Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Starting on investments

As one progresses in life and starts to accomplish goals, one realizes the importance of creating an investment fund of some sort. The two best investment options are either mutual funds or land investment, which is usually for the longer run. For a lot of people, short term investing is a good way to start off, and then branch off into long term investments which you will not want to touch for many years to come. We recently set aside some money to invest and have started off two separate streams of investment, one with mutual funds and one with property. Each month we add to our savings and to our investments, which will add up to a good amount in the long term.

Different kind of travel plans

I love being an armchair traveler, and these past few weeks I have been able to do just that. It all started with a travel assignment I got and then spiraled into much more than that. I did do some research for my assignment, but after a while it ceased being work and started to seem more like I was actually planning our next vacation or some such thing. With the travel that we've had lately, I'm going towards a more simpler kind of vacation now, something different than just a series of sightseeing and shopping excursions, something that I will remember more than any other vacation, something that will stand out in my mind as being exceptional. Not an easy task, but everyone must aspire to something right?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Online shopping

Being able to shop on the Internet has made things a lot easier for some consumers. It affords privacy and discretion as one is able to shop in one's own home for things like women's lingerie if one choses to. Consumers now days want options and choice more than anything else and if they have lots of choice of what to shop, here to shop, how to shop, they will feel more positive about a store. That really is the whole point of being able to shop online, it gives you more choice and by being in the drivers seat consumers feel stronger and more apt to spending.

New work week rocks!

Where does the time disappear here? It's amazing that it's going to be February already, already a month into the new year and I can't figure how just where the time is going. I quite like the weekend system here that makes it all seem to go by so fast. I don't dread Monday mornings any more, since there is nothing to dread as it's not the first day of the week and Thursdays are my new best friend. They seem to come so quickly these days!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Printing digital photographs

I've really been spending a lot of time taking pictures and uploading pictures and am getting more and more involved in understanding how to take good pictures. So, I was quite happy when I came across these Shutterfly coupons that will be able to help me get some of my pictures printed and delivered directly to me at home. Ever since I started taking pictures on a digital camera, I have not been printing them out and am missing being able to look at them in an album rather than just on the computer. This way, I will be able to frame them and have a physical copy to mail to friends and family.

Freelance timings

The weekend is here and it's almost time to rest. Almost, as I do have some pending work as yet to finish off first. As a freelancer, you can't be sure of always being able to take the weekends off. When it does happen, it's great, but at other times, I end up working when everyone else is on a break. I do get to take long breaks if I plan in advance. I took all of October off as well as July and August since we were moving home, so it works out quite well.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Moving tales

As I've written earlier, when it comes to packing and moving, I've got lots of experience and have used a variety of packing and moving services. For the NYC area, these movers New York are known to be the best and offer extremely good services, so you don't have to worry about anything at all. Moving companies are sometimes notoriously tough to get through to, but that's unlikely to happen with these movers, since they have really built up a reputation in the city and work to better it with each move. Word of mouth publicity is a great way to give them a boost, once you're tested them out.

How much stuff is enough?

As is the case with each of our moves, one gets to be an expert at packing and organizing stuff even before the packers arrive. While I leave the bulk of the packing to them, I have to go through and sort out stuff so that I can decide what to keep and what to get rid of. It's a time consuming process and with each move we are getting a bit better at it. We're also not buying things just because they can be bought, but now really consider if we need it, or are getting it just for the heck of it, or if it's on a substantial discount. One really needs to think of what one really needs after all, and they are very few things if you really get down to it.

Changing mindset of consumers

As with all medical things, the treatment for drugs and alcohol has changed quite a bit in the recent past. A huge part of the change for drug treatment is the social change that has come about in our society, which makes it quite alright to admit one has a problem and to get and get treatment for it. This simple shift in the mindset of the average American has changed the way drug rehab programs are thought of and has also made them much more acceptable. As societies change and accept more changes, it is the people in them who have to adapt to new ways of thinking and behaving.

Is social media bringing us together or pushing us further apart?

The past year has brought a lot of changes in the online world. It has changed the way we communicate with each other, and changed the way we place more importance on being connected instead of staying in touch. Even though there are so many more ways of keeping in touch, we are actually becoming more remote and robotic with each other. I joined Facebook at the end of last year, after I received invites from several people, but still don't see what the big deal is. I'd much rather keep in touch with my friends via email, rather than looking through their pics, which felt more like snooping actually. Twitter was again totally overrated for me. I mean, you're really not that important that I want to know that you're doing at every moment. Truly. The only social media format that I have really liked is LinkedIn, which doesn't masquerade as a friendly place but maintains its professionalism and decorum. If there is one social network that you should join, it should be LinkedIn.

On buying watches

I've been looking to buy a watch lately, something like these ebel watches that I found a site for online. It's very interesting how the way we shop has completely changed due to the Internet. I always browse through products before heading to the store, so I have a better idea of choices, prices and brand selections. With watches, it is nice to be able to try them on first, but if you've been buying them often enough, then you know exactly what will look good on you already. When it comes to buying watches, I think it is important to go with a good brand as it is something that you wear every single day. I usually buy good watch brands and so some of the watches I have are pretty old now but there is still nothing wrong with them.

Do you still digg?

There's been a lot of up and down at Digg this past year. First it was the hottest site, then came a gaming controversy and by the end of the year, Digg itself was being buried. Quite ironic when the site themselves coined the term opposite of Digg, as bury, and the site itself was being labeled as a has been. I personally think people went too far, both with raising it on a pedestal and then tearing it down. I did like how Digg worked, even though very few stories by regular people ever made the front page.

Here's an old cartoon from bLaugh about Digg:

Backyard Digging

Friday, January 11, 2008

Following the trends

The biggest fashion trend these days are maternity clothes, it seems. With every second celebrity expecting a baby and all the tabloids reporting on who is wearing what, hip maternity clothes like these are what everyone is aspiring to wear these days. The trend started out a few years back and now has become a national obsession. You can't go anywhere without seeing people dressed up just as the celebrities are dressed in their maternity clothes. This trend is not going to go away anytime soon, in fact it's only going to get bigger.

Awaiting the weekend.

It's been a busy week and now I am looking forward to some relaxation on the weekend. Each week seems to fly by with greater speed than the one before and I can't believe that it's already the 11th of January. Work is keeping my a bit to buy I think, making the time speed by and not really giving me any time of my own to blog more frequently or to read or watch a movie. Do hope to catch up on all that over the weekend.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy New Year to all you car enthusiasts

Car enthusiasts just can’t get enough of all the mind-boggling car accessories that are available in the market. I find it extremely confusing to buy pretty much anything for my car these days. The Chrysler 300 accessory options are some of the most popular going around these days and if you have them, you are set to be a trend setter for sure. For a while, I was quite happy with just the most basic of everything in my car, but it’s easy to get sucked into adding some accessories to one’s vehicle thanks to all the advertisements and promotions.

Fashion streets to come up soon

The government has announced that it set up designer streets and special arcades for their products in major cities, to attract foreign tourists as well as Indians living overseas. According to Shilabhadra Banerjee, “We are considering setting up exclusive facilities for designers to promote special interest shopping among foreign tourists as there is increasing global recognition of Indian designers.” The government will also be promoting local artisans and craftsmen with fashion designers. According to Assocham, India’s fashion designer segment should reach Rs. 750 crore by the year 2012, up from the Rs. 270 crore at present.

Making a difference this year

With the New Year, I think it really is time for all of us to take an active interest in our impact on the world around us. We all need to do something that will make a difference to our environment, whether it is as simple as recycling or reading up on how phase 1 environmental site assessments are conducted. Each one of us has our own comfort levels of contributing and taking part in changing the environment, and we need to give back in our own way. Diablo Green Consulting is doing exactly this and is making quite a bit of headway in helping preserve the environment.

The year gone by

It's hard to believe that it's a new year already. 2007 seems to have just flown by, which is usually the case when it's a good year. For us, it brought mixed results, some things were definitely good, but mostly it wasn't such a great year and I was really looking forward to it's end. So, maybe that's why it went by fast. We certainly had a lot on our plate this past year, from new jobs, to moving to a new country and so much more. Health wise it was a worry-The year some year as well, and I do hope it will get sorted out soon. In any case, 2008 gives us lots of things to look forward to and we hope to fulfill some of our dreams this year.