Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Too much moisture can be bad too!

While so far the weather has been getting very hot, it hasn't become too humid as yet, but once it starts, there is no way one can manage without some technological help. There are lots of varieties of industrial dehumidifiers that are easily available in the market and several for the home as yet, especially for musty basements that really need them the most. There is nothing that spoils things in your basement faster than too much moisture and just having a dehumidifier can take care of it for you.

Borders launches it's new site

Borders will soon have it's own website that will give viewers the feeling that they are looking through books at their local bookstore, with features such a staff pics. The company has so far sold book online through a partnership with and it will not be easy to come out from its shadow. According to George Jones, CEO and President of Borders Group, "It's not the intent that we're going to out-Amazon Amazon at what they do. What we think is that we can still have a great, compelling offering."

The new site was launched on tuesday, even though the company hadd put itself up for sale two months earlier. Barnes & Noble has confirmed that it will study the viability of purchasing the company. A key feature of the new site is "The Magic Shelf" and the "Picked For You" section of staff picks. Borders will be offering free shipping for all orders above $25, as well as free shipping to Borders stores, where customers can pick up their purchase two days after buying it online.

Another benefit is that members of the Borders Rewards loyalty program will be able to redeem awards at this site, which they are not able to do when it was run by Amazon. The new Borders site will also offer rare, out of print and used books.

Orlando: a perfect family destination

Summer is almost here, so you had better plan your vacation if you still want to go for one this year! As always, summer is a great time to plan one of these Orlando vacations, which are always a hit with kids as well as the adults. Orlando is great for the kids thanks to all the theme parks and adventures. For the adults there is plenty of stuff to do with the dinner theaters, golf, fishing, shopping and since Orlando is one of the biggest conference venues you could tie up business and pleasure. There are hotels of every style and budget as well, so it is a good destination for people of all budgets, which is the question on everyones mid these days.

Monday, May 26, 2008

a simple shot

Been taking lots of photographs lately and thoroughly enjoying the process of finding good frames and interesting subjects. Here is a photo that I took for a lark, but was very happy with the results. I know it's not a perfect shot, the light could have been brighter, the picture could have been clearer, the angle about have been better, but this is the first of its kind that I have taken, and I love it simply as it is.

just a glass...

A card to establish your credit

With the kind of economic slump going on, it is even more essential than ever before to ensure you have a good credit and essentially have credit available. For a lot of people this is a hard issue to deal with, since a lot of banks and credit card companies will refuse to deal with or have very unfavorable terms when dealing with those with a bad credit record. There are solutions and ways around this though, so what you have to do is to find a company that lists and gives you all the information you need to find the right lender.

AcclaimVisa is a site that does just that, offer details on credit cards for all categories of consumers, especially those looking for credit cards with a low APR, reduced or no annual fees and a zero balance transfer option. What is really very handy about the site is that they have some of the best way to apply online to major credit card companies such as Visa, Chase Bank, Capitol One, Discover Bank and so on.

Here you can also find the best no credit cards that will fit your needs. These are cards for people who need to improve their credit history or for high school students, who are just going to start establishing their credit history. Before you apply for a credit card, do figure out how you live and how much you can afford reasonably without putting yourself in too much trouble. At AcclaimVisa, it is easy to compare benefits, find the right applications and fill them online.

Blockbuster gets aggressive

Blockbuster is unveiling plans to compete with Netflix when it launches its interactive kiosk system. These will be situated in several Blockbuster stores starting in June. The company has been testing the kiosks from NCR Corp and is also currently in talks with web ready handheld device manufacturers. According to Jim Keyes, CEO of Blockbuster, “We are actively exploring options to distribute that entertainment content to our customers via many different digital platforms that are available and emerging in the marketplace.”

The company is also growing its collection of movies. Blockbuster started acquisition talks with Circuit City in April this year and is moving fast looking to increase it's presence in the digital entertainments distribution industry. Another new launch from Blockbuster will be its download service which will also start in June, and has been done with a tie up with Movielink LLC.
Blockbuster is pursuing new e-commerce initiatives at the same time it’s working to improve the overall performance of the business. In the first quarter Blockbuster posted net income of $45.4 million on revenue of $1.39 billion, compared with a net loss of $94.4 million on sales of $1.47 billion for the first quarter of 2007. Revenue declined as a result of operating fewer stores, the company says. Blockbuster no longer breaks out e-commerce numbers in its quarterly earnings.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

future planning

When planning for a new home, the two most important areas that need to be thought of are the bath and the kitchen. These are the two areas that will require the most money, the most planning, the most time and the most of your patience as well. If you get these two rooms right, you're well on your way to creating the perfect home. So if you want to have walk in tubs in the master bath, then you have to ensure that you have to cut out something else to make it possible, not only for the money, but the time involved in setting it up. For seniors, these are a major investment, so with the right kind of planning, it can be made quite painless.

Hunting for bargains

Many consumers are avoiding their usual retail haunts in fear of a recession, and are generally only going in to shop at their favorite stores such as The Limited, Macy's and Ann Taylor Loft, if there is a clearance sale. The new favorites of many consumers have become T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. According to analysts, off-price retail companies are undergoing a "customer-gathering mode" where they are receiving lots of first time visitors to their stores.

Not only are sales forecasts dismal for many retailers, discounters such as Wal-Mart, Ross and T.J. Maxx are seeing an upturn and did better than Macy's and Nordstrom. Most off price retailers sell brands that are also available at department stores, but at much lower prices. Wal-Mart is seeing people shop at its store who did not earlier, showing how consumer perspectives are changing.

About 85% of people with household incomes of more than $100,000 reported in WSL Strategic Retail's new How America Shops survey that they were already shopping at Wal-Mart at least once in the prior three months. WSL CEO Wendy Liebmann says that means the discounter is well-positioned to prosper in a sluggish economy.

"The door is already open to (higher-income customers); now they just may be spending more than they did before," says Liebmann, whose company's survey results will be issued this month. "These people are thinking, 'Why shouldn't I save the 20 cents on toilet paper, because it all adds up.' "

Wal-Mart is probably even better positioned than the off-price retailers because it doesn't rely so much on discretionary fashion and home furnishings. Rather, it's the largely recession-proof staples — food, health and beauty aids, cleaning products and other home essentials — that draw mobs to Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A vacation lifestyle

I love the idea of renting a place on vacation for about a month and settling in to relax and live a different life of sorts. Well, if you rent one of these North Padre Island rentals, then it might just be possible to live a vacation life for a while before getting back to the real world. A lot of people are taking longer breaks these days and often coming up with plans to start their own business in the location of their choice, and this looks like a great place to live year round. It might just be fun thinking right now, but to live there for a while and see if it were possible will be even better.

Borders to open new concept store in Allen, Texas

Borders Bookstore will be opening its new 24,000 sq ft store located in Allen, Texas. The new store will be opening in August and will be one of Borders 14 concept stores that the company will open in 2008. Borders launched the first of these stores in Ann Arbor in February 2008. The store has a fresh look and blends Internet and digital options, such as computer kiosks, customizing CD selections, publishing books, creating family books and family history compilations. Involving the consumer is a great way to connect with them and to keep them interested in other aspects of the store as well.

With the right lighting....

What really makes a house into a home is having some personal things and creating a look that is unique to you. The right kind of lighting, photographs, books and plants are some of the things that create that effect. We recently looked at these Hinkley lighting fixtures since we've been looking for a few pieces for quite some time now and were quite happy with the result. Lighting is one thing that sets the mood and it's not one of the things that we should skimp on, but instead go for the absolute best that one can afford. Also, be more inventive about the places where you can look and get good discounts.

Specialty retail at risk

Specialty store retailers are likely to be the worst affect in the ongoing economic slowdown in the US. According to an analysis by investment bank JPMorgan, higher costs of food, gasoline, rent, energy, interest rates, increasing unemployment rates and falling equity markets are all factors that will contribute to this occurrence. The bank lowered the forecast for Just Group, a fashion retailer due to this slowdown by 2%. The worst affected segment will be middle market fashion retailers who are most at risk of losing their customers.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

do you buy more books than you can read?

I've always been fond of reading, but I've noticed something a bit different now, that even though I don't get all that much time to read, I still love to buy books, as many books as I can and am way behind my reading. I have novels that I bought 4 years ago, that I have not had a chance to read! With travelogues and reference books, that's an OK time line, but novels are meant to be read, and with the way I keep buying books, I am unable to keep up with the reading. On the other hand, I am building up quite a nice library in my own home!

a perfect vacation?

I've not been reading as much I would like to, but during my vacation in March I was able to read 6 books! That's probably not going to happen anytime soon again, but it really is a great idea. Everyone should have a reading vacation every year, a time to forget about everything else, a time to let your troubles go and enter a world of someone else's imagination. I loved it so much, that would like to combine it with going to a remote place in the hills and spend my time walking and reading. It would be a great way to completely relax.

being smart about taking help

There are good times and bad times in everyones lives, but if you're having problems such as substance abuse then it's almost impossible to handle it yourself and the best way to take care of it is to go in for drug rehab. As easy and logical as it sounds, a lot of people don't follow this thought process and wait too long before they seek help. This is a medical and psychological problem and must be dealt with by doctors and trained professional and we need to support those who are facing such issues. The hardest part is actually putting what one feels into practice, as it is so easy to talk about all of this in normal circumstances, but when you are actually in the middle of it, it must seem to be the most confusing decision.

looking back

Time just seems to by flying by these days. May barely started and here we are at the middle of the month already. It's hard to keep track of things in the past as they seem to be flying by at such a great speed. They say that if time is going by fast in your perspective, then you are happy, contented and of course busy, so this is good way to doing a reality check of sorts, tracking happy and not-so-happy phases in ones lives. Might not always work of course, but it is a good way to look back and reflect on times gone.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

targeting seniors

One major part of the travel explosion is that there are a lot more older travelers these days. People are in better health and the travel industry has been making lots of special offers to this segment to attract them to take trips. There are lots of special group tours with medical facilities at hand, so you will have someone to remind you to take that medicare supplement while you're away. Medical reasons are a major impediment to travel for seniors and if this one aspect is taken care of, then they are likely to travel a whole lot more. We're definitely going to be seeing more inventive packages in the future targeted to this group.

the changing world of travel

The world of travel is changing and becoming ever more efficient thanks to there being so many choices. The amount of information that is available on different destinations, hotels, excursions, monuments etc is quite amazing, and thanks to the Internet, it is all so easily accessible to the average person.Earlier one had to depend solely on one's local travel agent and whatever rate and deal they gave you, that was it. One really didn't have any other choice at all. But now, we have unlimited number of choices and the hard part is deciding where to go. A good kind of hard decision, I think.