Saturday, July 25, 2009

Casino Royale?

I’ve never been inside a casino. I know that my aunts in the States always find some time to unwind either in Vegas or Reno, though. In fact, they brought my parents-in-law to the Bellagio and my kids were thrilled with the souvenirs they brought home with them. (My kids know the Bellagio from Ocean’s Eleven.)

Curious, I poked around this site that provides online casino reviews. I’d heard of online casinos before. There are supposed to be games that can be played for free. That’s what I’d like to try.

The casino online may not provide the atmosphere of a real casino but that could be a good thing, too. You won’t get too mesmerized and carried away. As the review I read stated, no matter what anyone says about gaming the casinos, the casino always wins in the long run. So if you do play even in an online casino, folks, make sure you know your limits and stay well within them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You’ve Got Mail!

When we hear the word mailbox today, we immediately think of it as our email inbox. There was a time, though, when this only meant that quaint receptacle for letters and parcels on our front yards. I still love seeing those old fashioned mailboxes.

Of course, today, when you live in a condominium, for example, or a multi-storey apartment building, what you get are rows and rows of commercial mailboxes that are more like school lockers. Somehow they lack the romanticism of the old fashioned mailbox. But, hey, if the commercial mail boxes do the job well, accepting letters and parcels and keeping them safe until retrieved by the rightful recipients, I’m not complaining.

We may feel nostalgic about items of the past, but just as we have become used to email - even dependent on it – so have we embraced the evolution of the commercial mailbox. The important thing is that people still use mailboxes in various forms to connect with each other.

By the way, if you know someone in need of a mailbox, you might want to join this affiliate program and earn $20 for each successful referral. That’s a check in the mail for you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Movie Review: Disappointed with Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince


Our 18 year old son watched Harry Potter 6 with his friends, ahead of us. He warned us that he didn't like it but, of course, our daughters wouldn't take his word for it. Especially when he smirked that it was mostly about teenybopper romance. That made them expect some romantic thrills.

Even that was a disappointment, though. It seems like the director wasn't sure about how to handle that teen romance angle. Maybe he did not want it to be too mushy. But, hey, you can't go about these things half-heartedly. If teen girls are your audience, you have to at least make them sigh over your supposedly romantic scenes. In Harry Potter 6, those scenes lacked the magic touch, ironically. They all fell flat.

Teen mush - or the lack of it - aside, I found the entire film far inferior to all the other Harry Potter films. This is where Snape kills Dumbledore, for goodness sakes! I was expecting to feel the loss at least as much as I felt the death of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. But no, it happened and I didn't even flinch. No emotional reaction at all. And I so love Dumbledore! How could they have fumbled in such a major highlight? Dumbledore's death is supposed to be a high point not only of this movie but of the entire series! If his death was played out as uneventfully, it doesn't bode well for the other Harry Potter films to come.

Such a pity!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Can't Wait to See Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We rarely watch movies in theaters these days but Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is one film we're planning to see on the big screen.

Although we have the books, it's not just the story that we're after. I, for one, am keen on seeing how the stars of the Harry Potter series have grown. When we first saw them, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) was 11, Emma Watson (Hermione) was 10 and
Rupert Grint (Ron) was 12. They grew up while filming the series and we watched them go from kids to adolescents to older teens. They are now nine years older and we somehow feel a kinship with them, as if they were our friends' kids.

Emma Watson had a wardrobe malfunction in the recent premiere of the film in London. She survived it with class and we can't help hoping that she'll never lose her wholesome self.

It will be a bittersweet moment when we get to see the final Harry Potter film in 2011 but we will also be looking forward to the next steps in the careers of its young stars.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don’t Forget to Submit Your Site to As Many Web Directories As Possible

Most of the time, we only submit our sites to the largest web directories like the Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory Project. We are then satisfied that we have done our part. There are numerous other directories online, though, such as, for example, Jasmine Directory and Max Directory. I bet you haven’t heard of those. You should. And you should search for others, as well, because having your sites listed in the proper category in as many directories as possible is a solid step toward good ranking in search engines. Even if your listing is given a no follow tag, it is still considered as an important backlink to your site.

Many directories are general and list a vast range of categories also classified by language and region. Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory Project mentioned earlier are among these. There are also niche categories that specialize in specific topics or sectors. There are, for instance, business directories and shopping directories. Make sure you are listed in the general directories and in the special directories for your site’s particular niche.

Most directories allow free submission and listing. Others require a reciprocal link bank to the directory from your site. You may also come across some that charge a fee for a listing. Premium positions within categories, as well as being listed in multiple categories, may be charged higher. Sometimes, such prime positions are given to the highest bidder. Affiliate links are also available, where you have to pay the directory a commission for every visitor referred to your site.

Submitting your site to web directories manually can be tedious. Human edited directories have stricter policies for categorization and may, therefore, have a longer queue.You just have to wait a while before your site listing goes up. These directories are more valued by SEO experts, though, so we better take the cue. Sometimes we just have to put in the effort.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What’s Your Dream Family Car?

We’ve had our sedan since the kids were babies. Yes, it’s that old but sadly not old enough to count as a valuable antique. It’s actually in that in between state that just sums up into no value. For us, though, it’s invaluable. We love our white Toyota Corolla so much that we even named it. We call it Casper. And Casper still serves us faithfully to this day. Our kids have even made us promise never to sell it. I guess we never will.

If you were to buy another family car, though, what would it be? I asked myself that question and came up with the idea of something as reliable as our Casper but with more space perhaps. Nothing too fancy. The priority should be function. And the right price, of course. Maybe something like the 2009 Honda Fit. My husband would most probably prefer something like the Dodge Ram 1500, though, which could also be used for business deliveries. But that would fall under the category of light trucks, wouldn’t it?

On the other hand, I’ve been daydreaming about having grandkids in the next ten years or so ever since our eldest turned twenty. (Yes, I’m weird that way.) And with grandkids in mind, mini vans would be much more appropriate. I can just see me and the hubby driving around with grandbabies. Awww!

I better start queueing up for lotto tickets regularly if I intend to have this dream car for the family. It’s not as if something like this is in the regular family budget. I can dream, though, can’t I?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Foreclosures Information for Buyers and Sellers

It’s sad that a lot of people in the US today are facing home foreclosures. Instead of losing everything, some sectors say that it’s better to sell your house before it is actually foreclosed. The problem is that sometimes the owners’ equity in the house is smaller than what they owe the bank. The house is then foreclosed and put up for auction. Houses that do not receive acceptable bids are returned to the mortgage company and are then called real estate owned foreclosures.

They say this is the best time to invest in foreclosed property. Prices are supposed to be down and are expected to rise in the future, ensuring profitability. You can do a free REO foreclosures search online to find auctions in your area. Do all the necessary research before you bid, though, because if you win you get everything “as is.” That includes any problems connected with the property.

Remember, all these information can be found for free online so never pay to search for foreclosures. Some free foreclosures search sites also allow sellers to post their properties for sale for free.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Social Networking on a Social Learning Network – A Nice Spot for Students to Hang Out In

I remember that I was fine in Physics in high school. When I hit college, though, it was a whole new ballgame. My first course was Industrial Engineering at the University of the Philippines in Diliman but after a year I shifted to Communication Research. Physics was one of the subjects that clinched my decision to shift.

I’m writing about this now because I just came across a very interesting website. We all know about social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but this one calls itself a social learning network. Course Hero provides a way for students and even their professors to network and help each other out on various subjects. It also provides voluminous study materials and textbook solutions to problems. Yes, that includes
Physics textbook solutions
to help you make sense of your
Physics homework
. If only the internet existed when I was doing college Physics!

I have no regrets, though. I’m really more of a writer, I guess. At least through this post, I hope I get to help some struggling students out there.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July to all our family and friends in the US of A.

My continuing hope is that with the new president, the genuine principles of democracy as envisioned by your forefathers will finally be concretely embodied in American policies.

People of the world join you in keeping faith for a future of international peace and prosperity for all.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Make Way for Coffee Mouthwash, Toothpaste or Chewing Gum

This is good news for coffee lovers like me. According to CNN, researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel have proven that coffee fights bad breath. Like clove oil, it has anti-bacterial components that actually freshen your breath. The top researcher, Mel Rosenberg, plans to do further studies toward creating coffee based mouthwash, toothpaste and chewing gum.

Well, I for one have always loved the smell of coffee. I would definitely go for those products once they're out.

Take note, though, that the same research has shown that coffee can cause bad breath if combined with other substances like milk. So better take your coffee black, the way I do.

Who Wants Gold?

I just found a very interesting website that might be valuable to those who have funds to invest and are looking for a way to protect themselves against the current global crisis. The answer may be gold! Yes, that precious metal seems to have the capacity to weather all the financial troubles of the world and the best way to protect your money from losing its value seems to be to buy gold. According to this site, limited mint investor gold coins bought for $25,000.00 in the 70s are worth $1,377,257.00 today.

Well, who has that kind of money? Not me. It’s an interesting piece of information, though. And if you’re interested, you can actually buy gold bullion or buy gold coins by the piece. There are various coins to choose from but the lowest price is $969.70.

For those interested in using this to beef up their individual retirement account (IRA), the website also gives information and advice on gold IRA transfer. So who wants gold? Uh, I guess everyone does. The real question would be who can afford gold these days? If you can, good for you. Go get them.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Animosity Blog Is Ironically Positive

First off, I was blown away by the beautiful page design when the Animosity blog opened up on my browser window. And then I see that it's by a 17 year old young man from right here where I'm at - the Philippines. Way to go! He immediately makes it clear on his blog that you can advertise here. Smart fellow!

Jr Quiambao has this line on the front page of Animosity: "The taste of hatred becomes the flesh of the new generation." This is a young man who is definitely thinking deep. I do hope he contributes to the eradication of hatred in this world so that the new generation will be born of love. It is easy to see from his blog that this young man has more productive pursuits in mind, rather than hatred. In fact, he's quite a businessman. He never fails to stress that you can advertise here in his blog.

Jr Quiambao is young and his Animosity blog is younger - only born in February this year - but he writes industriously on various topics. His favorite topic seems to be blog advertising and marketing, though. He's starting to learn the ropes of making money online and it looks like he's well on his way. If you want to help him, you can advertise here.

I Can't Live Totally Offline

We had heavy rains last night and lightning struck one of the electric posts down the street. Our block was plunged into a four hour brownout before technicians from MERALCO were able to repair the damage.

When the lights came back on we realized that our modem had been zapped, as well. We called our DSL provider but it was almost midnight and they could only bring us a new modem the following day. Well it was afternoon by the time the new modem arrived and we had 15 hours of forced hiatus from the internet. We were all going nuts!

I realized that I was totally dependent on the internet for my livelihood and my sanity.

My main source of income is freelance writing. I do all of my research online and submit my articles by email.I also have internet marketing ventures through blogs and social networking. Again, these are online projects.

After - or in between - taking care of my projects, I surf to entertain myself and keep myself updated with what's happening around the world.Television does not cut it for me anymore. Although I still watch some telenovelas for fun, it's the control I have online plus the sheer breadth of data available that I crave.

I remember in college when I spent almost all my free time in the main library of UP Diliman. It was like a cave of treasures for me then. Now I have even more than that at my fingertips online. It's magical!

Of course, there's still books - books on real paper - to enjoy offline. I can turn to them when I'm shut out of the internet. But, hey, when I'm connected there are ebooks galore to browse online. I can even read all the classics I want for free.

It's amazing how the internet has invaded our lives and enriched it so much.
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