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To Write Or Not To Write – That Is The Question

Writer's block.

Do the words make you wince?

If you belong to that blessed, miraculous group of people who can write anywhere, anytime, who are able to switch themselves on into a writing mood like a light-switch, then your answer will be No. But if you're like me, and belong to that cursed, demonic group who kill themselves writing that first sentence, these words will make you grimace with a heartache that plunges deeper than the Cayman Trough.

But what is writer's block, and why do many writers – damn good ones – suffer from it? Some think the reason is old plain laziness or lack of discipline, but I disagree. The reason is more complex. I can not help remembering my creative writing professor back in college – a published author of many mystery novels who suddenly stopped writing for eight long years simply because he "froze at the computer and could not put a word down."

Only God knows the dark mechanics that kept my professor from writing for such a long time, so I can only speak for myself.

So here it goes. What is writer's block? Following the famous editorial advice, instead of "telling" you, I will "show" you.

Picture in your mind a beautiful winter morning, snow falling from the window, the office toasty warm, the house empty and quite. It's just me and writer's block:

9:30 I sit at the computer, ready to write that piece of literature that will bring me fame and riches (okay, no need to be greedy, I'll settle for riches).

9:31 I decide I better answer my emails first, get them out of my mind (yeah, right).

10:00 I'm thirsty. I better make myself some tea. Writers drink hot beverages, do not they?

10:05 I'm back at the computer. I take a sip of my tea and suddenly remember all the things I should be doing instead of writing: wash the rabbit hutches, purchase moist wipes for my husband's glasses, do the laundry, vacuum the bedrooms, feed the fish … somehow there's no end to this list.

10:25 I stare at the blank monitor. I loathe myself.

10:30 I'm hungry. I'll have an early lunch (someone should conduct a study about frustrated writers and overeating).

10:50 I glare at the sign on my desk "A Writer Is Someone Who Writes Everyday," and try to set it to flames with my mind power.

11:00 I put Vivaldi on the stereo (studies have shown baroque music "expands" the mind).

You get the picture. This is writer's block. This is what happens when I break the habit of writing everyday and disconnect myself from my current project. I do not know about you, but when I do not write, the consequences are catastrophic. I hate the world. I snap at people (my husband is my favourite victim). I feel trapped in a box, unable to breathe. If I were the sort of person who went to pubs, I would surely start a brawl.

But what causes writer's block?

Almost always, it is fear. Plain and simple. FEAR.

Fear of not being good enough.

Fear of not being able to write that perfect sentence that will impress the reader. No wonder it blocks! How can you write freely and impress people at the same time?
So in order to lift the block, you need to get rid of that fear. It is easier said than done, I know, but I will give you a few practical tips that will help you overcome it, based on probably the best book on writing in the market today, Julia Cameron's The Right To Write. If these tips have worked for me, they can work for you, too.

1. Keep a journal and write 3 pages of anything that comes to your mind each morning. Strictly stream-of-consciousness stuff. The idea is to drain your brain of all the clutter so that when you sit at the computer to do the actual writing, you'll be able to do it with a clear head. You do not feel like writing this morning? Your writing sucks? You feel fat? You hate your neighbour? Write it down. By the way, if you feel like clobbering someone to death with a medieval flail, add that too. Write down your dreams, your plans, your fears. The idea is to keep writing non-stop until you have fill those 3 pages. Remember to do it in the morning. If you write in your journal at night you'll probably go over what you did during the day and this will defeat the purpose. The idea is to positively affect your day by writing those pages in the morning. By training your mind to do this each morning, you will not only make writing more approachable, but also more disciplined.

2. Do not edit as you write. If you can not keep your neurotic, perfectionist urges under control, then at least keep them to an absolute minimum. Editing as you write is like editing a movie and filming it at the same time. It can become pathological. Editing, re-editing, searching for that flawless sentence that will create that immaculate paragraph. Well, do you want to know something? It will not happen. No matter how many times you try to improve it, there will be always room for improvement. Ultimately, if you want to finish that first draft, you'll have to trust yourself and simply let it go. Remember that a first draft is just that, a first draft. Once you've finished that first draft then you can polish and change and edit all you want.

3. Set yourself a small quota everyday. You do not have to finish a whole chapter in one sitting. Just write 2 pages, or 1, or even just a paragraph. The important thing here is to meet that daily quota. It's amazing how thinking like this can affect your brain. It's like with exercise. If you tell yourself, "Oh no, I have to exercise for one whole hour," this will block you. But if you think, "I'll only exercise 20 minutes," the work becomes more approachable and you'll stick with it. The key here is to create the habit a little step at a time. This daily quota will allow you to feel "guilt-free" for the rest of the day, making it possible for you to spend happier times with your family and do other things. In other words, if you stick to your writing schedule, you'll be able to enjoy life.

4. Have the right sense of direction. This is probably one of Cameron's most powerful advice. Do not think that you have to think something up, that you have to create something. Instead, think that the words, plots, characters are already there suspended in some other dimension, and all you have to do is listen intently and write the words down as if taking dictation. Thinking like this will immediately lift a heavy load off your shoulders. It will make you feel free of responsibility and allow your writing to flow easier.

5. Find a support group. Artistic souls need artistic soul mates. If there is not any support group you like, start your own, like I did. As I write this article, I'm sitting at a café with 3 writer friends. We meet every Friday morning from 10 to 12. These meetings are incredibly productive, maybe for the simple reason that I HAVE to write. I mean, face it, not writing alone at home is bad, but not writing in front of your writer friends would be a disgrace. Who wants to be a loser? Also, writers need to get out of their homes and experience a change of scene. Writing at a café makes writing fun.

6. Give your brain high quality foods: Read great books on all types of subjects. I read astronomy, cosmology, history, comparative religion, physics, metaphysics. Listen to music. Music can trigger powerful inspiration. But please, not heavy metal! Put your favourite composer on the stereo, close your eyes, and let your mind drift. This can be a powerful form of meditation. I assure you scenes of future books will appear in your mind, characters will talk, ideas for your present project will present themselves. Visit museums, flower shops, go to the theatre, take walks and observe nature. All these things will enrich your life and your mind, automatically giving your writing more energy and depth.

Do not be afraid. Just write. Just WRITE. Just describe the movie in your head and put the words down. In the meantime I'll try to apply these wise words to myself, and not give the evil eye to the "A Writer Is Someone Who Writes Everyday" sign on my desk.

Source by Mayra Calvani

Active Appreciation – A Recession Proof Morale Booster

No surprises here, the latest survey by Reuters and the University of Michigan stated, “U.S. consumer confidence waned in late July to its lowest ebb since April on growing pessimism about the long-term economic outlook, especially about income and jobs, a survey showed on Friday, even as some economists reckon the longest recession in decades may be easing.” Guess what, most consumers are also employees or they are related to someone who is classified as an employee. So a reasonable assumption a leader can make is that your employees are also not very optimistic, and typically pessimism affects morale and performance negatively.

I also find that leaders are in the doldrums and are finding it difficult to be positive and struggle to keep their own morale up, never mind keeping their employees’ morale up.

The job is made more challenging because the usual morale boosters have been cut and reduced, making it a challenge to give employees a lift and to let them know that they are critical to getting through this recession.

Well it’s not as bleak as you and they may think! There is a very powerful tool that leaders, parents and spouses can use to cut through the pessimism, strengthen relationships and affect morale and performance in a positive way.

I call it Active Appreciation. This article focuses on a tool and skill that when applied authentically will boost morale and improve performance and it just might help you feel less stressed and more optimistic.

Active Appreciation is a powerful tool that when authentically deployed by leaders, it will increase engagement, motivate change and improve morale. So why don’t leaders use it more often? What they typically tell me is, “I thought about it but I didn’t have the time.” and “I thought about it, but before I could tell the person I got caught up in something else and forgot.” I’ve also heard, “I’m not here to make people feel good; they should appreciate they have job.” And, “I have a business to run; if people need hugs, their working for the wrong company.” Although, I can understand the excuses of not enough time and forgetting, and studies strongly suggest that the latter attitudes stifle, if not kill high level engagement and performance, both present lost opportunities to achieve what they want – a motivated, engaged and committed workforce. And in today’s recessionary and turbulent business climate when more is being taken away, Active Appreciation is a gift, that has minimum cost, yet is highly valued by employees and has a high ROI.

Recently I asked for a show of hands from a group of 50 employees to the following question. What would you value more from your employer, a holiday party or frequent words of appreciation? Words of appreciation were the decisive winner. Leaders underestimate how important they are to the people who choose to work for them and how powerful their words of appreciation can be in building and strengthening relationships and performance. Being recognized and appreciated, particularly by someone who has the status of a leader, teacher or parent, is a basic human desire. Unmet, it can strain relationships – leaving people feeling unwanted and unappreciated.

The Gallup Organization in surveying more than 15 million employees found that engagement and performance is created, strengthened and sustained when leaders encourage employee development, demonstrate their caring and give employees recognition every 7 days. Active Appreciation encompasses each of these factors.

It’s also interesting to note that when I ask leaders to reflect on someone in their life who had or has a positive impact on their career and life, and what did these individuals do to achieve this status in their life, they invariably identify relational and emotional factors such as: He respected my opinion, he cared about me, she gave me honest feedback, she encouraged me. These personal reflections support what many studies have identified: the power of recognition and appreciation is a powerful tool in building and strengthening relationships, engagement and performance.

There tends to be a gap in perception between leaders and employees regarding appreciation and recognition. Leaders tend to respond with a resounding yes when asked the question, “Do you appreciate the people who work for you?” When I talk with employees and ask them, “Do you feel appreciated?”, the responses are mixed at best. This gap is what I call the “appreciation gap”. It doesn’t matter, as leader, if you think you appreciate your employees – what matters is if your employees feel appreciated. Closing this gap can make an enormous difference in the level of engagement and performance of your employees.

Active Appreciation is an essential leadership tool and when used authentically it can strengthen the bond between leaders and employees, parents and children and between spouses. Active Appreciation isn’t just words shared or written; the science of how our brains works, neuro-science, shows how the feeling of appreciation affects our bodies and behavior of both receiver as well as the giver. Why Active Appreciation instead of just Appreciation? Although, by just thinking and feeling a sense of appreciation can be beneficial, it’s real power is in the process of giving it.

Active Is The Key Ingredient

Active behavior is marked by or involving direct participation. It is openly acknowledging or expressing, producing an intended action or effect: active ingredients. For our discussion the active ingredient is Appreciation.

Appreciation is an expression of gratitude. Active Appreciation is a verb. It means that leaders personally give their appreciation by expressing and acknowledging their gratitude for behavior that supports the organizations values, mission and business objectives.

Reflect for a moment and recall a time at work when you felt unappreciated? How did it feel and what did it do to your motivation, engagement and commitment to your performance, your boss and the company? If your experience is similar to mine, all of those factors decreased and included bouts of self-pity – all of which were non-productive for the company and me.

Leaders spend a great deal of time noticing what they don’t want and usually let employees know when they’ve missed the mark. What if they spent as much time noticing behavior that supports what they want, and actively showed their appreciation for that behavior? Gallup and other studies indicate that we get more of what we focus on. This is the power of Active Appreciation; the more you focus on actively appreciating behaviors you want, they more your employees will behave accordingly.

Lets assume that your company values teamwork. And lets assume that a machine needs a maintenance function and that one person can do it, but if another person assists, it makes the job easier, faster and increases the level of safety. One of your employees agrees to perform the maintenance; another operator speaks up and says “I’ve got an extra minute, let me help you with it.” The second operator, by offering to assist, is demonstrating the spirit of teamwork. When you actively indicate your appreciation of the employee’s willingness to assist his teammate you are sending a message that you value teamwork, as well as individual performance. By recognizing and actively appreciating behaviors that support and demonstrate the values you want, you will get more of it – in this case, more teamwork, safety and caring for each other.

Stress, Neuro-Science and Active Appreciation

I’ve heard leaders refer to employee engagement and morale and the skills that can build and strengthen these factors as the “soft stuff”. And in fiscally lean and stressful times the “soft stuff” are typically the first things that get cut out. Not only is this thinking misguided and unfortunate, the facts don’t support it. In fact, the “soft stuff” and why it works is based in “hard” science.

I think we can agree that this turbulent environment is causing an increase in stress in almost every aspect of work and family life today. We know from studying people that stress creates changes in the biochemistry of our bodies and in our behavior. In fact, 65% to as high as 85% of the reasons people visit their primary care physicians is for stress related problems. Stress narrows our perception, reduces logical and creative thinking and it is associated with numerous physical and emotional issues. When an individual feels stressed, the brain goes on alert status – ready to detect any perceived risk of danger. It mobilizes our body to response to any perceived danger by releasing a cascade of hormones, one of which is called cortisol into our bloodstream. Cortisol is intended to keep the alert switch on, even if the perceived threat has passed. Being constantly on alert makes us edgy and distracted from the work we are supposed to be focused on. If you where stranded in a jungle, your survival would depend on our being hyper- aware of all the dangers lurking, and cortisol would be helpful. However in a “normal” world it works against our ability to efficiently and effectively perform. We know that in today’s stressful work environment that our work is not normal. It is filled with possible risks and threats, which are heightened in this recessionary climate. I’ve had high performing leaders tell me that they have become unsettled and stressed just hearing about lay-offs even when they’ve been told that they don’t have to worry. The amount of cortisol flowing in the aggregate bloodstream of today’s workforce is running way above normal! This is not healthy for the individual or the organizational, which is relying on the performance of a few to keep it competitive and productive.

Neuro-Scientist discovered another hormone, which has a calming effect and decreases the hormones associated with stress, particularly cortisol. They discovered that feelings of appreciation and gratitude stimulate the production of a hormone called oxytocin. The feeling of being appreciated produces oxytocin, which neutralizes and decreases the production of cortisol, thereby reducing our unproductive hyper-vigilance. In addition, there is a link between ocytocin and the emotion of trust. And trust is an essential factor in employee commitment, loyalty and performance. When a leader focuses on and deploys appreciation their like a doctor giving a medication that reduces stress and builds trust.- helping the employee restore and build their level of performance.

Studies have shown that it takes a minimum of 3 positive thoughts and or feelings to offset one negative thought or feeling. Studies also show that people perform better in an environment that is more positive than negative. As mentioned, the turbulent stressful environment that we are experiencing creates an ample supply of negative thoughts and feelings. As a leader you can help reduce stress and create a work climate that is more productive by using Active Appreciation to offset the effects of stress and the negative thoughts and feelings that affect people every day.

What’s the ROI for ME

Active Appreciation is a powerful tool for creating the behavior you want and influencing people to change. It is skill of high performing leaders and companies. And there is one more important fact. Not only does Active Appreciation make the other person less stressed and more open to change; you also benefit from the same effects and outcomes. The more you use Active Appreciation, you will notice a shift within yourself to a more optimistic and positive outlook and feeling less stressed. These effects and benefits showed up in a recent, Beyond Stress Management … Strengthening Your Resiliency program.

We had just finished discussing the power of appreciation and gratitude in recharging our resiliency batteries and I invited the participants to write a note of appreciation to someone in their life whom they felt a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for. I passed out note cards and envelopes and everyone began writing.

Earlier in the workshop I had passed out Biodots, little dots that measure stress, which are placed on your hand. The dots react to the temperature of your blood by changing colors. When stressed, blood is routed to areas and parts of our body that are vital for survival, therefore, blood supply to our extremities is decreased. When we feel less stressed the flow of blood is more even throughout our entire body and it will change the color of the dot to yellow, green and blues depending on how relaxed we feel. One of the participants’ noticed that throughout the day her dot stayed black. We talked about it at a break and she indicated that her intense style and approach to work made it hard for her to de-stress.

After everyone finished their appreciation notes we took a short break. On the break this participant came up and showed me her Biodot. It had turned green. As she was writing her note she completely focused her attention on her feelings of appreciation. And as she was writing, she noticed that her Biodot began to change from black to yellow and then to green. For her and me, this was a moment that vividly showed the power of Active Appreciation has on our sense of well-being. And I am sure that when she gave her note of appreciation to the person she was thinking about, they also experienced an increased sense of well-being

In 2004 Forbes magazine selected the 109-year-old company, J.M. Smucker as the best company to work for. When co-CEO’s Tim and Richard where asked what they attributed their success to and why over 2,930 employees where so dedicated to the company they responded that for 109 years they have lived by one code:

o Listen with your full attention

o Look for the good in others

o Have a sense of humor and

o Say Thank You for a job well done

I can’t find a better way to summarize this article than to recommend J. M. Smucker’s code as a way to experience more appreciation and gratitude in your work and life. In a time that is turbulent and stressful you can make a difference, you can change how you and your employees feel and perform, and it only costs a few moments of your time. The effort will reap enormous rewards and benefits personally and professionally.

Source by Thomas Wojick

Big Nothing Movie Review


CAST: David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg, Alice Eve

I personally love black comedies; movies like burn after reading and Fargo are one of my favourites. Big nothing, directed by Jean-batiste Andréa falls under a similar category. It had a very limited release only in England so the majority of viewers are mostly unaware of this movie. Let’s get this clear upfront, big nothing is a fantastic movie, with a twisted, macabre sense of humor and is one of the most mean spirited comedies to come out in quite some time and it’s the fantastic finale that escalates this movie from mediocrity to a piece of sheer brilliance.

Charlie(Schwimmer) is a failed novelist who lives with his cop wife and their young daughter. He is desperate to bring happiness to the family, one day, he lands a job at a call center and Is fired on the first day because of his co-worker Gus(Pegg). Guilty that he mistakenly lost Charlie his job, Gus, who himself has financial problems and a daughter requiring eye surgery, lets Charlie in on his “completely violence free” scheme to blackmail a pedophile reverend who visits pornographic websites more times a day than he prays to god. The plan is simple, call the reverend, threaten to expose him and get 100, 000 dollars in cash. The cautious and ‘goody goody Charlie agrees as he believes this will solve all his problems. After Gus’s former girlfriend Josie (Alice eve) also becomes a part of the scheme, the plan is put into action.

What was a simple call, threaten and receive tons of cash plan spirals out of control due to some unfortunate circumstances as they find themselves involved in a whirlwind of madness that involves, snuff movies, adultery, a serial killer, missing bodies, mistaken identities and a FBI agent with a knack for finding the truth. What catches your attention is how this seemingly danger free, simple blackmail scheme results in utter chaos. Once Gus goes to the reverend’s house to collect the money, the movie turns into a goldmine of comedy, twists and turns. At the end of the 90 minutes, all the characters are not who you thought they were but end up as completely different people. Another plus point is the character development, you find something new about every character every few minutes. I will not spoil the ending, see it for yourself but say one thing I will, the ending of this movie was probably the most genuine one I have seen in movies, extremely true to life and even after the movie is over the viewer will have questions spinning around his heads, and those are the movies that are special, the ones that make you use your brain.

Shot in Wales, and set in Oregon, the locales have a very serene feel about them, despite of the fact that dead bodies keep falling here and there every few minutes. The cinematography is brilliant, the movie has been shot with skewed angles, and three way split screen, giving it a very stylized look.

Now to the performances. Every dark crime-gone-wrong comedy has that crazy but funny character in it. In BIG, that guy is Simon pegg.

Pegg delivers an amazing performance. his comedic timing is brilliant, he’s a real scene stealer in this one. A brilliant actor. David Schwimmer, another heavily underrated actor does a brilliant job of shedding his ‘Ross’ and is a complete natural. Also metion worthy is the chemistry between Pegg and Schwimmer, they are in complete sync with each other. Alice eve strikingly pretty and proves that she can hold her own when pitted against actors of the caliber of Pegg and Schwimmer and is brilliant towards the end, where everything becomes topsy turvy.

All in all, Big nothing is an underrated unappreciated and under viewed movie which is nonetheless a fantastic move that finds the right balance between the humor and the dead bodies falling everywhere. Fans of the Coen brothers and Guy Ritchie will immensely enjoy this rollercoaster ride, which has plenty of turns specially towards the end. so do yourself a favor and watch big nothing. Strongly recommended.

Source by Sarthak Baral

10 Ways to Have Fun and Stay Sober This Summer

Sober life can be filled with fun in the sun, so take advantage of all life has to offer this summer. Here are ten ideas to help you put some spice into sober life.

1. Take a Joke: LOL! There's nothing like humor to soothe the soul. Grab a bunch of your sober friends and check out a recovery comedian. Or, have a movie fest in your living room by playing your all-time favorite funny flicks on a Friday night. Whip up a batch of popcorn and let the good times roll!

2. Hola: You may have thought about learning another language, but never had the time to see it through. Now's a good a time as any. Learn Italian and head to Italy to show off your new vocabulary. How about a trip to France after your French is simply fabulous? Learning a language allows you to expand your social network and will keep your mind sharp. What's more, you can learn via DVDs, online courses, or the old-fashioned way in classroom settings.

3. Team Effort: There's a healthy supply of leagues to choose from – softball, football, soccer, baseball, basketball and even bowling – so jump right in. Get in some hearty exercise while joining forces with like-minded individuals. You'll be compelled to show up for every game because the team is counting on you. You have to be in it to win it – so sign on.

4. Lend a Hand: There's an abundance of organizations that would welcome your help. Volunteering is a win-win. Both parties reap rich rewards. The first question is where do you want to focus your energy? Would you like to tutor children? Feed the homeless? Comfort the elderly? Help preserve your local park? You can test out several options to figure out which one most warms your heart.

5. Hot Stuff: Eat and greet. Check out local cooking classes and dine in style with your co-chefs after your meal is elegantly served. Take recipe notes and recreate your meal for you and your fab friends in the comfort of your own home. You can even learn to create and decorate your next birthday cake at the abundance of baking classes springing up! Cooking classes are all the rage, so be sure to bring your appetite.

6. Get Crafty: Join the artsy crowd and get crafty. Take up beading, pottery or knit your favorite aunt a sweater. You'll enjoy the process and feel a sense of accomplishment after showing off your creations. Or, try your hand at painting. You never know what talents lie within!

7. Take a Hike: Summer is a great time to embrace the great outdoors. Take a scenic hike through your favorite park or go camping with your best buddies. Be daring and have a karaoke competition with your fellow campers. Kayaking is another fun way to spend a leisurely afternoon. There's nothing like a little fresh air to rejuvenate your soul!

8. Listen to This: Do you love the sound of guitars? Or, do you prefer the melody of a piano? Learning how to play an instrument does wonders for your self-esteem. Pick up some sheet music and take an online course to get you started. Gather your family and friends and play to a standing-room-only crowd.

9. Of Course: Do you have a craving to learn American History at midnight? Do you want to figure out how to amass money in the stock market? Are you eager to learn how to help your family eat better? Online courses cover the gamut from banking to baking, so choose a course and power on your computer.

10. Move On: Gyms now offer everything from dancing to dashing. You can opt for a Zumba class or make a dash for the treadmill. Opt for a few sessions with a personal trainer to secure an appropriate regimen for your fitness level. You'll surely find something to get you going and you'll feel better for it.

Learn more about To Young Gender : Adult Drug Treatment Centers or to speak with an Admissions Representative, please call 855-333-6075 or visit us here.

Source by Claudia Black

Day After Thanksgiving Sale – Can It Live Up to the Hype?

Most consumers don’t worry much about buying Christmas presents until around October. Once November hits, the panic sets in of whether they’re going to have enough time. But then why bother worrying? All you have to do is wait until the day after Thanksgiving, and everything will be on sale so cheap that you can do all your shopping at once, right? Not necessarily.

Let’s pick an item at random. Say you’re looking to buy a Nintendo Wii. You’re waiting until the day after Thanksgiving so you can buy one at a fantastic price. Of course, the ads come out and you find one. Great. So on Black Friday, you wake up at 4:00 a.m. and make your way out in the freezing cold to your store of choice. You stand in line for about an hour until the doors open. You risk nearly getting trampled and you get inside only to find that they’re sold out.

Now what do you do? You hurriedly get back in your car and drive to the nearest store that you know of who also listed the Wii for a similarly great price. By the time you get there and fight your way through the crowds, as the doors had been open for about a half our by this point, and they’re sold out also.

Let’s sum up. You woke up super early, stood out in the cold for a long time and drove around like a crazy person, only to come home empty handed. Yes, you can get a great deal, but you have to go to great lengths to get the coveted price. Next year, why not pay the extra $20 and sleep off your turkey coma until 9:00 a.m. and wake refreshed and sit around the house in your underpants watching football.

Source by Kathy Forcey

Pottery Wheels For Sale

Currently, numerous people are embracing clay-sculpturing art or pottery. It is a very old cultural art for many communities around the world. Even so, some countries discovered the use of a pottery wheel very early, including Mesopotamia and china. Today, everyone who does pottery and ceramics recognizes the importance of this device. There are many pottery wheels for sale available online today. To view their elegant images, one should visit related websites. By doing this, a potential buyer can discover various brands that manufacture potters wheels.

In addition, he or she can get a good opportunity to scrutinize those brands. Internet development came to solve plenty of problems that all shoppers have had in the past. Through it, they are now able to share their experiences after using a given product. For that reason, one must not ignore reading their reviews or comments as they can easily help him or her in decision-making. Besides, conducting this online search can help a shopper find out the items on sale.

Usually, pottery wheels for sale are either used or new. The former styles are second-hand items and the latter styles are brand new. Used wheels for pottery are inexpensive, but they do not necessarily feature good quality. New styles have good quality and their prices can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. It is up to the customer to decide if he or she wants a new or an older item. Another detail one must know about is that ceramics wheels are either antique or modern.

Although everyone seems to favor everything modern, this is not the case with these devices. A number of potters still want to use antique models even though they are slow. There are no more costs expected after buying this manually operated equipment. It does not use electricity and requires very little maintenance. In addition, it can rotate both clockwise and anti-clockwise to allow easy throwing. Although it is cheap to keep a kick wheel, it is not very efficient compared with an electric style.

The latter is quick and small enough to allow easy carrying around. Moreover, an electric powered ceramic wheel is compact and thus offers easy storage. Even so, it can be very noisy and expensive for a beginner. Besides, a beginner may not keep pace with its quick rotating speed. Most modern models have incredibly advanced features, which is why one can not ignore them. Although expensive, they have an ergonomic design to help a user work for long hours.

Furthermore, they do not force a user to create a separate worktable as they it is part of the package. These sophisticated items are a bonus for an active potter. They might force one to spend more money at first, but they guarantee high efficiency and reliability. Even used high quality models might be quite expensive. The find good price To deals for pottery wheels for sale , simply Suche online. To understand how these items operate, one could visit an offline shop. Despite that, good quality products that cost fairly are easily available on the Internet.

Source by G. Smitty

Top Ten Reasons Thanksgiving is Really the Most Wonderful Time of Year

Each year when the holiday season rolls around, the tinsel, holly, and lights of Christmas time quickly overshadow the greatness of Thanksgiving. Here are the top ten reasons why Thanksgiving is truly the best holiday!

1. Seeing the Family. Most people, no matter their profession, and able to take a day off to relax with family near and far. Also, by not being as long as the Christmas to New Year season, Thanksgiving provides the perfect short but sweet family reunion.

2. Eating Food. No other meal compares with that of the beloved Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, sweet potatoes, and pie are just a few of the delectable dishes that will always leave you stuffed. Sharing recipes and cooking together is always a great experience.

3. The Expectations. When it comes to Thanksgiving, there are no expectations for lavish gifts for every person you meet. A friendly welcoming and general merriment are all this holiday asks for. Dropping by with a friend is always encouraged and enjoyed.

4. Playing Football, Watching Football, and Enjoying Football. Any fan can tell you that the hype and excitement of a Thanksgiving Day football game is beyond any other game. Everybody can share all aspects of the game, from playing, watching, and enjoying!

5. Shop 'till you Drop! What is known as "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving shopping is the best sale day of the entire year. From Christmas presents to personal gifts, Thanksgiving offers the best selection for shoppers.

6. Gathering Friends. Thanksgiving is a great holiday that can be either family or friend oriented (or both!) Getting together a group of friends to celebrate thanks is a fine way for people who live far away to reconnect with one another.

7. Outdoor Activities. No matter where you live, Thanksgiving is still a time that offers a lot of outdoor activities in beautiful fall weather. Parades, pumpkin picking, hikes and drives are a great way to spend the afternoon. Take advantage of the scenic views.

8. Days and Days of Leftovers. While Thanksgiving dinner is a category in its self, what it leaves behind is a whole other story. Turkey sandwiches, casseroles, and pies are left to satisfy for weeks after the holiday. Thanksgiving is the meal that keeps on giving.

9. The Start of Christmas. For all you loyal Christmas fans, Thanksgiving can still be the best holiday for you as it is typically the benchmark of the start of the holiday season. Decorations come out as the turkey goes in around this time!

10. Open Possibilities. There are so many ways Thanksgiving can be celebrated. The types of gatherings a host can explore include different types of food, costumes and crafts for children, a fancy dinner party, or a rustic potluck! With numerous variations on time-honored traditions, it is not hard to plan a Thanksgiving to please everybody.

This year think about the ways that Thanksgiving is important to you and your family to enjoy the holiday to its fullest potential. It is easy to see why Thanksgiving is a time that people remember the most. Soak up the great Thanksgiving memories and stories to share for years to come!

Source by Colin Joss

Visit Chicago, But Be Equipped With Information Regarding The Parking Rules

Chicago is always popular and being the third largest American city it has myriad of attractions luring visitors. Especially with the immigration intense surges in the 20th century, it has resulted in a host of identities to the Windy City and this includes Polish, Greek, Irish, Italian and Jewish.

Today, Chicago is diverse, boasting of various shopping districts, thriving arts scene and about the wealth of eateries. The skyscrapers are sure to keep the first time Chicago visitors looking towards the sky as it is worth admiring. At the same time, spending time at the Millennium Park on the Architecture River Cruise is a not to miss attraction. Also, for a bird’s eye perspective head to the John Hancock Center or Willis Tower for 360 Chicago Observation Deck or John Hancock observatory Chicago. There are exceptional museums to understand the thriving culture that visitors can take to whole new depths.

Visiting Chicago and being able to save money may appear contradictory, but this is true. You can save money if you plan visiting the city during the winter. The hotel rates are slashed and cheap flights are easy. Check for affordable bed and breakfast options in the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods; invest in Chicago City Pass or Go Chicago Card offering access to all the popular attractions of Chicago at one price and save bucks for other entertainment expenses.

Chicago has fine restaurants and do not skip out on the regional fare. The hot dogs and pizzas are the best and for beverage, order Chicago sods that are referred to as ‘pop’. As in all other big cities, you have to exercise caution outside by keeping your valuables safe at all times. Avoid walking alone and stay alert always.

Traveling in Chicago by using the public transportation is recommended. The L train represents elevated train that is easy and cheap to use. There is CTA operating extensive bus system for most attractions, but newcomers may have difficulty in navigating. The Metro regional train stops in neighboring cities and downtown Chicago, while the L’s Blue Line can also be accessed. Cabs are available easily, but the starting rates are high. The street parking fees and parking garages fees are pricey. Parking issue is not new in Chicago and suffocates travelers, regular and visitors, alike. Here are some of the parking rules you need to know before you hit the road.

Parking rules

· People owning vehicles that are 6 feet or taller cannot park within 20 feet cross walk as other vehicles or motorists may experience difficulty, besides it restricts the movements of pedestrians and other drivers.

· Parking in an alley is not permitted to motorists, as once again it obstructs the traffic flow and parking in the garage front is also not permitted as it obstructs motorists from maneuvering.

· Parking in an opposite direction to the traffic flow is illegal. This means a street featuring the north flowing traffic to the right and the south flowing traffic to the left should have the parked vehicle on the right to face north and the left to the south.

· Chicago has parking sports marked as diagonal lines and it is mandatory to park within these lines.

Source by Karen K Williams

After Christmas Sales at Walmart Offer Savings for Many Unsold Christmas Gifts in 2010

When it comes to after Christmas sales and deals it is very important for costumers to understand that retailers have no idea what will be left over after the major holiday. If it were up to the retailers there would be no after Christmas sales at all as this would prove that the sell through was great for the holiday. For American customers this is never the case as there are always some items that are left over that did not sell leading up to Christmas Eve. Each year billions of dollars are spent on Christmas Eve alone but there are still many major retailers that are left with extra merchandise.

WalMart is without a doubt the largest retailer in the country and they often have quite a bit of Christmas merchandise. After the holiday this retailer tends to have quite a few Christmas items left over for great sales and deals. As a customer it might be a good idea to check the local retailers and see who has the most inventory and this will help to tell the story of who will also have the best after Christmas sales and deals come December 26.

Remember that many of these items are deeply discounted because they tend to be items that are not regularly at the store. With this being the case look for many products that are solely Christmas related to see steep discounts. Some of these items could include candy, wrapping paper and Christmas decorations. If you are looking for TVs, computers or digital cameras you might be out of luck as these items are usually held over for Valentine's gift ideas. It is often the case that most of these items are also regular items in the store so they simply go back to the stock room or are packed onto the basic shelf.

Over the next several weeks many people will begin to think about Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday deals and sales. While there are some great opportunities to pick up some cheap Christmas gift ideas during these sales it is likely the case that nothing beats the savings of after Christmas sales. Unfortunately, most children and loved ones do no want to wait until December 26th, 2010 to open up their Christmas presents. It could be the case that you can save on items that will be used next year such as wrapping paper or lawn decorations.

Source by Jesse R Wojdylo

My Ten Reasons for Falling in Love With Davao City

I first came to Davao City in 1982. I came back after a year and decided to raise a family in this beautiful city. What are the ten reasons for falling in love with Davao City over the years?

1. Clean Healthy Environment.

It is a very livable city where you breathe fresh air and walk along clean streets and markets. People observe the city ordinance on anti-smoking, waste segregation and disposal, and fire crackers.

2. World-class Drinking Water.

Bottled mineral water is no match to the taste of tap water here which is acclaimed as the second best in the world. In addition, both the Davao City Water District and the city government relentlessly protect its watershed areas.

3. Fresh Food.

Fresh food is abundant and affordable the whole year. Seafood, fruits, vegetables, meat and other food stuff make each meal a gustatory delight, whether cooked at home or dining out..

4. Quality Education

Many of its colleges and universities offer quality education. In fact, top performers in various board exams come from Davao City.

5. Central 911 Service.

Davao City boasts of being the third location in the world that utilizes 911 as its emergency number. With this facility, it serves residents needing emergency assistance with its medical, urban search and rescue, fire auxiliary and K-9 units.

6. Peaceful Co-existence of Christians and Non-Christians.

Both Christians and non-Christians live in harmony. There are places of worship for various religious groups. Education, public service and business opportunities are available to all. The contribution of the city’s eleven indigenous groups to the city’s social, cultural and economic growth is recognized during the annual Kadayawan Festival.

7. Places of Interest.

Over the years, local and foreign tourists flock to Davao City to experience and enjoy Eden Nature Park and Mountain Resort, Loleng’s Mountain Resort, Malagos Garden Resort, Shrine of the Holy Infant of Jesus of Prague, D’ Leonor Inland Resort, Matina Town Square, People’s Park, Ponce Suites Gallery, Davao Crocodile Park, Museo Dabawenyo and a lot more.

8. Care for the Environment.

Located in Calinan, the Philippine Eagle Center is home to endangered Philippine eagles. It is managed by the Philippine Eagle Foundation which has evolved into the country’s “premiere organization for the conservation of raptors.”

The city also boasts of the Marine Turtle Sanctuary which “engages in the recovery, tagging and rescue of illegally captured and detained marine endangered Hawksbill turtles (pawikan) as provided in Executive Order 29-2003.”

9. Healthcare

The Southern Philippines Medical Center, a government hospital, and a number of private hospitals, provide quality healthcare to city residents as well as those coming from nearby provinces.

10. The People of Davao City

To me, it’s the people of Davao City that gives life to the tagline “Davao: Life Is Here.” As a blog writer puts it, “We are the ones who know what it’s like to live in Davao City – the land of promise, a place where there is unity in diversity, where peace and progress can coexist.”

These are my ten reasons for falling in love with Davao City and loving it truly.

Source by Evangeline D Algabre