Tuesday, August 11, 2020

DIVE BACK INTO GOLDFISH SWIM SCHOOL

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For the last few years our normal family routine has been spending Sunday afternoons at Goldfish Swim School as my kids have gone through lessons and participating in the swim team there. In mid-March as the coronavirus began spreading into Michigan little did we know that visit to Goldfish Swim School may have been our final chance to dive into their pool. As things began to get crazy with the pandemic impacting the State that Sunday in March was one of our last moments of normalcy as the next week my son and daughter's school shutdown while my wife and I's work places went into lockdown. As we all know now life has changed quite a bit over the last five months.

Originally, it was thought the virus would burn out and life would resume back to normal in a few weeks. Yet it is August and my wife and I are still working from home. It looks like the kids' school year will start off with online learning from home. And that Goldfish Swim School we enjoyed spending our Sundays at has been shuttered since our last visit in March. We were one of the last families in the pool before the pandemic closed the place down.


Fortunately for families some sense of normalcy may be returning as our local Goldfish Swim School just opened again. Kids can dive back into the water and resume swimming lessons starting today! The Swim Force has been cancelled so we may not be back but my kids have had a golden experience at this swimming school that we will always appreciate. Now during these tough times it is nice to know that Goldfish Swim School can brighten the days with swimming lessons for kids who have been sticking close to home for a very long time and are probably very stir crazy to get out and about.

coronavirus safety precautions


During our time at Goldfish Swim School, the staff not only focused on building the kids swimming skills but also emphasized water safety. So you know Goldfish Swim School is going to be taking the safety of their re-opening during this coronavirus pandemic very seriously! Here are some of the ways that they'll be letting children dive back into the pool being conscientious of the ongoing public health crisis:

Screening Swimmers & Caregivers
  • No one will be allowed in the building before being pre-screened for exposure to the virus and having their temperature checked.
  • Only one caregiver per family allowed in with swimmers. No non-sibling swimmers allowed inside.
  • The parent will have a designated socially distanced seat in the observation gallery corresponding to the lane their child will be swimming in.
  • Wearing masks by everyone is required. Children can remove masks when in the water.

Building Adjustments
  • Screening barriers have been added alongside the edge of the pool to separate children in their lanes when out of the water.
  • Showers and some changing rooms will be unavailable. Please come having your child wearing their swimsuit. Please don't linger and leave immediately after classes.
  • Shared amenities such as hair dryers have been removed.
  • Decals promoting social distancing and circulation of traffic flow through the building have been added.
  • The facility will be a cashless operation with all purchases being charged to your account.
  • Will not have googles on the pool deck to borrow.
  • Specially designated cleaning staff will be continuously sanitizing the facility throughout the day.

Swim Class Sizes
  • Group lesson ratios will be 3:1 instead of the usual 4:1.
  • Mini 3 lesson ratios will be 2:1 instead of the usual 3:1.
  • Mini 1 and 2 lesson ratios will be 4:1 instead of the usual 6:1.
  • Swim Force team training sessions and competitions are cancelled.
  • No Family Swim or Birthday Parties at this time.

Staff Precautions
  • All staff will be temperature checked and will complete a self-assessment upon arrival. Anyone experiencing a fever or any symptoms will be sent home. 
  • All dry side staff members will be wearing masks and all wet side staff will be wearing face shields. 
  • Staff will go through a number of trainings to help keep themselves and swimmers as safe as possible.
coronavirus pandemic

Dive back in! The pool is back open! Go to goldfishswimschool.com for more information.

Monday, August 10, 2020

PICKLE SLUSH RECIPE

ingredients
I saw pickle slushes when we picked up a meal at Sonic Drive-In awhile back and almost got one. I've been regretting that decision of not buying one for awhile being intrigued by the idea of that flavoring and decided to mix up a diy variety at home. Been snacking on pickles this summer so when I finished off a jar of McClure's Garlic Dill decided to use the left over juice in it to make some slushes.

So here's how I did it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Jar of Pickles (Preferably McClure's Garlic & Dill Pickles)
  • 1/2 Shot of Torani lemon syrup 
  •  1/2 Shot of Torani lime syrup
  • 4 oz of Sprite Soda 
  • Crushed Ice 

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DIRECTIONS:

  • Fill blender with ice 
  •  Add 1/2 jar of pickle juice 
  •  Add lemon and lime syrup 
  •  Pour in the soda
  •  Blend until the mixture is slushy
recipe


Now a lot of you may be apprehensive about drinking a pickle slush but have to say it really did make for a tasty treat. The garlic complimented the lemon-lime flavor making for an interesting flavor combination. If you like Bloody Mary's you'll appreciate this frozen drink. 



I'm absolutely going to be using this Pickle Slush recipe again. In fact, next time I make up a batch maybe will add a shot of Vodka to the ingredients. Something out of the ordinary to drink while enjoying a sci-fi movie to make you feel you've been transported to another time or place. Do you think they served these at the Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine? Whether you got that Star Wars reference or not give a Pickle Slush a try!

Friday, August 7, 2020

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT

Thank you Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for this complimentary movie.
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The kids and wife were in bed for the night but I couldn't fall asleep. So decided to stay up and watch some TV. There really wasn't anything on television so decided to watch a new movie Universal Pictures sent me to check out called YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT. A spooky horror movie to watch late at night.

Starring Kevin Bacon (Footloose, Hollow Man) and Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Les Misérables) this movie was originally slated to appear in theaters last Spring. With the pandemic closing movie theaters though, Universal Pictures recently released the movie instead on digital and DVD. Written and directed by David Koepp (Stir of Echoes), this psychological thriller from Blumhouse Productions (which has emerged as the horror king of the 21st Century creating movies including Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Halloween, The Invisible Man, Ouija, and Ma) is based on a novel by German literary sensation, Daniel Kehlmann.



Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) is a wealthy banker married to a much younger woman who is trying to make a name for herself as an actress in Hollywood. Trying to stabilize a troubled marriage, Theo and Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) along with their six year old daughter head to the Welsh countryside for a relaxing family vacation. Things quickly begin to unravel on their arrival as they begin  to experience nightmares that cause their reality to blur into confusion and terror.

Then a mysterious spectral figure begins to intervene. Are they being haunted or is this all just taking place within Theo's mind? Is Theo having a mental breakdown or is the whole family in danger from a haunted house? Is this a spectral intervention or a nervous breakdown? Will the Conroy family ever be able to leave this vacation house or will it be their final resting place? You'll have to watch YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT to find out!

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT is available online as a digital purchase available from moviesanywhere.com or you can get it on DVD from Best Buy. If you purchase YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT using ageekdaddy.com affiliate link this dad blogger will receive a small commission from Best Buy at no additional cost to you. Your support of this blog is appreciated!

ALIEN ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY COMIC BOOK

geek daddy
Did you know that the scripts green lighted to begin movie production are often very different from the stories presented in the final film? For example, the Star Wars originally pitched to 20th Century Fox was much different than what appeared on the big screen. Whether changes in scripts are for better or naught wouldn't it be interesting to see the original vision for sci-fi classics like Star Wars and Alien?

Thanks to comic books being able to provide immersive storytelling experiences with significantly lower production costs than movies it is possible to share these stories with science fiction fans. I was geeked when Dark Horse Comics releases an eight issue mini-series that portrayed the first draft of Star Wars showing how George Lucas originally imagined a galaxy far, far away. It was fun to see what might have been in THE STAR WARS: BASED UPON GEORGE LUCAS' ORIGINAL ROUGHT DRAFT SCREEN PLAY and also made me very glad that lots of changes were made along the way making the movie so many of us love.

Now Dark Horse has done it again! They've taken the first draft screenplay of 1979's ALIEN and are sharing how that original story would have played out on the movie screen with a new comic book mini-series. The first issue of ALIEN: THE ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY hit store shelves at comic book shops this week. I had to pick this up!

alien the original screenplay comic


This Dark Horse Comics mini-series is an adaption of Dan O'Bannon's original 1976 screenplay, originally titled STAR BEAST, that 20th Century Fox was on the fence about producing until the success of Star Wars. STAR BEAST was eventually released as ALIEN in 1979 which itself evolved into becoming a 6-film (8 if you count the two Alien vs Predator movies) motion picture franchise. An alien bursting through someone's chest is now engrained in pop culture having both horrified and delighted several generations of movie watchers.

If you are a fan of ALIEN, this will be a very interesting read comparing the differences between STAR BEAST and the final cut of the film. The visuals and the design of the space ships and the Alien in this comic book are based upon the descriptions by Dan O'Bannon in his screenplay which was written before the artistic involvement of H.R. Giger, Moebius and Ron Cobb became involved with the production of ALIEN. So as you flip through the pages of the comics keep an eye of for differences in the imagery as well as the story from the movie.

If you are fan of ALIEN or just enjoy science fiction in general, this is a must add to your pull list at your favorite comic book store. I wrapped up my week by chilling out reading the first issue of this comic book mini-series on the back patio after a long week. It made me feel like a kid again flipping through these pages. Escapism is such a great way to relieve stress!

dark horse comics


When it comes to ALIEN, find out how it originally all began by reading this Dark Horse Comics adaption of the original screenplay. I very much enjoyed reading it and will be picking up the rest of the issues as they come out. Then I'm going to watch ALIEN and read all these comic books again to see what other details I might have missed from my not having seen the movie in awhile. And for my movie aficionado friends out there the series is promoted as part of "20TH CENTURY FOX UNCOVERED" which may mean this treatment for more movies may be on the way!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

PRETEND DRIVE IN MOVIE NIGHT

SPONSORED BY WARNER BROS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
If you’ve ever been to a drive-in movie, you know how much fun it can be; from piling in the car with your cozy blankets to enjoying your favorite snacks in the Summer air! And if you have ever given a kid an empty cardboard box – you know how much fun they can have, as they use their creativity and let their imagination runs wild for hours!

So this week as part of our coronavirus pandemic summer staycation Camp Warner Bros activities we are sharing how to pretend to have a drive-in movie experience at home. Here are some instructions to transform cardboard boxes into Tom & Jerry themed cars. Grab a box, print out these cut out add ons and voila you have a fun vehicle to sit in while watching the Tom & Jerry movie The Fast & The Furry. Plop your cardboard car in front of a television or even better yet project the show on a big screen in your backyard.



In The Fast & The Furry, Tom and Jerry enter an extreme car race competition called the "Super Race" in order to win the grand prize of a beautiful, dream mansion! Driving suped-up hot rods that can adapt to any environment (land, sea or air), they compete in this wild race around the world, encountering famous landmarks along the way and leaving chaos in their wake.

Tom & Jerry: The Fast & The Furry is available on Blu-ray & DVD from Best Buy. If you purchase the movie utilizing an affiliate link in this post, ageekdaddy.com will receive a small commission at no additional expense to you. Your support of this dad blogger is appreciated!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

IMPRACTICAL JOKERS GAME

box of challenges
We've had a lot of fun over the last few years playing with some great toys created by WowWee like the MiPosaur, Minion MiP Turbo and Untamed Fingerlings. So we are excited that WowWee is jumping into expanding their product lineup to include games! Their first game is on store shelves now at Target and is based upon one of my wife's favorite television show → (IMPRACTICAL) JOKERS.

(IMPRACTICAL) JOKERS is a hidden-camera tv series, which also recently hit movie theaters as a feature film, where a comedy troup goes out in public and says weird and crazy things or engage in slapstick routines towards unsuspecting people. Troup members are assigned undercover challenges where they have to get somebody to accomplish a zany task. If a Joker is unsuccessful than they have to receive "punishment" which is participating in a goofy activity that really embarrasses them. As if you didn't think the challenges they lost weren't embarrassing enough!



Now you can transform your own dinner party or family gathering into an episode of (IMPRACTICAL JOKERS). Available now at Target stores is the (IMPRACTICAL) JOKERS GAME - BOX OF CHALLENGES. Meant for ages 17+ for 3-10 players it includes 400 game cards for party hosts to act out (IMPRACTICAL JOKERS) style improv comedy with friends and family. A great way to add some funny to the fun of a party!

game

So do you think you got what it takes to be one of the Jokers? Now’s your chance to put yourself to the test with the (IMPRACTICAL) JOKERS GAME - BOX OF CHALLENGES from WowWee. Try pulling off undercover challenges on friends the get everyone involved in this 3-phase game. Phase 1: Mess with unsuspecting friends and family. Phase 2: Match uncomfortable scenario cards with hysterical action cards. Phase 3: The Punishment.



WARNING: This game contains challenges of graphic stupidity for players to complete to embarrass each other at home. Do not attempt with strangers! Are you up to the challenge and prepared to accept punishment? If so pick up (IMPRACTICAL) JOKERS GAME - BOX OF CHALLENGES from WowWee exclusively at your local Target store or at target.com

MEGA MAZE AND SPACE ADVENTURE BOOKS

peel discover space sticker book
If you are looking for an interesting way to keep kids amused when there is some summer down time that doesn't involve screen time, check out these two books from Workman Publishing → MEGA-MAZE ADVENTURE! and PEEL + DISCOVER SPACE. Whether spending time traveling in the car, stuck inside because it is raining or just spending some quiet time these books are sure to entertain kids. What kids aren't geeked about having fun with mazes and stickers?!

MEGA-MAZE ADVENTURE!
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This A-MAZE-ING book is not just full of mazes ... the book itself is a MAZE! Start your adventure through a portal on the front cover and the maze continues through every page making this THE WORLD'S LONGEST MAZE IN A BOOK! Each two page spread has its own theme including butterflies, caves, dragons, race cars and robots. There are 14 spreads in all that take you to the end of the world after you complete an astounding 607 feet of maze. That is four time the height of the Statue of Liberty!

maze

Filled with vibrant bright swirling colored designs every page is its own adventure filled with hidden surprises and fun MEGA facts. Each themed spread also will have picture finding games mixed in with the pages. For example in Robot World you are tasked with finding 9 missing wrenches hidden among the maze needed to repair the robots. Discover A-MAZE-ING facts, games and illustrations as you find your way through this MEGA-MAZE ADVENTURE!

PEEL + DISCOVER SPACE

Learn about space exploration while having fun with hundreds of stickers that highlight astronauts, planets, rocket ships and lots of other out of this world things. There are six sheets of space stickers that compliment twenty pages of activity sheets full of history, science, and trivia about astronomy and space travel. Plus when you peel off each sticker, there is a cool fact about space underneath it!

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This book is meant to be customized with the stickers so that it personalized for every kid. Place the stickers around the book as well as draw, color, complete puzzles and write in notes throughout its activity pages. This book is both educational and entertaining making it a great way for kids to pass some time when complaining about being bored around the house or during a family road trip.