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Ice fishing: tips for a successful day

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Ice fishing is a great way to relieve stress, reconnect with nature, and enjoy your own company or that of your fishing buddies. Whether you’re ready to go or still waiting for the ice to thicken, here are a few tips that will help guarantee you have a good experience.

Check the regulations
Before you head out, make sure you have the necessary permits and that you’re allowed to fish in the intended area. You also need to be familiar with the catch and possession limits for various species. Having this information will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure that your activities are legal.

Check the conditions

Take into consideration the weather and ice conditions before you decide if you’ll be fishing in a shack or simply out on the ice. Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and without the right gear, you may have to turn back before you make your first catch.

Check your equipment
Many parks and lodges offer all-inclusive ice fishing packages. In this case, all you need to bring are your warm clothes and plenty of enthusiasm. However, if you have your own equipment, you’ll want to assess its condition before you head out. Visit hunting and fishing shops in your area if any of your gear is damaged or needs to be replaced.

Following these tips will ensure that once you drill your holes, you’ll be able to relax, unwind, and fully enjoy the ice fishing experience.

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How to refer a friend for a position at your workplace

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Do you know someone who has the right skills for an open position at the company you work for? While a referral could help both your friend and employer, you risk damaging your reputation within the company if the person you refer isn’t a good fit. Here are some tips to help you manage the situation.

Be honest
If you know that your friend has strong principles, but you haven’t worked with them, you may not know what to say. However, you should be upfront with your employer and say that you can’t speak to the person’s technical skills, but you can certainly attest to their character. This approach will help your friend get an interview without staking your reputation on secondhand information.

Be helpful

If you decide to refer someone for a job, it’s in your best interest that the person makes a good impression. Offer to look over your friend’s CV and help them prepare for the interview. Since you work for the company, you can provide insight on which of your friend’s skills and qualities will be most valued.

Be tactful
If a friend asks for a referral, but you don’t think they’re a good candidate, one option is to explain that you have a personal policy not to refer others because of the liability involved. If you do recommend a friend, make it clear that it’s not guaranteed they’ll get the job because recruiters take a variety of factors into account.

Finally, before you refer a friend, reflect on how you would feel about working with the person on a daily basis and, potentially, being their subordinate or superior.

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Lean into discomfort to embrace personal growth

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It’s a natural human impulse – if something causes discomfort, we avoid it, and if we can’t avoid it, we seek to resolve it. When we squabbled with our siblings, we apologized and put hurt feelings to the side. We accommodate others to avoid frayed tempers and ugly arguments. We seek to resolve conflict, stay away from uncomfortable situations, and ignore troubling feelings. We dislike vulnerability in ourselves and in others.

But discomfort and failure are powerful teachers, and when we explore those uncomfortable feelings, we often come out the other side stronger, wiser, and more in touch with what we really want.

Think about what you have been able to accomplish in the past despite discomfort and adversity and apply those lessons to future challenges. Don’t berate yourself when you fall short – instead, reflect on what you could have done differently.

Author, researcher, and therapist Brene Brown writes that while “I am a screw up” and “I screwed up” sound very similar, there’s a vast gulf between them. The subtle change in language allows us to accept our imperfections without the crippling addition of shame. When we give ourselves permission to be imperfect, we are more able to embrace failure as a powerful tool for self-improvement.

The Buddhist nun Pema Chodron urges people to be gentle in the way they talk to themselves and think about why we say certain things when we experience failure. Ask yourself why you feel the way you do, and consider that maybe the real problem not that you are a failure, but that you are just hurting.

When we embrace our failures, lean into our discomfort and seek to grow and change, we also embrace humanity’s best qualities – empathy, kindness, generosity, and openness.

So the next time you experience a major disappointment, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, learn from your missteps, treat yourself kindly and emerge from your failure as a better, stronger person.

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Never touch a knight’s beard

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In medieval Europe, if you touched a knight’s beard, you were going to have to face him in a duel at dawn. His beard was his honor, according to the Chicago Tribune, and an unbidden touch was an insult.

Touch has been an essential part of human life through ages and cultures.

It has been considered the primary way to learn. Today, if visiting a museum, no visitor would think they could or should touch that painting or handle a fossil. Yet, in the Middle Ages, you certainly would do just that. It would be the way that you learned about something. People expected to handle everything, according to medievalist.com.

Touch has been considered holy. If you were so moved in the Middle Ages, you might kiss a saint’s foot at a pilgrimage site. That touch was considered to offer miraculous benefits.

A king’s touch was considered to be healing for some centuries. The king’s miracle was achieved through touching or stroking a sick person.

Since the dawn of civilization, the rules for touch have been both enshrined in culture and changed.

In Turkey, for example, a friend might greet another with a kiss on both cheeks, but this is considered inappropriate for business.

In Pakistan, a man greets a younger woman by lightly putting his hand on top of her head.

Nowhere in the West has the idea of touch changed more than in the workplace where a pat on the shoulder has been considered sexist.

Yet, rules change and remain the same. Today, it would still be considered rude for an acquaintance to reach out and touch a fellow’s beard, or a woman’s hair, even if it won’t end in a duel.

As rules in the workplace evolve, touch has become a tricky issue.

Between close friends, even at work, a hug is acceptable, especially as a way of congratulating or sympathizing. It’s best to remember that it takes about 200 hours of close contact to become friends with someone, according to Business Insider. A recent study by The Creative Group showed that 65 percent of those in advertising or marketing said hugging a co-worker was very common and 23 percent said hugging a client was very common. On the other hand, 18 percent of those surveyed said hugging was never done in the workplace.

A handshake has been considered the safest way to touch and say hello. But during COVID-19, this has also changed. It remains to be seen whether a handshake will stay in the lexicon of Western touch.

The best practice for workplaces today is a no-touch policy.

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Music lessons: 5 reasons to pick the piano

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Learning to play a musical instrument is a fun way to improve memory, relieve stress, and build confidence. If you or your child want to take up an instrument, here are five reasons to choose the piano.

1. It has a huge repertoire
With its 88 keys and impressive range, the piano has a wealth of songs written for it in all genres, from classical and jazz to pop and hip hop. In addition to having the largest solo repertoire, it’s one of the most popular instruments for accompaniment.

2. It requires little upkeep

Unlike the guitar, which should be tuned every time you play it, the piano only needs to be tuned two to four times a year. And if you play an electronic keyboard, you won’t have to tune it at all.

3. It’s fairly easy to learn
While it takes practice to play with both hands, producing a beautiful note on the piano is as simple as pressing a key. Contrarily, in the case of wind instruments, you first need to learn how to position your mouth to get a clear sound.

4. It’s comfortable to play
Certain instruments, such as the violin and flute, require you to hold your head or fingers at an awkward angle. If you play the piano, however, you’ll get to adopt a natural seated position and keep your hands relaxed.

5. It provides a solid foundation
Learning the piano teaches you to simultaneously play two different clefs. This makes it easier to transition to another instrument that uses either the treble clef (clarinet, trumpet, etc.) or the bass clef (cello, tuba, etc.).

Keep in mind that while a person is never too old to learn to play an instrument, piano lessons generally aren’t offered to children until they’re five or six years old. If you want to introduce your child to music earlier, consider music appreciation classes.

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The name’s Bond: How about a 007 film festival?

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It’s great time to relive James Bond movies. Perfect for winter evenings.

Goldfinger! He’s the man, the man with the golden touch. Sing along!

And these days you can see Bond for free — sort of.

If you are a Prime member, most are included in your subscription, including Dr. No and Goldfinger. That is sort of free if you don’t count the $100 annual membership fee.

An even more affordable option? YouTube. Bond movies are free to watch on the streaming platform, but you have to watch commercials unless you sign up for YouTube Premium. A 30-day free trial is available — just remember to cancel if you don’t want to pay for the service.

Also, some Bond movies are free with the streaming service Peacock (from NBC Universal). You can sign up for a free account and watch all the Bond movies you want, but once again, you’ll some ads. If you want to watch ad-free, there’s a $10 monthly fee after a free trial. Still, you can cancel.

Peacock does have lots of other content, including the popular Yellowstone series, which would cost $60 on Amazon Prime for all three seasons.

Here are the Bond movies are known to be online:

“Dr. No” (1962) — Not on Peacock.
“From Russia with Love” (1963)
“Goldfinger” (1964)
“Thunderball” (1965)
“You Only Live Twice” (1967)
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969) — Not on Peacock
“Diamonds Are Forever” (1971)
“Live and Let Die” (1973)
“The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974)
“The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) — Not on Peacock
“Moonraker” (1979) — Not on Peacock
“For Your Eyes Only” (1981) — Not on Peacock
“Octopussy” (1983)
“Never Say Never Again” (1983) — Not on Peacock
“A View to a Kill” (1985) — Not on Peacock
“The Living Daylights” (1987) — Not on Peacock
“License to Kill” (1989)
“GoldenEye” (1995)
“Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997)
“The World Is Not Enough” (1999)
“Casino Royale” (2006) — Not on YouTube
“Quantum of Solace” (2008) — Not on YouTube

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How to make a perfect snowman (or snow-woman)

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We never gave it much thought — pack a good, firm snowball and roll it around the yard until big enough for a base. Repeat two more times. Stack one on top of another.

Boom. Snowman.

But that doesn’t fly in the modern world, where you can find YouTube videos and 14-step how-to articles on snowman-building. And if you were interested in such things, snowman-building does involve a bit of science.

Case in point: Snow needs to contain three to five percent liquid water in order to be malleable and gluey enough to hold shapes, says the New York Times. The perfect snow can be found around 32 degrees Fahrenheit in regions closer to an ocean, like the Northeast or the Sierra Nevada.

Then there’s a concept called sintering, or patting. If you pat the snow as you go, you compact it and squash individual snowflakes, causing melting around the edges. As they refreeze, they bond.
This makes the snow a lot more solid — and your snowman a lot more sturdy.

A few more tips:

* Remember to face your snowman away from the sun, unless you were going for the melted face look.

* Pack extra snow around the base to give it more stability.

* Flatten the tops of the bottom snowballs so they’re easier to stack. Spheres are also a good shape to help prolong melting because less surface area is exposed to the sun.

* Try to roll the snowballs around the area you plan to place the snowman, then stick him in the middle. Avoid building a snowman on a driveway, which absorbs heat (does that even need a reminder?).

* Aim for a diameter ratio of 3:2:1 from bottom to top — like three feet, two feet, one foot.

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Upcoming Events

Feb
27
Sat
6:00 pm Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Feb 27 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parent's Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Help Code Ninjas Front Royal celebrate our Grand Opening! We are hosting our first Parent’s Night Out! $35 per child, space limited to 5! – Drop them off. Go have fun. Just remember to pick[...]
Mar
1
Mon
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Mar 1 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]
Mar
3
Wed
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Mar 3 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]
Mar
9
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 9 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
13
Sat
10:00 am HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
Mar 13 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Culpeper Lake at the 4-H Center
The Humane Society of Warren County “Polar Plunge” delayed from February 20 due to “too-polar” weather here in northwestern Virginia has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 13 – Don’t worry, it will still be a[...]
Mar
16
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 16 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
23
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 23 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Mar
28
Sun
2:00 pm Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 28 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Pictures with the Easter Bunny @ Warren County Community Center
Come join the staff of Warren County Parks and Recreation and get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! Pictures will be taken and printed on site; upon departure you will be given an Easter[...]
Mar
30
Tue
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Mar 30 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
17
Sat
all-day Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
Apr 17 all-day
Shenandoah Epic @ Caroline Furnace
This tried and true Epic 24-hour AR will test your biking, paddling, trekking, and navigation skills as you explore two state parks (one of them brand new!) and national forest lands. Join soloists and teams[...]