Friday, August 03, 2007

New Information Source

Hey, here's an interesting new source of information on Scottish Jobs. Well, more specifically, it's a site new to me with information on things like jobs in Edinburgh. It's quite specific and the best thing is that they seem to be detailing real Edinburgh jobs, not just lising a few agencies.

Looking at the listing they've got there right now there's a new coffee shop opening, drivers required, ducting fitters (I actually know what that one does!), waiting staff and nannies, even financial jobs. If that's the area of the country you're in it does look well worth a visit.

They don't just do jobs of course: I think the best description would be like a Scottish centric version of Craigs List: there's a whole series of different sections about Edinburgh, flat shares, cars for sale, dating, community, etc etc. Looks like a truly useful little place to keep an eye on.

This is a new scam!

These are all over the place, as anyone with an in box knows, but I've not seen one in French before:

A votre aimable attention,

Nous avons l'aimable plaisir de vous annoncez que vous êtes l’un des heureux gagnants de la Loterie informatique EURO MILLIONS LOTERIE .Une Loterie organisée par EURO MILLIONS LOTERIE ET LA SOCIETE GENERALE DE FINANCEMENT PAR LE CREDIT BAIL DE COTE D'IVOIRE ( SOGEFIBAIL BANK ) Une loterie portant sur les adresses électroniques d'internautes.

La valeur totale mise en jeu est de 70.000 000 Millions D'euros et votre Adresse email par laquelle vous recevez ce message a été tirée au sort par sélection informatique lors de notre premier Tirage annuel effectué la semaine dernière au siège de EURO MILLIONS LOTERIE sis a Londres.

Vous faites donc partie des Heureux Gagnants et votre gain est de 250 000 euros( Deux Cent Cinquante Mille euros )

Pour entrer en possession de votre lot, Veuillez adresser exclusivement à La Direction Generale de La SOGEFIBAIL un message comportant : Votre Nom, Prénoms, Adresse complète, Numéro de Téléphone ainsi que le Numero de code Secret auquel est rattachée votre adresse electronique ce Numero est le suivant : A04101981A Ce code qui est le seul élément qui permettra au Directeur Général de la SOGEFIBAIL de vous identifier afin de procéder au transfert de votre Gain . L'existence de ce code devra resté strictement confidentiel



MR. PIERRE SIBY Tel : 225 04 06 41 03
E- mail privé :


Nous vous signalons qu'aucune somme ne doit être déduite de votre gain durant le processus de Transfert de Votre gain conformement aux accords ratifiées entre EURO MILLIONS et la SOCIETE GENERALE DE FINANCEMENT PAR LE CREDIT BAIL DE COTE D'IVOIRE ( SOGEFIBAIL BANK )

Ni la SOGEFIBAIL BANK n'est Autorisé a deduire une quelconque somme d'argent sur votre gain durant le transfert car votre gain doit etre Transféré dans son intégralité sur votre compte bancaire et vous devrez percevoir 100% de votre Gain

Quiconque Tentera d'outrager cette mesure sera poursuivit pour tentative de Détournement du gain et est passif de poursuites judiciaires et des Sanctions très sévères seront prisent à son encontre.Nous portons à votre connaissance que au moins 7% des lots attribués doivent servir à l'expansion de l’internet dans un pays Africain et que dans trois mois une grande Tournée de vérification aura lieu . A l’issue de cette tournée le projet le plus significatif recevra le prix spécial EURO MILLIONS POUR LA PROMOTION DE L'INTERNET EN AFRIQUE.

Recevez encore toutes nos félicitations.
Mme Clara Morgan
Chargé De Communication.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ceiling Fans

As regular readers will know we just been working on this new (to us) house and as the builders have now left it's time for us to turn our attention to the subject of the interior, which brings us again to the subject of ceiling fans.

Living where we are sometihng like this is going to be essential in the summer months: it's still only june and it's 33 0C outside. But what type should we get?

I mean, seriously, there's so many different types: do we want casablanca ceiling fans? Or ellington fans? Or maybe monte carlo fans are better for us?

Fortunately, given that I'm the male part of this relationship I don't actually have to worry about all of this. I can just point the wife at and let her get on with it. They're even help her sort by style, if she's not worried about which manufacturer to choose.

So she does all of that and I just get on with earning the money to pay for them. Sounds fine to me actually.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Katie Holmes and the Media

Good grief, even I'm getting bored making these posts about Katie Holmes.

There's a nice little site that has all sorts of news about the actress and Scientology kook, Katie Holmes.

Of course, there's a section on Katie Holmes and her marriage to Tom Cruise.

There's also a round up of news stories, photos and a video feed.

Yes, you can catch up with all the news on your favourite celebrity just by clicking through on of the links.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Elin and Tiger

Elin Woods now has a baby girl, her and Tiger's first child.

Sam Alexis Woods.

Given her genetic background I have a feeling that in 20 years or so she's going to be breaking a lot of hearts.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Vacation Time!

Have you worked out your summer vacation yet? Thought about an extra trip perhaps? If not, then you'll want to come over here and look at this great little site dealing with hotel bookings.

They're starting small and rolling out the site across other European cities, so as to make sure that they get all of the necessary information there in the right amount of detail. So at present they've got Amsterdam hotels and Barcelona hotels up and running, Rome hotels as well.

Have a look around the site. For example, the Hotel Veneto Rome. They give details of the address (of course!), how close parking is, the facilities available, including such modern essentials as WiFi, pricing, the ability to check on availability and so on. Everything you need to decide whether this is the hotel for you.

Interestingly, they've also got a section for previous customers of the hotel to comment on the service and ambiance. So you're actually getting public feedback, not just the glossy brochure talk.

Well worth checking out in advance of any European trip you might be taking.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Party Favors

So, where do you go to get all those party favors you want to turn a mild and fun event into a great and exciting one? There are so many possible options for such things, from wanting stag night or bridal shower favors, to baby shower, bar mitzvah favours and even those for birthday parties.

That very possible large number of variations is of course what causes all the problems. No one bricks and mortar stall can be expected to stock them all ...they can only possible carry a small selection of each of the different offerings for each of the different occasions.

This is why the process of retailing party favors is one of the obvious businesses which should move in fact it has done. For from just one location, without having to pay the inlfated rents for retail space, can supply all of the different possible designs, for all of the possible different occasions, in every color and variation possible.

Well worth clicking through one of those links and seeing what they can do for you.

Ecotourism in Hawaii

This looks like an interesting development, the rise of ecotourism in Hawaii.

For decades people have been worrying about the impact of tourism upon Hawaii's ecosystem as ever more visitors arrive on the islands. With the current concerns over the environment of course there has been a reaction, with new developments making sure that they are not doing any damage, as some of the older ones used to.

As, for example, the hanalei bay resort which is built to the strictest standards to make sure that the impact upon the delicate environment is minimised.

Actually, well worth a look through to have a closer peek at what the hanalei bay resort offers as it realy looks rather decent, if not sumptuous. Just goes to show that concern for Gaia does not have to mean roughing it at all, just careful planning and attention to detail.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vacation Times A' Comin'!

Yes, indeed it is, vacation time is nearly upon us and like most people I've not mamaged to organize myself sufficiently to have actually booked something yet. Which is why I'm happy to have discovered this hotel reservations site this afternoon. It looks like I might actually be able to go somewhere this year then after all! Yes, yes, I know, the massed blogoshpere will be so excited at the prospect of my being able to wander off somewhere interesting finally.

But why is somewhere online that enables me to book a hotel room exciting in this manner? Surely there are plenty of places I can go to do that? Wll, yes there are indeed plenty of places to get the basic accomodation but none of them seem to have the great hotel discounts available through this site.

So it's a great deal more exciting than the usual rather boring offerings from Expedia and the like. In fact, doing some rough back of the envelope calculations I would be able to stay (well, if I could get that much vacation time) twice as long by using this site than the others I've looked at the prices are so much better.

Oh, and over and above the hotels they also do Motels and Resorts. It's a real cornucopia of deals and discounts, very much worth checking out. Hey, why not? Click through one of the links to see what I mean.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

As we're now coming out of the end of the house rebuilding program I have of course been looking around for places where I can getthe acoutrements needed. You know, kitchens and bathrooms and stuff. The wife is insistent that I get some of these showers and I'm getting very partial to the idea of a shower cabinet along these lines.

In fact, the combination of the two would really be rather good. It's the one great thing I liked about being in the US, the ability to have a decent, high pressure shower, in a proper cubicle. Not the more traditional dribble of water shivering in the side of a bathtub of our own isles.

There's also an extreme temptation to get one of these hot tubs. We've just pulled down the old chicken sheds and have ended up with a very sunny corner of the garden with walls on two sides: line those with sandstone so as to retain the heat and we'll be away. Well, yes, once I've earned the money to pay for it, of course.

Now if you'll excuse me please, I have to make way for the wife on this internet access thing. She wants to have a right and proper drool over the site.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The London Advertising World

It's generally agreed (well, certainly amongst those who work in the London Advertising World, although they might actually be correct as well) that the London Advertising community is in fact the world's most vibrant and creative.

While those in Continental Europe are hamstrung by not speaking the global language, those in the US need to be extremely brash in their sales messages (and suffer from the cultural problem of not actually being English) and with, well the Japanese seem to hire whichever film star has just made a few turkeys, there's really nowhere left to be the global centre of this creative industry.

All of which is fine as a piece of cultural snobbery even if it is actually true. The problem though is how do you navigate through the geography of such a creative industry?

The answer would seem to be in these modern times to go to a directory of the players in that market. Like, for example, the London Advertising Directory, your guide to the online sites of the major players.

The beauty of using their own sites to see what they're like is that of course, they will all have designed their own sites, so you not only get the information but also a sample of their wares.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Health Insurance

One of the more boring (but extremely important) things about American life is to make sure that you are properly covered for health insurance. Some of the time it will be your employer who is responsible for this but often you'll have to, even if they are helping, take care of this yourself.

This means, unfortunately, getting to grips with the basics of the jargon of the industry to make sure that you pick the correct health insurance plan. You need to learn about things like co-pays (how much do you pay before the health insurance coverage starts to take care of the bills?), what is the actual monthly premium, what illnesses and conditions are covered and what are not and so on.

This can be something of a minefield, for it isn't necessarily true that the most affordable health insurance is the right one for you. It's not just the price paid, it's how much you get for that money handed over.

Click through any of the links above to get to a very good little primer on the basics that you need to know and guidance as to where to get more information if you should need it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Refinancing a Mortgage

Different states have different rules about these things so Florida Mortgages are different from California Mortgages for example.

However, it's always true that mortgage refinancing (sometimes known as mortgage refinance) can help you in your pursuit of your financial goals.

It could be that you can refinance upon better terms, thus cutting your monthly payments: this is really something for nothing. You might also want to extend the term of the loan. This will cut the monthly payment while making you pay it for longer. Or, you might simply want to take out some of the equity you have to spend on something else.

Worth looking into: I've just done it myself, using the money to buy a second home.

Disclosure Policy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Now this is interesting, a new service called Fliptrack. It makes life aq lot easier and also solves one of the great legal problems we have in this new digital age.

The first thing is that it makes it easy to create a video. You take your photographs, of someone, or an event, and upload them into the Fliptrack system. Their tools then make it easy for you to create a slideshow of those photos, mimicking a video.

That's excellent, it's a lot easier than doing video editing, of course. Then you can share that still/video that you've created across the net. Also excellent.

But the part that's really important I think is that they've started to sort out the problems over digital rights to the music you might use on such a video.

Rather than using some piece of music and just hoping that no one will sue over it, they've gone out and got the digital rights to hundreds of pieces of music. I think this a huge advance and it's definitely worth checking out the Fliptrack system.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Just Say Hi!

The dating game is simply something that seems made to measure for the web. It's one of those businesses (in the extended meaning of the word) which has been hugely held back in the past because of the transaction costs. It had to be based on print magazines and newspapers, and these are expensive to produce and distribute. That very cost also precluded adding photographs or anything but the most limited of details.

Then along came the web and internet personals were suddenly big business. Transaction costs had fallen to nearly zero. This is, from an economist's point of view, what has driven the success of places like Yahoo Personals. At minimal cost people could now search amongst all of the details available and thus have a much better chance of making a match.

Excellent of course, more people getting what they want. But success breeds competitors of course which is what has led to Just SayHi! , a competitor in the market for online personals.

The unique point here is that it is free, entirely and forever free. Not even a credit card is needed to search for whatever might take your fancy.

Well worth clicking through one of those links to have a look see at what it's all about.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


One of the problems we all face is that we know we need to buy insurance, but we never really get around to it properly. In fact, most of us a grossly underinsured by any reasonable standard.


One reason for this is that going out and looking for it is a real pain. It takes time, you're subject to and endless series of sales pitches from glib characters and it is, in effect, all so damn boring.

Which is there the net can help out. Firstly, we can go looking for our necessary life insurance quotes without actually having to leave home. Much more convenient that. Secondly, we spared the salesmen, we just get the quote on our car insurance delivered to us. Thirdly, once we've got all of our household insurance quotes we can actually read them, find out what is really being offered and make a decision without any pressure.

Thank goodness Al Gore really did invent the internet (and Tim Berner's Lee the Web) so that we can in fact buy these essentials at our own pace and, blissfully, without having to deal with insurance salesmen.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Barca! Barca!

If you've not been to Barcelona yet then you are missing one of the great cities of our time. The capital of Calalonia it has always been distinctly different from other areas of Spain (and the locals aren't quite sure whether they are part of Spain) and the language is also quite different (Bon Dia instead of Buenos Dias for example), as is the cooking and even the general outlook.

It had a huge boost in the early part of the last century when it was one of the foremost European cities for art, especially Gaudi, the architect. It is worth going there just to see some of his rather bizarre creations. But the whole city has a jump and a jive which is really rather different from anywhere else in Spain, and while it's different from anywhere else I've been on the Mediterranean I can only speak for what I've seen, not the totality. 

But if you're going to go there then obviously you need to think about Barcelona hotels. My recommendation would be to click through that link to a site that specializes in offering the best the city has to offer. It's possible to stay up by the Gaudi Park, where some of his best buildings are located, or perhaps near the Olympic Park. My own suggestion might be to stay on Las Ramblas, the central street for the nighly passagiero, perhaps here, right on Las Ramblas.

Another might be, if hotels aren't quite your thing, to rent an apartment in Barcelona by the night. Many areas of the city are available.

But wherever you stay, do make sure to get to Barcelona at least once: it's one of the great cities of the world.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Britney Spears and Rehab

There are suggestions that chcking into an expensive rehab place might not be the best option for Britney Spears. Unless you get down and dirty with the other addicts you don't learn the humility necessary, as Britney may find out later:

Britney Spears' pals hope she found solace at the luxury Promises rehabilitation clinic in Malibu but some experts question whether the spa-like center is the best place for the erratic pop star.

At Promises, Spears will be able to relax with the help of massages, walks on the lawn, horse riding, or she can simply sit and look at the ocean. At night there is a roaring fireplace. The center's Web site promises "uncommon luxury," and also private rooms - rare for what is billed as an intense rehab facility. Sounds more resort vacation than treatment hospital - and that's the problem, critics say.

Centers like Promises are designed to lure California's poshest clients. Indeed, its Web site claims it is popular with "celebrities" and "business executives."

"They say, 'We have 500 thread-count sheets.' It trivializes what we do," John Schwarzlose, head of the Betty Ford Clinic, told Newsweek.

"The best thing for you in rehab is to sit next to a guy from skid row and realize you're just as much an alcoholic as he is," he railed. "Learning humility is part of the recovery process."

My own opinion is rather different, that most rehab is in itself in fact a mistake. But that's another matter altogether.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Russian Women Are Different

We're often told that Russian women are different from their more liberate western counterparts but this story really takes the biscuit:

A Murmansk gambler lost his wife in a poker game when he ran out of cash and laid his other half on the table, Ananova reports.

Unfortunately for Andrei Karpov, when winning opponent Sergey Brodov arrived to claim his prize, his wife Tatiana was "so angry" she opted for a divorce.

Well, OK, but what next?

She thundered: "It was humiliating and I was utterly ashamed. But as soon as my ex-husband did that I knew I had to leave him."

In a heartwarming twist which disproves once-and-for-all the old "lucky at cards, unlucky at love" proverb, Tatiana started a relationship with Brodov and subsequently married him.

She enthused: "Sergey was a very handsome, charming man and I am very happy with him, even if he did 'win' me in a poker game."

Yes, that's lovely, we're all very happy for you. But, umm, Tatya, what happens next time Sergey is lucky at cards?


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