Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Don't waste leisure time. Fun with pocket bikes

Pocket Bikes

by Xorsch
What do you do with your or your kids' leisure time? Learn new skills? Just have fun? Well, your kids can learn new skills as well have fun with pocket bikes (mini bikes), scaled down versions of their big brothers on the road. There are 2 types - electrical driven and gas driven.

If you get a pocket bike for your kids, get the electrical driven ones. They are safer and easier to maintain. And they can pick up valuable skills and if supervised properly, learn a couple of safety rules when they grow up and are ready for the road. Don't waste their leisure time. Get them pocket bikes and have fun while picking up skills and safety rules during their leisure time.

Plus if you ever go on a picnic or camping trip, you can easily bring these pocket bikes along and your kids can have loads of fun. Adult not excluded. According to the above website, someone managed to squeeze 5 mini pocket bikes into the back of the truck which is hooked up with a trailer. They brought the kids along and they had an exhilarating time.

Super Pocket Bikes

Apparently, pocket bikes are not for kid only. There are such a thing as Super Pocket Bikes! These are powerful stuff and thus for adults, not for kids. They can be used for racing. I think in some country, they are street legal, which means you can ride them on public road. However, I am not very sure about this. Perhaps you should check with the above websites as they seem to have lots of information about pocket bikes and they should be quite knowledgeable about pocket bikes plus they have a blog which should keep you updated on pocket bikes.

Mini Choppers

It seems chopper bikes started from the time the veterans of World War Two returned from the horrible war. Some of them started stripping down the normal bikes and modifying them till they look like that sleek bike seen in the photo on the left, except that one is one of the Mini Choppers. Cute isn't it. It wouldn't even look like a mini chopper till you put a full size man beside the mini chopper.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Don't waste your life - protect yourself, get Close Combat training

If you are fortunate enough to live in a close knit community, probably rural and isolated, you probably don't have to worry about crime and violence, rape, even murder. But in most major cities of the world, crime and violence, rape, road rage and even murder is often rampant and if you are not prepared for it, you may end up in serious problems. You may even lose your life.

Captain Chris Pizzo has a story to tell. He was almost stabbed to death by two attackers during a rage road incident. Loss of a life is a sheer waste since life is a precious gift from our Creator. Don't wait for a situation like what Chris Pizzo faced before you realise you need to prepare for contingencies like these. Don't waste your life by not getting close combat training, for if you get faced with a situation like Captain Chris Pizzo, it will be then too late to try to turn back the clock to get the crucial which may save your life.

According to Captain Chris Pizzo, in the 1920's and 30's when the British were anticipating having to face the mighty military machineries of the Nazi, they started a project to discover effective armed and unarmed close combat, and William Fairbairn was tasked with the project. Fairbairn was an expert in Jujutsu, Savate, and Kung Fu, Judo, Boxing, and Wrestling. My guess is that he combined the best of all the martial arts that he knew and combined them into a single, complete system of self-defence which according to Captain Chris Pizzo, is called Close Combat.

He chose what then was the most violent city of the world, Shanghai which was then cursed with opium gangs and much gang fighting, as a testing ground to try to find what works for close combat. Close Combat was born, taken back to England, tested again and proven by US, British, and Canadian commandos, spies, and special forces to be effective against the formidable Nazi military might.

Of course, not long after, with all the modern military weaponry, Close Combat was then considered no longer relevant and World War Two Close Combat was neglected for some sixty years. But fortunately for those who need it to survive a hostile environment, Captain Chris Pizzo somehow managed to find the three last surviving members of Close Combat experts and learned from them on a daily basis for years.

Now the World Leader In Self Defense, Captain Chris Pizzo can offer you The Truth About Martial Arts.

So don't waste this opportunity to learn techniques that can help you survive in the environment of crime ridden cities and not waste your precious life as you will then know what to do when faced with robbers, kidnappers, road rage bullies, murderers, and all the undesirable elements in our society.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cut waste by shopping online with Shopwiki

I just became a grandpa of the youngest "blogger" in the world. My daughter plus son-in-law sure splurged on him. I am almost embarrassed to tell you how much they paid for a baby stroller. The baby stroller we bought for her elder sister, which then was used for her plus her siblings, was a very simple folding aluminium frame baby stroller bought from a then very popular budget baby stuff chain shop in London. I can't remember the name of the bricks and mortar merchant as it was more than 30 years ago (OK, now I remember - Mothercare). We used it to cart my eldest daughter all over Europe, then brought that budget baby stroller back to my home country after I finished my post-graduate study in Belgium and then was used for all my five children. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what happened to that baby stroller. It probably couldn't last beyond the 5 children, or perhaps it was given away.

But at least we kept the cloth diapers for that long 30 plus years and they are now being used by my daughter for my youngest grandson and the youngest "blogger" in the world, plus a happy "blogger". That is really something in this age of convenient throw-away society. I am proud that I, and at least in part, my daughter, is living up to the title of this blog "Zero Waste".

We probably could have cut waste even further had Internet been in existence then as we would probably then like doing online shopping with sites like online shopping website for babies and toddlers items. If you are targeting almost "Zero waste", put "budget" into the site search box at the top of the above online shopping website, and you may just get to a web page like budget babies and toddlers products.

One thing more I would like to do. Get budget present (hope no one start commenting in this post I am heartless, cheapskate, stingy poker, etc.) but would like to get a present for my first grandson some budget toys for babies and toddlers and the youngest and happy "blogger" in the world plus confirmed youngest blogger in the world. Now in case you want to know what is my attitude towards presents is, have a peep at my first grandson at his grandpa's 57th birthday gathering.

Also, please note that the title of this blog is ZERO WASTE. Hope my visitors don't get too hard on me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Don't waste opportunity: Get credit card even with bad credit rating plus opportunity to rebuild credit rating

According to some reports, the number of people who are unfortunate enough to get a bad credit rating is increasing by the day. Such people will find difficulties in getting a very essential "tool" in our modern economy - a credit card. However, if you belong to this category of people, don't give up hope for help is available at Bad Credit Offers. Don't waste this golden opportunity at getting a credit card plus the opportunity to rebuild your credit standing. Just make sure you pay on time. They say you will get good credit history eventually if you do that.

According to BadCreditOffers.com which claims to be a free consumer resource set up to helping unfortunates with poor credit rating using their expert staff to continuously monitor the credit marketplace and bring the best "bad credit" offers available consumers. According to them, they will compile each day's top offers right and when I checked Credit Cards >> Bad Credit OK, I saw a list of 10 credit card offers with Category Ranks ranging from 1 to 10, with the credit card offer ranked 1 right at the top. Since the one with Category Rank 1 is placed at the top, I would assume that those with lower Category Ranks are considered better offers but could not find information on the site to confirm it. If you are considering using their free service and wish to make informed decisions, you should contact them at Contact Us - Bad Credit Offers.

Apparently, they don't just help people with bad credit ratings to secure credit cards, but also home loans. They have the Home Loans >> Bad Credit OK plus others like Home Loans, Auto Loans, Personal Loans, Credit Reports and Credit Repair.

So don't waste this opportunity. Credit cards are a great convenience and in these days of insecurity where carrying too much cash is not a good idea. More important is rebuilding your credit rating as I suspect credit ratings are not used just for financial services, but probably by others checking your character backgroun, etc.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Don't waste an educational opportunities. Alternatives if you have financial constraints

A proper education is one of the most prized possession that one can have, even more valuable than money or other assets like houses, land, etc. The Chinese (and I believe the Jews too) are known to place great importance on the education of their children to the extend of making great sacrifices to make sure they have the proper education.

However, very often, there may be constraints like limited finance. Education is expensive. How can one overcome such constraints?

Scholarships, fee waiver

One can try to apply for scholarship. Some universities give scholarships or fee waiver to deserving students. Some universities offer some kind of work to help students pay for their expenses like becoming a tutor, etc.

There are also foundations like the Ambassadorial Scholarships by the Rotary Foundation, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Talbots Women's Scholarship Fund, Discover Card Tribute Award Scholarships, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Scholarship, Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America, Concrete Research and Education Foundation, The Electronic Document Systems Foundation (EDSF), U.S. federal government student financial aid programs, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, immune Deficiency Foundation Annual Scholarship Program, Indian Health Service Scholarship Programs, International Furnishings and Design Association Educational Foundation, ISS (Iron & Steel Society) Foundation, Lilly Reintegration Scholarship, Michigan State University’s Grants Page, The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Scholarships, The National Institutes of Health: Undergraduate Scholarship Program, National Tourism Foundation, Ohio Newspapers Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Polish National Alliance, Presidential Freedom Scholarships, Sallie Mae Scholarship Programs, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation College Scholarship Award, Target All-Around Scholarships, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW): Awards and Scholarships, Minnesota Students of Color, Korean Student Assistance Awards Program (KSAAP), Rhys Glynn-Jones Memorial South Pacific Scholarship Program, The American Cancer Society, The American Chemical Society, Tao Shing Pee Education Foundation, Peterson's Scholarships for Study in the USA & Canada, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, GreenPoint Financial Corp., Zenith Foundation, The Women's Sports Foundation, The State Farm Companies Foundation, Seventeen & Covergirl, The Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation, Miss All-American Latina Scholarship competition, Land Economics Foundation, Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting, The Nina Scholars Program, Amazon Foundation, Business and Professional Women Foundation, The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, The National Tourism Foundation Scholarship Program, Association for Women in Science, Datatel Foundation, Edison International Scholarships, Blakemore Foundation, John G. Williams Scholarship Foundation, The ASCAP Foundation, The American Dental Association Endowment, The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation, Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program, The Posse Foundation, International Education Foundation, Armstrong Foundation Scholarships, Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation, Electronic Industries Foundation, Electronic Industries Foundation, American Library Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), John Starks Foundation Scholarship, The Datatel Scholars Foundation, The AISE Steel Foundation, The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, Entente Cordiale Scholarships, Orange County Community Foundation, Franklin Lindsay Student Aid Fund, Greenpoint Foundation, Scotiabank International Scholarships, The Pittsburgh Foundation to Award Fashion Design Scholarships, Millennium Scholarship, ASM International Foundation, The Johnson Scholarship Foundation and a whole lot more. If any one of the above interest you, type or copy-paste the term into the search box above, tick the radio button (.) beside WEB and click search to search for their website.

In Singapore, there is the Lee Foundation and the Singapore 2000 BCA Construction Industry Scholarships. Singapore is also notorious for luring bright students to Singapore with scholarships. They even go to the extent of going around the world to head hunt for talent. One of my colleague who was sent oversea to pursue his Master degree in Plastic Technology by my college was head hunted by Singapore and ended up teaching in the Nanyang Technological University. They even paid for the penalties for him breaking his contract. My country which makes getting government scholarships and/or university admissions difficult for some races have lost many great talent to Singapore. My Plasma lecturer was lured to teach in a Singapore because he never got a chance to get promoted in my university. This is not related student study loan, but my former statistics lecturer Dr. CK Cheong, was lured to Singapore to become the CEO of SIA (Singapore Airlines) and led SIA to become one of the most successful airlines in the world, if not the most successful. Just mentioning it to show the extent to which Singapore is willing to go to get the brains to power their economy to greater success. If your country do not offer you the opportunity, do consider Singapore. You may find wide open welcoming arms.

However, not everyone will qualify for the scholarships, or want to study in the field which is specified for the scholarship, or are not resident of a designated state. What do you do then? Give up and waste your talent? No - there are alternatives.

Private Student Loans

One possibility is getting a Private Student Loans to help get you through college. Loan means you will have to pay back for the loan after you graduate and start working. But that is much better than giving up and not going to college at all because of lack of finance. There are various places where you can apply for a student loan. One of them is NextStudent.

Now, you may already have a private student loan or perhaps even more than one private student loans. These loans have carry high or varying interest rates, and you would like to get a lower interest rate or consolidate your student loans into a single loan for convenience or to change from an unpredictable varying interest rate to a stable fixed interest rate which makes planning easier. This is possible via Student Loan Consolidation.

Other than the advantages of consolidating your student loans into one above, other advantages may include reducing the monthly repayments and/or getting a longer term to repay the loan. Check out the possibilities at Student Loan Consolidation.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Benq 20" Wide TFT LCD Monitor Model Q20WS: Don't waste your money on this computer

I recently ordered 2 LCD monitors, one to go with my new dual core processors computer, and one for my son. The monitor's details are as follows:

Benq
20" Wide TFT LCD Monitor (Version 3)
Maximum resolution WSXGA+ 1680*1050
Rating: 100 - 240V, 50 - 60Hz, 1amp

Product Name: (blanked out for privacy as I think this is only for this particular monitor)
Model: Q20WS
Brightness: 300 nits
Contrast: 1000:1
Response time: 5ms
Senseye Technology
D-Sub/DVI Dual Input

I previosly had to pay through my nose to replace a switch on a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitor a long time ago. After that, I resolved never to connect a monitor direct to the computer, but to get the electrical power by plugging into a socket on an electrical extension cable plus a row of power sockets (power strip). The reason is that I my computer is on practically the whole of my wakining hours and sometimes when I am half way through a task, I leave the computer on and switch off the monitor when I take a rest or when I go to bed. This obviously is to save on electricity useage, my electrical bill and also because I am environmentally conscious.

The problem with Benq 20" Wide TFT LCD Monitor is then once you switch the monitor on, when you switch the power on again, the monitor will remain off until you switch it on from the switch on the monitor itself even though you never touch it when the monitor is powered off. I made a support request to Benq and got the response that the reason for them designing the monitor this way is to protect the monitor from damage from a power surge. I replied that to the best of my knowledge, power surge is dependent on the electricity supplier and not when you switch on a computer. Power surge can occur anytime. Power surge damage to electircal appliences can only be protected by a power surge protector and not by forcing the user to switch the electrical appliance using a built-in switch on the electrical appliance itself. I said I verified this with the local office of the electricity supplier. In any case, non of my previous monitors had this feature and non of them were ever damaged by power surge irrespective of whether they are LCD monitors or CRT monitors.

I asked how much would it cost to replace the switch if it ever failed and found that it was more than 10 times more than if I just replace a faulty electrical power extension cable (power strip)

I asked how by forcing their LCD monitor users to switch the monitor on with the built-in switch protect their monitor from power surge damage. I never got a response. I told them that I will be publishing my problem with their monitor on the Internet and this is what I am doing now.

Related post:
Will provide links later when I find the time to do them. One of them will be on an environmental blog Enviroman Says

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lenders and brokers: Don't waste this opportunity

Are you a money lender or a broker for money lenders? If so, here is good news. You can get 5 free leads from mortgage leads just for signing up with them. Why are they being so generous? That is because they are so confident that you will get satisfied and impressed with what they have to offer that you will likely want to continue with their services. They are confident that their innovative application process will provide you with quality leads to potential borrowers.

Not convinced? Well, you can read more about them and what they have to offer at About ModernLend. They say they offer lenders one of the lowest fee structures in the nation for and thus enable lenders to pass massive savings to applicants of home loans for purchases, home refinancing, home equity lines of credit, and home loans for new construction. Modernlend currently don't charge applicants any fees and so would be in a position to attract good borrowers.

Five free leads just for signing up!!! What are you waiting for? If you are a lender or loan broker, don't waste this opportunity! Fill up this simple Lenders registration form and you will be on your way to getting 5 potential borrowers.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Holiday gifts: Aim for Zero Waste and do it the environmentally friendly way

I used to travel. I traveled around Europe and the England when I was a student in Ghent, Belgium. As usual, there the souvenir shops. I remembered buying stuff like Swiss Army knives, cuckoo clocks, Dutch clocks, Scandinavian dolls, trinkets from Rome, etc. as gifts to bring home from my travels.

Then there are the holidays (festivals) like Christmas during which one is expected to buy Christmas gifts for loved ones and for events like gifts exchange. Shopping for gifts is not easy. I hope with the arrival of the golden age of the environmentally friendly Internet, the days of driving around to shopping malls to shop for gifts will soon be over. For the sake of our fragile environment, let us use the cars less and the environmentally friendly Internet more for our shopping.

Today is 3 November, and December 25 (Christmas) will soon be upon us. The That is the same thing as saying that the gift season is going to be with us soon. Going to buy your Christmas gifts the conventional way, that is by driving your car to the shopping mall? I hope not, I hope you will get into the environmentally friendly Internet instead, make comparison, choices and purchase your Christmas presents from one of the online merchants like that one.

Further, I hope you will also aim too for ZERO WASTE by choosing your gifts carefully so that is will be relevant, suitable and likely to be useful for the final recipient and not end up in a corner unused. A very simple is this illustration, choose a Christmas present for your husband or for another man from gifts for him. This SERP (search engine result page was obtained by using the search term "gifts for him" in that site's search box. Or perhaps gifts for her. This list of gifts was obtained by clicking on "Perfume" in the list of " Top 20 Picks for the Holidays" in the site linked to from the first link above.

There, you see, there are lots of ways to do a smart comparison shopping to get good holiday gift ideas and aim for ZERO WASTE.

Use gift cards : Avoid waste and prevent headaches

Buying gifts for family, friend, relatives, colleagues. It is a task I hate. For one, I have to scratch my head for a suitable gift to buy. For another, I would have to drive around to shop for them in shopping malls, etc., burning up precious depleting fossil fuel which result in green house gas emission and contribute to global warming. If you are a regular visitor of my blogs, I have a soft spot for the fragile environment, our one and only Spaceship Earth with no lifeboat. Where can we go if something bad happens to our only Spaceship Earth with no lifeboat. Migrate to the moon? That is science fiction and beyond reality.

Some people like shopping for and receiving gifts. I don't. I don't have even a tiny talent for gift ideas and would be hard press to come up with some very good gift ideas. If I need to get gifts for people, I would rather pay for it and leave the choice to them, for after all, they are the ones who are going to use it, and will have a much better idea of what items would be of use to them. Further, there is no need for gift wrapping, for that means using paper, which also means cutting down trees to make the paper. And after unwrapping the gift, what do they do with the gift wrap paper? I used to unwrap the gift slowly, trying my best not to damage the gift wrap paper, and keep them for reuse. But I don't really know how many people on the receiving end will appreciate my effort at conservation and reuse.

You may also know I hate waste. One of the reason I hate buying gifts is because I can never tell if the gift I buy will be of use to the receiver, or if it will be left in a corner to languish, unused. In fact, I have an issue with receiving gifts as you can see from this post: My first grandchild at his grandfather's 58th birthday gathering.

But popular gift cards may be a different story. In the first place, the gift receiver gets to choose his own gifts. In the second place the gift cards merchant has taken the trouble to take into account the preferences of his customers and the gift cards listed the popular ones there which is there as a result of the decisions of a wide spectrum of customers and would thus probably represent collective wisdom, and thus ending up with a gift card that are of use to the receiver is better.

Of course, you are free to search the whole selection of all gift cards available. Not only that, at this site, on the left sidebar, you will see gift cards categorized according to price range and store.

Have a particular preference for a particular store like Amazon Gift Cards? Amazon, the most successful online merchant I believe is one with the widest selection of gifts, and thus the best chance of your gift recipient will be able to get something that he or she needs.

The gift cards merchant also have provided a search box for you to search for gift cards according to the search terms you input. Plus you can do all this online from the comfort of your home right in front of your computer. No driving around to shop for gifts in shopping malls, etc., burning up precious depleting fossil fuel emitting green house gas emission and contributing to global warming. ZERO WASTE.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Don't waste opportunity or money. Use bridging finance

Bridging finance

What exactly is bridging finance? Bridging finance are used when you have need of fund now or in the very near future while waiting for come cash inflow in the further future. A good example is when you sell a house or other properties. The proceeds does not come to you immediately as normally as there are formalities that need to be completed such as getting a court order to sell the property if you happened to be a trustee for some properties for some beneficiaries, or for the transfer of the title to the new owner to be completed, etc. In the meantime, you may have come across a great investment opportunity which cannot wait for the proceeds of the sales to come through. Because you can't get your hands on the sale proceeds, you may have wasted a great investment opportunity. However, with the availability of bridging finance, you can get that bridging finance to put your down payment or perhaps even full payment for that great investment opportunity. By using bridging finance, you would thus not have wasted on that great investment opportunity.

Bridging finance are often used by developers of new properties who need cash to proceed with the development, but will only be paid when the properties are completed. Without bridging finance, the developer is stuck and cannot proceed with the development as he does not have the funds at hand. With bridging finance, he can proceed with the development and when the properties are completed, and the purchasers have paid for their completed projects, the developer will then have the funds to repay the bridging finance plus some left over as his profit. Profit making opportunities are thus not wasted by the developer because of the lack of fund.

Other examples are when you enter into a contract to purchase a property. The payment is due, but for some reasons, your funds may be tied up. Thus when you are unable to make the payment on the due date, you lose your deposit plus the property. If you are confident that the funds will eventually be available, you can apply for bridging finance to make the payment on or before the due date and not lose your deposit or intended purchase.

If you are in such a situation, and you happens to resides in South Africa, you have Smartbridge to turn to. Bbridgebond says they offers bridging finance and homeloans to the public with the lowest finance rates in South Africa plus they say they are fast and a applicant can be paid out the same day if all paperwork is complete and in place.

With the amazing Internet, you can have the convenience of filling in an application form at home at Bridge Bond online Home Loan Application. Truly ZERO WASTE. No waste of time, no wast of paper, environmentally friendly, no burning of precious depleting fossil fuel driving around to search for a suitable provider of bridging finance, spewing off green house gases and thus not contributing to global warming, zero wastage of investment opportunity or hard earned money in the form of deposit forfeited. What more can one ask for?

There is an almost similar online application form at Bridge Bond: switch a bond Application, but it looks pretty similar to the one above. What is the difference, I don't know. The only difference I could see is that the first one says "Home Loan Application" and the second one says "switch a bond Application". The rest looks the same to me.

If you are in South Africa and in need of bridging finance and want to strive to achieve ZERO WASTE, maybe you should fill in both and see what happens.

Wiser way to visit Italy

I visited Italy with my family in the 70's when I was a married student in Ghent, Belgium. It was not on a guided tour, as I don't like guided tours where they bus you hurriedly from place to place. I went on my own. That means I have to look for accommodation on arrival. Not a very pleasant situation. For one, I have to waste time searching for suitable accommodation when I could have been using the precious time to go sight seeing. Another thing is, you never know if you got the best deal. There was no such thing as the Internet then.

Now with the Internet, you have online hotel booking sites like hotels in Italy. Now from the convenience of your home, you can browse for a hotel in a location of your choice and pick one that suits your needs and budget best. Plus they have a Lowest Rates Guaranteed which gives you the assurance you will be getting the best available deal. This would be a wiser way to visit Italy, and will be what I will probably use if I am ever going to visit Italy again. Zero Waste of time and money.

I visited various cities then. Among them was Rome and Venice.

Rome, capital city of Italy

Rome, I am sure you already know, is the capital city of Italy. And of course I went to the Colosseum or Coliseum, or what used to be referred to as the Flavian Amphitheatre. It is the icon of Rome, perhaps even of Italy and is right in the center of Rome. The Coliseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public events such as executions, re-enactments of famous battles, etc. It had been damaged by earthquakes and stone-robbers, but is still one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions. The photo you see on the left is a photo taken from Yahoo travel, Rome.

There are other places of interest like the Pantheon which is dedicated to the seven planetary divinities and its interior is graced by beautiful, There is also the Roman Forum (Foro Romano) which used to be the commercial, political and religious center of ancient Rome. The Trevi Fountain which in Italian is Fontana di Trevi and is the largest fountain in Rome. It is said that if a tourist throws a coin into the fountain, they will eventually return to Rome. 30 years is too long for me to remember if I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, so I can't be sure of visiting Rome again.

But who knows the future? A revisit to Rome may be on the cards. If that ever come to pass, I will not do the same thing as I did during my past visit. I will get online from my home computer and go to online hotel booking sites like hotels in Rome prior to departure and not waste time hunting for accommodation on arrival.

Vatican City

The Vatican City or more accurately, the State of the Vatican City, is located smack in the center of Rome. It is the smallest independent state in the world. Among its tourist attractions is the Sistine Chapel. The photo on the left is a photo of Sistine Chapel, Vatican City taken from Yahoo Travel. Another popular attraction is the St. Peter's Basilica which some consider as one of the finest Cathedrals in the world, and the spiritual center of the Vatican. Others include the Vatican Museum, St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro) and the Vatican Grottoes. A popular activity in the Vatican City is to send a mail from there as the Vatican City has its own post office and it is said that mail sent from there reaches its destination faster than if sent from Rome's post offices just some short distances away.

Venice. also called the "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Bridges" or "The City of Light"

Venice is not nicknamed the "City of Water" or the "City of Bridges" for nothing. Venice is actually an archipelago of 118 islands separated by about 150 canals with the islands connected by about 400 bridges. A typical canal is shown in the photo on the left which is a photo taken from Yahoo Travel: Grand Canal pictures. Transportation is on water or on foot. Venice is known not only for its canals, but also for its very unique gondolas, some of which you can see in the photo. The gondola is now mostly used by tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies whereas transportation for most Venetians are by motorised waterbuses or vaporetti or private boats.

There are lots of interesting places to visit in Venice among which are St Mark's Square, Campo San Polo, Doge's Palace, Palazzo Grassi, Ca' d'Oro, Ca' Rezzonico, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Fondaco dei Turchi, Palazzo Labia,Scuola Grande di San Marco, Palazzo Malipiero, Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, The Arsenal, La Fenice opera house, La Torre dell'Orologio (St Mark's Clock), Rialto Bridge, The Bridge of Sighs, Accademia Bridge, Scalzi Bridge and Piazzale Roma Footbridge.

Of all these, Piazza San Marco or St Mark's Square have a special place in my memory, for I still remember myself taking a photo of my late wife stretching out her hand for the pigeons to perch on. Unfortunately, that was 30 over years ago and I don't know if I can find the photo.

For our visit then, again we were forced to waste time searching for suitable accommodation on arrival. How I wish that there was such a thing as Internet and online hotel booking sites like Venice hotels. We would have not wasted time searching for accommodation but using our short visit for sight seeing, for there is so much to see and so little time.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

How not to waste time and money buying Life Insurance

If you are a parent with a spouse/or and child and children who depend on you to bring home a paycheck every month for their needs, Life Insurance is essential. I bought Life Insurance when I started a family 30 years ago. Why did I do that? I know how fragile life is. I have 5 young children and a wife who will face lots of financial and other problems should had I left this world prematurely. I still had a mortgage on my home for which I have to keep up with the monthly insurance. Default on that, and in no time, my family will end up without a roof over their heads. There are other necessities like groceries, school fees, text books, electricity, water and telephone bills to pay, installments on the car hire purchase, and lots more. Minus me, who is going to take care of that?

Answer is very simple - my insurance company. For I bought Life Insurance even before I had my fifth child. I go, and the insurance company pay. The amount payable will be the sum insured plus any bonuses. Buying insurance then is not as easy as buying insurance now. I had to depend on a life insurance agent. Did I get the best deal? I don't know. But if I am to buy Life Insurance now, I can be more assured that I have got the best and most suitable deal.

Why do I say that? I have a computer at home connected to the Internet. All I need to do now is to turn on my computer and modem, open a browser like FireFox, my favorite browser. That link is a link to a site explaining what you can get from Google Pack which include FireFox with Google toolbar. There are lots of good things I can talk about Firefox browser with tab browsing, but this post is not the post to sing my praises about FireFox and why you should be using it. Perhaps it is, because this blog is all about waste, and with tabbed browsing, you can avoid waste of time, computer memory, etc. But we are at the moment more concerned about Life Insurance, as Life Insurance is more important than just using a good web browser.

So now back to Life Insurance. What would I do now if I need Life Insurance? I would probably surf to lifeinsure.com, the online source for life insurance, for I can easily answer a few questions by making selections and get an instant list of life insurance companies offering different different premium and conditions, make comparisons and select one, click the "Apply" button, fill in a form, and if everything goes OK, I will get my very crucial Life Insurance policy to take care of my family if anything happens to me. And all this is without having to leave your home, drive around burning precious green house gases emitting fossil fuel, contributing to global warming and wasting time and money searching for the best deal.

However, more likely, before I do that, I would go to The Fundamentals of Life Insurance – A Caring and Smart Financial Decision to find out more about the various types of Life Insurance before I do that. The reason is there are many types of life insurance like Term Life Insurance which is the purest form of life insurance and will empty your pocket the least. It is pure protection. Nothing happens to you, you or your beneficiary or beneficiaries get nothing. But if the unfortunate happened, your beneficiary or beneficiaries can carry on with life without too much suffering. If you don't want to waste money, this is the type of life insurance you should go for, for it is the cheapest.

But it is hard to sell something which is just a piece of paper with no possibility of getting anything back if nothing happens to a potential insured. So Return of Premium Life Insurance was born. Now the insurance agent has a selling point. If, to put it crudely, you didn't die, at the end of the insured period, you get your money back. However, you will have to weigh if paying the higher insurance premium is worth the possibility of you out living your Life Insurance.

There are lots of other types of life insurance. If you are still young, it is up to you now to go learn about the various options and decide which type of life insurance is suitable for you. As for me, my job is done. All my children except one is now working, and in fact buying life insurance themselves.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wiser way to visit United Kingdom

I visited United Kingdom twice, once with my family 30 plus years ago when I was a student in Ghent, Belgium, and once on my own. Our first visit was confined to London, in fact, mainly, of all the places, Oxford Street. The second visit was less that 30 years ago, but I can't remember exactly when. But time spent was mainly in the Patent office of London, pouring over the patent documents. Hardly any sight seeing. There are lots more interesting cities in the United Kingdom I would like to visit. One of them is Manchester City. During both periods, no one have any inkling of the coming into existence of the Internet, its widespread use or its usefulness. You only get what they call bricks and mortar shops or physical travel agencies with shop fronts or offices, etc. Mention online merchants, search engines or online hotel booking sites, and people will stare at you with glazed eyes. More about this later.

Manchester City

Manchester City is the second largest city of the United Kingdom. Manchester has a great history. It is said that this is the place where the Industrial Revolution started. You can still see remnants of that glorious past in the form of a network of canals and mills. It is an interesting mix of old and new for you will find shinny sky scrapping skyscrapers there as well. A good example is the Beetham Tower which some refer to also as Hilton Manchester or Hilton Tower. Very nice, but I am sure it would be pretty pricey. But it is now standing proud as the tallest tower in Manchester. Probably not the kind of hotel you would be going for if your aim is ZERO WASTE

But Manchester is not only business and industry. It is also a city of history, art and culture with many museums, classic art galleries and famous theatres. Art galleries include Manchester Art Gallery, Cornerhouse, The Lowry. The little photo you see on the left is a photo of one such Manchester Art Gallery taken from Entertainment Guide To Manchester. This one you cannot miss - Museum of Science and Industry, a museum befitting Manchester as the first industrial city of the world. Here you will get to learn about the history, science and industry of Manchester.

And if you have some interest in Christianity, in the John Ryland Library, which is in an impressive late Victorian Gothic building, you will get to see the oldest fragment of the New Testament.

And every football fan will know about Manchester United and Manchester City, two great football clubs. In fact, my country's budget airline, Air Asia and the first and most successful budget airlines in Asia, is one of the sponsors of Manchester United. Air Asia even have one of its airplane painted with photos the the famous footballers of Manchester United. It will be great to see them in action in Manchester itself. And the former Prime Minister of our northern neighbor, Thailand, just recently bought over Manchester City Football Club.

Now back to this talk about Internet and online hotel booking websites mentioned above. When I visited United Kingdom (and other parts of Europe) 30 years ago, I had to face the horrible experience of having to hunt for suitable accommodation on arrival. These country are not like my own if you arrive in winter. It is hard to imagine what my family then would do if on arrival in winter, we could not find suitable accommodation at the right location and fitting our budget. Even if I arrive in summer, there is still time wasted hunting for accommodation when I could have been doing the things I had planned to do for my visit. That is time and money wasted.

Now, if I am to visit Manchester, all I need to do is to get onto the Internet, surf to a hotel booking site like Manchester Accommodation, search and compare, then book online. Not only will I travel with the peace of mind that my accommodation is waiting for me when I arrive, I also have the assurance that I am getting the best deal, for they have a Lowest Rate Guarantee. You can be assured of getting the best deal online because the guarantee says if you can find the same accommodation on the same day at a cheaper rate, they will refund you the difference. For all this convenience of booking accommodation online plus getting a Lowest Rate Guarantee thrown in, we have got to thank Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web. And such things goes a long way toward achieving ZERO WASTE.

Edinburgh

Up north of Manchester is Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. I almost ended up in Edinburgh because I had, at one time, wanted to take up actuarial studies. And Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is the best university to learn actuarial studies. Another famous and highly reputable university is the University of Edinburgh. History tells us of the proud tradition of knowledge and education of Edinburgh. In fact, Edinburgh earned the nickname of the Athens of the North because the city was one of the major centers of the Enlightenment.

While Edinburgh may be a thriving educational and academic center, it is also well known for other things. The people of Edinburgh organized many festivals, is also known as the Festival City the best known of which is the Edinburgh Festival which takes place in the city in August each year. Edinburgh Festival actually comprises many festivals and events like the International Festival, The Fringe, Book Festival, Film Festival, Military Tattoo, Jazz festival and Edinburgh Mela. Then there is the Winter festivals which featuring a month-long Edinburgh's Christmas which ends with the world famous Hogmanay celebrations. In spring, there are the Ceilidh Culture and the Science festival plus the Children's Festival. Other festivals include the Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. And for the scientifically inclined, don't forget the Edinburgh International Science Festival which is held from the 25th of March to the 5th April in 2008.

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Edinburgh castle
Photo of old Edinburgh castle taken from Edinburgh Castles and Heritage


If you like exploring old castles, you will find lots of them around Edinburgh. There is the Edinburgh Castle, Borthwick Castle, Dalhousie Castle plus a lot more too numerous to list here. You can see a fine example of an old Edinburgh castle in the photo above.

You wouldn't waste your money visiting Edinburgh for there is much to see and do. However, you will of course need accommodation, which for me, I will probably book online before departure via Edinburgh Accommodation. Edinburgh Hotels offers a great varieties of hotels, and if you are going there for the festivals, it is probably better to stay in one of the Edinburgh Hotels in the City Center.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vacation or Business in Germany on the cheap

My previous visits to Germany

I visited Germany 4 times, I think. Twice or 3 times (can't remember exactly how many as that was 30 years ago) when I was a student in Ghent, Belgium. One was a one-day car trip to Cologne. Another was on an organized bus trip by students which included a visit to Fantasialand. The third one was a trip to Frankfurt in a car, and I vaguely remembered squatting with someone in Frankfurt.

A not-so-long-ago trip was a stop over in Frankfurt where I have a niece married to a German. I was then going home from the Geneva International Invention Exhibition. I was hoping to squat with them, but for better or for worst, 3 fellow exhibitors decided to tag along, so I don't blame them for booking a hotel for us on our behalf. In any case, we had a jolly time. However, if I ever visit Germany again, I will book my accommodation myself at hotels in Germany which gives a Lowest Rate Guarantee.

In an earlier visit to Germany, I remembered joining the crowds on the street for the Oktoberfest festival, but can't remember which town. It was definitely not Munich. I do remember resisting guzzling down the free flowing beer, but enjoyed the frankfurters and the sauerkraut plus other stuff I can't remember.

Future visit to Germany

Part of the ceremonial
procession. Photo from Munich Oktoberfest


I understand that the biggest and most famous Oktoberfest festival, which starts on the third Saturday of September, is held in Munich, which is one town I haven't visited yet. Just wondering if that would be any different from the one I enjoyed 30 years ago. Would be great if I can go to Munich in September to find out for myself. Other than the Oktoberfest festival, there is much to see in Munich, like the Neuschwanstein Castle which was built starting from 1868 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Munich claims Neuschwanstein Castle as the best known castle in the world.

There is also the Peterskirche, or Church of St. Peter, which is the oldest church in Munich with interior decorated with old six century masters. What I would like to do is to walk to the top to get a panoramic view of the city. I would like to take a photo of its skyline from there and put it in my blog Business, travel and leisure, for Munich is not only good for leisure, as Germany's third largest city and the capital of Bavaria., it is also good for business. Ideal for a business cum leisure visit. For accommodation, I will probably try hotels in Munich.

There are some other German cities I haven't visited yet. There is Berlin, the capital of Germany. I am wondering if there is still some remnants of the infamous Berlin Wall. Perhaps it is not to late to try to take a piece of the historic Berlin Wall home if I can find some, but probably hoping for too much. No big deal, for there is also the famous Brandenburg Gate, one of the main symbols, not only of Berlin, but also of Germany. It would be great to see it for myself first hand.

Germany is famous for its technical and engineering prowess and this museum, Deutsches Museum, is the world's largest museum of technology and natural sciences in the world, with over 13 acres of exhibitions containing many original machines and equipment, models and reconstructions. Wonder how long it would take to cover 13 acres of exhibitions. Looks like a visit to Berlin is likely to end up as a long visit, and it wouldn't be wise or good to stay in an expensive hotel where you only spend a few hours a day to sleep. Would be wise to book a hotel from hotels in Berlin for after all, I have the Lowest Rate Guarantee to fall back on.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Don't waste money on expensive airline tickets

The age of the Internet is upon us and booking airline tickets or flight tickets have moved online and competition if fierce. The best way to purchase airline tickets is online and not physically via a travel agents as I think the days of the so called brick and mortar travel agencies are numbered. They incur high overhead expenses while an online airline ticket booking site can be run on practically peanuts and can therefore afford to pass the savings back to the passengers.

If you are in the market for airline tickets, especially if you happen to be planning to travel from or to an Australian destination, one of those online airline ticket booking sites is cheap flights. So if you don't want to waste money on airline or flight tickets, don't waste your time and traveling expenses going to a brick and mortar travel agency. Use international airfares to make airfare comparison and select your best option.

And if you want to travel on my favorite airline, Singapore Airlines, that is where you can book your airline ticket with my favorite and one of the most successful, if not the most successful airline in the world. Want to know why it is my favorite airline? Have a look at Mother tongue. Why Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says it is important. I know the title of the post is "mother tongue", but there is mention of the person who led Singapore Airlines from when it was split from Malaysian Air System into two, to become the one of the leading airline in the world while the other half had to depend on the Malaysian Government to survive. Singapore Airlines also had the honor of operating the Maiden Airbus A380 commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney. The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, four-engined airliner, the largest passenger airliner in the world currently.

Singapore Airlines is a full service airline, and unless they auction their tickets on eBay again like for the weorld's maiden Airbus A380 commercial flight mentioned above, you are not likely to get cheap ticket from Singapore Airlines (but they give you good service). If it is budget airlines you want, try Jetstar. Jetstar Airways is a low-cost airline based in Melbourne, Australia, and is a subsidiary of Qantas, the Australian national airline.

Don't waste money on overpriced mailboxes

Are you in the market for mailboxes be it residential mailboxes which in the majority of cases are wall mounted mailboxes, or commercial mailboxes? If you are, I hope you take care not to end up buying overpriced mailboxes.

The links are links to mailboxixchange which is an unusual online merchant with unusual guarantees. They provide a 111% Guaranteed Price Match which states that if you can find the same mailbox being sold at a lower delivered price, all you have to do is to email their sales staff to report a Price Matching, provide the store's name, the item, and the location of the advertised item. They will verify their delivered price, ensure that the mailbox is new, is in-stock, the merchant are genuine dealers of that particular mailbox, and the mailbox has the manufacturer's warranty. Once they have verified that you can actually get the same product at a lower delivered price, they will match the lower price PLUS refund you a 11% discount on the difference between prices and complete the transaction at that lower price. Looks like you can benefit from a "misfortune".

Price is only one side of the story. The item must suit your needs, otherwise even a cheap mailbox can end up expensive. To take care of that, mailboxixchange also give you a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you want details of their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, you can surf over there and read about it yourself.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't waste money on expensive hotels in United Kingdom

Britain was a prolific colonizer in the past and my country was a colony of Great Britain until some 50 years ago when we achieved independence. It was said that the sun never set on the British empire. Thus the influence of Great Britain or United Kingdom was spread far and wide, and rightly or wrongly, people in many parts of the world feel attached to the United Kingdom. A tendency to want to visit the country which colonized them is thus natural.

What are the places that attracts such visitors? I would say probably Manchester and London.

Manchester city

Manchester, said to be to have the fastest growing economy, is also known to be the centre of arts, media, higher education and commerce. It is among one of the most visited city in the United Kingdom by foreign visitors. It is famous for its two Premier League football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City. In fact, Air Asia, Asia's most successful budget airline, is one of Manchester United Official Sponsor and has one of its plane painted with the faces of its famous footballers. Manchester United, whether I like it or not, has lots of fans all over the world, who would love to visit Manchester to see their heroes in action on the football fields.

Manchester city is said to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and many of the spectacular warehouses are still standing. During those time, Manchester city was the international centre of textile manufacture and cotton spinning and many of its old cotton mills still exists. Manchester City Center has been placed on the "tentative list" of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its network of canals and mills.

Manchester city is not just a city of ancient buildings but have modern shinning skyscrapers like The Beetham Tower which was completed in 2006. The Beetham Tower is just one among many others high-rise buildings. Then there is The Green Building which is supposed to be a unique eco-friendly housing project.

Let us not forget the food. Manchester city has some local specialities like Bury's famous Black Pudding, Eccles' puff pastry and currant cake, Wigan's Uncle Joes mint balls and Manchester's fruity Vimto drink.

If I am to visit Manchester city, I would not waste my money on expensive hotels in which I may return only for a short period to sleep, only to go off to see Manchester city's many attractions. I would probably book my hotel from Manchester Hotels which has a Lowest Rate Guarantee which undertake that if you can find the same hotel/accommodation on the same dates and inform them within 24 hours of booking, they we will honor that rate for the night or nights for which you found a lower rate and refund you the difference. That is a real comfort to know.

London, capital city of Great Britain

I visited London twice before. The first time, my family was unwise and spent most of our time at Oxford Street, but did visit some of the better known attractions like Madame Tussuad's, Buckingham Palace, etc. The second time I spent most of my time at the Patent Office. Both time, I had to hunt for accommodation only upon arrival, not a pleasant situation. Now, with the Internet, I would probably book my accommodation ahead of arrival at Accommodation in London and be assured of having a place to sleep when I arrive plus the assurance of getting the cheapest rate as mentioned above.

Photo of London night skyline with the London Eye by Ian Muttoo
This time, I will probably take to trouble to look up more places of interest and keep far, far away from Oxford street. I would probably go to the Houses of Parliament, see the Big Ben and listen to its chimes, Jewel Tower, Westminster Abbey, Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms (will be interesting to see how this remarkable man managed to defeat the mighty German military), probably the Tower Bridge and Piccadilly Circle. And of course now there is the London Eye. It will be great to ride the gondola up to the sky and get a panoramic view of London city.

This time I am going to make sure I don't make the mistake (actually not a mistake, just that Internet wasn't available then) of last time and book my accommodation online at London Accommodation

Free Travel Blog plus Travel Planner. An opportunity not to be wasted

This site travel blog represents a real opportunity that no one planning to do some traveling should waste. It is actually for you to blog about places you visit. I travel around Malaysia (mostly around the place I live) frequently, so I started a travel blog Malaysia, truly Asia using that free travel blog site.

This blog Zero Energy Waterwheel Aerator was inspired by an innovation Increasing the Efficiency of Aeration in Aerobic Wastewater Treatment. Wastewater treatment normally require aeration, and aeration is very energy intensive (that is, it uses lots of energy in form of electricity). Huge sum of money is spent on aeration and even if only a small fraction of that can be saved, it would still represent a huge sum. The innovation has been tested and it works. Only question is its viability. However, with ever increasing energy cost, even if it is not viable today, it may be viable in the future and lead to cutting waste plus help in protecting our now fragile environment.

I thought it would be real cool if I make a travel blog for travel to various wastewater treatment sites to observe their operations or to the offices of the wastewater treatment plant operators to discuss the viability and possible future of my innovation. I thus started a travel blog Wastewater treatment plants and operators in Malaysia. The blog hopefully will help spread awareness of my innovation and hopefully get some responses (comments) from wastewater engineers and plant operators.

There are other uses for RealTravel other than just creating free travel blogs. You can also use their free trip planner to research the places you plan to visit, add the destinations of your planned itinerary, share your plans with your travel partners, family and friends, get feedback and thus get useful inputs that may help improve your travel plan.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Don't waste your life without exercise (sports)

Why such a title for a post "Don't waste your life without exercise (sports)" you may ask. What has wastage to do with exercise or sports? Well your Creator has given you a life and to make that life a meaningful and enjoyable one, you need to maintain good health, to keep illness at bay, to have a long life, (and my children said to keep looking young) so that you can remain useful and not become a burden to your family plus waste precious fund on medical care, medication, nursing car. And for those, one need exercise. Don't waste the life our Creator have given us.

I know fully the implication of exercise and the lack of it on one's health and life span. I have a blog Food as medicine which I changed (title) to Natural Remedies because that gives me more flexibility in terms of the kind of posts I can put in that blog. For example, a post which is relevant to the subject matter of this post, but have nothing to do with food - Exercise may prevent pain in older people. Now how unobservant of me. I just noticed that is a category for exercise for the above blog. Whole trouble is, I am finding it difficult to practice what I preach (except for the nutrition part). I am tied to the computer nearly all my waking hours for I have become an avid blogger who just cannot finish all that I want to do on the Internet.

Not that I completely ignore my own advice. I take every excuse to walk. I turn down offers by my children to send me (by car) to the LRT (Light Transit Station), the shops, the banks, etc. That is, to every place where walking is viable. Where it is not, I try to take the public transport (I have given all my cars to my children since I retired), for I have an environmental blog Enviroman Says: an Environmental blog, and cars are not exactly what one will call environmentally-friendly. I used to walk up and down the stairs and do sit-ups and push-ups whenever there is a thunderstorm and I am forced to disconnect from the Internet. I walk to 7-Eleven to get the newspapers every morning from Monday to Friday. I walk to the bank (that is a half-hour walk) to collect my pension every month and each time I need to do some banking transaction. I walk to the Pasar Tani (Farmers' Market) every Saturday morning to buy fruits. I walk to the Pasar Malam's (Night Markets, there are two near our home each week), also to purchase fruits. I walk every Monday to Friday to the shops to buy cooked food for myself and my children.

But fortunately or unfortunately, I now have an addictive hobby and find it very difficult to get the motivation and time to get REGULAR exercise. I try to get people to give me that motivation. See My first grandchild at his grandfather's 58th birthday. In case you missed it, I was fishing for comments - 10 minutes of exercise for every comment made.

But I think I really do need regular exercise for people have started calling me "uncle", implying I have aged in appearance, probably in part caused by not having REGULAR exercise. Perhaps I should take up a sport, hopefully one as addictive as blogging. Any suggestion, anyone? Just as blogging need equipment like a computer, a modem to connect to the Internet, and the peripheries like a digital camera, a webcam and microphone (to make videos), etc., sports too need equipment.

I think I will have a look at Shopwiki: Sports and Recreation Equipment. They sell sport equipment there. They have Shopwiki Team Sport Equipment for most kind of team sports. Unfortunately for me, team mean having to find team members plus the need to synchronise our schedule with theirs. That is a tough call at my stage of life, but perhaps can help get this motivation to get exercise for there will be others to push and encourage you plus a chance to socialize.

Well, the above is not such a problem after all, for they have Shopwiki Individual Sports Equipment. I see inline skates there. My son is studying and working part time as an inline skating instructor. Perhaps I can get some free lessons. They have golf too, but that is out for me for I hate golf. A few privileged group hogging huge tracts of land plus adding harmful weedicides and pesticides to the environment, and the funny spectacle of a large man chasing after a tiny ball. They have equipment for gymnastics some of which perhaps may be suitable for people of my age.

Shopwiki also have Running Equipment. That sounds more like my kind of stuff for I have completed a marathon 20 plus years ago. They have running shoes which I can use for brisk walking instead of running. They also have Elliptical Trainers Treadmills (wonder what they mean by that, but I don't expect that to be very much different from any other threadmills). Perhaps my children can buy one for me for my birthday and I can do brisk walking without having to venture out of the house, rain of sunshine.

Let us hope I don't waste my life by trying harder to get that regular exercise I need. OK, forgive me for trying to fish for comments again. 10 minutes of exercise for every comment you leave in this post.

Friday, September 21, 2007

GPS vehicle and performanance tracking system essential to cut waste

With fuel prices increasing and expectation of further inevitable increases, vehicle maintenance and repair cost increasing, workers' salary increasing, it is essential for companies to maintain and even increase efficiency - fuel efficiency, workers' efficiency and productivity, vehicle engines efficiency and problems. It will be good if you can have a system to be able to track and analyse information on these factors easily and if necessary, take proactive and preventive actions. If your company operates a fleet, it is also important to monitor speed violation as such violations can lead to costly accidents and costly speeding tickets. You may want to monitor the usage of your company's vehicles like off hours and unauthorised activities. If your company operates interstate, you may have to keep records of state miles and if done manually, it can be pretty tedious you may have to assign the task to an employee to do that which means you are taking him or her away from more productive tasks. If your fleet is large, you may even have to employ someone to do it, meaning more cost to your company.

Our generation is very fortunate to live in an era of Internet, space satellites, GPS (Global Positioning System), Geomap such as Google Earth, etc. Not only that, there are companies that makes very innovative applications of these technologies that our ancestors never have. That for example GPS Insight. They have exploited Global Positioning System, Internet and Geomap to the full to help companies cut waste, improve efficiency, take proactive and preventive measures to control the cost of maintaining a fleet of vehicles. I did a review of that site, and I will report on some of the things I found below, but you really have to review yourself GPS Insight to fully appreciate how their system can help your company. After my brief review, in my opinion, if your company operate a fleet or have to reimburse employees for usage of their own vehicles for company's operation or you need to keep track of activities of employees who work outside your company's office or offices, and you take the trouble to review GPS Insight yourself, I am pretty sure you too will come realise why this is absolutely necessary.

In brief, GPS Insight offers a hardware and web software-based vehicle tracking product and they claim that their product is the only one currently on the market which gets direct engine diagnostics (fault codes, speed, fuel consumption, odometer readings, idle time, etc.). According to them, their product is easy to install (it plugs directly into the vehicles diagnostics port which vehicles manufactured after 1998 will have, I think.

Here is a screenshot of GPS Insight homepage:

GPS Insight vehicle tracking system homepage

I clicked on their "New Products Demos" (highlighted with a red arrow) and was pretty impressed at how their product can help your company cut waste, optimize route planning, get engine diagnostic information to control fuel consumption, be informed of engine problems and thus help fix them quickly and avoid higher repair costs from such problems causing more serious engine problems, etc.

One of the most valuable tool they offer for cutting waste is their route-planning tool. As an example, here is a screenshot of a route map after route optimization:

route optimization map

Note that the route goes in a nice logical sequence. You should view their demo and see the route before optimization and see how much this tool can help optimize the route, help plan routes for vehicle drivers to save time, fuel consumption, vehicle wear and tear.

With their tool, you can get a list of vehicles violating speed limits which can help your company control such undesirable activities. Overspeeding can lead to costly accidents and having to pay for speeding tickets, and I suspect may lead to higher motor insurance cost. See a screenshot of an example of a speed violation report below (click to enlarge):



You can also get GPS Insight email you scheduled various kind of reports such as the "Fuel usage and miles per gallon report" as Excel file. See screenshot below (click to enlarge):

Fuel usage and mpg report

Their Support and Contact Information page will give you more information on what GPS Insight can do for your company. They also have a GPS Insight Blog which can keep you updated on the new developments, news on the company, posts on companies using their products and their experience, etc.

You just have to surf over to their website to see for yourself as this review cannot give you all the benefits that usage of their product can bring to your company.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Don't waste money on expansive hotels. There are cheap accommodations available

Travel is unavoidable sometimes. You may need to travel for business, visit relatives and friend, to attend special occasions like weddings, etc., on working trips, to unwind and get a badly needed rest, etc. In fact, in January 2008, my niece will need to travel to where we stay to attend her sister's wedding.

Some will be lucky if there are relatives or friends who are willing to offer them accommodation during their stay. Others will need to stay in hotels. In most cases, you will be out of the hotel room most of the time and will only be back to get your nightly sleep. To me, it is a shear waste of money to stay in expensive hotels when you only spend a fraction of your time in the hotel room. Look for cheaper alternatives.

Spain is an interesting country to visit with a wide diversity of interesting places to visit. There are different Spanish regions with their own Spanish specialty, climate, geographical location, history and traditions. Right in the center of Spain is Madrid, the capital of Spain. It has many historical Spanish monuments such as the Royal Castle and Spanish museums including el Prado and Reina Sofia which houses paintings of Velasquez, Goya, Miro and Picasso. If you plan on visiting, to avoid wasting money, look for cheap hotels in Madrid.

Barcelona is another interesting town especially if you are an architectural student, an architect or someone interested in architecture and interesting buildings. Or if you are a fan of Picasso, there is the the Picasso Museum in Barcelona which is housed in three medieval palaces. If you plan to visit Barcelona, again my advice as a person who hate waste to look for cheap hotels in Barcelona.

There are many other interesting places to visit in Spain. There are different regions and each region have their own speciality, climate, geographical features, history and traditions. The Basque Country is in the north of Spain and often referred to as the "Green Spain" because of the green countryside, mountains and sea, a natural attraction for nature lovers. Galicia in the northwest also form part of "Green Spain" and is much like the Basque Country and is further known for its fresh Spanish fish. In the south of Spain is Andalucia which attract many tourists because of its nice beaches and conducive climate. There are also the Spanish Festivals from April to October. In the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean are the Balearic and Canary Islands which also attract tourists. There is no end to the diversity of Spain. As always, being budget conscious, I would look for cheap hotels in Spain if I ever have the chance to visit Spain.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Edible Wedding Favors: Zero Waste

I have a problem with presents (gifts) as mentioned in this post My first grandchild at his grandpa's 58th birthday gathering. One often ends up with things that one don't use, and it become a waste of good money and a problem for the environment. Someone commented in the above post that the presents he like the best are edible ones.

Well, if you are looking for edible wedding favors, CandyUnderCover.com have a delightful range of unique, and personalized edible Wedding Favors. Then you can be sure your guests do not end up with trinkets they can't use, but something they can (eat). Zero waste.

Well, you don't have to limit yourself to wedding favors. CandyUnderCover.com have a great varieties of edible favors from Baby Shower Favors, Bridal Shower Favors, Engagement Favors, First Communion and Confirmation Favors. You got to surf over to CandyUnderCover.com to see for yourself the great varieties they have.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Save by using coupons at CouponChief.com

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You can also search by categories. For example, Apparel for Women or Health and Beauty or Books and Magazines, and many others. You have to see the wide range for yourself at CouponChief.com

Don't waste any time. Join Bid4Prizes and get chances to win fabulous prizes

Bid4Prizes is an unusual auction site. You can register as a member at Bid4Prizes Registration Form. Standard Registration is free if you don't mind the advertisements, and you get unlimited online bids, plus you can log in to track points, and redeem points for prizes with no cost. Or you can register for a Premium account so you don't get advertisements and receive unlimited bids each month for only $9.99 per month. Premium members get unlimited mobile and online bids, plus you can log in to track points, redeem points for prizes, bid via your mobile phone and bid online with no advertisements.

Bid4Prizes works in an unusual way. Instead of the highest bidder winning the prize, it is the one with the lowest bid that wind the auction. It is so unusual, I am still trying to digest fully how it works.

Don't waste any time. Surf over to Bid4Prizes, find out how it really works, and try your luck at getting attractive prizes. After all, if you don't want the frills, you can do it all for free.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Don't waste your time doing searches with Google, etc. Use Winzy instead

When you use Google or other search engines, sponsored ads are displayed alongside the links to the relevant websites. However, the Company that creates the search engine get the benefits when someone click on the sponsored links. So when you use these search engines, the benefits go to the search engines instead of to you, the user.

With Winzy Deal or no deal it is a different story. It is a site where you can search the web, play free online games, and get a chance to win great prizes. So why waste time using Google, Yahoo, etc.? Use Winzy Deal or no deal instead and get a chance to win great prizes. Winzy Deal or no deal has given away thousands of prizes including iPod Shuffles, iPod Nanos, the Nintendo Wii, Xboxes, Amazon Gift Certificates, iTunes Gift Certificates, and even large cash prizes.

At Winzy Deal or no deal, you can play the online version of the popular television game "Deal or no deal". However, playing this game will not win you any prizes.

There are other online games at Deal or no deal you can play, including Winzy Secret Suitcase which is very similar to Deal or No Deal, but you can win real prizes! And it's totally free to play. Join Winzy for free. Search the web. With each search, you stand to win prizes instantly and also win you points which goes towards Winzy's monthly sweepstakes where you can win large cash prizes! And while you search, you also get a chance to play fun games and win even more.