Archive for January, 2009



Wine Choice: How to Cater to Good Taste

Posted By Jen Maclin on January 31, 2009 @ 2:16 am
by Tony Hampton

If you have ever tried wine tasting you will have found its quite simple. You don’t need to be an expert and can even start without any recognized training. Etiquette dictates that the gentlemen should ensure the ladies are always served their wine first. Water at room temperature is normally served at any good wine tasting parties. You might find this strange but the water is used to clean your palate out prepared for the next taste of wine. Make sure that the water you are given is not too cold as this can shock the palate and ruin the taste of your next drink.

Holding the wine glass by the stem and not the bowl in the palm of your hand is very important when it comes to wine tasting. One thing that individuals don’t realize is that the palm of your hand is warm and this can warm up the wine therefore changing the taste.

Most individuals think that wine tasting is just a matter of rolling the wine around your mouth before you either spit it out or swallow.

Looking at the colour is the first thing you should do when wine tasting. Make sure the glass you have been given is clean and easy to see through otherwise you can’t see the true color of the wine. To be able to see the wine and its true color clearly you should use a white background, some people use a white table cloth. White wines are not always pure white, sometimes they are a shade of green, yellow and even brown. For red wines, you will observe that it also has different shades of red, the lighter the color of the red wine is, the older it is.

There is a test that can indicate the age or the flavor of the wine and that is to run the wine around the rim of your glass and look at the color. Simply tilt your glass and observe the color of the wine, if it look like a tint of brown it will be an older wine, if it is has a shade of purple then it will be a younger wine.

The next step is to smell the wine, first swirl the wine around the glass to expose the wine to the air, position the glass close to your nose and inhale deeply. The flavor of the wine is released by swirling the wine around the glass, remember the wine could have been in the bottle for many years. If you have ever done any cooking you will blend in the different flavors so mixing wine with air is no different.

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Samsung SyncMaster 2263DX – Two Monitors in One

Posted By Matt Ryan on @ 2:06 am
by Matt Ryan

The use of two monitors, known as dual monitoring, has been around for over a decade. The idea, behind having two monitors, is to allow individuals to accomplish their work in a more efficient productive manner. One of the downfalls is the amount of space that two decent sized monitors will take up on any given desk.

Samsung has recently released the SyncMaster 2263DX, which just might solve some of the special issues of dual monitoring. This system is a combination of a 22″ and 7″ monitor. The 7-inch monitor actually attaches to the 22″ monitor. This gives consumers two monitors that only take up the space of one, with the added bonus of using the small unit for secondary applications only (applications like web browsing, video, or instant messaging).

These monitors, with their shiny black coating, and beveled edges, will add a bit of elegance to any setting. The 22″ monitor has a response time of 5ms, contrast ration of 1000:1, and a resolution of 1680 x 1050. All of which is pretty standard for monitors today. To connect the 22″ to your computer, you will need to connect not only via the DVI, HDMI, or VGA port, but with the USB 2.0 port as well.

The secondary monitor, 7-inch, was intentionally designed as such. With a resolution of 800 x 480, response time of 30ms, and contrast ratio of 400:1, this monitor is best used with smaller applications like instant messaging or video conferencing.

The secondary monitor attaches nicely to the primary monitor, taking up much less real estate on your desk. It is attached via a pivotal arm that allows you to rotate the monitor to the perfect position. Additionally, the 7-inch monitor can be adjusted to either landscape or portrait layout, whichever you prefer.

The dual monitoring experience, that the SyncMaster 2263DX offers, is phenomenal. However, it does not stop with pure efficiency and spaciousness. The smaller monitor can actually be used as a secondary portable monitor for a laptop, or even a standalone unit on your desk. You do not have to use it as an attachment to the 22-inch monitor that it comes with.

The Samsung SyncMaster 2263DX offers telecommunications benefits as well as dual monitoring. There is a 3.0M webcam, 1.5W down firing speakers, and a microphone integrated directly into the larger monitor. It is the perfect set up for videoconferencing.

This unit sells for around $550. While this is a bit pricey compared to a standard 22-inch monitor, there is additional functionality and convenience in the SyncMaster 2263DX.

The bottom line is whether you are looking for space saver technology or budget friendly answers. If you have the space, purchasing two monitors is obviously the way to go. If your desk space is slim, you may just have to spend the extra cash. If you are into toys, and just need to have the latest and greatest, the Samsung SyncMaster 2263DX is a must have.

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Immigration DNA Testing Is Important Too

Posted By Patricia Denny on @ 2:04 am
by Patricia Denny

There are lots of reasons that you might need to get some form of paternity testing done. You might need to determine the biological relationship between a man and a child or you might need to determine how many family members can enter a county under Immigration testing procedures.

Global Requirements

Of course there are some similarities between the dna testing procedures that go with a variety of tests like paternity testing before birth and the ones used for immigration, but there are other differences between the different variations that are worth noting. For example, while paternity testing can be accomplished with samples from people that are usually but not always in the same general locale, the tests that many Embassies ask for are from relatives that can be miles or even a continent apart with immigration testing.

Overseas Samples

Very often the country that a family hopes to settle in will ask that they provide samples so that all the members that want to immigrate can prove they are of the same family. This often means that samples need to be collected in overseas locations and the best dna testing companies will have the facilities to do that. Its necessary to make sure that the firm that you want to use is of the highest caliber possible. Regardless of whether you need court ordered paternity testing or the samples collected so that family can be reunited in a new land, there are some factors that need to looked at so the consumer can be assured they are getting the best product possible.

Laboratories

As you might expect, one of the first things that youll need to have a good look at is the kind of laboratory that the place employs. Any one who wants to make sure that they get the very best that these laboratories have to offer should look at a few simple factors. How long theyve been in business is at the top of the list regardless of whether you need the latest prenatal paternity testing procedures or something to do with immigration. Its essential that you find out as well if the place that youre considering using has all the proper credentials.

Finally, its good to know that the paternity testing place that youre looking has a flexible background. That way, theyll be able to handle your immigration needs too.

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Debt Management is it the only solution out of this debt problem?

Posted By Phillip Evans on @ 2:02 am
by Phillip Evans

Are we in the UK drowning in Debt? According to the insurer AXA, some 11.6 million people (25 per cent of the adult population) are said to be struggling financially with a significant number, around 1.3 million people, admitting their finances are entirely out of control.

The report suggests that over 3.7 million people are reported to be struggling to cope with mounting credit card bills and just over a million people have borrowed too much money and are now struggling to keep up their repayments.

Half a million home owners have been threatened with a bailiff or eviction and personal county court judgements CCJs has increased in quarter 3 to their highest level since the start of 2007

In England and Wales CCJs rose by 17.4 per cent year on year to 223,519, their highest level since the first quarter of 2007, according to figures published by the Registry Trust, the public interest company which manages the register of judgements, orders and fines on behalf of the Lord Chancellor. This represents an increase of 24.8 per cent from the second quarter of 2008.

Individuals entering into insolvency within the borders of England and Wales are on the up by nearly 9 per cent or just over twenty seven thousand in the 3rd part of 2008 compared with the previous quarter.

17,341 people went bankrupt, which has shot up 12.1 per cent from 15,463 in the second quarter of the year, and 9,746 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), which is up 3.3 per cent from the three months before.

The credit crunch could be blamed for the increase in corporate and personal insolvency throughout 2008, however, its patently obvious that further failures are going to be compounded by the recession throughout 2009.

It was hoped that the SIVA, planned for release in early 2009 would help with some of the debt burden, however, the Insolvency Service has just abandoned the concept.

A simplified version of the IVA, for consumers with debts up to 75,000 and that would only require approval by a simple majority of creditors rather than the 75 per cent majority under normal IVAs, was due to be introduced in April 2009.

The British borrower drowning in debt not wishing to go bankrupt really should consider both the individual voluntary arrangement or a more informal debt management program to help get your debt problems under control.

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Samsung SyncMaster 2263DX – Gadget or Necessity

Posted By Matt Ryan on @ 2:02 am
by Matt Ryan

Dual monitoring is a very efficient way for individuals to get their work done. Whatever you may use the two monitors for, it allows you to separate applications for your convenience and ease of use. This concept has been around for over a decade and manufacturers are just now coming up with solutions that provide the same efficiency in a more spacious design.

Samsung has recently released the SyncMaster 2263DX, which just might solve some of the special issues of dual monitoring. This system is a combination of a 22″ and 7″ monitor. The 7-inch monitor actually attaches to the 22″ monitor. This gives consumers two monitors that only take up the space of one, with the added bonus of using the small unit for secondary applications only (applications like web browsing, video, or instant messaging).

These monitors, with their shiny black coating, and beveled edges, will add a bit of elegance to any setting. The 22″ monitor has a response time of 5ms, contrast ration of 1000:1, and a resolution of 1680 x 1050. All of which is pretty standard for monitors today. To connect the 22″ to your computer, you will need to connect not only via the DVI, HDMI, or VGA port, but with the USB 2.0 port as well.

The 7″ monitor is not quite as glorified as the 22″, but that is to be expected considering it is considerably smaller. This monitor has a 400:1 contrast ration, 800 x 480 resolution, and a response time of 30ms. Considering major applications will not run on this monitor, these numbers should be sufficient.

The secondary monitor attaches nicely to the primary monitor, taking up much less real estate on your desk. It is attached via a pivotal arm that allows you to rotate the monitor to the perfect position. Additionally, the 7-inch monitor can be adjusted to either landscape or portrait layout, whichever you prefer.

An added bonus, to this setup, is the fact that the 7-inch monitor can be used as a standalone unit. This counteracts the purpose of the design, but could be useful in some situations. For example, it can be used as a secondary laptop monitor. For those who travel or need portability, this is a great-added benefit.

The Syncmaster 2263DX not only offers a functional dual monitoring setup for small offices, but provides a solid platform for teleconferencing as well. There is a 3.0M webcam, 1.5W down firing speakers, and a microphone – all built right into the monitor itself. The secondary monitor, the 7-inch one, is perfect for the video aspect of a teleconference.

For around $550 you can purchase one of these new SyncMaster 2263DXs. If you have priced monitors, you know that this is a bit of a steep price for a 22-inch monitor. You could easily pick up two separate full sized monitors for the same price.

The bottom line is whether you are looking for space saver technology or budget friendly answers. If you have the space, purchasing two monitors is obviously the way to go. If your desk space is slim, you may just have to spend the extra cash. If you are into toys, and just need to have the latest and greatest, the Samsung SyncMaster 2263DX is a must have.

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Produce Shopping Tips: Get the Best Fruits & Vegetables in Winter

Posted By Anita Leverington on January 30, 2009 @ 2:15 am
by Anita Leverington

During the spring and summer seasons, eating delicious fruit and vegetables with each daily meal is an easy task since every plant seems to be sprouting and blooming. Then, when Autumn arrives, yet another overwhelming choice arises as a second helping comes into season.

Then winter comes along, and where did all the harvest disappear to? The plants and trees become lifeless and lose their foliage, as the brisk and chilly atmosphere sets in. The question is, are there any fruits or vegetables available at this time of year, and once we find them, what’s the best way to prepare them?

The winter season is actually surprisingly productive, with commonly known fruit and vegetables still available. Fruits like citrus fruits, pomegranate and kiwi are still around, and hearty vegetables, like broccoli, turnips, potatoes, squash, peas, rhubarb, celery and cabbage (don’t forget the famous Brussels sprout) and others.

Finding fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter can take some searching. Your local grocery store may have an abundant supply, but only of some of these foods. You can check out in-door farmers markets or specialty food/whole food stores. Depending on your region, you may be able to grow your own winter garden (indoors or outdoors) and harvest some of these delicious foods yourself. Theres lots of information on growing your own indoor/outdoor winter garden found on the Internet or in gardening books at the public library or bookstore.

So, once we’ve grown our own, or sourced the supply of winter fruit and veg, how do we go about cooking or preparing it? Simmering hot winter soup throughout the day can give you something to look forward to at dinnertime, with the delicious aroma filling the air as the vegetables bubble away. Cabbage leaves can make innovative wraps, by filling them with something hot. Avocados can make guacamole dip, and sweet potatoes can be boiled, then baked until tender, to make the most unusual (yet satisfying) baked spuds.

Ideas for cooking with winter fruits: Since plenty of lettuce is available during the winter, dont be afraid to add orange fruits and grapes to your salads to give it a sweet kick. Or, you can omit vegetables from your salad entirely and stick to a winter fruit salad. Fresh cranberry sauce is delicious on white meat (add some orange zest and a little freshly squeezed orange juice to it for a different taste). Pears are a great fruit to serve warm or cold with a cinnamon streusel for dessert. Mix cut passion fruit with kiwi and serve it over vanilla ice cream for another dessert.

There are fresh produce in the winter months, no matter where you live. Search the stores and try out your green thumb to see what kinds of delicious recipes you can come up with to help yourself and family eat healthy during the cold months.

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Email Marketing and The Mailing List

Posted By Sam Ernie Orion on @ 2:14 am
by Sam Ernie Orion

We all know that every aspect of Internet marketing has a specific tool that helps to drive traffic and sales, and any email marketing campaign is no different. What you need to concentrate on here is developing and building up a mailing list since that is the real cornerstone of any successful email marketing campaign. Remember that there is no denying the power of a well run email marketing campaign and with that in mind there are specific things you can do to ensure that your mailing list is strong and healthy.

Offer Something For Free

One of the oldest advertising gimmicks in the book is still one of the more effective. Its important to keep in mind that you really want your mailing list to have opt in clients. Those are the people that are much more likely to read what youve got for them, and offering this kind of incentive will push them to sign up. One of the more effective techniques is to get a content writer to write a free ebook and then offer the use of it as a bonus for signing on.

Contests

People love to be included in interactive events. Sponsoring a contest on your site draws people in to sign. There is one drawback that youll need to be aware of if you travel this route. Not everyone who subscribes in this manner will eventually convert into a sale. Many of the people that you attract this way will be people habitually playing all the contests looking for the latest freebie.

Article Marketing

This is one of the most tried and tested methods used today. Hiring a ghost writer who will work for a reasonable fee all but ensures that youll get a series of professional articles submitted that cant help but eventually build your mailing list.

Directories

Again, this is one of the more traditional but effective methods used on the Internet. Business Directories are a great way of getting your name out there in cyberspace so that you can draw the kind of attention that will help to build your mailing list in the end.

Of course there are other methods that include ad swaps and hover ads, but the major point here is that you want to have people subscribe to your mailing list. That way, youll already have their willing attention and the buildup on your mailing list will result in a solid email marketing campaign.

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How To Set Up A Tickler File

Posted By Dojo Kuhn on @ 2:08 am
by Dojo Kuhn

As part of my ongoing GTD Thirty Day Challenge, I wanted to talk about how you should set up a tickler file.

After listening to some of David Allen’s conversations, I think he uses 43 folders for his tickler file. The 43 folders are 12 for each month and 31 for each day. If it is January, I’d have 31 folder into the January folder of my months. After each day, I’d take that day’s folder and move it behind the next month, in this case February. If it’s the 20th, the previous folder for days 1-19 would be behind the February folder now.

What happens when I use my tickler file? If I get a bill that is due on February 3rd, and I want to remember to pay it on that day, I would stick the bill in my February 3rd folder. On February 3rd when I look at my tickler, I’d see the bill and remember to pay it.

I really do not like using 43 folders for my tickler file. For starters, it’s hard to remember to check it every day. People then have to remember to check it and they’ll start to ask themselves “how do I remember to check my tickler file?” The next reason is it is very bulky and not very portable. Finally, when you move the daily folders behind the next month, you have to remember to move the items in that months folders to the proper day.

The tickler file is essential to your GTD set up, however, because you have to remember future items. If you have a lot of physical items then the tickler file is the way to go. In my case, I don’t have tons of physical items and so here is my solution to the above problems with a tickler file.

How To Set Up A Tickler File

Step one is to create a plastic folder that I carry in my briefcase labelled “Waiting For” and all the things I need to remember on future dates go in there.

Next, I created a folder in my email account called “Yahoo Reminders”. You’ll see this folder if you look at the image of my email folder structure in How To Set Up Your GTD Email. I then set up a filter for all Yahoo Reminders to go into this specific folder and not in my inbox for processing.

The last component is Yahoo calendar. I put any item I need to remember and enter it as an all day event. I attach and email reminder to it that sends me a reminder 2 days ahead of the day I need to remember it. As a second reminder, a text is sent too.

In the above example, the bill I got needed to be remembered on February 3rd. I enter the all day event on the third like “Pay very important bill” and by default it sends me an email reminder two days before it occurs. The actual physical bill goes into my “Waiting For” folder in my briefcase.

When February 1st rolls around, I get an email from Yahoo that tells me I have to pay the bill on the third. This email goes directly into my Yahoo! reminder folder. I also get a text message as a back up. I do both text and email because it’s a good backup for when I don’t have access to my Yahoo! Reminders folder from my Blackberry, I’ve got a text as well sitting right there. Each day, I review my reminders folder or my Blackberry for ticklered items.

This system is an extremely portable and streamlined tickler file. Everything reminds me on it’s own and I don’t have to move items around in my tickler file. Email reminders are awesome to remind you of things you have to do and you have no idea how much this helps your productivity until after you use them. If you use 43 folders, I’d still suggest using email reminders 100% to improve your GTD setup.

That is my version of how to set up a tickler file for maximum effectiveness.

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What To Avoid When Yourre Starting Out

Posted By Sam Ernie Orion on @ 2:07 am
by Sam Ernie Orion

No matter how well versed you are in the brick and mortar business world, its a good idea to understand both the similarities and differences between that and the world of ecommerce. Remember that as the economy takes a downturn, more and more people are looking toward alternatives to the traditional model of doing business. However, while the Internet supplies some great ideas and is a great vehicle to make money, there are at least four mistakes that you want to avoid before you take the plunge into starting your own business.

Dont Rush

First and foremost, all the experts agree that you dont want to rush. Although compared to other enterprises an Internet business is cheaper, there are quite a few bad turns that you can take and some of these spiral. While its true that we all like to hear great success stories and how people have made great money online, you need to be careful and find out exactly how much work was involved. Take the time to look into exactly how this success was achieved before you envision yourself doing the same thing.

Think Like A Boss

Remember too that while the Internet affords great possibilities, theres also a tendency for people to slide into the employee frame of mind. That means that some people make the incorrect assumption having your own business means that they have more freedom and while thats true, you also need to in mind that although you can set your own hours you still need to work at them. Dont think like an employee when youre the boss.

Get The Right Tools

Many people starting a home based web business try to cut corners and get a quick template off the Internet rather than taking the time and investing the money to go to a professional web design company in Los Angeles or where ever they happen to be. That is always a mistake. Even if you wind up with a decent website, you need to market that site and compete for page rankings and you dont get those tools by cutting financial corners before you even start.

Theres a good living on the Internet, but you need to get the best tools and have the right aptitude to make the whole thing work for you. While the medium for business might change, the need for hard work stays the same.

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The Eye of the Tiger

Posted By Lynn Pierce on @ 2:04 am
by Lynn Pierce

Remember the theme song from the Rocky movie, “The Eye of the Tiger”?

When Rocky fought his opponent he had the focus of ‘the eye of the tiger’. When that song was written they couldn’t have had any idea the significance it would take on when a new Tiger took the world stage and changed sports forever.

I don’t care if you are a golf fan or a sports fan or if you think there is too much hype over this one particular athlete-yes golfers are athletes.

Tiger Woods is a force to be reckoned with. I could write a book about not only his accomplishments in the sports world, but also his accomplishments as a human being, but many books have already been written. In fact I wrote about Tiger in my book, “Breakthrough to Success.”

Look at what Tiger does in terms of how you live your life. Could you stand up to the level of excellence that Tiger requires of himself? If you raised your expectations, do you think you would be performing head and shoulders above your competition?

I’ve always been a huge fan of his because not only is he a consummate professional, he has such intense focus that you can see it on his face when you watch him on TV. I have also had the pleasure of standing just a few feet from him on more than one occasion and watching that focus in person.

Over and over again I heard the announcers at the tournament talking about how nobody would believe this if it was a movie. It would just be too much of a fantasy and the whoever wrote a screenplay that played out like this would be laughed out of a movie mogul’s office. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie or a sporting event with this many interesting characters and twists and turns.

Tiger is larger than life and his life is richer, more nuanced, and more interesting than any movie script. And this weekend he was Rocky, but he wasn’t fighting an opponent, he was doing what his dad had taught him. He was playing full out because that’s the only way to do it.

There were so many amazing shots from this one tournament. You can probably find them all on Youtube. But it’s not about the shots. It’s about the measure of the man. During the tournament some of his fellow golfers, who should feel really ashamed of themselves right now, wondered out loud through their pettiness and jealousy how hurt Tiger really was.

Tiger on the other hand downplayed his injury to not take the focus off the Open while he played through incredible pain that would have made almost any other player call it quits, especially when he was so far back that it didn’t look like he had any chance at all of winning.

And yet, Tiger not only didn’t quit, he forced a playoff and played another 19 holes on Monday. And then he made the impossible inevitable by winning…again!

Watching him play in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines for 4 days instead of the usual 3 was a treat and at the same time painful. My heart ached every time I saw him wince when he hit the ball or when his caddy pulled him up by the arm when he couldn’t get up by himself or when the pain of taking another stroke had him almost doubled over in pain.

And I wondered how he could keep going, where did he find the inner strength to focus enough to pull it out day after day?

Ironically during the tournament there was a commercial running with audio of his dad talking about how Tiger would never meet anyone else as mentally tough as him in his entire life.

He certainly proved his dad right that weekend. I’m sorry I won’t be seeing him play the rest of the summer, but I know he’ll be back next year better than ever because striving for excellence is just his natural way of being.

The question is, is it yours?

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