Thursday, November 29, 2007

Long weekend coming up

After not being able to take a regular two day weekend for simply ages, I was thrilled to realize this morning that this is a long weekend. So we actually have a three day weekend coming up and I am so excited about it. I have to figure out my schedule as I do have some pending work that I have to complete either before of after the weekends, so I'm not totally free, but it will be nice to have a nice long weekend for nothing but relaxation. Nothing quite like working to appreciate the weekend, is there?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Protestors attack Reliance Fresh store in Bhopal

Bhartiya Janashakti (BJS) party workers and activists attacked a Reliance Fresh store in Bhopal. The incident occurred when the party leader Uma Bharti, called on party workers to demonstrate against the opening of such stores in the state. Party workers attacked the Reliance Fresh store and ransacking it, breaking its windowpanes and tossing vegetables outside on the road. There have been lots of other protests against Reliance Fresh stores across India, and protests in Madhya Pradesh have also been increasing to other cities.

Shopping for tools

If you're racking your brain thinking of the perfect gift for your handyman husband, father or brother, then these Ingersoll Rand air tools are one of the best gifts you can buy. For a lot of people thinking of tools is a confusing subject and its no fun to get stuck purchasing the wrong tools. So go to the experts and get their help in selecting the right kind of tool gifts for the family this year. Believe me you will be thankful that you made the effort.

Earn money working at home

Since I started working at home almost two years back, I have been promoting it to everyone I know. It's simply the best switch I ever did. The kind of opportunities there are these days for working at home is simply amazing. Even a year back they didn't exist or were not as well publicized. While it still might be hard to find jobs on the Internet, there are lots of sites where you can find information on working at home and get started on earning some extra income while working at home. There is no cost to join and you'll find lots of job postings, articles and tips on how to earn money from your home.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday diet plans

Have you got your diet plan ready for the holidays? Just about everyone gains weight during the holidays and having a plan such as Miracle burn is a good way to avoid the weight gain or control it before it gets out of hand. Holiday food is such that one ends up overeating as well as eating all the wrong things, so it's not an easy task to control. I for one, try not to overdo any one item and try to have a little of everything, so I don't feel deprived but can also enjoy and relish the sense of a holiday.

Finding market reports

As a researcher, I sometimes reach a dead end on finding information about a company that I know exists somewhere on the Internet, but its a question on how to access it. A lot of market research and reports are not open to the public and that can seriously hinder my work. ReportLinker has come up with a solution for this problem. The company is still in beta testing mode, but have signed up over 10,000 testers already, and is essentially a new search engine that is focused entirely on market research and is the first professional search engine that permits users to access market reports that are available on the deep web for free. These reports are usually from embassies, ministries and trade unions and can be access for free.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Using light to create a warm welcome

We bought a really nice bedside lamp last week, but unknown to us the package only contained the lamp and not the shade. So, we have to go back to the store to get the same shade that was displayed with it. Hopefully it will still be available, as during sale times, things go out of stock just too easily. We're also looking for some new light fixtures that we can install in our entrance hallway as we don't have any natural light there and need to have a nice light to convey a warm welcome, as well as a practical light source that is easy to turn on even when you're carrying an armful of groceries. Do hope we have better luck this time.

The meaning behind Black Friday

Do you know why Black Friday is named so? It is the day that retailers start to make a profit and go into the "black" that the day. Traditionally, the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is hitting earlier and earlier each year, with retailers like Gap opening 170 of their stores at midnight and Old Navy opening 90% of their stores at 5am. Most retailers are opening up earlier this year, some only closing for a few hours for he traditional turkey dinner before opening up again to welcome shoppers. It will be interesting to see the sales figures from the day's sales compared to last year's and see how opening the store a few hours earlier has impacted sales figures.

Teenager gift idea

When it comes to thinking of gifts for teenagers, nothing could be trickier right? Well, you might have just found the perfect solution to your problem, with these High School Musical tickets which would make the perfect stocking stuffer gift. Everyone that I have spoken too, simply loves the show and think it would make the perfect gift to any teenager. What do you think? As gifts go, it is a nice gesture and something different as well.

...and the shopping begins..

Well, Black Friday is finally here and it's time to let the shopping begin in earnest. Retailers and consumers alike are an anxious lot this year and it will definitely be very interesting to see the results of shopping sales in a week or so. Most retailers are enticing shoppers with better deals this year, especially in the past week, hoping that consumers will start their spending earlier than usual. There are lots of online deals as well, on Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gifting dilemmas

It seems like the whole world is on the lookout for the perfect gift. So, here's another good idea for a gift. How about these makeup mirrors that would be perfect for a friend, cousin and even your mom. Searching for Christmas gifts is not the easiest thing in the world, but thanks to the internet it has become a lot easier than before. So now, instead of going from store to store, you can sit back at home and go from site to site, until you find just the right gift.

Go to for all the best deals on the internet

All shoppers interested in finding the best deals on the internet, check out, a site set up by, which is part of the National Retail Federation, one of the foremost associations in the retail industry. Cyber Monday is the Monday following Thanksgiving and is usually one of the busiest days for online shopping. This year, online retailers are offering lots of deals to get customers to spend their money online and all the information that you need about online sales is available at their site.

Decorating with light

We're pretty much settled in our new home, even though we still need lots of little things as yet. One of our top priorities is to get some new lamps to create a nice atmosphere. Interestingly, home lighting is what really sets the tone of a room and home and it is essential you get the right lighting to control the mood and ambiance of the room. Our living room is rather sunny from mid-morning onwards and our bedroom gets the morning light which fades pretty quickly, so we have two totally different moods in the rooms. By using the right lighting, we want to be able to create some warmth in our cool bedroom and cool down some of the warmth in the living room. Its actually quite simple and lots of fun once you really get into it.

Firefox Add-on for Flickr

Did you know that there is an Add-on that you can use with Firefox to access sites such as Flickr in countries where it has been blocked? Here is a link to the Firefox Add-on that you can download and install on your computer. It is free and very simple to install, requiring no registration, or anything at all. I came across it last week just by chance, but it seems to be quite a popular download.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Online searches

The cool thing about the Internet is that I could be sitting in California, but still manage to find the perfect charlotte cosmetic dentist and so on. I use the internet a lot for finding service providers when I moved and it really was a life saver, since it made everything so much easier. Who has time to go through a phone book any more, it makes much more sense to type it in a online search box and come up with much better results.

Blogger adds slide show option

Blogger has added a cool new tool that lets you add a slide show to your sidebar. You can add pictures from Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa etc to the slide show, where the pictures will fade into one another and give you a nice place to display all your creativity. The tool is only available in the updated version of Blogger, and I am yet to update this blog, so until I shift it to the layout format, I will not be able to use the slide show option. Seems like its past time that I updated.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sleep technology

When we moved we had to buy everything from scratch, since we only moved with our suitcases. One of the things that I was quite keen on getting was a memory foam mattress that remembers your body shape and molds itself so that you are comfortable and well supported. I haven't got around to getting one of these, but since I've already got a really nice mattress, I'm planning to get a memory foam pillow instead, which function on the same principle. I find it really interesting to see how technology is being used in so many innovative ways, to increase our comfort and make life easier for us. Wonder what they will come up with next?

The future of online shopping

According to research by Harris Interactive for Microsoft Corp., an estimated 45% of adults in the US shop online and the main reason the bulk of shoppers refrain from shopping online is due to security concerns, with 60% of shoppers who do not spend money online because they do not wanting to share personal information online.

A large number of people who do not shop online, also cited as enjoying the store experience and being able to shop more thoroughly in a brick and mortar store. About 20% of online shoppers have experience online fraud and 14% of consumers surveyed said that they had been tricked into clicking an ad that was a fraud.

Some of the other findings show that of the consumers that shop online, about 3% of them plan to do all their holiday shopping online, while 16% of them plan to do most of the shopping online. Almost three-fourths of the online shoppers said that they would do the same amount of shopping online as they did last year, while 13% said they would shop more and 12% stating they would shop less.

The most attractive thing about shopping online was the freedom to shop at any time they wanted to, with a greater selection of items and saving money as the other main reasons to shop online.

How do you decide on insurance?

There seem to be a lot of people out there getting family insurance these days. I really hadn't heard of it before, but it seems like a good way to get coverage for the entire family, making it both cost effective as well as reliable. I checked with my insurance company and they don't seem to offer this type of insurance, which is rather odd, since it is becoming quite popular. Hmmm, might be time to rethink my plan, I guess.

Being Five hits the spot!

Have you heard about a site called Being Five? It's a really great cartoon site that is created by George Sfranas, with a five year old kid who blogs using voice recognition software as the protagonist. What I love about it is that it gets to the point, is extremely incisive and really very cute. I'm quite addicted to reading the latest strip and would love to see it one day in my newspaper as well. I seem to be searching out a lot of comic strips lately, and have really been amazed at the creativity that one can find on the internet.

Could you manage without a bank account?

I couldn't, but did you ever wonder how people who don't have a checking account conduct business or their personal lives? Apparently, there are millions of people who do not want to have a bank account and rather keep their money in cash. I think that's a rather old-fashioned and certainly a risky move, since there is no way that you can compare keeping money safe at home with keeping it at the bank. Besides, the safety factor, there are lots of other great uses of having a personal account and unless you have an account, you're not going to be able to do a lot of things that are necessary for living a good life.

Expanding wi-fi zones

We have two Internet connections at home are in the process of setting up a wi-fi system, to free ourselves from wires. Take the wi-fi system to a large public development and imagine its scope. Well, its already been done, but I'm still awed by the technology that makes it possible. ArrowSpan is a global provider of Wi-Fi mesh solutions and has brought out a new wi-fi mesh system called the MeshAP 1100 Indoor. The system is perfect for use in large areas such hotels, airports, malls and offices and is completely reliable and secure. It's also a really great way to provide the technology without the major infrastructure requirements and installments, especially to underdeveloped areas. Another great feature of this new system is that its "routers form a self-configuring and self-healing wireless broadband data network" that can expand from hotspots to hot zones.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Does technology simplifly our lives?

The more one uses technology, the more one needs it. There was a time when we didn't need a cell phone at all, but now not only does one need a cell phone all the time but also a Bluetooth headset so that one can be doing other stuff while talking on the phone. The question is that, is it making our lives simpler or more complicated? While for a lot of people it does simplify their lives, it is definitely making them more complex for most of us, who have got used to the concept of having a cell phone handy all the time, but can well do without them if only we were to get more organized and structured in our dealings, whether for work or in our personal lives.

More of Blaugh!

I just posted on my other blog about Blaugh being back in business, so I thought I would share of one of their amazing comics here as well. They have been silent for the past two months and I really missed reading their offbeat and incisive humor. Anyone who blogs will understand what they blog about and it's really fun to see what they come up with next. You can be assured that it will always be wacky and to the point. Here's one of their older ones.

A Deal’s a Deal

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Online casino review site

While I'm not much of a gambler, I do like to pay a bit every once in a while and that usually happens around this time of the year, when everyone is getting into the festive mood. What I find really hard is to find the right site to go to, since there are so many and it has become really confusing to select which site one should go to play at. So, I was quite happy to find a reliable online casino reviews site that offers all the details you want to know about where to go to gamble online, what to play and how much it will cost you.

You can also find out about specials and deals on the site, promotions that other sites are offering and such stuff. While I like to play casually, there are lots of others who take it very seriously and like to know what the max bonus is for a site and what certificates it takes, along with ratings by editors and players. These are a good way to judge a site, especially the player reviews, which is usually the best way to rate a site.

On writing

Well, it's time to get back on track with working regularly once again, to have somewhat of a routine to follow and to make some money again. I've been on breaks so often in the past year, that my income has seriously been affected. On the flip side, I have been able to enjoy traveling and spending time with my family that I would not have been able to if I had a regular 9-5 job.

It's now over 2 years since I have been working on my own, either as a freelancer or on a project basis with my old company, where I do monthly projects for them, but work on my own pace and work from home. It has simply been a wonderful experience and I wish I had started earlier with it, especially the one year that I was relatively free in Bangalore. Oh, well, I really enjoyed my time there, so that had its own charm.

Let it be said, though that freelancing is not as easy as it looks. One has to be persistent and self motivated to be good at it. If you're someone who needs supervision or constant interaction, then its probably not for you. You have to be able to create a system for yourself to work in and to be able to establish a working routine. I got a great start working for a web content development company in Bangalore and that's been a really great start of my writing career.