highlights and scores on demand. However, cable TV still has many of the top premium sports networks like ESPN, The NFL Network, NBA TV TVG, GolTV and the Outdoor Channel. Cable providers may also have a non-exclusive deal with Major League Baseball in the MLB Extra Innings package, which provides over 1000 games per season!

It is well known that cable and satellite television providers offer adult programming. There is no advantage here, as both options provide the same type of content. You can order Playboy TV by subscription or by blocks, or order Pay Per View for a block of content with networks like Hustler TV, Ten, Real, Juicy and Spice Xcess. You can buy one 90 minute feature for about $10 or order a three hour block of six different channels for $15. If you have a DVR system then you certainly get your money’s worth in total programming. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of ordering “discreetly” you can always sign up for a traditional package of all premium channels, which will give you Cinemax. Not only does Cinemax air adult programming, but you can also watch all your uncensored favorites in HD!

What if you’re worried about parental controls? No matter, satellite and cable providers equip their systems with a parental control device. This option lets you block offensive content according to individual title, TV or MPAA rating, time allotment or PPV spending. When you order premium television in 2009 you can rest assured you will get TV programming that the whole family can enjoy.

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Lee Hawkers – A 1960s Cape Breton Adolescent Hide-’n-Seek Game – A Precursor to Paint Ball?

There are segments of sociology, found perhaps only on Cape Breton Island, that need to be recorded, if not studied. The game of “Lee Hawkers” is such a segment; a common summer night cry of “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers” heard from the woods surrounding the New Waterford neighbourhood of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. This game of modified hide-and-seek involving two teams was part of teen years in the mid-1960s. Lee Hawkers was a creative hide-and-seek game played in the specific suburban area of New Waterford called River Ryan/Scotchtown.

The River Ryan/Scotchtown area was, and still is today, a residential community. Unlike today back then the neighbourhoods were more widely interlaced with forests and fields. Throughout the 1960s, summer days would see teenaged boys playing baseball, pitching horseshoes, building forts in the woods, shooting practice rounds with BB guns , or biking out of town to Kilkenny Lake for a swim. But what would these typically testosterone-driven males do for night-time fun? What mischief could they find cloaked in the darkness of sultry summer nights?

The mischief arose when the child’s game of Hide-and-Seek morphed into a more adult oriented game involving two teams, a ‘jail’ and few, but specific, rules of engagement around being captured and being freed from jail. The best recollection is that this after dark game was originally a male only sport. Two teams of male teens would take turns being the captured (Hiders) or the captors (Seekers). To begin, in a clearing, a field or in someone’s dirt driveway, using a tree branch or the heel of a player’s boot or sneaker, a large circle (6-8 feet in diameter) would be roughly marked in the sun-baked ground. This would become the jail into which the captured Hiders would be thrown by the Seekers.

To capture or catch a hiding member of the opposing team, the Seekers would start their hunt in the dark wooded areas for any Hiders. It’s dark. It’s the forest. Seekers could jump out at a Hider… so usually the hunt was carried out in pairs of Seekers. But why the name Lee Hawkers? Read on… once a Hider was isolated, according to the original rules of seek and capture, a Seeker would be required to spit (yes a hawker!) on the Hider, pound them on the back while yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. This marked the Hider as a “catch” or “captured”. The Seekers would lead the captured Hider back to jail (the circle) for safe keeping. The “Lee” (short for leeward) in “Lee Hawkers” was a obvious warning that you should spit, or hawk, in the direction of the wind to avoid getting hit with your own spit (ugh!). And so this spitting, or hawking – the “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers” capture sequence – would be repeated until all the Hiders were caught and in jail. Once all the Hiders were captured, the teams would switch roles – Seekers would become Hiders and Hiders would become Seekers. Hide. Catch. Jail. Switch. Were that the game was so simplistic. The game was a more complicated and a whole lot more dynamic because jailed Hiders could be freed from “jail”. Say what!

The jail was guarded by a couple Seekers. These Guard Seekers remained on high alert to prevent Hider teammates from freeing their jailed buddies. If an uncaptured Hider ran through the jail then all jailed Hiders were now technically freed from jail, free to run back into the forest and hide once again. How could the Seekers stop these repeated breakouts?

The trick was to catch these rogue Hider breakout experts before they ran through the jail. By using the same capture 1-2-3 sequence (hawking, back pounding, yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”) it would not only stop a breakout attempt but also result in a fresh Hider capture. “Off to jail with ya!” At this point in the evolution of Lee Hawkers you have a teen male-dominated, hawkin’ ‘n hittin’, after dark, hide ‘n seek game. A bit messy, somewhat primitive, but relatively harmless.

Enter the teen girls. They want to play. Co-ed Lee Hawkers. This had new possibilities, new promise. Hmmm, a thought. A thought that met an age-old goal – have some fun while you find a mate. Just like the Stag Line (see the Ezine article: “The “Stag Line” – A Cape Breton Dance Hall Etiquette (Part of Cape Breton Social Heritage)”), Lee Hawkers seems to have evolved from an excuse for a dating game wrapped in the guise of team sports. Or was Lee Hawkers a primitive form of the game now called Paint Ball? Could Paint Ball splats of color have replaced the spit, or hawker, in the culturally historical Cape Breton game of Lee Hawkers? Or was this game called Lee Hawkers simply a ruse by teenage boys to play with the girls? Surely these are questions requiring further discussion.

The girls were in the game. But first the spitin’ and hawkin’ had to go! And so it did. Lee Hawkers became a more gentile sport for the combined sexes. Catching a Hider now involved only “rapping” (lightly pounding) a girl Hider on the back while yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. Since the new rules eliminated hawking, Hiders about to be captured, would no longer run to avoid the ‘guber’. Instead Hiders would resist capture by the Seeker by lying on their back to prevent from being rapped. Based on the size/strength ratio of Seeker-to-Hider, the attempt(s) to flip and “back rap” could turn out to be quite an extended tussle. Sometimes it would require the efforts of 2 or more Seekers to flip and rap a potential captured Hider.

Now let your imaginations fill in the blanks here. Imagine what happened when the Hider was a female, the Seeker was a male. Hider – female. Seeker – male. Tussle. If the Seeker was a male, and he discovered a female Hider, he would never call for help from his Seeker teammates. This is the part where subtle changes in the ‘unwritten’ rules came into effect when the girls joined the game. The effort was always different in these female-to-male capture encounters. There was an unspoken adjustment in the game rules and a somewhat neutralizing of male brute force. The male Seeker would tussle gently with the female Hider until she could be flipped or rolled off her back, and the male Seeker’s was able to tap her back combined with the cry “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. It was amazing the length of time it took for one strong teen male to perform a simple 45 to 90 degree roll of a female to gain access to her back. It must that unexplainable physics of females!

Like the game of Lee Hawkers so goes dating, and so goes love. The brute strength in hormone-driven games is neutralized. It becomes gentler. It emotes the chemistry of sexual attraction. And so goes life.

Lee Hawkers was one of those 1960s Cape Breton (or at least a Scotchtown – River Ryan) phenomena that, perhaps just like the Stag Line, was a dating game ritual wrapped in the guise of team sports. Or maybe it was the pre-cursor to today’s Paint Ball. Whatever it was, it sure was memorable!

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Kid Games – A Parent’s View

Personally I have 7 children 6 boys 1 girl, ranging from 9 to 25 and most of them are in their teens, we own every Nintendo system and nothing but. It’s hard to afford even the WII, let alone find one, so we thought waiting for a year.

We could get one for them next year, so we will wait to read the gossip reviews and facts going around.

We have also loved and recommend the type of games SONY has put out for years and years, they produce a good variety. These are the sort of kid games the kids really want. Having said that, it is true that Nintendo does have fabulous games. I’ll go even further Nintendo has games that we almost cannot live with out!

The classics are Zelda, Mario and the like, Shooters, and sports, and SONY undeniably has the top Kid games, of role playing, great shooters, etc. I could go on and on.

I enjoyed some unusual board games or vintage kid games which we played as a kid, but, in my opinion, none can match the shear power of enjoyment kids get now from the top computer game creators.

There is more and more use of games to put across important messages to kids. Some “keep them safe” type kid games are available that have been designed for tweens and teens. They are full blown actual computer games that take kids through the experience of being hood-winked by internet predators.

The reason that such a large investment has been put into such games is so that kids can learn to recognize the signs and avoid the real thing.

The many kid games we have bought in our family can be categorized under various groups such as representations of indoor games, outdoor games, card games, board games, and even turing full circle some even imitate role playing in computer games, etc.

The outdoor kid games programs tend to include hyper-physical activities such as running, swimming, jumping , etc. All the kid games we like are set up to be user-friendly so that children can earn lots of little rewards.

Now turning away from computer kid games lets talk of some games which we play for real!

Choose two teams with an even number of kids on each team, line up half of them from each team at each end. Designate a starting line and a finish line about 10 feet away. Give each team a straw and a ping-pong ball. The winning team must work in relay to blow the ball back and forth, until there are no more relay members left. The first to finish is the winning team.

Children want to be entertained, not patronized by their kid games. And, going back to computer games, from a character design standpoint, at least Sonic was blue.

Children are not children for very long and the game company that ignores their future spending power does so at it’s own peril. The problem I detect is that the games companies are focusing to much on the biggest market, and on older geek players. Why can’t a gaming console cater better for the development of our children, teens and adults. Big games creating companies should do better. Not just line up all their output for high spending sad, spotty geeks who have nothing else to do.

Child play games, if they are to be successful in allowing your inner child to become visible to you and others, often need to be simple, silly, frivolous, childish, light and airy. The reduction of stress and anxiety in our lives requires that we relax, lighten up and become less serious and intense.

Nintendo is for children. The children are the future. OK. Nintendo is a business, and it needs to make a profit, fine. But while selling better games fo well balanced and intelligent children they do not need to completely abandon every single hardcore gamer.

I have seen Nintendo’s business development and products over the years. They must have made very many blunders in the past years including now bringing out a even smaller Game Boy advance, yet they have the Game Boy SP and a Game Boy DS out as well. Also, just because Nintendo says that you can download games from every one of 20 years from its library, this doesn’t mean that they will be all be good games.

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