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Tech Living

Finding the gadgets and technologies to make home and work life easier

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    March 29, 2010
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    A friend is one who takes you to lunch even if you're not tax deductible

    - Author Unknown

    March 29, 2010
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    Lunchwalla: Meet Ups Made Easy

    A reader was kind enough to suggest this fresh new site called, Lunchwalla.  I must admit this site took me back to my younger years - single, working and meeting up with friends often.

    Back then we agreed on lunch dates by calling everyone in the group.  It was usually a long process - depending on how big the group was and where the members were during the meet up.  Several rounds of phone calls will usually be needed to get everybody on board with the plans.  Because of how long it took to organize these meets usually are planned at least a week or so ahead of time, but now with this great tool - everything can happen on the same day without any time wasted on calling everybody over and over.

    Lunchwalla sends an email invite to your group of friends with suggested dining places.  They can then vote on where they want to eat and RSVP at the same time.  You can even send messages to the group on the event's page.  I think it's pretty cool - and pretty handy - especially if your friends are all online anyway!

    Less time wasted, all opinions heard, easy to set up and fun.  Try it out with your friends and see for yourselves!

    March 18, 2010
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    Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer.

    - Author Unknown

    March 18, 2010
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    Online Vacation Planning

    I have learned to Google "Things to do in [type in city name]" to get ideas on what to do in cities I've never been to before.  I get weekly Travelzoo, TripWolf and BookingBuddy newsletters that informs me about great travel deals.

    One of the travel sites I usually go to, especially for last minute trips is Priceline.  I scope out their lists of hotels in the area I am interested in, then find a suitable star-rating I'm comfortable with before naming my own price.

    My husband needs to go to Oxnard on business this weekend and he proposed to make it a little weekend getaway for us.  He confirmed the trip with me last night.  I researched the average rates of hotels in the area using Hotels.com and I bid on them at Priceline.  The most cost efficient location I got was in Camarillo - yes, where the outlet shops are.  It's a short drive away from Santa Barbara where we want to spend some time sightseeing and it's near Oxnard where he has an appointment.

    I was able to book a hotel, research things to do, and essentially plan our weekend in less than thirty minutes.  How cool is that?

    Spring is almost here and the sun is shining brightly in the California sky.  It's time to think of spring getaways and summer vacation trips.  Whether you're going on a staycation or traveling far, websites can help you plan it all in the comforts of your home.  Do a little research today and you might just save a bundle with deals you find online!

    March 17, 2010
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    A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all-he's walking on them.

    - Leonard L. Levinson

    March 17, 2010
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    Cloudy Skies = No GPS

    A very frustrating incident happened to me last weekend.  I had this craving for pasta and mixed cocktails - we were in the Alhambra area with my mother-in-law where most of your dining choices would be Chinese food.  I used the Where app on my Pre to find the nearest Olive Garden and found one that it said was 1.49 miles away.

    Then we got into a particular area where it was cloudy outside - not rain clouds - just white fluffy clouds.  And my Sprint Navigation just announce that my GPS signal is weak.  The error message said to make sure I had a clear view of the sky, which I did.  It wasn't cloudy everywhere, not even above where our truck was, but still it was unable to locate us.

    I tried to manually type in an address of origin, but the navigation system got even more confused and pointed us towards the wrong direction.  Finally we gave up on the GPS, called the restaurant and they gave us directions.  So much for tech making my life easier at that time!

    We had a fantastic meal of seafood and pasta (paired with our preferred drinks) - and our favorite bread sticks.  We had a great server who was also Filipino and all in all the meal and the service more than made up for the frustration of trying to find the restaurant!  Kudos to the team at Olive Garden, Alhambra - you saved my weekend from going south.  Sometimes personal touches go a long way when our gadgets fail us.

    March 11, 2010
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    If it rained knowledge, I'd hold out my hand; but I would not give myself the trouble to go in quest of it

    - Samuel Johnson

    March 11, 2010
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    Free Business Cards

    The other night I helped my husband choose a design for his business card.  His instructor advised him to make a business card that indicates that he is a student of Sports Rehabilitation & Therapy.  He didn't like the high-tech looking injury prevention design I picked out for him in a website that I thought offered great prices on them.

    He found another website and picked a very Zen-looking design.  The great thing about the website he found was it offered free business cards in small quantities.  So we ordered a set and can evaluate the quality of the cards first before ordering more.  The fact that we did all this in the comfort of our living room late at night when we had time to do it - felt like a huge bonus.

    A great first step in building my husband's sports rehab & therapy practice!  Are you bravely starting your own business despite the tough times? Give yourself a break and avail of these great offers on business cards from Vistaprint!

    March 04, 2010
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    Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.

    - Robert Browning

    March 04, 2010
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    A Salute to Mommy Bloggers

    One of my favorite blogs is written by a mother of four who lives in a ranch. She blogs about her life, cooking, homeschooling, her home and garden. She also manages a community of cooking aficionados. She is a very successful blogger who has written her own cookbook and has around 59,000 fans on Facebook.

    I read her blog and I think, "Wow, she has a great life!"

    And then I saw the movie, Motherhood, starring Uma Thurman. I can relate to her even without the two young kids. Her life is a whirlwind of things to do - and she sneaks blogging in whenever she can. She was a writer before she got married - a talented one who had been offered scholarships for writing. But she chose to marry the man she loves and have her kids, which are the joys of her life - and there is never enough time to actually sit down and write about what she wants.

    But writing is in her soul - sounds familiar? This is her passion and blogging offers her a tiny window of hope that she will be able to write again. Blogging offers her a place to rant, to express herself and her frustrations in ironic details.

    For most of the movie, it seemed as though she was fighting to get through all the tasks involved in parenthood all by herself. Her husband doesn't seem to be helping at all! But in the end, his perspective comes out - his true feelings about her writing and role as a provider is revealed.

    I must admit I enjoyed this movie. Because there are times when I feel like Eliza, Uma Thurman's character in the movie. I feel that I am working on our family's future on my own - that I am trying to reach my dreams alone, but then comes the realization that I have a husband who loves me - who believes in my dream of writing a novel/screenplay/TV script someday - and who is working hard to become a great provider so I can have time to focus on my goals.

    This movie has made me appreciate mothers more - all the sacrifices they make for their children. I have greater respect for mommy bloggers now - you must really be a passionate writer to juggle your schedule and still be able to blog. Thank you for your wisdom and sage advice. Thank you for sharing yourself with your readers. You rock!

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