Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Freeze Zone

We're looking at properties down south and one of the areas we're looking at are the Carolinas. I told my husband today that we should plan some vacations over the next few season to various areas we are interested in. We could, for instance, look into reservations at some rentals and get a feel for the surrounding areas in North Carolina. The cruise down the coast to Florida. We had considered Virginia, but then decided nothing further north that one of the Carolinas. I am serious about wanting to move to a 'no freeze zone.'

Two Weeks

I got new glasses two weeks ago. It was a long overdue event. The difference was astounding and very evident. I loved the way I could see out of them. I hated the fact that they were bifocals. Not because bifocals were 'old' or anything. You can't even tell they're bifocals by looking at them. They're 'graduated' bifocals-no lines. What I hated about them is how nauseous them made me, and the headaches I got. I hated how looking through the reading portion of them while on the computer was like trying to look through a pinpoint opening with a halo haze all around. I was certain I'd never be able to use them to work on my 17 inch computer screen. Well it all cleared up. I evenutally stopped being nauseous (sea-sick on land, lol) from the swimming movement trying to maintain focus. I stopped seeing a halo of fog around what I was reading on screen. They work great now. When I got the glasses they said it would probably take a few days, maybe three to get used to them... HA. Two weeks. I am finally comfortable all the time just now after two weeks of acclimation.

Hubby got his new glasses last weekend. I laughed because all of the same things I'd experienced I could see him going through. I was thankful I could tell him the 'swimming', and the halo, and the fog, would all pass. He was grateful too.

It only took him a few days to get used to them though. Hum. Must be a guy thing.

New Kitchen in the Future

I have wanted to replace the kitchen linoleum floor tiles with ceramic floor tiles for years and am working on it. However, I am going to have to put a little bit of a fire under myself and get it done after last week. I purchased a new big screen TV and a new console for it too. Very modern, very sleek and black, and that meant moving my huge, heavy wood console my old one was mounted on out. That was a herculean feat. There was no moving that without dragging it across the kitchen floor. Ouch. The linoleum in there will never be the same. At least it is winter... the perfect time for indoor projects. New kitchen floor -- NEXT.

Acer is Aces

I was wandering around Walmart the other day and stumbled upon the computer section (not too innocently, I'm looking for a new smaller computer to take on the boat with me next spring). I fell in love with the little Acer computers. They are just the right size for carrying about (nine inches) and come in a wild variety of colors. I really liked the purple (yes purple). My husband managed to get me out of the store without buying one by suggesting I look around thoroughly since I didn't need one until spring (point taken) but at $299 with the windows7 op system installed I think it will be hard to beat the deal on an Acer no matter how hard I look.

District 9

I just watched "District 9" tonight. It is a low-budget aliens land on earth movie but with some unusual twists that explore age-old racial issues in an interesting documentary format that had humor as well as action. The fact that the movie takes place in South Africa even heightens the parallels of racial tensions and inequities. In many ways there was 'nothing new' about the ideas behind the story of District 9, but the way it was told was quite fresh.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Healthy Choice

Nothing is more important than good individual health insurance, and nothing can be more confusing at times. Especially for those of us that are self-employed. It is smart to take the time to figure it out and get what you need. Health bills can devastate your finances in a heartbeat. Some companies are making it much easier to understand, and find the right combination of policies for your needs. Many larger writer's companies are forming group insurance plans for their independent contractors which helps a lot. Ask the companies you write for to find out if they have a plan available. Look around online to find insurance companies that you understand, or have customer service personnel that can help you through selections. Do what you have to in order to stay protected. You save a few dollars by not getting insurance, but risk so much more without it.

Slumdog no Millionaire for Me

I tried. I tried to be good and I actually really wanted to see "Slumdog Millionaire." so it really wasn't a matter of trying overly hard to 'be good' and watch something just because everyone said it was good. This movie was the big hit of the year last year. It should be all that and a box of cookies... too bad it wasn't. At least not for me. Then again, maybe it was just slow going getting started. I don't know because I could not keep watching it. Maybe if I'd gone to the theater I would know because I wouldn't have wanted to lose the money and walk out. Flipping the channel however, that was easy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Skin Rituals

For awhile I was so busy I got a little sloppy about my beauty rituals. The great thing about using eye cream, and other treatments is they act quickly to revitalize the skin. I started back up a couple of days ago and already can see the difference. Since I'm not in my twenties anymore I can't afford to forget, get sidetracked, or ignore the need for moisturizers and eye cream. A little dab a night does wonders for those pesky wrinkles. Eye strain and constant reading on the computer don't help matters much, but a little bit of care takes care of it fast.

Live and Learn

I have to learn a lot of new things to write the articles I do each day. The great part is I get to learn about things I really want to learn anyway. I use a wide variety of tools including YouTube. This is one of the great video tips I watched today.

Picking the Perfect TV Stand

I'm trying to decide which type of stand to get for the new TV I want in the living room. There are several different types of tv stands just for the flat screens alone. I love the old entertainment center we have now but it won't hold the 55" screen TV I bought. I don't know what to do with that either. It's in too good of shape to just toss out, it's too big for most of the other rooms in the house, and is pretty much a specific piece. There's not much else it can be used for. Too bad it's too big for the new boat. I need a TV stand in there too.

Fishing With Your Bare Hands (Extreme Style)

Talk about fishing with your bare hands, this is a little over the top.

Now don't think you'll ever catch me throwing myself out of a perfectly good helicopter just to catch a fish. I won't even throw myself off the boat just to catch a fish.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Best Reviews

One of the things I like the most about the internet is that everyone can really research things they want to buy, or try. I think this is especially important when it comes to things we consume or put in or on our bodies. I've researched everything from diet products to cleansing products. It is always a good idea to read the reviews. When I was looking for cleansing products I read all of the colon cleanse reviews I could find to be sure I was getting one I felt comfortable with, safe with, and that would work. I like reviews because they tell you how something worked, or didn't, for someone else, not just an opinion from a company. Even professional opinions from research companies, while good, isn't quite the same as the reaction from an average person. I like that because I feel like someone more like me is likely to give me a better idea of how something will work for me than someone in a lab.

Trips without Vacation

Just researching a little bit about the Great Lakes and how they connect, I think one of the first 'big' trips we're going to do next year is a Lake Michigan/Lake Huron trip to Mackinac Island. It's roughly 200 miles from Chicago to the Island just through the pass from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. I've only seen pictures of it in the past but it looks like a simply beautiful location. Mackinac Island is only accessible by air or water which makes it even more appealing as a boating destination. The great thing about all my travel plans is I don't even have to take 'vacation' time (which considering I'm self-employed is rather silly anyway, who is going to say no?) because I can work from anywhere, including on the boat. WiFi is a miracle and laptops are a Godsend!

Finding the Right Insurance

If I can't find an insurance company that will insure my boat/boat trailer along with my house, and cars I think I might look for totally separate insurance for all of them for a change. It is hard because getting auto insurance quotes is pretty easy, and getting boat trailer insurance is easy enough, but getting boat insurance is really difficult. Only because not every insurance company covers boats. I suppose because they are so easy to break, and when they break it is an immediate problem. You don't break down on the side of a road, you break down in the middle of the ocean (or other bodies of water). Swimming is not usually an option. Boats never seem to break down a few feet from shore.

New Vision

Woo hoo. I just got off the phone with the eye doctor and my new glasses are in! That should make a big difference in how I feel about working. I hope anyway. I've been kind of putting off getting new glasses for awhile now, just making jokes about getting older and having to take my glasses off to read (which includes use the computer, type, anything) and put them back on the see distance (which includes watching tv or getting up and walking across the room). It is a big pain in the butt. I finally broke down and went to the eye doctor last weekend and wow, just judging from the exam and the way things looked through the lenses it is going to be GREAT with the new glasses. My distance prescription didn't change a bit but my close range vision did. So that means I need bi-focals, but big deal, I'll be able to see! Actually, with the gradual bi-focals you can't even tell. The only person who will know is me.

Getting the Right Insurance

I need to start looking for more insurance online. I have a combined house, car, trailer policy now but the premiums are high. Online searching makes it easier to compare available policies. I need to get boat insurance in addition to the rest and like, when possible, to keep all of them together. It makes paying the monthly fees easier if I don't have to write three or four separate checks, or even pay them online. I love how much easier it is now than it was ten and more years ago to get any kind of insurance. Whether its health, life, or "item" insurance it is simple to get online and I feel better thinking I have the best prices.

Tough Six Months

I am writing so slow today. In fact, many days I find myself dragging. The last six months of this year have been challenging for a number of reasons, and because of that I have given myself a lot of leeway. I have to stop that, though. I fear it has become a habit and it's hurting me financially. I could continue to give myself excuses, but it is very hard to tell where the reality of depression and stress end and the reality of lazy excuses begin. What I do know is that I never had to push myself like this before. I enjoy my work as a rule. So maybe I am still suffering the tail end of the repercussions. The fact that I am pulling out of it makes it harder to tell if my lethargy is real or excused laziness. I'm praying that the current feelings lift magically at some point and I can return to my old aggressive self.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Insight Venture Partners

Since 1995 Insight Venture Partners has focused on becoming a leading venture capital company revolving around the software, data service, and internet industries. They are now a 3 billion dollar company always looking for entrepreneurs and businesses to partner with in order to achieve new horizons. In their target industries Insight Venture Partners is a growth leader.

You provide them with the challenge and Insight Venture Partners work to provide you with a solution and results. They keep on top of current economic trends with their diversity including growth equity, carve-outs, buyouts, recapitalizations, and pre-ipo rounds amongst others. Their expert teams will develop the best strategy to work with your company, provide the operational skill to implement the ideas, and the technology to keep up to date and competitive. Using a firm's existing resources and their advanced skills Insight Venture Partners are able to keep ahead of the pack because they provide accelerated time to market.

With over 120 investments, 15 IPOs, and 40 strategic acquisitions Insight Venture Partners is a company with feet firmly planted in today's media. It is the primary investor in Twitter and with that and an ever widening portfolio it is poised to head into the future with confidence.

Era Gone By

I just finished watching Robin William's new HBO comedy "Weapons of Self Destruction" for the second time. It's really hilarious. He has always been a wonderful stand up as well as amazing actor. Robin is, in my opinion, one of the few comedy geniuses that also manage great drama rolls too: Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come (not only a drama but a very psycho drama type movie), and my favorite, Awakenings, just to name a few. It's great to see him returning to his stand up roots, but a little sad as well. He's aging--like we all do. He is recently recovered from open heart surgery (which he covers with humor in his show). All of that only serves to accentuate how we are losing the greats. George Carlin is no longer with us, and many of his time are getting older. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of real replacement for such astounding talents such as Eddie Murphy, Robin, Steve Martin, the late George, and others of their time. Perhaps it is just an era past and there isn't meant to be such a great age of comedy again. That's sad, but I'm glad I got to experience it in my lifetime.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Indomitable Spirit and Mardi Gras

I've been doing some research on where I want to vacation next year. It's always nice as the old year comes to a close to start looking forward to new things. I know I'll go to Geneva in the spring, and spend a lot of time on local lakes with the new boat during the summer. For the one big year end vacation next year, however, I'm looking for something new. I've looked into some new orleans hotels. That is an area of the country I've never been to. I have an old friend down there I'd love to see, as well as experiencing some of that indomitable spirit and culture that still exists in the Mardi Gras state. There's also the Mississippi River to explore. We have one end of it up here and I plan on getting very familiar with it, but it would be quite an experience to see the mighty Mississippi down at the source.

Free Living?

How do you make a project a viable desire for millions? Make it worth money. No one likes to think they're crass enough to consider money the reason for doing what they do. However, money really is what makes it possible to do everything else, and most importantly, money makes it possible to live: pay the bills, buy food, pay for clothing and housing, not to mention schooling and transportation. Money also makes the fun things in life possible. Without money hobbies are nearly impossible. There really isn't any such thing as a 'free' hobby. The old saying is the best things in life are free---try to find them though.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Real Characters

I used to obsess over how certain features in a manuscript would help bring a character's world to life. How specific does a writer need to be to make the reader feel truly in the written world? Do features such as types of cars, a Kohler sink, a water filter, make some sort of statement about the character in the story? I suppose you can get too hung up on details. The truth is, the more you show, that really makes a point to the attitude and desires of the character, the more 'real' they become.

The Tragedy of Success

I watched "The Parent Trap" (the 1998 version with Lindsey Lohan). I like the remake and Lindsey's early movies were wonderful. She had such a fresh talent and was fun to watch. It had its price, however. Apparently from the way her life has been lately the toll of such success so early is tragic.

Don't Mess Around with the GMATs

The GMAT test is an aptitude test that determines your eligibility for graduate courses. It is one of the more important tests of your academic career and the better prepared you are, the more you will get out of it. Because it is only given a few times a year getting ready for your GMAT so that you do not have to wait for another round just makes sense. You can use programs such as GMAT prep courses that give you a sound basis for your test. Using the GMAT prep course is one of the best ways to feel confident and avoid pre-test jitters. The prep course helps you get ready for the essay, the verbal portion, and all of the sections of the test. While you might be able to compensate for a low GMAT score with other accomplishments, it is much better to top the list of applicants scores and have the other accomplishments to ensure your acceptance.

Re-runs Already?

It must be an off week for TV. Many of my favorite shows were re-runs even though the season isn't over. I gave up trying to figure out how to know when shows were new or not. I'm glad that the DIVO knows when to record a first run and when to leave a re-run off the schedule. I did just finish watching "Jurassic Park" though. I love that movie. I like watching re-runs when they're my idea. I just don't like watching re-runs of a series that is suppose to be in its season run, and even more, I don't like watching re-runs of episodes of a new series that I've just seen a few weeks earlier. Hopefully next week will be better.