How to Choose Pool Table for Movie Nights

When you’ve moved into the home of your dreams, you want to make sure everything is just right. You want an efficient kitchen, comfortable guest rooms and bedrooms, a nice garage for your vehicles and outdoor equipment, and maybe even a nice study or the games room for entertaining friends and family. One thing you may want as a centerpiece for your games room is a nice pool table. Something that is not only a conversation piece but, provides fun and entertainment for many years or comes.

With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind when buying that pool table for movie nights, family get-togethers and other special occasions:

Quality. A good pool table should have good hardwood construction. You want it to last for years, so don’t settle for shoddy construction or workmanship. Solid hardwood pool tables with interlocking support beams may be a little more expensive, but the cost is well worth it in the long run.

Slate. Look for a pool table that has matched pieces that are all cut from the same slab. The best slate should be about three-quarters of an inch thick with a diamond-honed surface.

Felt. Look for a pool table that has the felt glued and screwed in place. This lasts longer than felt that is just tacked or stapled into place. Also, look for a good felt covering that has good wool content. The higher the percentage of wool that is used in the covering, the better because this is generally more durable and longer-lasting.

Railings, cushions, and pockets. A good pool table should have hardwood or laminate railings, canvas-backed cushions, and pockets made of rubber or soft plastic. Hardwood railings are less likely to break and crack over time and cause less vibration during gameplay. Cushions made of canvas or similar materials are less likely to break or separate over time. Pockets made of rubber or soft plastic are resistant to scuffs, scrapes, and damage.

Don’t forget about the accessories! You can’t play the game if you don’t have the right equipment. You’ll need to stock up on:

  • Pool cues or cue sticks
  • billiard balls
  • A pool cue or cue stick rack or holder
  • billiard sticks

You may also want to add optional items such as table brushes, cue chalk or talcum powder, cue repair kits, additional billiard balls or pool cues and a good pool table cover.

Most pool tables are delivered unassembled. You can tackle the assembly yourself, or you can leave it to an expert installer from the store you purchased it from. It might cost a little more, but takes an expert pool table installer to take care of the busy work for you can save you time and the worry over missing pieces or having the table assembled incorrectly.

View this post and other informational websites for helpful hints about important factors to consider when buying your pool table. Do your research, read reviews and product specifications. You want your pool table to be the cornerstone of your entertainment room, so make the right choice and you’ll have something that will be a highlight of entertaining your family and friends for many years to come.

A Light Divided Vocalist Jaycee Clark Talks About the Bands New Album “Choose Your Own Adventure”

Jaycee Clark is the vocalist for the Winston-Salem NC based rock band A Light Divided. The band is set to release a brand new album on October 5th titled “Choose Your Own Adventure”. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jaycee recently about the band, their new album and their latest single/video “Fear of Heights”.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some history on A Light Divided and how the band came together?

Jaycee Clark: About ten years ago I started the band with our drummer Adam Smith and a few other people who are no longer in the band. Adam and I have always had our eye on the prize and after a few years we found some other guys who had the same passion we have and who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the band to the next level. Staying out on the road and all that can be a lot to ask somebody so having a group of guys who are down for that just as much as I am is really awesome.

AL: The new album comes out Oct. 5. Can you give us some background on that?

JC: We have worked with producer Kile Odell on all of our releases. When we went in to start work on “Choose Your Own Adventure” things were a little bit different as we had some new members this time around. Things were much more collaborative between the five of us and it wasn’t just one person writing music and another writing lyrics. Everybody had their own say and influences reflected in the process which was great. Ultimately I think this record came out better because of all that. We bounced a lot of ideas off one another and if everyone thought it was cool we went with it. At the end of the day everyone was super stoked with what we had done.

AL: Aside from the collaboration aspect of this album was there anything else that happened differently this time around during the writing/recording process?

JC: I think this record is a lot different than our previous works. Prior to starting work on the record we were sort of feeling boxed in as to what A Light Divided was supposed to sound like. We decided to throw all of that out the window so that we could have a fresh start. We really took our time making something that all of us could be proud of.

AL: Can you tell us about the album’s title “Choose Your Own Adventure”?

JC: There was a little bit of nostalgia we wanted to capture from the book series we grew up reading. With those books you had decisions to make which resulted in different outcomes. I liked that sentiment and related it to real life. For me “Choose Your Own Adventure” means to not be afraid to just take life by the balls and go after the things that make you happy. Every song on this record is about making a choice from removing negative people in your life to stop fighting your inner self. We really took the ideas behind the book series and applied it to real life.

AL: You recently released a video for the song “Fear of Heights”. Can you tell us about that?

JC: It was really important for us to showcase our live performance and who we are as a band. We are very high energy basically all of the time. We love getting on stage and showing the emotion behind each of the songs. We also feel if we are not having fun on stage how will anyone else have fun? We wanted to showcase the type of band we are visually right off the bat. “Fear of Heights” is such an upbeat song that it was a no brainer for us to pick that song as our first single. It is a very guitar driven song with a super catchy chorus. The song gives me a very summer type vibe that makes me think of going to the beach and blasting songs with the windows down. “Fear of Heights” is perfect for that!

AL: Are there plans in place for the band to tour behind the albums release?

JC: We are going to be doing a south east run called the “Chapter 1” tour (laughs). We are very excited about this new album and want to hit the ground running once it is released. This first run is going to be just us headlining the shows as we felt it was important for us to go out alone to show who we are and then let things grow from there. This tour is going to be a game changer for us as before when we toured we could only go out for about ten days or so before we had to get back. With this upcoming run we are going to be out a bit longer and most of us will probably lose our jobs (laughs). We are choosing our own adventure on this run and it is do or die so we are going out there to really do this.

For more info on A Light Divided you can find them on facebook.com/alightdivided and check out the video for “A Fear of Heights” here.

Why VPNs are useful and how to choose the best one

A VPN is a great tool that can benefit pretty much anyone who accesses the Internet regularly, although is much more usable for certain people than others. Read this article and find out what VPNs are, what are their benefits, who they are especially useful for and how to choose the best VPN provider for your needs.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for virtual private network. It extends a private network across a public network, which enables its users to send and receive data over public networks to each other as if they were connected to a private network, for example sitting in the same office building.

Virtual private networks were created for the business world, as they allowed remote workers or branches of the same company to work together as if they were located in the same building, while taking advantage of the security that comes with VPNs.

Why people use VPNs

However, VPNs are now widely used outside of the business world, too. There are two main benefits that make them more and more popular and useful:

  • Security and protection of personal information, identity and location
  • Circumvention of geo restrictions and blocking implemented by various websites and online services

The first benefit is pretty straight-forward. VPNs add an extra layer of protection to your internet and network usage. That is especially useful if you change location often and connect to the internet from multiple locations and maybe even networks with questionable security. You can be sure you’re browsing the internet and communicating online privately and securely, even when connected to an unsecured network.

The ability to circumvent geo blocking is even more useful to many people. Since you are establishing a secure connection with a server located in another country, you will seem to be in that country as well. This is useful for many types of websites that implement geo blocking, such as:

  • Netflix is a great subscription streaming service. It’s available pretty much everywhere by now, but the selection of movies and series is nowhere near as vast as in the US in many countries. Although Netflix is not happy about it and tries to block known VPN servers, you can still access Netflix through a VPN and enjoy a full content database, but you need to choose a good VPN provider so that Netflix doesn’t block your access.
  • Online casinos. Web-based gambling operators generally only accept players from certain countries and there is no way around that. However, some countries have implemented their own blocking system that doesn’t always make sense or is good for the players. VPNs offer a good way to go around this, although it’s advisable to check the local regulations first.
  • Local television when traveling abroad. National TV stations often broadcast over the internet, but access is almost always limited to just people in the country. That shouldn’t be an issue if your VPN makes it seem that you are in your home country, even if you are on the opposite side of the globe.

But that’s not all. Some countries have really vast internet censorship and something like a VPN can help people from such parts of the world enjoy a more free and unrestricted browsing experience and get to information they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

How to choose the best VPN provider

If you already tried looking for a VPN to use for free or purchase, you know there are countless sites offering comparisons and linking you mostly to the premium VPNs you will have to pay for. There are also free VPN services and servers, although their quantity and quality of servers is generally nowhere near that of premium VPN services.

Some VPN services are extremely easy to use, although their functionality might be a bit limiting to advanced users. A great example of this is TunnelBear. If you are a beginner, it might be a good choice for you, but if you require advanced functionality, it’s best for you to look further.

There are many more advanced VPN services with better functionality, that are still quite easy to use and don’t require strong technical knowledge on the user’s side. Services like ExpressVPN, NordVPN or IPVanish offer a great balance of usability and rich functionality.

It’s impossible to pick the best VPN service for everyone. Some excel in security, other offer great selection of servers from a big number of countries and some might have features that their competition simply doesn’t. When looking for a VPN, make sure to think about what you want to use it for and select accordingly. And make sure to read best VPN reviews, as they might be really useful in helping you pick the best option for you.

How to Choose Your Perfect Game for Free

Since the advent of online gaming, the industry has changed immeasurably. While it was once the case that “gaming” meant arcade style games you’d play in an entertainment venue or a console game, the term is now used to denote a variety of genres.

From mobile simulators and online casino games to virtual reality products, the gaming industry is now awash with options and that can make choosing the right game for you a tough task. Fortunately, as is often the way on the Internet, there’s a plethora of sites, services and apps out there that will help you find the best game for.

Read the Word of Others

Caught Reading” (CC BY 2.0) by  Jayel Aheram 

One of most effective ways to get a handle on the gaming market is to use a comparison site. Much like the ones you’d see in the insurance or travel industry, casino comparison sites not only provide reviews and ratings but direct links to the top operators in the industry.

For example, if you’re looking for a high quality online casino in Canada then a site such as Bonus.ca is your best bet.  When you’re searching for a place where money is a big part of your gaming experience it pays to listen to the words of others as it literally won’t cost you anything.

Indeed, when take a look at what sort of bonus offers you can pick up as a Canadian casino gamer by using a site such as Bonus.ca, you’re effectively using the collective experience of thousands to help you might the right choice.

Watch the Action Live

Twitch.TV offices” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  docpop 

Another way to check out the top games in the industry is to head over to Twitch. The streaming service has long been the home of the world’s top gamers and through their streams you can learn about the finer points of the latest PC and console games on the market.

Whether you’re a World of Warcraft wannabe or curious about Call of Duty, Twitch streamers will give you real-time insights into the latest games on the market so you can find your favourites with ease.

Play for Free

Free Button” (CC BY 2.0) by  GotCredit 

The final way to find your perfect game without having to spend money is to play for free. When you search through the any app store you’ll now find that most of the leading games can be played for free.

Using the “freemium” model, app developers are now encouraging people to try their main features of their games for free before committing to them financially.

Of course, you can continue to play many of these games for free, but their structure is designed to make you purchase add-ons and credits. However, if you use this dynamic to explore the options available in the mobile world, then you’ll be able to find what you want without wasting money unnecessarily.

The gaming world is booming and that means you can now entertain yourself in a myriad of ways. Whether it’s gaming on the move, betting online or battling in a virtual world via your PC, there’s now more choice than ever and the best way to find what you’re looking for is to read, watch and play.

 

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Help Choose The Best of 2014 and Win Some Sweet Swag! [ENDED]

As 2015 begins there is one more piece of 2014 business to take care of. It’s time to pick the winners of the 3rd Annual Media Mikes Awards!

Last year one lucky reader won an instant Blu-ray collection but this year, thanks to our media partners, we will be awarding TEN random readers a great prize just for nominating their favorite films and performances from last year. Prizes range from a set of DVDs to T-shirts, OUIJA boards, buttons and passes to see AMERICAN SNIPER and INHERENT VICE (these passes are accepted anywhere in the United States). Plus, if you will take the time to “like” our Podcast Facebook Page you could win an awesome prize package from THE GAMBLER, including a hat, carry bag and poker set.

Here’s all you have to do: nominate your favorite film or performer in the following categories: BEST PICTURE, DIRECTOR, ACTOR, ACTRESS, SUPPORTING ACTOR, SUPPORTING ACTRESS and BEST ANIMATED FEATURE. You can either do it below or send your nominees to (email address). Ten random entries will be chosen to win a movie prize. To be eligible for THE GAMBLER prize package, just “like” our Podcast page (and please give us a listen). All “likes” made to the page from Sunday, January 4, 2015 through Wednesday, January 21, 2015 will be eligible to win THE GAMBLER prize package. All entries (either on the Media Mikes site or via email ) must be in by midnight, January 21, 2015. All entries will be tabulated and the winners announced on the “Behind the Mikes” Podcast on Saturday, January 24, 2015. They will also be posted on the site that week.

Special thanks to our friends at Allied THA! Good luck!

Media Mikes Critics Choose the Years Best Films (and the Worse)

With voting almost over for the 2013 Media Mikes.com awards, the site’s main critics got together and chose their favorite films of the past year. And a few that weren’t anyone’s favorite. As always, it’s a rather diverse grouping of movies. Agree? Disagree? Let us know below!

Mike Gencarelli’s Top 5

FROZE
GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PACIFIC RIM
THE CONJURING

and

Worse 5
MOVIE 43
BYZANTIUM
AFTERSHOCK
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES
THE HOST

Lauren Damon’s Top 4
Lauren’s original list contained a film that she actually saw this year but will not be released until some time in 2014. Rather than possibly give a look at next year’s list, here are her top four:

12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WORLD’S END
AMERICAN HUSTLE
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Phillip Smith’s Top 5
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
MANDELA
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

Jeremy Werner’s Top 5
12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WORLD’S END
GRAVITY
THE SPECTACULAR NOW
FRUITVALE STATION

and

Worse 5
MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: THE CITY OF BONES
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
ONLY GOD FORGIVES

Michael Smith’s Top 8
I couldn’t stop at five so I thought I’d do my five favorite mainstream titles as well as three more independent features.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
AMERICAN HUSTLE
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PRISONERS
THE CONJURING
AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS
THE WAY, WAY BACK
THE SAPPHIRES

and

Worse 5
THE HOST
CARRIE
OUT OF THE FURNACE
A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES
21 AND OVER