Why Slice Your Driver Golf Tip

Get Mark’s iPad App Get Mark’s iPhone App Get Mark’s Android App …


Best Puppy Food For a Dobie

Here are a few tips to help you find the best puppy food for your Dobie …

1. Use a food that is free of soy, corn, wheat, glutens, and dairy. These foods can contribute to allergies in dogs and they are very hard to digest. The best puppy food never uses these ingredients.

2. Remember a Dobie puppy needs plenty of quality protein. Be sure and look at the first few ingredients on the bag and make sure at least one good quality protein is listed. One of the best and most concentrated forms of protein is chicken meal.

3. Look for a good fiber source such as beet pulp. Beet pulp is an excellent fiber that increases the intestinal size and allows more nutrients to be absorbed by your puppy. When more nutrients are absorbed, you will also notice less clean up.

4. Read your labels and make sure the puppy food is free of by products. Dog food companies add products, which are inferior sources of protein. Chicken feet, intestines etc are substituted instead of using quality protein. So stay away from by products!

5.Find a food that has probiotics. Probiotics are active bacteria cultures that help fight off the bad bacteria that can get into the colon. These probiotics are known as the "good bacteria" and they keep the colon balanced. This is important because the colon is where most of the nutrients from the food is absorbed.

6. Find a food that your Dobie enjoys eating. You might get the best puppy food on the market but your dog might not like the taste. Look for companies that offer samples for your puppy to try.

Did you know that dogs fed a high quality dog ​​food live on average 5 or more years longer than dogs fed less-quality food?

Source by Candice Lee

Max (2015)

Max, a precision-trained military dog, serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott. But when things go terribly wrong …


How To Pick Up Girls During The Cold, Grey, Stay-At-Home Winter Season

If you live in a cold city you’ve probably noticed that people tend to socially hibernate during the winter season. I knew it all too well as I lived most of my adult life in Chicago. In my opinion, there is no better city in the world to pick up girls during summer in Chicago, it’s like a Mecca for hotties. Yet as the months wear on into the fall, then later into the winter, the nightlife slowly dwindles down. Bars that were shoulder-to-shoulder packed in July become ghost towns by January. I don’t blame anyone either. Walking to the bar when it’s 3 degrees out, with the piercingly cold wind hitting your face, trying not to slip on your ass from all the slush on the ground… IT AIN’T FUN! When you’re cuddled in a warm bed watching Family Guy, it feels like such a better option.

Consequently, most guys drop off when the winter hits. It’s just too easy to be lazy. This is a huge mistake that can really take a hit on your development. Progress that was being made during the summer and fall go out the window once you take a 4 month leave of absence. Once you go out to pick up girls in the Spring, it feels like you’ve starting all over again. So treat the winter just as you would the summer. Continue getting your butt out of the house and meet as many women as you can.

Since the nightlife does take a hit during the winter months, your game plan needs to change with the season. In this article, I’ve outlined some killer strategies on how to pick up girls during the cold, grey, stay-at-home winter season.

Find a Rotation During The The Fall

To many guys, winter season = girlfriend season. It’s just so damn convenient to be in a relationship when it’s sub-zero weather out. Again, dealing with the bar scene during the winter isn’t the most fun in the world. When you’re sitting at home in your boxers watching the snow pour like it’s no tomorrow, calling up a girl and chilling at home is just too convenient. In fact, this is something I would recommend if you’re in a position to do so. It’s okay to sit back and reap the rewards of your labor during this time.

During the fall, start transitioning a woman you’re seeing into girlfriend status. If you don’t want a girlfriend, then start building up a solid rotation of girls to “hang” with – preferably at least 3.

Online Dating Is Key

If you’re not in a position to have a “winter girlfriend” and are looking to meet new women, online dating is one of the best routes you can take. You’ll be able to pick up a plethora of new girls during the cold winter months in the convenience of your warm home. There are millions of women who are just as lazy as you in dealing with the cold and are also looking to meet a new partner during this time of the year. In fact, online dating services get their peak activity from users in the months of November – February, with Christmas/ New Years season being the highest. This can be a goldmine to meet women so take advantage of it.

Popular Bars Of The Week

Although bar/club activity hits a rock bottom in the winter, there’s usually at least 1 venue each day of the week that is still popular. You pretty much don’t have a choice but to go to these places during this time.

Find out where the drink specials are because that’s where people will go. Dealing with the weather sucks, but the motivation to go out kicks in once people find out there’s a bar that serves $1 beers. I’ve been to bars where it was packed even when there was practically a blizzard outside just because the drink special for the night was so good. Go to metromix.com and find where the best drink deals of the week are. More than likely there will be a good amount of women congregating at these places.

Work With What You Got

This isn’t the time to be all picky with the women you approach. I’m not saying to throw your standards out the window and start dating fuglies, but you have to work with what you got. This isn’t the summertime where there are an endless supply of women to go up to. Winter is a different ballgame and you won’t have as many chances to approach. So take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.

As long as there’s 1 or 2 women in the venue, that’s all you need to work with. Sack up and go talk to them. I’ve seen plenty of success at places where it was a hardcore sausage fest and there was only a handful of women to talk to.

Work Your Daytime Routine

Since the night scene is often times non-existent, make the best use of your daytime routine. On your way to and from work, there’s A TON of women walking around that you can approach. If you work in a big office building, then try and meet new women in the common area during your lunch break. You’ll find at least a few cute girls to talk to at the supermarket, especially during weekday nights.

During Christmas season, shopping malls are filled with women shopping for gifts. Go up to them and have them help you pick out a gift for your little nephew. Health clubs are packed with women, especially during the winter time. Right after New Year’s, EVERYONE is trying to shed those extra holiday pounds, so you can meet more women there than you can at a night club.

If you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to pick up girls during this time. When I was working on this stuff, I’d look at ANY part of my day as an opportunity to meet women, no matter how ridiculous. I remember I’d be in a traffic jam on the highway and see a cute girl alongside my car. I’d tell her to roll the windows down and start talking to her then and there. To me, as long as there were a female in my vicinity, I didn’t have an excuse not to make it happen.

Use The Weather To Your Advantage

The cold weather can be used to your advantage. Since it’s such a pain to walk outside, this is a perfect excuse to stay inside the house. If you’re meeting up with a woman, tell her to meet you at your place. Since the weather sucks say “Yeah I don’t feel like dealing with all the cold right now, let’s just watch a movie in.” Think about it, her being at your place is just that much closer to the bedroom that it would be if you were at a Starbucks. Often times the biggest logistic you have to work around is just getting them inside your house in the first place. This isn’t an issue when the weather sucks.

Don’t Stop, Get It Get It

The most important point is to NOT-STOP what you are doing during the winter season. Guys naturally get lazy and want to stay inside the house when the weather starts getting colder. This can kill whatever progress you were and leave you just as bad with women by the time Spring hits. I’ve given you enough ways to pick up girls during the winter season in this article so you have ZERO excuses not to get off your butt and start having some fun. Once you do, you’ll often find winter season really is the season for giving… and for receiving.:-)

Source by Tony B Ryan

Great Golf Tip – 3 Drills For Better Lag Putting

See how you can cut strokes off your game in as littl as 5 minutes a day without leaving the comfort of your home.


FanDuel MLB Picks: 4-3-17- The 6 Pack – RotoGrinders

DFS expert “Beermakersfan” provides his favorite FanDuel MLB picks for today’s games.

– Check out RotoGrinders.com for daily strategy shows that will help you with your FanDuel and DraftKings games. All shows will give you FREE daily fantasy sports advice, expert picks, live chat and more for every major slate of NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games.

– Subscribe now for FREE DraftKings & FanDuel advice from the top DFS experts!

– Check out our Lineup building tools: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, Nascar & more, we’ve got you covered!

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports! Use our tools and content to build better lineups on Draftkings, Fanduel, or any of the other top DFS sites out there.

Special thanks to www.RotoGrinders.com staff & members.


FanDuel + DraftKings NBA Strategy for 3/31/17 – RotoGrinders

Picks, strategy and advice for tonight’s Draft, FantasyDraft, FanDuel and DraftKings NBA games.

– Check out RotoGrinders.com for daily strategy shows that will help you with your FanDuel and DraftKings games. All shows will give you FREE daily fantasy sports advice, expert picks, live chat and more for every major slate of NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games.

– Subscribe now for FREE DraftKings & FanDuel advice from the top DFS experts!

– Check out our Lineup building tools: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, Nascar & more, we’ve got you covered!

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports! Use our tools and content to build better lineups on Draftkings, Fanduel, or any of the other top DFS sites out there.

Special thanks to www.RotoGrinders.com staff & members.


Lawn Tractor Transmission Types

The fives types are gear, friction disk, automatic, CVT, and hydrostatic.  I’ll spend a few minutes going through each type so you have a better idea of the best type for you. I am not going into the details of how each one works.  Just Google the transmission type and you can read to your heart’s content.


Five years ago the gear drive transmission was the most popular but today hydrostatic and automatic transmissions have replaced them in popularity. Often called Manual transmissions this type uses a series of gears to change the ground speed of your tractor.  The biggest downfall of this type of transmission is you have to stop the tractor to shift to a different speed (range).  This makes them harder to use when you have a lot of garden beds and landscape features to go around.

To drive the tractor you must push in on the clutch, shift the transmission to the gear you want to use, release the clutch, and hang on.  This is a dependable  transmission that will give you years of service.

Friction Disk

This is actually the transmission of choice for snow blowers but there are a few mowers like the Snapper Rear Engine Rider that use this trans.  It is a good, dependable transmission when used properly.  It uses a friction wheel and disk to change the forward speed of your rider.  Don’t use this transmission to pull heavy loads…you will tear up the friction wheel.

You can shift-on-the-go with some models but to get the longest life most brands suggest you push down on the clutch/brake pedal and then shift to the speed you want.


This is essentially a belt and variable pulley system similar to the drive system in a snowmobile.  John Deere originally used this in conjunction with a manual transmission on the Model 110.  Now days, MTD is using this on most of it’s cheapest lawn tractors. Like the friction disk this trans is designed to the mower application and they are not designed to pull heavy loads.  Some of the Brands have confused the issue by calling their inexpensive hydrostatic trans an “automatic” so if you are unsure ask.

To drive the tractor you typically have two levers.  One for forward or reverse and the other for the speed. Move the F/R lever to the direction you want to go and then simply move a fender mounted lever to change the speed. This is a dependable  transmission that will give you years of service for flat lawns and pulling very light loads.

CVT/IVT (Continuously/Infinitely Variable Transmission)

The automatic mentioned above and the hydrostatic below are essentially CVT’s  but now days this means a variable disk or ball/disk system.  This is the transmission of the future because it uses fewer moving parts than a gear trans and less oil than a hydrostatic, but at this point in time they are not yet cost effective for lawn tractor applications.  MTD tried using the dual IVT Infinitrak in the Cub Cadet and Craftsman Revolution but consumers were not ready to spend the extra money to own this type of transmission. New Holland is using these effectively in their 50 hp and larger tractors.

These transmissions are very easy to use.  Either a fender mounted lever or foot control varies the speed and direction.


The most common transmission for lawn tractors today is a form of Continuously variable transmission called the hydrostatic transmission. These transmissions take several forms, from pumps driving separate motors, which may incorporate a gear reduction, to fully integrated (enclosed) units containing a pump, motor and gear reduction.  Hydrostatic transmissions are more expensive than mechanical transmissions but they are easier to use and can transmit greater torque to the wheels as compared to a typical mechanical transmission.

Hydrostatic – Enclosed Single

These transmissions are very easy to use.  Either a fender mounted lever or foot control varies the speed and direction.  The enclosed hydrostatic transmission is a single unit that houses the variable pump, motor, differential and drive axle.  Most of lawn tractors, yard tractors, garden tractors and estate tractors today have an aluminum housing to give off the heat the moving oil creates.  These transmissions are sized to the mower application.  The garden tractor and estate tractor transmissions are built to handle heavy loads and ground engaging attachments.

These transmissions are very easy to use.  Either a fender mounted lever or foot control varies the speed and direction.  The pedal on the left side of the tractor is the parking brake.  You do not need to depress that pedal to shift the tractor.   The forward and reverse is controlled by either a lever on the right fender or two pedals on the right side floorboard.  To go forward push the fender lever forward or press on the large pedal on the floor board.  To stop the tractor pull the lever back to the middle position or lift your foot off the pedal.  To back the tractor up pull the fender lever to the rear or press the small pedal on the floorboard.

On the fender mounted control you HAVE to move the lever to the middle to stop your tractor.  It will not go to neutral by itself like the foot controls.

Hydrostatic – Enclosed Dual

Two hydrostatic transmissions are mounted side-by-side in the residential zero turns.  Each trans controls a separate rear wheel.  That is the primary reason why zero-turn mowers cost more than the lawn tractors. Again these trans are designed for the application and most are not designed to pull loads, just mow and bag.

Most of these transmissions are controlled by individual levers that sit in front of you.  With a little practice these are very easy to use.  A large lever on each side of the seat controls that side transmission.  To go forward push on BOTH levers.  To stop, pull them back.  (The easiest way to explain how to drive a two-lever zero turn mower is to  use a shopping cart as an example.  With the mower turned off sit on the seat and put your hands on the two large levers in front of you.  Close you eyes and pretend you are gripping a shopping cart.   What do you do to move a shopping cart forward? Right, you push on the handle.   To back up? Right, you pull back on the handle.  To go left?  To go right?  Correct, you PUSH the handle in the direction you want to turn the cart.  Two lever zero turns work the same way.  Instead of one bar like a shopping  cart, the bar is split in two and you move each side to make it move.)  This type of transmission takes practice to keep the tires from digging into your lawn.

Hydrostatic -Pump & Motor

The more expensive commercial zero-turn mowers, stand-ons, and some golf course mowers use a separate variable pump near the motor connected to the wheel motors with hydraulic hose or metal lines.  These are usually cast iron for long life and durability. A few of the high-end commercial mowers are now using enclosed cast iron hydros.

Source by Paul Sikkema

Ollie Fisher & Pete Cowen – Golf Tips – Chipping onto green – Golflive 2012[HD]

A short video during the Pete Cowen golf coaching session of short game, playing onto a green filmed at The London Golf Club at Golf Live 2012 Event.


First Mates: Fantasy Baseball Sleeper First Basemen in 2012

Many fantasy baseball owners will scoop up first basemen early in their draft and with good reason. First base is a position which traditionally will provide you with a big bat in your line up and is often a premier source of power, average, run production or all three. As a result, many owners will try to make sure they get a first baseman early in the draft or spend a good chunk of their budget bidding on a top tier first sacker for their roster.

However, some owners like to take a different approach to fantasy baseball first basemen and wait until the later rounds in the hopes of trying to snag a bargain, or fantasy baseball sleeper, as they are known. If you are looking for a fantasy sleeper for your first base roster position or simply are looking for a sleeper pick to add to your bench, these are some players worth considering:

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

I'm usually averse to high strikeout hitters as the hemorrhaging batting average can cripple a fantasy team. However, 25-30 HR power is there and double digit stuben base numbers are not out of the question either. If you've got some strong batting average help in other areas, Goldschmidt may be a late-round bargain to boost your power numbers.

Gaby Sanchez (MIA)

His 2011 season was a virtual carbon copy of his 2010 rookie campaign. That being said, players often experience a bump in their third season in the big leagues and Sanchez is already 28 years old. He projects to hit 6thin a pretty potent Miami line up and may just provide some nice numbers as a late round pick up.

Freddie Freeman (ATL)

Many observers felt Freeman was capable of around 15 HR in his rookie season of 2011. He delivered a nice surprise by swatting 21 HR last year. As he starts to leverage his big frame (6'5 ", 225 lbs), he may approach 25 HR in 2012. He has also shown the ability to hit for average and with no first basemen in the organization even close to challenging him for Playing time, he should receive plenty of AB in 2012.

Kendrys Morales (LAA)

Last time we heard from Morales, he was a solid.300 / 30/100 hitter and went by the name Kendry. A freak ankle injury has robbed him of the past season and a half. He has resumed hitting and jogging but his status for spring training is in question. With a stacked line up in Anaheim, there is a chance Morales could be traded. Wherever he ends up, Morales is nothing more than a late round gamble at this point. In other words, he's got sleeper written all over him.

Ike Davis (NYM)

The Mets are bringing in the gaps for 2012 and Davis projects to hit cleanup. A season of 25 HR and 80-90 RBI are a real possibility. Throw in a solid batting average and you've got yourself a late round gem. There have been rumors of a possible trade but Davis' ability to deliver power, run production and average will make his bat a valuable one regardless of where he plays. Watch him closely in spring training for any ill effects of last season's injury. If all is well, consider him a bona fide sleeper.

Eric Hosmer (KC)

Do not be surprised if Hosmer hits 30 HR, 100 RBI with 15 SB in 2012. That puts him near the top 5 of the position. However, sophomores are almost always risky business in fantasy baseball so you might want to temper those expectations a little. He'll hit out of the cleanup spot again in 2012, so if Hosmer is available in the mid rounds, grab him. He's worth the gamble.

If you are one of those fantasy baseball owners who likes to wait until the later rounds looking for a fantasy sleeper pick, these first basemen may just give your roster the boost it needs to succeed in 2012. Good luck!

Source by Chris J McBrien

2017 Fantasy Basketball: DraftKings Picks and Preview For March 31st | GTD

Gabe lists his favorite DFS picks for March 31st. Find out who you should be building your DraftKings picks around and why!


FNTSY Sports Network has your fantasy sports mock drafts, draft strategy, previews and analysis for MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL, including fantasy football 2016 and fantasy baseball 2016. Subscribe for 24/7 fantasy sports news and dominate your league!

Whether you’re getting ready for your fantasy football draft or playing DraftKings and FanDuel, we have you covered with original content like the Pat Mayo Hour, Game Time Decisions, FNTSY Sports Today, Out Of My League and more.


Best Of Rottweiler Dogs and Babies Play Together Video Compilation

Subscribe https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCesePYtn8nEjsBl6SG7-Q5Q/about.


Dog Training – 8 Correction Mistakes Dog Owners Make

Just like no dog is perfect, neither are pet owners. A lot of dog behavior problems go right back to poor dog owner training. Here are some of the most common mistakes dog owners make that lead to bad dog behavior:

1. Inconsistent training. Just like with your typical human two-year-old, you’ve must be consistent when training your dog. Letting Max get away with bad behavior even some of the time will lead to problems down the road.

2. Reinforcing bad behavior. A classic poorly trained dog owner behavior. Even the best of us don’t realize when we’ve done it. Here’s the classic example: Buttons scratches the door to be let in. You just painted the door and don’t want Buttons ruining the new paint, so you let him in immediately. Guess what Buttons just learned? If he scratches the door, you’ll let him in immediately! Don’t let your dog outsmart you! You may just have to put up with a few scratch marks on the door until Buttons gets the message. Never let your dog in the house when he scratches on the door or barks.

3. Using the dog’s name when correcting him. It’s important not to make “no” sound like a part of your puppy’s name: Buster No! Just say the word, in a low, growling voice. Don’t use “no” when your dog isn’t doing the unwanted behavior but is considering it. Try “don’t,” again, using a low, growling, and firm voice.

4. Leaving the dog alone too much. The pounds are full of young dogs that somebody wanted when they were puppies, but because the owners worked 12-hour days every day, the dog now has behavior problems. Spend time with your dog every day.

5. Crating a dog too long. Not only is this bad for your dog’s behavior, keeping him in a crate for hours and hours day after day can affect his growth and his muscle tone.

6. Chaining a dog. If you don’t have a secure fence, then keep your dog in the house crated. Chaining a dog is dangerous and cruel.

7. Yelling. Your dog will not respond to yelling. Everyone loses their temper from time to time, but constantly yelling at your dog loses its effect quickly – just like it does on your spouse or your children.

8. Hitting. Swatting your dog with newspaper or hitting him just teaches him that aggression gets the leader of the pack what he wants. Don’t hit your dog. It sets a bad example.

Some dogs, especially some toy breeds or hounds, may still have trouble. This is especially true of small dogs. Remember, you are training your pet to not leave waste in his den, and to a small dog your home may be too big to seem den-like.

Marilyn Burnham

Author: ‘Dog Owners Boot Camp’

The How To Guide, Dog Training Secrets Professional Dog Trainers Don’t Want You To Know!

For More Information On Dog Training

Source by Marilyn Burnham

Henrik Stenson – Tips for Using 3-Wood Off the Tee (Sep 25, 2013)


Is It Possible to Increase Your Height With Exercises?

There are many height increase exercises you can perform to help your body get taller. The main exercises to concentrate on is strengthening your core muscles and to practice good posture.

Poor posture is a problem that you can work on. Once your posture improves, so does your height. Practice good posture by keeping your head and shoulders erect without stooping or looking downward or leaning your head too far back. Make sure that your chin is parallel with the ground, and that your hips are even. Practicing good posture is one of the most effective height increase exercises.

Another method to use in conjunction with practicing good posture is core exercises. By toning and firming up your midsection muscles, it will help you get better posture which in turn will make you appear taller. In reality you are taller, because you are no longer stooping forward when you are walking or standing. Increasing your core strength will also help to alleviate back pain.

Another fun way to increase your core strength is to use an exercise ball. There are numerous exercises you can do with an exercise ball to increase core strength. One of the more popular ways is to lay on the ball with your stomach on the ball, and then attempt to balance your body with your hands and feet extending straight out. Initially it is very hard, but you will get better at it. The more you work with an exercise ball, the more likely you are to develop strong core muscles. Strong core muscles will help your posture, which will make you appear taller.

One of the best stretching exercises for people who want to increase their height is to simply hang off of a bar. Use a pull-up bar, but instead of trying to lift your body up, you simply grab on and hang onto the bar. It is imperative that you properly stretch first. The more you hang on a bar then the stronger your muscles and tendons get. The increased flexibility of your tendons will allow you to fully fill your height.

Another great way to increase your height is to use a rebounder, which is a mini trampoline. The negative g forces at the top of your jump will reduce pressure on your spine and gradually elongate it.

By doing these height increase exercises daily or even every other day, you will be sure to see some results. Even if you don’t actually get any taller, your posture and overall fitness will be much improved.

Source by Jason McKenzie

FanDuel NBA Picks: 3-31-17 – The 6 Pack – RotoGrinders

DFS expert “Beermakersfan” provides his favorite FanDuel NBA picks for today’s games.

– Check out RotoGrinders.com for daily strategy shows that will help you with your FanDuel and DraftKings games. All shows will give you FREE daily fantasy sports advice, expert picks, live chat and more for every major slate of NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games.

– Subscribe now for FREE DraftKings & FanDuel advice from the top DFS experts!

– Check out our Lineup building tools: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, Nascar & more, we’ve got you covered!

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports! Use our tools and content to build better lineups on Draftkings, Fanduel, or any of the other top DFS sites out there.

Special thanks to www.RotoGrinders.com staff & members.


Improve Your Ball Striking Golf Lesson

Get Mark’s iPhone App Like Mark Crossfield on Facebook …


Improve Venture Capital Returns With IP Portfolio Management

For all of the glamor and allure surrounding the Venture Capital industry, one would expect the investment returns from VC funds to be significantly higher relative to other investment vehicles that are more widely available. However, industry research indicates that over time, venture capital returns have been roughly equal to the stock market in general. Indeed, over half of all venture capital-backed companies fail and roughly the same 50% of all money invested in venture capital funds is lost. This article discusses how a comprehensive IP management strategy could help VC firms lower their risk and increase the return in their respective funds.

According to some conversations I’ve had with people in the VC industry, the statistics above don’t tell the full picture. In addition to half of the venture funded companies that fail, there are those that are described as the “walking dead” – companies that neither go out of business, nor ever provide the substantial returns needed to satisfy typical VC models. One panelist I saw at a venture conference last year suggested that for their financial model to make sense, they needed at least 1 out of 10 companies to provide a 20x return on their investment. This could be especially troubling for the industry, given the emerging trend towards fewer and lower valued liquidity events.

But what if a venture fund could extract incremental investment returns from their portfolio companies, including the failed companies and from the so-called walking-dead companies? I believe a comprehensive cross-portfolio IP management strategy could provide increased returns to venture investors.

IP Due Diligence to Lower Business Risk

VC’s typically invest in companies at the earliest stages of their respective life cycles. At the point of making the investment decision, the venture capitalist is placing his or her bet on the business idea, the management team; and whether they know it or not, they are also placing a bet on the IP which underpins the business.

It is critical that VC firms perform proper and adequate due diligence in support of their investment decisions. Sorry, but simply having a list of patents and applications is not enough. Investors need to understand whether or not the patents are strong patents, with adequate coverage for the business and the technology in question. The following quote sums it up better than I can:

“In particular, before you invest in a new business idea for a new venture, why wouldn’t you want to know whether you can own the business idea in the long term or whether you have minimal opportunity to innovate freely in relation to that business idea? Or, why wouldn’t you want to know whether another firm has invested $100K or more in patent rights alone in the new business idea that you are investigating?” – from IP Assets Maximizer.

These all-important questions should be answered during the investor’s due diligence. Be warned however, that topographical patent landscape maps or other abstract visualizations do not represent a sufficient level of analysis. They may be an improvement over a simple list (although some might argue that point), but a proper analysis must involve a detailed examination of patent claims in the context of the business and of the technology in question.

IP Portfolio Management to Lower Costs & Increase Margins

Although most of the portfolio companies financed by a given venture fund will be relatively small, and have a relatively small portfolio of patents, it may be worth it for the VC to look across the entire IP portfolio in aggregate.

I did a quick analysis of a couple regional VC firms – with relatively small portfolio’s of companies, these firms had an invested interest in over 300 and 600 patents. By corporate standards, these are sizeable portfolios. I would expect to find even larger portfolios with larger venture firms.

In businesses with portfolios of this magnitude, it is important to understand the portfolio in multiple dimensions. For example, IP professionals, marketers and business leaders want to know what IP assets support which products. Knowledge of these relationships can allow a company to block competitors, lower costs, raise margins and ultimately increase returns to investors. In addition, they will want to categorize their patents by the markets and technology areas they serve, as it helps them understand if their patents align with the business focus.

Bringing this discipline to IP Portfolio management has the added benefit of revealing patents that are not core to the business of the company. With this knowledge in hand, a typical company will seek to lower costs by letting patents expire, or they may seek to sell or out-license their non-core patents, thus creating a new source of revenue.

IP Licensing to Increase Returns

Patents that are not core to the business of the owning company may still be valuable to other companies and other industries. There are some well-known examples of companies who have been able to generate significant revenues from their non-core patents through active licensing programs — Companies like IBM and Qualcomm come to mind. However there are a number of other companies that have generated significant returns by monetizing their non-core IP assets.

In the case of a VC portfolio of companies, each company may only have a small number of non-core patents. But across the portfolio of companies, the venture firm may have rights to a significant number of patents that may be valuable to other companies/industries.

We can extend the concept of monetizing non-core assets of the top companies in the venture portfolio to the “walking-dead” and even the defunct portfolio companies (although with these latter two groups, we may worry less about the distinction between core and non-core patents). In many cases, the business model and the due diligence supporting the original investment in these were probably sound, but the business failed due to execution or market timing issues. In many cases the underlying IP assets may still be fully valid, valuable and available for entry into a focused licensing and monetization program.

A multi-million dollar licensing revenue stream would nicely compliment the periodic liquidity events in today’s VC market.

Source by Ron Carson

Does Your Pool Cue Matter? The Truth About Modern High Technology Pool Cues

I started playing pool at the young age of 7 years old, during the winters growing up in northern Maine when the temperature reached 50 below zero and it was too cold to ski. The rec room at Loring AFB had a couple of pool tables, and as a very athletic kid I had a natural curiosity about the game, and after watching a few games I was invited by one of the airmen to play a game with him. He showed me how to hold the cue stick and make a bridge, and got me a little wooden box to stand on so I could reach the table. It didn’t take long for me to become addicted to the game, and soon invited my friends to play. We spent many a cold winter day inside that rec room, playing for hours, making up our own rules and games, and eventually even betting nickel candy bars on the outcome. Yeah, we were big spenders!

When summer hit, we put the cues away and played baseball all day long. My dream, since I was 5 and saw the Dodgers play in Los Angeles several times before my dad was transferred to Loring, was to be a pro baseball player, and I eventually got a baseball scholarship to college in Texas, where my dad retired in 1966. Through the years, every spare hour not spent practicing baseball was spent in a pool hall, and after my baseball career ended with a torn pitching shoulder, pool became my number 1 interest. I won my first tournament when I was 17, at a bar that my sister worked at, and won a cue stick as first prize. I was thrilled beyond belief, until I screwed the stick together and rolled it across the table. To my horror, it rolled like a corkscrew, being so warped as to be unplayable! Back to playing with a bar stick!

For the next 20 years, I hustled pool where ever I was working at the time. I drilled oil wells all over the country, and made as much money hustling the roughnecks after their shift as I did from my salary. As a mud engineer, I was responsible for checking many different rigs daily, and got to know, and play against, hundreds of different pool players each year. Moving around the country to different areas on a yearly basis, I was able to keep under the radar and remain a relative unknown, so it was never any trouble to get a money game going. I don’t think I ever met a roughneck who didn’t play pool, and most of them had a pretty high opinion of their game. That usually changed when it came time to pay up!

In 1989 I met the Alexander brothers on a golf course in Dallas. Nick, a lawyer, had founded Clicks Billiards many years before, and now had a total of 20 pool halls from Phoenix to Florida, with his original pool hall right there in Dallas at Abrams Rd. and Northwest Highway. Greg, his brother, was the General Manager, and responsible for hiring managers for all 20 of their pool halls. By this time I had retired from the oil business, and made my living on the golf course and pool halls every day. Greg and Nick were both members of Sleepy Hollow Country Club in south Dallas, where I hustled golf every day. Greg was a 3 handicap, and after I had played with him 3 or 4 days a week for several months ( and took quite a bit of money from him), he asked me if I played pool. Heh heh heh. “A little bit”, I said, and he took me that night to the original Clicks Billiards, to try to win a little of his money back.

After he paid up the hundred I beat him out of that night, he offered me a job, as assistant manager of the original Clicks. He knew I had never bar tended before, but assured me I would pick it up quickly, and would fit right in with the pool players who made up their core customer base. Was he ever right! I took to it like a duck to water, and ended up meeting most of the best pool players in Dallas, and some of the best in the country. Clicks had several exhibitions, including one by Grady Matthews, and one by Ewa Mataya, the Striking Viking. Clicks was also where I met CJ Wiley, the road player who won the ESPN Ultimate Nine Ball Challenge in 1995 or 96. There were many, many top notch professional players at Clicks, with many a $1,000 game of one pocket going on day and night, with lots of major Dallas bookies bankrolling a lot of the action, and sweaters on the rail by the dozens, just watching…or praying, lol.

CJ rolled into Clicks in 1990, and proceeded to terrorize the local pros. He was an instant legend, steamrolling every major player in town. Guys who scared the dickens out of me would not even touch CJ when he offered them the 5 and out. His rep grew, and his ranking did too, eventually reaching #4 or 5 in the world of Pool. Working there, I became fast friends with CJ, and when he opened up his own room in Dallas, CJ’s Billiard Palace, I eventually quit Clicks and went over to manage CJ’s place. When he opened up, 90% of the action, and pro players, went with him. He had 12 Gold Crowns, as opposed to the 4 at Clicks, a kitchen, and was open 24 hours. The action never stopped.

So what, you ask, does all this have to do with the title topic? I bought my first cue, a Thomas Wayne model, in 91, and while it was beautiful, with lots of gorgeous inlays, and very responsive, it really did nothing to improve my game. I played with it for 3 years until it was stolen, and I loved the cue, but I could play just as well with a bar cue, providing it was the right weight and had a good tip. I spent 700 dollars for the cue, but I really didn’t need to. It did not give me any advantage over a house cue.

I had a severe back injury in 1994, that made me quit playing golf and pool. I didn’t want to risk an operation, and it wasn’t until 2008 that I got some non-narcotic medication from the V.A. that let me bend over the table again without excruciating pain. By this time, Predator Cues had come out with a 10 piece shaft that was hollow at the tip, significantly reducing cue ball deflection at impact…or so they claimed. Having been away from the game for 14 years, I had read little about these cues, and was intrigued, to say the least.

For those of you reading this who don’t know what cue ball deflection is, here it is in a nut shell: When a cue ball is struck to either side of the vertical axis…the center line….the cue ball will deflect, or “squirt” in the opposite direction. So if you hit the cue ball using right ‘english’…hitting the cue ball right of the vertical center line…the cue ball will deflect to the left, and vice versa.. The amount of deflection varies, depending on speed of the stroke, the distance from the center line (or tip offset) the cue ball is struck, and the mass of the tip. In other words, the more english you apply, the harder the stroke, and the bigger the mass of the tip…..these factors will all increase the amount of deflection, or squirt. This squirt must be compensated for when aiming, or you will miss the shot quite often.

This is where the Predator technology comes into play. With a small hollow space at the end of the tip, the reduced mass drastically reduced the amount of deflection by allowing the cue ball to push the shaft out of the way at impact, instead of the shaft pushing the cue ball out of the way. The 314 shaft became very popular immediately with professionals, and the Z shaft reduced deflection even more by reducing the tip size from 12.75mm to 11.75mm. A shorter ferrule also helped reduce mass, and therefore reduce deflection even more. Independent testing has the Z² shaft and the 314² shaft from Predator as being the #1 and #2 shafts in the world in causing the least amount of deflection. Predator cues and shafts are used by over half of the top 40 professionals, 3 of the top 5 women professionals, and over 35,000 players worldwide, according to the Predator web site. These professionals are not paid to play these cues. They play them because their living depends on their playing ability, which is enhanced with this high-tech equipment.

Since Predator led the way in the mid 90’s, many companies have now joined the technology revolution. Lucasi Hybrid Cues offers the Zero Flex Point shaft on all their hybrid models. This shaft has technology similar to the Predator shafts to drastically reduce deflection. They offer these shafts with many joint types to fit most cues made today. World Champion Thorsten Hohmann from Germany now plays Lucasi Hybrid.

The OB-1 and OB-2 shafts also offer low deflection technology, and John Schmidt recently changed to the OB cue. He said he ran over 400 balls playing straight pool, the second day he used the OB shaft.

I had to try out one of these cues myself, and I must say: I love the new high-tech pool cues. I play with a Predator 5K3, and despite not having played in 14 years, my game has ascended to a level way higher than I ever played before. The reduced deflection makes the hard shots using english much simpler, by reducing the amount of compensation for squirt.

In summation, the advance of technology has shortened the learning curve for beginning and intermediate players by reducing cue ball deflection, and requiring much less compensation for the squirt effect. And the pros, who make their living with a cue? Nearly all of them play a low-deflection shaft of some kind. Why wouldn’t they? If they don’t, their competitors (who all do) will take the money.

While Predator remains the benchmark for low deflection, they are also not cheap. The retail price for a Z² shaft is nearly $300, but the new Lucasi Hybrid Cues, with similar technology (and also new grip technology to reduce impact vibration) are a good lower priced alternative. For less than the price of a Predator Z² shaft alone, your can get an outstanding Lucasi Hybrid [http://www.poolsharkcues.com/product_info.php?cPath=6&products_id=78/] that has advanced low-deflection technology and plays fantastically well. If a World Champion like Thorsten Hohmann is playing a Lucasi Hybrid, you KNOW it is an outstanding cue.

So think long and hard when purchasing a new cue stick. If you don’t use a cue with modern low-deflection technology, chances are your opponent will be. Everything else being equal, a modern low-deflection cue, or an older cue with a new low-deflection shaft, is going to win the vast majority of the time. Greatly improved accuracy will make it so.

Source by Paul Wooten

Golf Tips Alexis Thompson Swing Analysis

Jim McLean analyzes one of the best young LPGA Tour players in America. Alexis Thompson is only 16 years old and she won a …


Boxer Dog Behavior Characteristics And Training

The Boxer breed is a fantastic dog that often has a mistaken perception as being a fussy and slightly skittish animal. In fact this is far from the truth, by nature they need a great amount of attention and love and without this they become skittish. Indeed, if you lead a very active lifestyle that means you will have to spend a lot of time away from the home then you are probably wise not to get a Boxer dog.

Having said that, if you do decide to get a Boxer then here are some facts about Boxer dogs. It will start by helping you select the best boxer puppy for your family.

Do your research before selecting an individual puppy or a litter to select from. Some common wisdom before making a selection is to view the parents of the litter first. This will give you an some pointers on the temperament and behavior of the parents and an indication of how the puppies may grow up to behave.

It is also a good idea to find a boxer from a non commercial breeder who does it for the love of it rather than to make money. This means the dogs are likely to be well cared for and be more sociable.

According to the American Kennel Club the Boxer breed is in the top ten of purebred dogs in terms of popularity. They are a medium sized dog that are energetic and very inquisitive. Consequently they will require more attention and cost more than a small toy breed of dog.

Food costs and other expenses like treats and toys will be more for a Boxer than many other breeds. Although being a short haired dog you will not need to do much grooming. For some strange reason they are not keen on water either so that will make bathing a lot of fun !

Boxers are noted for being very social animals. They love living in a family unit and crave attention and affection. You should strive to keep them active and busy. Left alone they will become bored and lonely. This can lead to bad behavioral habits and quite destructive tendencies.

Space is important to a Boxer dog. It is not practical to keep a dog such a this in an apartment. It needs a home with an ample backyard where it can run around and tire itself out. You can plant dog treats in areas of the yard so that your pet will rummage around and be kept active. Get it lots of toys to keep it busy too. Boxers will spend many hours ragging toys and this fits their nature perfectly.

The Excessive energy levels of your boxer may make it harder to obedience train. They will lose focus quickly, consequently positive reinforcement training where you are catching the dogs attention is the best training method.

Start the training early, when they are puppies. This includes socializing them with other family members and animals. A well adjusted dog is generally happier and more open to training methods.

Given their exuberant nature you may want to make the environment where the dog is trained quiet and distraction free. Thus your pet may not be the best pupil in a group obedience training class with lots of other pooches to distract it. Obedience training is a big task when it comes to any dog, let alone a Boxer but it is certainly worth making this commitment. They are an intelligent animal and love the close relationship with their owner that obedience training requires.

Source by Adrian Whittle