Friday, August 31, 2007

Peregrine Online

I am migrating my travel blog to a site called Peregrine Online. I know, ironic, huh? Well, it seemed like the thing to do, putting it on its own domain.

I will be writing about the same sorts of things I always have, travel around Singapore, China, and other parts of Asia, as well as other spots I've been around the globe.

I'm adding in another section to the blog, which is more on life in Singapore and Shanghai, especially with tips for foreigners staying in one place or the other (I split my time between the two, though I was brought up in the US).

Hope you'll stop by to see me there.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Value of a Blog

I've just come across this fun website, thanks to my friend silken, and I thought I'd give it a look to see how much my blogs are worth. I'll be posting the answer to that on each individual blog.

This one:

My blog is worth $9,032.64.
How much is your blog worth?

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

where the silken adventure began...

I've been talking a lot about my blogging pal, silken. But let me take you back to where it all began for silken and me... sort of.

Silken used to blog with me under another name, skouba, at a site called Writing Up. She learned the ins and outs of blogging there, like I did. And she really maintained a fantastic blog there.

Sadly, the site is more or less defunct now (though you can find it popping up every now and then). I miss the place there and the fun conversations we used to have. I am glad, though, skouba/silken (or is it silken/skouba? this always confuses me...) is now blogging elsewhere. It would be sad to lose her insights in an online setting. Interacting with her at the site is what I most miss about losing it.

I am, though, one of the lucky ones. I know skouba/silken in real life, and have known her all my life. So, for me, at least I won't lose touch with her, even if the whole internet falls apart!

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Wedding Website

Are those bells I hear ringing?

Is that a big rock I see on your finger?

When's the big day????

Before it arrives, you've got to visit this Wedding Website. I've been in on the planning for a whole lot of weddings, and I can tell you that it is really a very big job. can help make the whole thing much easier on you. At the site, you'll find free, interactive planning tools, expert advice, inspiration photos, a local vendor guide, a patented online registry system, and much more. There are so many tools and resources there to help you plan the perfect wedding that it is really incredible. And, more amazing, it is all just a click away. Log on today and have a look.

And, before I say goodbye, let me say congratulations to you too. I hope you and your partner have a long and happy life together!

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Silken, part of the Communati

I am continuing on my journey through a series of blogs, writing a short entry introducing each of the blogs of one of my blogging friends, silken. Her newest one (to my knowledge) is at a new site called communati, which is a community-style blogging site. I like how silken's personality really comes out in this casual setting, where commenting is as important as posting. I haven't gotten into that site yet as much as I would like, due to a busy schedule since the site opened. That means I haven't gotten to read all of silken's entriesat the new site -- not yet -- but I have enjoyed the ones I've read.

Take a look at this post on reading keys, where she shares some ideas about a tool she plans to use as she starts homeschooling her 2 young nephews. I like how she shares there about her own philosophy of focusing on phonics rather than sight words. It's the sort of discussion she often posts there, and is great for anyone who teaches kids (whether parents or teachers).

Stop by and visit silken there. And while you are there, go ahead and sign up and join the conversation. But let me warn you, you might get addicted. ;-)

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Each New Day

Silken, the blogger I am presently spotlighting here, keeps another very high quality blog at, Each New Day. I love the optimism and sense of hope reflected in that title. It likewise shows up throughout the blog's entries.

Like her other blogs, silken here shares little tidbits of things she finds here and there. I like her post on the Schlitterbahn in Galveston. Her enthusiasm for the fun one can find in life is shown up in this post. She's not going to be scared off by long lines at a summer outing. Instead, she focuses on the fun her family has when they all go out together.

The whole site is pretty much like that, and it makes for a really pleasant read. And, on top of that, you'll probably find out about a lot of things you never heard of before. That's one of the best parts about all of silken's blogs. She has a curious mind, and a willingness to share the things she's picked up here and there. That makes for very fun reading.

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Simmons Jannace and Stagg

When you talk about Simmons, Jannace, and Stagg, LLP, you are talking about the best. The track record of the firm is one to be admired. Operating in ew York, Connecticut and New Jersey, they have represented major players, such as Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Kmart Holding Corp., Best Buy Co. Inc., Washington Mutual Bank FA, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., Staples Inc., Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., General Motors Acceptance Corporation, GMAC Insurance Holdings, Inc., Circuit City Stores, Inc., and Foot Locker Inc., and of course many, many others. They have received many awards too, including the highest peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which rates legal ability and ethical standards.

But simmons jannace & stagg isn't only worried about the big boys. No, they take care of the small-timers like you and me too. They will always listen to the clients' needs, and act in the clients' best interests. So, while they do plenty of work with the big players, they are equally good when it comes to representing small companies, municipalities and individuals, many of whom turn to us for quality representation at a reasonable cost.

When you deal with Thomas E Stagg and Simmons, Jannace & Stagg, LLP, you can be sure that you have reliable, hard-working, competent counsel on your side.

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Sowing Seeds

I am continuing to show off the good work of my blogging friend, silken, and I have reached one of my favorites of her blogs. It's not at blogspot, but at a different blog site (, and I like how she's kept this one very thematic. She calls this blog Sowing Seeds, and she focuses on raising kids, using the growth of a plant or seed as the metaphor that shapes the paradigm she is focusing.

One of her recent entries, Mutation is a great example of what I like about this blog. Look at the insights she draws from the simple definition offered when she applies it to teenage kids. It's simple, and that's where the beauty of this blog lies.

A lot of times at this blog I will learn of phrases I hadn't heard of before, not being much of a gardener myself, like dethatching. It's great how silken is able to define terms like this and make them understandable, and then apply them to her role as a parent.

I really love the approach she has taken here. This is, in my estimation, just the right way to cultivate a blog.

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Silken's Rhyme Time

I am continuing to turn the spotlight on my blogging buddy, silken, and the great work she does in keeping up her little blogging kingdom that she has built up. I've reached one of her spaces where she seems to just be having a good time. At her Rhyme Time, she enters cute rhymes, and they are often very entertaining. I find myself getting a little laugh out of them all the time.

I keep 3 different blogs filled with rhymed poetry myself, as well as another full of acrostics, so I know that maintaining a fun, lighthearted poetry blog is not as easy as it sounds. But silken does it very well. Whether writing about Fish Camp or about rainy days, you can see that silken is having a good time doing it.

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Choosing Credit Cards

When applying for a credit card, it seems to me that there have almost become too many options these days. I get credit cards in the mail all the time, and all I have to do is call a number and activate it. Sometimes, I only have to use it once, and that activates it. And, besides this, there are credit card applications in the mail, on the 'Net, and just everywhere. It is hard for me to choose. I might be looking for a card that offers me good Balance Transfer Credit Cards , or one that has no annual fee, or maybe one that has a low interest rate.

More likely, I might be looking for a combination of all three, and perhaps many other considerations as well. So, how do I know which card offers me the best total package?

The Credit Card Search Engine will help you choose between a multitude of different cards. While you are deciding, you can compare the perks that one card offers over against those of another. By putting the information for two different cards up on your screen side by side, you'll be able to better see the different benefits of each.

Before you choose a credit card, sort through all the options and make a wise decision. Visit

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Family Night

I am still highlighting one of my favorite bloggers, silken. She keeps lots of useful and interesting blogs. One of the really nice resources she has is Family Night, where she shares lots of great ideas for things that the whole family can do together.

Just look at this entry on treasure hunts. She includes some great photos there, and gives a good explanation of the activity she writes about. This is not something just thrown together. Rather, you can tell it comes from a parent who has lots of ideas and is eager to share them. Her quality of writing is of the highest, and I think you will enjoy the activities you see listed there.

The family fun runs sound like lots of fun to me. And take a look at what she says about letterboxing. Doesn't that sound like a great time? Check out silken's family night blog, and you'll find loads of ideas like that.

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As I continue highlighting the work of one of my favorite bloggers, silken, I've come to one of the most fun blogs you'll find. Silken's daughter keeps this one, and it is called kidbits. If you've read the mother's blogs, I think you will see lots of the mother in the daughter's work too.

A lot (but not all) of the entries are in 10-point format (like one of her mom's blogs), and all have interesting ideas and info (again, like at mom's blogs). I enjoyed reading what the girl had learned about 9/11 and the World Trade Center, and equally enjoyed her list of ideas for Mother's Day.

This blog, like her big brother's, is apparently on holiday at the moment. With the school year picking up and the kids being back to work (does that mean they remember how to read and write again???), I suspect it will pick up. At any rate, I do hope it will pick back up. I miss her posts!

Stop by to visit, and tell her I sent you!

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Florida Villa

I mentioned in an earlier entry on this blog how much fun it is to travel to the Orlando area to enjoy all the great attractions there. Places like Disney World, Sea World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios, and all of the rest of the fun places there will always attract guests. I highly recommend a trip to the area, especially for anyone who's never been.

There are a whole lot of hotels in the area. Like any other region that has lot of tourists every year, the area has a whole lot of accommodations available for travelers. It can be a daunting task to choose one, when you see just how many are available.

For me, I think a Florida Villa is the perfect choice. The accommodations are comfortable and affordable, and there is something there to entertain every member of the family. It is a roomy and comfortable place, so you won't feel as exhausted as you would if you were to choose some cramped little hotel room.

Make your trip to Florida the best it can be. Choose accommodations that will let you be comfortable and really enjoy the surrounding fun.

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Places to Go

Continuing the spotlight on my blogging friend, silken, I'd like to turn to her blog called Places to Go. This is a unique sort of travel blog because silken doesn't just talk about places she's been, but also about places she hasn't been, but would like to go. I think that's pretty clever, really!

Just look here what she says about Vienna, or here about Avebury. You'll find out about all sorts of places when you read through this blog. I mean, I never even heard of the Museum of Hoaxes till I read about it on her blog.

Here, you can also find out about movies that talk about specific places, like what you see in her entry on an arctic tale. (Do I see a theme here? What's all this about icebergs????)

Silken has a curious mind, one that would like to see and know more about this big world. In this blog, that really shines through.

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Random Activities

I'm continuing the process of turning the spotlight on my blogging friend, silken. She keeps a number of blogs, and I thought it would be fun to point you to them all. You might think this one is a little different from the others I've highlighted before, when you first look. And, really, you'd be right about that.

The blog at her spot called random activities is especially fun because it is kept not just by her, but by her son. He posts some of his school assignments there.

I've enjoyed his essays on The Human Brain (continued here, here, here, and here) and on basketball (again, continued here, here, here, and here).

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Executive Search

Finding a job at a certain level requires more than just flipping through the classifieds. It can be downright frustrating for an executive to find him or herself out of work, looking for a suitable post.

Read through the Executive Search Firm Blog at A. E. Feldman, if you find yourself a high flying executive, but out of work. At the blog, you will find specialist in helping to match executives to suitable jobs, particularly in the fields of financial and risk management services, legal and legal support services, communications and technology, human resources consulting, and luxury products. A.E. Feldman Associates, Inc. has been operating since 1967, successfully matching employees with suitable qualifications and experience into precisely the level of job you are seeking, from middle to executive to top “C level” management.

If you are looking for a higher level post, or if you are looking for an employee to match your needs for such a position, stop in and check with A. E. Feldman Associates. You'll be pleased that you took the time -- they are, after all, the experts.

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A Few of Silken's Favorite Things?

I'm continuing to turn the spotlight on one of my blogging buddies, silken. In her blog A Few of My Favorite Things, you'll find a series of top ten lists. She talks about things she likes there. She does get to do a lot of sponsored posts there, and I like her explanation of what is so good about blogging for money.

If you'd like to know more about silken, you'll find all sorts of little details here, like her favorite things on stage, or what she likes about overseas travel. You can even get some home remedies, like her throat coat. It's a really fun place to stop in and browse through.

If you do stop to visit, tell her I sent you, and say hi for me!

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Did You Know About Silken?

There's a blogger I'd like to turn a spotlight on for a little while. Her name is silken, and she keeps a number of blogs.

One of the fun ones she keeps is called Did You Know? In this blog, you can find all sorts of little tidbits of information. She comes up with all sorts of clever little things.

Take this one: Did You Know What it Takes to be a Perfumer? Or did you know that avacado oil is a good moisturizer? That might not be something I would've ever asked, nor particularly wondered about. But when she raises these things in her blog, I do find them interesting, and it gets my curiosity going.

Or, maybe, street luging is something you'd like to know about? If it isn't something you've thought of before... has it got you curious now?

See, she covers it all! Stop in and visit, and you can tell her I sent you.

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Florida Hotels

What better spot to take a family vacation than Florida? The theme parks there are great, and are the perfect spots to please the whole family. And that's not even talking about beaches, golf courses, dinner shows, and all the rest yet. Orlando really is a place that has something for every member of the family.

Of course, travel with the whole family can mean a lot of expense. That's why these great deals on florida hotels are such a great find. These hotel prices make it possible (and affordable) for you to round up the whole clan and head off toward Orlando and enjoy the wonderful attractions at Disney World, Sea World, Kennedy Space Center, and all the other hot spots in the area. In fact, when you find a good deal on the hotel, it makes it much more possible for you to really enjoy your time sightseeing and playing.

And visiting theme parks isn't all there is to do in Orlando. There are so many great theme parks, golf courses, convention centers, beaches.... it's a virtual entertainment paradise! Make sure and plan your next holiday for Orlando. And bring the whole family. You'll be glad you did.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

I stopped in to see The Bourne Ultimatum yesterday afternoon. I watched the first two movies in the series when they were new, and so wanted to complete it all. I also read the novels by Robert Ludlum many years ago.

I really liked the way these movies were filmed. I thought the framing of the subjects' heads using the bodies of other characters, a technique used repeatedly in the film, was brilliant. It kept giving us a partial view of the speaker. To me, this was a visual reminder that we only ever get partial views of another, and the use of the bodies of other characters reminds that it is our own perceptions (the listeners) that so often veils us from seeing more. Nice.

In many ways, the films are typical Hollywood, but some of the filming techniques I thought pushed that just a little. For such a high profile blockbuster type film, I thought this one was very nicely done.

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Secrets Revealed

Subject: Incredible government auction secrets they don't want you to know...

How to Get an Amazing 25%, 50% or Even a Massive 97% Off Property, Transport, Computers, Antiques, Household Goods...

In Fact, Just About Anything!

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What, why, where and how!

This amazing book is the culmination of years of experience, insider tips and secrets written by the founders of, a veteran site that has been serving the auction going public for years.

Check it out for yourself in this ebook.

©2001 All rights reserved.

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It seems to happen all the time. We get a view of a person, place him/her in that box, and then it becomes so hard to ever change that perception. It really isn't fair to either person in the relationship, but still... it happens. And it happens all the time.

One place this often happens is in the work place. An employee is penalized over and over, sometimes, for some perception (whether justified or not) that was formed early in his or her employment. It can be difficult for both the employer and those who are supervising him or her to overcome the early perceptions formed.

That's what impresses me about 360 degree feedback. It is a management tool that allows employers to move away from tunnel vision when evaluating their employees. Here's how it works:
• allow the employee being evaluated to fill up a questionaire regarding his or her performance
• give the same questionaire to 5 other workers close to the employee in question, preferably in differing relationships to him or her (a supervisor, a subordinate, a team member, etc.)
• using the various feedback forms collected, Appraisal360's system will help you generate a collated report that gives a well-rounded view of the employee

This is a very valuable resource for HR departments, managers, supervisors... anyone who needs to evaluate other workers. It is even gaining popularity with personal coaches these days as a valuable tool for helping their clients.

Stop by the site and have a look. It is a tool that can be of real help in more effective communication in the work place.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Mostly Harmless

I just finished reading Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams. It has been some time since I read any of the other books in the Hitchhiker's series, so it was fun to revisit... and of course a little confusing right at first, since I'd forgotten some details.

I first read Adams long before I came across Jasper Fforde, who I've also been revisiting lately. I was reminded, in reading Mostly Harmless how much of a debt is owed to Adams. He really opened up a niche market for writers like Gaiman, Pratchett, and Fforde, and helped paved the way for a big market for this sort of writer. As a member of this "market," I am glad that he did. The existence of the market means more such books will continue to be produced, doesn't it? And, what I like about it all is that this is a fairly discriminating market -- one that demands a pretty high quality of work to allow it into the canon of the wacky, twisted style of writing needed to gain praise from this group of readers.

It's hard to maintain a sufficiently cynical view of the world, balancing it with the perfect touch of wry (and sometimes downright silly) humor to allow us to laugh at this existence that drives us to such cynicism. Great that Adams has brought us a way of looking at our world that is, after all, mostly harmless.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sign Ups here

If you aren't making money on your blog yet, I have a question for you.....

Why Not?

Sign up on the form below, and get started today. Don't worry... it's easy!

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Responsible Pet Ownership

This video just reminds me why responsible pet ownership is so important. These dogs were probably bought by people who thought they were cute when they were puppies, then abandoned when boredom set in. (One of them has a collar.)

Letting dogs run wild in packs is no joke. I saw an interview with a kid who was attacked in his front yard by a pack of dogs gone feral. It was frightening, and the kid was so badly mauled that he'll never be the same.

Responsible pet ownership is more important than we might often think, with implications stretching beyond just the poor pup or whatever. It can be harmful to society at large if a pet is just released without consideration.

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Monday, August 06, 2007


As I mentioned in my daily reading journal, I've recently read Diana Wynne Jones's 2005 installment of the Chrestomanci series, Conrad's Fate. I promised there that I would post some thoughts about it on my other blogs, and so I have done so.

I talked about the idea of the story being told through the eyes of the household help on my poetically challenged reading list blog. And, on my Recommended Reading blog, I did a very brief comparison of the notion of governments and their trustworthiness in the Chrestomanci series and the Harry Potter series. I think there is a whole lot of room for more exploration of those two series in comparison with one another.

The Chrestomanci series was where I first encountered Diana Wynne Jones. She's since become one of my favorites, and I have read a good number of works that she's written (and she's written a lot). If you've not encountered her before, you really ought to have a look. In my mind, she is one of the best.

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