Spend Time in Connecticut, USA

When you go to Connecticut you could go to Mystic Seaport to see shallow sunlit seas to dark and deep ocean at the Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration. It will certainly change your views of ocean life. The story of America’s ocean can be heard at Mystic Seaport, a marine museum. It is located on the 40 acres of sea front in the town of Mystic. It exhibits tall ships, small boats, a New England coastal village and an extensive collection of art, artifacts and ship models. The museum also offers exhibitions, crafts, demonstration, and educational programs. A scenic Bigelow Hollow State Park provides access to two ponds: Bigelow pond and Mashapaug. The clear waters of these reflect the beauty of this place. Picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, scuba diving and mountain biking are all available. The Chatfield Hollow State Park is located in the heavy wooded hollow, natural caves and rocky ledges that used to provide shelter to the Indians. Shreeder Pond was built in 1930 and the adjoining Cockaponset forest is an extension of Chatfield’s hiking trails. It has pond and stream fishing, swimming, hiking, field sports and ice skating. Chapman falls are the focal point of Devil’s Hopyard State Park The water after falling forms a eight mile river going through the beautiful locations. The potholes formed at the fall have many rumors that a big devil hopped from one place to the other and trying not to get wet. Activities here include picnicking, hiking, fishing and camping. The large meadow, Heddam Meadows State Park is in the Connecticut River flood plain. Fishing, hiking, field sports, picnicking, cross country skiing, boating and mountain biking are available here. Mashamouquet Brook State Park is formed by three parks Mashamouquet Brook, Wolf Den and Saptree Run. Near the Den are the Table Rock and Chair stone formations. Youth group camping, swimming, picnicking, fishing, field sports, flush toilets and nature’s trails are offered here. Borden’s first condensed milk factory in the US is situated at Burr Pond State Park is located in North Connecticut hills. The scenic park encircles the 88 acre pond. Swimming, hiking, pond fishing, camping, cross country skiing, boating and mountain biking are available. Dinosaur State Park has 500 trails made by Dinosaurs of the Jurassic period. Bring rags to clean your hands and feet. The exhibit center is open from 9am to 4pm. Activities here include interpretive program, picnicking, nature’s trail, limited cross country, skiing, hiking and field sports. The Kettletown Park extends 2 miles along the East shore of Lake Zoar. Activities here available are youth group camping, hiking, nature trails, camper nature program, field sports and swimming. In The Black Rock State Park, the name ‘Black Rock’ comes from the mining done by the early Indian settlers. Visitors can enjoy the scenery of the Western Highlands while trekking the blue-blazed Mattatuck Trail. It offers fishing, hiking, swimming, ice skating, cross country skiing and camper nature program. With two miles of white sandy beach, Hammonasset Beach State Park is the longest beach in Connecticut offering excellent salt water swimming. Other facilities added to it are picnicking, salt water fishing, scuba diving, interpretive program, nature center, mountain biking and roller blading. With the most scenic facilities, a 250 acre gift, Kent Falls State Park and rolling water falls attract thousands of visitors here. The falls are a big draw for amateur and professional photographers. The staired pathway adjacent to the falls is a boon for watching these falls from many levels. It offers freshwater fishing, field sports, scenic vistas and hiking. Mt. Tom State Park is the oldest in the park system and with a stone tower at its center it is a favorite with the hikers. The peak Mt. Tom is situated 1325 ft above sea level. Activities here include swimming, hiking, lookout tower, ice skating, picnicking, fishing, scuba diving and boating. Connecticut’s finest beach for saltwater bathing is at Rocky Neck State Park. Activities here are picnicking, boating, swimming, field sports, hiking, camping, cross country skiing, interpretive program, mountain biking and roller-blading. Well doesn’t it make you want to see Connecticut.

Seven Reasons To Take A Connecticut Vacation

As a New England vacation travel writer I’ve always considered Connecticut an overlooked state when people choose destinations and attractions for a New England vacation. As you’ll discover here a Connecticut vacation offers excitement… or peace and quiet, depending on your mood. Let’s take a quick look at seven reasons why you should consider a Connecticut vacation for your next New England trip. THE MUSEUMS OF CONNECTICUT With more than 14 diverse theme museums in Connecticut, there’s bound to be something to suit your taste. Here’s a quick rundown… Bridgeport is home to The Barnum Museum and Discovery Museum, and at Danbury you’ll find the Military Museum of Southern New England and the Danbury Railway Museum. Keeping with a train theme Thomaston hosts the Railroad Museum of New England and Naugatuck Railroad. In Bristol you can find The New England Carousel Museum and period time pieces at the American Clock and Watch Museum. Just a little south in Waterbury is Time Expo, and a chance to celebrate the heritage of the Litchfield region at the Mattatuck Museum. At the Connecticut Antique Machinery Museum in Kent experience machinery that once drove commerce in the area. Windsor Locks is not just home to Bradley International Airport but also to the New England Air Museum and south in East Haven experience another form of transportation at the Shore Line Trolley Museum. And rounding out our must-see list is Mystic’s Museum of America and the Sea, and the fabulous Mashantucket Pequot Museum in nearby Mashantucket. THE CONNECTICUT WINE TRAIL Wineries in Connecticut? Yes, in fact there’s 16 of them scattered throughout the state, and they make a perfect basis for a Connecticut Vacation. The climate in Connecticut is mild compared to the rest of New England and wines produced include: Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, and Riesling. While Connecticut wines have only been produced since 1978, many farms where the grapes are grown are hundreds of years old. The wine tasting room will usually be open but call ahead for a tour time. You’ll find these wineries not geared for large bus loads, but on the plus much more intimate than wineries in Northern California. The wine trail is split into two major regions and it’s suggested your tour is split up over three to four days. But because the trail takes you near so many other destinations and attractions in Connecticut let yourself be distracted and enjoy the jaunt through scenic and historic New England towns. FOXWOODS AND MOHEGAN SUN Combined Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun make the largest casino complex in the world. Foxwoods in owned and run by Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and Mohegan Sun by Mohegan Tribe on lands they own in Uncasville. These are sophisticated high-style experiences with shopping complexes, hotels, high profile entertainment acts, and top-rated restaurants. They are both close to each other and located in the eastern region of Connecticut, and close to museums, scenic drives, and the Connecticut vacation attractions in Mystic. HISTORIC HOMES OF CONNECTICUT Perhaps the most famous home to see on your Connecticut vacation is Mark Twain’s in Hartford, which is now a museum as well full of many artifacts he accumulated in the 17 years he lived there. Also in Hartford is the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe – of Uncle Tom’s Cabin fame. Another famous woman’s home is the academy run by Prudence Crandall in Canterbury – it’s the site of the first academy for black women in New England. Your trip to Connecticut should include the town of Litchfield where you can view museum quality preserved colonial homes, and the Litchfield History Museum and Tapping Reeve House and Law School. Connecticut includes many historic homes that played an important role in the Underground Railroad and the African-American journey from slavery to freedom. ESSEX STEAM TRAIN AND THE CONNECTICUT RIVER The historic 1892 Essex station is your kick-off point for a unique vintage Steam Train and Riverboat Cruise along the Connecticut River. This combined tour takes 2 and 1/2 hours. In the summer it’s cooling, and in the fall stunning with the turning of the leaves. The Connecticut River Museum is also in Essex and vividly brings to life the river’s history as told through paintings, artifacts, and interactive exhibits. THE TOWN OF MYSTIC Mystic Seaport and the Mystic Aquarium are magnets for visitors to Connecticut. The seaport is billed as The Museum of America and the Sea and depicts an authentic 19th century seafaring village, tall ships to tour, and a Preservation Yard where master shipbuilding skills are still practiced. The Mystic Aquarium includes a delightful array of indoor and outdoor exhibits, including Beluga whales, and a stunning model of the Titanic. THE ANTIQUE RUNS Connecticut is famous for its concentration of antique shops, and draws thousands of treasure hunters each year who take a Connecticut vacation just to stock up on bargains and specimens to collect and decorate their homes. The village of Woodbury is known as the “Antiques Capital of Connecticut” and has over 45 dealers, but the fact is you’re never too far from that special purchase no matter where you are in the state. Just sometimes its nice to take the time to follow your nose along a scenic New England road and see where it takes you… you can bet if it’s in Connecticut, it’ll take you close to an antique shop.

The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre Ed Gein

The True Story Of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

I was very disturbed when i first saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, not because of the film itself, but because it was apparently based on a true story.

The thought of a big guy like that chasing after teenagers with a chainsaw, and his deranged family sat eating parts of the human anatomy served up in a stew as if it was a normal everyday family meal, was quite surreal.

Despite what certain people say, these films are based VERY loosely on true life Murderer Ed Gein. There have been a few fictional characters based on Gein, including Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs, Norman Bates in Psycho, and more famously Leather face in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So what was the true story of this disturbed and dangerous man?

Edward Theodore Gein was born in Madison, Wisconsin on the 27Th August 1906, he lived with his Mother and Father Augusta and George, and his brother Henry George Gein.

His Mother Augusta didn’t like outsiders to influence her son’s, and so they were only allowed to School, and the rest of their time was spent helping out round the Family farm.

Augusta abused her children, and preached to them on a daily basis about the immortality of the world they lived in, the evil of alcohol, and her belief that all woman were prostitutes and instruments of the Devil. Every day after dinner she would recite graphic testaments from the Bible, dealing with Death, Murder and divine retribution.

Throughout his childhood, Gein only had his family for company, and was often bullied at school. He tried constantly to make his Mother happy, but her son’s rarely pleased her, making him feel like a failure.

Edward Gein’s father died of a heart attack in 1940, and Edward along with his Brother Henry, began to do odd jobs around where they lived, such as handy work and babysitting.

Both Brother’s were considered reliable and honest by their neighbours. but by this time Henry had started disagreeing with his Mother’s views on the world, and started to talk bad about her to Edward.

In 1944 a bush fire burned close to the Family Farm, and the Gein Brothers set out to extinguish it. The Brother’s got separated, and Edward lost sight of Henry.

When the fire was put out, Edward told the police that his Brother was missing and when a search party was organised, Edward Gein led them straight to Henry’s body. The police initially had concerns about the circumstances of Henry’s death. For one the land where his brother lay was untouched by fire and he also had bruises on his head, but despite this, the police dismissed the possibility of foul play.

After his Brother’s death, Edward lived alone with his Mother until she died in 1945 following a series of strokes. Edward nailed his mother’s bedroom door shut after her death and it stayed that way as a shrine. It actually ended up being the only normal room in the house of horrors.

Unemployment Compensation Information for Claimants

Unemployment Compensation–Tips for Claimants

The purpose of this document is to provide information which may be useful to individuals who have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of losing their jobs and who may be eligible for unemployment compensation. The following information is based on my experience serving on the Michigan Employment Security Board of Review (appeals) and for the past several years representing claimants in administrative law judge unemployment compensation eligibility appeal hearings. Unemployment compensation regulations throughout the U.S. are similar but vary in a number of important respects from state to state. This information is based solely on my experience in Michigan.


Most people find themselves unemployed at some time in their life. Unemployment was not such a problem when the U.S. was an agrarian, small town society where most people had families nearby who could help out in a pinch and where people grew much of their own food. But as the country industrialized and people flocked from the farms to cities to work in factories like Henry Ford’s Rouge plant which employed 100,000 at its peak, unemployment became a critical social problem. People were no longer independent farmers living on their own land and growing their own food, but instead they were far from their relatives and dependent on the success of their employer and the good will of their boss for economic security. The federal-state unemployment compensation system was established to help tide people over in periods of involuntary unemployment.

A lot of thought went into the system. It’s funded by a tax on employer payrolls. The tax in most states ranges from around one percent of payroll to twelve or thirteen percent of payroll depending on the number of layoffs previously experienced by each employer. In Michigan the maximum tax rate is 10.3 % of wages up to $9,000/ year and the minimum is 0.06%, as of November 2008. This variable tax rate is called experience rating. It’s designed to provide an incentive for employers to plan their business to avoid layoffs. The firms with the fewest layoffs are rewarded with having to pay the lowest unemployment compensation tax rate. And, conversely, employers whose employment fluctuates widely, such as those in cyclical industries or in seasonal industries like construction, pay the highest unemployment compensation taxes. Employers don’t like to pay high taxes so the experience rating system also provides them an incentive for them to protest unemployment compensation claims filed by their employees.

Another reason underlying unemployment compensation is that it has a counter-cyclical economic effect. That is, when there is a recession and people lose their jobs involuntarily, money is pumped into the economy by unemployment compensation payments to laid off workers, helping to stabilize the national economy or that of a particular state or region.

Like Social Security, Unemployment Compensation was established during the Great Depression in the 1930s, and like Social Security, it has become accepted and, by and large, accomplishes its mission of providing income to assist unemployed workers and provide a boost to the economy during recessions.

Sandy Hook, Connecticut School Shooting? Fact or Fiction?

I am the last person to ever become a conspiracy theorist. They are usually a bunch of far-out, nut jobs who think someone is out to get them around every corner. But, the more I have learned about the horrendous shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the more suspicious I become of the story.

First of all, I would never accuse anyone, government or individual, of wrongdoing. But the facts revealed in the video I posted are such that I shake my head in wonder.
Outpouring of Support is Great!

Let me start off by being positive. The outpouring of support from around the country is overwhelming! With cards, letters, flowers, stuffed animals, and money, it is good to see people’s concern and generosity. As of January 18th, $8.5 million has been collected in a Sandy Hook Foundation, according to the Hartford Courant. The foundation is not sure what will be done with that money yet. My guess is that it will go toward the school itself, a memorial, or gun control. My question is, who will decide who gets this money?
News Media

I hope you do not take everything you hear as fact. Even the news, no matter the station, has it’s own spin on every topic. As an active citizen, I try to get the honest facts of every news story that interests me. So as I’m watching footage of the Sandy Hook massacre, I’m struck with the lack of hard facts given to me by the news media.

Very little is known about the shooter and his connection to Sandy Hook Elementary. I still have yet to hear how his mother was connected to the school.
The medical examiner is completely unprepared for his news conference! When it comes to the facts, he says the victims were all shot with the Bushmaster, assault rifle. In the first video above, they show aerial footage of police taking this very weapon out of the shooter’s car! When it comes to the details of the victims deaths, he appears to have no details. I personally am mortified when this man later laughs at himself later in the interview. Is he so jaded that the death of the innocent doesn’t phase him?
When you watched the live footage of the shootings, NO BODIES were taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Very few, if any, medical personnel are seen entering into the school, moments after the shooting. Shouldn’t they be assessing the victims? Everything was done in a makeshift tent outside the school. Typical protocol is that the pronouncement of death is usually done at the hospital.
CNN reports that several are at the hospital with injuries but the aerial shots show no ambulances nearby the school but some distance away. Plus, these emergency vehicles could not get out since every street is blocked. When I say blocked, I mean a multitude of cars blocking the roadway.
We only see one small group of children brought outside to safety. What about the other hundreds of children. Where were they?

Would you be smiling if you knew your daughter was just in the school with a mass shooter?
The Facts That Don’t Add Up

Let me start off this section by saying I am deeply saddened for accusing people of lying. But once I saw the facts, I could come to no other conclusion. The first video I posted has a lot of this information. You’ll see it in other places around the web and in videos. Makes you wonder…

No loved ones are crying, for real. If my child is murdered or is in harm’s way, you’ll have to sedate me because I will be so hysterical with emotion and real tears.
Flaky eye witnesses with crazy stories. The one who supposedly watched some of the kids left by the bus driver is one that comes to mind. No bus driver I know would EVER leave children with a strange man.
The number of witnesses and parents who are in the actors guild.
There is footage, in the first video, of the shooter being chased down in the woods. Then he is put into the FRONT seat of the police car. Don’t suspects go in the back?
There is footage of police taking this Bushmaster assault rifle from the suspect’s car. This is the same weapon that the medical examiner says shot all children. How is that possible.
Web pages, Facebook and others, created either before or during the attack on 12/14.
Like the London bombing and 9/11, the US government was doing a training exercise just a few blocks away from Sandy Hook Elementary. What creeped me out was that the topic of this exercise was similar to the actual event at the school.
Photos have surfaced of a supposedly dead child with her family and the president, taken after 12/14.

the Fallout

Gun control has become a top priority for President Obama. While he is not asking for an end to the 2nd Amendment, he is asking for law abiding citizens for more if they want to purchase a gun. The notion that the suspect of Sandy Hook used an assault rifle is critical to getting a complete ban on all similar weapons.

The good news for the National Rifle Association is that membership is up. People who might not have considered joining are signing up in record numbers. According to CNN, some 250,000 people joined in the wake of Sandy Hook.

There is so much uncertainty as to what the future of guns holds, Walmart has suspended all new orders of bullets. Since they are the nation’s number one gun seller, that could mean a temporary run on ammunition.

Rent a Claw Machine for Your Party

So easy to play. So hard to win.

Everyone enjoys the thrill of a Claw Machine.

In some locations, you can rent one of your very own to entertain your family and friends.
Photo from CCCI on Flickr.com
Photo from CCCI on Flickr.com | Source
Exciting Fun For All Ages

Your guests can enjoy the thrill of an authentic Claw Machine at your next party. You can rent a single machine or several for a large group. Best of all, you can customize the game’s prizes to coordinate with your party theme, everything from plush animals (of course) to jewelry. It could be the impressive centerpiece at your next special event.

Always check directly with suppliers to verify price and availability.
Rent-A-Tilt (varioius locations in US)

NEW 10-10-2011

Get more information at Tilt.com. Their website has the coolest way to select items from the menu, it works like a claw machine. Rent a game for private corporate parties. Link: http://www.tilt.com/index.htm
The Amazing Fun Bus (CT area)

They bring a bus full of fun to your location! Choose from their BASIC BLAST package or their DELUXE package and additional add-ons like a real claw machine and prizes! Link: http://theamazingfunbus.com/pricingreservations.html
WOW Entertainment (NYC/NJ/Philadelphia area)

Rent CLAW MACHINE or PRIZE CRANE GAME that are set on “free play” which means: No Quarters Needed. They have a long list of venues in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. The machines can be branded for corporate events. Link: http://www.wowincevents.com/productcart/pc/Skill-Crane-14p42.htm
Cocktail Hour Entertainment (South Florida)

They have a SKILL CRANE package that includes 1-4 hours with an attendant. Standard or customized prizes and party favors are available as well. They specialize in providing services for the cocktail hour or reception at Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Corporate Event, Wedding, Sweet 16, Quince, or other special event. Their services are available for just 1 hour or for the entire party. Link: http://cocktailhourentertainment.com/keepsakes/list/skillcrane.html
Rent-A-Game (Woodbridge Ontario)

They have the SKILL CRANE game and many others if you want to create an entire arcade at your next special event. Link: http://www.pinballoutlet.com/RENTWeb/casino-games-final.htm
Claw Master Party Tips

A claw machine is the perfect entertainment for a Toy Story birthday party! DisneyFamily.com has great ideas to Throw A Toy Story Party
Place one special prize inside the game and everyone will try to win it first! Or wrap the prizes so you have to win first then unwrap it. The prize each player grabs from the game can also be their party favor.
Most of the machines are adjustable so you can make it easier for younger guests to win – or make it more challenging for serious claw masters.
Many machines can be branded for advertisement at a tradeshow or for employee appreciation events.

Related Topics

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Free virtual claw machine games on the web. The Claw with Toy Story characters and Get Pookey with Garfield the cat. Free skill crane and UFO Catcher games.
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Claw Machine Games for your cell phone
Grapplomat – Claw Machine With a Taste for Revenge!
Grapplomat – Claw Machine with a taster for Revenge. Make the kids smile by winning the prize they want, or else! Fun virtual claw machine game.
Arcade Escape
Room Escape + Claw Machine = Arcade Escape game, a point and click game. You “play” a virtual claw machine called UFO Catcher. Watch the video of Arcade Escape UFO Catcher.