Taffic Generation Through Community Blogging

By Derrick Tan

Have you heard of Community Blogging? Do you know it can generate a whole lot of traffic to your website? In the next few minutes, I will show you how you can generate traffic through community blogging and enhance your internet marketing presence.

Most of us started blogging with the fire to kill and the passion to excel. We expect our blog to bring in visitors day after day. We started off firing 3 posts per day and then down to 1 post per day. In the end, because of one reason or another, the postings become probably once a month. We start to lose visitors and in the very end, we saw a '0 visits to your blog' after you posted a sorry statement about not posting.

Does the above scenario sounds familiar to you? If yes, please kindly read on.

Community blogging is whereby a group of bloggers come together and post in a single blog. The blog can be of a single similar theme or various themes and topics. So you can expect the blog to be very active with posts after posts. You can relax and your buddy bloggers will post and vice-versa. This keeps visitors coming back as they knows this is a very active blog. Therefore, it's a win-win situation for the visitors and the bloggers.

So how do we generate traffic to our own website?

Most of the bloggers will have their own blog or website to maintain while they continue to post at the community blog. This also drives traffic to their own blog or website when they put a link on the post that they wrote in the community blog. Imagine having 1000 hits per day on the active community blog and just 5% click through to your website through your hyperlinks. And that would equal to 50 visits per day. In a month, that would be 1500 visits. This is free traffic.

One community blog that I've just joined is 99Bloggers. It's a blog that talks on various topics with many friendly bloggers. It's a new startup but I expect the blog to be a hit soon as all the bloggers have one thing in mind and that is to drive the blog up the charts. It's getting approx. 100 hits per day at the moment but soon, we will expect more to come.

One thing is for sure. It's always better to join a new startup than something that has already been established. You will be sure your links will be up there when the page rank of the site goes up. I don't think it would be that easy if you are going to join some that is well established.

I'm neither a great internet marketer nor someone who has created a large fortune from the internet. I'm just someone who wants to get out of the rat race - out of all the office politics. I hope to show you the way into the world of Internet Marketing - free. I thought knowledge should be shared.

Derrick Tan
Learn Internet Marketing Free

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Achieve Financial Freedom - Buy One More House

By Alexandra Taylor, M.d.

If you were able to achieve financial freedom now, wouldn't that ensure a more comfortable lifestyle in your future years? I submit that the key to your future wealth may be to buy one more house now.

It is said that there are more millionaires because of real estate than any other investment. After many years of home ownership, people often discover that their house has greatly appreciated in value, and is worth many times what they originally paid. Although real estate markets are cyclical and there will always be ups and downs, the general trend in the long run is generally up. Imagine how much better off many of our elderly would be today, if they had made the effort to buy one more house?

Right now, in most areas of the country, real estate prices are dropping and may continue to do so for some time. After years of record-breaking appreciation, resulting in some of the hottest markets in history, we are now experiencing a normal market correction. In addition, a large number of sub prime lenders have recently gone out of business because they took too much risk, and now people are not as easily able to get zero-down loans as before. Thus, there are fewer qualified buyers who have a down payment who can qualify for a mortgage. These changes have resulted in more houses for sale, and fewer buyers who want them. It follows then, that sellers who would like to sell, but who have not had many offers are probably getting impatient, especially if their homes have been on the market for many months. The good news for buyers is this: the longer a property is on the market, the more likely it can be bought at a lower price using creative strategies.

Now is the ideal time to invest in real estate because buyers have never been more motivated! More "For Sale" signs have switched to "For Rent" signs than ever before. Desperate sellers are settling for rental income rather than paying for a vacant home with no buyer in sight. Now, many sellers are willing to consider alternatives to the typical sales transaction.

Today, both buyers and sellers are seeking real WIN-WIN property solutions that will benefit all parties involved. Here are some examples:

Taking a property Subject To
its existing financing. In this case the seller deeds the home to the buyer who simply takes over the mortgage payments without assuming the loan. Taking this one step further, a property taken "subject to" can then be rented out to a tenant, and the rent collected will pay the monthly mortgage payment that the seller took over.

Lease Option allows the seller to have immediate rental income now, and the tenant-buyer has the option to buy it later. For an investor who is leasing in this way, he can sub-lease the house to another tenant-buyer for a higher rent than he is paying, and make a positive monthly cash flow now, and profit from the sale later as well.

Seller Financing allows the buyer to pay the seller his money in monthly installments instead of paying the bank. This allows the buyer to avoid having to qualify for a loan.

These strategies, and others, can allow buyers to purchase properties without necessarily using their own money or credit. In today's market, an investor can buy one more house at a good price from a motivated seller, and achieve financial freedom via real WIN-WIN property solutions.

Talking to someone who does what I do could help you acquire a second, income-producing, appreciating property, and ensure that in the future you will have a more comfortable lifestyle!

Alexandra Taylor, M.D. is a real estate investor who was an OB/GYN doctor for nearly 20 years. Having transitioned from health-related problems to property problems, it is her passion to provide real WIN-WIN property solutions that benefit all parties. She assists new investors to achieve financial freedom and have a more comfortable lifestyle buy showing them how to buy one more house and more! For those who wish to sell or those who wish to buy, Dr. Taylor offers free confidential telephone consultations.


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How Colonic Therapy Can Improve Your Health

By Carmen Black

This subject may make some squeamish, but I'd like to shed some light on it. For a couple of years, I visited a colonic therapist. I don't anymore due to the cost, but I definitely plan to do it again in the future. Some people refer to this as having a "high colonic". The process is not at all painful, and one feels tremendously rejuvenated afterwards. A colonic is similar to an enema, but at a much more intense level. A stream of warm water is flushed into the colon, reaching as far as possible. The result is, of course, elimination of a lot of toxic material and old fecal matter, as well as parasites. Most adults don't realize that they carry parasites in their bowels, unless they do some sort of colon cleanse every few months. A colonic is just a much faster way to do it than taking herbs. Not that there's anything wrong with using herbs for cleansing the colon. In fact, I've done so and highly recommend it in conjunction with colonics.

My personal experience with it was an increased amount of energy and a feeling of well-being. It also is an important way to maintain one's colon health. With so many cases of colon cancer arising, colonic therapy is truly a Godsend. I can't emphasize enough how great it can make you feel, and with every session, on a regular basis, you will feel better and better.

A good colonic therapist will probably make recommendations for dietary changes as well. He or she may recommend certain supplements to maintain colon health between visits. This shouldn't be treated as a "magic bullet" but an overall lifestyle change. If you're eating a lot of meat and a low-fiber diet, your therapist may advise you to cut out so much meat and add more raw foods. If you eat a lot of junk foods, you're basically undoing the benefits of your therapy. If you are concerned about the safety of colonics, please be aware that all colonic therapists have to be certified to perform the function.

To summarize, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose with colonic therapy (except a lot of bad stuff you could do without). You will lose your feeling of never having enough energy.
You will lose parasites living in your body. You can even lose weight with colonics, since most people are carrying around a few pounds of undigested food that they're not aware of.

It may take a bit of psyching yourself up, since it's an invasive procedure. But once you do it one time, you'll be hooked on it. And it's good to be hooked on a healthy thing.

For more great free info and resources for writers, please visit: Carmen Blackhttp://www.biasonus.net

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Does Your Career Passion Scare You?

By Chris Makell

For some, passion can be scary. It can feel like losing control, at the whim of a new trend or at the mercy of the prevailing winds. For others, passion brings energy, excitement and possibility! It's all in how you use it - for ultimately you own and control your passion.

So, do you get passionate about your career? What would it mean for you to be passionate about your career and desire to see it flourish and fulfill you? Given the ever-changing and dynamic workplace, we know that today's careers can be yesterday's hot topic for globalization. However, using the passion that inspires you in your career can be a great way to provide a level of security for your future. How do you do that?

Instead of feeling passion around a career, identify the "elements" of your career that really inspire your passion. This can take you to a whole new career level. Let me give you are real life example...

Sue, a very talented career professional, didn't see an opportunity to move up the corporate ladder. There was no support "pulling" her up and no one "pushing" from below. So she made a "passionate", albeit emotional, decision to begin looking for new ways to utilize and benefit from all the skills she had developed in her long and successful career. She stepped back and examined what it was she enjoyed doing and where she experienced real satisfaction.

Being highly skilled at "rolling up her sleeves" and taking a thoughtful, thorough approach to her work was most important to her and provided a true sense of satisfaction. She has a "passion" for taking current processes and making them more effective; as well as an expertise in influencing and having others see the benefit. As a result, she has found a new position that allows her to use her passion driven skills! She is now in a role she hadn't ever considered and really enjoys what it has done for her professional well-being. It has also opened new doors and created new supporters for her future.

The moral of the story...

Identify the elements of your career that you have true passion around and develop those skills. They will create for you the freedom to move into new opportunities when and while the world of work changes. And you'll achieve a level of personal and professional security that puts you in control.

Your career passion is important to you professional health and well-being. Otherwise it feels like a job and while it helps to pay the bills - you were meant for so much more. Take the opportunity to identify what it is, about what you do, that gives you that inspired passion in your career.

Here are some questions to help get you inspired...

o Is there something fun and challenging about starting a new project?

o Are you jazzed when you complete a piece of work?

o Do you like listening to someone describe their challenge or issue while knowing the many possibilities to help them?

o Does it feel good when you've sold your boss on a new idea, influenced a customer or project's direction or found a new way of doing something?

Passion, while it can be scary, can open up a whole new world of career possibilities. Let your passion be your career guide!!

Chris Makell is your career development expert, coach, consultant and author dedicated to the professional development of mid career professionals and women executives. When you visit http://aspirecareerservices.com/ and subscribe to Aspirations Career Journal for actionable tips and techniques, you'll receive "What's Hot in Career Development" Special Report free.

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My Acupuncture Facelift Experience

By Jodi Hutchinson

Men and women do it. The vain and the rich do it. What is "it" they are doing? Cosmetic acupuncture, also known as acupuncture facial rejuvenation, has arrived from the Far East and is making its new home in the USA. This "new" modality of an ancient art uses ultra fine, sterile needles that may erase fine lines, reduce deeper wrinkles, and enhance skin tone.

Recently, I was invited to experience this all-natural "facelift." Without hesitation, I was on my way to another new venture.

Treatment is based on time tested principles of Chinese Medicine that views the body as a whole-meaning, your thigh bone is connected to the hip bone and your hip bone is connected to your heart-not exactly what I learned in anatomy class. Traditional acupuncture has been used to treat various ailments from migraines to arthritis and beyond. Qi, (pronounced chee) is the vital force or energy in our bodies. It circulates within continuous channels and flows throughout the body connecting our face to every other bone and organ. When the Qi is blocked or stagnant from stress, environmental toxins or poor diet, it is reflected in our tired, sagging, puffy faces.

So what happens during treatment? After an initial consultation with the acupuncturist we decided upon a plan to free my laugh lines and "crinkles" of wisdom around my eyes from their blocked Qi. I was taken to a cozy room where the lights were soft, the air was sweet with jasmine, and the music was serene. Then came the needles!

They are ultra-fine, sterilized stainless steel needles which are only used once. I was told I may feel a little tingling sensation, but it was painless except for some light pressure and the tingling. I became relaxed as calming warmth filled my body while I became one with the pincushion.
Upon completion I was handed a mirror and my face was glowing with total beauty and I felt refreshed. The tiny lines were obviously diminished and there was no "surprised expression."

The recommended course of treatment consists of twelve weekly sessions and it may take a few treatments for the lines to begin to diminish. Remember: it took decades of living to create our lines of wisdom. As with all treatments, there are many factors that determine individual results. Make sure you choose and acupuncturist with excellent references and years of experience. My glowing experience was memorable and refreshing.

Jodi Hutchinson, founder of Darshän Beauty LLC, has her B.S. degree in Physician Assistant and worked in Cardiac Surgery for 18 years. In 2001, Jodi left her 18 year career to walk the world, which included a trek across the Himalayan Mountains. Upon returning to the states, she was given a box of exotic face crèmes. Intrigued by the product purity and bio-energy qualities, she traveled back to India to meet the founding family of the herbal company. She created Darshän Beauty LLC following her return. A journey into the Indian jungle in 2004, to walk with the tribal villagers and farmers, ensured Jodi that working conditions and wages were equitable, and that the land, rivers, and herbs were not being overharvested. Jodi then returned to the USA to find that she had unknowingly contracted a complicated case of cerebral malaria. A near-death experience would transform and reawaken her into the eternal world of "beauty beyond appearance."

For more information visit http://www.darshanbeauty.com

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Benefits Of Being An Affiliate Marketer

By Maxwell E Whitson

Affiliate marketing has become one of the most effective ways to advertise online. It is also one of the easiest ways for anyone with a website to make a profit online and achieve affiliate marketing success. It is an agreement between the merchant and a website owner. The website owner, or the affiliate, allows the merchant to advertise on their site by linking the merchant's website. In exchange, the merchant pays the affiliate a certain percent commission for every sale that goes through his site.

Affiliate marketing programs are a win-win situation for both the merchant and the affiliate. This is because it is paid based only on performance. The more sales you make for the merchant as an affiliate the more money you get in return. Both the merchant and the affiliate reap the reward in affiliate marketing. In the merchant's point of view it gives them a wider market to advertise a product or service. Affiliate marketing allows their product to have maximum exposure online. In return, the affiliate makes an easy profit by simply putting up a link to the merchant's website. The more referrals there are the more profit for the affiliate.

Affiliate marketing is becoming a terrific way to earn money at home and it is easier than even to achieve affiliate marketing success. There are virtuously no product costs and the product is developed and proven by the merchant. All you have to do is advertise and find potential consumer to buy the product. Affiliate programs are usually free to join so affiliate so don't have worry about start up costs. There are thousands upon thousands of products you can choose from so there will be no trouble finding a product that relates to your site.

Another added bonus to affiliate marketing is that there is no sales experience required. Almost all the affiliate programs offer support when it is time to advertise the product. You can even build a successful affiliate marketing business at home. The responsibility of an affiliate marketer is to find prospect for the merchant. There is no worrying about inventory, order processing or product shipping. These are all the responsibilities of the merchant as well as customer service.

Because the Internet reaches millions of people, you can find thousands of potential buyers. You can apply more aggressive and productive tactics. Another advantage of an affiliate marketer is the minimal risk that is involved in this business. If the particular product that you choose is not making any money you can simply try another product to become affiliate with. There are no long-term contracts when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Max Whitson began involved in learning about Internet marketing at the youthful age of 14. Now, Whitson is an internet marketing guru and has lead hundreds of people to success by making money from home.

For more information, visit http://www.master-affiliate-marketer.com

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Perfume for Women and Perfume Gift Sets Information

By Anthony J Smith

Perfume bottles
Have you ever wondered about women who pass by you and leave the most sensational, enticing fragrance that absolutely delights your senses? Well, then, it is time for you to stop admiring and get your perfumes right, too!

Choosing the right perfume isn't easy at all. The right perfume is one that should highlight your sense of style and individuality to the rest of the world. A good perfume should be able to add that final garnish effect to enhance your personality

If you step into any place where perfumes are sold, you would be taken in by the sheer extravagance of the perfume bottle itself. The bottles would come in rare and trendy shades, designs, shapes and so on. This means that it isn't just the description or the fragrance of a perfume that appeals to you. It isn't even the glamorous ads of your favorite celebrity endorsing a perfume that does the trick. Sometimes, it is that very perfume bottle that wins your heart.

Perfume bottles, as we mentioned in the beginning of this discussion, comes in a variety of shapes, colors, and materials. Thus, the overall look of the bottle is sufficient to reflect the personality of the fragrance itself because most customers are enthralled by the visual impact of a perfume bottle, the mélange of color and design that is an integral part of its packaging.

This is also a part of brand building and marketing to reinforce the visibility of a product again and again like a powerful imprint. Marketing experts build and boost the scope of a product to create a niche for it in the competitive marketplace.

Coming back to perfumes, there are many people who wouldn't even bother to test the perfume simply because the attractive look of the perfume bottle was enough to impress them. That is why packaging and design are given great importance today as it plays a great role in selling a product successfully to the end customers.

Perfume bottles that are currently available in the market have detailed designs to initiate a positive impact among the consumers. In fact, there are those who collect perfume bottles that look rare and classy. This isn't a joke. In fact, the International Perfume Bottle Association has thousands of members from across the world! This association enjoys great popularity with its readers and displays its collection of beautiful and rare perfume bottles on their online gallery. So if you are someone who loves to gaze at a spectacular range spanning antiques to contemporary designs, you shouldn't miss visiting the online gallery.

There are stunning stopper designs, unique bulbs that delivers a slight spray of scent and a great range of impressive designs that suit the current trends. The result is that the collector market is emerging as a place where collectors compete to show off their perfume bottle designs.
To sum up, we can simply wrap up our discussion on this topic by saying that perfume bottles are a collector's delight!

Read Other Perfume Related Articles by Anthony Smith at: http://perfumeinfo4u.com

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Spend Time With One Who Is Already Deeply Involved In This Journey Of Heart And Self Discovery

By E. Elysha

Learning to find that who "you" are is so readily available to your finding and that you can actually do something about awakening to this "you" of you that has you completely free of everything that you are currently suffering - because of the not being of this freedom that is who "you" are.

Coming to see for yourself that nothing is preventing you from actually being who you are if you so wish, that this "you" of you is something within your capacity - on a daily and momentary basis - of finding and stopping at and as. That you can actually begin your journey of realizing the heart of "you" directly and immediately, once you understand that this "you" is not the movement of the familiarity of the movement of who you have always thought to be you, and that you are very capable of being the immediate freedom that "you" are and through this beingness learning all about the notyou-ness that you would otherwise get caught up in identifying yourself to be.

One of the biggest questions asked again and again is 'how does one live this within the rounds of daily living?'

Once you begin to see that this is not a mental exercise of knowing some words, or having some profoundly tricky and deep insights, and that this "you" of you is actually an energetic movement or flow that is always flowing through your eyes. That it is always with you wherever you may go and that you may find this "you" whenever you so choose to do so.

Then you will come to see that you can be "you" on a momentary basis, no matter the arising - anytime, anyplace and anywhere.

The most difficult stage of this part of prising yourself loose from the grips of being lost to this "you" of you that is always with you, is the beginning stages of when you begin to get a move to actually do something about no longer being imprisoned, the arena where you are learning to see that you are not who you thought you were.

If you really wish to make headway through and out of your familiar place of imprisonment then spending a month or two with one who is already deeply involved in this journey of heart and self discovery would be your greatest advantage.

Once you begin to be who "you" are - which cannot be according to who you think you are - then you are finished no matter what is going on. You are home no matter the continued motion of notyou-ness that will continue to arise.

Discernment will be a natural part of you 'not buying the water' of others who are obviously not living the clarity and fullness of who they are.

You will be standing freely as this "you" of you that you are, flowing freely with everything as it is danced from within this same one that is this "you".

You will also - without any contradiction whatsoever - continue to learn of more of the notyou-ness that you find yourself flowing through, awakening to an ever greater flowering of the inner-ness of this divine one that is "you".

Elysha is a Self Realized teacher of the Heart. Visit Elysha's website for more free information and self help products - http://www.elysha.org - so that you can free up from the bind of the mind and stand in the freedom of the heart that you already are.

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Spend Time With One Who Is Already Deeply Involved In This Journey Of Heart And Self Discovery

By E. Elysha

Learning to find that who "you" are is so readily available to your finding and that you can actually do something about awakening to this "you" of you that has you completely free of everything that you are currently suffering - because of the not being of this freedom that is who "you" are.

Coming to see for yourself that nothing is preventing you from actually being who you are if you so wish, that this "you" of you is something within your capacity - on a daily and momentary basis - of finding and stopping at and as. That you can actually begin your journey of realizing the heart of "you" directly and immediately, once you understand that this "you" is not the movement of the familiarity of the movement of who you have always thought to be you, and that you are very capable of being the immediate freedom that "you" are and through this beingness learning all about the notyou-ness that you would otherwise get caught up in identifying yourself to be.

One of the biggest questions asked again and again is 'how does one live this within the rounds of daily living?'

Once you begin to see that this is not a mental exercise of knowing some words, or having some profoundly tricky and deep insights, and that this "you" of you is actually an energetic movement or flow that is always flowing through your eyes. That it is always with you wherever you may go and that you may find this "you" whenever you so choose to do so.

Then you will come to see that you can be "you" on a momentary basis, no matter the arising - anytime, anyplace and anywhere.

The most difficult stage of this part of prising yourself loose from the grips of being lost to this "you" of you that is always with you, is the beginning stages of when you begin to get a move to actually do something about no longer being imprisoned, the arena where you are learning to see that you are not who you thought you were.

If you really wish to make headway through and out of your familiar place of imprisonment then spending a month or two with one who is already deeply involved in this journey of heart and self discovery would be your greatest advantage.

Once you begin to be who "you" are - which cannot be according to who you think you are - then you are finished no matter what is going on. You are home no matter the continued motion of notyou-ness that will continue to arise.

Discernment will be a natural part of you 'not buying the water' of others who are obviously not living the clarity and fullness of who they are.

You will be standing freely as this "you" of you that you are, flowing freely with everything as it is danced from within this same one that is this "you".

You will also - without any contradiction whatsoever - continue to learn of more of the notyou-ness that you find yourself flowing through, awakening to an ever greater flowering of the inner-ness of this divine one that is "you".

Elysha is a Self Realized teacher of the Heart. Visit Elysha's website for more free information and self help products - http://www.elysha.org - so that you can free up from the bind of the mind and stand in the freedom of the heart that you already are.

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Wedding Through The Ages - Bridal Showers

By L Hayes

In most weddings, a very important ceremony intricately attached is the occasion of bridal showers. It is practiced with immense grace and elegance in nearly all wedding preparations. While it is true that it is a significant and indispensable part of pre-marriage ceremonies, it is quite interesting to note from where this tradition originated.

In this case, there have been two schools of thought which have been regarded as the events which triggered the origin of what is known as the bridal shower event. The first tells the story, set several thousand years back, that two young lovers decided to unite with the blessings of God. They were destitute and as a result, they had no funds at their disposal to spend on their wedding ceremony or reception.

Under such circumstances, their friends and distant relatives had organized and planned a small scale social gathering in order to celebrate the joy and pleasure as their union was about to be solemnized in the eyes of God. It was on this occasion that they were showered with gifts by their loved ones. This marked the origin of the ceremony of bridal showers and is considered to be a very auspicious one even today.

There is also another version related to the origin of bridal showers. This tale states the case of a father who had condemned the upcoming wedding ceremony of his daughter to a groom he disliked. He refused to bless his daughter and give her the customary gifts. As a result, the dowry was replaced by the giving of a bridal showers by friends and other loved ones.

With the advancement of time, the bridal shower ceremony is customarily organized by a member of the bride's family and in this event, the bride is flooded with various gifts by her family and friends. It is true that marriage signifies the end of girlhood for the bride and her graduation to womanhood. In most cases, the bride is to be showered with such presents which signify her journey from girl to woman. The bridal shower ceremony is one of the most memorable ceremonies for the bride-to-be and she is normally dressed in special attire for the day.

L Hayes is a wedding professional and owner of Wedding Favors Emporium. They carry an extensive line of unique wedding favors. They offer many popular gift ideas such as place card holders, discount and cheap wedding favors, and bridesmaid gifts. For more information about unique wedding favors, wedding planning, or wedding reception ideas, visit their website.

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Automatic Espresso Machines - Save Time and Money on Coffee

By Richard Balsley

Automatic espresso machines are undoubtedly a product of modern technology. These machines automate every process needed to make a cup of pure espresso, be it pumping, grinding, dosing or tamping. A fully automated machine also includes an integrated grinder, which will add the perfect shot each time for your coffee. These machines may be of a high price tag, but the features and easy usability of these machines makes it worth the price.

The main difference between semi automatic machines and fully automatic machines is that the pump works automatically, pumping the perfect amount of water each time, which is not so in semi automatic machines. In semi automatic machines, the grinding, dosing and tamping has to be done manually too.

If you have a special taste or you like to brew your own cup, then manual machines should definitely suit you. You control every process in these. You grind the beans yourself, you pump the water yourself, etc. Unlike in semi automatic and automatic machines, you can make the exact type of coffee you desire. These are recommended for personal use if you have a unique taste.

Automatic Espresso Machines are most commonly used in a barista, as the quality of coffee would not waver with each cup and a large quantity of cups can be filled with lightening speed. Semi automatic, on the other hand can be used in a home, where many cups of coffee are usually made once or twice a day. Manual machines are for people who like to make their special cup themselves and are thus prepared to work for it. What you choose should depend on your needs and likes. But one thing is for sure; all these machines have ensured that you get your refreshing cup of coffee made easily, periodically and specially.

Read more about automatic espresso machines at http://www.espressomachineinfo.com/automatic-espresso-machine/automatic-espresso-machine.php

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Make Your Cat Feel Comfortable When Traveling

By David P. Lee

Unlike dogs, whom seem to enjoy rides with their owners for adventure away from the home front, cats do not feel so comfortable leaving the comforts of home even for a little while. Trying to go for a ride with your cat can be quite an adventure in itself. By nature cats can be pretty picky and grow rather fond of their surroundings. There are many reasons why your cat doesn't enjoy traveling. Maybe they view the carrier as a restrictive punishment or the thought of going to the vet with his tools and practices are enough to scare your cat. For whatever reason, there are some things that you can do to help your cat feel more comfortable about traveling.

One way to have travel for your cat made easier is by traveling with your cat during the early stages of their life. Start out with short trips. A ride just around the block or a trip to the store are good places to start. These short trips should be done fairly often so that your cat can get used to travel and not be so nervous and anxious. You and your cat may want to venture past your backyard and check out the beautiful nature scenes after your cat has gotten used to wearing a leash and harness. You can try taking your feline friend on longer trips away from home and their cat furniture once they are comfortable with the small trips.

In the situation of spending long periods of time away from your home, you may wish to bring your cat along. This way the feeling of being separated is avoided for both you and your cat. For international travel you may need to check and see if there are any special accommodations needed. These special accommodations may include documents, vaccinations or any other accommodations needed for your cat. In the cases of quarantine, it may be easier for you to leave your cat behind this time. The stress that is involved with quarantine just would be too much unless you were looking to permanently relocate. Before you engage in the travel, have your cat visit the vet for any check ups and shots that your cat may be due for. Also make sure to ask about sedatives. You want to call ahead and make sure that the place of stay permits animals.

Information such as your cats name, your name, your personal residence address and the address of the your destination should be printed on an identification tag attached to a cat collar.
This is a very important item. Let's not forget luggage for your cat. Items that will be needed for your cat may include things such as foods that he likes, drinking water, leash and harness, bowls for the food and water, litter box and litter, scooper, some of his favorite toys, medical records, medications, first aid and grooming supplies. To clean up any spills and general cleanliness paper towels and some spray cleaner. Placing some disposable diapers in the bottom of the carrier will make cleanup easier and quicker.

When traveling by vehicle, be safety conscious. Prevent shifting and rocking by placing the carrier in a very secure spot. With out blocking ventilation you may place a towel over the carrier to ease your cat and give him some comfort. Talking in soft calm tones or even soft music playing over the radio can help your cat to relax. At each stop you make on your trip put a leash and harness on your cat and allow him to stretch his legs. Your cat should never be left unattended in your vehicle for any reason. Humidity that can build up in the vehicle can cause your cat to have heatstroke.

David Lee is the owner & designer of several pet sites. Find info on cat kidney disease, cat trees and for dog lovers German Shepherd training

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Build Muscle From Home

By Jonathan Potkins

Is it possible to build real muscle from home? I get that question a lot and the answer is yes!
You don't have to join a gym to build muscle or get stronger. With the right equipment and planning you can have an effective bodybuilding program from the comfort of your home.
Maybe you can't afford a gym membership due to your financial situation. You lead a busy lifestyle and would prefer to save time by training at home. Maybe you're simply too embarrassed or uncomfortable to train in a regular gym setting at the moment.

What ever the reason there are many benefits from working out at home. You don't have to wait forever to use the equipment. You don't have to smell everybody.

You get to listen to what ever music you like and feel more confident because you don't have a group of people around you. I could grunt, yelp and scream through my sets if I was in the mood without disturbing anyone (hey, squatting to failure isn't easy okay?) or train shirtless if I felt like it. When the workout was over, I could sprawl out on the floor in exhaustion and know that my post workout shakes were just a few steps away, and that I wouldn't have to hobble to my car and spend anymore time driving home.

The only real disadvantage is that your exercise selection will decrease because you won't have access to certain pieces of machinery such as a leg press or calf machine. You can purchase certain machines if you have the money to spend and plan on training at home over the long term, but for the majority of people this simply won't be possible.

The good news is that planning out a proper bodybuilding routine does not require the use of any fancy equipment, and all of the machine exercises that you would regularly perform can be swapped for free weight substitutions. Build muscle from home required equipment.

Here is the basic equipment that your home gym should contain:

1) An adjustable barbell with free weight plates - A cast iron set is probably a good idea, and you must also make sure that you purchase enough weight so that you can continually progress from week to week.

2) Adjustable dumbbells - This is much more efficient and cost-effective than purchasing an entire set of dumbbells. You should be able to buy the barbell and dumbbells together in a single set.

3) A bench with incline adjustments - A good sturdy bench is a must-have for performing bench presses and other seated movements. If possible you should purchase a bench that can be set on an incline and that also contains safety catches if you plan on training alone.

4) A chin-up bar - These can usually be purchased for 15-20 dollars and can be placed inside of a door frame.

5) A squat rack - This is usually the trickiest piece of equipment to purchase, as a full squat rack can be pricey. Squats are an irreplaceable movement and should always be a part of your workout routine, especially if you don't have a leg press machine handy.

If you can't afford a squat rack then you'll have to be creative. The bottom line is that you must have some sort of apparatus that will allow you to safely unrack a loaded bar and drop the bar onto a safety catch (or the floor) if your strength gives out during the lift. Don't ever squat without a safe place to drop the bar! Most full squat racks will also provide a chin-up bar on top, so you can kill 2 birds with one stone if you decide to purchase one.

There you go the best top five pieces of equipment for you home. Try using a fitness ball, no it's not girlish you actually get a really good workout. Do push ups on it and it works you pecs and your abs because your abs have to keep you center. Do sit ups and your abs get stretched while being work which increases your gains.

With the right equipment and information you can absolutely Build muscle from home.
This is Jon Potkins answering all your fitness questions.

For more information join me at http://freeyourabs.com - plus free report when you subscribe!

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Innovative Interior Design Ideas For Your Home Remodeling Project

By Tom Harel

Are you all set to launch your home remodeling project? Here are 10 interior design ideas to expand your horizons and help you on your quest.

Color Me Beautiful
Break out of the white, off-white, and beige, and let some color in your life (and on your walls)! Hit Designer Dave Bromstad, winner of HGTV Design Star and host of HGTV's new show, Color Splash, is big on color. "I think brown is a great color because it looks great in a lot of combinations: brown and yellow, brown and blue, brown and orange. It's been hot for the last five years and will continue to be hot. Whites and blues are also big, and you can make a big impact with reds and oranges," says the rising star. But he also cautions to not be too matchy-matchy. If you decide to go for red walls, there is no need for a red comforter on your bed!

Rock the Casbah
Moroccan design is welcoming, warm, inexpensive and relatively easy to pull together, all wonderful traits for those interested in Moroccan-style home decorating. "Moroccan styles are timeless," says interior designer Vanessa De Vargas. Morocco is known for its handmade works like carved doors and columns, hand-woven carpets, intricately painted tiles, lanterns, leather goods and silver tea sets. The color palette is warm yet cool. Earth tones combined with various shades of blue and pink are common, as are texture and pattern.

A modernized version of Moroccan style is popular in the U.S. because it successfully takes classic Moroccan-design motifs, materials and styles and gives them a fresh spin. Traditional Moroccan design is heavier and more ornate.

Back to Nature

Use Indoor plants to bring nature into your home!
During the 1970s, there was a new appreciation for the great outdoors. Consequently interior decorating incorporated macramé, redwood and anything in shades of oatmeal, green or brown. In keeping with the back-to-nature movement, homeowners did what they could to bring the outdoors in. Although the days of green and brown printed wallpaper are long gone (or so we hope), plants and flowering plants are still the rage in interior design.

Wallpaper is Back!
Wallpaper has been getting some really bad press in the past few years, while solid colors and wall patterns were hip and in. It seems like wallpaper is coming back, bigger and better than ever! Traditional block printed 'paper' wallpaper isn't the only option. Fabric wallpaper is also available and will add a luxurious touch to any room. Other materials include those with a metallic luster and paper that gives the appearance of silk.

According to Karen Beauchamp from Cole & Son, we are exploring new ways to use wallpaper.
Here are some suggestions on how to bring more patterns into your surroundings:

* Cover only one wall (its trendy, and you can be more adventurous).

Putting wallpaper on panels can be a great color addition to doors and cabinets. Choose the scale of the pattern carefully though: if the space is too small and the scale too large, the pattern will get lost.

* For the really adventurous, add a twist on tradition by wallpapering a ceiling. This works particularly well with high ceilings, such as those in period properties.

Everyone Feng Shui!
Take the mystical out of Feng Shui design and learn its practical uses. Decorating using these principles will help you create a simple, balanced living environment. Real Feng Shui is extraordinarily specific, and complex. The only way to do real Feng Shui is either to become a student of this art, and painstakingly learn the many principals and subtleties it requires, or to hire a professional to do an analysis and work over of your home. However, Feng Shui does teach us something that is very useful when decorating your home.

* Color: Pay attention to how colors make you feel. Color is known to have an enormous effect of people's moods and energy levels, however it is also very individual. You may be the type of person who is comfortable in dark colors, while other people may find it depressing. Colors also affect the nature of interactions, and when you enter a new space you should always pay attention to the way people behave to one another. If there is a room in your home where people tend to get into arguments, reassess the colors in that room. Bright or extreme colors can irritate people's eyes and increase their metabolism, making them more likely to fight. Darker rooms can put people in a bad mood and make them lethargic.

* Flow: In traditional Feng Shui, the goal is to maximize the flow of positive chi in an area. While you will probably not be able to detect the essence of the energy of a space, you can increase the feeling of flow in a room by paying attention to the way people and objects move through the space. The flow you want to achieve is in the essence of the room. You want there to be easy access for people moving through the room, as well as in and out of it. You want objects to be able to move from their storage, into use, and back without adding to clutter. This kind of flow is a mixture of organization and design that focuses on removing blockages and allowing easy movement through every area.

Island Fantasies
Whether you make yearly pilgrimages to the white-sand beaches of the tropics or merely travel via daydreams, interiors inspired by the ocean, sand, and gentle sea breezes bring the feeling home. Simply designed rooms, filled with light and fresh air, enchant the senses and have the ability to transport you to another headspace. Think of it as an exotic take on spring cleaning.

Imperial Beds
The Four-Poster bed is a timeless piece in any bedroom design. To avoid being heavy, new four-poster beds have thin posts, and are airy enough to be considered modern. Since four-poster beds are the most romantic of beds, a romantic design, soft, comfortable, and inviting, is highly recommended to accompany this fantastic traditional bed.

Classic White
The purpose of creating a white monochrome elegant space is to feel peaceful, serene and sophisticated. In a white on white room, you have more freedom to do things differently. "Clutter is kept away, everything should be hidden," says Ammie Kim, a Beverly Hills designer. All unnecessary items or things with colors should be moved. It's a very sophisticated and minimal look.

Kitchen Freestyle
Because we're spending more and more time in our kitchens and baths, there is a move away from the all-or-nothing "fitted" look of continuous counters. Look for more freestanding pieces of furniture or features with furniture-like qualities. These details won't be fussy but will further the notion that the kitchen is a room to be lived in.

Country Living in the City
Do you miss the open spaces, the country roads, and the peace and quiet that comes from being away from New York for more than a week? Why not transform your city apartment and go country? Combine the best of city sophistication and country rustic, and see how much nicer it feels to eat in that dining room you never use!

If you are looking to learn more about interior design in NYC, please visit the MyHome website - a full service New York contractor

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A Great Gift Giving Idea - The Timeless Gift Of Flowers

By Gin Wilburn

A great gift-giving idea is without doubt flowers. Flowers are a timeless gift and a wonderful gift for almost any occasion. Beauty, warmth and love are captured by the essence of flowers. A bouquet of flowers will frequently evoke a radiant smile and warm feelings of appreciation and love from the recipient.

Special occasions are great times for the gift giving of flowers or plants; however, any time can be a great time to give flowers. Frequently, one of the things overlooked when sending flowers is how good it makes the sender feel in knowing that they will be giving a gift that will be loved and that the recipient will be warmly thinking of them.

Here are a few great gift-giving ideas for the giving of flowers:

1. Your daughter didn't make the cheerleading squad. What a wonderful pick-me-up and a way to remind her of your love!

2. Your son just took his first step. What a great time to remember your spouse and celebrate the shared specialness of the occasion.

3. A neighbor just found out that her kids would not be able to make it home for the holidays. A beautiful boutique of flowers would be cherished by your neighbor and help ease the sadness by being reminded that others care. This great gift-giving idea will no doubt help build a lasting relationship for you and your neighbor.

4. A friend just lost her job. What a difference a beautiful arrangement of flowers can make. Maybe it can't solve the lost job problem, but the beauty and thoughtfulness will truly be appreciated and welcomed.

5. Send flowers to remind someone of a cherished memory you both shared. Perhaps you are flipping through some old photos and you find yourself going down memory lane. A beautiful arrangement of flowers or a lovely plant with a card attached describing the memory would be priceless.

6. Your son just got his long-anticipated acceptance letter to college. Send him a lovely plant to celebrate the occasion and to show him your love and how proud you are of his accomplishment. When he makes the move to the dorm he will have something to take with him as a reminder of that treasured time of celebration.

The giving of flowers is a way to make someone feel special and loved. These are only a small sample of great gift-giving ideas for when flowers can be used to create a cherished memory, brighten someone's day or remind someone they are loved.

Gin Wilburn is the author of "A Great Gift-Giving Idea: The Timeless Gift of Flowers". She is the owner of http://www.great-finds-for-you.com. The website provides helpful information on gift-giving ideas and great gift finds featuring flowers. A blog is provided featuring gift-giving recommendations and various holiday topic.

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Productivity Tips - Managing Your Inner Workaholic

By Sharon Teitelbaum

Does your job feel like a real-time experiment in the human costs of constant, unrelenting overcommitment? Was your last job like this as well? Do you dream of someday having a manageable workload? Do you fantasize about working for yourself?

Consider for a moment the possibility that it is you who keeps recreating impossible jobs for yourself. Consider the possibility that again and again, you re-create the habitual pattern AND that there may be other choices you could make at any given moment.

For many of us with a native tendency to overwork, overdo, and overcommit (and I count myself in this population), we will continue to recreate the scenario for ourselves until we own our own part in it and stop doing it. It's not about the job. It's about how we DO the job, our relationship to the job, and what else we do or don't have going on in our lives.

I'm not saying there aren't workaholic organizations. There are. And I'm not saying we aren't a workaholic culture. We are.

But I'm also saying that if you want to step out of this cycle, you'll have to address and take responsibility for your own part in the pattern. I have seen people leave intense jobs in organizations in order to create a saner life by working for themselves, only to find themselves eventually working the same crazy hours, under the same level of stress and angst that they had in the job they fled. You can be a workaholic anywhere, even in your own home office. In fact, when you have a home office, you don't ever have to leave work to go home!

Sometimes the task at hand is to figure out what standard is appropriate to the task. Often, the twin brother of the Inner Workaholic is the Perfectionist, who insists that every thing we produce must be absolutely stellar. One of the hallmarks of highly effective people is that they know when to go the distance and produce an A+ outcome, and when it's a responsible allocation of resources to simply go for a B+ result.

This month I have been in this conversation with a number of my clients and friends. I have been struggling with my own relationship with my work. When do I say, "Enough for today!" even when the tasks aren't finished? And when do I say, "Hang in. Another couple of hours will make a big difference!"?

I think the answer is unique to each of us, and unique to where we are in our lives. In my work with clients I have learned that it is never just one thing that needs to be examined, and there is rarely a simple answer -- if it were simple, it would have been figured out long before the person called me in to help. But I have seen people make big changes that endure, even while continuing to work the same job.

Copyright 2006 Sharon Teitelbaum. All rights reserved.

Sharon Teitelbaum, author of "Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: Restoring Work-Life Balance," Master Certified Coach, and motivational speaker, helps high achievers re-claim their work-life balance. Her interactive coaching process provides a powerful catalyst towards greater career and life satisfaction. Sharon's work has been featured in national publications including The New York Times, Forbes.com, and Working Mother Magazine. Visit Sharon's website at http://www.stcoach.com and subscribe to "Strategies of Change" to receive practical tips for work-life success.

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Why People Find Their Alaskan Cruise So Enticing

By Michael Klerck

I am not at all amazed to see so many articles on cruising in Alaska. While it is disturbing to see no fewer than 4 gigantic liners in the small port of Ketchikan at one time, for instance, they do seem to time their arrival so that our shore excursion into a tropical forest (yes tropical) was as memorable as promised.

There is simply nothing like cruising. When the aeroplane in the seventies threatening the industry and I watched the ships slowly disappear I was sad. Witnessing a resurgence in cruising and a plethora of wonderful ship being launched - more in the last five years than in decades before - I have been delighted to join the eager fraternity that sets sail regularly.

We chose Alaska because we wanted to visit North America for the first time. But also because it sounded so exotic - it would be, coming from South Africa.

It was nothing short of breathtaking. But it was also the ship itself - Holland America's Volendam that made it especially so. Imagine sitting in a leather chair nine storeys up in an observation lounge with 270 degree views. Imagine this in almost utter silence, while the ship glides through a narrow passage, with less than 100 metres on either side - we could hear the waterfalls, see the wildlife, and watch in amazement as whales and seals swam passed us. When she approach a 'corner' my naval instincts and ocean experience that goes back 30 years said no.
How was she going to negotiate what was literally a corner up ahead? Keep in mind this was the largest ship I had ever embarked - over 70 000 tonnes. I ran downstairs to call my wife, and we both watched in amazement as her engine pods (much like movable outboard motors) and bow thrusters allowed her to sail through effortlessly. I simply shook my head.

When we reached the glacier it was an experience that was quite simply humbling. All the statistics about the melting ice and the glacier itself retreating many metres each year were disturbing, but then again it was as a result of this that we could approach and enter what was now a 'modern' bay - not accessible 20 years ago. In fact because of the sophisticated engines and designs, few ships, even with much less tonnage, have been able to negotiate the narrow passages and actually turn around when they get there.

I delighted in videoing how the captain, by using a pencil sized joystick, was able to program the ship so that she turned so silently and slowly over a period of an hour, without any movement forwards or backwards. I wondered if my small frigate, of just 2500 tonnes, from the South African Navy in 1973 might have done this - I think not. Passengers on the bow, and those sitting astern were then afforded a view of the entire bay and the cathedral-like walls of the glacier itself as the ship turned slowly in the streaming sunshine of the Alaskan summer. The glacier itself was somewhat daunting - with pieces of ice ready to calve - we desperately hoped a large one would break off and crash with thunderous applause into the mottled green bay, but alas only slivers did so on that particular day. We were acutely aware that our very presence added to the environmental changes, but were somehow willing to compromise in order to live the moment - so much like most of us on our endangered planet.

In fact the entire cruising programme must be for many people, not excluding the planners and ships owners, somewhat of a dilemma - hundreds of summer cruises a year do take their toll - the air pollution itself is a factor. But owners and cruise operators do everything they can to minimize the effect - cigarette butts are a serious no-no, for example; don't even think of throwing one overboard, and I have do doubt that with technology, our gargantuan liner was probably less guilty of environmental impact than my teeny frigate all those years ago.

Skagway gives one a chance to take a memorable train ride up over the start of the Rockies and into Canada - one follows the path up the mountain on which hundreds of pack animals fell to their death as a result of their owner's greed for gold. We were simply delighted at the Humpback Whale food festival out in the bay at Juneau - Alaska's capital (the only one in the world that is not accessible by road). This 'shore excursion' of about three hours was well worth it - our small boat captain guaranteed, with typical American marketing gusto, that we would see them feed. And we did. What a feast! The glaciers retreated with the last ice age and carved a vertical passage down into the bay, meaning that the shoreline has a vertical drop of hundreds of metres into the sea. It was here that a family of Humpbacks secured their lunch with their sophisticated methods of diving and bubble netting their small prey.

Believe it or not, we experienced some disappointment with regard to wildlife. One can see more whales, and really up close, in October to January in Cape Town and surrounds than we did in Alaska. We were constantly reminded that on the multitude of islands we passed on the inside passage (essential method of cruising) that for each square kilometre there was one bear. Sadly, or luckily we encountered and saw not one. I turned to my wife one day and knew what she was thinking. For all the wilderness angle pursued by brochures and guides, we realized how privileged we were to live in a country with the greatest concentration of life on the planet.

Alaska seem almost desert-like, but from this aspect only.

We did visit a salmon farm and see beautiful eagles. The whale feeding-frenzy (not something we get back home - they entertain us back there with circus tricks in the water) is now edited and copied to a much viewed DVD back home, and we realized that Alaska was not necessarily (for us, that was) a memorable wildlife experience.

But boy, it sure put on another display. One cannot visit without feeling one has been transported to a world of sublime and inexorably, stark, and primordial beauty. It is here, as with other 'last frontiers' that the world of yester era can be experienced. The beauty is both harsh and delicate, a place where ancient forces: enemies and allies met and struggled. I shall not easily forget the sun dispersing dark and ominous clouds, just in time for us to bask in its rays and then literally gasp at the spectacularly beautiful colours that the sunshine itself was able to entice from the seemingly cold and austere glacier.

She, the sun, seemed to thrust herself down onto the orchestra of icy protrusions and phallic structures, like an excited conductor might charge at his musicians with his baton, evoking their hidden talents.

We found our very spirits dancing with every ray that fell and in some weird neurological space my brain did somersaults. I remembered the testimony of a LSD-taking friend years back, and his description of how he 'heard' a sunset and could see colours in sounds. Here Nature was the intoxicating influence, and I swore blind that night that I had smelt the very colours that danced on the back of the retreating glacier, and heard every moan of the pristine and exquisitely beautiful blue that shimmered in every crevice and corner of the dazzling bay!

It is a wonder that many of these cruises are so inexpensive (I hate to use the word cheap). On the cusp of summer - April/August, September one can find them for as little as $499 - an entire week of sublime luxury and relaxation.

Amazingly, with at least four meals a day, and at least one gourmet tray of delights at 2am, my wife and I actually lost weight! The food was nothing short of spectacular and while my wife faithfully journeyed through the entire menu each night, my waiter soon appeased my strange penchant for dining by serving no fewer than three small main courses from around the world. I would certainly not have been able to afford such delights in Paris of Vienna, some not even back home.

Choose your cruise line carefully; while Holland America's passenger list averaged around 45 in age, a small family of kids had the children's program and a full-time child minder to themselves - a distinct advantage. But if it's love, sex and rock 'n roll you're after you might like to take a peek at Carnival or a cruise line that majors in another kind of wildness. Personally I would prefer this type of party cruise in the Med, Caribbean or Mexico. Somehow the breathtaking setting of Alaska itself demands a quiet and humble respect, more in tune with sipping whiskies, and silently walking on the upper deck in the clean, ancient air.

Whatever your choice, go you must. You will not be the same again.

Michael Klerck is a freelance writer and winner of the coveted Mondi Paper Magazine Writer's Award for work in Men's Health, South Africa. His website,
http://www.luxurylinerholidays.com gives advise, tips, tricks and information on cruising the world's oceans.

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The Safest Seat on Any Plane

How to play the numbers on the big roulette wheel in the sky

When we think of a plane crash, we typically think of a catastrophic event, of an aircraft plummeting from the sky. But the majority of accidents involving planes also involve something else: survivors. Hard landings, bad takeoffs, runway collisions, loss of control, and other survivable events make up roughly 56 percent of airplane accidents. And your chances of escaping with your skin intact may change depending on where you're seated. Why? Because most people who die in survivable crashes aren't killed by the impact; they die instead from toxic smoke inhalation immediately afterward. Getting out alive comes down to two factors: surviving the impact, and getting out fast. So sitting in the middle of the plane is not a particularly good bet, since on many planes you're sitting over the center fuel tank. And if the wing tanks are ruptured, vaporized fuel can quickly explode. A general guideline: Your chances of survival increase the most if you score a seat by an emergency exit near the rear of the plane. There are two reasons why: First, sitting near an emergency exit simply means you can get out faster, without having to climb over anyone. Second, being in the back of the plane puts you farthest from the engines on most aircraft.

No one compiles statistics to confirm that one seat is safer than another, so these recommendations are based on anecdotal evidence and personal experience. Each aircraft is different, of course, but a few have seats that are clearly safer (and in many cases, more comfortable). Here's a quick rundown:

Plane Type: 757
Safest Seat: Seats 10A and 10F. Though these are window seats, there are no 9A and 9F seats to block your escape, and the exit doors are just a couple of feet in front of you.

Plane Type: 747
Safest Seat: Rows 61 through 64, closest to the window. The 747 tapers near the rear, and as a result, there are no window seats in those rows, just extra space to help you relax during a flight…and escape in a crash.

Plane Type: MD80
Safest Seat: Rows 21 and 22 have an extra eight inches of legroom because they are near the emergency exits. And they're far away from the engines, which are in the rear of this plane.

Plane Type: 737
Safest Seat: As far rear as possible.

For safety records of each individual airline and airplane type, check out airsafe.com . For seating charts, check out seatguru.com .

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10 Numbers Every Man Should Have on Speed Dial

The digits to get any guy some fast action.
By Jason Daley, Best Life

1. U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs' Overseas Citizens Services
You thought you were just bringing home a ceramic monkey, but instead you've picked up a concussion, 73 stitches, and a trial date in a Moroccan drug court. Luckily, you have the U.S. Department of State's Overseas Citizens Services on speed dial. Their case officers can assist in handling robberies, medical emergencies, missing passports, and pretty much any other sort of calamity that could ruin a family vacation. 202-501-4444

2. Weber Grill-Line
Wondering how to yank the beer can out of the chicken, keep grilled red snapper from falling apart, or smoke rib tips? Ring a certified barbecue expert (known as a "CBE" in BBQ-speak) at the Weber Grill-Line. These veteran grill jockeys — the line has answered more than a million calls since its debut in 1989 — are on call seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. central time (closed on Christmas). 800-474-5568

3. Language Line Services
This number offers 24-7 emergency translations of more than 170 languages from Icelandic to Urdu to Fukienese (say it out loud). All you need to do is enter a credit-card number — it's $3.95 a minute — and within a few seconds, a translator will hop on the line. Finally, an easy way to firm up account details with those well-intentioned Nigerian businessmen who keep e-mailing. 800-752-6096

4. 411-SONG
Unidentified catchy tunes — they're as infectious as smallpox. Next time you're dying to find out the title and artist of a song, dial 411-SONG. Hold your cell phone up to the speaker for 15 seconds, and the service will identify the tune from its database of 2.5 million songs (sorry, no classical or live tracks) and then send you a text message containing the title and artist and an option to buy the song. The call is free, as is the first time you try it. After that, you are billed 99 cents per text message. 866-411-7664

5. GOOG-411
The Internet giant has now wrapped one of its rainbow-colored tentacles around 411, ending the reign of pay information services, which never seem to have the listing you need anyway. 800-466-4411

6. 800-TAXI-CAB
The name and number say it all. This taxi referral service will hook you up with a local independently owned cab company in any metro area in the country, as well as some very nonmetro areas. Also offers limo services and airport shuttles. 800-829-4222

7. In Case of Emergency
Started by paramedics in 2005, the ICE program is an effort to get people to list their emergency contacts in their phone under the label ICE. Then, if you're in an accident, police or hospital staff can use your cell phone to notify your family or friends quickly. Simply input the phone numbers and store them as "ICE-wife," "ICE-dad," "ICE-daughter," etc. Some people also put a small red sticker on their phone to let emergency services know it contains ICE numbers.

8. EZLinks
If you're in, say, Phoenix, with an afternoon to kill and you want to get in a round of golf, all you need to do is call the EZLinks 24-hour customer-service line and they'll find you an open tee time. The free online reservation system is used by more than 900 courses throughout the United States, and it offers daily deals and a name-your-own-price option. If only they could add a name-your-own-score service. 888-885-4657

9. Hotels.com
Exiting Orlando after a trip to Disney when the car breaks down? In mid-July? The chances of finding a vacancy sign on foot are about nil, but one quick call to hotels.com, the online reservation giant, and you'll have the nearest available double queen from the 70,000 properties they serve. The hotel may not have a swimming pool, but, hey, neither does the car. 800-246-8357

10. Les Concierges
If you've got the scratch, opt for one phone number to rule them all: For between $295 and $795 a month, depending on your service level, a Les Concierges 24-hour personal concierge team member will shorten your list of to-dos to "pick up the kids" and "kiss the wife." Your over-the-phone assistant can set up Super Bowl trips, reserve squash courts, score hard-to-get reservations at exclusive restaurants, throw an impromptu cocktail party, name your new dog, and phone in excuses to your mother-in-law. 415-905-6082

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If You Are Looking For Real Peace This Is A Good Place To Start

By Sandy Shaw

Many people in the world today are looking for peace - seeking peace - demonstrating for peace - marching for peace - even fighting for peace - but here is where real true deep lasting peace can be found and discovered.

When writing this spiritual masterpiece which we know as the letter to the Romans, Paul is soon dealing with these great themes of Grace and Peace. You must get these from God - and through Jesus Christ. There is no other source. We are already seeing that it is not enough just to believe in God - it must be God and Jesus Christ.

Paul is telling us where to receive Grace and Peace - from God and through Jesus Christ - and every New Testament letter begins with Grace and Peace.

When a man has such a calling of God - when he has received such Grace - he has a special job with an awesome responsibility, and Paul carried it out with great faithfulness and loyalty right to the very end of his earthly life.

We have to bring about obedience to the faith. Obedience to the faith is vital. We let people see our faith in Jesus Christ by obedience to the Word of God, and also we reveal our lack of faith in Christ, by our disobedience to the Word.

Paul's calling was to go to all nations - to the Gentiles - to non-Jews - and one centre of the faith at this time was Rome.

He is writing to these believers in Rome - and calls then loved by God - beloved of God. God loved you and loves you. He cares and is concerned. This is active and not sentimental.

He teaches and explains that we are "called to be saints". God says I call you saints - holy ones - separated - set apart for ME! Called is EKKLESIA - called out of the world.

In Chapter 1 verses 8 to 15, we read of Paul's interest in these disciples of Jesus in Rome. He delighted in them, and he prayed for them. Real apostolic and missionary concern demonstrates itself in prayer. Do we have that concern? He prayed for people he did not know. Paul is not simply interested only in his own work, but he is keen to hear about others and learn about others and what God is doing in their lives and through their ministries.

Here we have a Church at the centre of the Roman Empire, and throughout the world people are hearing about your faith in Jesus Christ. I want to come and see you, and visit you. I have prayed about it. Paul wanted to find out whether or not it was God's Will for him to go to Rome. He did not know he would eventually arrive there in chains.

It is good NOT to know what we might experience in the future. But God got him there.

He wanted to give them some spiritual gift that would encourage them to be strong. This spiritual equipping would build them up in Christ. O, use the gifts. Paul wants the church to use the gifts and be open to receive further gifts.

And Paul's ministry was two way. He wanted to give and he was open to receive. He too needed to be built up - fortressed - fortified - edified. This is the pattern - giving and receiving - ministering and receiving ministry.

Be faithful to God's Word and sensitive to His Spirit. This Book will inspire and challenge. Romans is a unique combination of the spiritual and the intellectual, and is without parallel in human literature, unfolding spiritual truths.

One word sums up Romans - "Righteousness" - and Righteousness is not very high among the priorities in today's Church.

How many are hungering and thirsting after righteousness? All other things follow righteousness. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy, and we dare not attempt to change the order.


The Top 8 Things The Music, Television, Movie And Consumer Electronics Industries Should Do

By Scott Consolatti

The music, television, movie and consumer electronics industries (hereafter collectively referred to as the industry) have been struggling with the rapid advance of technology and the new virtuality of content. Here are the top eight things the industry should do to harness the technology and recapture the simple tenet of giving the customer what they want.

1. Offer three consumption models.

a. Offer all content free with ads.
All content should be available on demand all the time free with ads. The best examples of this so far are music videos at mtv.com and music.yahoo.com and TV shows at in2tv.aol.com. The worst examples of this are the television networks who still insist on having their content time expire after only a short period of availability. Networks should use the ad model to make their entire catalog of shows, current and past, available for free all the time. All media stores, such as iTunes, should also introduce the option of listening to or watching a brief ad per 10 minutes of content or so in order to enjoy the entire content rather than just short preview clips.

b. Rent all content without ads for a fee.
This is the same as 1a only without the ads for a fee. The best examples of this so far are Netflix and Yahoo! Music Unlimited. With the former, for as low as $8.99 per month, you can rent any movie in the store, and that now includes some that can be watched directly online. With the latter, for as low as $5.99 per month, you can listen to every song in the store as many times as you want with no ads. All media stores and sites should offer this option.

c. Sell all content Digital Rights Management(DRM, or copy protection)-free.
There will still always be a market for owning content outright, such as for those times where you just don't have an Internet connection or don't want to be tethered to a server. In these cases, for both online virtual formats and offline physical formats, DRM simply should go. It has proven to hamper sales significantly due to treating everyday paying customers as if they are pirates, restricting them to play back the content on too few devices, giving them the chore of backing up and managing licenses on their computer and violating their fair use rights. DRM will always be defeatable and the industry simply needs to stop investing an inordinate amount of time and money into something that has a negative impact on their bottom line. The industry should abandon it and get back to the basic premise of allowing the customer the joy of experiencing the content they paid for without any strings attached. The best example of this so far is EMI which is now allowing media stores to sell DRM-free songs.

2. Wireless Internet-enable all devices.
The computer cannot be the only access point. TVs, cable boxes, disc players, DVRs, game consoles, portables, boom boxes, phones, car head units - in short all playback devices - should come with built-in wireless connection to the Internet for access to content servers. The best examples of this so far are the Playstation 3 and the iPhone/iPod touch Wi-Fi Music Store.

3. End format wars.
When a new format is needed to advance the industry to the next level, there should be one and only one format that goes to market and becomes the standard. Like 1c, this applies to both online virtual formats and offline physical formats.

The current example in physical formats is Blu-ray vs. HD DVD. Two formats were necessary at first to spur competition, but the differences between them at this point are so negligible that ultimately one has to win for either to succeed. A standards body needs to exist to allow competition at first and to oversee a limited beta period to ensure customer opinions are factored in, but then to ultimately pick a winner before full-scale market launch. Companies should be required to register candidate formats in the early stages. The standards body should track investment and invention level of each candidate along the way. Then a winner should be chosen with a percentage of the licensing revenue going to all of the candidates commensurate with their investment and invention level. The candidates either agree to these terms from the get-go or they do not participate in determining and profiting from the next generation format.

The current example in virtual formats is mp3 vs. AAC vs. WMA vs. yet others for audio, and mpeg-4 (H.264) vs. WMV (VC-1) vs. yet others for video. Coupled with 1c, the industry should have standardized on mp3 and mpeg-4 a long time ago to ensure that all content will be universally playable on every device.

Correcting this immediately is essential. The industry should get a standards body in place as soon as possible and declare much overdue industry standards, such as Blu-ray, mp3 and mpeg-4. The marketplace will rejoice, sales will skyrocket and the floodgates will open on the dam the industry itself has been one of the largest contributors to building.

4. Allow playlists to be defined and stored on the servers.
What 1a and 1b do is move us away from the need to store and manage our own copies of the content on our client devices (or on our shelves). Moving playlists off of the clients is a natural extension of that. When we can dial up all content including our favorite playlists on demand all the time anywhere we have an Internet connection, the convenience of not having to permanently store and backup our own copies of the data will start to prevail. The best example of this so far is Yahoo! Music Jukebox.

5. Offer movies by the chapter in addition to whole.
Just as the norm is now to be able to buy individual songs rather than just whole albums, the same option should be available for buying the individual chapters of movies. Doing so would offer the same advantages as individual song sales - the ability to collect favorite chapters at lower cost and storage use, the ability to direct-access chapters on playback and the ability to arrange favorite chapters from various movies into playlists. Note that this would require players to pre-cache the next chapter to ensure gapless chapter-to-chapter playback, but that is certainly doable.

6. Offer a choice of bitrates.
Highly compressed bitrates were fine at first, but there is no doubt that even with today's bandwidth and storage (which will only grow with time), those who want to enjoy higher bitrates should have the option. With 1a and 1b, bandwidth is the primary factor, and clearly higher bitrates are possible even today. With 1c online formats, storage is also a factor, but even with today's capacities some may choose quality over quantity for must-have content.

7. Piggyback audio on video for physical formats.

The industry moving to a new physical format is a big undertaking. Assuming a new HD format succeeds for video, then audio should just piggyback on that success. The video format will obviously have enough capacity for audio, and consumers will not have to buy additional players.
Previous HD audio attempts of DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD failed for several reasons - separate audio-only players, no single digital connection such as HDMI, format war, etc. - all of which can be avoided once either Blu-ray or HD DVD is declared the standard. Albums in uncompressed PCM, both 2-channel stereo and multi-channel surround, with HD extras such as music videos, live concert footage and still photos all played through an existing player with single HDMI connection would be very compelling. With lossless compression such as Dolby TrueHD, perhaps entire album box sets could fit on one disc. These are exciting new possibilities.

8. Leverage viral marketing.

This is an extension of 1a. Provide url-addressability to free ad-coupled content that sites anywhere can provide links to - it essentially equates to free marketing for you. It doesn't matter from where the eyeballs found the content, just that they found it. More eyeballs means more ad revenue in your pocket and more exposure that will lead to the eventual purchase of the content and related merchandise such as concert tickets, t-shirts, posters, action figures, toys, etc. A free ad-supported lure has always been necessary (radio and TV) for widespread exposure. The best examples of this so far are music videos at mtv.com and music.yahoo.com and TV shows at in2tv.aol.com. Music, movies and all TV programs should get on board and realize the massive new source of constant ad revenue never before possible without the new technology.

These eight things would take the industry out of its current slump and carry it into unprecedented growth territory.

Scott Consolatti is founder and president of Megacollage, a pioneer in online media compilations including music and video playlists, custom photo collages and text compilations. See for yourself how Megacollage combines the best of what today's online content world has to offer by visiting http://www.megacollage.com/index.html

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