Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Celebrity News

Like every other woman I know, I love Gossip. Especially when its of the celebrity kind. I found a great blog that has up to date news on whats going on in Hollywood is, Belisi Blog: How to Look Like an Oscar Starlet.

I just love the Oscars, I found some little snippets here and there on the nights events:

Although the Academy banished the goodie bags, Elton John gave out goodie bags to his 1000 guests — inside was a free face lift!

Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham styled her BFF Katie Holmes and hubby Tom Cruise for mega star event the Vanity Fair Party.

Self-proclaimed fashionista Victoria Beckham reportedly styled Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for the Oscar festivities and Katie was just glowing in her flesh-coloured frock.

Upon arriving at the famed after party, Cruise urged his bride to pose for a photograph alone.

"Take a shot of her," he told photographers. But according to an onlooker, the 28-year-old actress refused to take a picture without him.

The actor then led his wife around by the hand, pulling her back and forth while he mingled and she remained silent.

Cruise, 44, greeted a few photographers but didn't introduce his wife, who said nothing and stood next to her husband, waiting for him to finish his conversations.

Nothing like a bit of juicy goss to get you through the afternoon!

First Home Buyers Not Welcome

The most expensive home sold in 2006 was a $58 million, 10,000-square-foot mansion located on a 63-acre estate in New Jersey (a bit lower than 2005’s $70 million Palm Beach, Florida estate), according to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Pricey real estate was a growing trend in 2006, with the number of U.S. homes sold for $5 million or above up about 11% over 2005. The Institute reports that a global commodities boom, success on Wall Street, and strong corporate profits were key factors in the higher demand for luxury homes.

The most expensive home currently on the market is Updown Court in Windlesham, England - $139 million for 103 rooms, 5 swimming pools, and a heated marble driveway.

ProProfs Launches Free Quiz Service

Studying isn't always easy, I definatley could have used some extra tools that are around today. I found this great program on the net which would be extrememly useful for today - and when I was at school!

Quiz School is a free online resource for students with study programs. All study programs are developed by qualified and expreienced prossionals. Which is a good sign!

When you click on the QuizSchool tab you will find free online quizzes and questions to study which helps you through exam time and gerneal study. I really think this is a great program as it is encourages students to study in a fun manner.

Press Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 27, 2007 Media Contact: Nick Barron 913-963-2991, ProProfs Launches Free Quiz Service Free, Groundbreaking Learning Resource With a Diverse Quiz Collection Los Angeles, February –, the leader in online learning resources, today announced the launch of ProProfs Quiz School ( ), a free groundbreaking learning tool that enables educators to utilize the power of the Internet to create online quizzes and practice tests for their students. The Quiz School provides easy access for students and educators, without the hassle of downloading bulky software. In addition to the ability to create custom quizzes, the feature also offers one of the largest collections of freely available online quizzes, ranging from K-12 education to topics such as technology certification, SAT, GRE and even general trivia. With a large number and great variety of quizzes at Quiz School, educators and students no longer need to sift through the Web to find the quiz they’re looking for. “We recognized the need for a comprehensive assessment resource from the suggestions of real students and instructors,” said Sameer Bhatia, founder and President of ProProfs. “We created ProProfs Quiz School to address these needs by allowing for open and free access to an ever-expanding collection of learning assessments. We are committed to continually adding the features and functions that students and teachers demand.” Quiz School allows instructors to easily create and assign a quiz to their students, and students can take the quiz without having to log in. Students can also receive instant feedback and scores. Online quizzes allow for personalized feedback to students on the problems they missed, along with tips on how to improve their future performance. To allow for quizzes to be easily retrieved from the ProProfs library, users can attach keywords, or tags, to their favorite quizzes. Tagging enables students to easily locate quizzes that are relevant to their studies. The personalized experience of ProProfs Quiz School even extends to the user interface, which is user-customizable, down to font size and Web page colors. ProProfs offers students the opportunity to vote, rank and comment on all of the quizzes, which are submitted from around the world, forming an educational social network. Students are even able to download or print quizzes for offline access. With user-oriented features and a large library of quizzes, ProProfs Quiz School can assist educators by providing the tools necessary for students to succeed. To take the Quiz School virtual tour visit About ProProfs:, a leader in online learning, provides free resources to students and educators. ProProfs facilitates student excellence in diverse fields ranging from technical certification to college entrance examinations by providing the tools necessary for students to succeed. ProProfs delivers free e-learning content around the world to students from all walks of life. Truly the work of “Professionals and Professors,” ProProfs is committed to furthering education and increasing knowledge. For more information on ProProfs Quiz School, please visit

Reality Television Is Very Ordinary

Last week's premiere of "American Idol" was the most-watched in its six-season history (and the best television debut ever for the Fox network), with an estimated 37.3 million viewers, according to MSNBC. That's an increase of 5% over season five's premiere, with 35.5 million viewers (and 376% more than season one's premiere with 9.9 million viewers).

This season, a 30-second commercial during "American Idol" will cost advertisers $600,000, making it the highest priced regular season commercial. "Desperate Housewives" comes in second at $394,000 per commercial.

"American Idol" is the No. 1 show for adults ages 18-49, a title it's held on to for the past three seasons.

Xoxide Cases

I was searching for a new computer case when I clicked on this website Green Computer Cases. My gosh it has everything I was looking for plus more!! The prices I thought were reasonable which is an added bonus as most Internet site I think, try to take your money. They also offer same day shipping, I thought this was great.

The site is so easy to use - with a tool bar down the side with the different categories you can search in for you desired product. If you don't know too much about brand names you can choose an advanced search on the product you are after. You can search for colour type, size you need, Form Factor, Window, Door and material.

I was a little hesitant at first in regards to purchasing one as I wasn't sure of their return policy. I've ordered items over seas before and by the time they have arrived some have been ill managed and have turned up broken. After researching I found out they offer full refund for a defect within 15 days - and if you decide its not right for you then a refund will still be issued but with a 15% penalty. I still think this is good as the refund option is still there.

Being a keen gaming person I was stoked when I saw the gaming category. Much to say I was not disappointed to what i found. I have been looking for a LAN Party Bag for ages now and there it was. One on the site for me to purchase. At only $14.99 I snapped it up quick smart!

Talking about the prices above and feeling safe using a secure payment method if you are still unsure about credit cards over the net (I know I am sometimes) you can use pay pal. I think the service they have offered to me is great! I ordered and payed via the net and I received my order within 3 days! I have got my friends purchasing from this site now. Its too good!

Hotmail Change too late for me

I have used Hotmail since before Bill and his men took it over but I have migrated to Googles Gmail. I often don't go to the web part of hotmail for a month or two, and to encourage me to change to LIVE, hotmail bounces mail if you dont check in every 30 days or so.

Well, the NOISE of angey customers has been heard but I think too late:

NINEMSN will move more than five million Australian Hotmail users to its Windows Live mail service in the first six months of next year.

The beta version of its new mail platform, designed to closely replicate Microsoft Outlook on the internet, is running, ninemsn chief executive Tony Faure said.
Hotmail customers will be able to keep their email addresses or take a new @Live. com address, Mr Faure said.

This news comes as Microsoft launches advertising on its websites from this week, including banner ads on its Office Online website.

According to Nielsen Net Ratings, Office Online's Australian site attracts 830,000 unique users monthly.

Of these, 67 per cent are aged 35 to 54, 49 per cent have household incomes of $75,000 and 64 per cent mostly or always visit Office Online while at work.

Australia is one of six territories to get the service, which was launched globally overnight.

Others include the US, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Taiwan.

"The aim is to offer advertisers ever more relevant and targeted advertising propositions through which brands can reach their target audience across multiple digital touch points," Microsoft international advertising sales vice-president Chris Dobson said.

"The development of advertising opportunities on Office Online is proof of Microsoft's focus on growing and developing advertising opportunities for brands."

Poker Chips

As a keen poker player I am always on the look out to update my playing set. I've found a site where I have purchased quite a bit from, poker chips. Poker Chips offer great poker products which usually retail at a very expensive price and real DISCOUNT pricing. All purchasing details are confidential and secure so I have no trouble using my credit card with this site.

You can customise your poker playing chips with a company logo or a picture if wanted. I think this is a great idea and am thinking of doing this for our company poker nights. They also offer clay and casino poker chips to purchase and customise.

I have ditched the Friday night pub after work and now have a ritual Friday night Poker night.

Relief for Raod Warrior Phone Bills

Here's a story for you Road Warriors who get those OUTRAGEOUS roaming phone bills after a short trip overseas. My recent visit to New Zealnd was celebrated by a mobile bill of $140 for the people who RANG ME!!

Hitchinson 3 is trying to win the travellers over. This article appear recently.

HUTCHISON'S third-generation mobile network 3 has used its international presence to offer local Australian call rates to travellers roaming on other 3 networks.

The company said customers travelling overseas would also no longer pay to receive calls while roaming, and that roaming customers would pay rates "similar" to those paid at home for data services.
The company announced similar arrangements for European customers in January.

Countries that host networks operated by 3 include Britain, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Hutchison's home market of Hong Kong.

Hutchison last week announced the expansion of its high-speed HSDPA network in Australia, with the service available in Sydney for the first time.

Further expansion to areas including Melbourne, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide is planned to be complete by the end of March.

The upgrade covers the 2100MHz 3GSM network Hutchison shares with joint-venture partner Telstra, which currently covers 55 per cent of the population.

Telstra 3G customers also have access to the higher-speed service.

While the HSDPA upgrade offers higher speeds, no expansion of the existing network footprint is planned at present

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Home Heating Solutions For the Winter

This is probably all a bit premature, but I thought I would actually get the jump on winter this year. After what has been a fairly normal summer by Western Australian standards (except for some of the crazy cooler days we've had), March is nearly upon us, which means winter is only a couple of months away.

Now being set up for an Asutralian climate, most of the house design and climate control within the house is designed for keeping the heat out and the house cool. This however presents somewhat of a problem during the colder winter months, as usually the only way to avoid the chills is several layers of shirts or jumpers and the reverse cycle airconditioner, which isn't as effective as you would think.

It would stand to reason then that wall heaters would prove a far better solution in the long run. After much searching for options that would suit my situation, I visited the DESA Online Outlet Store. Featured within this site is a complete section on wall heaters for all kinds of situations and budgets. The prices I have seen available are very cheap, and the options and styles available for both propane and natural gas are extremely diverse, something handy when trying to match decor or living arrangment.

- Liam Webb

Drinkings' Good For You

Dr Al Sears MD says that maybe a little indulgence is OK. Ina recent article on the benfits of moderate drinking he says:

Today, we know that moderate drinking:

  1. Lowers your risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 32 percent

  2. Boosts your HDL (good cholesterol) by 10 to 20 percent

  3. Prevents your blood from clotting, which improves coronary blood flow

  4. Improves your cardiovascular health and lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke

  5. Heightens your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which decreases your risk of diabetes (a risk factor for heart disease)

In 2000, Finnish researchers looked at 28 clinical reports on the connection between alcohol and heart disease. They found that the risk of coronary heart disease went down as the amount of alcohol consumed daily went up from zero to 25 grams. (25 grams is roughly the same as 2 alcoholic drinks.)

More recently, at a meeting of the American Heart Association, researchers revealed their findings from a seven-year study of more than 125,000 people. They found that people who have one or two alcoholic drinks a day reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by 32 percent.

They also made the connection between alcohol and HDL (good cholesterol) – noting that other studies found moderate drinkers can raise their HDL by 10 to 20 percent. This is a critical finding, as HDL eliminates bad cholesterol from your body – dramatically lowering your risk of heart disease.

If you’re not sure how to define “moderate drinking,” one to two average size
drinks a day is about right.

The Ultimate Gift - A Story to Inspire

I've noticed that in the last few years there have been some really brilliant movies that are of great inspiration to many people. With their powerful underlying message, intriguing storyline and very convincing characters that create a very emotive response from the viewer.

A few years ago, a small underground book titled "The Ultimate Gift" was circulated into publication and became a huge hit selling 4 million copies. The premise being a young man receiving a trust fund from his recently deceased wealthy grandfather. Instead of money however, his grandfather has left him 'gifts' designed to challenge Jason (the stories protagonist) and send him on a journey of self discovery. This is the official site of the movie "The Ultimate Gift" and the grass-roots movement its starting to help charities and give to others.

As well as being a successful book, this story also spawned a whole new movement, with its big message prompted people to give to others and to help those in need. The feeling is that every body has powerful gifts to share, and that this is our opportunity to use this as inspiration to go out there and change the world for the better.

This promises to be a truely inspirational movie, and I would hope, a positive influence on any viewers life, prompting them to give a bit of themselves tp others, and to help those in need.

Drinking cleans the arteries..

Back in the early 1900s, pathologists made a startling discovery: The major arteries of people who died of alcoholic liver cirrhosis were “clean” – meaning free of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). At the time, scientists were unable to put their finger on the reason. Some theorized that alcohol worked as a kind of “solvent” that scrubbed the arteries of oxidized cholesterol.

Giving Up Alcohol Boosts Your Risk of Disease

Another clue emerged during the 1960s. Scientists started using computers to find risk factors for heart disease. After crunching all the data, which included factors like age, gender, smoking, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. – they discovered something unexpected: Abstinence from alcohol increased a person’s risk of heart attack.

Until then, many studies missed this point. The reason was simple. Researchers always failed to separate drinkers from smokers. Because regular drinkers tended to also smoke – especially in the 1940s and 50s – the negative effects of tobacco hid the benefits of alcohol.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Dags Dictionary

Manjar (man' jah) n. The jar, cup or bowl full of coins that is located somewhere in every man's bedroom.

Mansoon (man' soon) n. The sharp intake of breath when a young woman passes a group of business guys, and they all suck in their stomachs.

Mapparition (map a' ri shun) n. The spooky run of green lights you get whenever you desperately need to stop the car and consult the map.

Mashticate (mash' ti kayt) v. To use mashed potato as a means of capturing and consuming any peas left on your plate.

Mateneering (mayt' en ear ing) n. The competition between two men to climb to the top of anything.

Mergeician (merj' i shun) n. The rare person who stops and lets you into a stream of traffic, making a space suddenly appear out of nowhere.

Source: Richard Glovers list of words that should exist - but don't

Hair Removal Products

There is so much pressure on women to look a certain way - and Hair removal is a huge factor in this. Even as little as the age of 12 you start to be aware of hair on your legs and face such as eyebrows. Now at the ripe age of 21 going on 22 I have tried all sorts of methods in removing hair. Tweezers, creams, sprays, shaving and waxing. Some pain free and some not so.

I settled on Waxing my legs once a month. It doesn't hurt (anymore) and is so much easier the having to shave my legs every couple of days. Some parts of my legs don't grow hair anymore which is fantastic!! Hopefully another year at it they will hardily grown back all together. My mum has been getting hers waxed for as long as I can remember and now only gets the odd patch of hair on her legs.. That's what I love about waxing - Your hair fines out and grows back less and less, compared with shaving where it grows back thicker and more course.

Many people get the wrong impression about waxing - they think it is too expensive and brings too much pain and your left with a rash. I will admit waxing did hurt at first but your legs get used to the feeling and now I don't flinch. I have no idea where the Rash myths have come from but they are just that - MYTHS! You can buy at home wax kits too so the price of the salon is chopped in half too! Its so easy to do it yourself.

I found this really good site, permanent hair removal , it has all the different types of methods and you can purchase everything you need online. It's extremely detailed too with instructions and whats best suited to you for hair removal.

Facts that should Change the World

The Average Japanese woman can except to live to be 84. The average Botswanan will reach just 39.

If you were born in the developed world, there is a good chance you will look forward to a longer life than your parents – and your children will live longer still. The average human lifespan has doubled over the past 200 years, and in most countries the trend continues. In the developed and wealthy world, science has managed to eradicate previously devastating diseases and deliver us a quality of life that our ancestors - living the life Thomas Hobbes famously described as ‘nasty, brutish and short’ – would never have dared to hope for. We may not yet have the key to immortality, but we can have a good shot at it.

Source: Jessica Williams 50 Facts that should change the world

One Account Mortgage

I don't own a house nor do I have a mortgage to pay BUT I am currently in the market for my first home. With house hunting on the cards I did some research on mortgages, and I'm quietly confident I have found the best repayment option for me.

One Account Mortgage, is a company that allows you to roll all your accounts into one. You can have the option of putting your savings account on your Mortgage so you can keep the interest down! You can even still withdraw your money like a normal account when you need it.

I thought that was a great idea but if you are not too keen on rolling all your accounts into one - then you don't have to. All you need is to organise one monthly payment into your Once Account to keep it on track. Too easy!

Life's Little Instruction Book

Give your self an hour to cool off before responding to someone who provoked you. It it involves something really important, give yourself overnight.

Return borrowed vehicles with the petrol tank full.

Source: H. Jackson Brown, Jr Life's Little Instruction Book

Friday, February 23, 2007


The one battle I never thought I could win - or even try to manage - Prevention of Virus and Worm Outbreaks. As I constantly work on the computer either for office work or university study my first and up most priority is protecting my computer. I found the perfect answer, Cisco, Cisco supply security Solutions that protect my network.

The Outbreak Prevention Solution was the best product I have invested in for my computer. Not only does it Enforce security it also identifies, quarantines and remediates improperly protected devices. It hasn't failed me yet!

Cisco offer a wide range of products and services, I found them to be so helpful I recommended it to my boss who now uses data centre. Over all I am extremely happy with the service from Cisco.

For Pets... Only in America?

Has the world really gone crazy?? Or is just another Californian lifestyle challenge for the rest of us to keep up with. As I caressed my Bengal cat, Cougar, this morning, a startling piece of information came across my desk... cosmetic surgery for pets is BOOMING in the US!

And it got me to pondering...

Do you think basset hounds say to themselves: "Ugh, look at these wrinkles!"

Do greyhounds worry about losing their trim waistlines over time?

When you call "Spot!" out loud, does he run to you - or run to the mirror to look at himself, thinking: "My goodness, where?!?"

Apparently, a growing number of people think this is what their pets are thinking. According to the article on MSNBC, an increasing number of wealthy Americans (especially Californians - big surprise) are forcing their pets - mostly dogs - under the knife for procedures like facelifts, tummy tucks, nose jobs and other cosmetic surgeries.

Although the article represents the first time I've ever heard of this sort of thing, cosmetic procedures on pets aren't performed exclusively in the California, I'd bet the farm that most of them are. After all, the number of fake (sorry, enhanced) lips, hairlines, noses, chins, tummies, butts and boobs per capita among PEOPLE in California exceeds every other place on Earth...

But I digress. Back to the topic at hand.

Proponents of cosmetic surgery for pets insist there are medical reasons behind many such scalpel-ings - citing skin-fold infections in certain breeds (bulldogs, for example), which can warrant surgical attention after topical antibiotics fail. Similarly, excessive drooling among mastiffs and bloodhounds can result in chronic mouth infections, kidney, liver, and heart issues.

However it's hard to buy the medical necessity of some of these procedures, including - get ready - "you know what" implants!

Yep, you read that right: Owners are now able to give pets back their "family jewels" during the course of routine neutering (or up to 5 years afterward). A silicone implant called a Neuticle is available that can restore Rover's manly assets. Since 1995, nearly 150,000 pairs have been fitted worldwide. According to the manufacturer, Neuticle buyers swear their pets have more dog-park swagger and higher self-esteem than other canines. But I have trouble buying this, since it's testosterone, not "you know what", that make a mammal masculine - and most all of that goes out the window after neutering.

Bottom line: Unless your pet's got a real, medical problem that warrants surgery of a coincidentally cosmetic nature, leave it alone to age gracefully. I've never once seen a dog, cat, ferret, parrot, or any other fluffy character staring intently into a mirror, pondering its facial wrinkles, sucking in its gut, or turning around to check out a sagging rump...

Unsigned Bands

It's really hard to be 'discovered' in the music industry, I know quite a few bands who have turned to the Internet to help them. A lot of unsigned bands do go for but recently I have heard about Electronica Bands so I went on the site to check it out.
It has been put together really well. If yo are an independent Artist wanting to be discovered then i would defiantly look into this. My close friends who are in a band have recently signed up to this site and they are getting a lot of positive feedback.

The best thing about this is you don't have to be in a band to go online. I go on all the time to listen to new talent that's out there. After all without listeners to rate the site the site will not exist!

You Shrink During the Day

If your height is important to you, always measure yourself in the morning.

The average person is about half an inch taller when they first get out of bed. During theday, gravity causes the cartilage of the spine to compress.

I wonder Naseer Soomro, Pakistan's tallest man (7 feet 8 inches) notices the effect during the day?

Oddball Auctions

I'm a huge fan of EBay. Its so interesting to see what people try to auction off. I can sit on my computer for hours browsing through all the quirky products people are trying to sell off. If your like me, then you will love this tool bar I found, free wordpress widget. It sits on your page and lists all the funny things that are posted on EBay. If you find something funny on the list you can click on it and it goes to a new window or tab automatically so you are not loosing the web page you are already viewing. It also gets updated daily so you have new content each day! I really have fun using this tool bar. It really is interesting to see what people are selling.

Mobile Phones At Concerts OK!

Australians can take their video mobile phones into concerts without fear of criminal sanctions, the federal Government has announced.

Under amendments to federal copyright laws announced today, it will no longer be a criminal offence to take a devices capable of audio-visual recording to a live entertainment venue and record the performance without permission.
The announcement outlined the Federal Government's response to a Senate committee report which had recommended changes to the Copyright Amendment Bill, 2006.

The committee recommended that the government reduce the scope of the sections of the legislation pertaining to recording devices so that "ordinary Australians" were not affected.

Revamp Your Lighting

Until recently we had no lighting in our dining area - only sky lights. While its day light savings its not so bad as it does stay light while we are eating dinner, but with the darker nights looming around the corner I finally convinced Mum to put some real lights in there.

Shop Premier lighting is a really good site that I came across while helping Mum look for something in the Dining room. They have heaps of really nice lighting products for all rooms inside and out. We ended up going with a chandelette.

After an hour of browsing through all the different types of lighting we ended up with more lights then we actually needed! My favourite would be the Wall Sconces. The designs were amazing. Oh too many to choose from!

Spam War is Lost?

Having more than a passing interest in the subject, this article raised some interesting issues.

MOST internet users already know it: spam is on the rise again as senders of unwanted email find new ways to circumvent filtering systems.

A study released last month by the security firm Postini found that unwanted messages now account for 91 per cent of all email, and over the past 12 months the daily volume of spam rose by 120 per cent.

A separate report by California-based IronPort Systems concluded that worldwide spam volumes increased from 31 billion messages daily in October 2005 to 61 billion messages per day in October 2006.

Security experts cite two key reasons for the surge, which has come after a brief respite in which spam appeared to be stabilising.

First, spammers are using massive networks of hijacked computers called "bot-nets" to send the emails. Mr Postini said more than one million infected computers are being used for spam and virus attacks each day, with 50,000 or more active at any instant.

Spammers are using more sophisticated techniques to get around filters, notably the use of "image spam".

Image spam reached a new high of 25 per cent of total spam volume in October 2006, an increase of 421 per cent in a year, according to IronPort.

Paul Judge, chief technology officer of Secure Computing, said filters that use key text words, mathematical analysis or even optical recognition have become less effective against the newest spam.

"Spammers are using advanced mathematical and graphical techniques like random modification of image pixels and dynamic construction of images from multiple components to bypass spam filtering tools," he said.

California security firm McAfee said some spammers now use "island-hopping," directing messages from the domain names of small islands to disguise themselves from filters that traditionally catch more well-known domains.

McAfee traced spam activity from the Isle of Man to the tiny tropical island of Tokelau in the South Pacific.

Other areas whose domains are being used include Tuvalu, Tonga, and Sao Tome and Principe.

"This new trend is another example of spammers' relentless quest to spread their abuse of internet domains far and wide," said Guy Roberts, a McAfee researcher. "Some of these islands have dozens of spammed domains per square mile."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mint Credit

I am a huge sucker for credit cards. I have finished paying my THREE off finally, but I'm so broke at the moment with University starting up, I'm actually thinking the unthinkable - getting another! I feel as though I have learned my lesson this time, and I am responsible enough now to actually pay attention to what I am purchasing and look out for my repayments. This time i really researched credit cards and what was best suited for me.

I decided to go with credit card. After reading up on there product I was really satisfied with what they had to offer. I applied and my credit card arrived. This time I have been responsible with it.

credit card offers an annual interest rate of 15%, Interest free periods and no yearly fees. Also while applying for their credit card I came across their Mint Gift Card. It's a gift Credit Card. instead of a voucher for someone to one shop, you just put the money on the card then give the gift credit card tot eh person, this way they can use it at whatever shop they like! I purchased this for one of my friends and they said it was great - no restrictions to where you have to get something from!

Defiantly has made shopping that whole lot easier!

Richard Gee New Zealand No 1 Export

Richard Gee is a great Kiwi mate of mine. He is trail blazing in India. Here is a short excerpt from his recent issue of GeeWiz News about Rotary In India.

"As many of you know I have been involved in Rotary for over 25 years and to see the work of Rotary in India was truly impressive, this is indeed "Service above Self" when you see a 6 storey Charity Hospital in a town called Vapi that treats 500 patients a day and is run as a charity, to see a 4 storey 120 International Student Business Management Degree programme / mini University that was set up by Rotary. It is still assisted and funded and has leadership from Rotarians, along with so many other Rotary projects - it makes you proud to be in Rotary and most of all proud of the way people help people.

I will be returning to India for workshops, seminars, conference speaking in August and I look forward to helping any of those Businesses around the world that need some assistance."

Just Say Hi

I recently had a conversation with one of my close friends who is finding it very hard to find a girlfriend and is getting quite depressed over it. He mentioned how girls have become so unapproachable in pubs and clubs now it's just all too much. I will give him that - I mean when a guy finally has the courage to approach someone who is bound to be surrounded by a group of her friends, then to be shut down would not only be embarrassing but also discouraging.

I suggested he try online dating, I've heard about it a lot lately and how mainstream it is now to meet people through the Internet. After searching through all the credit card charged websites we found this fantastic one which is no charge, online dating.

Online Dating is absolutely free (most are credit card charged sites and its so easy to join. When we researched other dating sites you couldn't access anything without paying but with this it takes less then 60 secs to join and you can roam through the profiles straight away. It was actually interesting to see people we knew on here as well!

Humour in Business Awards New Zealand

In a recent visit to New Zealand I met a delightful lady - Pat Armitstead who is doing great things with humour in business. Just in is a press release from Pat and it makes great reading:

Pat Armitstead is organising the second Humour in Business Awards for New Zealand, which invite business people to submit their "winning humour and wit "entries in three different categories, vying for the best score from the jesting judges. Awards need to be documented and submitted by the 1st April 2007 and the winners will be notified on the Awards night World Laughter Day ,May 1st

The Awards, whose major sponsor is the Business to Business newspaper, and Classic Hits FM Radio, are a perfect prelude to the 2007 Crunchie International Comedy Festival. The trophies are unique awards that are wall d├ęcor and a piece of fun themselves and will be awarded at a night of fun at the Academy Cinema in Auckland.

The Awards aim to recognize the contribution humour makes to the lives of business owners, staff and customers. The World Health Organisation says depression is currently world health burden number four and by 2020 they predict it will be number two. Armitstead declares that the awards are a tribute to people who suffer with depression and by 2020 she aspires to convert global pessimism to optimism through the generation of high trust environments where people perform to optimum, having fun doing what it is that they love.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pingo's Mobile Calling Cards

Moving over to Australia with my parents and brother, I had to say goodbye to all of my family in England. Growing up in Swindon, Wiltshire I was really close to my cousins and grandparents, having a huge distance between us meant writing letters to stay in touch and catch up on any goss I was missing out on. It was hard to stay in contact with them though just through letters and a call every now and then. I eventually stopped writing letters and found it easier to stay in conntact just by calling them every week or so. This as you can imagine was very costly - to my parents.

Only recently did I come across mobile Ecuador calling cards. Pingo offers international calling cards. (If only I had searched for this sooner!) Pingo international calling cards savings of a discount card with the quality if being one of the worlds largest carriers for international calls.

I personally have found mobile prepaid calling cards a godsend. I have saved money on my calls to my family which now allows me to call more often. Also when I signed up they gave me 4 hours of free international calls! All I use now is Pingo's Mobile Calling Cards.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sydney gives Queen Mary II 'world's warmest welcome'

Queen Mary II is spending a day in Sydney as part of its world tour. The company that owns the Queen Mary II says Sydney's welcome to the ocean liner was one of the warmest it has ever received entering a port.

The world's largest passenger ship is too big to fit under the Harbour Bridge or to dock at Circular Quay has docked at the Garden Island naval base in the harbour.

"This is her maiden world voyage and this is her 10th port of call and she's had wonderful warm welcomes right the way round, but I have to say, this morning was quite extraordinary."

Queen Mary II captain Christopher Rynd says coming through the heads this morning was a wonderful experience.

"And then when we got closer and the light started to come in with the rising sun so we could see the thousands of people lining the shoreline.

The Queen Mary II's smaller sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth II, will be in the harbour tonight.


Photo: David Wallace
David Wallace Photography

Cell Phone Plan Purchases on the Internet

Like most other people in the Western World at the moment, I have a mobile phone. This thing is basically a life-line for me in every way, from ringin up friends and organising meet points, to making purchases or inquires and quickly getting a hold of people. Plans can be made instantly with someone who could be anywhere, and that is what makes the mobile phone revolution so irresistible.

Now when I went and bought my phone, being technologically minded, had to go after the latest and best, though was restricted somewhat by monthly fees and overall cost of the phone. Seeing as though the majority of my phone contracts last 24 months, paying a ridiculous amount for a phone that was going to be obsolete in two years didn't seem like a logical investment. So I ended up getting a cap contract that allows me to make several hundred dollars of calls a month, for a fairly low monthly fee. Throw in the phone with that, and it was a great deal in my mind.

Speaking of good deals though, I came across a great one for free cell phones from a site called wirefly. Like the deal I found, they offer free phones with their selected deals with a huge range of phones available for a wide range of budgets. These include all the latest models from the top phone manufacturers as well as a safe and secure online ordering service, making phone selection a breeze. A filter system is also available on the website that allows you to search by phone type and brand, or by what service that you are after. All the major brands are available, with a wide variety of plans to suit any lifestyle and budget.

In 2004 the company was named inc. Magazine's Company of the Year, and won Keynote's system's Web Performance Award for Best Overall Customer Service. A great resource for phone deals.

- Liam Webb

Wayne Mansfield Top 50,000 in Australia!

Recent ranking include rankings in various countries.
Here is how we are doing.
traffic rank in other countries:

Australia 49,383
New Zealand 95,106
Israel 234,004
Canada 499,803
United States 929,686 users come from these countries:

United States18.2%
New Zealand9.1%

UK Based Classified Advertising

As you well know, I've been posting blogs for quite some time now, and its interesting to see the quality of the blog hosting options that are cropping up and becoming available. Coupled with this businesses needs to sell a product, and using blogs to do this is becoming more common.

Now with this all in mind, I came across a UK based classifieds ad website today that also offers its users blog and web page hosting options, events calanders and dating. The idea behind this site is that it is a community based service that amongst the previous things I have mentioned, also include news, weather, community websites and events.

Being a classified advertising website that has a frequent traffic base (due to its blogs and various other services) you can be assured of good coverage and a cost affective way of promoting your product/brand. Free clssified adverts can be posted and it is a very simple matter of signing up and you're away. Its seems a great alternative to traditional forms of internet advertising.

- Liam Webb

Monday, February 19, 2007

StoresOnline coughs up refunds

US e-commerce software seller StoresOnline has been forced to refund $679,000 to Australians who bought its software.

The refund comes after consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took action against StoresOnline International Inc and StoresOnline Inc in the Federal Court in June 2005, alleging that the companies had been engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

The resulting payment meant customers had been refunded 94.4c in the dollar, with an average refund payment of over $3800, the ACCC said.

"Generally it is very difficult to obtain refunds for consumers from corporations that are located off-shore, such as StoresOnline," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

"Quickly seeking and obtaining orders freezing funds paid to StoresOnline helped make this outcome possible," he said.

The action taken by the ACCC in June 2005 came as the result of seminars conducted by StoresOnline in Australia promoted the sale of e-commerce packages priced from $2500 to $5500. The seminars promoted the software as easy to use, required no special internet or computer knowledge and claimed round-the-clock support would be provided for the software.

The ACCC argued that those claims, along with allegedly unscripted and spontaneous testimonials about the product, were misleading and deceptive.

The ACCC initially took legal action against StoresOnline International Inc, US-based Galaxy Mall Inc, as well Gold Coast resident Brett Perkins.

Artile by Chris Jenkins in FEBRUARY 02, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Margaret River Surfs Up

Memories of my teenage years include surfing at Margaret River... just a few miles from my home in the town of Margaret River in Western Australia's South West.

The world is still discovering the beauty of my former home town... nature, sea and wine.

For more fabulous photos be sure to visit

Friday, February 16, 2007

Everyday Wisdom

Stay on course Once you've got an idea that you want to pursue, it's easy to get lost along the way because there isn't a clear map of how to proceed. The analogy is losing your car keys. To find the keys, the strategy that invariably works is to retrace your steps from the last place the keys were seen.

If a career plan is going wrong, go back to the point where you made the decision and see if you can identify the point where that began to happen, and then use that as the new starting point. Keep focused on the goal and plot a new strategy that steers around the obstacle.

Don't be afraid to change horses in midstream When it becomes obvious that things are not really going the way you hoped, it's important to listen to your intuition and realize when it is time to cut your losses. If you totally screwed up, it doesn't mean everything is a failure, even if you wake up in mid-career and say 'what am I doing here?'"

Did I have ever left a hole in your fence?

Some months ago I had the pleasure to meet Keith Ralfs who helped out at SmartMoves as a check in chick. Keith has been achieving amazing things with his Greenwig project - well done.

Last week Keith sent me a "National Friendship Week letter" - widely know as a urban myth on the net - you know pass this on or else stuff. My initial thoughts were to write to Keith and say, "There's no such thing as National Friendship Week." Instead I thought, "What does it matter - an excuse to tell people that you care is a good excuse."

And I that got me to have a look for other stories that had been sent under the pretext of The National Friendship Week, and The Nail Test was one. And with no particular reason to send it to you other than it is worth reading here it is. (Thanks Keith for getting me thinking.)

Nail In the Fence
Please make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence. (Most importantly. read the last sentence).

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day, the boy drove 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
Friends are very rare jewels, indeed.
They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.
They lend an ear, they share words of praise
and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a Friend. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.

In friendship, I send this to you. Now send this to every friend you have, and to your family.

Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole in your fence.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dags dictionary

Hoptimistic (hop tee' mis tik) n. To keep checking the fridge, late at night, in the belief that a final can of beer must be hiding in there somewhere.

Horrorgami (hor ah' gah mee) n. The vain attempt to re-fold a road map back the way it came, especially in high wind or while still driving.

Hurriclean (hu ree' kleen) n. The frenzied clean-up that occurs when you learn that you are having an important visitor at short notice.

Hymnpersonator (him pur' sin ay tah) n. A person who only goes to church once a year, and doesn't know the words to the hymns, but still mugs along as if they're singing.

Hypocritic (hip o' cri tik) n. A film reviewer who says great things about bad films, just so they'll be quoted on the movie poster.

Source: Richard Glovers list of words that should exist - but don't

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Struck by lightning

Did you wonder what your chances of getting struck by lightning was? Well it's one in 10 million. Or for you golfers out there who wonder whether you will ever get a "hole in 1", did you know the odds against getting TWO holes in 1 in the same round is one in 8 million.

For the superstitious... you can NEVER fly on an aeroplane with the same flight number as a plane that crashed because flight numbers are ALWAYS eliminated after a crash. That's comforting - I suppose!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Car Purchasing the Smart Way

There is always the risk when purchasing a second hand car of not knowing its history, condition and general quality of the vehicle. I know when purchasing my car, it was a well researched process, finding the type and model that I wanted, getting a price I felt was realistic, and then inspecting and testing the car to make sure that any problems the car might have had could be quickly found out and whether there were any big problems that had been merely 'covered up'.

This can be particularly hazardous when purchasing over the net, but I came across a Cars For Sale website that attempts to minimise that risk.

The site works by conducting a search on the type of car you are after, by entering the car make, model, and years that you are looking for. Upon entering these fields the search result will be returned, listing cars and their pictures. The example I tried was for a Toyota Camry and the search returned a large list of available vehicles.

It is simple to use and is a comprehensive search database for all kinds of used vehicles.

- Liam Webb

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Whats Better Than a Gift Card?

For all of us with creadit cards (I would assume the majority of readers) the humble credit card has become a fact of life. I know that I put off obtaining one for a long time, always hearing the horror stories of people borrowing too much money and basically getting their finances in horrible shape. My motto was always "don't spend what you don't have". Simple but there proved to be times when a credit card was a very handy feature. Now that I do own one, I find that I am using it for a lot of different things, from paying my bills over the phone or internet, to making purchases online or if I find that something is going to cost me a little more than expected, I'll just put it on the card.

Now I bring this up for a reason, as I came across a rather interesting way of finding the right gift for that person who "has everything". Usually for me gift cards are the go. The only problem with this however is the fact that it has to be for a certain retailer. Usually this is no better than getting a gift that the person doesn't want, as they are forced to spend it on an item in a store that probably does not interest them. This idea is different. Its called a Mint gift card, and it basically acts as a pre-paid credit card. These can be used anywhere, and I think would be a great alternative to the normal gift card that is usually used in these circumstances.

- Liam Webb

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


On Australia Day I attended a breakfast presentation by my great friend Paul Dunn.

As is Paul's way, he gave a fabulous presentation on the benefits of giving to create wealth - Wealth Dynamics.

Paul mentioned a concept that really struck home - ILR.

Put simply. ILR stands for The Illusion of Limited Resources. We are held back because we think there is no more money, stuff, whatever left when in fact there is as much of any and every thing as you could care to want. It resonated with me like the sounding of Big Ben striking midnight.

For more on this concept visit Paul at

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Handy Time Management Software

Now I've come across a lot of programs in the past that deal with time management. These system usually demonstrate an ease of use and a flawless system that is guarenteed to produce viable results.
Now I am not the most motivated person at the best of times (unless it relates to something that interests me) and procrastination is something that is fairly commonplace in my work ethic. I have found in the past, that planning out a work schedule, allotting time for me to complete scheduled tasks, and sticking to these time frames tends to lead very tangible results for myself.

I came across some time management software today though that actually does seem to be able to produce effective results for its users. In line with techniques that I have tried to implement before, this program gives you the ability to map and plan your schedules in a spread sheet environment, and enables you to prioritise your workload, to ensure the most vital components are completed first. This sort of software would be perfect for large scale projects, and jobs that require very tight schedules. Something that I probably need to get a better grasp of!

- Liam Webb

Business The White House Way

Only my Greek friend Helen can tell a Greek joke... so here goes:

Three contractors... one from Greece, another from Kentucky and the third from Florida are bidding to repair the White House fence.

They go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some Measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says." I figure the job will run $900... $400 for materials, $400 for labour and $100 profit for me."

The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700... $300 for materials,$300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Greek contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers: "$2,700."
The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

"Easy," the Greek explains, "$1,000 for you, $1,000 for me and we hire the guy from Kentucky to do the work."

Thanks Helen!!!!

Some More Great Discounts From Coupon Chief

Perusing through my list of usual offers and discounts, I came across another great offer courtesy of Coupon Chief coupon codes. I jumped onto the site to see what offers they had available, and came across another from HP coupons codes in their small business area. The coupon is for a 20% discount on selected scanners. Now on a $170 scanner thats a $34 saving, quite significant on a prodcut that is already quite cheap. There are plenty of other handy discounts available on the website at the moment, its worth having a look, there's probably something just for you right now.

- Liam Webb

Remote golf course sees first ever grass

Two good summer soakings have produced the first ever grass on one of Australia's most remote golf courses.

The desert course at Cameron's Corner straddles three states, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. Greenkeeper Bill Mitchell says the fairways are looking that good, he might have to get the lawnmower out of the shed. He is also planning to expand the course from three holes to nine.

"I've had to clean up one hole, which is hole number one," he said.

"I had to clean him up, sweep him, scrape him, because it was actually getting grass on it.

"I should've let it go to mow it.

"The second hole is on a claypan and hole number three, I will mow him.

"I'm thinking about putting another hole in South Australia which will be number four, four in Queensland and I'll have the ninth hole back here at the corner."

Story seen on ABC Website plus this great add on story at Wikimapia

Cameron's Creek is a great time to Celebrate New Years Eve:

Common folklore in NSW speaks of an annual pilgrimmage to Cameron's Corner on the 31st of December to celebrate New Years three times over, first in New South Wales (which is on UTC+11.00 when on daylight savings time), then in South Australia (UTC+10.30 DST) and then in Queensland, which is in the same time zone as NSW but does not have DST, and hence is in UTC+10.00.

This means that New Years can be celebrated (NSW time) at 12.00, 12.30 and 1.00am.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Creatures of the Giant Tide

During my time as a student at Busselton Senior High School in the late '60's I met Peter Strain. Peter has remained in contact, and is now recognised as one of Australia's leading documentary makers. He lives in Broome, which many claim is just a stones throw from Heaven.

I received this note from Peter this week:

This little creature is actually the size of a fingernail and lives in the intertidal zone near Broome.

Here is an unashamed attempt to get you to put my name on your computer.

It is a picture from my "Creatures of the Giant Tides" collection.

Please use it as a screensaver. Download it or just open it and then right click on it and choose "Set as Desktop Background"

If you like it, I will give you another one when you are sick of this one.

Look at the selection on my website in the "Creatures of the Giant Tides" gallery. You need to view the website to understand the range of these creatures. While people have been busy creating animated creatures for film and TV – I have been finding them in nature along the Kimberley coast from Broome to Koolan Island.

Peter Strain
Broome Picture Company
High Quality Digital Media Production

Avis Salvage Some Customer Loyalty.. just a little!

The DREADED Credit Card Statement from our UK trip to see our daughter Erica at Christmas just arrived - nearly a month after the event and all th careful planning not to exceed the limit failed miserably... please pay the OVER LIMIT amount and minimum payment YESTERDAY - you kown how it is.

The first task was to check off the entries... and those cheap London meals AREN'T so cheap when you multiply the £ amount by 2.5 to get Aussie dollars... but Avis got a star billing.

There was the very reasonable £138 for a prepaid hire of a medium car for 7 days. And another less welcome but expected amount of £73 for a Parking Fine for when we stopped for 90 seconds to drop off our luggage at Kings Cross Station on the way to Heathrow and before we dropped off the hire car.

But what got me was an unexpected $295 charge... and I was on the phone in a flash.

After a short time of punching in ever increasingly long phone digits, I was releaved to be talking to a young english woman - Monica - there was somewhere in the world that hadn't yet outsourced customer service to India!! But a fat lot of good that did me.

"Mr Mansfield, the charge is for BRINGING THE CAR BACK EARLY..."

That's right... Bringing the car back early.

As it happened, I had asked by phone before returning the car, what the charges would be if I dropped it off early or took it back to Heathrow, even if I got a discount for being early so I confidently explained this to Monica but to no avail.

Some 25 minutes latter, and an insistence on speaking to someone who could help me the matter was resolved.

Here is a copy of my letter to Avis UK thanking them for their "kindness"... with the whole tardy story recounted for your reading pleasure.

"Thank you Sally for arranging the refund of $295.

I am however VERY DISAPPOINTED that Avis's service came to this.

After prepaying for my car hire I went to Euston Station to pick up the vehicle and here is how it went.

Here is just a summary of my experience:

1. I was offered a "discount" on a full tank of petrol at approximately £50 pound - when I picked up the car - maybe more 60 litres anyway. After driving to Brighton and a few other places, I only used £35 pound of fuel. That is a very unusual way to "benefit" your cutsomers. At the same time I was also asked to purcase the insurance excess buyout was more expensive than the actual car hire.

It was necessary to return to Australia early and we wanted to drop teh car off on the way to teh airport.

2. I rang the Euston Avis Office when I realised that I would be going back to Australia early and was advised that there would be no extra charge for dropping the car back early BUT if I wanted to take it back to Heathrow it would be approximately £40?? I even tried for a discount becuase of returning the car early - always worth a try.

At NO TIME was I advised a of an "early return" penalty and the paperwork I have certainly doesn't mention it.

3. On returning the car, it was checked by the staff at the Avis office and I was expecting, as is the case in Australia, Italy and the US where I have previously rented from AVIS, to get a computer receipt from the handheld machine.

However, none was offered and when I went to the Office, the young lady advised me that there was no more to pay and that my invoice would be posted to my Dianella Western Australia address. That has NEVER arrived.

4. We received last week notification of the Parking fine - which was from the morning of dropping off the car when we left our luggage at Kings Cross Station which as you know is walking distance from Euston and coincidently is waking distance from my daughter apartment in Islington. If we had of been advised of a penalty charge for an early return of the vehicle my daughter certainly would have appreciated the car for those few days.

4a. Whilst not appreciating the parking fine - 90 seconds at the most unloading the luggage - your quick payment and the attending 50% discount was appreciated.

5. When talking to Monica today I was disappointed that no resolution could be achieved without my insistence that I should talk to someone would could address my concerns.

Her "standard" reply was that she couldn't take my word for it and that it would be 5 working days before some resolution would be reached. she also agreed with my suggestion that I should get my Bank to put a hold on the credit card amount, which indicated to me that my chances of an acceptable outcome were slim.

So, that's the long story.... I do appreciate your action to resolve this matter and I hope that you can implement some systems that stop this happening to some other unsuspecting Aussie tourist.

All the best

Wayne Mansfield
Business Seminars Australia