• December, 2017
  • Xmas Shopping Online

    Holiday shopping for relatives that are spread out all over the globe use to be a major headache. It’s hard enough to choose the right gifts for the right people, but when you add the extra problem of trying to get the gifts delivered, it was downright unbearable.

    Today we have the luxury of global e-commerce. With massive online retailers servings global markets like Amazon and Alibaba, it make holiday shopping so much easier.

    A Real Life Example

    If you read anything on this site, you should know I bounce around a bit in Asia. However, I have relatives that live all over the world. Most of my family is actually located in the USA and Canada.

    Here’s some of the online Xmas shopping I have done this year.

    For Mother

    Moms are both easy and extremely difficult to shop for. They are both very picky, but at the same time the most forgiving when you choose a gift that isn’t a great fit. Most moms are just happy you thought about them.

    That being said, they tend to be hard to shop for. My mother is no different.

    This year, I decided to keep my gifts under $50 for most of my friends and family. I didn’t want to go crazy and I also wanted to kind of make an effort to be more financially responsible with all of my spending.

    What I decided to do instead of going the materialistic route was to go the sentimental route. I feel this avoids the problem of picking the wrong size, color, etc. while still plucking the sentimental string.

    I want to 1-800-Flowers and ordered this cool Christmas birdhouse arrangement.

    It fits all the requirements of keeping my shopping simple, stress free, and low cost.

    For Father

    While moms really like the sentimental gifts in general, I feel dads tend to like small useful gifts that their spouse would never buy. I almost always end up buying my father some kind of tool or accessory. This year is no different.

    My dad likes to chop his own firewood. As he is getting older, he tends to do this with a neighbor.

    I think they just know they can get a little time away from their wives in the winter cold. It’s their form of water cooler talk.

    I looked around and found some really affordable splitting wedges he can use and that I know he doesn’t have yet.

    This also ticks all the boxes of my Xmas shopping plans this year.

    For Everyone Else

    This might sound like a cop out, and in a way it is, but for all of my other friends and relatives that live overseas, I went with the all too easy choice of gift cards.

    They are easy to send as I can even just send digital versions to the more tech savvy of them, and I don’t risk the hassle of getting the wrong thing or getting someone something they already have.

    I can also easily keep my spending to the level I want as I can order cards of $50 denominations and under.

    Best of all, this is incredible easy and doesn’t take much time at all.

    Happy Holidays!

    Xmas shopping for relative in another country does not have to be difficult. Use the power of the Internet and e-commerce to make your life easier. There’s already enough stress around the holidays, so no need to add any more to it.
  • November, 2017
  • My Must Have Travel Accessory

    If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to travel I love seeing and learning about new places; learn about the people and their culture. But, at the end of the day, I am just a guest, a visitor.

    While I might learn from different cultures, I am only immersed for a short period of time on each trip. And, there are those moments of being in between my home and other people’s homes. That’s the time of actual travel.

    Some motivational slogans and catchphrases focus on the idea that the travel itself is the exciting point, not the destination. However, the reality is that the travel aspect, the 15-hour drive, the 12-hour flight, etc. are not enjoyable at all.

    I find it’s very important to keep yourself as comfortable as possible during these long travel sessions. The more comfortable you are the better you feel when you arrive. All of that lends to a much better experience when you actually get to where you want to go.

    For me, one of the most important parts of my trip, especially land-based trips like a long car or train ride, is my coffee. If I don’t have my daily hot cup, I am a miserable person to be around.

    Perhaps I should wean myself off, and I would probably be better off by doing so, but I doubt that’s going to happen. I love it too much.

    That being said, when on the go with my trusty Keurig and favorite mug, I need a way to bring my coffee with me. It’s a vice I cannot, or really don’t want to let go.

    I can’t take my coffee mug with me on a long ride though. That would get messy fast, and the coffee would not stay warm very long. Enter, my favorite travel accessory, my 30 oz. Ibex tumbler.

    Yes, you read that right. 30. Ounces. Go big or go home!

    To be perfectly honest, when I am using it for hot coffee, I usually only fill it about 2/3 of the way, or with about 20 ounces. The reason I like the bigger cup is that in the summer I’ll sometimes drink iced coffee. The extra 10 ounces of space gives me room for the ice.

    Now, there’s a very big problem brewing (forgive the pun). I cannot take this tumbler onto airplanes.

    So, while this is my favorite travel accessory for land-based trips, I unfortunately have yet to discover a way to get my gourmet coffee fix in the ait. Airports have some nice cafés. SO I suppose you can order a nice cup of Joe after you get through security and bring it aboard. But, you better drink it fast as those paper cups are going to keep it warm long.

    And, the on board java is gross. I try to avoid that when possible.

    Either way, I would love to security to loosen up a bit. I really enjoy my own coffee in my own cup when I know I have a long boring journey ahead of me before the fun will begin.
  • Finding a Gym While Traveling

    Anyone that loves to workout knows how important routines are. You really start to see physical differences when you get into a grove. No matter if you are trying to lose weight or bulk up, routines win the game.

    But, when you are on the road, it’s hard to keep that up. It’s much easier to find excuses to skip a workout. And, it doesn’t help when you are traveling to a new city or area for the first time and have no idea where to find a gym with day passes.

    3 Ways to Keep Your Pump On Away from Home

    These are probably not the only ways to get a workout in when you don’t have your usual gym nearby, but they are effective.

    Check Your Hotel’s Facilities

    If you get to pick where you are staying, say for vacation, you should be able to shop around and find a hotel with some kind of gym or workout room. But, if you are traveling for business, you might need to stay in a company approved or chosen hotel.

    If you’re lucky, your work will hook you up with nice accommodation. If you’re not, you’ll need to find another option.

    The good news is you should be able to tell before you leave by either checking online or making a quick call.

    Bring it With You

    If your hotel is a no go as far as a gym goes, you can bring your own – kind of. Of course you can’t pack a bench or a squat rack. And, dumbbells are too heavy to carry. But you still have options.

    You can bring a jump rope for some cardio. You can supplement your workout with some body weight work like pushups and planks. And, you can pack a portable telescoping pull up bar.

    Add in some body weight squats and burpees, and you should get enough of a workout to hold you over until you’re home.

    Go Social

    If you don’t have a gym in your hotel and you don’t think body weight work will be enough, you can use your smartphone or computer and hit Facebook. There are all kinds of local groups full of local residents.

    Simply find a few groups dedicated to the city or town your are in, join them, and ask for recommendations for nearby gyms that allow drop in workouts or have day or trial passes. You may even meet a new friend or two.

    It’s a very good idea to try to join some of these groups before you leave for your trip though as some of them take a day or two to accept you.


    If you need to travel, or just want to get out of town, your fitness doesn’t have to suffer. There are always options for getting a good workout in. From using hotel facilities to asking locals on social media where to go for drop in workouts , if you do a little research and planning, you should be fine
  • September, 2017
  • Understanding The High End LED & Lighting Industry

    When it comes to task lighting, it simply doesn’t get anymore useful than your standard flood light. Whether you are looking at standard 60watt outdoor flood lights or something with a bit more power, you are going to find that the choices when it comes to outdoor flood lightsare a bit more numerous than you may have thought they were. Here are a few tips on what sort of lights you might want to consider.

    If you are needing your 60watt outdoor flood lights on for an extended period of time, you can simply place your flood lights on a simple lighting switch. This gives you the power of turning them on and off when you need to or want to.

    Another thing you can do is to accompany the lights with a timer. what this will do is allow you to have the flood lights on for a specific amount of time or at a certain time of the day. This is especially appealing to people who spend a fair amount of time away from home but want it to appear as if people are home.

    Another thing you might want to consider is affixing the 60watt outdoor flood lights to a motion sensor base. This way the lights will come on when the sensor detects motion. This can be used to deter intruders and it can also provide light without the need of having to turn on the lights manually.

    Lastly, you may also use what are known as solar powered flood lights. These lights give you all the benefits of flood lights only they require no electrical power to operate. As you might expect these lights will not come cheap, but considering the electricity they won’t use, if you use your standard 60watt outdoor flood lights a lot, these lights could just pay for themselves in the long run.

    The bottom line is that when it comes to outdoor flood lights, according to Wikipedia, you should do some comparison shopping as well. Check out some reviews, especially on the solar lights. Look for discounts and find out what is considered the best buy for motion sensor lights and times. Doing all of this will ensure you get the best flood lights and flood lights systems your money can buy.
  • Role of Women in China's Economy

    China is one of the largest economies in the world. It is the fastest growing nation in the world with remarkable GDP. The per capital income of China has increased in an unprecedented way in the threshold of the new millennium. With the economic reforms in 1978, the economy of China has undergone a change from the centrally planned economy to the market oriented economy. The economic reforms of China have made overall development of all segments in the country.

    The economy of China is marked by liberalization of prices and fiscal decentralization that had increased the autonomy of the state enterprises and led in the establishment of various private enterprises and foreign companies. Agriculture and industry are the two major sectors of the economy of China. The role of woman in China's economy cannot be over emphasized. Women play an integral role in the economic development of China.

    Talented women are finding the market economy of China more challenging. The thriving economy of China has facilitated equal employment opportunities to men and women. There are certain economic policies, which involve women in the participation of economic development, access the resources of economy and improve the economic and social status.

    The role of woman in China's economy is far reaching, from agricultural workers to those working in logistics due to the high demand of shipping from China to the USA and other heavy importers. The government of China has formulated several policies to help women to take their own business initiative. The government is providing fund support, employment training subsidies as well as small amount loans to encourage women to take active participation in business and achieve success. Various public welfare-jobs, employment centers and vocational training centers have been opened for women to enhance women employment.

    Various female federations and NGOs with support from the government is working extensively for the employment of women. The women federation of China has been able to derive small credit loans for the employment of women in the rural sectors. The women employment rate is fairly good in the current years. The total number of urban and rural women workers crossed three hundred and thirty seven million at the end of 2004.

    With digitization advancing in all spheres, great number of women are entering the computer, finance, insurance and communications industries proving their skills and talents. Women have also showed great entrepreneurial qualities in small and medium concern. Women accounted for 43.6 percent of the total professionals in state-owned enterprises and institutions. With the steady rise in economy the government of China has developed a strong social security system safeguarding women so that they may not be cheated or deprived form their stipulated dues.

    The government provides medical insurance, pension insurance, employment injury insurance, maternity insurance and unemployment insurance to women. The government has also developed a urban social relief system, establishing three funds like basic living guarantee for handicapped women, unemployment guarantee fund and minimum urban living guarantee fund.

    The government of China also provided its support to women in the rural areas. About sixty percent of women in China works for the agricultural sector and farming. The government has taken various steps to advance agriculture by implementing advanced methodologies and applications of science and technology.
  • August, 2017
  • What are the Qualities of the Best Over Ear Headphones?

    Headphones are a massive industry. They are so big that even small industrial cities in certain parts of China and Indonesia would fall on very hard times if the demand for them decreased.

    But, as a consumer, how do you know how to pick the good from the bad?

    Firstly, you need to decide what type you want. For example, let's take a look at over ear headphones. How would a consumer know if they were getting a quality product or a poor copycat Chinese knock off?


    This is very important especially if you’re working out in the gym or just running to get fit. A lot of cheap headphones are very fragile and the ear buds always seem to slip off. The best over ear headphones should have the durability they need. They should not fall off and not be broken easily during moderate activities.

    Sound Quality

    A good bass boost should be heard in the headphones because this will be proof of high-quality components and not cheap ones that will break quickly. The sound quality of these headphones is very clear and the bass is just perfect and balanced.


    The best over ear headphones need to be comfortable. It is very important that the headphones should easily fit you and will not make you look unattractive.

    Resistance to Sweat and Water

    This is indeed one of the most important qualities for over the ear headphones. When we are working, moving around, and even working out, it is very normal that we sweat . The headphones should be able to resist the sweat and can be rinsed in running water. You don’t want to take the sweaty headphones to work or the gym, right?

    You will need to wash them first before putting it in your gym bag or heading to the office.


    The cords should be at least not too long and not too short; it should also be in a single cord to avoid tangles which can really be annoying and distracting. Or, you can go for a Bluetooth model.

    Listed above are some of the qualities you should look for in good over the ear headphones. You should always consider these things when looking and shopping for this type and any type of headphones for you or a friend or loved one. To get the best headphones for your money that can easily accommodate you with your day-today activities, always make sure all of the above aspects are carefully considered.

    It is very important to have good headphones, so why not settle for the best ones instead? Spending a little extra money now will save you from spending more money to constantly replace poor performing headphones or headphones that always break.
  • June, 2017
  • Watching Asia Take Its Place

    Singapore is small. In fact, it’s really small. It’s only about 270 square miles. When you compare that to the smallest of the 50 states that make up the U.S.A., you really see how small Singapore is.

    Rhode Island is around 1500 square miles in total area. That’s almost 5 times the size of all of Singapore. Crazy!

    So, when you think about how much impact a small place like Singapore has on the world economy in this modern era, it’s pretty amazing. But, in regards to what’s really been happening, one must look to bigger Asian economies.

    Enter China.

    China is a giant in many ways. First, it’s a huge country. Second, it has a massive population. And third, its economy is booming.

    Many of the biggest world economies, like the U.S.A. and Brazil, and India, source products from Chinese manufacturers. A large part of this is due to the enormous cheap labor force that China has.

    This does lead to a couple of questions though. For one, doesn’t a country like India also have a very large cheap labor force?

    They indeed do. But what India lack that China doesn’t is a very organized top down government structure with a major focus of improving the economy through infrastructure.

    That focus has resulted it an unimaginable boom of giant well-built factories all over China, and as stated earlier, there’s no shortage of cheap labor to work within these large factories.

    The countries mentioned earlier don’t have all of those aspects. The U.S.A. is big and can create very sophisticated factories, but they have a smaller and much more expensive labor force. India and Brazil have large populations and cheap labor, but they have not had the leadership to steer them into upgrading their infrastructure to become a global manufacturing powerhouse.

    The next question though usually is about logistics. While labor is cheaper in China than it is in the U.S.A. for example, there is the added cost of getting products sourced from China into American warehouses and retail outlets.

    That need has spawned a boom in yet another industry: shipping and logistics.

    Aside from a long-lived Chinese manufacturing boom, there has been a boom for logistics companies focused on shipping from China to the U.S.A. This is truly a result of industry blossoming due to a market need.

    What’s amazing is that while this extra expense of shipping cheap products half way around the world might very well erode any financial benefits of using the cheap labor from that region, the competition that this industry need has created has made the shipping costs more affordable.

    With those affordable shipping costs, and the cheaper labor from China, along with other Asian countries like Indonesia, the bottom line ends up working itself out for Western re-sellers and retailers.

    The big economic boom in many parts of Asia was birthed not from the need of their own people as far as luxury goods, but from sound economic growth plans by their leaders to target the needs of other large economies and then create affordable competitive solutions.
  • Looking Out From Singapore

    Growing up and living in Singapore is normal to residents, but for those that grew up elsewhere, some aspects of life might seem odd. The lifestyle, the laws, and the general culture is unique and unlike most other advanced cultures.

    In Singapore we live a very special life. We are a country, and state, and a city all in one. We are a trading hub for all of Asia. We are both westernized and not westernized.

    We enjoy some amazing benefits but at the same time, some of those come with a cost. For example, many people notice how clean of a city we are when they first visit. They don’t see trash on the streets on graffiti on the brides.

    It makes your day-to-day life very nice. However, it’s not without sacrifice. We have very strict laws made and enforced by our government that help achieve this way of life.

    Like, these for example. We cannot feed pigeons in public. If we do, it’s a $500 fine. For feeding birds! And if we sell gum, we can go to jail. You can get a huge fine if you smuggle chewing gum into Singapore.

    These laws are very extreme. You can see why the overall cleanliness is higher than most other places you visit.

    Another big difference many people notice is that there are so many cultures. You can go into one food court and see food from a dozen countries and hear five different languages. In fact, most residents speak much more than one language. Spend a few hours in public and you will hear many of them.

    You will almost definitely hear English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and a mix of all three. We have a large amount of Arabic speakers too, and you will hear the prayer calls from the many beautiful mosques.

    To some visitors from other mixed countries, it’s not a big deal. But many visitors from less integrated places like Japan, it’s a lot to take in and can be overwhelming.

    For being a fairly small place, the amount of variety from people, to food, language, and culture is amazing. It’s a bit of a paradox, as the very strict government somehow has created and allowed a very open and accepting culture.

    Having these experiences since my youth makes me see the world a little differently than many people who did not grow up here. It’s easy for me to see the differences that more closed cultures have. It makes me see the differences that larger countries have and the problems they face due to their sizes, like the U.S.A. and China.

    Looking out from this small but amazing part of the world, exploring different cultures, lifestyles, businesses, religions, and opinions is amazing. It allows for an open mind. Let’s explore the world together.

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