Jul 29, 2012

Affordable car insurance in the UK

If you drive without car insurance you will pay a fixed penalty of one hundred pounds. Stringent measures are now in place and the UK government will come down hard on motorists who drive without insurance. Even if your car sits unused in the garage for a year if you own the car you must still pay. The only time you will be exempt from paying car insurance is if your car has been declared 'off the road' and you have proof of a Statutory Off Road Notification. If you do not have car insurance and you are stopped by the police they have the right to clamp, impound or get rid of the vehicle. Serial car insurance offenders can land in court and pay a fine as high as 1000 pounds. The onus is on you to become acquainted with the different types of car insurance available in the UK to protect yourself.

Why car insurance premiums are so high

According to the Motor Insurers' Bureau in the UK there are about a million motorists who do not pay for insurance and cost the industry about five hundred million pounds a year. These costs fall on the shoulders of the motorists who end up paying an added amount of thirty pounds to the price of car insurance. There is also fraud where whiplash claims are on the rise and cannot be verified - all costing the motorist more. Motor insurance costs are being investigated and the government plans to bring down premium costs by banning referral fees which are paid to groups or agencies which provide accident details to personal injury lawyers.

Calculating car insurance costs

In the UK women are considered to be better drivers than men as they have fewer accidents and make fewer claims. As a result they usually get cheaper car insurance than men. However, taking gender into account will soon end as a result of the recent banning by the European Court of Justice and the cost of insurance for women will rise by about 30%. An interesting fact is that motorists between 50 and 59 pay almost half the premium of a driver between 23 and 29.

Types of insurance

There are three tiers of car insurance policies; third party being the most basic where you are covered for any injury to another person or their property. Theft covers your car. Comprehensive is the best and covers risks. There are many factors like previous history, driver records, type of car, speeding convictions, occupation, whether your car is on the street at night or kept in a garage and much more that have to be taken into account before a premium can be established.

Benefits of car insurance

The major benefit of having car insurance in the UK is that you can be relaxed about your driving when you go out on the road. You need not fear being stopped by the police and having no documents. You can be relaxed in the knowledge that if anything happened to you on the road that you have all the right coverage and need not worry about a fat medical bill when something goes wrong. The cheapest car insurance is therefore not necessarily the best. Insurance is all about risk and the higher the risk, the more you pay. The cheapest car insurance policy for your client would be one where all the client's needs have been taken into account for a reasonable premium. There are many insurance carriers in the UK who will be only too happy to take down your details for a quote. Go online for more information.


Jul 28, 2012

Forty the best time for a single woman

What I would not give to be forty again. When I was nine I fell in love with Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock and wished I could meet him. When I was sixteen I wished I was grown up and could travel the world. I traveled the world and had many adventures. When I reached forty and got divorce papers served on me in bed my life changed. I had two kids to support, a job in a downtown office, and a mountain of problems – and no man. I learned hard and fast that I was not cut out for marriage, I was selfish with my time, and accepted it. Today I am 65 and wish the clock would stop as I have never enjoyed my life as much as I am enjoying it now. Why? – because I am single, the kids are married, the husbands have fled and for the first time I am truly the master of my own domain. Forty wakes you up. If you haven’t learned anything by forty you never will.

Sense and sensibility

Forty is also a great time for women. Women are looking after their bodies, toning up, are more conscious of their sexuality, and are more evolved. They are not afraid to go out by themselves and will go alone to a cinema and sit happily with a box of popcorn and have no feelings of guilt. At forty she knows what she wants; a quality friendship or relationship; someone she can walk with and talk with and say goodbye at the end of the date. At forty women have come out of bad relationships and are more honest as to what they want.

Benefits of being single at 40

• You are free to do what you want. No one tells you that your job or your writing is a worthless waste of time and makes you feel bad.
• You are your own boss and can have friendships with as many people as you want not worrying that your partner might not like it.
• You can cook what you feel like eating, order in, or go out.
• You can decide to do some night courses at a local university to further your studies.
• You can go out with your girlfriends at night, or go for a weekend retreat; you do not have to ask anyone.
• Forty is also a great time for a woman as she is at the height of her passion, knows what she wants, knows what the man wants, knows how to read him, and does not play games as that is what a lot of young women do.
• A woman of forty is experienced, has paid her dues, is not squeamish about sex and is not afraid to discuss it. Forty is not old. It is the new 65.


Augmenting breast size by transferring your own fat

Have you been pondering for a long time about your breasts and wanting to increase volume or size without being put to sleep? There is a wonderful new and safe breast augmentation procedure now where your breasts can be reshaped by using your own fat and transferring it to your breasts. There are no foreign objects in your breast as the procedure does not require saline or silicone implants. The procedure is done without local anesthetic, recovery is fast, and you basically walk in and out the same day with firmer breasts.

Simplicity of the procedure

After some women have children their breasts start to sag and they dream of having nice contoured breasts. Well you need not dream anymore; you can make it a reality. First, however, let’s talk about the old way of breast implants. The old way of augmenting the breast was to use silicone or saline implants, which first of all is invasive as it requires cutting and general anesthesia. When you use implants there is no guarantee that they will not be rejected; you only know that afterwards. Implants also cause scars and discomfort. Your breasts can have a great new look without having your skin cut.

How the procedure is done

• Because the doctor does not use anesthetic for this procedure and there is no cutting, he performs the no-cut breast augmentation in his surgery.
• He harvests fat cells from your abdomen, hips or thighs and uses that fat to augment your breast size with gentle liposuction. The fat removal helps in that it reshapes your body and you have a more natural look. The fat will not grow back where there has been liposuction and if you put on weight it will come back evenly all over your body instead of just in one place.
• You can also enhance fat transfer by including stem cells which may increase the effectiveness of a fat transfer by creating an enhanced blood supply. You can decide which way you want to go.

Advantages of natural breast augmentation

1 It is the safest and most advanced method of augmenting the breast,
2 It uses your own fat and stem cells,
3 You can increase breast size by one to two cups,
4 You feel natural,
5 The liposuction method is gentle as it utilizes a water stream to loosen the fat and assist in the harvesting process,
6 There is no pain and little discomfort, no scarring, and with a faster recovery period. You will see results after a few days.


Jul 27, 2012

Car loans and financing

Benefits and disadvantages of getting a car loan

If you’re in a tight spot and need money immediately, you can have it in a day or two if you own a car that is fully paid off. Be careful though as it is your car that is at risk. The beauty of a car loan is that it does not require approval as the car is paid for and there is no credit or background checking other than a simple inspection by the lender to ensure that the car is worth at least the amount you need to borrow.

How car loans and financing works

Car loans are usually for a month and it is easy to fall behind in payments if you are not careful. You should only do this kind of loan if you know you can make full payment as for every month extended the interest rate rises and it is difficult to catch up. This is the time to think carefully as the prospect of immediately getting a large sum of money can seduce you into putting up your car when it is not really necessary.

Advantages of getting a car loan

• You get the money the same day,
• There is no background and credit check,
• While you have the loan you can give the title and keys to the lender and still drive the car.

Disadvantages of a car loan

• Because of the short period of time for a car loan to be repaid you risk losing your car.
• If you default in the payments they will take control of your car and sell it to make money. You will then have the expense of a car lease.
• Only use a car loan if you know you can pay them back in full.

What you should know about car loans and finance

A car loan payment is usually due within a month and has a ridiculous annual interest rate. The unfortunate fact about car loans with money instantly available is that it seduces the borrower and he makes a decision which he would not normally have made and which he might regret. A better way to go is to approach a car finance service who works with dealers in the industry to shop around for you. In the meantime you can get emergency cash by making cash advances on credit cards, getting small consumer loans or procuring advances from your employers. When it comes to car loans, car leases and finance it is always better to work through an expert.


Jul 26, 2012

Austerity and righteousness in the month of Ramadan

Every eleven months Muslims welcome the chance to clean up their act and devote themselves to prayer and contemplation. During this month God gives everyone a chance to start fresh, refrain from transgression and turn over a new leaf. It is a time to give up your selfish needs, to refrain from envy, jealousy, anger, and arrogance. Prayer, the act of believing and acting upon your good intentions is a Muslim’s passport to a spiritual afterlife.

Islam is approximately 1400 years old. When God ordered that Muslims fast for a month from just before dawn to sunset, the holy Prophet Muhamad, the last of God’s prophets, would retreat to a cave in the mountain where he would spend a month in prayer and contemplation. His sustenance to break fast would be water, goat’s milk, and a few dates. His example to his Companions and followers was of a man of piety and righteousness and God chose this last prophet to bring the message to the people as revealed in the holy Qur’an as he was the most beloved prophet of God. The month of Ramadan should be spent in doing righteous acts and remembrance of God.

One should not engage in acts of lewdness as it taints the soul. One should not gossip or cause anyone harm by the tongue as it ruins lives. One should not participate in adulterous behavior and cause family destruction. Instead, one should use the time in introspection and self-examination in order to rid ourselves of the contaminants of an unclean life. Ramadan is a chance for anyone to change his or her life. These acts of devotion are a lead-in to better understand God and what it is that God wants from us. For Muslims, the revelations of God as revealed to the holy prophet Muhammad and instilled in his heart was a direct missive from God and the Qur’an is a guide for Muslims to follow and abide by if they want to live pure and spiritual lives. The prophet received revelations over a period of 23 years.

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and one of the keystones to help us improve our spiritually impoverished lives.


Jul 24, 2012

10 pieces of advice which made me believe in myself

1 At 12 when my first story was rejected, my mother said, don’t you worry, my girl; you’ll see, one day you will be published. I never gave up hope.

2 When my father learned that I had published my first collection of short stories, he was surprised and said, don’t get wild now with the money. Put some of it away.

3 When I said to my mother once that I wanted to be an actress, she said she did not like me being on stage, but quietly she made me some new dresses.

4 When I was accused of having too much imagination by my religious and strict grandmother – God rest her soul – my grandfather put me on his lap and said that I must keep reading and bought all my comic books on a Friday night to my mother’s house.

5 When I saw Jailhouse Rock with Elvis Presley and wanted to sing at the school concert, my grandmother said no. My grandfather paid for the singing lessons. I sang in a variety show and at the Goldfinger Lounge without my mother’s knowledge. I was 18 then.

6 When I wrote Confessions of a Gambler, and it won a literary prize, one of my relatives said, ‘okay, so you can write; now what? Can you make a film?’ I wrote the script and made the film. It screened and opened at the Dubai Film Festival and many other countries.

7 When I got the bright idea to make a documentary with just one brother and myself, another relative said that I should stop dreaming and that I should get a regular job instead of wasting my time. I made six documentaries on a shoestring budget and directed the film, AND I realized a big dream by playing the lead.

8 One of my uncles heard about my success, and said I would amount to nothing. I remember it clearly because it was the day my mother wrote him off.

9 When auditions for the film started my friends asked: ‘what do you know about directing; artists don’t make money.’ They all came to the screening and filled up most of the seats.

10 When my mother was in her last moments of life, I stroked her hair as she struggled with her last breath and told her she had been a good mother to me and that she must not be afraid, she must go now. She died as I stroked her hair.

Jul 22, 2012

The Danielle Cramer Kidnapping Case

On June 14th 2006 Danielle Cramer, 15 years old left her home and for a year no one knew where she was. She had run away before and there was no immediate concern. As the days passed it became clear that something had happened. People and neighbors started to look for her. The police searched the house but there was no sign of her. Her parents had not seen nor heard from her while she was gone. Had she been kidnapped? Or worse, kidnapped, raped, and killed? Statistics by the National Center for Missing and Exploited children, the FBI, and the US Depart of Justice revealed that in 15 of the past 18 years there has been an increase in the number of missing children and about half of the kidnapped children in the US were four to eleven years old and 74% were girls.

The Bloomfield police went to the house of an acquaintance of her parents with search warrants and to obtain DNA and found Danielle Cramer locked up in a secret, tiny room four or five feet deep under a staircase of a couple in West Hartford, Connecticut. She had been missing for a year.

Under arrest

Two people were arrested; Adam Gault, 40 years old, and Ann Murray, 39, who lived at the Newington Road home. Gault was charged with unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and custodial interference, and was held on a $500,000 bond. Murphy was charged with conspiracy and risk of injury charges and held on a $100,000 bond.

Events while held captive

Adam Gault was accused of imprisoning a 15 year old and was found with videos of sexually explicit homemade pornography. The pornography was found in Adam Gault’s home. Investigators tried to determine the identities of other girls in the videos which were of poor quality and which had been apparently posted on the internet at different times. Gault, a West Hartford dog trainer, was charged with the disappearance of Danielle who told authorities that Gault had used her for internet sex shows and modeling. It was not yet determined whether Gault had participated in the shows, as reported by The Hartford Courant. The videos were shot at Adam Gault’s home. Gault has been held on $1 million dollar bond since the cops found Danielle in the secret room under the staircase. His common-law wife, Ann Murphy and a friend, Kimberley Cray, were also in custody.

The aftermath

In a surprise statement the defense attorney claimed that his clients were only holding the 15 year old girl against her abusive parents. The plaintiff’s attorney then asked, “So these people were saving her from abusive parents and exploiting her to do porn on the internet? Isn’t that rich.” Marc Needelman, the attorney for the girl’s parents, also dismissed as “a total fabrication’ the claim of the defense that Danielle Cramer had been abused at her own house and that she had found a safe haven in the home of Gault who had once worked with her stepfather. The police also contested the claims. According to the Houston Chronicle, Marc Needelman said that “the Bloomfield police department had been involved in the investigation over a year. They publicly stated yesterday in no uncertain terms that the girl’s parents have absolutely no responsibility, have committed no crimes or engaged in any improprieties.” The police arrested three adults who lived in the house. Gault had conducted a business transaction the previous year with the parents of the girl which indicated and confirmed that he knew who she was.

Under arrest were Adam Gault and Ann Murphy who lived at the Newington Road home. Gault was charged with unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit unlawful restraint and was held on $500,000 bond. Murphy was charged with conspiracy to commit second degree reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit second-degree custodial interference and risk of injury to a minor. Cray was also charged with reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit custodial interference, risk of injury to a minor and conspiracy to commit unlawful restraint, according to police.

Capt. Jeffrey Blatter of the Bloomfield Police said, "She is a child from troubled circumstances and found what she believed to be a friend." The authorities also stated that she had run away before, prior to her disappearance last June. The Department of Children and Families is to determine whether she should be returned to her parents. In a surprising twist there seemed to be another fifteen year old boy living in the house as well. It has yet to be determined whose child he is.

Interesting facts of the case

• It was learned that Danielle had complained about abuse in the home to the police before she disappeared. It was in fact her reason for running away as she felt no one cared.

• She was discovered when a sharp-eyed policeman noticed a hidden door.

• Phone records showed that she was in touch regularly with her 41 year old captor before she went missing.

• Adam Gault had been investigated before for inappropriate relationships with young girls. Astonishingly, no action was taken.

Gault’s attorney told the court that Cray was not charged with kidnapping and that there was no indication of the use of force. After the hearing, Cray’s attorney, Michael Georgetti, said: "The girl was never molested in that house. There are no allegations of molestation.”

Officers had questioned Gault several times, but he always denied any involvement in her disappearance. Captain Blatter of the Bloomfield Police said that it did not appear the girl lived in the room. What does that mean? Was he indicating that there was something fishy about her story? And where is Danielle Cramer now? What happened to her? Will there be another installment? Danielle Cramer was forced to change her name and assume a new identity. To conclude, when you take into account that 80% of abductions by strangers occur within a quarter mile of the child’s house it is amazing that Danielle Cramer hadn’t been found long ago.

Jul 21, 2012

Andaman and Nicobar for a splendid beach holiday

What can be greater after a year's hard work to get on a plane and visit the Andaman and Nicobar islands near the Bay of Bengal? It is a great idea as there is much to see and enjoy, especially the people and the culture. It’s away from the maddening crowd and a great place for snorkeling, scuba diving, a great shore line to take walks and the waters are clear and warm and great for a swim even in the evenings. Port Blair is the capital and the only entry and exit. Havelock is the most visited of the islands with the most infrastructure. You can relax on the beach with a cool martini and watch the children play.

Other islands to visit

• You can take a road trip to Diglipur to the far north and visit the Smith and Ross Islands. It is known as a great camping place and you can camp out overnight.

• Rutland Island is clean and quiet and has a mangrove forest and beautiful coral reefs. If you love wandering around this is a perfect place. The island is 274 square kilometers with a 45 acre resort which has quaint little huts. It is great for eco tourists and is used as a base camp for exploring the island.

• You can also visit Wandoor which is laid back and relaxed and has a national park and a luxury resort.

• If you want to know more about the other islands, Barren Island is the only island in India which has had a volcano.

• If you are a Robinson Crusoe type you can do some camping here. There are no amenities on this island and you are required to bring along your own food and camping gear.

• If you want surfing included in your holiday package the Little Andaman Island would have been perfect but it was devastated in the 2004 tsunami. You can find out more about this by checking the current situation in Port Blair.

The languages spoken in the Andaman Islands are English, Tamil, Bengali, and Telugu. Visiting the Andaman Islands is both a holiday and a cultural experience. The best weather is between mid January and mid May although the days are sunny for most of the year. What you should take into account is that the monsoon comes around in late May and lasts until the end of July when the island has strong winds, frequent downpours and low visibility; this is the worst time to visit the islands.

You can reach the Andaman Islands for your splendid Andoman Nicobar holiday by flying with JetLite, Kingfisher Red, SpiceJet, and Indian Airlines. Travelling by plane is cheaper than any other route. Your exit point from the Andaman Islands would be Port Blair.

Hotels and accommodation are inexpensive and you can register for a tour package where everything is included for a reasonable rate. They specialize in Andaman and Nicobar holiday and honeymoon packages and you can get a package that includes yacht services, scuba diving, fishing and snorkeling. The islands are beautiful with long stretches of pearly sand and you will make this your future and very splendid Andaman Nicobar beach holiday whenever you want to get away.


German holidays and celebrations

Looking at the German calendar for customs, holidays and observations, it is surprising to discover the background and history of Christmas in Germany and to learn that most Anglo-American traditions have been adapted from Austria in Germany. The Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ is one of them and in Salzburg is celebrated annually as the origin of the world’s most popular Christmas carol – first performed with guitar accompaniment in a church on Christmas Eve in 1818. A photograph of the interior of the chapel can be seen in their Christmas e-cards in German.

How Germans celebrate Christmas

This varies from region to region. Advent, Latin for the words arrival or coming, is the four week period leading up to Christmas when open air markets appear in many cities, the most famous ones in Nuremberg and Vienna. Shopping does not cease and shops are open on weekends and evenings during this period. Germans are fond of candles and candles are used in winter celebrations as symbols of the sun in the dark of winter.

Holidays in Germany

Family holidays in Germany mean great fun for all, with leisure and theme parks and even the world’s steepest wooden roller coasters. For hot days there is the canoe tour of the countryside or a climbing course for those who are brave enough and don’t fear heights. There are also themed routes with a range of attractions and an ideal place for couples and families alike to explore the romantic medieval castles or some rare fossils. Europe is known for its wonderful museums and allows children and families to experience an earthquake or travel back in time to historical Berlin. In Austria, Germany and Switzerland celebrations are ongoing until the end of the ‘twelve days of Christmas ‘between Christmas and January 6.

Hotels and accommodation

There are plenty of affordable places to stay during your holiday, including apartments, youth hostels, or just camping out for those who want to be outdoors. There are also hotels which are inexpensive and a pleasure to stay in. If you are interested in experiencing a wonderful winter retreat over Christmas and visit Germany, all you have to do is look at the calendar, select a month and a linked holiday for more information about the traditions and celebrations for that month. To make understanding the language easier, holidays and traditions are linked to a glossary of English and German terms.

Some families prefer independence and go for a self-catering holiday apartment. They have a rating system of 1 to 5 indicating the level of quality and service you can expect so there is nothing stopping you from having the holiday you can afford. If you have children and need a babysitter, there are hotels which provide childcare and children’s activities. These services are a lifesaver for when you want to go out with your partner and know your kids are safe in the hotel. With a huge choice of sports, recreational facilities and parks there is enough fun for everyone. Finding a holiday place in Germany has become easier and promises a lot of fun.


Jul 20, 2012

The lodger who came knocking

I had a sign outside my lodgings and expected that I would hear from people on the telephone. I was surprised therefore when a white man knocked on my door on Wednesday afternoon and asked if he could see the room I was renting out. The first thing I noticed about him was that he had two heavy bags and a strange cap on his head. For a moment I recalled Pierce Brosnan in the movie The Panama Tailor, where the landlord rented a room to a stranger and he turned out to be an escaped convict the police were looking for. I was skeptical but asked him to come in. A young child had gone missing in the area and the police were out searching the area. Still, I did not think anything would happen although he gave me the creeps.

He looked at the room, put down his bags and said he would take it. I asked him how he knew about the room for rent as I had not left my telephone number. He said that he had walked down the street and seen a sign. He wanted the room immediately. It seemed unusual to me but he had the money and I needed to pay my doctor’s account. The money would see me through until the next pension date. “Will you be staying long?” I asked, hoping he did not see the tremor in my hand. He said he would take the room for a month and pay me right away. He thanked me and added that he wanted no one to go into the room as he was busy with an urgent assignment.

I sat up all night in bed. I heard creaking in the hallway and wondered why I had rented the room to him especially as I had responses from two girls who were looking to share a room. Some time deep into the night I heard him walking down the stairs and looked out the window. He now had two heavy black plastic bags in each hand which he put in the dumpster. The next afternoon the police knocked on my door asking questions in the area. I listened and said I did not see anything. “Are you sure, madam? He was seen in this neighborhood yesterday afternoon. He had on a hat and was carrying something heavy.”

Jul 19, 2012

Getting your partner back

If you have been married for several years, have grown up children who have left the coop and your husband comes home one night and says he wants a divorce, that must surely count as the most shocking and unexpected experience in one’s life. You cry for a long time, your grown up kids sympathize with you and you watch with disbelief as he packs his clothes and leaves. He is not sure what he wants, he says, he is forty five years old, but the marriage has gone stale and he wants out. When asked if he has found another woman, he says yes.

How to act around your ex

The first thing is to ask an honest question. Do you want him back? And if so, why do you want him back? Is it to take away the fear? Or is it because he is more than a lover but also a true companion who has temporarily lost his way? If the answer is yes don’t waste any time thinking of the woman he is with or what he has done but take realistic stock of the situation and act.

• Do not cry on the phone and ask him to come to come back. Don’t beg. Pull yourself together and go about your daily business. You need time just to accept that you have been left. Sometimes a marriage is hanging by a thread and it is a good reason to let it go, but if you have always had a comfortable life and have feeling for your partner and he is receptive to you, it is worth trying to get him back.
• Don’t listen to the advice of others. They do not know what kind of relationship you have. Most first reactions are that you should leave the man. This is easy to say when you are not in the situation but losing your buddy of fifteen years.
• Should he come to your house to pick up the rest of his things, act cordially, don’t get into an argument or start crying. You want him to see that you are not shattered that he has left and going on with his life. If he asks how you are doing, say that you are managing and that you will survive. Ask him how he is doing. Listen, then tell him that you have to meet a friend somewhere for coffee and you are running late.
• Make no reference to the woman he has left you for. If you see them by accident in the mall or the grocery shop, do not react. You have shown a steely front and don’t want to be behaving in a manner that shows you are weak and want him to come back.
• Resolve in your heart to stick with the situation and do not be in a rush. Leaving you for another woman is no small matter and you still want to think if you really want to take a man back who has betrayed you. Betrayal is a hard thing to deal with whether you are a woman or a man. It may be that after being without him for a few months that he is starting to miss you and want you back, but you no longer want it. Never lift the telephone receiver to tell him that you are lonely and if you are coming back.
• When you see your children on the weekends or with other members of the family, you might get an update of his situation. If you hear that he and the woman have split up, this is your chance to make your move. You never make a move while he is in the grip of passion with another woman. You wait for him to falter – like an injured animal that can no longer run with the pride – and then you show who you are.

How to get your ex back

Prepare a killer Christmas or Thanksgiving lunch and invite the kids. Tell them to ask their father to come along. This is a crucial stage. If he comes, you know he’s yours already. If he does not, you know there is some work to do still. Wear the dress you know he likes, splash on a dash of his favorite perfume, and while you are not showing overt attention to him, when he is carving the meat you lean over him at the table and say the following words: I miss you. And I miss my friend.


Financial freedom to help change your life

The definition of freedom means different things to different people and is very subjective. What may be freedom to someone who has an adequate job that they can live with might be different for someone who barely survives. When Mandela was released in 1992, this writer who lived in Toronto for 27 years also felt freedom because the apartheid regime came to an end and people were treated as equals. I always quipped that even though he was in a cell he had the smell of the sea, and that I had the keys to the city but was still trapped. You cannot change a country over night. I returned to South Africa for my share of a decent life. That is this writer’s definition of freedom; physically free but still mentally in a cell.

Financial freedom is something else. If you are struggling financially you have to change your thinking and work towards changing your situation. Where do you even begin? It’s no use telling someone to get a financial planner when the person hasn’t got a dime saved. How is he going to attain financial freedom? He is not interested in theories. He is interested in how to pay the electricity, his mortgage, children’s school fees and have a decent, worry-free life. This article can pontificate on strategies but unless he has money – for you need to pay in currency for everything you buy – he is still nowhere near equipped with the tools to change his life and attain financial freedom. What is needed is education and knowledge. With knowledge you have an edge and can rise up out of the dust for a happier and stress-free life.

To help you in this regard there are some valuable books and dossiers written to help you reach your goal. Remember knowledge is power. There are financial experts you can call on as well as some valuable reading material on financial crisis survival, a freedom blueprint of what the author has learned over the past years, and what you have to do to break free. There is also 17-page private intelligence report on how to take eight critical steps to survive during the coming global financial crisis. According to this report the economy is not about to recover and we are headed for the second and third phases of an ongoing economic and financial crisis.


Jul 18, 2012

Serviced offices for rent

If you are on the lookout for serviced office space for a new six-man law firm the following is what you need to succeed. Get one of the best real estate agents in your area to help guide you in your decision-making getting serviced offices for rent. What you need is a ready-to-go work space with support services and where you pay only one bill with all cleaning, rent, and other charges included. By getting the full package you have access to the latest technology in a fully equipped and customized workspace as well as gaining entrance to business lounges, video communications, and meeting rooms. Terms should be in your favour where you can choose full time or part time office space for however long you need it. Choose your office space with the future in mind. In other words, whether you are going to upgrade and take on new employees, or downsize.

Benefits of serviced office space

• The space is available for instant use and you don’t have to put your business on hold.
• You can have a flexible lease for as short as three to six months.
• Management is no longer your problem and you are now free to concentrate on your business.
• Services are paid for only when they are used; no money is wasted.
• Maintenance of equipment is no longer your concern and is now the responsibility of the office provider.
• You now will have a good business address, which is better than your address at home.
• Serviced offices are good for small businesses, companies seeking to relocate, and branch offices for larger companies.
• Your company is growing at an amazing rate and you are able to upgrade your lease to accommodate two or three more employees.
• Serviced office space is especially useful when you do not have the money for a conventional office.

Other services and benefits

Serviced office space also includes answering of the telephone using your business name. It comes complete with a receptionist, secretarial assistance, the use of broadband and ADSL, computer networking, meeting and conference facilities, interview and training rooms, presentation rooms, heating and air conditioning, as well as catering for events. Some offices will include computers and laptops if they are needed, but at a high cost. Services vary from place to place. In London, for instance, the demand for serviced offices has seen offices grow and accommodate from 50 to 500 people. Access to serviced offices is usually 24 hours a day.

In summary, while the above is all good and great, serviced office space is better than renting if you are planning to relocate in six months. Serviced office space should be a short term solution. Another advantage of renting your own office, with the property owner’s consent, of course, is that you are free to organize and arrange things the way you want and the chance to brand the building. If you have your own furniture and equipment, the cost will be even less.

Pay day loans

If you are in a hurry for cash and need a quick loan on the same day for an emergency or any other reason you can apply for a Pay Day loan and have the money available to you on the same day. All that is required is your ID, three months’ bank statements, your address, and a voice confirmation by telephone. You need not even move from your desk as you can fax the documents and some companies provide free fax. These are for loans up to R2500.

How it works.

You apply for the loan and fill out the form which will list your details. They do a check at the bank based on the information you have supplied. All contracts are signed and voice recorded. If everything checks out you have the money by five in the afternoon in your account. Nothing can be simpler except for this last very important part. The loan must be repaid in full on your pay day by debit order. Once your loan has been repaid you automatically qualify for a new loan each month.

Fees and charges

Credit agreements are subject to an initiation fee of 15% of the full amount borrowed on the first R1000 and then 10% on each amount over R1000, up to R1000 plus Vat. The company bases its loan decisions on many factors, including your gross salary, net salary, length and types of employment as well as the outcome of a credit check by the Credit Bureau. If you miss a payment you will be subject to a R50 service fee as well as 5%. All fees are disclosed. The company claims that their rates are in step with the National Credit Act and among the lowest in the industry.

Late payment penalties for payday loans

If you fail to pay the amount they will contact you in order to make a new arrangement to settle the account. If you have not done so after thirty days and appear unwilling to pay, the matter will be handed to their legal representative to collect the amount; this will result in a negative impact on your credit score. Once judgment has been passed they will recover the amount from your employer. If you have repaid three successive loans in a row you will be able to reapply. They can be of assistance if you live anywhere within the Republic of South Africa’s borders.

On the flip side of this, payday loans pose a substantial risk to the borrower as it rely on the past history of the consumer having previous payroll and employment records - and has a default rate of 10% to 20%. According to Wikipedia a study done showed that defaults cost pay day lenders around a quarter of their annual revenue. A pay day loan becomes more expensive in the end for all the factors above, especially in view of the fact that pay day loans do not permit interest compounding and the principal amount stays where it is. Having said all of that, the borrower got the money which allowed him to get out of his situation.


Dear diary …the company director

Thursday the fourth day, and I am still scribbling notes in my diary every night. So far the week has been very interesting. Today, however is a big day for the company where I work on Thursdays as they have a launch every week and my duties will range anywhere from cleaning the toilets to helping with the catering to picking up burgers at The Frying Ban. The company director makes his appearance on Thursdays and everyone is subdued and on their best behavior.

The company director is a tall, refined looking man in his forties who looks older than his age. On Thursdays he is there to see that everything is working as it should, speaks to the staff, recommends new additions, promotes those who deserve it, and also has the ability to fire you on the spot. A lot of stories have been told about Jim Lewis Baker, and I have listened to them all. Why a man in such a high position would want to waste his time treating me with disdain or being curt or having nothing pleasant to say to me, I don’t know.

The previous Thursday when he’d come to the office he told the staff manager to tell me that he did not want to see me in jeans and sandals; he had an office, not a barn. I was so surprised, and a little hurt. I was a housemaid helping out with cleaning. What did I do to him that he should be so nasty? And why not tell me himself. After all, who is he? I took to avoiding him and kept looking at my watch to see what time it was. If he was in the conference room, I was packing boxes in the mail room. I hated going out in the cold, but to avoid running into him at the office, I even asked the staff manager if she wanted me to pick up anything for the launch. No, she said. It was all going well. “And thank you, Annie; you’re such a help.”

As rotten luck would have it, someone dropped the platter with the corned beef on rye with mustard sandwiches and it went crashing to the floor, corned beef and bread spilling all over the place. Jim Lewis Baker came silently forward, like a ghost appearing out of the dark. He stood at my heels looking down at the floor where the carpet was stained with mustard and pastrami. I was already reaching for the paper serviettes to wipe it up.
“Well, don’t just stand there,” he said.
“I’m not standing; I’m cleaning it up, sir.”
“My word,” he said. “Do we pay you a salary? Do you know who I am? I’m the person who pays you.”
“And I’m the person who makes your tea and cleans up after you,” I said quietly.
The room went silent. I glanced at the staff manager who had hired me. I felt bad that I had disappointed her.
“What is your name?” he asked.
“Annie,” I said, and pointed my finger at the little badge I wore on the front of my apron which listed my company name, Annie’s Cleaning.
He turned his head and told his staff manager to come with him. They went into the small office at the entrance where they received new clients. A few moments later they came out. I had packed up my cleaning materials and got ready to leave. The staff manager came up to me and said that Mr Baker wanted to see me. I was angry and hurt but went in nevertheless. I sat down, and waited. After some moments he spoke. “Annie. It’s a nice English name. Do you want a job, Annie? I’m going to need someone soon for my new offices, also here in Chelsea. It won’t be a cleaning job. I want a personal assistant, someone like you. No jeans, no sandals. Interested?”


Dear diary … the General

Dear diary, on Tuesday, working on Front Street near the Waterfront – it’s amazing how every country has a waterfront on or near a Front Street – I had to be up at the first spark of dawn to polish the shoes of an eighty-year-old gentleman and have his suits and uniforms steam-cleaned by hand and his hat buffed. He was a fussy old fart, had never married, but had medals and such to show that he had fought somewhere in a war. The problem I had with the general was that he thought he was still in the army and did things on the hour, marched rather than walked, and was fastidious down to the socks on his feet.

I wasn’t used to all this pomp and largely ignored the eccentricities, doing my work and wondering if someone can really be so steeped in the past. He reminded me of some of those old Englishmen who never married, didn’t know and didn’t want to know anything about women, and saluted in their sleep. Well, all this changed one drizzly afternoon on Front Street when I was busy ironing the general’s shirts and a piercing scream was heard outside. I was stunned by its shrillness and ran out where a group of women had already collected.

What’s going on, one woman asked. I don’t know, another one said. In the middle of the road the general stood with my boss’ six year old son who was returning from pre school. The boy saw me and ran up. The neighbor tried to get him to talk, but he wouldn’t say what was wrong. Another neighbor knew the phone number and called his mother to come home. While they waited for his mother the general who lived across the road swept away in his car. His mother arrived. I tried to tell her, but she was outraged. What happened, Willie, she asked. Did someone hurt you? No, he said. What then? What did you do all that screaming for?

Eventually, Willie had enough courage to speak. I was coming home from school. The general came out of his house and said he was looking for his dog and asked me to help him look for it. He said he would give me chocolate.
What then, his mother asked.
We looked and looked and we couldn’t find the dog and the general said perhaps we should look for the dog near the park.
For God’s sake, Willie, what happened?
Willie looked at her with tears in his eyes. The general touched me.
What do you mean he touched you? Speak up.
He gave me some chocolate. He told me to get in. And then he … touched me.
He touched you where?
On my willy.
His mother pulled his ear and dragged him into the house. Didn’t I teach you not to get into anyone’s car? Where’s that stiff son of a bitch, she shouted.
I put on my coat. It was five to five. Willie was crying on the bottom step of the stairs. His mother was on the phone calling his father.
Do you know what happened here, Arthur? Has anyone called you? That general you admire so much is a faggot!
I watched Willie. My heart broke. I kneeled down and held him. Tomorrow, Willie, after I finish at my other job, we’ll go out; just you and Annie. Would you like that?


Dear Diary … Ian and Dan

It is Wednesday, the worst day of the week to go out in the fog and clean up the mess of two teenage millionaire geeks. Theirs is not the usual mess of pizza boxes and beer bottles; rather the mess is a result of all the drinking and binging. The parents are weak and the sons have control of the house, the business, and their father’s money. While they make a good looking pair in their suits when they actually put on something that resembles a pants and a shirt, they are not cut out for the corporate world and the mess I have to contend with besides vacuuming and cleaning the house and telling lies on their behalf, is that I am part of a secret because the boys have no sense and frankly do not care if the house comes tumbling down at their feet.

Their names are Ian and Dan, tall lanky lads with long hair, wearing glasses. The secret I’m talking about is what they do on Wednesday afternoons when I am at their house cleaning up. I am ordered by them to clean the living room and the bedrooms first when I come to the house. Ian is the computer whiz and can do research, buy and sell anything on the internet. Dan is the sleaze. He also wears glasses but is a much better-looking guy than his brother. Dan gets the girls.

On Wednesday afternoons after lunch when their parents are both at work, the doorbell rings and Dan answers the door. Five minutes later four girls arrive – American, Australian, Japanese and an English rose. They wear cheerleader outfits consisting of a quarter Tshirt and bottoms with an ultra short white frill, and start to dance on two poles, sliding up and down showing off their perky bottoms. Ian and Dan lie back on the beds and watch the girls perform. They are actually eating popcorn and laughing like kids. The girls start to kiss and they laugh like schoolboys. They can do anything with each other, but they can’t touch. At four, the girls put their clothes back on and Ian, the money man, hands them a wad of money.

The first time I caught them they begged me not to tell their parents. Getting their fortune at eighteen depended on their behaviour and how they did at school. Their father and mother who knew nothing about the dancing afternoons were not money wasters or insensitive to the boys; they were just tired of the boys wearing them out with their pranks. I told them that I felt uncomfortable not telling their parents and did not want to lose my job. Oh, don’t worry about that, Ian said. There’s more where that came from. Dan and I will pay twice what they pay you. You do a good job, luv. What if your father finds out, I wanted to know? He’ll say I knew all the time and did not tell him. Dan laughed. There you go again, Annie. If you lose your job, Dan and I will employ you. Do you want to come with us for an early supper at The Trailer Park Lounge and Grill?


Jul 17, 2012

Starting out as a legal secretary

This writer worked for eighteen years in the legal profession in both Canada and South Africa and knows something about what goes on in an office where lawyers go back and forth from court leaving their secretaries with mountains of work. For the most part the offices resemble those of Boston Legal without the shenanigans of Danny Crane. To get serious, the following is what is required of a legal secretary who works in a legal office for the first time:

* Take a course in etiquette in a legal office as well as legal studies and the law.

* Typing up of a summons, statement of claim and other legal documents including a petition for divorce, a Decree Nisi and so on. One learns how to do all of this on the job.

* Preparing affidavits and supporting documents.

* Interviewing clients and witnesses in personal injury cases where the clients have been in an accident and are suing for back pain and broken legs and other damages.

* Writing lengthy reports for the lawyers and preparing affidavits to go to court.

* This area of criminal law is a harried and fast-paced experience which can sometimes take up to five and six lawyers to participate in defending a case. We have all seen the dream team in the OJ Simpson case.

When you first start out in a legal office you are strange to the process and the people who are all smarter than you and you have to have energy and work fast to accommodate this kind of work. In between all the work that needs typing, you have to answer your phone, look for documents, talk to clients, run out for croissants and coffee from Starbucks. In corporate law the process is quieter, smoother; in criminal law it is harried and fast paced and everyone gathers around a table and give their dime's worth on a big or difficult case.

Cases and evidence are parcelled out to the different attorneys depending on their skill, such as being a good closer for closing arguments or where another lawyer is good at putting a case together and managing it but not good in front of the jury sealing the deal. Watching programs like Damages and Boston Legal can sometimes skewer one's perception.

For the most part in your first year you will be a typist, note taker, errand girl, and be at everyone's beck and call. Because you are in your first year; you won't say no. You learn the personalities of the staff. You are not qualified yet to interview clients because you are not yet familiar with the law and you don't know enough. Working in criminal law also means that you come across witnesses and offenders in difficult criminal trials where a day in the life of a lawyer can easily become a nightmare. A job as a legal secretary is exciting, but do not go near it if you can't handle the pressure and expect to only sit and type all day. That is the least exciting part of the job.


Jul 15, 2012

Vancouver Home Sales

For those of you contemplating buying a house in the Vancouver area, here is a tip for you to think about. When having a potential buyer at your open house, don’t go back and forth too much in front of the client and the real estate agent asking a ridiculous price for your house because the client may become disgruntled and think that perhaps he has made a mistake and should not sell his house but make renovations instead. Think of a realistic price beforehand, make a reasonable offer, and be flexible. You cannot afford to lose a buyer who is in your home and wants to be convinced that he is making the best choice by selling his house and buying yours.

Mortgages and things

Things are tough out there and real estate in the British Columbia area is not cheap. A great number of owners in big homes are becoming landlords where a section of the house can be rented to tenants; it is one way with the high cost of mortgages to remain in your own house and in your area which you have always liked. As well, with the extra money from rental you are able to qualify for a higher mortgage loan and not move at all.
New mortgage rules may put off some Canadians from entering the housing market, but overseas investors are not concerned. Vancouver and Toronto both draw a huge international crowd who can afford to seal the deal with a 20% down payment and also exempts them from the new rules set out by the government.

Real estate investment

Is real estate a good investment? Yes, it is. It is better to be an owner than a renter as property values increase over the years and you will eventually pay up your mortgage and not pay for a mortgage any longer. You can then either decide to live in a house that is free and clear, or you can choose to invest the proceeds of the house and live on the income during your retirement. You have equity; you are free from any further payments.

Home Sales

If you decide to sell your home and not use a real estate agent, here are some things you can do to find the home you want and save on real estate commissions:

• Have an open house with a difference where you have some light snacks on the table which promotes a comfortable environment and the prospective buyer is more at ease.
• Do some staging with mirrors and flowers to make your living room look more spacious.
• Dress up your bathroom with fresh rolled up towels and have a sweet scented candle burning in the toilet.
• Have a friend design a killer brochure where all the details of the property are listed and the buyer can see the rates, taxes, size of the property at a glance.
• Make sure your kitchen looks fresh by packing away unwanted items, cleaning the counter tops, and have fresh flowers or cookies in a plate for buyers who can’t seem to leave the house. There is a lot one can do to improve on the current appearance of the house and you may wish in the end not to sell.
• Leave thank-you notes on the table and ask your visitors to sign in the register.


Vancouver Home Sales

For those of you contemplating buying a house in the Vancouver area, here is a tip for you to think about. When having a potential buyer at your open house, don’t go back and forth too much in front of the client and the real estate agent asking a ridiculous price for your house because the client may become disgruntled and think that perhaps he has made a mistake and should not sell his house but make renovations instead. Think of a realistic price beforehand, make a reasonable offer, and be flexible. You cannot afford to lose a buyer who is in your home and wants to be convinced that he is making the best choice by selling his house and buying yours.

Mortgages and things

Things are tough out there and real estate in the British Columbia area is not cheap. A great number of owners in big homes are becoming landlords where a section of the house can be rented to tenants; it is one way with the high cost of mortgages to remain in your own house and in your area which you have always liked. As well, with the extra money from rental you are able to qualify for a higher mortgage loan and not move at all.
New mortgage rules may put off some Canadians from entering the housing market, but overseas investors are not concerned. Vancouver and Toronto both draw a huge international crowd who can afford to seal the deal with a 20% down payment and also exempts them from the new rules set out by the government.

Real estate investment

Is real estate a good investment? Yes, it is. It is better to be an owner than a renter as property values increase over the years and you will eventually pay up your mortgage and not pay for a mortgage any longer. You can then either decide to live in a house that is free and clear, or you can choose to invest the proceeds of the house and live on the income during your retirement. You have equity; you are free from any further payments.

Home Sales

If you decide to sell your home and not use a real estate agent, here are some things you can do to find the home you want and save on real estate commissions:

• Have an open house with a difference where you have some light snacks on the table which promotes a comfortable environment and the prospective buyer is more at ease.
• Do some staging with mirrors and flowers to make your living room look more spacious.
• Dress up your bathroom with fresh rolled up towels and have a sweet scented candle burning in the toilet.
• Have a friend design a killer brochure where all the details of the property are listed and the buyer can see the rates, taxes, size of the property at a glance.
• Make sure your kitchen looks fresh by packing away unwanted items, cleaning the counter tops, and have fresh flowers or cookies in a plate for buyers who can’t seem to leave the house. There is a lot one can do to improve on the current appearance of the house and you may wish in the end not to sell.
• Leave thank-you notes on the table and ask your visitors to sign in the register.


Jul 14, 2012

Email etiquette training

It is amazing that in this day and age we have evolved from the rickety typewriter to computers and the internet, and we still do not practice email etiquette when the writing business is easier than ever given the fact that we have everything at our fingertips. The email has made for speedy communication, but we have lost the common touch. We have become lazy and a little slack in our etiquette and perhaps a company training session can set things right. We are all guilty of speeding through correspondence and not signing letters.

Common email etiquette

• When writing an email to a business owner, when you reply, do it on your letterhead where you will feel guilty if you don’t lay it out properly. You will have your address and details on the letter, your reference line, your digital signature, and this will show the recipient that the writer is businesslike and cognizant of how to deal with people in the corporate world. In other words, you are not treating his business like a bubble gum shop.

• Do not write someone a letter all in capital letters. Capital letters indicate that it is urgent or you are angry or you do not care. Check all your emails for spelling and grammar and sign it before sending it off. An email is a passport to your character and people can read between the lines for the kind of person you are.

• Write an email the same way you would write a letter to the Queen for an invitation to Buckingham Palace. End if off with yours faithfully if it is a business, yours sincerely, or just sincerely. Never use the words yours lovingly in a letter unless there is something you didn’t tell.

• Have a training class for your employees that not only teach them email training but also etiquette on how to deal with clients and staff.
• Always check that you use the right email addresses in correspondence and that you do not end up on someone else's site where all your personal mail is transferred to.

• Don’t have emoticons in your emails; no one laughs or smiles or thinks they are funny anymore. Let an email be an email whose job it is to never break down and serve us happily by delivering our mail speedily.

• Don’t use the email to write about your friend’s marriage or adultery or anything personal or emotional that needs a counselor rather than someone who should go on working on whatever project she was busy with. The email is for quick missives and important things.

• Never send someone a chain letter which states that if the receiver does not follow the instructions of the letter that something ominous might happen in a few days. These letters invoke guilt and unnecessary fear.

• Always end your letter with a few words like best regards or something you can think of before sending it off.


What to look for in a hookah hose

If you are familiar with a hookah you know that it is a water pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco and is used a lot by artists in the entertainment world. Its origins have not been firmly established and it is believed by some that it either originated in India, Persia or Africa. There are three types of hookahs; the modern, the premium modern and the traditional.

Modern Hookahs

Modern hookahs are typically made from solid brass or hollow brass stems in chrome, black nickel or are brass plated. Modern manufacturing techniques have made it possible for the hookah to be mass produced. There are starter hookahs for those who are new to the experience; also travel hookahs or hookahs you can buy on a budget. Having seen all the programs on border security in the US, Australia and other countries you may have to explain what it is if it is found in your bag. So check this one out. Note that some modern hookahs shaped as animals are manufactured by the competition and may be more pleasing to the eye than it is functional. The stems of those hookahs are hard to clean which in time will lessen your pleasure and enjoyment. A convenient carrier case comes with most modern hookahs.

Premium Modern Hookahs

These are the same as the modern hookahs except that it is hand made, have hand cut glass bases with unique stem designs. This option also includes a carrying case.

Traditional Hookahs

The traditional hookahs have stems that have been hand carved and have also been welded by hand on a center rod. They come from the Middle East and are deemed to be the longest lasting hookahs on the market. These types of hookahs are found mostly in hookah lounges and are typically preferred because of its quality and cost. Be aware that because it is hand made and not mass produced with mechanical reproduction, the quality might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

What to look for in a hookah

Apparently this is a commonly asked question by new and experienced hookah smokers and the short answer is that achieving a great smoke depends on ‘more factors than simply the hookah itself.’ The long answer, in short, is as follows. For a good and satisfying smoke you need a properly matched large smoke chamber with a matched stem and glass. The problem with the modern hookahs is that many of the hookahs are mixed and matched with generic items. The most important thing to look at is the shape of the glass base as well as the position of the stem in the base. Often you will find that the upper half of these modern glass bases are very narrow and long, and the stem going into the glass very short. This is not a good match as there is an inadequate smoke chamber in the neck of the vase to cool and refine the smoke, and the short stem prevents the water level from reaching a normal level.

What to look for when buying a hookah hose

• A hookah should be properly matched with a large smoke chamber and a matched stem and glass.
• Check the diameter of the down stem; this is the center tube of the stem. Make sure that it has large internal diameter tubing for good and proper flow and easy draws.
• Absolutely, you must have a quality hose which can be of any design but must have flexibility, which is important, as well as air flow and cleanliness.
• To prevent accidents have a wide stable base so the hookah does not tip or fall; this can spoil an evening unnecessarily.
• Like the table base, use a sturdy shaft to reduce the possibility of downtime because the stem has been damaged.

For a hookah smoker the hookah is much more than a smoking device. It is about tradition, about friendship, about culture. Do not waste your time with cheap imitations. Everyone is manufacturing hookahs now. Our hookahs are authentic, hand formed stainless steel stems as featured on our Egyptian and Social Smoke Custom hookahs, and accurately reflects from where the Hookah come. They are hard-wearing, easy to clean and come with a one-year guarantee. Go online now to check them out and make your purchase. If you are a hookah smoker you only want the best. Have you got your credit card with you?


Jul 12, 2012

Getting products and services without paying

Has anyone ever given you anything valuable for free? Did you trust it? Was it a hoax? Don’t worry about it. Since the advent of the internet and internet marketing, business has boomed for many business owners who all vie for your spending dollar. They give away free stuff from yoga to holiday vacations, cell phones, e-books, free classes, and much more. The library is the number one source for free content, free WiFi, free classes; you can even take courses for free.

Free products for your email address

There are companies who offer free samples to people in the hope that they will try out the product, like it, and buy it. This could be anything from vitamins, coupons, things you find in your medicine cabinet and so on. What is the catch? They give you the free products and you sign up to register and provide an email address. You know what that means; they’re going to contact you. So as not to mix up your personal email from your business email, keep all their correspondence in a separate folder. Also take a look at the company’s terms and conditions to ensure you understand.

Types of products given away

Do you have a birthday coming up soon? There are shops which give you a free birthday gift if you visit them fourteen days before the event. You will have to show your free rewards card. You can also go online and check out places where you can eat for free on your birthday. You are not stuck to a menu and can choose from a list of restaurants which are offering giveaways on your birthday. There are also free scoops of ice cream on your birthday, or places where kids can eat for free on a Tuesday night; only one person has to order the main meal to get this. There are sites as well where they give away free stuff by mail, which are mostly small items like shampoo and toothpaste.

Why companies give away free stuff

For bigger items you can also check out the neighborhood giveaway site for things such as painted chests of drawers and other furniture items. You can also host a party for a sponsor to receive a package stuffed with products such as party decorations, cooking utensils and much more for hosting the event. WiFi for instance is free at some restaurants and coffee shops. What do they get in return: customers who will come back repeatedly for food and boost their business earnings. In a way it is like bartering; product for services or vice versa. If you are a chef and like to cook you can also get cook books for free from a popular site. The company makes money from advertising.

Here is a great one if you don’t want to pay charges to dial 911 for assistance. You dial a toll free number and follow the prompts to get your number for them to call back. It’s a great way to not pay for a long distance call; the only problem is that the person in the emergency might die by the time anyone arrives. The service is free because you have to listen to a sponsored message. As indicated earlier, there’s no free lunch.


Duties of a janitor at a high school

Arrival at school 6.30 a.m. - Being a janitor is not a walk in the park especially when you don't have an assistant and you are the janitor at a school with a lot of lively kids who litter floors and drop things. Before you can even put on the coffee pot in the cold winter mornings you have to be outside cleaning the ice off the sidewalk and parking areas to make sure students don't slip and hurt themselves; you have to be aware of safety issues also.

After coffee 10.00 a.m. - You wade through your list of things to do and decide whether it is a warm enough day to do the windows after a blistering winter, or tackle the restrooms to clean the toilets and mop the floors. A janitor has a plunger in his hands at least once or twice a day to clear out the blockage and wash the toilet floor which is wet most of the time. Mopping, sweeping, vacuuming floors is part of the morning routine. A janitor must know his job as he works with power equipment and chemical cleaners.

Lunch time recess at noon - Even though the janitor too should have his lunch and have a short break, he is always interrupted by having to attend to some emergency such as a blocked toilet or something that has to be immediately taken care of and can wipe out his lunch break. He has to have knowledge of cleaning solutions, what they contain and also have experience with insecticides and other poisons as there must always be awareness of the safety of young children who are inquisitive.

After lunch at school - A janitor's job is never done as there is always maintenance and repairs which have to be taken care of. He has to sweep, vacuum and mop the floors. He has to make sure signs are put out that the floors are wet. He has to answer questions from students. He has to take out the rubbish which is plenty and attend to the boiler. At all times he must be careful that students don't come to harm being where they should not be. His job is to keep the building clean and spotless.

Coffee break 3.00 p.m - As if all this is not enough, there is also the matter of cleaning the offices and shampooing rugs when the weather is good. Office furniture has to be vacuumed and dusted every day to keep the office fresh and comfortable. There are always desks and tables to be moved. The outside premises of the building always have to be free of rubbish and debris and when the weather permits it the janitor has to mow the lawn and tend to the shrubbery. He has to help move scaffolding and keep things like ladders out of the way in the event there are kids around. A janitor is the first person on the scene and one of the last to leave. Last, a janitor should have a strong constitution and a strong back for the job.


Jul 10, 2012

Hand and machine embroidery

Hand embroidery is a fine, painstaking art and as such we must give it all due diligence. It is a craft where you embroider designs on a fabric with needle and thread. When you embroider it is always good to do so with good lighting. Embroidery can be used on christening frocks for a baby, on cushion covers, infant outfits, teapot covers, hats, dress shirts, golf shirts, bed sheets, pillowcases, and just about anything you want in an embroidered design.

Stitches and things

There are different stitches for different designs and this includes the chain stitch, blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch and more. A simple way to explain stitching is the direction of the embroidery needle from the back of the fabric to the front and back again. Patterns are formed by completing embroidery stitches either free hand, or following a design printed on paper. For hand embroidery it is important to have the right size needle

Machine embroidery

Embroidering on a machine started at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and makes the whole process faster with the same beautiful results. It also imitates hand embroidery, especially chain stitches. Satin and hemming stitches done on a machine rely on using multiple threads and resemble embroidery done by hand. One can imagine how much faster the embroidery process will go although it must be said that some women relish the art and hand embroider as she feels more in touch with the art if done by hand in a slow, loving way.

Sewing supplies

Supplies you will need for embroidering include bobbins, color cards, spools, thread sets, thread refills, thread notions, also a deluxe thread caddy to house all your supplies. There are plenty of brands to choose from.

Educating yourself

You can take the sting out of arduous training by purchasing training videos and software where the dvd takes you from beginning to intermediate and you can take your time viewing the dvd over and over again for instructions. There are also e-books where you can learn about embroidery in depth if you want to make this your life’s purpose. E-books can be downloaded in PDF format.



Jul 9, 2012

From Russia with love

Finding a wife with all the right measurements, looks, emotionality and accoutrements is going to be a lot easier if you set your mind to it and take active steps to include a woman in your life and a wife for all time. It is not that difficult; there is a lot you can do, the most important of which is that you have to come to the party and do your part. If you are not averse to doing some work, here are a few tips to help you find a wife. Make a list of what you are looking for. People change their mind all the time and since we are talking about your life, you have a chance now to put it down on paper and get it right.

1 The first question to ask is whether you want a woman before the party or after the party? Before the party means she is showing her good, sexy side and doing everything to please you, and after the party means you see her frying eggs in the kitchen in her underwear with her son present.

2 Be specific about how you are going to deal with your differences in faith where one of you is Christian and the other is a Hindu or a Muslim. Often couples shove this to the back of their mind and when it is time to set the date for the wedding, he or she backs out of the relationship.

3 Tell your colleagues and friends that you are in the market again, and be straight and tell them you are looking for a good woman who can become your wife. Your friends are the best ones to ask to help you find a wife as they know you and you can trust their judgment.

4 Prepare to get into some nice clothes and go with a friend to one of his spots of entertainment and keep an open mind. You can also join a literary group if books are your thing, or become part of a Scrabble group or forum for single parents.
5 If you like one of the women at any group you attend, you can go up to her and sass her out. Does she fit your style and temperament? Does she have a mind of her own and her own thoughts? Is she adventurous and funny and appeals to your witty sensibility? If cooking is your strong point, stir up a delicious dish and invite her over.

If you need more than the above, one of the best things to do to ease yourself into finding a partner and dating again is to go online and check out a few dating agencies catering to people from other countries where you can broaden your experience. Try different types of agencies whether it is a dating service that has a gallery of girls to choose from or caters to clients who are looking for services in a different culture. Ukraine/Russian dating is popular and you will, with determination and the right spirit, find yourself a wife.


Russian girls galore

Ukraine/Russian dating

If you are looking for a great-looking and delectable woman to be part of your life, you can be at home and have immediate access to more than 20,000 Russian and Ukranian women who are looking for a man to settle down with. Ukranian/Russian girls dating has become very popular since the advent of mail-order brides and there are plenty of beautiful, elegant and educated women who are eager to meet men whether as friends only or for longer partnerships or for marriage.

Women are described as bodacious, stunning, cute, sizzling, great eye candy, and if you did not know, Russian brides have developed into a passionate community with more than 80 million online visits a year. For men who are interested in making contact with these girls, there is a half hour free chat between them after which they can decide to register and join.

Women are listed by their first name, and one can search for a man by searching on the site for the color of her hair and eyes, interests, desires, and plenty of other attributes. What they all have in common is that they are all extremely beautiful girls and hungry to meet the right person. What is better than finding a legitimate marriage or dating agency to help you in your search? At this point in writing there are 440 ladies on online chat speaking to someone.

Safety measures in place

The agency is also in the forefront of scam protection as in every business there are frauds, scammers and people who are disingenuous. They claim to be the first and only agency to tackle head on the issues relating to internet dating and mail-order bride fraud. Simple honesty in the online introductions industry is not enough and what is required is ‘vigilance supported by forceful action against scams.

All Russian and Ukranian girls who register on the site are personally contacted by their anti-scam staff to

• confirm identity, age, and contact information of the girl,

• that she is interested in finding an American or European husband,

• that she understands her obligations,

• and that she has been honest in her dealings with the site.

The site is quick to handle and prosecute if a woman is not who she says she is. In some cases the agency removes the girl from the system, fines the girl’s agency, and issues a refund to her mother. Marriage agencies rank high in the introductions business and because of the nature of the industry, there has to be safety for women and that they are not scammed either by the men they meet or the agency. Most introduction and marriage agencies have safety measures in place.

In conclusion, finding the right man is easier when you have access to Skype, Live chat, webcam and can choose from an array of beautiful women. Some of them are as young as sixteen. All of them have one need in common; to find love and happiness and ultimately a husband. Ukraine/Russian dating has never been as popular as it is now.


Jul 8, 2012

Ukraine/Russian Dating

The right place to find a wife

Are you tired of being on your own and wondering when that woman you are carrying around in your head is going to materialize? Are you serious about finding a wife and settling down with a Russian or Ukranian girl? Don’t despair. You have come to the right place. Ukraine/Russian dating sites are very much in vogue since mail-order brides became fashionable and there are many sites to choose from and help you find a wife. Here are some fascinating facts about Ukraine/Russian dating sites, the women, their requirements, where they come from, what they are forbidden to do and many other pertinent facts.

1 There are some international dating sites which are absolutely free to join and others where you pay just for the service you want. You publish your profile on the site, upload some pictures and share some information about yourself. After registering on the site you can browse through the ladies gallery and read incoming mail without charge. The site does not accept women’s registration requests through the internet; you have to contact support.

2 Regarding photographs, they must be morally decent and attractive. It is strongly forbidden to post nudity. They review all uploaded photos and reject those which are forbidden. It is also against company policy to put contact details on a profile.

3 International dating sites act mostly as an intermediary between single men from all over the world and brides from Ukraine and Russia. The service provides online communication facilities and the objective is to gather single men and women under one roof and allow them the time to get to know one another.

4 When ladies join the site their profiles and documents are closely inspected. Fake profiles are removed from the site. Women are asked by some men whether they are serious about finding a wife and getting married.

5 Some men are not looking for wives and don’t want to get married and just want to find friends from another country. Apparently men from Christian countries like the United States and Australia are more interesting to Russian and Ukranian women who want to learn English and settle down.

6 Documents from men are carefully scrutinized to ferret out the fakes and the scammers. The site apparently differs from other sites in that they offer exclusive services for single gentlemen and there is live video chat, Romance tours and other attractions. Men can also search for women by stating the color of the eyes and hair they are looking for.

7 Women are not allowed to ask men for money and have to be reported. On outings where mail-order brides are free to spend the day as they wish with the man to become comfortable with each other, the man can opt to pay for everything, or pay nothing.

8 A man can book a tour for himself and the lady he likes and has to provide her ID, date of arrival and how long she is going to stay. If the two of you go alone on the trip, you have to make the arrangements yourself. If you use the Romance Tour service their representatives will take all the responsibility. All in all it appears that enough care is taken to make sure the ladies are protected and that the men looking for a wife should have no trouble finding one.


Replacing old lawn with new sod

Laying sod and installing a new lawn may be time consuming but it will greatly enhance the outside appearance of your home. There are, however, some things to be done first before you can get down to the business of laying the sod. Laying sod can be done any time but it is best during the Spring or Fall when he soil is not frozen.

What to do first

• Seeing as sod takes hours to install it is important that you get it right the first time. You can’t keep the sod in a bag for a week and leave it lying around in the sun. If you are not going to use the soil right away keep it in a shady location. Don’t allow the sod to dry out.

• To install a lawn can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000, so make sure you have the right person to do it, preferably one with knowledge of laying sod.

• Choosing the right sod is important. See that it is similar to your type of soil and site conditions. Some varieties thrive in sunny locations but there are types that will grow in the shade. Go online and find the type that will be best for your area.

Laying the sod

1 Remove the old lawn and pull out weeds and break up the compacted soil with a tiller.

2 Prepare the area prior to laying the sod. While the existing soil may be suitable for laying sod you may want to enhance the soil with organic matter to improve the quality of the soil and rooting process.

3 Spread a starter fertilizer high in phosphorus over the loosened soil. Rake the soil to level it out.

4 Starting at the outer edges, place strips of sod in a brick-like pattern on the area which has been prepared. If you are working on an incline, start work from the bottom upwards. Staple the sod in place with biodegradable sod staples.

5 Once the sod is down roll it to remove air pockets and water it thoroughly. Get the dogs off the lawn until the lawn takes root and becomes well established. Watering the lawn is especially important during the hot summer months.

6 Check that the roots are properly drained and that the lawn is not under a puddle of water. Take care not to hurt the roots and punch holes in the soil for more drainage. Make sure water is draining away from the house.

7 When you are through laying the sod, use the roller again. If you don’t have one you can rent it from an equipment hiring store. Rolling the sod a second time removes air pockets and facilitates in making good contact with the soil.

8 Tools you would need include a tiller, roller, sod, starter fertilizer, soil conditioner and a rake. Your supplier or expert will know during which times, depending on your area, it would be best to lay sod. Obviously, winter is not an option and early Fall and early Spring would be the best times.


Jul 6, 2012

Are you a serial bully?

Do you pick on someone weaker and younger than you and are you devious, deceptive and manipulative? According to Bully Online there are three types of serial bullies; the attention-seeker, the guru, the wannabe and the sociopath. Winston Churchill had this to say about serial bullies: “The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

Deconstructing a serial bully

A serial bully has a dual Jekyll and Hyde nature; vile, vindictive and scathing in private and charming in front of others. He is a master of deception, shallow and superficial with fine words but no substance. He is often described as smooth and slippery and is unusually skilled in knowing what people want to hear. Emotionally retarded and in a state of arrested development, he is untrustworthy and not a person to be relied upon. There is a long list of adjectives to describe the serial bully but this will suffice except to add that he is also a control freak and arrogant.

Other types of bullies

The above profile is relevant to the serial bully but there are other types of abusers also, including bullies in the workplace, bullies in the neighborhood, con artists and swindlers, abusive and violent partners, sexual abusers, rapists, sociopaths, serial killers and the like. You can be sure that someone who is a serial abuser in the workplace is also a serial bully at home. A wolf can’t change his coat. The above offenders commit criminal offences for which one can be arrested; a serial bully commits mostly offences where one is safe from the law. He is also a coward.

Most serial bullies have unhappy private lives and if he should have you in his sight and start to stalk you and you decide to sue him make sure to dig into his past where you are bound to unearth some unsavory information which can be of help to your case. Serial bullies operate under the radar; they are like sniffing dogs. Go online for the different types of serial bullies and in depth information on the subject.


Successfully preserving your relationship

The first thing that both parties have to understand is that a relationship is not only about one person. There are two people whose needs have to be met, and both of you have to try your best to give each other what they want. Here are some tips for preserving a loving and healthy relationship.

• Discuss your needs with your partner; he or she cannot read your mind. Often relationships fail because partners are unrealistic and not straight about what they desire. Be specific.

• If you have a dispute about something, try to look at it from the other person’s point of view and see if you understand it better.
• .
• Be clear about what you want in a relationship. Perhaps you find this hard to do because you don’t know it yourself.

• Be willing to compromise and don’t sweat the small things.

• Keep the relationship fresh by doing some of the earlier things you had always done together. Go out, have fun, be ordinary free human beings.

• Don’t forget the little gifts of flowers and chocolates you once bought for one another. This goes a long way to telling your partner that you still love him or her.

• Let your guy go out with the boys on poker night and you go out with the girls to do some of the fun things you always did together. Each of you having side interests is good for a relationship.

• Negotiate everything by sitting down and working through any grievances you might have. If the argument is bigger than both of you, agree to see a counselor who can work with you through the problem and provide a solution.

• Don’t try to change your partner from the man or woman he or she was when you first met. Forcing someone to change causes resentment and is not a good idea.

• Surprise your partner now and again with tickets for the basketball game. Be spontaneous and take opportunities when you can to keep your relationship alive. Put your partner first and you will never go wrong.


Negative effects of video games outweigh positive effects

While there are some positive effects for children playing video games in that it introduces technology to children, they learn to follow instructions, can do problem solving, do simultaneous tasks, learns how to think quickly and learn strategy, the positive effects far outweigh the negative and parents should take note of the following factors:

Negative effects

• According to a scientific study done by Anderson & Bushman 2001, children who play violent video games are more likely to have increased negative feelings and behavior and decreased pro social helping.

• The child lives in an isolated world when he plays and has no interaction with siblings and family and no time for sporting activities or homework.

• In many of the games kids are rewarded for being violent which occurs repeatedly; the child is in control of the violence and experiences the violence as he plays. Many studies have shown that violent video games may be related to aggressive behavior.

• While there are many kids who can leave the violence behind when they are playing, there are also kids who commit violent crimes. Violence and aggression are rewarded. Games can also blur the line between reality and fantasy.

• Kids who play video games continuously also do poorly at school and poor school grades are the result.

• Then there are the health hazards of playing video games such as muscular and skeletal disorders, nerve compression and carpal tunnel syndrome.

• Constant playing by kids who are addicted to video games also present with phobias, depression and anxiety.

• According to a new study published in the February 2012 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Popular Media Culture children who spend too much time playing video games may also be impulsive and have attention problems.

This does not mean that you should stop your child playing video games altogether, but choose the kind of video your child can play and allow only one or two hours a day of playing. Introduce your child to books, sports, kiting, watching good television programs and interacting with family and other kids.


Suggestions for better online instructions which will result in high earnings for writers

This is not a complaint; it is just something I’ve thought about for a long time to write and ask online employers to make following instructions of how to do things easier. For instance, I have written close to 200 articles for Bukisa and because I got confused with the instructions on how to set up AdSense, and did not and still do not understand linking properly, I have just dropped it and concentrated on writing for two or three companies. I also have a blog with over 11,000 views that I do not know how to populate with ads.

Here are some suggestions all online companies can benefit from

• I understand widgets and banners but don’t know how to go about setting it up. When you explain links, back links, reciprocal link please have a section where you give step by step instructions and explain it exactly. I have tried to set up my AdSense account several times, but have been unsuccessful. In fact I am quite embarrassed to write to support at Bukisa so many times.

• A good percentage of people writing for your sites are writers and not familiar with SEO, and technical terms should be explained. Don’t just say, ‘set up your Adsense account.’ Explain how to do it.

• When you want a particular kind of link, pretend you are writing for ten year old kids and give step by step instructions. We are writers and new to this kind of technical language.

• Most important, have a tutorial for new writers which they should become familiar with first. Every site has its own language for articles such as columns, leaves, lenses and so on, but their way of explaining the answers to questions are not all the same.

• Writing for Experts Column is a breeze as all you do is type the article, include your link, and post it. Maybe because Experts Column does not have AdSense.

• Asking writers to post to other people’s blogs to promote your blog is unclear for this writer as I was told when you do this, you are spamming. So because I don’t know when not to or when to, I just leave it.

• This writer is happy to pay two dollars to anyone who can set up my Adsense accounts for Bukisa, Constant Content and Red Gage. I just want to write!!