Monday, November 26, 2007

Working without interruptions

If you work on the internet for any amount of time, you realize the importance to doing work without interruptions right? The worst kind of interruptions on the internet happen due to pop-ups, which drive me crazy. Unless you have a decent popup blocker, you simply cannot do any work online. I invested in a good pop up blocker that came with my anti-virus program along with the pop-up blockers with the downloadable toolbars. The best option is to go for a specific pop up blocker, so you can be sure that your computer is safe from malware, spyware and so on.

Accessing market reports

All fields related to market research and search engine optimization are doing incredibly well. A new company for Search Engine service focusing on market research reports, called ReportLinker crossed 10,000 beta testers in just 3 weeks. The company has caught the attention of Internet professional from across the world and is one of the first professional search engines that gives users access to free market reports that are available on the "deep web" or the "invisible web". Most reports have been published by trusted sources such as ministries, embassies and trade unions and can be accessed on the Internet.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Real estate investments

No matter what age you are, it's never too early to start on your investments I believe. One never really knows when one will require money at a short notice and it's always good to have a backup at hand. While real estate is not a short term investment, it is one of the most reliable methods of investment that there is and if you select wisely, you will be able to create a nice little nest egg, before you retire. It is a simple way to create wealth for your future and a lot of consumers don't even bother thinking about real estate investments seriously, but if you start early, you're sure to get a great deal of profit from your investment.

Debt is part of our lives now

Most consumers get dependent on credit cards early on as college students, trying to study, work and pay for expenses for tuition, books, accommodation. It's not an easy act to juggle for anyone, but for someone just coming into being independent it much harder. Almost everyone who has a college degree has a student loan and credit card debt. It just goes with the territory, as they say on campus, it's just the way it is. Things are changing on college campuses though, security cameras on every corner. Colleges are becoming more real world and need to be guarded just like any other public space.

Since there really is no way to avoid credit card debt, maybe we should focus on education younger consumers on making better choices as well as on ways to deal with it. It is important to know how credit cards work, how to apply for loans, and all other issues dealing with debt. This education in itself will prove to be immensely valuable over a period of a lifetime for most consumers. College is a time of discovery and exploration and not one to be spent worrying and being anxious about the future. Although almost every college student graduates with debt, it is essential to put it in perspective of the value of the education gained. It's definitely a great time to make the most of new ideas and opportunities, and learning how to deal with debt is just one part of the complete experience.

A lot of college students are dealing with debt by making money online, which has really caught on in the past few years. There is a lot of money transacted on the Internet, especially at the top five online businesses. While you can't hope to become that successful overnight, or even in 2 or five years, it is possible to aspire to those levels, right? I'd say that anything and everything is possible due to the Internet and on the Internet.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A gift for your home

Since we're talking of things to buy for Christmas, I thought I would write about one of the most popular things for homeowners to buy, a new set of toilets for your home! While it's not the traditional gifting kind of item, it's certainly a good gift for your home and with lots of guests for the holidays, it's a nice way to make every part of your home look nice. The marketing of these items has really changed quite a bit, with a major toilet paper manufacturer even opening up public loos in NYC. It's kind of like pop up stores meets gorilla marketing.

Black Friday is here...

Today is the big day. Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year is here and retailers and shoppers are both wary. Retailers are hoping that consumers will open their wallets and consumers are keen to see special deals that will entice them to spend more. If consumers are happy with what they find in the stores on Black Friday, they are likely to come back and shop more for Christmas in the coming weeks as well. It is the day that decides the fortunes of most retailers, and thus it was named Black Friday, for it was the day that numbers went into the black for them. I'm waiting to see the numbers for the day and compare them to last years figures.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Traveling lighter

I recently got a new Samsonite suitcase, since my old one was in a bad shape thanks to being tossed around at the airport on a regular basis. With luggage restrictions getting so much more stringent, one really couldn't travel with the older larger suitcases anyway and had to go in for smaller bags. Earlier most airlines counted your luggage per piece when flying internationally and didn't even bother with the weight, but now they have become really strict and if one uses the larger suitcases, everything becomes a mess inside since it's not even close to being full. I'm hoping my new suitcase will last long enough till the airlines come up with the next set of baggage restrictions.

residency getting nearer...

It's been one helluva busy day today. We've been out of the house since 7am and just got back at 630pm. It has been a productive day thought, I went for the medical test for my residency, so that process is well along its way now just needs a bit more patience. I'm surprised at how long the entire process has taken, although I believe that it is quite normal considering the kind of rush there is. Well, the sooner this gets done, the easier it will become to get all our other things done and settle in faster.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How often do you write letters?

Not very often, I'm sure. Interestingly, in our new home we do not have any mailboxes. In fact, none of our neighbors have one either. The concept of getting real mail is really reducing and that's quite a scary thought. Most of the time one only gets junk mail and maybe on special occasions one receives a card or two from friends and family. I've always been fond of writing and receiving letters and lately, even I have stopped writing letters altogether, which is a rather scary thought. I have to get back to writing proper letters again, rather than just communicating via emails.

Plan your Disney vacation in advance

I wrote earlier about Orlando being a great place for family vacations mainly due to the fact that Disney World was located there. Well, it is the largest theme park in the world and has millions of fans, who never tire coming back even when they are all grown up. There are lots of sites where you can get Disney tickets online, before you head for Orlando, so you can budget your vacation properly. Tickets are one of the main reason some people don't go to Disney World, but now you don't need to worry, since you are sure to find some great deals online. One of the options is to get a "Disney Magic Your Way" ticket that has options for one to then days. Besides all the theme parks, other great places to visit are Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Tickets for dinner shows, Sea World, Kennedy Space Center are also available online.

The gift of light

Continuing on from the last post where I wrote about buying the right gifts for friends and family, I'm thinking of buying a ceiling light, but since it can't possibly be a gift for any person, I think I'm just going to consider it as a gift to my new home. After all, one's home needs to look nice for the holiday's as well and nothing makes a home look nicer than the right kind of lighting, right? I've always thought so and I don't understand why so many people don't get it and live their lives in unflattering and bad light.

What kind of gift giver are you?

Since its the time of giving gifts, or at least time to think of things to give friends and family, I thought I'd share my quiz results on what kind of gift giver I am. While all the quizzes at Blogthings are quite interesting, this one was better than most. I've taken several quizzes on their site and most come up with cute results, cute enough to want to put on your blog, that is. Here are the results of my quiz.

You Are a Practical Gift Giver

Your gifts are useful, appropriate, and custom tailored to each person.
In your opinion, the best gifts are gifts that someone will actually use.
Your gifts may not be the most glamourous, but they are always appreciated.

Being aware of the environment

Our neighbors are putting up a set of solar lights and I've been quite curious as to how they will function in this intense heat. Solar panels are known to best work in medium sunlight and if you have too much of sunshine, it just gets reflected off the panels. The fact that they are making an effort to help the environment is a worthy one though, and from all our neighbors they are the most proactive when it comes to the environment and the outdoors. They have been working diligently to create a little garden area in front of their apartment and it is starting to come together now.

Using search engines to plan vacations


If you're like me, then you like to start your vacation planning well in advance. I have a lot of sites that I bookmark and have ready for when I need to find a great deal, sometimes even a last minute deal. One of the sites that I frequent is a travel search engine Bezurk, which has a good selection of flights, hotels, car rentals, activities and so on. Bezurk uses multiple sites to find the best deals available, so you don't need to waste time doing that. One of the places that I have on my radar is Cypress, which I have heard just so much about and really want to spend 4-5 days, both exploring and relaxing. I still don't know enough about Cypress to know where we should go, even to which airport we should land. So, that's what I need to focus on first.

A trip to the hills

Thinking about past vacations reminded me of the time I went to Branson Missouri from when I worked in Kansas City. It was a really nice drive through the Ozark Mountains and quite magical because of the rainy and misty weather we had that weekend. I always wanted to go back again after that trip, but never managed to return, even though it was relatively close by. Just goes to show, that one must make the most of it, no matter where one is in life, since you really don't know what will happen in the future. I had lots of pictures from my Branson trip, since I had recently bought a camera, but I wonder where those pictures are after so many years.

Is it time for our next vacation?

Even though we've been traveling quite a bit lately, we really haven't been able to take a total break since March this year, when we spent close to a week in Goa. I'm not sure when we'll be able to go for another vacation, but I'm getting mighty tempted to squeeze in at least a weekend break before the end of the year. So, that is my next agenda, to look through some sites that I have bookmarked and find a nice place to head out to for the weekend. While I'm reminiscing, here's a nice picture from our beach vacation.

Heading to the beach in Goa

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Finding the perfect console

The number of furniture stores that we've visited in the past few months is not funny. While we have bought most of the major items, we're still looking for several smaller pieces such as a console table, a small desk that doesn't look too work-like, a utility counter and shelves for the pantry and so on. It seems kind of endless, but in a way its also more fun, since as we live and get used to the space in our home, we understand that will work best in it much more than if we had bought everything in one go.

Thanksgiving is almost here

Thanksgiving is around the corner already and its hard to believe the the year is almost to an end. Living in warmer weather makes it all the more harder, since I always associate it with colder weather and it's not getting much colder here. Over the years, we've started to enjoy the little intricacies of the day and try to recreate an authentic atmosphere for it, no matter where in the world we actually are. Unfotunatley, not too many others know about Thanksgiving here, so we're having a hard time getting hold of some roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

For computer stuff...

When it comes to computer stuff, there are a ton of new variants and selections coming out every second day and if you're unsure of which hard drive to get, then its best to go ask the experts. I have to get a new battery for my laptop and I have been delaying it quite a bit, since I'm not quite sure where it will be available and am dreading the run around. I think the best way to get one would be to order it online and have it delivered to my door. I do hope I can find it easily, since I have not been able to use my laptop as freely as I normally would because of the battery.

Accessing Flickr

I'm so thrilled that I can access my Flickr account again after so many months. Since Yahoo photos closed down, all my pics are now in Flickr and I wasn't able to open it here since the site was blocked, but I found a nifty little code that bypasses the block in Firefox and lets you view it as usual. It was really quite a nice find actually. Here is the free download of the addon. Check it out, download it and have fun with Flickr!

Daily flowers

I love to have fresh flowers in my home and lately I haven't been able to get a steady supply of them established. Usually, I have a weekly routine of getting a lot of wholesale flowers that last me through the week and have my home looking great, but since moving to our new home, I haven't found a place that stocks the kind of flowers I like. I do hope I will manage finding one soon, maybe even one that delivers right to my door, like I had earlier.

Create a slide show in your sidebar

Just saw that Blogger has added a fun new tool where you can add pictures from Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket etc and create a slide show in your sidebar. I think its a great idea and think I might even remove my single pic at the top of the sidebar and replace it with this. The pictures that you add to the slide show fade into one another, so it will keep things interesting and dynamic, but still personal, unlike the shadow box I had earlier, where the pictures were not mine. Hoping to get mine set up later on today.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My first bank account

I opened my first checking account as a teenager and was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of having my own checkbook and earning some interest on the money in my account. It was a thrilling time and it feels like it happened a lifetime ago. I have come a long way from then and have learnt a lot about banking and finance since then, but there are lots of things that I still do not understand about the banking world. A checking account is a good place to start off though, and I look back fondly on those early days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blaugh is back in business!

Yipppee! Blaugh is back! I'm so glad to see them up and running again, after a gap of over two months I think, but what felt like a lot more. They have added new rating system for viewers to rate the cartoons and see a list of the top rated cartoons on the top right hand side of the page. While the figures are the same as before, the text in the dialog balloons is all in caps now, which seems a bit too heavy handed, and will take me some time to get used to. Here's one of the new cartoons. Enjoy!!

Business Blogging Blunder

The impact of the internet

The interesting thing about the internet is that it makes it all possible, whether you're looking for a pet or some medical supplies, it can all be found on the internet. It's quite unbelievable how it has changed the way we live, work and spend our money now. It would have been impossible to do anything even similar 30 years ago, and that's what makes this technology just so fascinating and intriguing. It will definitely be interesting to see how it progresses and how we change our lives to adapt to it in the future.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Are you in the list of top 100 prolific bloggers?

I've been blogging so long now that I've lost track of how many posts I had, until I read a post on the Top 100 Most Prolific Bloggers, of which I am a part of. When the list was compiled in March 2007 by Bill Belew, and then updated at ProlificBloggers.wetpaint.com, I was at #81 with 1149 posts. I now have 1877 posts (including this one) on this blog, plus 2479 blog posts on my other 4 blogs, giving me a total of 4356 blog posts all combined. Wow! Until you sit and add it all up, it never seems like that many. All I can say, is that I have really enjoyed my blogging ride and hope to continue it, albeit in a slightly different direction this time around.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Playing with the pictures



Ever since I got back from the wedding and my vacation, I've been pottering around with my 275 pictures, cleaning them up, brightening them up, removing the red eyes etc. I downloaded the Adobe Photo Album Starter to help me do all of this and more. While it doesn't seem quite as friendly as the Picassa or Yahoo photo options that I am used to, it is still pretty good. I sent some pictures on it to family, but the captions underneath mysteriously dissappeared.....so I still have to figure that out as yet. But so far so good....



Anyhow, here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the the wedding.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Where to stay for a ski vacation

I've always been big on traveling and with the amount of traveling we've been doing these past few years, I feel that I have seen a lot even though there are innumerable places that still need to be visited. Since I grew up in the mountains, I'm a big fan of driving up to the hills and spending some time in higher climes, and one of the places that I really want to go to is Aspen, Lake Placid or any other similar winter resort. There are some pretty amazing Whistler Condos that one can rent for a week or a month and really get to live like a local.

To me that's a huge part in really enjoying a vacation, to be able to stay in a wonderful location and in a place that does not scream hotel. I'd much rather stay in a place with 2-3 bedrooms so when we travel as a family we can all be together, instead of shuttling off of our respective bedrooms. The accommodation provided by Whistler Condos is varied, so it will be easy to find just the kind of place you like to stay in and Aloha Whistler is one of the premier places to find accommodation for any ski resort.

For any kind of family vacation, I find it best to find large accommodation that has 2-3 bedrooms and is adaptable to a variety of uses, whether one wants a hectic ski vacation or a nice quiet time sitting by the fire. That's what seems to be really great about these Whistler Condos is that they seem to be able to offer it all to everyone. For more details check out their website.

Picture vacation

It's been a really hectic time for the past month, but we've managed to do a lot of stuff, from attending a wedding, doing lots of shopping, planning and organizing stuff for all the functions and take tons and tons of pictures. I had a total of 275 pictures on my digital camera and after going through them I ended up deleting about 6 of them and so ended up with a really nice stock of pictures.

I hadn't planned on taking so many pictures, since I now don't know what to do with them, and have to organize and send them to lots of friends and family, which is actually going to be a great way to keep in touch I guess. I also got to play around with my camera settings quite a bit, from party scenes to night scenes to candle light and fireworks. It's been a really fun experience using this camera and I've learned how to use it to get pictures possible.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Vacation in style every time

The one thing that we have realized that there is nothing quite like a vacation where you can relax and feel completely at home, as one can do when goes on a longer vacation and rents a condo instead of staying at a hotel. Where at one time, it was hard to find such places to go to, now one has a huge variety of places one can find information on vacation rentals. Besides, there are also lots of Free vacation rental listings on vacation sites as well as on such as Craiglist etc, where users can post pictures and information on their vacation or condo listing.

I've really been thinking of planning a trek to the mountains and so was quite happy to find a listing for a Telluride vacation rental, which I can use as a base for a couple of different treks. Luxurious, I know, but why not, it's definitely worth every penny you rent it for and combined with a trek it will be a great combination. I've never really looked out for Free condo rental listings, but I think I need to pay more attention to them, as there are lots of amazing deals out there for avid travelers.

Starting an annual treking routine

While I've been traveling quite a bit this past year, what I haven't done and am really missing is a nice long trek. Ever since I was in school, I have been going on annual treks and have really enjoyed the experience of it, but lately work and family have caught up and this part of my life has been neglected. I do hope to start off on an annual routine of treks once again once we settle down a bit. Almost all of my treks have been in the mountains, some relatively simple and others really quite strenuous. One of the last treks I went on several years ago was one of the hardest, but as is usually the case, one of the most memorable and I look forward to doing similar treks in the future. Churdhar Peak is a trek that a lot of people have gone on, but due to our lack of acclimatization and rush to head back it turned out to be rather hard.

Travel to Germany this winter


One of my hubby's favorite destinations is Germany, since he studied in the German speaking part of Switzerland and loves everything about the area. One summer he traveled through the countryside, visiting all the castles along the Rhine. The one area that I am especially keen on traveling to is Bavaria, since it is one of places that my parents spent some time when they were young, staying at several hotels in Germany and really enjoyed the amazing beauty of the area.

The best time to visit Germany is of course around Octoberfest, when everything revolves around beer, beer and more beer. Berlin is a great place to head to for getting a real view of the festive season and hotels in Berlin are hard to find unless you book well in advance. There are lots of last minute deals available at sites like Cheaperthanhotels.co.uk, so it's a good place to head to if you want to make a last minute trip or one planned well in advance. Visiting Berlin means a trip to the Brandenburg Gates, the most famous symbol of the city, which was built in the late 1700s.

On the other hand, hotels in Munich are relatively easy to find, whether its luxury or budget accommodation that you're looking for. No matter when you go, Germany is a great destination. Winter is a magical time as well, especially if you go for the winter lights festival that is held in Berlin each year. The lights around the Brandenburg Gate are a sight to see as you'll see from the above picture.

Kind of back on track

Well, I should have got back to work a while ago, but it seems that my vacation of sorts is still continuing. I have been on a bread since the beginning of October and had planned to be out of the loop only for a couple of weeks, which was turned into a full month of vacation and traveling. It has been a thoroughly fun trip, especially the wedding which was the most fun wedding ever. I danced and danced to such an extent that I broke both my heels!! More pics and information later on.