Don’t fancy the idea of crowds and traffic? Do your shopping online. If you have had it with traditional holiday shopping you are not alone. Even the most fearless and most organized holiday shopping divas tire from the endless crowds and cheesy holiday music. Luck for us in this day and age there is another option: internet shopping.
Internet shopping is sweeping the nation and is quickly become a very normal occurrence. Yet as any shopping diva knows there are a few ins and outs that can greatly increase your success.
First off, just because you can shop from home in your undies does not mean that you need any less preparation. You are a shopping diva, after all, and just because you are taking your list into cyberspace instead of retail space does not eliminate the need to check it twice. Once you have prepared your list with the utmost care, then you are ready to shop.
With identity theft being an ever-growing threat, one of the first things an internet shopping diva needs to know is how to make her funds secure. There are a few ways to do this. One of the first ways is to make certain you only give out credit card information on secured websites.
Check if the site is secure by looking for a padlock icon on your browser window. If there is no such icon, the site is not secure and you shouldn’t give out your information. Never ever give out credit card information in email. Email is not secure.
Other security measures include using the same credit card to make all your online purchases. This card should carry a low spending limit. That way if your information is stolen the culprit can’t rack up huge bills. Also using just one card eliminates the question of what card was used when or if you need to contest a charge.
One of the great things about taking the shopping online is that there are tons of review websites. When shopping in person at Holiday Toddler Toy Emporium, the only review you are likely to get about a toy is from the box, fellow shoppers or the teenage sales clerk. These resources often leave much to be desired.
Not so with online stores. Reviews are plentiful, detailed and have real life experience. This kind of information at your fingertips will help you avoid poor purchases.
Hesitate to shop online because you think the cost is too much? This is not true. You can use the same coupons online as in the store for cost savings. In addition to coupon savings you rarely need to pay sales tax on online purchases. This is a savings of on average 8% right back into your pocket.
Shipping costs are a concern, but if you shop early you can avoid high express shipping rates as well as the trip to the post office when you need to send your three-year-old nephew his Christmas gift.
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How to choose an online shopping store? It’s little hard to choose the best online store as there are lot of stores available online now, but the case is something different. People promote some sites by word of mouth and by social Medias. Why they promote only some sites? All the sites are giving the same product for same price?
Your answer may be a big ‘yes’ but the there are several other factors which depends. 1. Delivery time Once people like a product they will buy it immediately, they will never be ready to wait for more than 3 days, let’s take an example an online store A is delivering the product purchased in 2 days and other one is delivering in 24 hours, again you are answer is yes, I am going to purchase from online store B. well are you sure the answer is yes every time? 2. Quality of the product. This time the confusion increases, you don’t know which store is giving the best quality may be A or may be B. Just think your friend is suggesting B , obliviously you will be going to the site B. This is one of the best ways to choose the online store. 3. Online reviews This comes in the 3 rd rank for decision making for an online store. if you found good number of good reviews you can choose the one for the purchase, but make sure if you can get in touch with one of the customer you can get a voice review of the site. Now it’s time for a technical study of the online stores. Shopify Shopify is a great looking piece of DIY software that has even better features. Setting the shop up and adding products was easy and you can have a live working shop in a matter of hours. It only takes a few minutes to add a product and you don’t need to be technically minded. Magento.go Megento.go uses the Magento CMS and that means it’s one of the best supported eCommerce platforms around. However, it is much more complicated than some people will ever feel comfortable with, but for a growing business that wants to integrate all areas of their digital presence into one CMS, Magento.go has to be the best option. WooCommerce Many people are familiar with WordPress and the fact that WooCommerce comes as a WordPress plugin makes it a winner, especially for a business that already has WordPress site. Unlike the first two offerings, WooCommerce is not a hosted option. That means it’s really only aimed at businesses that have their own website with a hosting plan and it does mean you need to install it in a WordPress section of your site and if your site is not already built in WordPress, styling the new section to fit in with the rest of your site can be tricky. So take time some time to review the site you are going to make purchase this will help you for a better online shopping, Have a happy online shopping.
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Flew out of work, the fleet flight of Friday before a holiday weekend. Everyone cracks a smile upon stepping out of the concrete and glass coffin of the corporate work week. The motorcycle is quickly gassed and loaded, I leave Washington DC at three-thirty, vowing not to check the time for the rest of the adventure. Adventure, the American adventure of the open road is what I seek. The road, my cameras, and escape.
Right turn off of 15th St. NW and I’m motoring past the Washington Monument and the White House. Harleys and clones are already lining the Mall for the annual Memorial remembrance that is Rolling Thunder. I’m soon over the bridge and on I-66 west. I plan on avoiding major highways when at all possible. Preferring scenic byways to drab highways. 66 is a necessary evil to flee the DC metro area as quickly as possible. At the start, 66 is a good quick run, for awhile anyway. Loads of Rolling Thunder riders are heading in 66 eastbound.
I keep the ubiquitous two fingers down to the side salute to fellow bikers out for extended stretches of time. In my experience, HD guys return the acknowledgement about 30-40% of the time. No big deal, some animosity exist though between different bike cultures. Motor-ism two-wheel stereotypes. However with the Rolling Thunder guys there is a noticeable increase in response, perhaps due to no longer just one biker acknowledging another, but a patriotic sharing of support and remembrance for those left behind, POW-MIA.
Traffic worsens further out 66 and I come up on a full HD dresser. Screaming Eagle back patch worked in with POW-MIA covers his vest and is topped by a “Run for the Wall” patch. I keep back a pace and we adopt the natural offset positioning of multiple riders.
After some 66 backup, stop-and-go, we strike up a staccato conversation in the pauses of the traffic flow. Where you been, where you going, see the rain coming? I tell him I’m headed out to the mountains, Skyline Drive and West Virginia. He says he’s just in from there recently, was in DC for Rolling Thunder for the day and will be coming back in on Sunday again. His license plate is obscured by luggage, so I’m unsure of his port of origin.
Later on we part ways and my thoughts turn. Of my parents friends only my step-dad was drafted for Vietnam. Luckily, for us, he only went as far as Ft. Hood, TX, and came back with some good stories about army life and venturing into Mexico (at least the ones he’s shared with me). I think about all the life he’s lived since then, all his experiences and joys. Thinking about what all those who didn’t return gave up, lost, when they didn’t come home. The loss felt by those who loved them, families that have a name on the Wall.
Rain is sprinkling before Manassas. Enough to cool you off but not enough to get you worried yet, at least for a bit. Whooooo. Then come the big drops. I head off the ramp to gear up with the rain paraphernalia under the gas station pavilion. Finally get it all on and get strapped back up and out pops the sun and the rain stops. Too funny. Now I have wet clothes on under the raingear. Rain gear now keeping the wind out that would dry me. I motor on as more rain is promised on the horizon.
This brings up a point about rain. People always ask, “What do you do when it rains and your on the motorcycle”. I reply simply, “I get wet”. Duh. Rain riding has never bothered me. On the straight highways it’s no big deal. Just give more cushion to the cars in front of you. Drive like grandma on the exit ramps.
My turning point is finally reached. Off of 66 west and onto 647, Crest Hill Rd. at The Plains, VA. Crest Hill Road is my first slice of motorcycle heaven to be had this weekend. I’m delighted to find that the squiggly line I traced out on the map when planning this trip has translated so well in reality. The road is still wet from the passing rain clouds, and I give a small rabbit and then a chipmunk a near death experience. My first of many animal crossings this weekend. The road is fantastic. A mixture of hilltop road and tree lined canopies that create forest tunnels. Speed limit is 45mph, 55-60 feels comfortable on most parts. Keeping an eye out for a hilltop barn to photograph that I’ve seen in my minds eye, lit by the sun breaking through the clouds and backed by the mountain vista. No luck on any of the barns actual placement to fit the mental picture I have framed.
Crest Hill Road and Fodderstack Rd is a long stretch. I take shots of a church and other buildings along Zachary Taylor Highway. Fodderstack gives more of the same as Crest Hill, just a narrower road. The asphalt is of my favorite variety, freshly laid. Washington, VA is a tiny town of historic bed and breakfasts. Local wineries appear to be an attraction here too. Right after Washington the rain returns while I’m in route to Sperryville. Then it really starts to come down, a full on summer thunderstorm. Visibility is down. Road and parking lots soon resemble rivers. Rain drops of the monster variety explode on the pavement, and you know it hurts when they hit you.
I quick soaking circuit of Sperryville confirms there are no local hotels. I duck into a barn shaped restaurant to wait it out. My drenched gear takes on bar stool and I occupy another. There’s a few flying pigs about. The bartender get me a hefeweizen, and recommends the angus burger. Locally raised and grass fed, we exchange jokes about my passing the burgers relatives on the way in.
Don’t freak about the beer. I have a one only rule when riding. It was followed by a meal (best burger of the weekend!), several coffees, and this bar top journal entry.
Somewhere along Crest Hill road I decided to keep the cell off for the weekend. In addition no tv, newspapers, internet, or e-mail sound like a good idea. Of course I now am studiously avoid eye contact with the two beautiful plasma’s above the bar.
Hazel River Inn, Culpepper, VA, has the coolest street side seating in town.
The downpour let up at the Shady Farms bar in Sperryville and due to the deficiency in local lodging I quiz the bartender for options. Over the other side of the mountain, the opposite side of Skyline Dr via 211 is Luray with lots of motels, but I want to save the mountain for the morning. The waitress suggest Culpepper, there being a Holiday Inn etc.
Stepping outside the sun has broke through the clouds again. Enough for some shots of Shady Farms Restaurant and a bridge. Heading down 522, the Sperryville Pike, I keep an eye out for photo ops to catch the next morning as I’ll be rerouting back through. Following the mantra of Dale Borgeson about tour riding in the US, I aim to avoid large chain establishments, whether they are restaurants or hotels, and explore the mom-and-pop local variety businesses. I have a dive-ish roadside motel in mind, Culpepper comes through with the Sleepy Hollow Hotel.
Before check in I ride through downtown historic Culpepper. It’s a cool place. The Shady Farm bartender had recommended the Culpepper Thai restaurant. I see it but don’t visit, still full from the meal earlier. Cameron Street Coffee looks like a great place, located in an old warehouse. Unfortunately their closed for the night.
Shower and changed, room 102 at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel. I hop back on the bike, refreshed and dry and ride through the warm night air back downtown. The coffee at the Hazel River Inn comes with a sweet fudge confection on the side. The peach and blackberry cobbler with vanilla sauce is divine.
The reconfigured plan for this getaway is to shed. Shed worries about the job, career, housing, and relationships. My motorcycle is therapeutic. It’s 600cc’s of Zoloft on two wheels. The road lifts my spirits. This wasn’t supposed to be a solo run, and there are stretches of road where I feel the emptiness behind me.
The cobbler is finished and I can hear the sound of a band doing their sound check. The banging of the drum requires investigation.
I found Brown Bag Special in the cellar pub of the same restaurant I was in. On my way to the door the noise of the sound check floated up the stairs and directed my feet downward. Brown Bag Special opened the set, appropriately enough, with “I drink alone”. The ol’ man, Big Money, would have loved it. Drink alone started off a Big Money Blues trifecta to include “The Breeze” and “Mustang Sally”. Then they made the mistake a lot of bands make that have a great lead guitar player. They let him sing. The lead guitarist karaoke sucked his way through a Tom Petty hit. He was so off key in his singing it made you appreciate the guitar solo’s all the more for the relief they provided. Thankfully the regular singer soon resumed his duties and the night went on. More good stuff from the band.
Folsom Prison Blues
Cheap Sun Glasses
“can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman, what she’s done to me”
Off to bed now at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel with the ghost and shades of dead hookers and overdoses past.
150 miles today.
Morning breaks on the Sleepy Hollow Hotel, a hot shower and I’m back on the bike. A quick stop downtown to shoot the Hazel Inn, then it’s back on the Sperryville Pike. More stops to capture some sights seen yesterday. Mr. & Mrs. Pump. The open mouth caricatures are an accurate representation of the current gas cost and the pumps eating your wallet.
I keep telling my daughter that her first car, college car, will be a hybrid. She thinks they are ugly. The bike isn’t so bad, averaging around 40mpg. At about 180 miles on the tripometer I start to look for a refill, although I’ve pushed it to 211 miles before.
A quick left in Sperryville on 211 and up into the mountain, Blue Ridge Mountains and Skyline Drive. Heading up the mountain I get the first bite of the twisties I’ve been craving. The fee at the gate to Skyline Drive is well worth the price. Great scenery and fantastic views. The only drawback is the 35mph speed limit that is well enforced by the park rangers.
I shoot some self-portraits at Pollock Knob overlook. They’re funny in that with all the scrambling and hurrying to be the camera timer, then trying to effect a relaxed pose. I’ve also broke out my old friend this trip, the Lubitel 166, a medium format, 120mm film, twin lens camera. I’m like Jay-Z with this camera, I have to get it in one take. There is no digital review after the click for instant gratification. As a fellow photographer it’s “Point, Push, and Pray”. I’ll be interested to see the results. Not that I’ve left digital behind. Carrying both cameras, I’m an analog/digital double threat.
After the self-portraits and some dead tree shots I’m about to pack back on the bike and leave when I meet the preacher and his wife. He offers to shoot me with my camera and I return the favor with theirs. Conversation flows and in a ‘small world’ moment it turns out that he works for same Hazel family that owns the restaurant I was at last night for his Monday thru Friday job. I get a friendly “God bless” and I’m heading south on Skyline Drive. I make several more stops and break out the cameras again at Big Meadow.
There is a gnarly dead tree in the middle of the meadow. It has burn damage at the base, either the result of some wild fire or perhaps a controlled burn done to maintain the field. I spot and shoot a few deer, they probably won’t turn out as they’re to far away for my lens on the D100. I shoot a bunch of shots of the tree with the D100 and then totally switch processes with the Lubitel. The picture setup with the Lubitel takes about a minute-and-a-half. Manual zoom, i.e., walking back and forth to get the framing I want. Light meter reading. Then dealing with the reversed optics of the look-down box camera. It is fun though, to switch it up, change the pace and the dynamics. Just one click though, hope I caught it.
It’s a long but enjoyable ride to the south end of Skyline Drive. Unless you really like slow cruising I would suggest picking which third of Skyline Drive you’d like include in your trip and leave the rest. I drop off the mountain and into Waynesboro. Finding Mad Anthony’s coffee shop for a late breakfast. I overhear that it’s around noon. The Italian Roast coffee is good, in fact, it would prove to be the best coffee of the trip.
One of the pleasures of traveling by motorcycle is that it’s an easy conversation starter. People ask you where your coming from, where you’re heading, ask about your bike, tell you’re about their bike or the one they wish they had. One of the peculiarities of these conversations is that if the person even remotely knows of anyone that has died on a motorcycle, they will be sure to share this fact along with details. These stories usually involve a deer, a car pulling out, or someone taking a corner to fast. The conversation goes something like this:
Stranger“my cousin Bob had a friend that hit a deer and died on his bike”
You“yeah, deer are dangerous, got to be careful”
I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve held variations on this conversation many times. Luckily this isn’t the conversation I have with the owner of Mad Anthony’s. He’s a former sailboat instructor who now finds the same release and head clearing on his motorcycle that he used to get from his sailboat.
This brings to mind the same wave – don’t way dynamic that occurs between sail boaters and power boaters, very similar to the sportbike & HD crowd.
The proprietor is a coffee guru, we discuss roasting (my Italian roast was just roasted Wednesday this week). We talk about the good and the evil of Starbucks. We’re both in agreement that they over roast their regular coffee, but I think their foo foo drinks are tasty. He has in his shop both the Bodum press and the Bodum vacuum coffee pot that I got my mom for x-mas. A shameless plug here, the Bodum vacuum coffee pot makes the best home coffee ever. It’s also an entertaining crowd pleaser, no joke.
Leaving Waynesboro the plan was 340 northward to 33, then into Harrisonburg, VA (home of the Valley Mall and JMU). 340 proved to be boring so I jumped on 256, Port Republic Road, for a better ride to Harrisonburg. I don’t know if the coffee wore off or if I was just worn out. I pull over at Westover Park, pick out a spot of grass, and take a good nap in the sun.
I had my motorcycle bug handed down to me by my step-dad. My kindergarten year of school we moved right at the end of the school year. Rather than switch schools at this inopportune time my Dad stuck me on the back of his Honda and rode me to school and back again for the last month or two. Even earlier than that I have a great photo of me in 1973-4 sitting on his chopper with him. Me in a diaper and him with his long hippy hair. The wild side of the Reverend indeed.
Refreshed from my nap it’s back on 33 westbound. Heading out of the Shenandoah Valley and Rockingham County is more glorious twisty roads and the George Washington National Forest. GW is a beautiful tree canopy lined road with a river off to one side. Franklin, WV is the destination, a return to the Star Hotel.
I stayed at the Star a few years prior when they first re-opened the historic Star Hotel. The owner, Steve Miller, is a great guy, friendly and conversational. I told him I’d be back again, but it’s been a few more years than I thought. Late lunch at the Star is pesto grilled chicken on ciabatta bread with roasted red peppers. Not the type of fare one might associate with West Virginia, but people have misperceptions about everywhere. Steve promises a prime rib later at dinner tonight to die for.
So that there is no misunderstanding, in as much as the Sleepy Hollow Hotel was a dive, the Star Hotel is a dream.
Dump the gear in the room back on the bike for some roaming around. I head back to explore a river road I passed on the way in, Rock Gap. It’s a gravel affair and I follow it back a little ways. Photo some river shots. Down further there is a large cliff face with some college aged kids de-gearing after a day of climbing. I’ll try to stop back in tomorrow and shoot some climbing action, as well as some fly fishing.
I pick up a bottle of Barefoot Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, and drop it off with Steve at the Star to keep for later. I’ll enjoy that bottle later tonight from the 3rd floor front porch. South out of town I head, into some very secondary roads. I shoot an old decrepit cabin that would be right up Bobby Sargent’s alley. I put it in the metal folder for a possible future model shoot location, along with the river spots I’ve seen.
There are a couple more stops on this little ride. Once for what appears to be a feral chicken, and then for middle of the road stare down with a young doe. She’s camera shy though and is off before I can get a shot. Sportbike probably isn’t the best conveyance for nature photography. The pavement stops and gravel begins, I motor on. Rick & I once spent a full day just about on gravel roads, crisscrossing the back country around Cumberland, MD. So I’m comfortable with the less than ideal riding surface. A few miles on the road dead ends at a pair of chicken houses (source of the feral chicken’s ancestors perhaps?) and I turn around and survey the valley I’ve just ridden through. I have to stop the bike and soak in the scene. A picturesque farm is nestled in the corner of the valley, up against the hills. I meet some inquisitive cows, along with the farmer and his wife.
It seems that when you are in WV and you pass a sign that says “snow removal ends here” that the already suspect road conditions are going to quickly deteriorate and will soon resemble somewhat more of a logging road. I motor on through some back country, no houses, no farms, just mountains, steep roadside cliffs, and wicked gravel switchback curves. The part that gives you the willies are the downhill corners where the road grade is slanted to the outside of the curve and to the drop below. Yikes!
I creep along where a four wheeler would be much more functional. Although I still hit it a bit in the straights. Pavement arrives again and I’m unsure of my exact location. I follow the chicken farmers directions and soon discover myself back in Brandywine, intersecting the same stretch of 33 I rode on my way into Franklin.
Back at the Star Hotel it’s a shower and fresh clothes before heading down for dinner. Downstairs I find the prime rib to be as good as promised.
How beautifully staged is this. Barefoot on the 3rd floor patio, wine to ease the back and the ache in the knee.
205 miles today, the last 30 after check in, just to explore.
Out early in the morning. I find no climbers at Rock Gap, unsure of the hours they keep. Out of Franklin on 33 west, looking for another squiggly line I had seen on a map. Bland Hill Road name is a misnomer. A single lane country road winding through German Valley. I got a few shots of German Valley from the 33 overlook before turning on Bland Hill. Now I find myself in the same location I had shot from above.
The road cuts through some open pasture land and I meet some cows standing in the road after rounding one bend. They’re pleasant enough, if in no particular hurry to cross, and don’t mind posing for a shot or two before meandering on. People talk about the danger of hitting a deer, a cow would really ruin your day! Off of Bland Hill and on down into the valley. I come up on the rock formation I had seen from the overlook previously. It’s not Seneca Rocks, but a formation of the same ilk. I get some more photos, then onto German Valley Road. I’m still staying at the Star, there is no real destination today. It’s relaxing to stop as much as I like.
German Valley Road puts me back on 33 west and not long after I’m ordering breakfast at the Valley View Restaurant. Dale Borgeson warns of places that advertise home cooking, but that’s about all you see in these parts. There are a fair number of cars here and that’s usually a good since the food will be alright. Hell, even the Army could make a good breakfast. It all works out and it’s a hell of a deal, for toast, two eggs, hash browns, bacon, and coffee.
From 33 I hit 28 and turn off on Smoke Hole Road, just because it’s there and looks interesting. Boy, what a find it is. Combining the curvy one lane country road with nice wide smooth pavement (gravel free in the corners). It’s great. Smoke Hole Road turns out to run from 28 across the Seneca Rocks National Forest to 220 on the other side. Going west-to-east it starts out all curves and hills, then ends by winding along the south branch of the Potomac. There are lots of fly fishermen here enjoying the catch-and-release section of the river.
Up 220 to Petersburg, I run into some Ducati guys at the gas station. We swap riding info and I’m soon on 42 north towards Mayville. Hanging a left when I see a sign for Dolly Sods. I’m back on secondary roads and I soon pass another prophetic ‘no snow removal’ signs. It’s gravel the rest of the way up the mountain til it breaks out on top at Dolly Sod.
I’m real happy with today’s roads, as both Smoke Hole Road and Dolly Sods were unplanned ‘discovered adventures’. I do some rock scrabbling at Dolly Sod and enjoy the cliff top views. A fellow tourist snaps a shot for me an I hike out well past the distance that the casual tourist and families go. Shot some more shots of the rock formations with both the digital and film camera. Do some more self-portraits. I then sit down to relax in the sun with the cliff side breeze steadily blowing and update this journal.
Well, fellow traveler, if you’ve made it this far I am duly impressed. I thank you for your perseverance. The rest of the day was spent riding without incident. Just more fantastic roads. You don’t have to be an explore on par with Lewis & Clark to find great rides in West Virginia. Just be curious in nature and unafraid to leave the beaten path. Drop off the numbered roads and take the route less traveled. Soon you’ll be in your own undiscovered country. Blah blah blah.
Out of Dolly Sod and I find myself on 32. Rough calculations put the dirt road travel around 25 miles for the day. While we are on stats, here’s today’s animal road count:
1 dead fox
3 dead possums
1 dead blob (undistinguishable)
No fearsome deer
I guided myself today by a rather non-descript map put out by mountainhighlands.com
Leaving Dolly Sod on 32 puts me in Dry Fork and back on familiar 33 west to Elkins. I cruise around Elkins on the off chance I’ll run into a guy I know named Dallas. Now all you need to know about Dallas is the following:
I don’t know his last name
I once gave him a hair cut with dog grooming clippers
I know he works at a bike shop making choppers
You figure the odds of me finding him, near zero.
If your curious it wasn’t the first time I cut hair, albeit the first time using dog shears. In Korea I cut in the latrine for a cut or for a 6 pack. Everything was barter in the Army. We had a cook that would make you a great custom birthday cake for a case of beer or feed you food out of the back of the chow hall at 3am when you staggered in drunk from the ville for the promise of a future round to be bought. Korea stories could fill another journal.
Anyway, out of Elkins and south to Beverly. Scott, if your reading this you were on my mind as I went through town, never forgive, never forget.
So far I’ve only tried to write about the positive food experiences of the trip without throwing anyplace under the bus. C&J in Beverly however, served only barely functional burgers and the vanilla shake was of the worst chemical prefab variety. There are some things that I am stuck on, good vanilla ice cream is one. The others that I’m picky about are beer, whiskey, steak, cheese-steak, and coffee. It’s just so disappointing when something you usually enjoy turns out to be sub par.
After C&J it’s 250 east to 28, which heads back towards Seneca Rocks and Franklin. It’s a good haul through the Monongahela National Forest. A road of the scenic variety, with good twisties up the mountain and through the scenery. These type road have become quite a common occurrence here in WV. Back in Seneca Rocks and 33 east into Franklin. I never shoot Seneca Rocks, the light is never right, number one can tell you how I get about my light.
The Star’s restaurant is closed on Sunday, dagger, so I shower and head into Franklin by foot. About Franklin, WV. It’s a nice little town, quiet and sleepy. No bars other than the VFW that I could see. Everybody I’ve met and spoken too has be pleasant, friendly and conversational, both here in Franklin and elsewhere in WV. I’m sure there are a variety of characters much as anywhere, this is just my observation from the tourist level.
Following last night precedent I grab another vino from the Shell station. The Star being closed is a dilemma; I’m in need of a cork screw (having borrowed the restaurants the night before). I wander back down to the hotel, wine in hand, and past the hotel just a bit til I meet an old man sitting out front. I explain my situation, wine without access, and he says he’ll sell me a corkscrew. He goes in the house, shortly to return with the necessary implement in hand. I figure I have it for -4 or maybe rent it for a one time use for . That proves unnecessary however, he says just to take it, and keep it for any future need.
The sole booking for the hotel tonight, I’m like a wraith as I glide through the halls. On the front porch with my bottle of vino in hand. I have some cheap cigars I also picked up and there’s nothing to do but kick back and watch the sunset.
It’s been a great trip. Somewhat lonesome at times. The lack of someone to talk to surely let to the length of this journal. It was a trip to getaway, to reflect. There was no great revelation or anything, just time to get to know yourself. The road gives you time to think. I know who I am and I like being me. I know what’s missing.
I’m resolved to take more bike trips in the future. It’s definitely my preferred way to travel and vacation. Motorcycling is the way to go.
Tomorrow I have my route generally planned out, more scenic byways for a winding route home.
Miles today, 240.
Just a short postscript. 20 miles east of Washington DC, on 66, the chain popped off the bike. It’s never easy.
Acompanhe o Canal do Kodi, toda Terça, Quinta e Sábado às 12:00 hrs tem um video novo, inscreva-se: https://goo.gl/wXdhHd
O Canal Kodi Hiroshi foi criado com o objetivo de incentivar as crianças a desenvolverem a imaginação e criatividade,visando a criação de brincadeiras infantis e ajudando as crianças a serem crianças.
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Shopping cart software is commonplace online offering the chance to sell products or services online. Typically, customers select their combination of any products or services that they wish to be ordered and then, when finished with their selections, they proceed to a page where the total order is placed and confirmed. This is used by many different websites and chances are that your online orders in the past will have seen you processed by such a solution.
The rise in popularity of online shopping has increased at an even faster rate than many predicted and will only escalate in years to come. Therefore, if your online business hasn’t yet added an online shopping cart software solution, then why not? Shopping cart technology has been established and in use for years now, with solutions for just about every skill level of online user. You can add the software to your site yourself, pay companies for hosting, outsource the task or even convert a Word Press blog into a simple shopping cart using plugins.
Even if you are currently employing a shopping cart software that is not quite delivering what you need then it may be time to review your options and look in to employing another one of the numerous options out there.
Firstly, it is important to understand what your site requires from the software and what you want it bring to your site. This should ultimately guide you choices in making sure it has a positive impact in making your new site better than your old and of course, better than the competition.
Such criteria may include:
Specific features available from the software related to operation of the storeLevels of usability for customers and yourselfThe appearance of the shopping cartHelpful extras such as allowing specific ways to choose or select productsThe nature of your web page and how it encourages your customers to purchase
Once you have created a clear idea of your reasons for change, and you have a good vision of what you are aiming to achieve through employing the software the next step is to identify a suitor for your needs. Your review of aims and wants should enable you to create a clear picture to compare solutions against in order to decipher which selection will be best.
Does the solution support the features you require? Does it give an answer to the problems you are having? Does it allow you to keep what you like about your existing site and make changes to what you don’t like?
Another primary consideration during selection of your shopping cart software is whether it will continue to serve your requirements as your business grows and the catalogue and volume of orders grow. This is vital as changing software again because it is no longer able to support your needs would be a setback in your operations.
An online shopping cart is the heartbeat of any online retail site. In selecting a shopping cart, it’s important to choose one that fits your goals and can be customized to match your business and capable to grow alongside your site.
The way that shopping cart software serves a number of roles on a business website proves from acting as an online store product catalogue, providing the customers user interface, right through to handling the ordering process. It is clear how big this decision is for moving your business forward and creating a smooth and efficient online business.
Has your company already found successes or failures through the use of a shopping cart solution?
Image by Paul D’Ambra – Australia
Taronga Zoo is the city zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman. It was officially opened on 7 October 1916.
Taronga Zoo is managed by the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales, under the trading name Taronga Conservation Society, along with its sister Zoo Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Divided into eight zoogeographic regions, the 21-hectare (52-acre) Taronga Zoo is home to over 2,600 animals of 340 species. It has a zoo shop, a cafe, and information centre.
Mystery Shopping Jobs are earning money opportunities where you can get paid to shop, eat out at restaurants, and do other great things that you do everyday anyway. This way now you have an opportunity to get paid for it! The important part is there are some sites that just try to refer you to buy ebooks or help finding these resources but dont actually give you the jobs and and companies that offer these mystery shopping jobs. These ebooks are not too bad but most people need more direction to finding the jobs that will help people earn money. Some of these services are just scams that make you pay dont offer you real information.
Whats the best thing about mystery shopping jobs? They earn money, they get free stuff. Whats the worst thing about mystery shopping? There are alot of people who want to do it which means there is some fierce competition..
Why are mystery shopping jobs becoming so immensely popular?
Well, the obvious reason of course is the part about shopping. People who love to shop (which is alot of people) can now get paid to do one of their most favorite things in the world to do. I mean seriously, who doesnt like to shop?
Obviously there are lots of people who would love to do it being a secret or mystery shopper at all kinds of retail outlets. Now, the key part of this equation is not everyone gets the mystery shopping jobs. Some of the people who apply dont get in and sometimes its a bit of luck that helps you nab them as well.
The good thing for the people who dont get into these mystery shopping jobs is that more companies are starting these types of programs because they want to improve their customer service, products, and ultimately customer satisfaction. Now your chances are improving for new people in this market who want to get themselves in this wonderful industry. It is tough to find the best and most trustworthy programs when looking on the internet.
The easiest way to keep your pulse on these jobs is to subscribe to a database service that constantly maintains the most comprehensive list of companies and firms that offer these types of jobs. This is different than paying to be on a waiting list. Thats a waste of money so never do that.
Here is some advice on mystery shopper jobs. Dont make the mistake of applying for every job you see right away. Find the ones that seem to fit you the best and apply to the top 5. Then after you find out which one of those 5 you actually get, move down to the next 5 and continue the same process. This provides a little more organization to your approach.
Jeff Casmer is a leading legitimate work at home expert and is a work from home business owner. For More Info on Mystery Shopper Jobs Please Visit: Mystery Shopper Jobs which gives information you need to Work at Home in the 21st century.
Catching up on e-mail…
Image by Ed Yourdon
This woman was sitting at an outdoor table of a small restaurant/coffee-shop on the west side of Columbus Avenue at 73rd Street. It’s the first time that I’ve seen anyone in this particular area (which is near a gym that I usually visit 2-3 times a week) with a laptop, and I was delighted to see that she had a Mac…. and not just any old Mac, but a Mac Powerbook. (But not a MacBook Air 🙂 )
This is part of an evolving photo-project, which will probably continue throughout the summer of 2008, and perhaps beyond: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan — between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.
I don’t like to intrude on people’s privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they’re still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what’s right in front of me.
I’ve also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting — literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I’ve learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture … after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it’s pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.
For the most part, I’ve deliberately avoided photographing bums, drunks, drunks, and crazy people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don’t want to be photographed, and I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. I’m still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We’ll see how it goes …
The only other thing I’ve noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, *far* more people who are *not* so interesting. They’re probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I’ve photographed … but there was just nothing memorable about them. It was also published in a Jun 19, 2013 blog titled What Is Re-Marketing?", as well as a Jun 25, 2013 blog titled "言明してしまうことで自分を規定してしまうこと."
If you thought Black Friday offered good deals on consumer goods, but disliked the crowds and prefer a more entertaining style of shopping then you are one of many people who will love using online auction sites. Holiday shopping has never been as fun or as kind to your wallet than it is now. Online entertainment auction sites offer money-conscience customers a chance to enjoy the best new products of the season for massive savings off of regular retail price, and entertain themselves while doing so.
Feedback is very positive for users who learn the system of online entertainment auction sites. It can put the fun back into online shopping, with a bit of drama and strategy. And who doesn’t love avoiding long lines and sold out stores, in person? With online entertainment auction sites, everything is at your fingertips and ready to ship the moment you win. Many people are trading in the traditional ways of shopping for more enjoyable alternatives.
One of the most popular testimonials found on these websites are on successful winners of auctions on consumer electronics. These sites always have the selection you want; almost everything electronic you can possibly think of is online and on auction: headphones, HDTVs, digital music players, portable computers, surveillance systems, cell phones, and more! Do you know a loved one with their eyes on the newest electronics for this holiday season? Why not use online entertainment auctions to help fulfill their wishes, or pass on the information to those you know? It’s an entertaining way to try to get the stuff you want at unique prices.
Using online entertainment auction sites to shop for what you want for the holidays is a great way to keep holiday activities interesting. People who excel with online entertainment auction sites are those who enjoy strategy and are focused on having fun. Products can be found and bid on, in some instances for mere pennies, but the most successful consumers do it just for the entertainment. Succeeding and winning an auction can be an absolute thrill. Imagine gifts that cost less than $ 20 but retail for over $ 300! That’s enough to put everyone in the holiday spirit!
An entertaining way of saving up to 80% off of retail is one of the most popular reasons that people are using online entertainment auction sites this holiday season. Best of all, you can participate whenever it’s most convenient for you, from the comforts of your home, even while at work! For those with very busy schedules, it is an effective way to get those very important people checked off your list without stressing about having time to shop during normal business hours. Fighting crowds is not the way to enjoy the holiday season. That is why so many people are turning towards accomplishing their holiday shopping using the Internet and online entertainment auction sites.
If you’re ready to get your feet wet and want to shop for Christmas in an entertaining fashion, head on over to an online entertainment auction site and learn more about beginner strategies. Make sure to read a user review or two and try to learn the ropes using simple auctions to start out. After that, the sky is the limit! What do you have your eye on for the Holidays?
QuiBids.com was founded in July 2009 as a more entertaining Internet auction site, dedicated to standing out from competition by providing an online auction model with the best deals for consumers. Reviews on QuiBids are in, and overwhelmingly positive. Customer testimonials and QuiBids reviews find the website reliable, money-saving and most of all, fun!
Image by Stuck in Customs
Daily Photo – Aerophilia
Is aerophilia a word? Probably not. People that are really into planes probably have a very specific word for this, and the "wrong" word probably really irritates them… so I apologize in advance.
This wondrous place is the new Air and Space Museum in DC. I thought I knew a lot about planes until I got here. I would recognize this and that, but the whole gestalt of the place was completely overwhelming. Overwhelming in an awesome way, of course.
I only took the Nikon D3S in here (see my Nikon D3S Review) because they would not allow tripods. The D3S is so much better at quick shots with low noise. All of my HDRs in here were handheld, so I had to be sure that I took the photos quickly and with very little noise.
My Best Tweet Ever
Some of you follow me on Twitter to get regular useful and useless updates throughout the day. Sometimes I check back to see which tweets get "ReTweeted" the most. By far, the best tweet ever was:
@TreyRatcliff This guy traveled the world in the early 1900s & captured it all in COLOR.
If you follow me, I promise never to tell you when I am standing in line at a coffee shop. I try to do 33% inspirational tweets about interesting art and cultural finds, 33% connecting people with others, and 33% links to my own personal latest works. The last 1% is "Wildcard" (said in the Charlie voice from It’s Always Sunny).