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Friday, December 31, 2010

Which is more important?

    Life is extremely complicated and full of never ending decisions. But the two questions which keeps popping up every so are the ones about money and education. People are always debating on these two points wondering which one is more important.

    A great education is valuable since it acts like a stepping stone in life to fulfill many of our ambitions in life. A person who has a career that makes him/her happy is likely to be fairly well off also, since they will put in more effort in their daily job duties. Studying hard and graduating from a college/university with good qualifications can usually give a person a great career that will earn them money without much hard work.

    Some people claim that a proper education is not necessary in order to be successful in life. These people are claiming that a lot of people around the world don’t have any higher degree, yet they are making lot of money. True, many people in certain areas or industries might be earning higher wages than others, but this is due to the fact they have to put in a lot of hard work of many years to reach this level, have less chance of promotion than college graduates and usually be the first ones to be asked to leave when the company downsizes. These people will usually be stuck in the same level for a long time, since they are not qualified to level up to the next post.

    I think that a certain amount of money is necessary in life in order to take care of our basic needs like food, clothing, shelter etc. A student needs it for accommodation, college fees, purchasing study material, besides the other essential items but wealth does not always equal happiness and mental satisfaction. It is also needed to maintain a certain standard of living. Otherwise we will not be any different than the beggars on the street forever asking for alms

    In the end, even though both things tend to complement each other, I feel education is more important as it makes us a more complete person and separates from us from the other creatures in the animal kingdom. It is better to be well educated than very rich person who has no education and is a total fool. With good education qualifications more opportunities open up and more employers are willing to hire a person. A large helping of good fortune, good health and happiness are also equally important things in life as these help us in successfully completing our goals, tasks and ambitions in life. Read more...

      Tuesday, December 28, 2010

      The traffic incident

        On a cold foggy day, I headed off to one of my relatives houses which is located about half an hour away from where I live. I really didn’t feel like leaving the house under these conditions so early in the morning since I had really planned this trip for later in the day. So, I bundled up and waddled outside….yes waddled like a penguin. It’s cold and the cold wind from the northern mountains makes it worse. Got a warm cap covering my head, sweater….a warm shirt underneath that….a t shirt under the shirt….let’s not forget the pants and shoes…So, somehow I managed to get in the car and after some coaxing, it finally started. It’s a real gas guzzler of a car so I stopped off at a nearby gas station first and had the tires checked and topped off the gas tank.

        Most of the drive was rather uneventful until I neared one of the minor intersections. There was a minor traffic jam as I turned off the engine and just waited my turn. I failed to notice that the cars in front of me were starting to move and before I could make my move, an environmentally friendly fertilizer unit moved in front of me and blocked the road completely. It decided to let go right in front of my car and I had no space to maneuver to get out of the way, since there was a truck right behind me, a car on the left and the road divider on the right. Oh boy, what a mess I was in. I honked and honked but nothing happened. It kept on pooping away blissfully unaware of its surroundings.

        I guessed it finally noticed the frantic honking since it turned its head around, gave a belch and gave an exaggerated quack. Luckily, I had not gotten out of the car since I think I must have seriously offended its sensibilities. The Duck turned around, came up to the engine part of the car and started to head butting it. My first thoughts were “Oh shit!!! What mess have I gotten myself into this time”? So, I was sitting there while most of the traffic was whizzing by. The Duck simply wouldn’t leave me alone. A pack of stray squirrels passing through seemed like my car tires so much that they took turns marking it as their own personal territory. I was here stuck in traffic…time was slipping through my hands like grains of sands through a hour glass.

        A Gator dressed up as a traffic cop was standing at the corner watching the whole drama and it seemed he was having one hell of time at my expense. No use arguing with the cop since I really didn’t want another headache at this point and time. I leaned out of the window and managed to back the car some distance, since the traffic had managed to clear up and there wasn’t anyone behind me. I was seriously considering wrestling the Duck and tying it to my car and paddling down the river running next to the road to make up for the lost time. I finally managed to clear this hurdle and reach my destination. This particular incident had wasted full 15 minutes of my time and at times it seems like the whole animal kingdom was against me. Lol.

        On the way back home, I decided to stop by the food court located on the top floor of a mall located on my way back home and had a bite to eat. This time, I made it a point to take a different route home. I really didn’t want to confront the same Duck once more. There wasn’t much of a crowd in the mall since it was around noon and I managed to enjoy myself more in these less crowed shopping center. All I did was a lot of window shopping after I had my lunch. I did manage to find a few cell phones to my liking and I guess I’ll get a new cell phone in a few weeks’ times. The one I am using currently will be given to some other family member.

        After what seemed hours, I managed to make my way to my car and zipped home. I seemed to have totally forgotten about the traffic incident until I heard a couple of ducks quacking near my house. Next time, instead of irritating them by honking the horn, I guess I’ll make a quiet getaway maybe. Hope you all had a better day than being stuck behind an irritated duck and a bunch of squirrels who really like the tires on your car. Read more...

          Monday, December 27, 2010

          The Roaring Lion Hotel

            Every year around this time, it is the same dilemma. It is the time when I can go on my annual vacation with my friends to new locations and this year I just cannot figure out where to go and where to stay. There are too many hotel choices yet it is difficult to make a right choice since I do not have much information available to make a proper choice. I needed a comparison chart so that I can compare hotel prices and choose the one which one fits my budget after I have decided my destination. The main factor in deciding one hotel over another is that the hotels near the venue will get more preference than the ones further away.

            It was sheer luck that I discovered “The Roaring Lion Hotel” which will really help to plan out my vacation with the minimum amount of stress. No more hunting around for the best deals in town and worrying about the exact location of the hotel. This will surely help me to save transportation cost between the different waterfalls which I want to visit during my stay. In the long run, the transportation costs can be quiet substantial if the planning is done right. Therefore, if one does a bit of smart budgeting then they can free up some cash and utilize it on some area like entertainment, etc. When I mentioned this hotel to my fellow office workers who had just returned from a vacation, they talked about the daily giveaway of a free trip down the water falls while being tied to a barrel. During the course of discussion, I found out that there is something called the “Ride the barrel contest” in which the survivor is entitled to a daily giveaway of a free weekend stay at ANY “The Roaring Lion Hotel” which are located just about everywhere.

            So, one day I finally tried out their sweepstakes out of curiosity and won a free trip to Brazil for a great getaway weekend with my family for some fun in the sun, relaxation while wandering around the great city and looking at all the sights before the last days of summer are gone. I had realized that it is really important to get away for the weekend every so often in order to recuperate from the daily hassles and the coiled up stress within us. It does help in replenishing the pool of inner calm and helps to reestablish the missing equilibrium.

            Putting together the money to buy the plane ticket was quite difficult. I managed to save enough money to buy a really long rope out of which I made a lasso. I started to twirl it round and round in ever increasing circle. When it finally managed to reach escape velocity, I let go of the loop end and watched it fly into space where it latched into a passing by alien spaceship. With a sharp jerk, I started to fly across the landscape as I rose higher and higher until all I saw down below was continents hidden by the clouds and passing satellites up above. Fearing that I’ll be lost in space, I let go of the rope and started to glide back towards earth once more.

            Flapping my arms and titling myself a bit to the right and to the left at times, I finally spotted a giant piece of land that looked like South America. Barreling down head wards at high speed, I made my towards it before it disappeared once more. I started to heat up and turned beat read. Soon all my clothes catch on fire and I turned into a huge ball of fire. I start to notice the continent getting larger and I start to see mountains, rivers, lakes and huge forests. I turn on my nitro pack which is strapped on my back and accelerate downwards at an even greater speed as I really want to make an impact on the people and the surroundings.

            After what seems like floating for many eons in total darkness, I open my eyes and see lush green forest cover through which the sun is peeking through. My body is aching really badly and all bones seem to be broken. Nervously, I move my fingers, toes and become really relieved that no serious damage is done. Getting up gingerly, I notice that I am in a really deep crater probably created by my impact. Over to one side, I notice a huge sign pointing to “The Roaring Lion Hotel”. Standing on a tree, I see Tarzan holding a vine wanting to know if I need a lift to the hotel. Two monkeys in hotel uniforms run up to me to inquire where the luggage is while searching my pockets to see how large a tip I can offer.

            As I was wondering how to reply to this question, I saw the bush one side shake and quiver. A giant boar emerged from the dense forest and gave me a menacing look. It started to grunt loudly while shaking its head back and forth. All the grunting and head shaking created a giant dust ball and the grunting, head shaking boar disappeared for a moment. I decided make a run for it.

            Asking for the directions, I start to make a run towards the hotel before the boar sees me gone. Looking around, I see a lush green forest with a huge river running through it. As I run next to the river, I hear a roaring sound some distance away. After some time, I see a giant waterfall looming ahead. As I draw nearer, I see that there are some white knuckled, quaking and screaming people being tied to barrels which are pushed towards the waterfall. It looks like even the locals want to stay at the hotel for free.

            As I rounded the corner, I saw a site which terrified me so much that I stumbled and fell flat on my face sliding on the dusty path till I rammed into a tree. A boar emerged from behind the tree. It stood there for a moment staring at me. Looking around and seeing nothing else to intimidate, it pushed past the remaining bushes, started to rock on its heels and started to run towards me as I seemed to be the only target available. The forest trail started to break apart and fly upwards into the fine mist that seemed to straddle the forest. The last sounds I heard as I started to run back towards where the journey started from was the sound of the bushes being trampled, wood splintering breaking and the scream of the creature as ran out of its path.

            As the giant boar was pursuing me down the dirt tracks of the forest, I was constantly on the lookout for an escape route or that matter any small opening where I could squeeze into. The boar was chasing me and a bunch of monkeys in hotel uniform were running after it while scratching themselves trying to see how they can profit from this situation. I finally managed to find a huge old gnarled tree and all of us started to run around it for what it seemed like an endless amount of time. We lost track of time and I started to ask myself who was chasing whom.

            After some amount of frantic running, I noticed that Tarzan was standing at one corner looking at all the chaos in the area. I called out to him asked him to lend a hand and stop the rampaging boar. So, the bright boy joined the monkeys and started to run after the boar also.

            I guess what drove the boar nuts was the fact that someone yanked the creatures tail. The next thing we all knew was that it was running after Tarzan who ran up the tree and crawled all the way to the top. While he was sitting up there, the boar was head butting the tree trying to work out its aggression. It had forgotten all about me and its full attention was focused on the tree. I yelled up to the ape man and asked him if he was going to ask it its name and some identification details before swinging off to the forest. After all, it had chased him around the tree a few times and finally up a tree.

            The guy scowled down at me and before he got to the point of asking me to remove the head butting boar, I went on a lookout for a pair of drums from where I could make a call to the dreaded boar hunting tribe which eats them raw and while they are alive so that they can come over and deal with this offending animal. The tribe finally arrived after 15 minutes and they were more amused than worried by the scene while the poor man was yelling and cursing from the top of the tree. We yelled back and told him to climb down and wrestle the thing.

            All this exercise it seemed had worn it out and it walked off by itself and wandered off to sleep under a tree shade a short distance away. Everyone dispersed and the poor guy finally managed to climb down the tree and run off to a boat and whiz away. The fearsome tribe had a huge bonfire going where they were roasting a squealing boar for dinner. I guess it was the maximum amount of excitement which I have ever received in a short amount of time. I really don’t know how it all started yet it provided me with an opportunity to exercise that I have ever gotten in awhile.

            I finally managed to find my way to the hotel which had a magnificent view of the falls. The roaring sounds could be heard even from this distance and I wanted to raft down it like I used to do in my younger days. Looking around, I noticed that the room was simply amazing. It had all of the modern conveniences like centralized air conditioning, full house Wi-Fi, wall to wall plush carpeting. Teak furniture, a cellar full of….well beer, an attic full of more beer. This room was well stocked for any kind of emergency. I sank into the couch and started to flip through the television channel trying to find something interesting. I was feeling really hungry, yet I didn’t raid the midget fridge in the kitchen as I didn’t find anything interesting in there.

            Ringing up the kitchen, I ordered the daily special and started to surf the television channels once more. The smell of breakfast broke the spell I was in and I wondered where the plate of food had appeared from. Not a soul was in sight and I forgot all about it as I finished off the food in a jiffy.

            I really don’t know how long I had dozed off yet I woke up with a feeling of dread. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t pin point the reason why nor shake this feeling off. There was something out there and I could feel it in my bones. A Duck which had been hiding under the couch all along sneaked out and started to run out the door. Startled by its appearance, I must have jumped at least 10 feet into the air and got stuck in the ceiling fan. As it was stepping out the door, it spied me hanging from the ceiling fan. Overcoming its fear, the Duck ran back inside and headed straight for the fans control switch. It turned the fan on at full volume and started to throw water balloons at me as I swung by. Pretty soon, I lost control and flew right into the washing machine located in the next room. The lid closed and it started to spin round and round.

            What saved me from washing machines spin cycle was the power outage. Something was coming and it was approaching fast. The sky grew dark and the Duck sensing danger ran out the open door. I yelled out “Noooo...don't go and leave me here all alone here. It's just too scary here.” But the Duck was gone and I was left behind to fend for myself.

            In the darkness, I heard the all too familiar growl. The Gator was at the door....something else was scratching at the window...The wild wind...I think its wind and not some demons howl...was calling out my name....The lights were flickering and I peed in my pants.

            Out of the dark shadows emerged the huge gator who growled “We’ve been looking for ya. You can run but you can’t hide. Now pay the food tab before I get hungry and start to munch on ya “. The bill was paid in full and in record time with an extra huge tip. Fully satisfied, the old man swung around and started to make an exit.

            Being a curious person who just couldn’t keep quiet any longer I asked “Hey old man….you seem to be alone. So, where are the others?” Look out the window silly and you will get your answer was all that was said. Shaking/quaking, I somehow managed to crawl to the window and draw the curtains aside. My hair stood on its end and I turned pure white in fright. It was the vine swinging man tapping at the window and from his mumbling he seemed to be going through an identity crisis whether he was Tarzan or Jane.

            Time flew by and the time for me to return home drew nearer. Looking out of the window, I heard the sounds of people enjoying themselves either in the pool or participating in some game. Lunch arrived and I let the waiter in. So many different dishes and it managed to lessen the homesickness feeling I was having. The sun was moving up and it was time for me to head back home and I was overjoyed when tickets to home were given. A city bus wound its way to the intersection and I got on it to reach the airport. I was a long way from home and it will take many long hours by plane to reach the comfort of my own home.

            Remember, a perfect vacation might not seem an important to a layman initially but a right choice will make you feel terrific and maximizing the enjoyment once you land there. Choose one of the packages offered which will make your trip enjoyable and makes the memory last a lifetime. It may take some work hunting for the right hotel to choose the package from, but your trip is worth the trouble. On an ending note, try to remember that where ever you decide to do, it is the right company which makes it all the more worthwhile. So, go ahead and try out their packages and be a little adventurous. After all, it’s all about having fun also.


              Sunday, December 19, 2010

              Holiday Cottages in Cornwall

                Every year around this time, it is the same dilemma. It is the time when I can go on my annual vacation and I just cannot figure out where to go. There are too many choices yet it is difficult to make a right choice since I do not have much information available to make a proper choice. I needed a comparison chart so that I can vacation packgages prices and choose the one which one fits my budget after I have decided my destination. The main factor in deciding one vacation spot over another is that the hotels near the airport will get more preference than the ones further away.
                It was sheer luck that I discovered a Holiday Cottages in Cornwall which helped to plan out my vacation with the minimum amount of stress. No more hunting around for the best deals in town and worrying about the exact location of the hotel nor what I will be doing during my free moments. This will surely help me to save transportation cost between the different locations which I want to visit during my stay. In the long run, the transportation costs can be quiet substantial. Therefore, if one does a bit of smart budgeting then they can free up some cash and utilize it on some area like entertainment, etc. Read more...

                  Sunday, December 5, 2010

                  The Thexyz Network

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                    During the search, we discovered that one of the easiest ways to make money online is by building a website with good content with decent readership base. There are quite a few website out there which are offering PPC ads to websites owners who are looking to generate revenue by selling space for publishing ads on their websites. The website owners get paid for every legitimate ad click generated from his/her website.

                    One of the best PPC advertising network is Thexyz Network, which allows you to block ads from your competitors website and hence you do not lose end up losing your valuable customers. One of the best things is the ad formats as they are pretty simple to manage and you can create your javascript ad code yourself. You can easily decide how many text ads you would like to show as well as the size of banner ad formats. Their publisher program gives you complete freedom to choose the type and size of advertisement blocks a publisher wishes to display on his website. Thexyz Network shares the revenue generated from advertisement with their publishers on a very fair basis. As a publisher of Thexyz network you get 60% share in total ad revenue.

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                      Saturday, December 4, 2010

                      A stormy experience

                        The week seemed to start out just right. I had worked long and hard all year long and had earned a fully paid vacation to Sea world located in Florida and I was overjoyed. I packed my bags as quickly as possible and decided to drive over there instead of taking a flight as my destination was only a few hours away. One never realizes how life can change in a blink of an eye. Who knew that at one moment I was driving down the highway and the next moment my car was spinning out of control due to a massive storm which was building up on the horizon. High velocity winds swept the plains and landed in a ditch.

                        Lightning flashed in the sky and one could hear thunder all around. The sky had turned jet black and I feared the worst. I hid in the ditch fearing a tornado or an electrical storm. I really don’t know how much time passed by, yet when I came back to my senses I noticed that the wind had died down. There was utter silence all around. A man was hollering in the distance looking for his dog while it was barking in return. It was still pitch black outside and it started to rain heavily. The sudden downpour soaked me to the bone and I started to panic wondering how I will get myself out of this situation.

                        All the power lines were knocked out and none of the houses showed any sign of activity. The dirt road had turned muddy and it was no use sinking deeper into it while despairing about the mess I was in. I got back in the car and tried to get it out. The wheels spun yet it remained stuck in the ditch. A dash across the muddy fields was my only hope and it had to be done before it was too late. I looked up to the sky seeking some salvation, yet none was coming. I was on my own once more as I made a mad dash across the corn fields.

                        Banging hard on the door, I wondered if anyone was home. I could not see my car anymore in the growing darkness. The rain had died down, yet it seemed like there was another storm brewing. I turned around to pound the door once more when I saw a pair of eyes looking at me. There was a lantern lit somewhere in the room casting wavering shadows all over. It kept staring at me for a long time and before I could utter a word the door was shut once more. My anger was building up inside me and I started pound on the door till my hand bled. I sank to the ground wondering whom to turn to in a strange town.

                        The door opened once more and a bearded man grabbed me by the collar and hauled me in. As I was herded across the room. I saw a child hiding behind a chair looking at me. It seemed like the same child which had opened the door before shutting it once more. “What brings you to these parts?” was asked as a steaming hot mug of soup was handed to me. I told him of the mess I was in and he told me to wait it out till morning. A change of clothes made me feel better. The burly man had lent me a set of spare clothes till my dripping wet set dries out near the fireplace. I looked like a scarecrow in the ill fitting clothes. I pulled my chair as near the fire place as possible as looked around. In one corner was a stock pile of food and the end had beds. Somewhere in between was a fireplace and a kitchen. I finished of the last remnants of the food and gulped down the drink before it got cold. I found my way to a room upstairs and took a long shower to wash off all the mud and filth off me.

                        I couldn’t fall asleep as worry was eating me up. The sun was up and it was time for me to hit the road. The sounds of horses were heard below the window and a rooster went off somewhere in the distance. My weariness slipped out of my body as soon as the sun started to climb higher and higher. It felt good to be alive and was overjoyed at the sight of my car in the barn. A head popped out of the engine and the farmer told me to give him a few till he gets the engine all dry and started. The smell of breakfast broke the spell I was in and I wondered where the two plates of food had appeared from. Not a soul was in sight and I forgot all about it as I finished off the food in a jiffy. I tried to offer some payment for the help given, yet the man refused. He told me that it’s a person duty to lend a helping hand to others when they are in need of help without expecting anything in return. I drove off to my destination having learned something new and hopefully I will be able to return the favor one day.