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    Fha Loans Look Strong

     

    We take long term mortgages for granted today, but it wasn't always that way. Long ago it was likely that if you financed a home you borrowed money with a five year "term" mortgage and even then you needed 50 percent down. When the five years was up, you went and got a replacement loan. But term loans have a built in problem: They're not always available, especially if people lose jobs or if home values decline. That was a common situation after the Great Depression, but in 1934 the newly formed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) began offering long term mortgage loans insured by the federal government. The result was that millions of people could get long term mortgages with little down that would allow them to ride out tough times. Today the FHA mortgage program remains an important option more than 555,000 FHA loans were originated in 2005. That's a big number, but it's a lot less that the 827,000 FHA loans started in 2004 or the 1.53 million originated in 2003. Whatever the numbers, if you're a first time buyer or someone looking for liberal qualification standards, the FHA program is worth considering. And given coming changes in the lending industry, it's likely that we'll see a lot more FHA loans in 2006 and beyond. Under the FHA program you can buy with as little as 3 percent down. That's 97 percent financing, a good deal by traditional standards though it's fair to point out that 100 percent financing is now widely available. However, the 3 percent downpayment can be in the form of a gift or grant in fact for the past decade the FHA has even allowed couples to establish a "bridal registry" where friends and relatives can contribute to a downpayment fund. In addition, the FHA program also allows owners to kick in a "seller contribution" of 1 percent to as much as 6 percent of the sale amount. While you can bet that most sellers will not joyously give up money to help purchasers, in a buyer's market a seller's contribution might be the difference between "sold" and stilled listed. To qualify for a mortgage lenders look at your monthly income and expenses. For a conventional loan the guidelines might allow you to spend 28 percent of your gross monthly income on housing costs such as mortgage interest, principal, property taxes and home insurance (PITI). In addition, loan guidelines might allow you to spend 36 percent on PITI plus other monthly debts such as credit card bills and auto loan payments. With FHA fixed rate financing the usual ratios are 31/43 liberal standards that will allow borrowers to get more financing than with conventional loans. FHA also offers an "energy efficient mortgage" or EEM. If you have an energy efficient home the FHA believes you'll have lower utility costs so there's more money in the till each month for mortgage payments. The FHA guidelines allow for 33/45 ratios with EEM financing. There are, however, some complications with FHA mortgage financing. Under the FHA program you're buying with little down. This is possible because FHA insures the loan and you pay an insurance premium. The premium is equal to 1.5 percent of the sale price at closing (an amount which can be financed) and .5 percent per year for the outstanding loan balance. In other words, if you can buy with 20 percent down or with 80 10 10 financing you may want to skip the FHA program and avoid the insurance fees. FHA also has a complex set of loans limits which means there may not be enough loan money to buy a property. For instance, this year the conventional loan limit for single family homes in the continental U. S. is $417,000. By law, the maximum FHA mortgage is 87 percent of the conventional loan limit, or $362,790 in 2006. However, this upper loan figure is only available in high cost areas and in many high costs areas FHA loans are simply insufficient to acquire typical homes. If you live in a community with less expensive housing it's likely that the amount you can borrow under the FHA program will be lower. Larger FHA loans are available for two , three and four unit properties, providing at least one unit is owner occupied. Your mortgage lender can explain the amount of FHA financing available in your community for the type of property you want to purchase. For the past few years there has been another factor which has made FHA loans less attractive than some other forms of financing, a factor which may go far to explain the loan's declining popularity. Beginning in 1998, the FHA started something called the Homebuyer Protection Plan. The idea was to have appraisers examine homes for physical defects not a bad thought except that appraisers are qualified as not professional home inspectors. Many homeowners thought they might save money because an FHA appraisal under the so called protection plan sure sounded like a home inspection. It wasn't, but as a result many buyers decided not to get their property checked by a professional inspector. HUD said that FHA appraisers who did not meet its requirements could be prosecuted under the federal False Claims Act. The appraisers then did what sensible people do: They raised their rates because of the new requirements or refused to appraise homes for FHA borrowers. Lenders, in turn, began advising borrowers to try other programs if only because it was easier to find an appraiser. The HUD effort was not adopted by conventional lenders or the Department of Veterans Affairs. And one home approved for FHA financing in Detroit was found to have 181 building code violations perhaps not a world record but so embarrassing that HUD bought back the property from the owners. On December 19th last year, HUD announced that appraisers would no longer be responsible for reporting "cosmetic defects, minor defects or normal wear and tear" including such things as leaky faucets, soiled carpeting, poor workmanship or trash in the crawl space. What the new HUD appraisal standards really mean is this: If you want to buy a home with FHA financing, that's great just make sure you get both an appraisal and a professional home inspection. The appraiser can establish the value of the property and the inspector will check the property to determine its current physical condition. This is as it should be for all homes and all forms of financing. An appraisal is simply not a home inspection and buyers are well served getting both. As to FHA loans, without needless and sticky appraisal standards you'll see more of them in 2006. An inherently good loan is once again available to borrowers on increasingly competitive terms.



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    Why I Travel Alone Sometimes

     

    Some people shy away from traveling alone, a few embrace it. This article looks at the decided advantages of going it alone. First, traveling solo is the ultimate freedom. The itinerary you set and all the decisions you make are your creations without concern or acquiesence to any other person or group. In other words, no compromises. No arguments, no second guessing! Traveling alone is a confidence builder as well. When I was young, at the tender age of 16 I traveled alone to work in Biddeford Saco, Maine. I was over a hundred miles from home and family for the first time in my life. I was just a snipe of a boy and yet I was never terrified. Only a bit lonely. In retrospect, I realize the great value of that small journey (though a big one at the time) for a new found confidence was born in me. This always happens with travel by oneself. You learn you can solve problems, get over the blues, and find hidden treasures all by yourself. Have you noticed that when you're on your own as a Traveling Pauper, people are more willing to start a conversation with you? You may feel like taking the initiative as well. Up pops an invitation for a meal, a side trip, a stay at someone's home. For some odd reason people keep a slight distance from couples and groups for they seem so self contained in their association. Whereas the single Pauper looks ready about for a fellow human being that he might engage at any moment in pleasant conversation and simple exhanges about his travels. Thomas Jefferson once said: "One travels more usefully when alone because he reflects more." It's true: you have abundant time for contemplating, even vegetating, or anything you want. A day long visit to one museum? No problem. A long hike on a trail frought with danger? Not an issue. You don't have to deal with someone else's mood swings, nor they with yours. Here are two more exicting reasons that solo travel apeals to me: I find you learn language faster when you don't have someone else talking to you in your own all the time. It's funny, but we interact, are FORCED to interact much more frequently when we travel alone in a country that doesn't speak our native tongue. And finally, romance. I won't get into specifics, (this is such a tender and private sort of thing) but when you're on your own you're free to meet someone who might turn out to be very important in your life. The most important factor to consider in your decision to make a trip alone is your own sense of independence. If you find that you have little tolerence for the idiosyncracies of others (and I confess this is my problem) you might be happier traveling alone. But what if you have an eager spouse, relative, or friend that would feel somehow diminisehd by your decision to take off by yourself? Not to sound indelicate but, that my friend, is your problem. You'll simply have to open up these relationships in your life and solidly communicate the value of traveling alone. I pray your loved ones will be open and understanding enough to allow your wish to become reality. I have a whole section in my book: 'Travel Cheap Travel Well!" Confessions Of A Traveling Pauper on this issue of solo travel, as well as the many vagaries and benefits of traveling with a partner or a group. But in this article, I hope I've at least opened the door, shown you the great benefits of leaving everyone behind as you discover the world INSIDE and outside of yourself. Why not plan such a trip this year? Tell everyone of your decision or keep it to yourself and, with no explanation given, leave with great joy in your heart for the adventure to come. It's your choice! As for this Pauper, I've done both and found each a liberating experience each time. In such action I've rediscovered that little boy that traipsed off to far away Maine on his own without permission asked or granted. I rebel still at conformity and the ristriction of others upon me. I wasn't placed on this earth to always bekon to anyone who wished to call. So, I challenge you to answer your own inner traveling pauper, to pick up your courage and let your heart lead the way to a new adventure and landscape. Be it near or far go it alone!



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    Understanding The Different Types Of Life Insurance

     

    There are many companies providing life insurance services; you can get most of the information you need from insurance brokers, financial advisers who work for insurance companies, employees of insurance companies, and other sources. Much of the information you receive, however, will be in general terms – or will focus more on ‘sales talk’ aimed at getting you to purchase life insurance from the person you are talking to. The truth is that there are many different types of life insurance available – not just the ‘cradle to grave’ coverage offered by insurance sales people. Here are three of them. Level Term Life Insurance This is a type of coverage with a specific face amount (the death benefit) over a set number of years with the premium generally kept constant throughout the policy’s term. The term of insurance is fixed; it can be 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, and even 30 years. The typical aim of this kind of insurance is providing the family some financial protection in case of the insured’s death within the term – ensuring that there are enough monies to support the survivor and any dependent children. It may also be designed to cover payments for loans or mortgages, again ensuring that the beneficiary will not be burdened by the responsibility of repaying them when the insured passes away. This is how it works. You purchase the insurance plan. This insurance will cover you effectively for the term or the number of years specified in your insurance contract. Within that term, too, you will have to pay insurance premiums regularly. If you die within that specific time period, your family or whoever your beneficiary is will receive the amount of money specified in the plan. If you don’t die within the term, you lose your premiums, unless your policy states that you get them back. Decreasing Term Life Insurance This is taken out specifically to provide a contingency for repaying the policyholder’s loans and mortgages just in case he passes away before he’s able to repay them. The insurance coverage is for a specific period (usually equivalent to the life of the mortgage or loan), and the level of coverage decreases during the policy’s term – usually in conjunction with the amount of the loan or the mortgage (e. g., as the loan is repaid, the amount of cover is reduced to cover the balance remaining). The premium remains constant during the term of the policy. Decreasing term insurance works pretty much the same way as level term insurance in term length and what triggers the payout. The only difference is the decreasing value of the coverage. Whole Life Insurance If you take out this type of insurance, your family or beneficiary will get a lump sum of money. This money can then be used to pay for your children’s educations or mere day to day expenses. Of all three types, this is the most expensive in terms of premiums. However, this type of insurance lets you build cash value which you can loan out. You can also surrender the insurance in exchange for the total cash value of the policy. This type of insurance is therefore more flexible since it offers you more options. Moreover, you have coverage as long as you live, provided of course that you keep up your premium payments. The above are only three of the available life insurance options available. It would be best to sit down with an authorized insurance person for advice on the best type of insurance for your particular needs.



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    Small Business Server 2003 Is It For Me

     

    Small Business Server 2003 is an excellent choice for your computer consulting business. It is sold as a suite so you get a lot of great features. And Small Business Server 2003 is designed strictly with the needs of small business computer consultants in mind. Small Business Server 2003 Features It includes a reporting tool that allows you to get log files emailed There are different performance model thresholds for when windows space is running low or when the virtual space is running low There are access logs for the server There is web proxy, Internet caching and acceleration so you can get all kinds of metrics about what is going on with a client's network without having to be there There are many wizards that make it relatively easy for someone with limited knowledge to be able to install the product successful without having to be an expert on the individual components The best aspect of Small Business Server 2003 is that it was designed specifically for small business computer consultants so they can get going in the right direction without having tremendous, specialized skills. The base line installation of Small Business Server 2003 provides for a lot of customization. This is especially important because you can then continue adding value and selling more services to your clients. Essentially, Small Business Server 2003 allows you to build on the investment that your clients have already made. The Bottom Line on Small Business Server 2003 Small Business Server 2003 is a great platform and the only product that Microsoft has ever built, and continues to build today, that was designed from the ground up strictly to meet the needs of the small business computer consultant. The application has a huge number of features and Small Business Server 2003 gives you the opportunity to sell valuated services to go along with all of those features. Copyright MMI MMVI, PC Support Tips. com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}



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    Possible Gifts For Impossible People

     

    With families chasing their careers all over the country and beyond, it’s often difficult to get to know the people we share most of our genes with. All of a sudden Christmas is around the corner, and presents need to be found. What now? Christmas might well come but once a year, but as far as commercial interests and town centres are concerned, you can safely say that about two months a year are dedicated to it – so it’s roughly eight times the length of a typical British summer. And how do we choose to spend this vast chunk of our calendar? Shopping, fretting, making unfeasible family arrangements and getting grumpy about the ridiculousness of it all. Most people don’t really subscribe to the often heard notion that Christmas is a time for family fall outs. It’s probably one of the few times of year when people get to meet and catch up – especially now families are scattered all over the country. Any friction comes from the delicacies of fitting a year’s worth of unmet aunts, siblings, kids and clan elders into two evenings and still catching the inevitable reality TV grand finale. And therein lies the problem. We spend so little time with our immediate families – let alone the relatives whose name you sometimes forget – that we might sometimes feel like we don’t know them well enough to select an appropriate Christmas gift. So when it comes to actually buying the christmas gifts, what happens? We get the gift buyer’s equivalent of a writer’s block. We amble around the city, gazing at window displays, constantly resisting the magnetic urge of sock vendors, chocolatiers and those select specialist stores that sell gift vouchers. Such offerings may well be the dream present for the sockless cocoa addict with an aversion to using cash (Hi, Uncle Trevor!), but they are not exactly the most fitting way to show your deep regard for someone who has just sent you a Christmas card out of the blue (even though you’re convinced you attended their funeral in 1998). Become personable – get personal Fortunately there’s a great way to select a gift for someone you know like the sole of your foot – and all you need to find out about them is the scantest detail (a birthday, a significant year in their life, a star sign, their occupation, a hobby or even just their name). It’s the personalised gift – and if you’ve got an internet connection you can cross out most of your Christmas list in one sitting. Browsing round gift websites such as gettingpersonal. co. uk isn’t just a way of satisfying the awkward entries on your list. It’s a wealth of ideas that you can freely claim as your own, even though it’s the result of the company’s vivid (and sometimes disturbing) imagination. The types of things that you never even knew existed and certainly can’t be found in the shopping precinct are right there in front of you, waiting to be snapped up by Your Smugship. Items abound containing the name of the lucky recipient (whatever it may be), and they range from the humorous to the somewhat touching, with countless opportunities to tie in an aspect of their personality. It shows you really know them (or at least know someone who does). And after a few minutes on the site you’ll start to realise that you could actually satisfy someone close to you with Christmas gifts you just know they’d love: a white knuckle driving experience; a relaxing day in a spa … anything, in fact, to get them out of the house for a day so you can have all those boxes of chocolates to yourself. For further information regarding our Christmas Gifts range, please visit our website at: gettingpersonal. co. uk/christmas presents/christmas gifts. htm



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    Gun Safety For Hunters

     

    Gun Safety for Hunters There are many reasons that a hunter would get seriously injured, but the leading cause is improper gun handling. Unfortunately, too many hunters ignore vital safety precautions when hunting and do not take good care of their weapon. Hunting injuries or fatalities are becoming all too common in the world of hunting and many people do not seem too concerned about the fatal realities of these incidents. The logical hunter, however, takes careful note of all of the safety precautions involving his or her weapon and learns the basics of gun safety for hunters. One of the first fundamental laws of hunting safety is to always treat the gun as if it is loaded. This is a universal guideline for gun safety as it does not refer to any actual type of gun. In terms of having a gun in general, one should never assume that it is unloaded. One should never be flippant with a gun or wave it around, point it at others or work carelessly with it. There is always the off chance that something could occur as a result of any gun powder residue or other possibilities, giving the odds of a dangerous incident more ground than necessary. Instead, simply treat the gun as if it is always loaded and err on the side of caution. In relationship to the aforementioned law of gun safety, it is important to be responsible and keep the gun unloaded until it is ready for use on the hunting grounds. This avoids any injury or death due to the gun accidentally going off due to careless use or due to improper storage. Many a story has been told about gun injuries relating to guns going off in truck compartments and shooting through truck seating, relating to the notion that the gun was not only properly stored but that the improperly stored gun was loaded. For reasons such as these, always store the gun as unloaded. When on the hunting field, it is important to remember hunting safety techniques. Always keep the fingers in indexed positions until ready to fire. This avoids any accidental firing which can obviously result in serious injury. Instead, the fingers should be somewhat folded and away from the trigger if possible. If the fingers are more apt to be near the gun's trigger, keep them folded and away from any notches until the prey is well within scope range. One false move with a finger too close to the trigger could result in accidental firing resulting in injury or death. Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. This, of course, means that the gun should never be pointed at another person. Many a story has been told of guns pointed at hunting companions in jest, only for the gun to accidentally go off and injure or kill the unfortunate companion. For this reason and for reasons involving common sense, keep the gun pointed somewhere safe and away from yourself and people at all times. This rule applies whether the gun is loaded or not. Never look down the barrel of the gun to see if it is loaded. This is simply something that should not be done under any circumstances. As a reference to the aforementioned rules, one of the fundamental foundations of gun safety is expecting the unexpected. If one is looking down the gun barrel, there is no predictable way to ensure that the gun will not accidentally fire from powder residue or any other elements that could be lodged in the gun. Keep the face away from the gun barrel at all times. Make sure that the gun is never dropped. This can result in accidental firing, which can send a bullet or powder in a very chaotic and unpredictable direction. Instead, always hold the gun with both hands and treat it as carefully as possible. Never let a person who is intoxicated in any way handle a gun. Alcohol and drugs slow the reason factor on people, resulting in a lapse of reason and better judgment. An intoxicated person may improperly operate a firearm, leading to injury or possible death. All in all, these fundamental rules should be followed if one wants to ensure a safe and happy hunting trip. Without paying attention to safety regulations, the risk factor of the average hunting trip more than doubles and injury is almost inevitable. Be safe when hunting or handling a gun of any kind. PPPPP Word count 742



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    Topwater Bass Fishing

     

    Bass fishing with topwater baits is without a doubt the most fun you can have fishing for large or smallmouth bass. People watch these bass tournaments on the tube and see all these pros using plastic and spinner baits jigs and crankbaits, forget about the fun and excitement you get with topwater baits. Topwater baits create great action and stories to pass on to family and fishing friends. Bass fishing with topwater baits is without a doubt the most fun you can have fishing for large or smallmouth bass. People watch these bass tournaments on the tube and see all these pros using plastic and spinner baits jigs and crankbaits, forget about the fun and excitement you get with topwater baits. Topwater baits create great action and stories to pass on to family and fishing friends. The best time I find for topwater bass fishing is in summer, the colder the water the slower the response, and the more you have to work that bait. Early morning and evening are best for topwater bass fishing. Of course weather effects your choice of lures also, on a bright sunny day it is better to have a light wind to go with it, a bit of a chop makes the bass less spooky. On a calm sunny day use a heavier lure and lighter line for longer casts. Bass tend to become real spooky in calm and clear water, so the further the cast from you the better off you'll be. Wind can also change the type of topwater bait you can use I believe that when the wind comes up you should use a smaller bait that makes a lot of noise. The larger baits just plow through the chop, while the smaller baits ride the chop and still make that enticing noise to get the strike you want. Also try to fish through the troughs created by the wind. Bass fishing topwater baits has some of it's own quirks you want to be able to make pinpoint casts to cover areas and make a clear retrieve. Most of your topwater bass fishing will be done in shallow water over weed beds, flats and around objects and shoreline cover. The majority of bass population remains in shallow water all summer. To fish bass with topwater baits cast about a foot or two past your target and bring it as close to the cover as possible. If you do not get a strike after the first few feet reel in and try again and make another cast. Fishing cover like this there is no need to reel the bait all the way to the boat. Work the bait slowly to get that strike from the bass that is hiding in the shadows and under cover. Have patience when fishing topwater baits, let the ripples disapear, and let the bait sit a few seconds before you make you retrieve. When the bass strikes a topwater bait, wait till you feel the fish before you set the hook. If you try to set that hook when you first see the strike you'll miss more than you will catch. I can't count the times that lure has been nocked back towards me by the bass striking that topwater bait. Now for some of the most popular baits, Poppers are among the oldest of topwater bass fishing lures. They have the dished out face with the line tie in the middle. When retrieved they make a slash noise or "bloop" when popped. Poppers work best in warm, calm, shallow, clear water. You get your action from the rod tip not reeling. The harder you snap the bait the more noise and commotion created. Stickbaits are rounded, hot dog shaped lures usually plastic or wood. weighted to float nose up. The only action they have is what the angler ads to make them work. These baits have appeal for big bass, just using the jerk, then real up slack and jerking again produces a good eratic side to side motion that gets lots of attention from bass. Propbaits are cigar shaped and fitted with propellers on one or both ends. Propbaits can be worked fast or slow, quiet or loud, but stop and go retrieves are best. The bass will let you know what is best so vary your retrieve. Be sure to experiment, propbaits are dynamite around sunken logs, lily pads, and shallow cover. Be sure the blades on the lure run freely, Wobblers and Crawlers, these baits are particularly best at night or early morning, Examples of these are the Jitterbug or the Crazy Crawler. They make a loud plopping sound when retrieved steadily. Use a steady slow retrieve for the best results with this bass bait. Buzzbaits are a little like spinnerbaits desingned to be fished on the surface. There are two types, the opposite wire types, with the blade above the hook, and the inline type with everything on one shaft. Excellent for clear water, and pick up less weeds. Again experiment with your working of this bait, twitching and vary speeds to create different noises. Weedless Spoons are also in this category, designed to be fished in dense cover, either through the thickest weeds, lily pads, or grass. They go through the toughest cover you can find. Fishing with weedless spoons for bass you will want to be using heavy fishing tackle, rods and reels. I like to point my rod tip at the lure on my retrieve, and again here be patient and allow the bass to take the lure.



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    Part Time Business Ideas To Help Pay The Bills

     

    A couple of friends of mine needed to generate a little extra income on top of their wages. They were both into keep fit and enjoyed working out. They decided to supplement their income by becoming part time fitness instructors. They had to do a course which lasted less then six months and taught them the basics of keep fit. They both enjoyed doing the course and made some great friends along the way. The money is good and they keep fit at the same time! One teaches spinning on the stationary bikes whilst the other does aerobics classes. They both benefit from free membership in the gym they teach in… If you are good with your hands and into DIY then why not become a part time handy man? Busy people now a days just never get round to fixing that faulty cupboard… and the money that they are willing to pay for odd jobs is not that bad either for a couple of hours work. Start up costs are very low as long as you have the full range of basic tools. Most people who start out working part time find that this can easily turn into a full time occupation! Do you enjoy gardening? This is a great little earner if you do not mind getting your hands dirty… especially enjoyable if you find someone rich with a beautiful garden! The only problem with this business is that work dies away in the winter months. A mobile car wash can be a nice earner and if you buy all the equipment it can be very easy to clean a large number of cars in a short time. Pick one or two street and whiz around a couple of times a week. You will need to buy a van with some specialist tools and carry your own water on board. Starts up costs are higher than other part time businesses and therefore this business demands a lot more careful planning. A photography business can be run from home and it is easy to make a decent income. Digital cameras are so good now that you do not even need a dark room to process your pictures. Start of with the usual weddings and birthday parties. Take pictures of all the landmarks in your city. More websites are being created every day and all of them need some images. Speak to web designers and take pictures to their specifications. Online networks are expanding rapidly and people need portrait pictures. Demand for head and shoulders shots is massive. The great thing about the photography business is that you can take pictures all the time. You do not have to be in work mode to snap away! It is easy to build a huge collection of images and showcase your work on a website. Start up costs are now very low and this business can become extremely lucrative once you have built up a collection of images. Do you have any ideas for a part time business that can help to provide additional cash flow for people struggling to pay the bills?



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    Busking At Clapham Common Station

     

    My mother told me "Buy yourself a lot of beautiful dresses in London!". So I decided to patrol the Covent Garden area this time. I wanted to see a pair of shops of which I had visited the websites. My inspiration for shopping was not at its top walking down Long Acre... I tried something but the size or the price did not fit me. I finally reached "Arrogant Cat" on Monmouth Street and I found it quite "could be my style", but not enough to buy something this season. In the meanwhile big drops of water started falling on my little streetmap, which soon became spotted and my stomach stroke noon, so I decided to stop at a Pret a Manger on the way and think about my "what to do's" in front of a salad. There was a place I wanted to see. It is called "Rare and Vintage Guitars" on a small road crossing Charing Cross Road. When I got there I didn't know I would have found the place of sin. All the zone is full of music shops. I visited them all and I finally understood why I was not inspired by buying dresses that day. I had a malignant, obscure, sinful idea I was nourishing inside my head during the past few days. What could bind me to the town of London as an indissoluble blood pact? (Apart from making love with an English boy in town but this didn't happen) I bought a guitar. A small classic guitar, 3/4 (the size fits me!), the perfect travel instrument for busking in the tube. Many things were told about this idea. I told everyone I wanted to present my latest album "Gloucester Road" someday in the tube and everyone seemed very proud for me. Some comrades of mine wanted to call the BBC for the special event, labelling the concert as "an Italian in London, singing a political concert, the first extreme right wing concert performed in the tube!". When I took that little guitar in my hands I suddenly remembered why I was there. I had decided to leave alone for London to look for myself in serene solitude... hmm, yes, why not, in a place like London. Bringing my books about electronics with me to study late at night or very early in the morning, away from university classes, away from my family and my parents' continuous quarrels, away from political martyrs and people who count if I say the right number of words (right, according to them), away from the phone calls of the person who first cheated me and now persecutes me and turned my life into a nightmare. Looking for the genuine... why not, in a place like London. Don't ask me who Samuel Johnson is... I know so little about him, but I know he said "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life!". Apart from donating my cd to the London Transport Museum and visiting other museums, I wanted to follow my instinct. I needed myself! I missed myself! During the week I had known new incredible people, met some friends and missed others, thought a lot when I went back to my microscopic Indian hostel room, eaten a lot of apples and discovered the raspberry (I did not starve as someone insinuated. I actually spent less than 6 pounds for food and water during the whole week!). I didn't want to make another "in family" political concert among people who mostly or "mostly apparently" do think like me. I didn't want to make the big scandal on tv (as someone suggested). I wanted to busk in the tube in front of the most various people, avoiding photocameras and camcorders, avoiding the comrades and the celtic crosses. Only me, my new guitar and the unexpected. So I switched my telephone off, went back to my room to try some new song before the great event, I wrote the lyrics I didn't remember in big letters on my light blue notebook and then I went out. There were only a pair of stations where I could play that evening: Clapham Common or Vauxhall...not so far away from the Power Station. I chose the former... less "working zone" and more "living place" I think. Maybe everything started because different friends of mine showed me their houses there around Battersea, Clapham, Vauxhall on that great invention called Google Earth. Looking carefully recently I saw that strange shape and I asked myself about it. The Power Station ravished me completely. On the underground train I was worried and my heart beated so fast and so loud. I did not remember the lyrics, but this always happens, because I have filled my head with mathematical formulas for my exams. I had never played with a 3/4 guitar, it's so small and it is harder to play than a full size instrument. I was sure I would have done some disaster. I got off the train at Clapham Common, stepped into one of the exit corridors and looking around I chose to stop in the middle of the panels "northbound southbound". I felt like an actress before a show, on the stage, and the empty theatre was about to be opened to audience soon. The long escalator was my stalls like an ancient greek or roman theatre. Wow, it was so big! I knew I had to sing loud to be heard. I had no amplification. I was there "natural". Ok, it was my time. My hair danced in the wind. I started singing watching above. I was as I am and the other people were true as well. There were no comrades, no flags around me. I had no protection and no appereance "envelope". I sang and I saw the faces of the people. It's really true... we label ourselves "white power", "hate rock" or something similar. We close ourselves in a box and we offer a closed box. I understood that sometimes (very often) people did not understand my words. The movement has always blamed the external environment as "unable to listen", but maybe is it possible that I'm not able to communicate? My task is not recruiting people, but inspiring and leaving a trace of my thoughts and beliefs, even if they are not shared. I want to talk to hearts and hopefully convince the others with my ideas and my ideals. I think and I hope that my ideas can be respected even if not shared. Usually my ideas are trashed because I have always sung in a bell of glass. For this reason I felt such a warm shiver when a busker going back home stopped in front of me to listen to my song. He smiled at me and he gave me 1 pound. I felt a heart close to mine. A few minutes later the man of the security chased me away, threatening he would have called the police. I had no authorization, but I'm going to ask one next time. That special moment lasted so little but the memory and the feelings I store inside my heart are flames that will burn for ever. I will keep Clapham Common Station, the sound of the trains and the echo of my voice inside of me for ever... that smile and the other smiles of the people, even the insisting invitations of a group of boys who wanted to have a hot night with me (they should make a revision about how to court) and the disappointed faces! I only hope I left something of me there at that station and I hope that when you get there you will remember me. After that experience I understood many other things. I understood that there are people who wanted to make me believe I had no hope for ambitions and they had always told me I was a fragile girl. After the concert I met my friends in Clapham and we had some ales and I drank with satisfaction. The people who know me certainly know I had not drunk with happiness for a too long time. I felt like I could die that night. I could die with a smile on my face. It was the first time I maybe realized a dream! I played in the tube, I played my songs! I felt like I was 11, when I started writing songs and I had dreams without limitations and pseudomoral dictated by others including my outer self borderlines.



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    Postcards Straight To Your Mail

     

    To stay competitive in the market, one has to create ingenious means to showcase their products or services. You have to stand out from the rest. This is where the innovativeness of a person comes in handy. Why spend your time and effort folding letters and stuffing them in envelops when you can simply send a one page promotional material without the hassle of licking envelops and stamping them for mailing. For years, postcards have been used to simply tell a friend that you have been to this great place and that you suggest he check it out, too. Few people realize that aside from being used as personal cards, postcards can also be used as marketing or promotional materials. In fact, postcards are used by many businesses today, because aside from they are simple and handy, they are inexpensive, too. Likewise, when people see a postcard they can absorb messages and information right away. They are also easy to store, easy to handle and simply unique. Money wise, postcard printing is mostly within the budget of many business owners. Hence, even small business owners can afford to advertise through postcards. Printing and design costs are minimal because there are no letters, envelops and other inserts to produce. If you are really serious about marketing through postcards you can also consider mailing them directly to your potential customers. Why? Well, for one reason postcard separates you from your competitors. When a potential customer receives your postcard, they immediately recognize your name making you stand out from your competitors. Postcards also foster constant communication that can spur customers to turn to you whenever they need your service or product. Direct mail postcards also build up customer loyalty. It is one of the great ways to tell your customers that they are important. Because direct mail postcards have been around for quite a while, you can benefit from this tried and proven marketing strategy. A well produced postcard can be more than an advertisement. It can be an informative form of communication that can establish bond with customers. If done appropriately, direct mail postcards work. With so many reasons to use direct mail postcards, the only thing left for you to worry is what to include on your postcard.



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    Caribbean Countries Unite To Make Travel Easier

     

    Between February 1st and May 15th 2007, 10 Caribbean nations will join together in an unprecedented effort to simplify travel restrictions. Inspired by the hosting of the Cricket World Cup – the third largest sporting event in the world – these Caribbean nations will allow visitors to travel between the islands without the hassle of international customs or visas. Furthermore, all 10 nations participating in the Cricket World Cup are located relatively close together, allowing travelers to easily visit several unique destinations in one vacation. Though the Cricket World Cup is scheduled to run from March 5 to April 28, the additional six weeks of hassle free travel have been allotted to lure additional tourists to the Caribbean. Therefore, you could even take advantage of this travel agreement in early May – after the Cricket World Cup is completed – and hop between islands for a two week vacation. Here is a list of the Caribbean nations you will be able to visit without the normal hassles of international travel: • Antigua and Barbuda • Barbados • Dominica • Grenada • Guyana • Jamaica • St. Kitts and Nevis • St. Lucia • St. Vincent and The Grenadines • Trinidad and Tobago Once you arrive at one of the island nations listed above and clear customs, you will then be able to travel to the other nations without any immigration procedures. For those accustomed to traveling between states in the U. S., this may not seem significant. However, considering the stringent travel guidelines put in place at the beginning of year, this agreement is truly a unique opportunity. Another great aspect of this agreement is that most visitors won’t need to acquire visas for their travel. Residents of the following nations will be allowed to visit any of the 10 countries involved in the Cricket World Cup agreement without a visa: • United States and Dependent Territories • United Kingdom and Dependent Territories • Canada • France and Dependant Territories • The Netherlands and Dependant Territories • Germany • Spain • Japan • Italy • IrelandSouth Africa • CARICOM Member Nations (except Haiti) It is estimated that nearly 95% of the current visitors to these Caribbean nations will be able to travel without visas during this travel window. Even the nations that require a visa for travel will find the process greatly simplified. Prior to the announcement of this travel assistance program, Caribbean nations banded together for several political and economic reasons. CARICOM, short for “Caribbean Community,” is composed of 15 Caribbean nations devoted to increasing tourism opportunities and activities. Beyond the development of long term tourism assistance programs, CARICOM will also streamline the visa process during the Cricket World Cup for all visitors from nations not listed above. The visa program will include a special website for applications, a 24 hour hotline for visa assistance, three day turnarounds for visa requests, waiving of visa fees for children 12 and under and additional preparation for visitor emergencies. As helpful as the CARICOM programs are today for travelers looking to secure a visa, this group of Caribbean nations will only make life easier for all tourists in the years to come. Most importantly, you don’t need to visit or participate in the Cricket World Cup to take advantage of this travel opportunity. Besides the high profile cricket matches, the Cricket World Cup will also bring plenty of events to the islands. Though these Caribbean islands are always centers of activity, the Cricket World Cup is certain to draw even more festivals, live music and fine art events. Whether you are a cricket fan or not, there has never been a better time to visit the Caribbean. Book a flight and get ready to experience these unique and exotic islands for yourself.



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    Memorial Plaques

     

    Memorial Plaques Memorials are a way to honor someone that has passed away. They may not be with us physically but their memory will never be far away. A memorial plaque is one of the many ways in which this type of service can be bestowed upon them. They come in a variety of different styles and sizes. They are generally very affordable too so you can get a memorial plaque that will fit nicely into the budget you have readily available. Another purpose of a memorial plaque is to allow others to know what a good person they were. They may not have even met that person but it is still nice to share those memories and dedications with them. It is appropriate to be very proud of someone that you have a memorial plaque made for. This process can help to ease the pain of the loss for you in some ways. The entire family can work together to design a wonderful memorial plaque. It can be a combination of words and pictures if you wish. This is something that children in the family can look at and reflect on years from now. Memorial plaques are made from quality materials so they are going to hold up as the years go by and exposure to the elements. There are also memorial plaques for animals that are deceased. They become a very important part of our families. It can be devastating to lose a family pet, especially for children. They will need some type of comfort and closure to help them deal with the loss. For many children, the loss of a pet is their first real experience with death. Memorial plaques are a wonderful way to help them always remember the good times they had with their beloved friend. Memorial plaques can be customized so you will exactly what you want to honor the person or animal. There are many businesses out there that realize just how important these types of plaques are. Therefore they are going to take the time to really make the memories have been well preserved. You will get to help choose the look of the memorial plaque as well as the materials used to make it.



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