Monday, June 30, 2008
Objection: Online bill paying is not safe: Not true. According to a recent survey, online bill payers are 10 percent less likely to have their identities stolen versus those who use standard payment methods.
Objection: You have to pay all of your bills on a credit card: Wrong again. While that is an option in some cases, most online bill paying connects to your checking account.
Objection: Online bill paying is too expensive: Some methods are free, while others charge only a nominal fee.
Objection: Online bill paying limits my control over my money: Completely untrue. Nothing happens without your approval. You decide what bills to pay, how much to pay and when to pay.
• Pay through your bank: Most banks now offer online bill-paying services for their account
holders. While some charge a nominal fee for the service (usually a flat monthly rate of 50 cents
or so per transaction), many offer this service completely free.
• Pay the company directly: Many utility, electric, phone, mortgage and cable-TV companies now allow you to pay them directly via their Web sites. You can pay by credit card or automatic debit directly from your checking account. Keep it as an option in the event you find yourself running late one month. You might avoid a late fee.
• Pay through an intermediary: Companies like Pay-Pal or Pay-Trust will be-come your agent in receiving and paying your bills. When you sign up for an intermediary service, you change your billing address from your home to the online company's address, where all of
your bills are sent. Your agent then pays them and debits the amount from your checking
Pitfalls: Security should be your biggest concern. Never use a public computer or a "hot spot" wifi connection for financial transactions. Access your bank account regularly to review all transactions. If you do not recognize a charge, report it immediately. Your bank is under no legal obligation to provide a refund or remedy after 60 days. Most people I asked when researching this column said online bill paying is so fabulous they'd never go back to the old way. I cannot guarantee your experience will be the same. Just know that if you try it and don't like it, you can always cancel and go back to paper, pens, paper clips, return envelopes and postage stamps.
If there's one thing that I have learned since doing BLOGGING it's the value that giving freely plays in creating one's success. Whether you're online or offline the value of word of mouth writing, blogging, publishing, advertising is something that we simply can't ignore.
In blogging, one way of giving yourself freely is by giving lots of resources on your web site. In turn, people share the sites and lists with friends which builds the number of visitors our blogs have. A similar approach you might consider taking is working on being viewed by your peers as someone who is willing to help another get ahead.
when we can achieve this reputation, we find that all kinds of opportunities come our way (not to mention, it's quite rewarding personally.)
So give yourself freely by expressing yourself in everything you do....
Have you been so stressed of achieving something, trying to accomplish something, stressing yourself too much of having loads of backlogs at work? Well, at the moment YES I AM!... I've really been trying to calm down a bit and try to concentrate instead on finishing especially all the urgent ones, rather than getting on to my feelings.
I had to pause for a while and you know what I just did now? I just squeezed my FROG STRESS TOY (a jelly like toy) which you can really squeeze it hard to let go of your stressful feelings. I am sharing this to help you guys out there of easing your stress a little bit, well this really helps to me. So why not go to your favorite store and try any toys you like.
It may seem next to impossible to find time to relieve stress at work, but a few well-spent minutes can dramatically increase your productivity, enjoyment and health.
Step 1: Take a few deep breaths, allowing your rib cage and belly to expand as you inhale. Exhale slowly.
Step 2: Seek a change in venue. Getting away from your work station, even for a walk to the water cooler, can help you collect your thoughts and refocus on the task at hand.
Step3: Laugh! Read one of your favorite jokes or simply laugh aloud.
Step4: Play with a stress-relieving toy or game like a mini-basketball hoop, dart board, foam stress ball or punching bag.
Step5: Close your eyes and listen to soothing music.
Step6: Visualize yourself relaxing at your favorite vacation spot or completing the big presentation with ease.
SMILE and have fun, hope this little tips would help you to get going, especially in the middle of your stressful days.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Tip No 1: If you are already a Facebook user, it is pretty much easier to introduce it, just simply invite people who are in your contacts already, or find people or group which you think might get interested of reading your article and subscribing it.
Tip No 2: If you are not a member yet, first get yourself familiarize with its features, its various pages and applications, and follow tip number 1.
Once you have created a page on Facebook, people can then become your “fan” or “supporter”. You don’t have to accept people as a fan and they can’t see your individual profile. On a page you can then easily add relevant pictures and video. You can have a discussion board and add any of the thousands of applications to your page.
As it becomes more difficult to compete in search listings and delivering your messages through email, creating a Facebook page is an easy and effective way to connect to your community.
With over 30 million members worldwide, Facebook is 7th most visited site in the United States and sees over 15 billion pageviews every month.
So here's my list, get some idea on what to write for your blogs.
1 How I Use Facebook
2 Ways I Embrace My Audience
3 Technology That Empowers Me
4 How Best to Comment on a Corporate Blog
5 How I Find Blogging Ideas
6 Somebody Has to Say It
7 My Children Will Do it Differently
8 The Best Parts of Marketing
9 Presentation Skills for a New Conversation
10 Empower Your Best Customers
11 Just Jump Into Podcasting- Heres How
12 My Community and How You Can Engage It
13 If I Were an Advertiser Today
14 Books I Want to Write
15 Idea Making and How I Make Something
16 What I Spend Money On
17 How I Use My Website
18 Book Shopping- Buy These Books
19 How I Process Blogs and What I Do With All That Info
20 The Internet Application I Havent Seen
21 My Day Job Versus My Passion
22 When I Feel Frustrated
23 Your Ideas And My Ideas- How We Play Together
24 Friends I Cant Wait to Meet
25 Breaking Down My Favorite Blog
26 Facebook Applications I Love
27 Blogging Tactics- How to Keep it Fresh
28 Tools for Blogging
29 Wordpress Plugins I Use And Why
30 Comments versus Blog Posts
31 How I Drive Traffic to My Site
32 News- Is it Useful and How I Might Fix It
33 Handling Critics
34 Sharing and Contributing
35 How Twitter Improved My Blog
36 Facebook Video Improved My Social Network
37 Letting Go
38 Downtime- What I Do Offline to Recharge
38 Joining A Network- Things to Consider
40 Giving it Away
I will try my best to start one by one. Enjoy blogging.
Setting goals in life is dead easy I should say, but taking the step and making the right decision is quite difficult. I was thinking of writing a post about dreams, your passion to dreams.. and now I have managed to write something about it just few weeks ago. Setting goals in life and keeping your passion alive to your dreams are both of the same meaning for me. It's just a matter of doing something to become successful of everything you want in life.
Most people who are successful in life are successful because they set goals and develop step-by-step action plans for achieving them. But guess what? Only three percent of adults have clear, written goals. What a shame. Especially considering that those who do accomplish up to 10 times more than other people, including people who are more talented. In fact, a person who sets goals - and focuses on taking small steps to achieve them - will run circles around a genius who talks a lot but never does anything.
And what's true for the general population is also true for creative people. There's only one way to ensure that hopes and dreams become real - and that's by setting goals. A goal is something you want, of course. But there's more to it than that. It's also something you're willing to work toward, whether it takes days, weeks or months to achieve. In essence, goals are the steppingstones that make your dreams become real.
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn this vision of the future into reality.
The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You'll also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you from your course.
More than this, properly-set goals can be incredibly motivating, and as you get into the habit of setting and achieving goals, you'll find that your self-confidence builds fast.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
This is mainly what I have learned when I opened my mind and heart in the world of blogging. I have had noticed myself long before that I have the potential of being a writer and the gift of creativity. Honestly, I am not a very good writer though I can be a very good story teller, and yet I didn't allow this attribute to stop me from starting my personal blog.
You have to be determined enough, confident enough, creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities that present themselves. A person with an enterprising attitude says, "Find out what you can before action is taken." Do your homework. Do the research. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation of what's to come.
Enterprise means always finding a way to keep yourself actively working toward your ambition.
Enterprise is two things. The first is creativity. You need creativity to see what's out there and to shape it to your advantage. You need creativity to look at the world a little differently. You need creativity to take a different approach, to be different. What goes hand-in-hand with the creativity of enterprise is the second requirement: the courage to be creative. You need courage to see things differently, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take a different approach, courage to stand alone if you have to, courage to choose activity over inactivity.
And lastly, being enterprising doesn't just relate to the ability to make money. Being enterprising also means feeling good enough about yourself, having enough self worth to want to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in your future. And by doing so you will increase your confidence, your courage, your creativity and your self-worth, your enterprising nature.
So don't loose your passion in reaching your potentials and seeking every opportunity...
Friday, June 27, 2008
Oh YES, what a wonderful experience when I got an email that my Google AdSense application has been approved! The fact that I only started my blog more or less 2 weeks ago! WOW amazing!
I logged on to my Google AdSense straight away to pushed through my account activation. I've had to read all the tips & ways how to do it, from account settings, managing adds, color palettes, optimizing channels and finally on how to get the code. It wasn't that difficult really, but what made me stocked was, pasting my code unto my HTML as to where the exact place you have to paste it.
YES have managed to, but am still waiting until tomorrow for my adds to come out!
Since the very beginning, I was introduced by one of my office mates to use this L&H Translator Pro, which you can use it without connecting to the internet (since we only had one internet connection inside our department). So I did download it unto my computer and been using it for ages, but unfortunately it is not a very good one! Mind you, I've been told that most of my Portuguese translations are so funny.
Soon after our struggles of internet connection, our department was finally considered to add more connections, which made me happy so I can translate them online instead. So I came to know this free translation online, uummm I should say that it is not 100% accurate either. I've mentioned it my co-worker sitting next to me on where to get reliable translations from English to Portuguese, he said on GOOGLE.
WHAT A BIG WOW that I've finally found it! Why not trying it yourself, you name it and you can get translations you want.
Just click the links above to see.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Adding and installing Widgets? YES!!
I do have difficulty sometime as to whereabouts am I gonna put my widgets, as I do love beautifying my websites, making them presentable, attractive to readers and one way giving them an easy access for subscription, bookmarking, sharing, etc..
I promise you, I have learned a lot on the link above on how to do it quite easily. Well, I can give you some ideas on where to get this free widgets that are so helpful to all our readers.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The fact that we all spend long hours of writing posts, reading our communities' blogs, exchanging links, adding contact, making friends, etc,.. we tend to drink more caffeine containing drinks for us to stay awake while battling with our PC's.
Caffeine gives you powers. Take in enough of it and your twitching, vibrating body is capable of amazing feats. This highly scientific *cough* test determines your level of caffeine intake by measuring how fast you can click your mouse. The test will last for 30 seconds, during which you must click the button below as many times as possible.
To begin, click this caffeine test site to determine your caffeine level.
Needless to say, yes I do enjoy it... I AM ADDICTED TO BLOGGING!!!
Do you want to know how addicted are you to blogging?... Just click the link to know how...
It's been a very quite day today at work, thought quite busy, you can see people just busy doing their jobs! I just thought about my friends, who's always been there for me. This is for you my friends, keeping our friendship alive. I am still your friend....
A blessing so special and rare.
To have a friend like you
Is an answer to my prayer!
So I send you a loving 'Thank You!'
For all of your warm, caring ways,
And hope God will bless you forever
With the brightest and happiest days.
Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to me.
I feel so lucky to have you my friends, I am sending you a friendship wishes for all.
This is where I bought my very unique covers for my beach wedding invitations. Just click this link WeddingInvitationsAndFavors.com where you can find unique wedding invitations, unique stationeries, cards and personalized wedding favors lovingly handmade by Filipino artisans from Northern Philippines. Designs can be customized to match your wedding theme and color motif.They offer you varieties of designs & plenty of choices, its yours to choose! Last year I got married (which I will tell you later the whole story about it some time), I have obtained our wedding invitation covers from them, they are gorgeous - very unique indeed!!
You are welcome to check & experience what I just did..
Monday, June 23, 2008
Quick and easy self-publishing
You may not realize how insanely fast and easy setting up a blog can be. Using Blogger, and allowing them to host my blog at Blog*spot, I literally had my first blog set up in about fifteen minutes. And it was free with this particular provider. Thus, an obsession was born. A five minute post here, a ten minute rant there, add a feature or two on the public face of my blog, and soon I had a small body of writings that seemed like something almost substantial. I played with different styles or looks to the blog, and learned to tweak the underlying HTML code to have fonts and colours looking the way I wanted.
The next step was to tell others about it. I sent messages to two email lists inviting colleagues to read what I had posted. I had long been a prolific contributor to email lists, and could see how the blog would become my new outlet for professional news and opinions that might not be of interest to everyone on the lists. I also found some blog search engines and submitted mine to the mix.
Those fascinating web traffic statistics
One of my first readers told me how to track web traffic statistics: yet another free web-based application. Soon I was checking two or three times a day to see the number of hits, the popular pages, and where readers were from. I really get a kick out of seeing where readers are located. Bloggers don’t like to admit to it, but we all watch our stats like hawks. Any sudden increase in hits is a triumph; an unexpected drop is just discouraging. Thus the obsession is entrenched in our psyches.
My own blogging has led to guest blogging on others’ blogs, regular participation in collaborative blogs, increasingly prestigious speaking opportunities, invitations to teach, requests to have blog posts republished as newsletter articles, and invitations to contribute articles to newsletter type publications. We often hear “to be seen as an expert, write a blog,” but how quickly this medium opens doors has really been a great surprise to many. It is not unusual for those blogging about professional issues to be invited to write articles, speak at conferences, and to take part in a range of collaborative projects. I frequently compare notes with fellow bloggers, and have found many have been approached to expand on the perceived expertise demonstrated in their blogs.
Testing out the SEO
For most bloggers, an increase in popularity is made in small increments. One or two blog posts receive some notice from more popular bloggers, and a few more people discover you. Or perhaps you happen to write a post title that jumps you to the top of the search engine results.
Taking this a step further, bloggers can watch their popularity according to links to their sites with services such as Technorati and The Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem. We are tracked, ranked and re-ranked, moving up and down according to varying esoteric means of measurement.
A Biblioblogosphere Community
The use of blogs as a quick, self-publishing platform for opinions, the quantifiable evidence of one’s own popularity with statistics services, the ability to quickly experiment with search engine listings, and an increased professional profile are all things that hook the blogger. Probably the best thing about blogging, however, is the community. I really had no idea a community existed until I actually experienced it. As bloggers discover each other, we contribute comments to blog posts, reference each other, and email each other support.
The Truth About Blogging
If you are about to embark on setting up a blog for the first time, you should now have a better idea of what to expect. The truth about blogging is you will be disappointed that a million readers don’t find you immediately. You aren’t going to become rich from blogging. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. On the other hand, you will likely be surprised at who contacts you and professes admiration. You will likely find it gives a boost to your career if you are professional in attitude and find your own honest voice. And there can never be too many clear, truthful voices on the web.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
"CALAMITIES THAT KILLED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE & LEFT
THOUSANDS OF HOMELESS"
URING is a name of a typhoon that left thousands homeless. RUPING is another typhoon accompanied with tidal wave which left the island of Leyte leaving 8,000 people carried out to the sea of buried in mud. Mt. Pinatubo is a notarious volcano, which eruption was known worldwide, making thousands of Filipinos internal refugees.
Lamentation over Series of Philippine Calamities
Lord our God, have you have left us
when bodies in Leyte litter on the ground
like a death camp because of Uring?
When houses for dwelling are smashed
to the ground and means of livelihood
are lost to the mud and sea because of Ruping?
When the earth tremors breaking the ground
playing in big laughters the human edifices
like small toys?
When provinces, not only villages are flattened to the ground
because of the anger and fire of Mt. Pinatubo?
Where are we, O God,
in the midst of other social volcanoes
predicted that one day can erupt¨
or must have been erupting already?
Where are you, dear God,
with your mercy and loving hand
to those who die by the thousands
to those who have to be uprooted
to an uncertain land
to those who bear the agony and loneliness
to those who claim the sacredness of life?
What is happening to our land,dear God?
What do you want to tell us
What is in your judgment that
we can read and learn?
In the midst of all these lamentations
your being our living God
is still affirmed.
Increase our faith
Unite us as your people
Grant us courage and
allow us to build from the ruins.
I was born in Nocnocan Island, 30 minutes travel from Hingotanan - the place where my both parents came from too, and where the rest of my relatives stay. The very reason why we had to live HINGOTANAN was because my father as a Minister/Pastor was assigned here. I was the only child back then, I think I was only 8 years old when we got to move here. Now, we are 7 siblings in total. Geezzz, imagine how meaningful Hingotanan Island is for us - that's why I am calling this as my HOME.
Hingotanan Island is situated in the province of Bohol. It is one of the tiny islands surrounding the province which is not even found on the map of Bohol. From a distance one can identify the island by its coconut trees and white beach. Around it are also about 15 fishing islands which are also part of the town of Talibon.
Historically, Hingotanan Island was an island connected to the town of Talibon in the province of Bohol, the town which produced the late President Garcia. But latter when a new town of Bien Unido was created, Hingotanan Island was assigned to Bien Unido town. Although it has got its new identity as one of the islands of Bien Unido, Hingotanan keeps its contact with the main town of Talibon where big ships dock and where hospital and schools for higher education are found. The local folk commute to Talibon to sell their products and secure goods for daily life.
THIS IS MY HOME!!!. Undoubtedly like paradise when I was small. People here depend on the sea to live. Most of them bear the scar of a life too early acquainted with poverty and deprivation. But poverty and deprivation never break their spirit. Instead, generally, they are a happy and resilient people. They have always bounced back from every tragedy coming their way. Perhaps because to them all the pains, all the sufferings, all the hardships are soluble in alcohol. They are real survivors too. They can and will survive in any godforsaken place in the world. Living and dying are a lot easier and simpler to them.
Hingotanan is the only fishing island in the town of Bien Unido which has a complete High School. In fact, this island where I finished my elementary & high school. Parents from the surrounding smaller islands send their children to the island of Hingotana for the Secondary Education. Islands noted to have sent their children to the Hingotanan Barangay High School are Bilangbilangan Dako, Bilangbilangan Gamay, Gaus, Maomaowan, Butan,Sagasa, Malingin,Dawahon and others which I can hardly remember by name.
It is difficult to understand that there is lack of food in Hingotanan Island when the island itself is noted to be rich in natural resources. The shift from being a fishing community to a seaweeds farming community has created an effect of food shortage. The greater majority is involved in seaweeds farming and the small fishermen who catch fish by crude means cannot meet the demand of the people. It is also because instead of selling their fish products to the local people, they would rather hide and bring and sell these products to Cebu or in the town of Talibon for higher prices, giving them chance to come out of the Hingotanan island and personally secure other goods or materials for their family.
It is funny that instead of eating fresh fish, many Hingotanan islanders have to depend on canned mackerel fish, or noodles as the mean dish together with rice. As people exert more efforts in planting, harvesting and drying seaweeds, their intake of qualitative food is decreased. The health of the people is at risk. But there are also small initiatives of individuals who make possible for people to buy food. There are appearing small eateries, where people can buy ready made food. There are few individuals buying and selling meat to the islanders, and a few trying to slaugther a pig and selling meat by a kilo. The hope to create a local market in the island has been a long time dream that has not been realized until now. When the weather is bad, it becomes much more difficult to secure food.
Like I said to you on my first blog, I've been working here in Angola since 2001 and whenever I go on leave to Philippines, I always visit this place...I love this place really & since I got married to an English man, which we go home to England more often, my husband & I always been talking about of visiting HINGOTANAN island again, and this will be very soon! YES this year.
SEE YOU SOON MY PARADISE..
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I am not sexy nor fat, but I only wanted to slim down a bit, muscle toning, have been doing body stretching as well, jogging sometimes and skipping in the evenings. I know these are not enough, but if you feel better after having been doing for couple of weeks or even months, you'd start realizing that you don't need to go to the gym at all.
How about trading in those endless workouts and getting the body you’ve always wanted in merely 20 minutes? Celebrity trainer and kettlebell expert Missy Beaver says her eight-exercise kettlebell workout will get you fit in a hurry. Incorporate the following kettlebell exercises into your fitness routine and get ready to boldly strut your beach body in a bikini this summer!
Kettlebells are solid black cannon balls with U-shaped handles. When lifted and used through a variety of fluid swinging moves, kettlebells target every muscle in the body. “Using the kettlebells will accelerate fat loss, while producing strength, balance, coordination, and an increased range of functional motion,” says Beaver. You will get better results in less time as compared to single muscle exercises. These eight exercises are just a few of the kettlebell possibilities but Beaver claims they will give you that bikini-worthy body you’ve always wanted.
Beach Body Kettlebell Workout
1. SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTTargets: Abs, thighs, hips, hamstrings, and glutes. Works your muscles and develops your balance and stability.
Stance: Place kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Position one foot directly behind the kettlebell. Raise your other foot off the floor. Pick a spot in front of you to focus on to maintain balance.
Motion: Bend front knee slightly and hinge at the waist to grab kettlebell with double overhand grip. Pressing through your heel, straighten up, bringing the kettlebell up with you. Use your raised back leg to help maintain balance. Then to reverse the move, slowly lower the kettlebell to the ground while standing on one leg, rest the kettlebell on the ground for a second.
Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions for each leg
2. HANDED SNATCH PULLTargets: Hamstrings, hips, glutes, lower back, and arms.
Stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, turned out at a 45-degree angle. Place kettlebell in the center of your feet.
Motion: Bend your knees, push your hips back (squat), eyes and chest up. Grab the kettlebell with both hands using an overhand grip. Push your heels through the ground to stand up. Pull kettlebell up, bending elbows, until kettlebell is at chest level. Tighten glutes as you stand.
Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions.
3. TWO-HANDED PUSH PRESSTargets: Shoulders, arms, upper back, and legs. This exercise helps build shoulder strength and endurance.
Stance: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Snatch pull kettlebell to chest level.
Motion: Bend your knees, rear back, then straighten your legs as you drive through your heels while pressing the kettlebell overhead. Lower kettlebell to your chest.
Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions.
4. WINDMILLTargets: Abs, obliques, back, hips, and shoulders. This is a core exercise that also increases shoulder and hip flexibility.
Stance: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and extend one arm in the air. Turn both feet 45 degrees away from your extended arm. Look up at your extended arm.
Motion: Keeping your eyes on the extended arm, bend diagonally forward to touch inside of front heel with free hand. Rotate torso to keep arm locked out towards ceiling. Push with rear heel to straighten up to upright position with shoulders over your hips.
Note: Women should start this exercise with a very light weight (9-pound kettlebell) or no weight at all until you have mastered the movement. Perform 1 set or 5 repetitions each side
Stance: Stand in front of a bench, chair, or couch and balance on one foot with your other leg positioned straight in front of you. Hold a kettlebell in both hands in front of you with your arms forward for counterbalance.
Motion: Bend your standing leg at the knee and lower until you are seated on the chair, slight pause. While you lower down, keep your other leg forward and hovering over the floor (or barely touching, if you need help balancing). Push through the heel on your standing leg to return to standing position.
Note: Women should use a 9- to 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions for each leg.
6. DECK SQUATTargets: Targets your lower body and core.
Stance: Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a kettlebell with both hands close to your torso.
Motion: Squat down as far as you can and use the momentum continue to lower yourself to the floor and roll back on your shoulders, legs in a loose tuck. Use forward momentum to roll forward and return to the bottom of the squat position. Return to standing.
Note: Women should use a 9- to 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions.
7. TWO-HANDED SWINGTargets: Glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, core muscles, back, and shoulders. This exercise also improves muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
Stance: Feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with a double overhand grip on a kettlebell.
Motion: Bend knees, squatting hips back, shoulders forward, with your eyes and chest up. Drive your heels through the ground to explode to an upright position. Push your hips forward and squeeze your glutes, thighs and abs. Keep shoulders loose and elbows locked and bring kettlebell up to shoulder height. As kettlebell begins downward swing, bend knees and hinge at the hips. Continue with the swinging motion following the kettlebell (not fighting it).
Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions.
8. SUITCASE DEADLIFTTargets: Obliques and lower body.
Stance: Stand with your feet a few inches apart with a kettlebell on the ground a few inches to the side of your right foot.
Motion: Bend your knees slightly, squatting your hips back, and grab the handle of the kettlebell with your right hand. Push through your heels to stand straight up (do not bend to the right or left), tightening your legs, glutes, and core muscles.
Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions for each side.
It is the perfect addition to your home gym and workout routines.
Steven is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Steven was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Steven and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Steven replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood."
Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or... I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.
"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Steven said.
"Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."
I reflected on what Steven said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Steven was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Steven was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw him about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"
"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," Steven replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or... I could choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.
Steven continued, "... the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"She asked if I was allergic to anything.
'Yes, I replied.'
The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."
Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead!"
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Steven lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. After all, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.LIVE IS ABOUT THE LITTLE CHOICES WE MAKE EVERY DAY!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Famous Africa nation... one of the top subjects to talk about... and I used to wonder before I came here with question in my mind - HOW WAS IS IT LIKE TO LIVE IN AFRICA? and HOW WAS THE PEOPLE LIKE? I have been working here in Angola since early 2001 but to be honest with you guys, very difficult life they must have. During my early years here, I used to say that, "I still prefer to live in the Philippines than here"... However, Africa is already a part of my life, my journey in life.. this is where I managed to send my sisters to college and give my family a better life. Might as well, worth of knowing the total about AFRICA - as a WHOLE.
African nations typically fall toward the bottom of any list measuring small size economic activity, such as income per capita or GDP per capita, despite a wealth of natural resources. The bottom 25 spots of the United Nations (UN) quality of life index are regularly filled by African nations. In 2006, 34 of the 50 nations on the UN list of least developed countries are in Africa. In many nations, the GDP per capita income is less than $200 U.S. per year, with the vast majority of the population living on much less. In addition, Africa's share of income has been consistently dropping over the past century by any measure. In 1820, the average European worker earned about three times what the average African did. Now, the average European earns twenty times what the average African does. Although GDP per capita incomes in Africa have also been steadily growing, measures are still far better in other parts of the world, such as Latin America, which suffers from many of the same disadvantages.
Mismanagement of land
In addition to cash crops, American settlers also introduced new Staple food crops such as maize. Africans readily accepted these new foods into their diets. The continent was not as accepting as her people. Initially, the new staple crops performed well. They produced great yields, leading to increased acceptance and eventual reliance on these new sources of food. In time, this reliance led to food security/food insecurity. Two factors contributed greatly to this outcome: water and fertilizer, both of which were lacking. African subsistence farmers traditionally did not irrigate, but relied on rainfall to water crops and planted multiple staple crops each season; some did well under dryer conditions, others under wetter. Under ideal conditions, the newer staple crops outperformed the old ones. However, they were not as tolerant of the widely varying range of African growing conditions as the native crops, and in years when there wasn't enough water, an un-irrigated field planted solely with a single drought-susceptible crop yielded nothing. Traditional methods of land use such as companion plating and post-harvest grazing by herd animals enriched the soil at little monetary cost to farmers. Widespread adoption of fenced land monoculture depleted the soil.
Despite large amounts of arable land south of the Sahara Desert, small, individual land holdings are rare. In many nations, land is subject to tribal ownership and in other, most of the land is often in the hands of descendants of European settlers of the late 19th century and early 20th century. For example, according to a 2005 IRIN report, about 82% of the arable land in South Africa is owned by those of European descent. Many nations lack a system of freehold landowning. In others, the laws prevent people from disadvantaged groups from owning land at all. Although often these laws are ignored, and land sales to disadvantaged groups occur, legal title to the land is not assured. As such, rural Africans rarely have clear title to their own land, and have to survive as farm laborers. Unused land is plentiful, but is often private property. Most African nations have very poor land registration systems, making squatting and land theft common occurrences. This makes it difficult to get a mortgage or similar loan, as ownership of the property often cannot be established to the satisfaction of financiers.
It should be noted that this system often gives an advantage to one native African group over another, and not just Europeans over Africans. For example, it was hoped that land reform in Zimbabwe would transfer land from European land owners to family farmers. Instead, it simply substituted native Africans with ties to the government for Europeans, leaving much of the population disadvantaged. Because of this abuse, foreign aid that was destined for land purchases was withdrawn.
It is estimated that a family of four can be made self-sufficient for about $300(U.S.) - the cost of an Ox, a few hectares of land, and starter seeds. Historically, such programs have been few and far between, with much foreign aid being concentrated on the raising of cash crops and large plantations rather than family farms. There is no consensus on what the optimal strategy for land use in Africa may be. Studies by the National Academy of Sciences have suggested great promise in relying on native crops as a means to improving Africa's food security. A report by Future Harvest suggests that traditionally used forage plants show the same promise. Supporting a different viewpoint is an article appearing in AgBioForum which suggests that smallhold farmers benefited substantially by planting a genetically modified variety of maize. In a similar vein is an article discussing the use of nontraditional crops for export published as part of the proceedings of a Purdue University symposium.
Over $500 billion (U.S.) has been sent to African nations in the form of direct aid. The consensus is that the money has had little long term effect.
In addition, most African nations have borrowed substantial sums of money. However, a large percentage of the money was either invested in weapons (money that was spent back in developed nations, and provided little or no benefit to the native population) or was directly misappropriated by corrupt governments. As such, many newly democratic nations in Africa are saddled with debt run up by totalitarian regimes. Large debts usually result in little being spent on social services, such as education, pensions, or medical care. In addition, most of the debt currently owed (approximately $321 billion (U.S.) in 1996 represents only the interest portion on the debt, and far exceeds the amounts that were actually borrowed (although this is true of large debts in developed nations as well). Most African nations are pushing for debt relief, as they are effectively unable to maintain payments on debt without extending the debt payments indefinitely. However, most plans to forgive debt affect only the smallest nations, and large debtor nations, like Nigeria, are often excluded from such plans.
What large sums of money that are in Africa are often used to develop mega-projects when the need is for smaller scale projects. For example, Ghana was the richest country in Africa when it obtained independence. However, a few years later, it had no foreign reserves of any consequence. The money was spent on large projects that turned out to be a waste of resources:
- The Akosombo Dam was built in order to supply electricity for the extraction of aluminium from bauxite. Unfortunately, Ghanaian ores turned out to be too low grade and the electricity is now used to process ores from other nations.
- A two-lane paved highway was built into the interior. Unfortunately, Ghana has few motor vehicles that require such a superior roadway, and there are very few other roads of any kind in the country.
- Storage silos for the storage of cocoa were built to allow Ghana to take advantage of fluctuations in the commodity prices. Unfortunately, unprocessed cocoa does not react well to even short-term storage and the silos now sit empty.
Corruption is also a major problem in the region, although it is certainly not universal or limited to Africa. Many native groups in Africa believe family relationships are more important than national identity, and people in authority often use nepotism and bribery for the benefit of their extended family group at the expense of their nations. To be fair, many corrupt governments often do better than authoritarian ones that replace them. Ethiopia is a good case study. Under Haile Selassie, corruption was rife and poverty rampant. However, after his overthrow, corruption was lessened, but then famine and military aggressiveness came to the fore. In any event, corruption both diverts aid money and foreign investment (which is usually sent to offshore banks outside of Africa), and puts a heavy burden on native populations forced to pay bribes to get basic government services.
In the end, foreign aid may not even be helpful in the long run to many African nations. It often encourages them not to tax internal economic activities of multi-national corporations within their borders in order to attract foreign investment. In addition, most African nations have at least some wealthy nationals, and foreign aid often allows them to avoid paying more than negligible taxes. As such, wealth redistribution and capital controls are often seen as a more appropriate way for African nations to stabilize funding for their government budgets and smooth out the boom and bust cycles that can often arise in a developing economy.
Widespread availability of cheap labor has often perpetuated policies that encourage inefficient Agricultural and industrial practices, leaving Africa further impoverished. For example, author P.J O’Rourke noted on his trip to Tanzania for his book Eat the Rich that gravel was produced with manual labor (by pounding rocks with tools), where in almost everywhere else in the world machines did the same work far more cheaply and efficiently. He used Tanzania as an example of a nation with superb natural resources that nevertheless was among the poorest nations in the world.
Education is also a major problem. Elementary education is scattershot, even in the wealthier nations. illiteracy rates are high although a good proportion of Africans speak at least two languages and a number speak three (generally their native language, a neighbouring or trade language, and a European language). Higher education is almost unheard of, although certain universities in Egypt and South Africa have excellent reputations. However, some African nations have a paucity of persons with university degrees, and advanced degrees are rare in most areas. As such, the continent, for the most part, lacks scientists, engineers and even teachers. The seeming parody of aid workers attempting to teach tri-lingual people English is not entirely untrue.
The greatest mortality in Africa arises from preventable water-borne diseases, which affects infants and young children greater than any other group. The principal cause of these diseases is the regional water crisis, or lack of safe drinking water primarily stemming from admixing sewage and drinking water supplies.
Much attention has been given to the prevalence of AIDS in Africa. 3,000 Africans die each day of AIDS and an additional 11,000 are infected. Less than one percent are actually treated. However, even with the widespread prevalence of AIDS (where infection rates can approach 30% among the sexually active population), and fatal infections such as the Ebola virus, other diseases are far more problematic. In fact, the situation with AIDS is improving in some nations as infection rates drop, and deaths from Ebola are rare. On the other hand, diseases once common but now almost unknown in most of the industrialized world, like malaria, tuberculosis, tapeworm and dysentery often claim far more victims, particularly among the young. Polio has made a comeback recently due to misinformation spread by anti-American Islamic groups in Nigeria. Diseases native to Africa, such as sleeping sickness, also resist attempts at elimination too.
Clean portable water is rare in most of Africa (even those parts outside the sub-Saharan region) despite the fact that the continent is crossed by several major rivers and contains some of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. However, many of the major population centers are coastal, and few major cities have adequate sewage treatment systems. Although boiling water is a possibility, fuel for boiling is scarce as well. The problem is worst in Africa's rapidly growing cities, such as Cairo, Lagos and Kinshasa.
Colonialism concentrated on joining the coast with internal territories. As such, nearly none of Africa's roads and railways connect with each other in any meaningful way. Joining Africa's extensive railway network has recently become a priority for African nations outside of southwest Africa, which has an integrated network. Transportation between neighbouring coastal settlements is nearly always by sea, no matter what the topography of the land in between them. Even basic services like telecommunications are often treated the same way. For example, phone calls between Ghana and neighbouring Cote d’lvoire once had to be routed through England and France. Although Africa had numerous pre-European overland trade routes, few are suitable for modern transport such as trucks or railways, especially when they cross old European colonial borders.Conflict
Despite other hot spots for war, Africa consistently remains among the top places for ongoing conflicts, consisting of both long standing civil wars (e.g. Somalia) and conflicts between countries (e.g. Ethiopia and Eritrea’s border wars after the latter's independence from the former). Despite a lack of basic social services or even the basic necessities of life, military forces are often well financed and well equipped.
As a result, Africa is full of refugees, who are often deliberately displaced by military forces during a conflict, rather than just having fled from war torn areas. Although many refugees emigrate to open countries such as Germany, Canada, and the United States, the ones who do emigrate are often the most educated and skilled. The remainder often become a burden on neighbouring African nations that, while peaceful, are generally unable to deal with the logistical problems refugees pose.
However, any conflict generally disrupts what trade or economy there is. For example, Ethiopia is now land-locked and its wars with Eritrea just have the effect of shutting it off from the rest of the world. Sierra Leone, which depends on diamonds for much of its economic activity, not only faces disruption in production (which reduces the supply), but a thriving black market in conflict diamonds, which drives down the price for what diamonds are produced.