Thursday, October 30, 2008


The following infomercials had a very hard time making back the creator's investment.

10. Girls Gone Mild -- College girls get mildly drunk on near beer and take off their winter coats for the camera.
9. Kevin Trudeau's "From the Cell Block to Selling Schlock" -- A convicted felon shows you how to skirt the law while making dubious health claims.
8. David Oreck's Flatulence Detector
7. Body By Oprah -- Ab Lumper
6. Matthew Lesko's Fashion Design
5. Mighty Silly Putty -- This magic putty not only plugs leaks and hold objects together, it lifts comics right off the page.
4. JFK's Magic Bullet Blender
3. Flowbee Back Hair Cutting System, endorsed by Ed Asner.
2. Proactiv Bacne System
1. The Best of Backyard Extreme Curling
I think we may add another informercials to it after last night.

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Pizza Pizza

With money tight these days and the cost of living rising, it can be tough to find cash for even the little luxuries of a night out at the
movies following dinner at perhaps an Italian restaurant. The theatre part alone can easily run more than $25 with two adults and two kids.

You may even say to yourself, "Sure, we could stay home. But if the pizzeria won't deliver, we get stuck with heated frozen pizza. What a pain!"

But you can afford a fun Friday or Saturday - or another other - night with just a little advanced planning and a tiny bit of shopping. The result can be far better than a soggy-in-the-middle heated frozen pie and a wonder over those awful on-the-shelf pizza kits you can buy.

Take this idea, for example: for the cost of the movie tickets alone, you can buy a decent pizza stone, similar to the kind used in some
Italian restaurants to bake pizzas. This stone is designed to be heated ahead of time and then serves as the baking spot for your
homemade pizza or a decent quality rising crust frozen pizza (once you've had the latter prepared on a pizza stone, you will never return to a cookie sheet).

Then, for far less than the cost of feeding four at a pizzeria, you can purchase all the ingredients you want to make custom pizzas, at home, either with ingredients left over for another night or used to top additional pies that night. The latter works great with kids who get to choose their own toppings. Also, you can experiment with toppings you rarely have but want to try. I highly recommend the langostino (lobster meat) and bacon and/or black olive and the black olive, roasted red pepper, and red onion pizza is a vegan wonder. Experiment with different cheeses as well, which can modify both the texture and taste of the resulting pizza.

Unless you're an experienced and dependable dough maker, save yourself time and effort by purchasing prepared pizza doughs. You can find these in the freezer case. Many stores make and sell their own pizzas and most of these make extra crust dough to sell in one pizza sizes, often for $1 or less.
Some also sell tomato sauce specially for pizzas plus jars of pizza sauce, although you can also press certain marinaras and other spaghetti sauces into service for your meal. A thicker sauce works best, but you can slowly cook a wetter marinara until it thickens. And, of course, the more industrious can make their own sauce, or create one from a can of diced tomatoes - perhaps with one Italian seasonings already added - that you can simmer into a thicker sauce and customize as you want.

If you decide to make homemade pizza night a regular event, you benefit from having a regular assortment of ingredients on hand so you can mix and match. The idea is a hit for super bowl parties, impromptu weekend get togethers, and even children's parties with adults supervising the pizza making. All adult parties may want to open a bottle of Chianti or add some good beer to chase down the pizza slices.

Before you make your first pizza, do yourself a favor and buy a package of corn meal. This works better than flour for both covering the pizza stone so the dough does not stick to it as well as for dusting onto the dough before you roll it out with a rolling pin. The corn meal tastes better, too, when a light dusting is left in place for cooking.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Holliday Turkey

Watching The Accidental Tourist you may made you apprehensive to roast your own holiday turkey, for fear of undercooking it can making everyone sick. Turkey, like other poultry and raw meat requires certain handling to ensure that the food is safe to eat. As with other raw meats, food safety can be ensured with proper cleaning, storage, handling storage temperature and cooking temperature. Follow these food safety tips when preparing and cooking your holiday turkey to ensure a happy and safe holiday meal.

Selecting and Preparing a Turkey for a Holiday Meal

Expiration Date

To ensure proper food safety, the first thing you need to do when buying a fresh or frozen turkey from the grocery store is to check the expiration date. Sometimes it's easy to be complacent and assume that the grocery store always keeps track of expiration dates.

Defrosting Safely

Frozen turkeys may be safely defrosted three ways.

The first safe way is in the microwave, if your microwave is big enough and it has a defrost setting. Once the turkey is defrosted using a microwave, immediately put it in the oven.

The second way is to submerge the frozen bird in a sink full of cold water. Keep the turkey in its package. The USDA recommends that you check the water every half hour to ensure that the water is still cold. If it's not let the water drain and re-fill the sink with cold water.

The final safe way to defrost a frozen bird for a holiday meal is in the refrigerator. The USDA advises that to defrost a turkey in the refrigerator requires one day for every five pounds. For example, for a ten pound turkey, allow two full days of defrosting time. For 12 pounder, allow for two and half days of defrost time.

To Stuff or Not to Stuff

While it is traditional to stuff a turkey, it is not the best idea when you are concerned about food safety. You can cook stuffing in the same pan as the holiday bird, just don't stuff it inside the bird.

Cooking the Turkey
A turkey should be cooked at 325 degrees. The best way to ensure a turkey is properly cooked is to use a meat thermometer. With a meat thermometer, you can ensure that the minimum temperature inside the turkey is 165 °F, according to the USDA.

The USDA recommends the following cooking times to ensure food safety for your holiday meal:

Up to 12 pounds, allow two hours and 45 minutes to three hours.
12 to 14 pounds: three hours to three hours and 45 minutes
14 to 18 pounds: three hours and 45 minutes to four hours and 15 minutes
18 to 20 pounds: four hours and 15 minutes to four and a half hours
20 to 24 pounds: four and a half hours to five hours

Food Safety and Pre-Cooked Meals

If you will be ordering take out holiday meals, you will still need to keep certain food safety guidelines in mind. Any hot,
prepare foods should be eaten within two hours of their arrival, according to the USDA.

If you will be setting out the food for longer than two hours, un-stuff the turkey if it arrived with turkey in the cavity.

After the Holiday: Storage

How Long Can It Stay in the Freezer?

According to the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service, a frozen turkey can be safely stored in a freezer for one year.

How Long Do Cooked Leftovers Last?

If you freeze your extra cooked turkey parts, they will last for up to four months, according to the USDA. This means that your frozen cooked turkey should be eaten before the end of April.

Tip: Use a permanent marker to label the package with your own "eat by date."

How Long Does Frozen Broth or Gravy Last?

Frozen turkey broth and frozen gravy will last between two and three months.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and then some dessert

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin proposes a delightsome weekend escape for hard working mid-westerners, like myself, from throughout the surrounding states. I have been lucky enough to travel to Lake Geneva every year or so for pleasant getaways in this inviting waterside town. Make sure to pack the cotton panties! :)

A cool sparkling lake brandishes fun-filled opportunities like fishing, boating, swimming and more, while shop-lined streets offer souvenirs, home décor, clothing and gourmet foods. But when it comes to finding a great meal in a homespun atmosphere, Lake Geneva proudly boasts a variety of casual and refined restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner and of course, dessert.

Great breakfasts can be enjoyed in the center of town at Speedo's, where they serve fluffy and flavorful skillets bursting with cheese, onions, bacon, mushrooms and more. Or start your day with flapjacks at Millie's Restaurant and Shopping Village located just outside of the town's limits on a winding road in the heart of the country. Millie's delivers springy homemade pancakes in a variety of luscious flavors like: banana, blueberry, chocolate chip, apricot, strawberry and oatmeal raisin. They also advertise Belgian waffles, Russian blintzes and savory egg omelets. Since the portions at Millie's are mammoth, they offer children's sizes for most entrees. Millie's also presents an adjacent shopping village filled with lovely collectibles, scented candles and clever crafts.

For a casual lakeside lunch, try Popeye's Restaurant which flaunts a rustic, nautical theme in a family-friendly atmosphere. Popeye's signature Broccoli Cheddar Soup is made with real Wisconsin cheese and is a fantastic way to start any meal. An outdoor barbeque pit is always cooking up toasty rotisserie chicken, ribs and roast pork. Or try sumptuous seafood dishes like salmon, surf and turf or Alaskan crab legs. Entrees at Popeye's are priced at around $10 and up.
For an exquisite lunch option, you must visit the Geneva Inn hotel which is situated atop a grassy hill overlooking the glistening lake and surrounding greenery. The Grandview Restaurant serves up panoramic views as well as American contemporary cuisine. Their surprisingly affordable lunch menu offers large salads like the Grilled Caesar or the Roasted Chicken and Orga served with a warm croissant for $10 a piece. Try a tasty sandwich like the Corn Beef and Swiss or the Shaved Pastrami Foccacia. Sandwiches come with chips or fries and are also $10 each. Add a cup of soup for just $2 extra. For an economical lunch in a luxurious locale, the Grandview Restaurant in the Geneva Inn is an exceptional choice.

For a casual dinner served at a vintage Wisconsin venue, check out Mars located on Lake Como. The large crescent shaped bar is always teeming with friendly locals and visitors. While the menu presents one of the best Friday Fish Fry's in town. Be sure to also try their famous ribs smothered in a sweet, yet zesty sauce. The average entrée at Mars costs around $15 and is worth every penny.

For elegant dining and a gourmet menu, visit Kirsch's which is connected to the adorable French Country Inn. Located on Lake Como, this white pillared European hotel flaunts French windows, lacy curtains, balconies and fountains. The restaurant mimics this theme while boasting a romantic fireplace and candlelit dining. The menu offers excellent entrees like the Roasted Kona Crusted Chateau Briand for $28.95 or the French Stuffed Pork Rib Chop served with proscuitto, wild mushrooms and smoked gouda for $26.95. All entrees at Kirsch's are served with their phenomenal whipped potatoes. A choice from their exclusive wine menu completes your meal.

And now for dessert.....The family owned Lake Geneva Pie Company offers dozens of delicious homemade pies in fresh fruity flavors such as: cherry crumb, blackberry peach, blueberry apple, old mission cherry, Riviera raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, banana cream, key lime and many, many more. Ship a pie to a pal for around $20 or just enjoy a mouthwatering slice for around $3.50. This pleasant pie shop is the perfect end to an appetizing experience in and around the enchanting town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Bon appetite!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cell Phone Evolution

It is not only possible, but very true that while people need cell
phones for the simple purpose of communicating with others, there is a large number of people who need cell phones beyond communication. For example, people and mostly youths, may want them for showing-off, belonging to a certain social group or as proof of keeping pace with technology. This is not a necessarily bad idea, depending on the status or wealth of the individual. If you want your phone to be more than just a communication device, then these suggestions on the features of the cell phone of your choice may be of help to you:

Think of the media facilities. Any modern and up-to-date cell phone must be of high quality in its media provisions. It must have at least an MP3 player (there are some phones with MP4), connectivity to PC, data transmission from phone to phone and to other devices, WAP facilities, FM radio bands (of which you can get access to about more than ten FM stations), cordless Bluetooth services, detachable memory card etc. These are services that any manufacturer is attempting to include to make its product features supercede those of other manufacturers.

There should be an option to download music and video into your
cell phone and play them whenever you want. There should be good quality sound and image, but much quality is derived from using external hearing devices. This must be possible only with the availability of a USB cord, another indispensable feature of a modern
cell phone.

The camera facility should be of the same quality like the audio and visual facilities.

Associated with the camera and media features is the storage capacity of the phone. Most up-to-date cell phones have got at least 512MB of storage capability. Also worthy of note is the fact that most high tech phones do possess videotaping facilities for more than twelve hours of which you can connect to a TV set for a clearer view. Some phones also have a TV card through which you can watch the TV from your handset.
Next is the shape of the phone. The weight and shape must be very comfortable when handling the phone. Smaller cell phones are usually expensive and up-to-date than bigger cell phones. A cell
phone should be small enough to for its user to fold or coil his fingers round it, and spacious enough for the fingers to go over a button without touching on the other buttons. The keys must swill out with or must not go beyond the face of the cell phone.

Another important modern feature is the browser. A modern cell phone must have that service that can gain access to the internet.

Last but not least, we must consider the battery of the phone. The batteries of most modern phones must be extraordinary, providing about ten hours of talk time and at least ten days of usage before recharging.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't overpay!

Let's face it, there's not one person on this planet that enjoys paying bills. Most bills are complicated and include a number of surcharges, fees, and taxes. By not reading and understanding your bills you could be overpaying by hundreds of dollars each year. How do you know if you're being charged fairly? From utilities to cell phones, billing can vary greatly and it's important to understand the charges you incur each month. Learn some of the basics of billing so you can avoid unfair charges, overages, and late fees.

Taxes, Fees, and Surcharges
Understanding the differences of each of these terms will make it much easier to read your bills. State and local taxes are applied to all sorts of bills and services. The most common services that have taxes applied are gas, oil, and electric. Often, these utilities are taxed by both state and local organizations. Generally, tax on these types of bills is no more than ten or fifteen dollars and the company does not make a profit on any of the tax applied. All taxes have to be approved by the county, state, or municipality.

Surcharges and fees are totally different than taxes and may be applied to your bills for a number of reasons and the company almost always profits. You may pay monthly connection fees, delivery fees, and premium surcharges. These extras can really add up if left unchecked. Always read your bill to find out exactly what you are being charged for. Any fees and surcharges should be explained and if there is not an answer, or the answer provided does not make sense you should question it. For most services provided, for which you receive a monthly bill you can simply call customer service to have the charges explained to you. If you don't agree with a charge you may be able to dispute it or receive a refund.
Interest and Late Fees
By only making the minimum payment on your bills each month you may not actually be paying your bills. Instead, you may be only paying on the interest which means the original balance never changes, even if you've made several payments. This is one of the most costly ways to pay bills because it will take much longer to get the balance paid off. This can be quite common on high interest accounts like personal loans and credit cards. When possible you should pay in full and pay on time to avoid recurring interest charges.

By not paying on time you will also incur hefty late fines. Late fees can range from just a few dollars to over thirty dollars each time a payment is late. Make sure you know when your bills are due and pay them on time or early. You don't get any points for paying early but it does ensure your bills are always paid by the due date. Considering electronic processing usually takes a few days you should pay early to avoid mistakenly paying late. One or more late payments may also be enough to kick your account into a higher interest rate, which in the long run will end up costing you much more.

Bill Summary/Detail
This is often the most important part of the bill because it defines the exact cost of your monthly charges. Always read this section of your bill to make sure you are being charged appropriately. If there are any discrepancies call the issuing company right away to get it worked out. Although it can be frustrating talking to machines and representatives it is never helpful to curse, yell, threaten, or demand that you get something. Politeness really pays and the calmer you are, the more likely the company is willing to make a compromise.

Payment History
When reviewing your bills you should also check to make sure the payment history is accurate. Some payment information may not be available immediately but when it is available make sure it matches your records. By keeping track you may avoid overpaying, and missing payments or making them late.
Communication Bills
Cell phone, Internet, and cable bills are usually about the same each month and do not vary greatly. If your bill dramatically increases it is likely there has been a mistake or you incurred a lot of extras. Always read your bill to find out what you are being charged for. Text and picture messages, long distance phone calls, ordering movies, and getting premium channels can always make your communication bills more expensive. By not adding these things to your plan you may be spending a lot of extra money each month. If you send a lot of messages via text on your cell phone you may want to consider getting a text plan. The same goes for cable extras like pay per view and premium channels which cost more when bought individually. Instead of paying full price, you can get a package deal that is much more inexpensive in the long run.

Oil, gas, and electric are expensive to begin with and paying extra charges may seem outrageous. Many utility companies offer balanced billing or some sort of plan that allows you to make more consistent payment amounts. Instead of paying $400 this month for oil and only $70 next month you can even out your bill and pay a steady amount each month. You will have to ask for balanced billing when it comes to utilities because most companies prefer a full upfront payment at time of service. Getting a utility contract may also help curb costs by reducing or eliminating delivery and service fees.

When reading your utility bills check to see how much energy you are actually using and what price you are paying. The cost of utilities can vary from month to month and may fluctuate with seasonal markets. Before paying any utilities make sure that a company representative actually comes and reads the meters each month and is not charging you based on estimated usage. You should only pay for what energy you actually consume. Unfortunately, in most places you have to pay supply charges and/or connection fees.

Other Information
On many bills there is a section where announcements are made and important phone number are listed. Most people fail to read this section of the bill which may alert them to rate increases, new surcharges or fees, and changes to or interruption of service. If you are unaware of what's coming in the future you will be shocked later on when you get a larger than usual bill. Stay on top of things by fully reading your bill and paying attention to your charges. It pays to be proactive and in the long run you will save money.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

every fall

I sat in my car at a red light, showered by sunshine of fall. so comfortable so warm. imagine myself being the first layer, the song that's playing being the second...
considering processing such high energy in the body, yet upon every deep inhaling of oxygen, we don't self combust!...molecules release shallow energies, but the heart can burn for the missed one...and that's being the third layer...
the forth layer is the leaves and the ants, the ever life cycles, vertically, horizontally, ripples waves tides...
the fifth is the moon; the sixth is the rain. the seventh is turner's fishing boats, beaten down screaming 'marcello!' ~ la dolce vita on the eighth...
ninth, tenth, eleventh.
when I count to twelve, the red will blink into green. my right foot resumes my journey, in this fall. in every fall - a step among all steps.
A big fan

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Having heard so much about the Godiva Chocolate I decided to give my kid a surprise treat. The first thing that came to my mind was that, God it is expensive! Should I indulge in this or go for the Swiss Miss itself? Then finally I decided to give a try and see what it tastes like because it is the talk of town. To be honest I am of the view that this is a hyped hot cocoa and I have paid far more than actually it deserves. But now I can also go around telling that I have tasted the Godiva. I am no longer ignorant of this iconic
chocolate drink.

According to me it is comparable to the Serendipity Hot Chocolate and there is nothing extraordinary about this for the price that I have paid. There is no doubt that it is delicious and exotic tempting drink, but you can make the same creamy drink at home at half the price. This is definitely good for those who do not have spare time to prepare dark chocolate drink powder at home. Moreover if you make the hot cocoa powder at home, you will be sure of the ingredients that go in.

If you take a look at the label on the package it states that it contains the artificial flavoring agent, vanillin. Hence this is not the purest chocolate hot cocoa as claimed by the Godiva. I find it excessively sweet and it leaves a strong aftertaste. This would be fine for those who have a sweet tooth. I prefer hot chocolate drink with just the right amount of sugar. I do agree that the Godiva Chocolate Classic milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa is positioned as a liquid
chocolate and hence the sweetness. So what I do is that add just half the amount of the powder as given in the instruction. This is a personal choice and you can add the powder according to your taste bud.

The aroma is really tempting and the seductive flavor would alert anyone nearby. I bet it is hard to resist a cup of hot chocolate at any part of the day. My kids just love them and crave for more. It is perfect to wash down an elaborate dinner with a mug of delectable cocoa drink. This makes a creamy beverage even with 2% milk and the body of the drink is smooth.

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Chocolate Cake

I recently purchased a box of Weight Watchers Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing snack cakes at my local Publix Super Market. I wanted to see if these low calorie chocolate snack cakes were tasty. Here is what I discovered!

Weight Watchers Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing is a box of six individually wrapped chocolate snack sized cakes. This product costs around three dollars. These snack cakes are loaf like shaped and have chocolate icing on top. They resemble a snack that I used to love called zingers but, they are much smaller than those. The picture of these cakes on the outside of the box looks great and very tempting.

When I tasted Weight Watchers Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing snack cakes, I was pleased. They are very tasty and have wonderful chocolate flavor. The icing was good but, not fantastic. These cakes were very filling even though they are very small in size. I thought the product could have been a bit more moist. Still, overall, for a low calorie snack, these chocolate cakes are pretty good.

Weight Watchers Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing snack cakes have eighty calories in one cake. twenty-five of these calories are from fat. Total fat grams are three, saturated fat grams are one, trans fat grams are zero. This product has five mgs of cholesterol, one hundred and ten mgs of sodium, fifteen grams of total carbs, two grams of dietary fiber, ten sugars and one gram of protein. This product has none or very little vitamin A, C, niacin, folic acid or calcium. This product provided me with two percent of my daily required thiamine and riboflavin. One cake equals one weight watchers point.
Weight Watchers Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing contains sugar, enriched wheat flour bleached, flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, egg whites, soybean oil, glycerin, inulin, natural extract of chicory roots, cocoa processed with alkali, water, nonfat milk, egg yolk, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, soy fiber, propylene glycol mono and diesters, food starch-modified, leaving,
baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, aluminum sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, cornstarch, mono and diglycerides, corn syrup, dextrose, invert sugar, corn flour, salt, sorbitan monostearate, natural and artificial flavor, caramel color, soy lecithin, potassium sorbate, polysorbate 60, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, calcium carbinate, propylene glycol, polysorbate 80, agar and wheat starch. This product does contain eggs, wheat, soy and milk. I was amazed that such a small
chocolate cake snack could possibly have this many ingredients in it!

I rate Weight Watchers Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing snack cakes four stars out of five stars. This product was filling and made an excellent snack. Weight Watchers Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing is distributed by Dawn Food Products, Inc. located in Jackson, MI and they are under the license of Weight Watchers International, Inc. located in New York, NY.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Living room

There are many decorating shows on television these days that transform boring, everyday living rooms into magnificent palaces of
style and fashion. These shows can give you fabulous ideas about what you might like your living room to look like. However, what they do not tell you is that these transformations cost thousands of dollars to perform.

There are not many people who have thousands of extra dollars lying around for a complete living room makeover. However, it is still possible for you to decorate your living room. These low budget
decorating ideas should get your started.

Window Treatments

You may very well be able to find some nice curtains in a clearance decor sale at a local store. That will definitely help you on your way to low budget window treatments. If you cannot, however, you can easily come up with your own idea for curtains.

Flat sheets make easy and elegant curtains right out of the package. You simply pull the curtain rod through the pocket at the end and let them hang. Instead of purchasing expensive curtain tie-backs, you should try to use pretty scarves, sashes, or even sturdy long beaded necklaces. To further dress up the top of the curtains, you can drape a long scarf or beaded garland along the top. Buy a length of ribbon or lace at the craft store and drape that around the curtain rod for a pretty feminine look.

The Couch and Chair

Buying a new couch or chair can cost a lot of money. If the fabric is unattractive or too worn, you can purchase a nice slipcover that will fit it exactly. If you cannot find a slipcover, you can use a blanket or a sheet to tuck in around the sofa cushions.

After you cover the couch, you can update the style by using throw blankets and decorator pillows. It is easy to buy a small throw blanket from a thrift store for a quick decorating idea. Pillows can be purchased of sewn by folding a rectangle of any cloth over an old pillow.

Table Top Glamour
The flea markets and thrift stores are great places to find money saving decor ideas. Old bottles, flower pots, and knick-knacks make great decorations. It is easy to paint older items or leave them weathered for a country home look. Be creative with your decorating, and you will be able to save a lot of money.

Decorating your living room does not have to cost thousands of dollars. By following the tips and advice outlined above, you should be able to create a warm and inviting, or highly stylish, living room in your home.

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Starting a Wine Collection

There are two main reasons why people collect wine: for money and because they are passionate about it. Regardless of which of these reasons has led you to collect wine you should know that wine collecting requires that you invest some money. You should also know that enjoying fine wine is something that is completely different from having a wine collection. Before you begin your wine collection you should make one very important consideration: Where are you going to store your wine collection? A large part of your initial investment is going to go towards ensuring that you have a place that is suitable for storing your wine. You will want to do this in order to make sure that your wine collection's value will increase. Whether or not you believe it, storage will make a huge difference.

Whenever you keep, collect and protect your
wine in a suitable manner it will nicely age into a fine vintage wine. On the other hand, if you do not properly care for your wine, you will be able to taste it. This is because the wine collection's quality will deteriorate.

Once you have chosen a way in which to properly store your
wine collection you will be ready to extensively research the wide variety of wines that are available on the market. In your research you will learn that only certain types of wine should be stored for an extended length of time. For this reason, serious wine collectors willingly spend money on books about wine collecting. You will need to spend time reading about and understanding the various types of wine and how each of them should be stored. Another way in which this research can be done is via the Internet. There is a lot of information available on this topic. It is your job to find this information then read and remember it.

After you finally understand how each type of
wine should be stored you can create your wine's storage area. Of course you will have had to have already decided what type of wine you want to keep.
Once you have built the area in which you plan to keep your
wine you can begin purchasing your wine. Your wine's quality will depend upon how well you are able to store it. You will want your wine to have the best quality so that you will get a higher price for it.

When you go to purchase your
wine you will want to ask the seller to give you an authentic certificate. While this sounds trivial it is actually very important because you will want to know for sure that you are purchasing a wine that is of high quality. This is really important if you are going to purchase wine in bulk.

As a
wine collector you should try to get a balance of Old World wine from Europe and New Age wine from Australia and Chile. You should also know that wine, which is ready to be drank, and dessert wine are not good wines to store for a long period of time.

You really need to know what you are doing before starting a
wine collection. Otherwise you will be wasting a lot of money.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Funny Obama Videos

Everything being equal, some video creators have been focusing on making fun of Barack Obama. That may be a pretty risky thing, since far too many folks are overly sensitive about the charming Democratic Presidential candidate. Some humorists tend to back away from parodying him, out of fear of offending others. In all fairness, however, anybody running for such an important political position should expect that people are going to be satirizing him or her.

A wealth of parodies have been made about Hillary Clinton, so Obama should expect to be lampooned as well.

To be honest, it has been a challenge trying to find video parodies of Barack Obama worth mentioning, but I did manage to come across a few.

Obama Verses Jackson

I don't know whether to wince or laugh at this parody, featuring Obama and Jesse Jackson in a video game, where they battle it out. While some folks can watch this video and take it in stride, others may be offended, since it features Obama- the first really viable African-American to run for President- battling with Jesse Jackson, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination a few years back.

This is as politically incorrect as you can get, but perhaps that's a good thing.

Click here to watch it.

Obama Goes Hollywood

How can you not be amused by this funny video, entitled Baracky: The Movie, an entertaining send-up of Rocky?

This produced some healthy guffaws from my person upon viewing it.

Click here to watch it.

Jedi Master?

This cartoon parody makes fun of some key moments of the Obama campaign. My guess is that this was not made by an Obama supporter. Still, you have to give whoever made it some points for coming up with something clever.

Click here to watch it.

Shades of Britney

In an obvious takeoff of the infamous "Leave Britney Alone!" video made famous on You Tube, the maker of this one features a tearful Obama supporter, loyally defending his candidate. While the quality of this particular video is diminished by the poor lighting, the humor is still on target.

Click here to watch it.

Obama Verses the Prez
I think you sort of figured that, after doing those dance moves on Ellen Degeneres's talk show, Baracj Obama was opening himself up for the inevitable satires that would follow.

In this video, Obama's dance moves are compared to those of soon-to-be-dumped President George W. Bush's example of fancy foot work.

My analysis?

Neither of them is going to make us forget about Fred Astaire any time soon!

Click here to watch it.

Gassy Obama

Yes, it's the obligatory phony farting video. It's crude, rude and gross, but it's out there..

Click here to watch it.

This Is Just the Beginning!

If Barack Obama wins the Presidency, he needs to prepare himself for the onslaught of political parodies bound to be created by both those who like him and by those who don't. In the one-on-one interviews I've seen him give, he appears to have a solid sense of humor. That's good, because he will definitely need it.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Halloween Party food..Yum Yum

A Halloween party wouldn't be much of a party without gross party food. Don't serve hot dogs and hamburgers this Halloween. Instead of ordinary Halloween food, make extraordinary Halloween party food that fits a gross and gruesome Halloween party theme.

The following ideas for Halloween party food will gross out even the most hardcore horror fans. Try these gross and gruesome food ideas for your Halloween party, and your party will be a big hit. These
food ideas are easy, delicious, impressive, and best of all, these
Halloween party food ideas are gross and exceptionally gruesome.

Severed Hand Punch

Do you want to give ordinary red punch a hand? How about two or three hands? This is one of the cleverest ideas for chilling red punch while adding gross and gruesome appeal to a Halloween party. Your
Halloween party guests will definitely be impressed with this clever idea.

Fill clean latex gloves with a sweetened blue or purple drink of your choice, and secure the open ends. Place the drink-filled gloves over items in the freezer to bend the fingers. When you're ready to serve red punch of your choice, cut away the latex gloves, and place the severed hands in the punch. The blue or purple severed hands will keep the punch cool while adding gross appeal to the party.

Bloodshot Eyes

If you like deviled eggs, make Halloween party eggs that are sure to gross out all the guests. Boil the eggs as usual, and after they are cool enough to handle, gently crack the shells while leaving them intact. Place the cracked eggs back in the water along with a tablespoon of vinegar and plenty of red food dye. Let the eggs soak in the red water for twenty or thirty minutes. When the eggs are peeled, they'll be covered with cracks that resemble the veins in bloodshot eyes.

Prepare your favorite deviled egg recipe, and add blue or green food coloring to the deviled egg filling. Create the eyes by filling egg white halves with the colored mixture. Cut the ends off whole black olives, and center the corneas in the colored yolk mixture. These bloodshot eyes are sure to gross out everyone at the party!

Bloody Fingers
This is one of the best ideas for gross and gruesome Halloween party food. Prepare your usual recipe for meatballs, and instead of making typical round meatballs, turn them into long tapering fingers. Add fingernails by inserting slivered almonds near the tips. Carefully brown the fingers, and top them with your favorite spaghetti sauce.
Halloween party guests will definitely find these fingers gross and definitely gruesome.

A Skull Full of Worms

It's amazing how ordinary food turns into something gross when given a ghastly name and served in a frightening manner. Turn ordinary spaghetti into a gross and gruesome pile of worms by serving it in a plastic skull. You can find plastic skulls in the
Halloween isle of most discount stores. Simply cook spaghetti as usual, and toss it with your favorite sauce inside a plastic skull. Ordinary spaghetti is suddenly transformed into a shockingly good
party dish that will gross out all the guests.

Skin and Bones

Looking for appetizer ideas for your Halloween party? Serve a skull full of brains with a pile of skin and bones. Bake your favorite bread sticks as usual, and fry strips of bacon until they are fully cooked but not quite crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels, and after it's cool enough to handle, wrap the bacon around the breadsticks. Warm the skin-covered bones in the microwave before the meal, and drizzle them with spaghetti sauce of your choice for a bloody good Halloween party appetizer to remember.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Red Wine anybody?

If you're an oenophile -- especially one who prefers a cabernet or merlot over a chardonnay or riesling -- you've got an increasing number of scientists in your corner. Turns out, according to extensive recent research, that red wine appears to deliver some serious health benefits along with the pleasure of its taste. It also could help any would-be mineral prospectors among you (more on that at the end).

So what new scientific findings back regular, moderate consumption of red wine? Consider these:

It might help fight cancer. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center this month published a study that found that resveratrol, a natural antioxidant in grape skins and red wine, can help kill cancer cells in the pancreas. The antioxidant apparently works by crippling the workings of the mitochondria that provide cancer cells with energy.

It could reduce complications from diabetes. Red wine's resveratrol appears to help fight such diabetes-related complications as heart disease and certain kidney and eye problems, according to a study from the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England. The antioxidant seems to protect against blood vessel cell damage caused by a diabetic's high levels of blood glucose. "Resveratrol's antioxidant effects in the test tube are well documented but our research shows the link between high levels of glucose, its damaging effect on cell structure, and the ability of resveratrol of protect against and mend that damage," said principal researcher Matt Whiteman.

It might delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The polyphenols in grape juice and red wine show some ability to fight the accumulation of the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's, according to research from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The polyphenols appear to work by reducing the accumulation of the beta-amyloid peptides that form the plaques.
It could help prevent heart disease. The polyphenols found in grapes, red wine and green tea seem to encourage blood vessel growth that can benefit the circulatory system and heart, a team of French researchers reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Even low doses equivalent to one glass of red wine per day appeared to provide health benefits, the team found.

It might fight food poisoning. Red wines -- especially cabernets, merlots and zinfandels -- appear to have anti-microbial powers that kill the bugs that cause food-borne illnesses, according to research from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Red wine showed the ability to fight pathogens that included E. coli, salmonella, listeria and Helicobacter pylori, the study found.
It could also increase Libido and put everybody in the mood. Enough said here.

Finally, if you're hunting for metals and have any wine to spare, you could have a leg up on finding natural mineral deposits. An exploration and mining scientist at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation recently found that wine or soft drinks, when mixed with soil, can dissolve
natural metals into solution, making it easy to test for local mineral deposits. The beverages seem to work best at hunting down minerals like silver, zinc, copper and nickel. "In many cases, the comparison of metals extracted using wine and soft drink were superior than those extracted using conventional, and much more expensive, commercial solvents," said one researcher.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Can't Sleep..Have Insomnia..then try doing this together on the bed.

Are you sleepy during the day? Are you generally tired and irritable? Do you have problems concentrating or remembering? If you answered yes then you may be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is defined as having difficulty falling and/or staying asleep at night. Insomnia sufferers may have difficulty falling asleep at night, waking up in the night and having trouble going back to sleep, waking up too early, and feel tired when waking up. If this describes you then read on for some more information and treatment.

There are two types of insomnia. Primary insomnia is when someone has difficulty sleeping and it is not directly caused by some other factor. Secondary insomnia is characterized as when the insomnia is caused because of something else.

Insomnia is then characterized by the length of the insomnia. Acute insomnia is insomnia that lasts for a very short while. It may be due to an illness, environmental factors, emotional or physical discomfort, medications, life stress, and interference with a normal sleep schedule. Acute insomnia can last from one night to several weeks. Chronic insomnia is characterized as happening three or more times a week for a month or more. Chronic insomnia is usually caused by depression, anxiety, stress, or pain that cannot be alleviated. Whether the insomnia is acute or chronic, it is a good idea to visit your health care provider to be evaluated.

You can expect your doctor to want a complete medical history including emotion history when he evaluates you. He may also want a sleep journal chronicling a couple weeks worth of sleep. He may even send you for a sleep study. Once the insomnia diagnosis is given, there are several ways to treat it.

Treating insomnia can be as simple as treating the underlying problem. If it is caused by depression, then antidepressants may stop the insomnia. If it is caused my chronic pain, then seeing
treatment for the pain should alleviate the insomnia. If necessary, the doctor can prescribe sleeping pills. These cannot be used long-term so it is important to discover the reason behind the insomnia and be treated for it.

Trying to get a good night sleep can be easier than it sounds. Start by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, heavy meals, and exercise too close to bedtime. While avoiding it close to bedtime is a good idea, exercising daily will also help promote a good nights sleep. Try a relaxing routine prior to bed. Perhaps this could involve a bath and a book or sex. Sex could be a good way to help ease the tension of the day. Try to keep it quiet just before bedtime. This means don't use the computer or watch television right before bed. It is suggested that no television or computer for one hour prior to bedtime. Make sure that your bed is comfortable. Keep the room slightly cool since it is proven to provide a better sleeping environment. Don't keep it so cool that you become cold. Take care of other distractions such as noise or light. Hopefully, by changing your routine, the insomnia will go away.

Insomnia can be a serious problem. When we don't get enough sleep, our judgment as well as vision can be impaired. Being very tired has been compared to being drunk. Let's hope you wouldn't
drive drunk, but you may not think twice about driving when you are too tired. If the symptoms of insomnia sound all too familiar, then see your health care provider for treatment.

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All time 5 Nastiest Televised Presidential Ads

Television advertising has been an important part of the Presidential
election process since the 1952 race where Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson. Recently, the Museum of the Moving Image has made the entire body of Presidential campaign ads available on its website in a project it calls The Living Room Candidate. After spending several hours digging through those videos, I have chosen the five nastiest political television ads of all time. By nasty I mean that the ad either directly attacks an opponent, or plays on the fears of Americans regarding some group (a minority race, for example) and implies that the country will be at risk from that group if the candidate's opponent is elected. Below are the top five nastiest ads of all time. All of these ads can be viewed on the Living Room Candidate website of the Museum of the Moving Image.

"The Threat", Bob Dole (1996)

Dole's ad opens with and image of the girl from the Daisy Ad discussed below, immediately evoking all of the fear that accompanied that ad to those who viewed it. The ad then goes on to equate the modern issue of teen drug use to the fear of nuclear attack thirty years before. The ad points to the doubling of teen drug use in recent years, and implies that the Clinton Administration's policies somehow played a role in that rise in drug use. The ad, entirely shot in an ominous black-and-white, ends with a boy of around age 12 standing on a playground smoking a crack pipe. Overall the ad plays on the public's fear of teen drug use and attempts to pin that fear to Clinton, but provides no real facts to establish that he played any role in its increase.

"Streetgov", Jimmy Carter (1980)

The streetgov ad is a series of "man on the street" interviews of people in California, where Carter's opponent Ronald Reagan was Governor. The overall implication of the ad was that individuals in Reagan's own home state believed that Reagan was too incompetent, and not trustworthy enough to be President of the United States. Clearly, this ad did not have its intended effect.

"Willie Horton"- The National Security PAC on Behalf of George H.W. Bush (1988)
The Willie Horton ad is easily one of the nastiest ads of all time in terms of playing on the fears of Americans. It accused Michael Dukakis on supporting weekend passes for first degree murders like Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who was given a weekend pass, only to commit a double murder and repeatedly rape a woman. Pictures of Horton, by all accounts a "frightening" looking African-American man, were shown throughout the commercial. The intent of the commercial was to cause Americans to associate Dukakis with Americans' irrational fears of being the victim of minority crime. Overall, this ad is the best example of implicit "race baiting" in political advertising history.

"Any Questions?", Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on Behalf of George W. Bush (2004)

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were an independent political group of individuals who claimed to have served alongside John Kerry in Vietnam. In the "Any Questions" ad, several members of that group outright accuse Kerry of having lied about his military record, lied to the U.S. Senate about what went on in Vietnam, and generally being an untrustworthy soldier. Any ad that attacks a 4-time Purple Heart recipient and Vietnam Veteran on his military record certainly falls into any definition of a nasty ad.

The "Daisy" Ad, Lyndon B. Johnson (1964)

Because President Johnson's opponent, Barry Goldwater, had previously made several statements painting himself as a national security extremist, this ad did not even have to mention Goldwater's name to convey its message. Despite only being aired one time, the ad is considered the most infamous political ad in television history.

The ad opens with an adorable little girl standing in a field, counting as she picks petals off a flower. When her count gets to nine, a
male voiceover begins a countdown from ten to one, and as the
male voice gets closer to one, the camera zooms in on the child's eye, and the sounds and images of a nuclear mushroom cloud appear on the screen. The ad ends with another voiceover which states "vote for President Johnson on November 3, the stakes are too high for you to stay home".

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