Good Friends in Virginia

Virginia BeachDay two here in Richmond, Virgina, although my first day was spent on buses. I took Amtrak and buses in order to cut down on my traveling expenses so I could afford to stay at one of the luxury hotels in Virginia . Let me tell you, it was worth it! My accommodations are fabulous, I feel like someone important and I can get quite use to the great treatment all the hotel staff gives. But, the reason I’m here is to visit with my longtime school buddy and best friend.

She came a picked me up at my hotel, but before we could do anything, she pulled out her bathing suit and said she wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to play in a luxury hotel. For me it was too cold, but that didn’t stop my friend. We also had some drinks at the poolside bar. After she showered in my hotel room’s wonderful shower, we headed off to her home in her beat up Volvo. I’m glad to know somethings have never changed about her.

When we arrived, we hung out in her kitchen and all these people kept dropping by, they heard so much about me from my friend that they all wanted to meet me. I don’t remember how many people came by or for that matter their names. It was nice to see that she had made tons of friends here in Virginia, I was secretly hoping things might be miserable here, but she’s extremely happy and she has her own business selling import pearls on-line. It doesn’t make that much money for her, but she’s her own boss and it pays the bills.

She told me that tomorrow, she’ll give me a tour of Richmond, but for now it’s catch-up time and party time back at my hotel’s spa and bar. It seems that I might just have to move down here instead.

 

Kolkata’s Cynical Recess

For savvy travelers, our five-star Kolkata hotels offer some of the most lovely amenities available in contemporary accommodation.  Much like the city itself, our hotels offer a unique blend of the old world and the new, with excellence in hospitality and technology.  Guests will find themselves well-connected to the world at large, and in a setting where escaping from the world in absolute luxury is also possible.  Design here is at a premium, and style meets substance in a very happy marriage of tastes.  Not to mention the excellent food, reliable customer service that is always friendly and gracious, and all the creature comforts that make life worth living, these are truly exceptional places that will leave you remembering your stay for a lifetime.

KolkataCarsKolkata is a fascinating city with an extremely rich history.  One of the longest continually-inhabited places on the planet, there is a constant buzz of activity here.  And there is always something to do, day or night, so whether a rich experience with the family or an exciting time after dark are on the menu, Kolkata will accommodate.  There is an excellent cultural scene, with the film industry here, fantastic visual artists creating new worlds with paint and photography, and music.  There is an amazing scene for traditional music, with some of the best players in the country gracing clubs and music halls.  There is also an upcoming contemporary music scene, and Cynical Recess is one of the hottest new groups.

Born and bred in Kolkata, with five performers and their own engineer, Cynical Recess plays a style of music that is a kind of socially conscious 80′s rock with tendencies toward both progressive and alternative rock.  They have won a number of competitions, and played a god number of shows, since they formed in December of 2008.  Their lead vocalist, Abhishek, came with a generous supply of kudos for his lead vocals before joining their ranks.  It is an exciting music, with energy and conscience.  Having been noticed by the likes of the Telegraph, Cynical Recess is off to a sweeping start, with enormous promise.

Social Impact of Texting

Texting has opened up new methods of communication over the past 10 or so years.  Similar to the advent of the internet and social media sites like Twitter, Blogger and Facebook it has affected most of our lives.  It means that we can send a message and the responder can reply when it suits them.  This makes it less intrusive in our lives.  This makes it much more useful in situations where spoken word is impossible.

Texting has also added to TV interaction.  Many shows and news broadcasts use texting as a means of instantly voting or taking part in a poll for example.

Texting is also changing our language.  Abbreviations are the name of the game here.  Ur, lol, gr8, etc are all common phrases, or shortened phrases used in text messages.  The result is that many people raised during the texting revolution have problems with grammar and its use in our language.  Schools are having problems teaching writing because of texting.  Students spelling and grammar are suffering.

There is also information out there that suggests that texting actually improves writing.  The fact that people write texts on a constant basis is good writing practice and helps students to articulate on the written page.

In academia texting has also been associated with cheating especially in Japanese schools.  Most schools now require that students have their cell phones turned off during school hours.

Parties and other large group gatherings are often arranged via text.  It has been used increasingly in major world events and is used by news and other media sources to gather information.  The business world has made use of texting and particular groups such as sales staff often make use of it.

Eddie Lamb has been a freelance writer for fifteen years. In addition to writing for print magazines and newsletters, he has also published guest posts on dozens of the top blogs. He writes about society, technology and even reviews companies as well as covering breaking news stories.

Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer – Review

The Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer is Inspiring Weight Loss!!

Fitbit Fitness TrackerOne of the most inspiring things when you are working to achieve a goal is the ability to clearly see your progress towards reaching that goal. Everyone pretty much at one point or another has thought about losing weight or leading a healthier lifestyle. Though, for many people living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight is one the hardest goals to work towards. People often fall out of diets and fitness routines because they can’t see any visible signs of improvement. In many cases the benefits of a proper diet and regular exercise routine are not evident until weeks or sometimes months later. It’s difficult to find the inspiration to continue a strict diet and difficult exercise program when it doesn’t seem like anything is changing. To stay inspired, some people turn to personal coaches and friends when trying to losing weight or eat right, but nowadays there is a simpler solution and it’s called Fitbit.

Fitbit fitness tracker cliped on a pocket

The Fitbit fitness trackers is a small gadget that is sort of like a fitness coach, nutritionist, Somnologist (a sleep doctor), and a personal assistant all rolled into one little high tech clip that is no larger than a quarter.  You can wear the Fitbit anywhere on your body that you can clip it onto: a pocket, a belt, or even a bra. Once you clip the Fitbit on it immediately starts tracking your fitness, and it continues to track it throughout the day even if you happen writing a review about how great it is. The Fitbit tracks how many steps you’ve taken during a day, how active you are, calories burned, distance traveled, and even your sleep patterns. Inside the Fitbit is a small accelerometer and gyroscope that makes it possible to track your steps and movement in three dimensions. And the Fitbit accurate tracked activities such as walking around the house or going out for a job perfectly. All of the data that the Fitbit tracks is wirelessly synced to the included base station, which also double as a charging cradle, and to the Fitbit tracker website.

Fitbit Daily report

The Fitbit website, which is free for everyone to use, clearly visualizes all of the data that a person’s Fitbit clip has been tracking since he or she first started using it.  There is one small downside to the Fitbit to be honest, though; since it isn’t actually magic, the Fitbit cannot actually track your calorie intake automatically. To track caloric intake Fitbit owners are expected to record the calories of the meals that they eat during the day on the Fitbit website. Thankfully, Fitbit has made it effortless to record those calories by providing users with the ability to search for foods by name, brand, and even restaurant. It couldn’t be easier to find out what your daily calorie intake is for each day.

If you’re planning on swimming off some of those calories with the Fitbit though just remember to leave it behind. Unfortunately, at this time the Fitbit is only water resistant not waterproof, which means that while you can get the Fitbit wet occasionally it would best to avoid the swimming pool or baths while wearing it.

Fitbit Sleep report

When your day has come to a close and your ready to get some sleep the Fitbit is still useful. If you want to track your sleep patterns then all you have to do is place the Fitbit into the included wristband and press and hold the small button on the device for about two seconds. While you are sleeping the Fitbit will measure how many times you awoke during your rest and sync it to the wireless base station, along with your other fitness data. From the Fitbit tracker website users can see what times during the night they were tossing and turning or sleeping soundly.

 Fitbit Charger

The entire Fitbit trackers runs on a small rechargeable battery and in our tests, the Fitbit was fully charged after only an hour after connecting it to its base station, which is the only time you’ll have to actually physically connect it. Though it not much of a hassle, you should only expect to have to charge your Fitbit once a week since a fully charged battery  lasts for about 8 to 9 days.

We all need a little encouragement or inspiration to reach our goals in life and if your goal is a healthier lifestyle then let Fitbit be that inspiration for you.

Buy one now at a great price here -Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer

Why Do Customers Complain?

Customer complaints management is important. Businesses can learn the reasons why their customers complain and look for solutions.  Customer complaints management enables higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Staff must be trained in the best practices for handling customer complaints and invest in complaint handling software .  Each customer interaction must be done with empathy and a real strong motivation to listen to the customer.  It should include a one on one interaction with a relaxed and non threatening approach.  An apology should be included at the start of the exchange.

A full set of notes should be prepared in the consumer complaint software that you are using – and during the interaction give the customer frequent summaries of what you are including.  Take responsibility for the problem and outline the steps that will be involved in your research and resolution.  Let them know the time frame and when you will contact them.

It is important that you follow up at the assigned date.  This shows the customer that you are really interested in them and their problems.  You can also take a proactive approach by contacting your customers regularly – not just when they have a problem.

How to Decrease Stress through Exercise

Do you want to free yourself from stress after a hard day’s work? The answer is simple. Exercise.
Exercise is an excellent stress reduction tool because it helps release built-up tension in the body. It is also a great way to release emotional tension because through physical activity, your body releases the happy hormone “endorphin” which promotes a feeling of happiness. Overall, exercise helps promote health and wellness.

Some forms of exercise let you become more social. Some would let you get into a meditative state. All forms of exercise helps increase a person’s self-esteem, aside from promoting a sound mind and body.

So if you have the chance to exercise, just do it! The first step is to find the best exercise that would fit your needs. Here are some forms of exercise which can help reduce stress:

1. Yoga. Yoga allows you to enter a meditative state. It helps promote physical health and flexibility of the muscles through the various positions it entails. Aside from that, yoga also enhances the mind and spirit since you are able to concentrate and meditate.

2. Swimming. Water has soothing and calming properties which is perfect for the body. During summer, why not try this activity so that you can get in shape, cool off, and simply have a great time with friends and family. Swimming also helps develop the cardio-respiratory areas of the body. In fact, it is also good for treating asthma.

3. Karate. Who says karate is just for self defense? This form of exercise is also useful for releasing emotions such as anger and frustration and it is also effective for removing stress and tension. Aside from enhancing the body’s power and strength, karate is also a good exercise for self-discipline.

4. Brisk walking. If you want to take things easier, brisk walking is perfect for you. You can easily fit this activity in your busy schedule since you can do this form of exercise anytime, anywhere. In fact, you can take a walk early in the morning, during lunch, or even in the late afternoon or evening. During weekends, you can take your baby in a stroller and walk around your community.

5. Jogging. Jogging is also another good form of exercise. You can jog early in the morning before taking a shower or in the late afternoon before going home from school or work. Jogging is also a good exercise for the heart and lungs and it promotes leg power as well.

Remember that stress can cause illness and other negative effects in the body. One way to cope with stress is to regularly engage in physical as well as meditative exercises. If you exercise regularly, your body’s immune system is also given a boost, thereby, making you less prone to diseases.

 

Doing It Yourself Great for Self-Image

Having a do-it-yourself attitude and taking care of car problems can not only save some money, it also helps boost your self-confidence and your self-image. Though you might not be particularly handy or think that you’ll be able to fix a car, it just takes some time and practice.

Before long you’ll be able to tinker with the best of them and get a bit of self confidence to boot.

How To Get Started

Car repairs don’t have to be difficult, but you should know your limits. It’s important to start small with things like changing the fluid and checking the oil. By starting out slow and with minor repairs you’ll get more familiar with your car’s layout and how it works. You should read some books on car engines to get a better idea of what you’re doing and the consequences of making a mistake. This will save you the trouble of making a mistake and possibly injuring yourself or damaging the car.

When you first start learning how to fix a car you should ask for some help. One of the best ways to learn something is by having someone show you how to do it. Most people have friends or relatives that know a little something about cars. Try asking around to get see who knows what and then go from there.

There are also many tutorials on youtube or videos that you can watch to get information from experts. By spending time watching this and listening to people who have experience, you’ll get a full array of knowledge. Because car repairs are a mechanical skills your confidence will come back working on the car itself.  If you start out by working with friends or family and then progress to doing the minor repairs then you’ll eventually build enough confidence to do the repairs on your own.

What Not to Repair

There are some car repairs that are too delicate unless you happen to have training as a mechanic. If there is any repair that needs to be done on the brakes then you should certainly consult a mechanic. There’s no sense in risking the life of you and your passengers because you want to tinker around on your car.

By sticking with minor repairs, you’ll be able to gain self confidence and boost your self image. As long as you take your car in for more serious repairs, it will be totally fine to do the easier repairs on your own.

Guest post by Neela Dodson, blogger and lifestyle coach specializing in helping women take control of their environment through home repair, auto maintenance, and DIY in general.  

Spiritual Approach to Recovery

Former addicts, whether they be alcoholics, drug addicts, or gambling addicts will often tell you that they did not truly recover until they discovered the spiritual aspects of recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Gamblers Anonymous (GA), all have a twelve-step program which calls on a “higher power.” Both 12-Step and non 12-step rehabilitation programs like those listed here encourage spiritual connections.

It is important to note, that the programs define themselves as “spiritual” not “religious.” A higher power can be anything of your choosing, so long as it is spiritual in nature. Being spiritual means believing in something greater than yourself, while not necessarily committing to a specific deity, its church, and its dogma. For some people it may be God or Allah or Buddha, for others it may be the power of nature or the universe, and for still others it may be a group or their sponsor.

Spirituality is important in recovery, because a large part of addiction is denial. If one is truly spiritual, denial needs to be thrown out the window. For example, if you believe in God, you also probably believe that he or she knows when you’re lying, even if you think you’re doing a terrific job of it. This is part of the reason why spirituality is often more important than family support in recovery… because while you may still be able to lie to your family, if you become truly engaged with your higher power, you will no longer be able to lie to yourself. Honesty is a huge step on the road to recovery.

Another aspect of recovery that spirituality encourages is fellowship, or the gathering of like-minded people, with similar world views and beliefs. Addiction often causes addicts to isolate and become so self-absorbed that they lose many of the values that they grew up with. Becoming involved with a higher power and group settings allows the addict to regain his or her values and build a support system which will aid in lasting recovery.

It also also important to note that spirituality cannot be forced. Dragging an addict in your life back to church on a regular basis, will not force that addict to start believing; nor will piling self-help books on his or her doorstep. Trying to ram religion or spirituality down an addict’s throat, will often have the opposite effect, and can cause an addict to become resentful and push back against anything spiritual in nature. True spirituality must come from within the addict, and will only occur when the addict is truly ready to stop using.

This concept may be hard for family members of addicts to digest; because they only want to help. However, in the world of addiction, sometimes the best help a family can give is removing actions or behaviors which enable an addict and promote continued use. Spirituality often starts when an addict is at his or her lowest moment, sometimes called a “bottom.”

A Closer Look at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is probably one of the most misunderstood medical conditions. With causes that are unknown, symptoms are often dismissed by those who suffer from this condition with the notion that with enough sleep and rest, the symptoms will subside or eventually go away. Thousands who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome may not even realize how much their day to day activities and even their relationship with those around them are affected. There is really a lot to know and much more to understand about this condition. Learn more about chronic fatigue syndrome, its causes, and its symptoms, and how one can cope with this condition.

Often described as both physical and mental fatigue, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is classified as a neurological condition that is commonly seen in women between ages 30 to 55. It can however affect men, women, and children of any age. The difficult part of suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome is that the symptoms do not go away easily even with proper sleep or rest. A program for chronic fatigue syndrome is what makes conditions improve over time.
While causes are unknown, chronic fatigue syndrome is marked by long term fatigue. Theories surrounding the causes of this condition include the following:

  • viral infections – although no direct correlation has been fully established, there are numerous types of virus infections that are associated as triggers to chronic fatigue syndrome
  • brain abnormalities – triggers emanating from a neurological origin is believed to cause several symptoms that are prevalent in chronic fatigue syndrome
  • genetics – it is also theorized that genetics play a role in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
  • hyper-reactive immune system  – a hyper-active immune system can tire out the body and prompt several functions of the body to shut down leaving patients feeling tired and weak.
  • hormone imbalance – hormone imbalance, specifically during premenstrual or menopausal stages can leave the body feeling tired and weak. Prolonged instanced may lead to ME/CFS.
  • psychiatric or emotional conditions – emotional imbalance can trigger to body to react differently to things and may lead to a weak and unhealthy body
  • oxidative stress – lack of antioxidants in the body to combat free radicals can cause early degeneration of the immune system
  • environmental factors – factors outside of the body, which may sometimes be beyond the control of the patient, may also acts as triggers to chronic fatigue syndrome.

What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome ME/CFS?

While there are no tests that can prove that one has ME/CFS, there is an existing list of common symptoms that can help in the diagnosis of the condition. The common symptoms are:

  • Persistent fatigue
  • Cognitive difficulties described as confusion, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure
  • Sore lymph nodes in the neck or under the arms
  • Mild fever may occur
  • Headache, muscle and joint pains
  • Sore throat

Persistent fatigue that is new often describes chronic fatigue syndrome. Suffering from one of several of these symptoms over a prolonged period of time can leave a patient incapable of performing simple tasks and activities. These symptoms result to stress, anxiety, and weakness, that when not attended to properly may lead to more serious health conditions such as a weakened immune system, heart disease, and blood disease. Avoid chronic fatigue syndrome to develop with proper nutrition, physical exercise, and natural supplements can help the body relieve stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

 

Five Steps on the Path to Recovery

When working to recover from a debilitating illness or any great medical challenge, such as a stroke or aneurysm, no one can predict the future. What will a given person’s recovery look like? What capacities will the survivor regain? Will life ever go back to “normal” again? The journey for each person is unique, and recovery is not simple or straightforward.

So I don’t want to oversimplify the path to recovery from a major stroke, an aneurysm, or any other such challenge. That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the wisdom with others that I learned on my own journey to healing and well-being after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm and hemorrhagic stroke at age 61. Why? Because I was told by doctors that I would never walk again, much less live the full life I live today—but I managed to prove them wrong.

Here is some insight into how I made a recovery back to normal that physicians still marvel at today. My story is not a common one, and every outcome is different. But I offer this inside look at my own path to recovery to those battling a similarly debilitating condition in the hope that they will be able to follow it to some positive effect.

1. Believe, believe, believe in yourself—no matter what. After my aneurysm and stroke, the well-meaning doctors told me that I would never walk again, not to hurt me, but to set appropriate expectations. But to myself, I thought, “Bull. I will walk again” and I used this determination to help me deal with all of the setbacks and false starts I had as I commenced my journey to walk again and thereafter to make what is basically an almost full and complete recovery.

2. Take one day, one step, one movement at a time. After the aneurysm and stroke, I couldn’t move one whole side of my body and only had an extremely limited use of one hand and arm on the other side. So I started small on my mission toward walking. First, I moved my quasi-usable hand to reach out to a nightstand. Next I figured out how, though with incredible difficulty, to swing my legs over the side of the bed. I fell the first several times I tried to stand up or take a step, but every day I would try again, and little by little progress was made. Eventually, I had walked from my bed across the room. Sometime thereafter, I managed to make it down the stairs of my house.

3. Maintain a positive attitude in spite of it all, and avoid negative people. Because I had overcome so many challenges in my life, when I came out of a week-long coma that resulted from my aneurysm and stroke, I had the positive belief that I could overcome challenges again including this one, the greatest challenge of my life. I avoided negative people whenever possible (admittedly not always easy given my compromised condition), and I used negative attitudes that I did encounter to inspire me in some fashion. When my angelic doctors said things like, “You’ll never walk again”, I told myself that I had to work harder to prove them wrong. “I’m going to make it,” I thought. “I don’t know how, but I’m going to.”

4.  Choose self-worth over self-pity. As Confucius said, “To be wronged is nothing unless you remember it.” Having a stroke and aneurysm was undoubtedly the greatest challenge of my life, but I did not let myself wallow in self-pity. If it would have helped, perhaps I would have. But I knew it wouldn’t. So I focused all of my energy on the idea that I would get better, somehow, and that I would, if blessed to recover in some fashion, go forth to serve others.

5. Create a vision for the future. There’s not a lot you can do after you’ve lost your ability to use your muscles, but to think, contemplate, and reflect on one’s life and mysteries of the universe and the hereafter. I thought, “If I am blessed enough to recover to any degree, I will do all I can to become a better person and to serve others.” It’s not that I’d been a bad person – quite the contrary in my opinion — but we all make mistakes in life and I’d certainly made my share. Yes, we all stumble along the pathway of life and I was no different. I used this vision for the future to give me the motivation to try to get out of bed, to heal myself (with the help of others) and to keep on living.

I cannot take full credit for my recovery—for that I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the truly amazing physicians who operated on me after the ruptured brain aneurysm; to my physical therapists; and to the Divine Spirit itself, who seems to not be finished with me yet. Nonetheless, I credit the previous five approaches with helping me on my journey toward healing and I hope they can be of use to others facing similar or equally daunting health challenges.