About Author

Author: Mark Campus

Mark Campus is a content marketer who owns Keenan’s room. A writer by day and a reader by night, he is loath to discuss himself in third person.

Divorced Families: Tips for Arranging Child Care

Choosing between child care in your home and in a daycare center is an important decision. Each option has its pros and cons, for both parent and child. General child care books and parenting magazines routinely include information on how to interview and work with caregivers, so here I will limit my remarks to the issues that pertain particularly to divorced families. Presuming that both parents must work, you should consider dependability and continuity of care, safety, and your child’s personality and stage development. However, you should try to get your child to enroll for The Kindle School which is a much better option than any daycare facility. Since you get a sense of security there as your child is under the care of some of the best teachers that are there in the region. 

Children of divorced people, especially the younger ones, really need continuity and daily routines. Whether that is best provided by a caregiver in your home or by group daycare depends largely on the employee turnover situation. For continuity, a single caregiver who remains for an extended period is preferable to a daycare center where the employee turnover may be high. Hiring a nanny to work in the home, however, is no guarantee of continuity. And some well-run, established daycare centers and all in-home daycare providers offer consistency in terms of who cares for your child. Whoever you hire, be sure to inquire about their future plans, how long they intend to work in this field. If your child is going to daycare, find out who will be caring for him or her – an employee or a co-owner – and what the turnover rate is.

If you decide to hire someone to care for your child in your home, think about your contingency plans if, say, your caregiver falls ill or is called away on a family emergency. Few working parents can afford to lose a week or more because they lack child care. A parent with a very demanding job and no nearby relatives or friends to care for the child in a pinch may opt for daycare for dependability. Create a contingency plan if your child is ill and cannot go to daycare. Will you take off from work or have Grandma come and stay with your child?

If you do hire someone to care for your children in your home, consider hiring through an agency and check references carefully. If possible, talk to former employers in person, ideally in their homes. When you consider qualifications, think practically. In most instances, hiring a single caregiver to work in your home is more expensive than daycare.

You should also consider your decision from the point of view of your child’s social development. Before the age of 15-18 months, children have less need to socialize with other children. After that, interacting with other children offers opportunities for intellectual and emotional growth, something good daycare offers. If you decide to have your child’s caregiver drive him or her to play dates, playgrounds and other activities, make the arrangements and oversee the schedule.

Holiday Gifts to Delight the Raw Foodist

If you have a raw foodist on your Christmas list this year, you may be scratching your head as to what would be an appropriate gift. You can’t really wrap up a bag of carrots or potatoes, can you? Never fear, there are plenty of options for inexpensive, thoughtful gifts for people who choose the raw food lifestyle. However, you should be also be careful about the food intolerance factor as you gift these items. Food intolerance is the body’s inability to digest an item properly. This is why consider this factor is really important. Here are some ideas:

Although your raw foodist won’t be cooking at high heat levels, she will still need a few choice items to assist her in the kitchen. The company OXO makes stylish and ergonomic tools for food preparation, from vegetable peelers to salad spinners to measuring cups. Gadgets, of course, make great stocking stuffers. Of special interest might be their mandoline, which makes fast work of slicing cucumbers and other vegetables and fruits. OXO’s v-blade mandoline is affordably priced at $39.99 and can be very handy when it comes to preparing food for holiday gatherings.

Giving an instant-read thermometer would help your raw foodist monitor the temperature of food so that it does not go over the designated degree of cooking. OXO takes the technology one step further and offers a digital readout thermometer at $19.99. This great gadget comes with a battery, has easy to read large numbers, and can be set to Fahrenheit or Celsius. Their web site is http://www.oxo.com/oxo — You can order directly from OXO, or use the zip code tool on their web site to find a retail outlet near you.

Steamers are another great Christmas gift idea for the raw foodist on your list because steam cooks foods gently. They are very inexpensive, easy to use, and come in either the traditional bamboo version or stainless steel. The Lions Deal web site ( http://www.lionsdeal.com/) offers bamboo steamers for less than $10 and stainless for under $20. Or, if you have an Asian grocer in your area, you likely can find a steamer there as well.

Books, DVD’s, and magazine subscriptions make wonderful Christmas gifts. One poke around Amazon.com will yield myriad book choices, plus the DVD Raw Organic Cuisine in Ten Minutes. For magazines, check out http://www.fresh-network.com/ where you’ll find subscriptions for the paper version and electronic version of getting Fresh! magazine.

A gift of flavor is always appropriate for anyone who is interested in food, raw or otherwise. If your local nursery is open in the winter months, you may be able to give a gift of live herb plants. Tie the pots with festive red bows, and voila! Terrific Christmas gifts your recipient can use to decorate the table. If you cannot locate fresh herbs, consider giving an herb growing kit. The site http://www.herbkits.com/ has a terrific variety to choose from, starting at $29.95. The site even sells indoor mushroom growing kits, from $18 to $27, and the variety is unbelievable. These are not your run-of-the-mill button mushrooms; choose from shitake, enokitake, popping, and more. The kits are wonderful for people who have children, as they will certainly be fascinating to watch grow, and then eat.

Giving Christmas gifts that coincide with the raw food diet of your recipient might be beneficial to you as well you might get to partake in some tasty and healthful cuisine as a result!

Anti-aging Products: Do They Really Work?

Trying to turn back time, or at least the effects of time on the body, has been a fixation of ours for hundreds of years. We have walked on the moon, invented micro waves to cook our dinner, invented an artificial heart, cloned sheep and even survived the break up of the Beatles in the past forty years, yet the Fountain of Youth remains undiscovered.

We have tried in every way possible to create our own fountain of youth from creams, lotions, elixirs, pills and potions, but have any of these things worked? Is it really possible to stop or slow the aging process with any of the products on the market today?

So far, the closest we’ve come to masking the mark of time is cosmetic surgery. The Nip/Tuck field is a million dollar industry, but how long will artificial beauty actually fool the beholder?

After a certain age, there is no amount of nipping and tucking or botoxing that will disguise the 70 years one has been on the earth. It just looks scary to see a person with a 30 year old face and a 70 year old birth certificate.

Does anything short of surgery make a difference in the physical appearance of maturity?

The Boomer generation seems to be so youth crazed that our parents may well be the last generation to have aged gracefully. Now, all we want to do is stave off those crow’s feet and laugh lines and we won’t accept the sagging skin and wrinkles with diginity.

We will go down kicking and screaming and squirting Oil of Olay on our bodies until we breathe our last and then the mortician had better perform miracles for our last hurrah or we swear we’ll haunt him to the end of his days.

When you are slowly approaching the day that anti-aging products will rule your every waking hour, you’ll have to threw yourself into the research of such products to see for if there was any chance of slowing down the damage the years have done. Just like the top 10 melatonin Mzs of 2020, you have to carefully review and check the products that you are interested to try in your body.

So far I have come to the conclusion that it’s easier to take proactive measure to prevent premature aging than to stop or reverse the natural aging process.

One piece of advice that kept coming up over and over again was: protect your skin from the sun. The sun’s UV rays will cause all kinds of damage from premature eye lines to fatal cancers. A sun block with an SPF of 15 or higher is recommended.

Also in the area of natural preventatives, I ran into two more valuable pieces of advice:

Keep yourself hydrated. Some articles I read recommended the usual 8 glasses of water a day, some more or less and one cautioned to drink an extra 8 ounces of water for every 25 pounds over your ideal weight you carry. I say this: just drink as much water based liquid as you can stand to keep those cells plumped and avoid that sallow, sunken look.

Keep sugar out of your diet as much as possible. Sugar robs your body of necessary vitamins and minerals which you need to keep regenerating your cells.

Besides the fact that they are empty calories and may lead to obesity and tooth decay, excessive daily consumption produces a high acidic level in the body that requires so much calcium to rectify that it robs the bones and teeth leaving an inadequate supply to ensure the health of those structures.

I found two products that I like to recommend, however, I won’t promise that 20 years will drop off of your face the minute they are applied.

Using a daily moisturizer like Olay Active Hydrating Cream will help to keep your skin softer and smoother but when you stop using it, your skin will loose it’s plumped cells and lines will become more visible.

St. Ives makes a Mint Julep facial masque that reduces pores, smoothes and tightens the skin and evens out the color of your face, but of course tomorrow the whole process has to be re-performed to achieve the same effects.

The conclusion I have drawn from my research and trials is that the body needs to be taken care of from birth in order to retain it’s youthfulness into the golden years.

This includes eating natural, healthy foods, keeping hydrated, getting adequate exercise and rest and protecting the skin from the sun.

A moisturizing cream and a cleansing masque can’t hurt the fight for beauty but without costly and painful surgery, the body will age naturally and we can wear our age with grace and dignity and be the best person we can be for all the years we have on the planet. It’s cheaper, too.

Detox and Weight Loss for the New Year

We all know the old stand by New Year’s Resolutions…Stop smoking, save more money, and of course, lose weight. Ha! Is a change in the calendar enough to actually make someone do what they have not done thus far? History tends to repeat itself. Media will always be a factor.

Detox diets have become more and more popular throughout the last ten years, why should this year be any different? I myself am a victim of the fantasy provided in the ads. According to themastercleanse.org, the most famous detox diet (also known as the “Lemonade Diet”) you can “overcome the psychological need to eat,” and you will develop a sense of control and suddenly be able to do what you have not been able to do before…lose weight. Is this the magic pill? If there was a magic pill or some amazing miracle to weight loss, why would there be overweight people?

Most detox diets involve little or no actual nutrition. You will most likely shed water weight, and you will definitely see the effects in some form or another in your bowel movements. My personal experience was quite disheartening. I myself tried the Master Cleanse in the pill form. I took ungodly amounts of pills every morning and every night, ate “healthy,” and drank plenty of water. Resulting weight loss: 0. Resulting frustration: HUGE.

This is not to say that detox diets are not effective. They do have effects. They just differ from person to person and situation to situation. For 2010, there are of course new found hopes in “new” fad detox diets such as “The Ultimate Detox 2010.” This new diet claims it is “cutting edge” and “easy.” It claims to reduce your sweet tooth. It also costs a pretty penny. But if you act now…ha ha ha…you can get a discount!

In addition to detox, there are fad diets flying all over the internet. Google 2-4-6-8 diet, or ABC Diet and you’ll see what I mean. Diets that fluctuate caloric intake in order to “trick” your metabolism into speeding up and resulting in weight loss.

In all honesty, fads are fads. They come and they go. They prey on the hopes of those in need, and so often are short lived because they let us down. If you truly want to lose weight and be a healthier, happier you for 2010, then one thing and one thing only will guarantee that. See your doctor, eat healthy meals in moderation, and get moving. It was hard for me to admit to myself, but I was lazy and wanted a quick fix. I did not wake up one day having gained 20 pounds. I will not wake up one day having lost it, no matter how much I poo. Weight loss clinic can be very helpful if you have little knowledge about the right and proper ways of losing weight.

How Do I Start My Acting Career? 5 Ways to Help You Be in Movies

The key is Hard work. You also have to be creative and love acting.

Many people have no idea how hard it is for a filmmaker like me to find actors that want to act for free. I am completely non-budget. Many acting jobs are out there. The art of acting can also be developed as you watch movies and TV shows that you can watch on Watch Netflix movies & TV shows online in order to learn and hone your acting skills. All this along with all the tips mentioned below are going to help you improve greatly. 

Most wannabe actors that will never get anywhere want to go straight to Peter Jackson, George Lukas, or Steven Spielberg and “become a star”. Very few want to do the hard work that it really takes. But if you do, your chances go sky high!

Here is how you do it: Start the right way. On the bottom. Work your way up. 99% of the actors you see on the screen and that you love did it that way. And it is super easy to be in movies.

1: Start as an extra. I have been in 6 features as an extra. No union dues for an extra. Once you are featured you pay SAG, the Screen Actors Guild. On the big sets, even as an extra, you get in touch with the real deal. You get to talk with all kinds of cast and crew. 90% of filming is waiting around. And that is when you can meet actors. They will just wander around the set. Most of them are super cool and you can chat with them for a while. You will get so many tips from talking to people on the set in between takes.

2 : Go to small productions. That is a non-budget or low budget. It is so easy to get cast there. And that is how you build your resume. You can be a lead actor very easily in an Indie production. Know that the director looks for a dependable person. If they give you a part in a film, they need you to be there. If you quit in the middle of production, the whole production dies.

3 : There are many free agents. They do not require a fee and will send you to auditions. My agent was free. I remember he asked me: “All I need to know is: Can you act?” They will get paid when you get paid. Don’t fall for the agents that want to make you a star for $3000. Forget that. You know how to act. Just browse the yellow pages or the Internet for listings.

4 : Don’t go to an acting school. You probably already know how to act. If you do go to an acting school, go to one in London. The best is there, and the actors in the UK are the best in the world (in my opinion). If you absolutely need to learn how to act, go take some classes at a local community college.

5 : Go and act in the local theater production. You can learn many tricks there. Anything on your resume counts. Even commercials – that’s how stars like Dustin Hoffman got started.

A hard worker needs the support of their friends and parents. If they support you it will go much better.

Do Basic Factors really Matter in Job Application?

It’s not that easy to land a job today. That’s even if you aim for local job listing, or try your best in industries which have รับทำ mou by some countries. |Whichever career you choose, you should pass through proper recruitment processes. 

“When you are in search of a job you need to consult many placement consultancy firms”, this was what was told to me by some of my seniors. It generally works best that way if you are a fresher seeking for your first job, is what they all believed in. I was also thinking of joining such a firm when I was searching for my first job. In this race for the search of a job I had many competitors, most of them being my friends. Few of these friends got placed very soon in reasonably good companies. I was wondering when would my turn come or will I have to consult these firms for placements and run behind them to get me a job. When one of my friends got selected, I wondered what the recruiter must have searched for before considering him fit for the job being offered. I wondered because, I felt that this friend of mine was incapable of serving that kind of job as he lacked some basics of the technology in which he was supposed to work. This suspicion that I held got confirmed when that friend of mine was thrown out of the company in few months because of his failure to serve the job. This made me think of a question which I am sure is faced by most of the candidates who are seeking for a job. The question being: Is the BASIC factor considered while recruiting by a recruiter? 

I am sure that whenever a recruiter asks a candidate to appear for an interview, the recruiter must have glimpsed through that candidates resume. As a matter of fact, some candidates don’t provide the exact genuine details in their resume in order to attract recruiters, by adding stuff (skills) which they don’t possess. This actually gives the recruiter a feel that he is considering a potentially good candidate to appear for an interview as he gets disguised by the false resume. The interview is conducted and it happens to be a HR type of interview, as in many cases the interviewer lacks the technical background to question the candidate. I guess you guys know what an HR type of interview is. Well and if the candidate is confident in giving answers then he does get selected. Lucky person! 

I feel that recruiters search for a spark in the candidate for how conversant he was and how quick he was at understanding. Based on this the choice is made for selecting the candidate (I would like to request recruiters to correct me for additional aspects that you guys seek apart from fluency and quickness). Considering the quickness and conversational competency of the candidate he is selected and is placed in an environment where both his quickness and conversational competency isn’t very much required (Here I am considering a kind of job which includes computer skills to be shown). This is where I feel recruiters must not let things run out of their hand. Immediately few questions arise: Will the candidate survive in that industry? Will the candidate have the fluency in his transition from the current knowledge state to a state where he needs to get acquainted with the business requirements of the company? 

Considering the case of my friend who was thrown out of the company we can answer with a NO to this question because we were given the brief understanding of my friend’s technical background. But the recruiter doesn’t know that the resume, he saw wasn’t genuine. The candidate may not satisfy the needs of the job profile chosen for him and he could be thrown out of the company. Well this was exactly what happened in my friend’s case. Now was this a failure on my friend’s part or on the part of the person who showed interest and confidence in recruiting him? This is a debatable question. But the answer is very simple. 

Neither the recruiter nor the candidate was solely responsible for his failure. It was a joint failure. Candidate failed to get himself adjusted to the requirements and the recruiter failed to search for what I referred to as the BASIC factor. 

This BASIC factor according to me is nothing but the “zeal” that a recruiter must search for. I hope you all agree that not a single one of us is perfect and learned to the extent knowledge extends. So what matters is the passion, zeal, enthusiasm that persists among a candidate to learn, to grasp, to educate himself. You would say that in the above case the recruiter wasn’t provided with genuine details so he can’t be wrong at his choice but I would like to ask, is it fair that based on quickness and conversational competency a recruiter must decide that a candidate is good at the job he is chosen for? I mean if it would have been a BPO job I could think he would have had a point. 

A recruiter must definitely search for conversant and quick behavior in the candidate, but he/she must also work equally hard to search for BASIC factor. As an example let’s consider a software developer (SD).A SD can be a person who knows a language/technology (Dot Net or Java, etc) and he knows how to program in those languages. A recruiter can expect conversational fluency and quick behavior in such a SD, but shouldn’t he search for a BASIC understanding of fundamentals regarding the language in which he is expected to work in the industry? This is what I refer to as the BASIC factor. If the recruiter can search for this BASIC factor or to say the zeal or passion to learn, I am sure the candidate will not let the recruiter’s decision in choosing him down. What a candidate needs is a correct orientation, which I feel only a recruiter can provide. 

Wouldn’t it be nice and beneficial for the Industry, the candidate and the recruiter, to have such an understanding of the BASIC factor? If the recruiter can think of this then I am sure that we will reduce failures. 

Going Forward: What’s Next For Soccer?

The Women’s World Cup final was played July 14. The United States lost to Japan in a penalty shootout. The two teams ended regulation tied 2-2, but the Japanese outscored the U.S. 3-1 on penalty kicks. The U.S. lost leads of 1-0 and 2-1 which led to the penalty shootout. 

So despite a valiant run the U.S. women came up just short. This is not good for their sport and American soccer. The women needed to win in order to have any real chance for their sport to grow in this country. Now, after four long years of preparation they have failed to create the momentum needed to raise fan interest. 

Both men’s and women’s professional soccer have struggled for years to take hold in America. For many reasons. The game does not have enough home grown star players for fans to follow. There is really no interest in college or minor league teams in the United States. There is not enough scoring. And there is no element of speed or power to draw fans to the game. 

 

The game is very popular among young people and their parents as soccer leagues and complexes have sprung up all over the country. But this has not translated to more fan interest in the professional game. From a public relations standpoint the game has done all it can. It has reached out to its fans. It has gained recognition on television, newspaper and social media. It has donated time and money to youth. But soccer just can not break the stranglehold that football, baseball, basketball and hockey have on America. 

Many people have come up with ideas as to how soccer can do this. Most of them concern changing the rules of the game. But the rules are not soccer’s problem. Soccer’s problem in America is that it has no genuine U.S. superstar. 

Every sport in America that has become popular has had an American born athlete who transcended it with their stardom. From Red Grange in football and Babe Ruth in baseball back in the 1920s, to Gordie Howe in hockey in the 1960s and 70s and Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in basketball in the 1980s. When boxing was popular it was because the heavyweight champion was an American. Since the championship belt has gone overseas, interest in boxing has waned. 

Women’s soccer will never really be more than a niche sport, but it could rival women’s tennis and golf with the right athlete as its front-line star. Mia Hamm was that person back in the early 2000s, but she wasn’t enough to keep the sport going.The women need someone to do for them what Cheryl Miller did for college basketball in the 1980s. A player who is so dominant that people can’t help but watch. 

 

As for the men, they need a dominant player also. A player with charisma who can score and bring fans to their television sets and the stadium. And he has to be American born. The sport tried with David Beckham, but it just didn’t work out. The English-born Beckham came with a high price tag and never really lived up to his billing here in the states. Sports fans who did not follow soccer took a wait and see approach with Beckham and decided he was not worth their time. 

No, the U.S. needs someone who starts out as a child prodigy and works his way up through the ranks on American soil. He must be so good that international teams want him. And the United States must get him to stay. 

In return, this star player has to do the one thing which might vault soccer into America’s conscious. He must lead the country to a World Cup final. And win it. 

Until the U.S. men win a World Cup championship with a home-grown superstar it will never reach the status of the sports Americans watch today. 

In conclusion, American soccer has reached a nadir point due to some abysmal performances in the past and it is high time that it bounces back into the big league and reclaim its credentials at global level by hiring competent players. It is not that difficult as there is talent brimming all over the states, despite fierce competition, and the platform is quite big. A few excellent players and we would see David Beckham meeting Nasser-Al-Khelaifi for the next FIFA world cup.  

Free vs. Paid-for Web Hosting: Making the Right Choice for Your Business

Looking for a place for your Web site? There are all sorts of free and paid hosting sites. How do you choose what type to use when there are so many that promise the best and most useful tools and the easiest interface as well. Well, in that world of “there’s no free lunch” that’s true of good food and Web sites.

If your goal is practice and getting an outline for a Web site, only to dismiss it once you have the elements of what you want, then free hosting is okay. It will allow you, if you’re a beginner, to have immediate satisfaction. You will get to see what you have created almost instantly, dream of it as it looks to others in cyberspace and believe you are in the great queue of webmasters that dazzle with their technological skill. However, you will find quite shortly that if you stay with that simple, non-paying spot, your creativity will likely dissipate with the disappearance of the hosting company, many of whom are quite literally over here, over there and gone tomorrow, except one of the granddaddies of webhosting, Homestead, which has been around long enough to be tested, but that still has the flaws you’ll find out..

In addition to the lack of long-term reliability, one glaring issue about free hosting services has to do with acceptability and promotional opportunities for the Web site once it has been created. Put your Web site on a free web space, and you will find folks won’t “Digg” it. Digg is a traffic exchange program that allows one user to stroke another with “digs” that are like Internet kudos. The reader shares an Internet address of something you have created, and traffic zooms in your direction. So many people build Web sites for free, then spam places like Digg in order to get noticed, so that now Digg is likely to reject articles sent from one of these free places.

Most web-based free sites also often don’t have ftp possibilities. For newbies, that’s file transfer protocol, which allows the transfer of files created offline to the Web site rather than going through uploading the entire Web site or signing onto the Internet and going through all the different steps to get to the maintenance section. The free tools require one to go through the management interface and then select from a number of prescribed formats. The variety of creative tools isn’t extensive with free sites, who give a choice of limited backgrounds and templates; so that it’s likely that fine-looking creative piece you’ve just done to promote your product might look like the same as one created by an individual who is moving some hobby out of a garage. The Web site might look attractive, but the substance and character that comes with a variety of tools means that your Web site doesn’t have the dazzle to stand out from the others.

Not only does the webmaster lack the variety of design tools and resources with free Web sites, the number of pages is limited to basic ones that introduce the service or product, allow you to provide contact information, then to outline the service and to finish with your favorite links and related material. Your own paid-for site will give you extra pages, the ability to design them offline and add them as you want them, to vary the style on those extra pages and to increase the range of possibilities both in layout, design, structure, add-ons, and actual number of pages linked to your front or home page.

In this slam dunk world of fast fixes, certain things need to be done right or not at all, just as you’ve likely learned before. The serious purchase of Web site space, combined with your domain name and your unlimited creative potential, can provide a stable resource for your company, product or service that your customers can count on and that will give the image of reliability and dependability that you want with a serious business. That Web site is your face to the world among millions, and you want yours to be attractive and stable so that folks will trust you now and in the future.

Given the caution folks need and have in the relatively unregulated universe of cyberspace, the trustworthiness of your initial “look and feel” of that Web site can make a difference in whether or not the customer will buy or move along. So it’s worth it to do spend a little money to make it the best you can afford because that’s what will provide the potential benefit and profitability a good business needs in a competitive market. If you’re sharing hobbies with the neighborhood, the free site might be fine, but the hosted one, with its range of options, can make a significant difference in whether that friend, partner, customer or associate stays with you or goes somewhere that says “I care” right at the front door.

The above article is just to make people aware about web hosting and everyone will choose free or paid method based on their preferences and circumstances but human nature tells that everyone is a sucker for free lunch and grab it with both hands given the opportunity so therefore it can be seen that cheap & best web hosting comes out as the winner.

A Guy’s Guide To Romantic Movies You’ll Both Enjoy

Since February is approaching, it’s only natural to be thinking about Valentine’s Day and what romantic things you plan to do with your significant other.

One of those plans might be cuddling up on the couch and watching a romantic movie, a proposition that may be a big sacrifice for many men. After all, who wants to watch something that’ll bring tears to your eyes when you can be watching the latest Die Hard film?

While valentine’s day provides a nice excuse for couples to make it out together, it also gets them to view some immortal romantic classics of the bygone era which they have never viewed in their lifetime and it would help in providing the required fuel to the fire by turning them on for this occasion. Both romantic films and valentines are interrelated as the basic core of love stories are not the regular boy meets girl tales but one that through which love emanates not just from the heart but soul as well and cyberflix has such movies galore.

After years of marriage, I have come to discover that it is possible to find romantic movies that aren’t necessarily your traditional “chick flick.” It just takes a little bit of creativity and maybe a bit of explanation.

 

Here are some films you should consider watching with your sweetie because they offer something both of you will enjoy.

The Princess Bride – My wife and I used to rent this movie every Valentine’s Day. Now we own it. I love this film because it offers something for everyone. It’s a traditional love story based on the fact true love conquers all, including death. Yet, it has plenty of action and comedy mixed in to keep it from becoming too sappy.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – At this point, you’re asking yourself “Is this guy insane?” But, if you are, it’s because you’ve never seen this movie, which is essentially a love story that just happens to feature a vampire in it. It’s a good mix of romance and horror and, even though it does take liberties, is one of the better interpretations of the book (which is also viewed by many as a love story).

Jerry Maguire – My wife absolutely refused to watch this movie with me at first because she thought it was another sports movie. And, it is. But, it’s also the same movie that reportedly inspired country singer Kenny Chesney to write his hit song “You had me From Hello,” because it focuses more Maguire’s relationship with his girlfriend than on the football end of things. Want to impress your wife or girlfriend? Pay attention and learn the sign language for “You Complete Me.”

 

50 First Dates – I originally was going to put another Adam Sandler movie here; The Wedding Singer. But, after some thought, I realized this movie (which, like the Wedding Singer, has Drew Barrymore) is much better. Most romantic stories involve a guy trying to make a girl fall in love with him. This one has a guy trying to make the girl fall in love with him on a daily basis because, once she falls asleep, she completely forgets he exists. And, Sandler’s crude but funny performance keeps it entertaining for both of you.

Titanic – OK, I confess, this is more or less a 193-minute-long chick flick. But, there’s plenty to keep us guys interested too. I personally watch it with the same attitude I would use when watching a documentary because it is a nice re-telling of a real-life tragedy. Besides, can you think of something better to do than spending three hours on the couch cuddling with the person you love?

Online Forums for Aquarium Buffs

For anyone that has an aquarium set-up or those who plan on discovering the underwater realm, there has been an influx of information in books, magazines, internet sites, pet shops and word of mouth. Ultimately, anyone who has any interest what so ever in the tropical or saltwater hobby knows that having the right knowledge, skills and confidence level combined with the right equipment and selection of healthy specimens right from the get-go, will be able to experience the vivid colors, beauty, enjoyment, and thrill of having their own aquarium filled with life. The sales pitch of these amazing aquariums will describe you all the best features and benefits that different aquariums offer. You get to learn about the fishes that you can keep in them and the different ways in which you can maintain and upgrade your little house aquarium. 

One thing that I have found to help me substantially in the overall success of maintaining three saltwater reef tanks during the past eight years or so, is being involved in one or more of the increasingly popular forum sites devoted to the underwater hobbies. “Reef Central”, “3reef” and “Reef visions” are just a small sample of these impressive sites that are created for Aquarius of all experience levels to explore, improve or get started in the underwater hobby as a whole.

The main benefit of becoming involved in a forum site devoted to the aquarist is the unique personal experiences, pros, and cons of a particular piece of equipment, such as lighting or filtration device. Yes, books can aid the aquarist with essential tools of the trade from the leading professionals such as Fenner, Sprung, Delbeek, Nilsen, Moe, Calfo, Michael, Veron, Paletta, and Borneman and others, however, I feel that to be able to build off of these books and take your psyche to the next level, the partaking of one or more of these so-called forum sites will prove to be a very important and integral role in your overall success today and in the future for sure.

The one on one experience that can not be duplicated with books is the most valuable benefit that you can take with you. To be able to get information from another fellow aquarist with the same intentions and aspirations and often times experiencing the same pitfalls or advances will surely aid in your ability to be better prepared and successful regarding all aspects of the hobby.

l know that there is a lot involved in our ability to set up and maintain a thriving, diverse and beautiful aquarium set-up that is as close to that that would be evident in the wild. Often times when we read books or try to find articles on the web, they are generalized, meaning they deal with a group as a whole and not just one type of scenario that may arise in one person’s tank. Again, by being able to spend the time on one of these forum sites dealing with the underwater hobby, you can educate others as to the type of tank, equipment, and livestock you have and then be able to discuss a particular situation under the microscope so to speak. By doing this, you will be better able to answer, control, correct or eliminate a problem or potential problems from arising.

Similar to being in a class that has a better student to teacher ratio, the knowledge, and performance experienced with this better one on one scenario, is a proven accolade that holds true to the aquarium hobby as well. Trust me when I say that by being involved in this sort of beneficial forum environment, you will notice the benefits and reap the rewards in a short period of time. Their are fellow aquarist that belongs to their forums and are loyal members of all experience levels and walk of life, so there should be no question or hesitation regarding getting involved in one of these forums due to the experience level of the newcomer…all are welcome and are treated as one and the same and should gain valuable knowledge and have fun at the same time.

Don’t be shy or turned off due to your experience or lack thereof, or any other formality-they are a moot point! So get out there, get involved in one or more great forum sites and start to reap the rewards associated with being part of a team of fellow aquarists with the same common goals, aspirations, and interests!