Tuesday, 20 May 2008

How To Get Rid Of The Insurance Agent!

The Insurance Industry promises many things. All those delightful, costly, lengthy insurance commercials promise you the best of education, terrific pensions that takes care of the world tour, lovely sea-front mansions, huge cars, etc etc. And they all make you believe just taking an insurance would get you those! You know where the money for all these ads come from? Of course your auto insurance quote, your life insurance quote and all the terrific insurance quotes you get and the many policies you have taken! Know what, you may not really need more insurance (i mean risk coverage by that, not investments, though insurance companies tend to mix both and absolutely misconfuddle you!). But would your agent take that. No. You will be convinced and then convinced some more that you absolutely need that policy. So how do you get rid of these pesky perseverent species?

Here are some surefire ways to keep them away.

- Tell them you are at the hospital, and could they please come over with the best life insurance quote. And then ring them back again the next day. That surely will give them a taste of their own medicine.

- You car just had an accident and you want someone/anyone to come over and clear up the mess. Most of them dont want to take ANY responsibility.

- Ditto the procedure for house insurance

- Tell them you are out of a job and could they help enhance the credit limits

- Convey conspiratorially you have a diamond mine in your backyard and could they come and survey it and then get it insured. If nothing, your garden may get dug up!

Warning and P.S. - i have nothing against insurance people. And you do need insurance. Just make sure you only cover as much as you need and as much as you can afford! Also insurance is "sold" not "bought", the poor guys are just doing their job, for a living!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Marriage Anniversary Gifts

Wedding anniversary gifts started with the idea of putting a value on each year of marriage completed. So if it is a challenge for you to come up with a wedding anniversary gift every year, the work is already cut out for you by tradition! What's really interesting is that there is a specific gift associated with each marriage anniversary.

While each of us know the traditional anniversaries, silver, golden, diamond, etc, each of these commodity is actually the gift that the man bestows on his wife. A silver garland for 25 years, a gold ornament for 50 years is the idea. At the lower end of the wedding spectrum, one year of marriage deserves a gift of paper and five years qualifies for wood. Its older the better, like wine!

Traditional wedding anniversaries gifting started in Central Europe anound mid 19th century. There was a specific gift associated upto fifth anniversary and then every five years. The American National Retail Jeweller Association in all its smartness issued a list in 1937 in what can be termed as contemporary wedding anniversary gift list. This list includes a spefic gift upto 15th year and then every fifth year. Trust them to have added ten more years of compulsory gifting!

Learn more about wedding gifts, anniversaries, history of wedding anniversary gifts both modern and contemporary here.



Thursday, 15 May 2008

Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

Socially Responsible, "Green" Mutual Funds or simply "Do Good" Mutual Funds seem to have caught the popular imagination. With everyone from Al Gore to top companies "doing good" to save the World, Md. Yunus winning the nobel prize for his work in micro-credit, being ""socially reponsible" while catering to investment needs has gone mainstream. While previously preferred only by a few, they have entered the social consciousness of an average investor.

So what is a "socially responsible" fund? In a nutshell, its a scheme of a mutual fund that invests only in companies based on their social ethics, the environment policies followed by them, their corporate governance and business ethics. These schemes are researched and rated on the above basis and then their balance sheet and market performance is taken into account. Maybe the investor will get 5% or so lower return than the best diversified fund but the satisfaction will be there that the investor's return is not adulterated by greed!

Check out this article for more on these funds.


What Is A Gormagon?

A Gormagon according to Francis Grose is a six eyed monster with three mouths, four arms, eight legs, five on one side and three on the other. Does it remind you of any one? ...just remove the word monster...then with six eyes, four arms, eight legs....what does Indian mythology have?

Indian mythology is full of such Gormagons...Only one of them has been likened to a monster (Ravana)...but he too was a "bidwan" (highly educated) and a Super King. Most Gormagons in Hindu mythology have been Gods.

Ravana had 10 heads and twenty arms (5 parasitic twins???) No wonder he could think ten times better and was revered and feared in equal measure. And who conquered him?

Rama, the lord with ten avataars... who originally is the four armed Vishnu! The for arms holding the "sankha" (conch), chakra (a revolving wheel made to measure), gada (mace), padma (lotus).

Then there is the three headed Brahma too (with six eyes)...and Durga with ten hands and three eyes. Shiva as Natraj has four arms and he also has three eyes. The third eye is all-seeing.

Indian mythology is replete with "gormagons" and none of them are monstrous like Gorse's creature.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Pattaya - The Place To Be!

Pattaya is the original "city of sin" though the Thai Govt. is trying hard to conceal the fact behind crocodile parks, elephant villages, coral islands and Ripleys museums! I mean in which other city would you find "working girls" openly accosting and soliciting single males at every roadside, beach side stall, pub, beach chairs, benches! The most amazing thing about Thailand holidays and Pattaya hotels is how they have made tourism work so efficiently with minimal knowledge of English!

I just returned from a few days trip to Thailand, and Pattaya obviously was part of the itinerary. Every travel agent during holidays in Thailand suggests Pattaya because its cheap, it has the sea and it has attractions of such exotic and erotic variety.

The trip to Pattaya was an eye opener to say the least. One couldn't help but enjoy the unprohibited show and the accompanying joie de vivre! Go-go bars on the street with open entrances (you can watch those svelte pole dancers from outside), the beautiful and "world famous" Alacazar Show (you cant even begin to guess that the performers are hermophrodites!!!), the line of beach stalls tossing together a home made fried rice, fried chicken, fruits, the beach masseuse going about her job thoroughly & professionally... and all those girls...so many of them dressed in all manners of provocation, everywhere. You cant tell one from the other. They are all stick thin, small and God knows how desperate. The lucky ones have landed a fat and rich companion. In fact where ever one looked there was a stocky elderly person with a Thai arm candy in tow, and they formed the most sought after clientele on Pattaya Beach! And then the Thai massage parlours! Parlours were there every 10 yards or so promising exotic Thai massage, Body massage, foot massage.

Pattaya Beach became all that it is famous for mainly during the Vietnam war when the soldiers came to it for recreation. Soon the local populace woke up to the opportunities and the rest is legend. However for a short period after the Vietnam War, the town faced a real crisis with no mainstay tourism with the original clientele back in their country. The town spruced up, provided more facilities and the world woke up to Pattaya.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The Ideal Diet!

This article's not for you if are serious about losing weight! This is for all out there like me who know all about the weight loss diets, who find out all they can about losing weight, low carb diets, check out all diet programs, participate in all diet plans, with absolutely no hope or intention to minimize those pounds! For us its not really extra weight, its "the ideal weight!"

I am going to talk about what people are looking for in a diet...not what they really need to lose those ungainly bulges! These two things are as different as apples and oranges as you will see!

What you really need

- a strict diet! have a look a the flat belly diet and all the other diet plans out there

- a strict diet- no impulse icecream, pastries, patties, burgers, lards, fried chicken, fried anything, restaurant food, creams, mid morning, mid evening, mid day snacks

- a strict diet - refuse that extra drink, dessert at your friend's... you might have noticed those trimmed figures always act coy while eating...SO START ACTING COY ...where the spread is mouth watering

- and regular exercise... anything...why not try the 12 second sequence weight loss program? that is HOT now! You can try anything but do GET up and BEND!

But do you really want to do all these?

Now please be honest...arent you really looking at a "get thin quick" remedy? The methods stated above above are what we all know would lose weight...eventually. So why and what are you searching for in that ultimate diet?

I know WHAT I AM searching for in that ultimate diet!

It will be a diet plan that will enable me to get up at 10 am when the holidays are on without any thought of an impending morning jog disturbing my slumber! A diet that will enable me to check on that lovely flavour in icecream that everyone seems to be gorging on! It will be maybe a diet pill that will allow me to pick up whatever food is available at the nearest store whenever i am hungry! And the diet menu should not prevent me to taste any dessert spread that I feel compelled to have when I am dining out.

And when I am home from work, my diet and exercise regimen should never never prevent me from propping up on the sofa and going to sleep munching on that fried chicken/pizza/burger/noodles watching TV and not even thinking about hitting the treadmill in the morning (remember I mean to wake up 30 mins before office)!

Will my diet allow me all this? That will be my ideal diet!