Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Denver Church in Movie Theater

Movie theaters faces great competition from videos and broadband movies you can watch in the comfort of your home. In Malaysia, a number of movie theaters had been converted into full time churches, that is, no movie except perhaps church related movies, are shown in the converted theater.

Here is a creative use of relatively idle movie theaters - New City Church Denver. The New City Church meets every Sunday in a Movie Theater at 3635 South Monaco Parkway, Denver, CO 80237. On weekdays, the theater shows movies just like any other normal theaters. This is a cost effective and efficient utilization of space and New City Church should be congratulated for it.

The hub of the Church I had been told is centered upon city groups which meet separately in homes, but which are brought together for corporate worship on Sunday. The New City Church seems quite innovative. They even have provisions for sermons by podcasting which means you can listen to the sermons 24 hours a day 7 days in a week. The site looks relatively new though as these digital sermons are "sermons MP3's coming soon".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is an island located in Beaufort County, South Carolina and boast of a pristine beachfront of 19 kilometers. It is a very popular tourist destination with Wikipedia estimating 2.25 million visitors pumped more than $1.5 billion into the local economy in 2004.

Activities on Hilton Head Island

Visitors can enjoy various activities on Hilton Head Island including sunbathing:

sunbathing on Hilton Head Island beach

Cycling through green fresh forest:

cycle tracks on Hilton Head Island

horseback riding:

horseback riding on Hilton Head Island

or perhaps go yatching:

yatch berth at Hilton Head Island

Shopping in Hilton Head

The main town on Hilton Head Island is Hilton Head but scattered around are quaint old towns like Old Town Bluffton. Here you can enjoy shopping in quaint shops like the one shown in the photo below:

quaint shop at old town bluffton, Hilton Head island

Attributions: Photos of Hilton Head Island are courtesy of www.hiltonhead.tv

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama helped stranger in need

Barack Hussein Obama deserved to be elected President of the United States of America. Obama helped a total stranger 20 years ago. And this was during a time Obama was just holding a low salary job and when USD100 was still a lot of money. Here is the story which I obtained from a email forward:

It was 1988, and Mary Andersen was in line at the Miami airport checking in for a long flight to Norway to be with her husband. When it was finally Mary's turn, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.

"You'll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway," the man behind the counter said.

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.

"I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions," says Mary.

As tears streamed down her face, she heard a 'gentle and friendly voice' behind her saying, "That's okay, I'll pay for her."

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before. He had a gentle and kind voice that was still firm and decisive. "The first thing I thought was, Who is this man?"

Although this happened 20 years ago, Mary still remembers the authority that radiated from the man. He was nicely dressed, with brown leather shoes, a cotton shirt open at the throat and khaki pants, says Mary.

She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.

Who was the man?

Barack Obama.

Twenty years later, she is thrilled that the friendly stranger at the airport may be the next President and has voted for him already and donated 100 dollars to his campaign:

"He was my knight in shining armor," says Mary, smiling.

She paid the 103 dollars back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.

Mary even convinced her parents to vote for him: In the spring of 2006 Mary's parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier.

And Obama replied. In a letter to Mary's parents dated May 4th 2006 and stamped "United States Senate, Washington DC' Barack Obama writes:

'I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I'm happy I could help back then, and I'm delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States Senator'.

The parents sent the letter on to Mary.

Mary says that when her friends and associates talk about the election, especially when race relations is the heated subject, she relates the story of the kind man who helped out a stranger-in-need over twenty years ago, years before he had even thought about running for high office.

UPDATE: Also, remember this was 1988, when 100 dollars was quite a bit of money, compared to today's value.

Truly a wonderful story, and something that needs to be passed along in the maelstorm of fear-and-smear politics we are being subjected to right now.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Garage Sales Galore in USA

garage sale
Photo of garage sale belong to John Beagle

It is garage sales galore in the United States of America now. With many hit by falling house prices, falling wages or worst, joblessness and a need to feed the family or to service the monthly installments, many Americans are turning to garage sales to raise some cash.

Three-year-old Marita is a victim of the economic malaise. She had to watched as her family sold possessions, including her tricycle, at a recent garage sale in Manteca, California. The tricycle was sold even while she was riding on it. Beatriz, her mother, had lost her job as a floral designer two months ago. The family were forced to celebrate Marita’s third birthday without presents last week. There was only a small cake with Cinderella on the vanilla frosting to mark her birthday. The family have more pressing problems to worry about. They are forced to move from their present residence. They will be moving into a rental apartment next month.

Marita and Beatriz are not the only one suffering and forced to resort to garage sales to raise cash. A sign on Klondike Way: “Tools, various household items, & much more!” And at Virginia Street: “Moving Sale! Fridge, washer & dryer, men’s clothing, bike, BBQ, dinette, dresser, fans, microwaves, recliner, DVD player. Everything must go!”

Constantino Gonzalez lost his construction job and was forced to economize by disconnecting the Internet and long-distance telephone service and cut down use of the family truck and jeep. Gonzalez is now picking up his children on his bicycle. Gonzalez now carry his 6 year old son Daniel on the handlebar of the bicycle with the jolts cushioned by a terry-cloth towel. They also very reluctantly sold their children’s favorite toy, an inflatable bounce house for US$650, with pump.

On Chenin Blanc Drive, Robert Dadey, a car salesman, was holding his 20th garage sale. He is forced to sell the Oakland Raiders memorabilia, teddy bears and US$40 brown ultrasuede recliner in his midst on the lawn because of the bad times.

Manteca, population 67,700 with a 32.7 percent Hispanic, and other towns in the northern San Joaquin Valley were thriving growth centers, with stucco subdivisions carved out of almond orchards. Now with the sub-prime and credit squeeze crisis, 1,500 to 2,000 homes in Manteca are in various stages of foreclosure. House prices have fallen drastically. Farnsworth's house was previously valued at US$375,000 three years ago. It is now only worth US$200,000 today.

Source: Garage sales on the rise with economic downturn

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Health Insurance

Insurance 101

Human have to face all kind of misfortunes or perils. For example, a breadwinner may fall sick and become unable to earn an income or even lose his life. Dependents will be faced with both emotional and financial loss. While emotional loses cannot be compensated, financial loss can be compensated if the breadwinner had bought health insurance (medical insurance) or life insurance. Insurance, as I see it, is almost as essential as the other must have - oxygen, water, food, shelter and clothings. Among a large pool of people, there will be a majority who are fortunate and not suffer any losses, but a small minority who suffered losses are compensated from the pool of money contributed to all who subscribed to insurance. Insurance is thus shared or pooled risks.

Types of insurance

Insurance can be divided into 2 main class - life insurance and general insurance.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is an insurance coverage that pays out a certain amount of money to the insured or their specified beneficiaries upon a certain event:

Premature death
Provide for Income during retirement

The main classes of life insurance are:

Whole life
Life annuity plan
Medical and health

General Insurance

General insurance can be described simply as those classes of insurance that do not fall into the class of life insurance. General insurance protects you against losses and damages not covered by life insurance such as property losses, accidental death and injuries and liability to third parties caused by negligence, etc.

The main classes of general insurance are:

Motor insurance
Fire/ Houseowners/ Householders insurance
Personal accident insurance
Medical and health insurance
Travel insurance

Health Insurance in North and South Carolina

Insurance do not come free. Those who wants to be protected by insurance against losses have to pay a certain sum of money to the insurance company that provides the insurance protection. These sum of money is referred to as insurance premium.

If you are located in North Carolina, you can find out more about insurance and get a quotation for North Carolina health insurance. For those resident in South Carolina, you can get more information and a quotation from South Carolina Health Insurance.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Floods in Iowa - crops damaged and evacuation mandatory

Iowa, the main corn producing state of United States of America, is flooded. The crops had been damaged severely and thousands of people were forced to evacuate to safer grounds. Mandatory evacuation orders had been issued for residents of Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and other unnamed Iowa cities. The floods were caused by storms.

Other states including South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana were also affected by floods. Authorities are predicting record water levels there in the coming days. Are these disasters caused by the environmental problem of the century - global warming? If so, President George Bush has much to answer for it for not cooperating with the rest of the world in fighting this looming environmental disaster.

Floods Iowa danaged crops evacuation


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wedding Photographers in Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania is, of course, a component state of the United States of America, often simply referred to as Pa. Another name bandied around for Pennsylvanian is Quaker State as the Quaker help precedence in Pennsylvania when William Penn's Government help drafted the First Frame of Government constitution for Pennsylvania where the liberty of conscience is guaranteed. Its largest city is Philadelphia.

Weddings in Pennsylvania

Weddings in Pennsylvania are conducted pretty much the same way as elsewhere in the United States of America. They send wedding invitations, they have bridal showers, they hold wedding receptions and also not forgetting the irreplaceable wedding photography, done professionally, of course by Pennsylvania wedding photographer.

Frequently, these wedding photographers in Pennsylvania will also probably throw in a presentation with slides of wedding photos during the wedding reception. At the end of the wedding reception, there will be the usual wedding favors.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Green (environmentally friendly) sport club - Boston Red Sox

Green (environmentally friendly) sport club, Boston Red Sox

Here is one sport club that will have a tough time deciding whether to wear red or green jerseys. Name of the sport club is Boston Red Sox, but they are one of the few sport clubs who are adopting environmentally friendly practices, so should they wear green jerseys instead?

A previous Google Blogger blogger and a reader of my Blogger related blogs who (sigh!!!) have moved to Wordpress alerted me about Red Sox because she is both a gourmet enthusiast as well as a great supporter of sustainable seafood choices. It seems Boston Red Sox is managed by ARAMARK which is in turn a partner of Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program whose team owners and members are conscious of their role in encouraging good environmental awareness and good environmental stewardship. She would like to spread the message around.

Her message resonates with this blogger's aspiration for he (nickname Enviroman) too have a few environmental blogs, among which is Enviroman Says, and environmental blog and Enviroman intend to do exactly that, help spread the message around.

Well, here is the link to Can Fenway Park Get Any Greener?.

I will probably publish another post about sport clubs going environmentally friendly at Enviroman Says, and environmental blog when I find the time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Las Vegas, Nevada, Entertainment Capital of the World

I flew to United States of America (Los Angeles) on a sponsored ticket (free), but internal transport I had to pay my own. That only mean one choice, Greyhound buses, and season ticket. With that, I traveled around California, Arizona and Nevada. For Nevada, one cannot but visit Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is not nicknamed the "Entertainment Capital of the World". There you can find posh casinos and Vegas Hotels, entertainment shows often featuring famous celebrities and often free to lure the gamblers, free flowing alcoholic beverages, bright blinking neon lights. If you count instant weddings with the most liberal wedding requirements in the world, include that as entertainment as well.

If you have deep pockets or willing to splurge on a luxurious Las Vegas Hotel, expect to be pampered like a VIP for hotels in Las Vegas go to extra length to make their guests comfortable, feel important and enjoy their stay. Now if only I can make my latest venture lucrative enough to splurge a return trip to Las Vegas.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Baltimore: Carb Cake Capital of the World

Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland, part of the Chesapeake Bay region of the United States.of America It is a major seaport. Baltimore is famous for its crab cakes, claimed to be the best in the world. You can have steamed crabs and broiled crab cakes. Only question visitors ask is, where can I get the best Baltimore crab cake? That is a pretty tough question to answer, as it will depend on who you ask.

Here are some suggestions: ask for jumbo-lump blue crab meat which the Baltimore residents claimed is the best crab meat. It is the best and biggest part of the crab meat and very tasty. A restaurant in Baltimore serves the Chesapeake Crab Cake Platter.

Baltimore is also the birthplace of the Old Bay Seasoning, a blend of herbs and spices. Old Bay Seasoning was invented by German immigrant Gustav Brunn in the 1940s and it has been very popular till today, not only for crab cakes, but also to season shrimps and as a topping on fried chicken, popcorn, corn on the cob, salads, eggs, french fries and potato chips. Its ingredients include bay leaf, cinnamon, celery salt, mustard seed, black and red pepper, and ginger.

Gustav Brunn formed a company called Old Bay Company to producing crab seasonings which are packed in the unique yellow can container. Around 1990, Old Bay Company was bought over by McCormick and Company which continued the tradition of packing the around 1990. McCormick continues to pack the Old Bay Season in the classic yellow can. It is distributed world wide by McCormick and Company.