A Guide to Wine

Coming upon the long wall of wines at your local grocery store can be an intimidating experience. With so many different choices within so many different wine categories, how can you possibly choose the perfect wine to serve with your meal? Perhaps more importantly, without knowing what all these wine terms mean, how do you choose a wine that you and possibly others will enjoy? To be quite frank, unless you sit down with every bottle and taste it with the meal (not recommended), you will never know exactly what wines will go perfectly with that meal. Wine and food pairing is not a perfect science that you can learn. Instead, Recipe4Living would like to offer some general guidelines for success in pairing wine with food and several do’s and don’t for the beginner’s enjoyment of wine. This article will outline the most popular wine varieties and how they differ. In no time, you’ll feel comfortable schmoozing with the biggest wine snobs.

Enjoying Wine

* Let go of your wine assumptions, especially the belief that wine is expensive. You can easily get a great bottle of wine for under $10. As with cooking, the key to good wine is all about balance and not necessarily the rarest grapes.

* Have fun! Experiment! Enjoying wine is about what you like, not about what you are supposed to like according to the experts. When you find a wine you really like, simply note the winery and the variety. As you gain more experience with wine, you can include descriptions of different elements in the wine. Better yet, act the sophisticate and host wine tasting parties with friends and discuss different wines.

* Look for the increasingly popular screw-cap, as opposed to the cork. The problem with natural corks is that a moldy spoilage can occur in the wine (in 3-5% of natural corked bottles!) because of a reaction that sometimes occurs in the cork. Synthetic corks have attempted to solve this problem, but they are much harder to remove and cannot be used to re-seal the bottles. Old habits die hard, but more and more wineries are switching to the screw-cap.

* Certain wines are better at certain temperatures. For example, a freezing cold Chardonnay will lose much of its taste. Keep these guidelines in mind:

– Whites should be served cold between 43°F and 53°F. This can be done by chilling the bottle in ice for an hour before serving. You do not want to keep a glass of white wine in the refrigerator for long periods of time.

– Sparkling wines and champagnes should be served cooler, around 45°F.

– Although room temperature is ok, red wines should really be served between 55°F and 65°F, or cellar temperature.

* Despite its reputation for pretension, invest in some quality stemware if you want to truly enjoy wine. The right glass will truly enhance the flavor of the wine and your appreciation of it. Wine glasses need to have a large cup or “bowl” to allow the wine to breathe, because the interaction with the air releases all the wines aromas and flavors.

Removing Red Wine Stains– Truly essential information in the enjoyment of wine.

* White wine- Ironically the best stain-fighter for red wine, white wine will neutralize the wine and make it easier to remove. Simply pour some on the stain and blot gently with a rag. Don’t rub or you will force the stain deeper into the clothing or carpet fibers. After blotting up most of the wine, simply clean with your favorite carpet cleaner or stain-fighter as normal.

* Club Soda- The carbonation in club soda helps to lift the wine from the fibers.

* Salt- Salt acts as a buffer to keep the stain from setting while you look for other cleaning options.

White Wines

Chardonnay- A very drinkable white wine differentiated from other varieties by a special aging and fermentation process in oak barrels. The special oak barrels give the wine its unique aromas ranging from nutty to creamy. This wine can include tastes of vanilla, pear, lemon, pineapple, peach and more. Chardonnay is usually regarded as the white table wine.

Muscat/Moscato- This low-alcohol wine has an intensely perfumed aroma and a distinctive musky taste, and is often used as a dessert wine. The aroma of the wine can include gardenia and honey and the taste includes elements of citrus and tropical fruits.

Pinot Grigio- More colorful than other white wines, Pinot Grigio is soft and delicately perfumed. The acidity of the wine gives it a nice crispness. The wine’s elements can include flowers, subtle spices, pear, and citrus.

Riesling- This lower-alcohol wine comes from the most famous of German grapes and is characterized by a unique fruit and acid balance. Unlike many other wines, Riesling is rarely prepared in oak barrels, making it more adaptable to many types of food, including hot and spicy choices. Riesling is usually a dry wine, with sweet elements of peach and honeysuckle.

Sauvignon Blanc- One of the most aromatic wines with fragrances of grass and citrus, Sauvignon Blanc is spicier than the Chardonnay varieties. The taste can have hints of melon, gooseberry, and black currant. New Zealand produces some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc.

Red Wines

Barberra- This deep red wine comes most successfully from the Piedmont of Italy, and is heavily planted in the Central Valley of California because of its ability to withstand high temperatures. A full body, luscious berry flavors and crispness from the high acidity characterize this wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon- These full bodied, intensely flavored red wines tend to improve with aging, often spending 15 to 30 months aging in oak barrels. Such aging gives the wine toasted vanilla and cedar tastes, while the wine also features plum, black cherry, and spice elements. Now the most widely planted grape in the world, the Cabernet Sauvignon grape actually come from a cross between two French varieties: Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Merlot- A softer and much less intense red wine than cabernet that is ready to drink sooner. The dry smoothness of the wine makes it a popular choice in restaurants. Merlot is often mixed with cabernet to soften its acidity. Descriptions of the wine’s tastes include many of the same as cabernet and green olive, herbs, and chocolate. The Merlot grape responds well to cooler climates making it very versatile.

Pinot Noir- Widely regarded as the most difficult grape to grow, this delicate wine is logically one of the most sought after varieties of wine, originating in the Burgundy region of France. This elegant wine can include elements of raisin, black cherry, and strawberry.

Sangiovese- This dry red wine is characterized by a smooth texture, medium-bodied spice flavors, and an earthy aroma. Made from a grape native to Northern Italy, Sangiovese is often used for Italian Chianti wines.

Syrah- This flavorful wine originates in the Rhone region in France and has many raspberry, pepper and spice aromas and flavors. In addition to France, the grape for Syrah is now also very successful in Australia.

Zinfandel- Although much of Zinfandel is turned into a sweet blush wine called White Zinfandel, Zinfandel is a red wine made from the most popularly grown grape in California. The hearty grape is very adaptable to a producer’s manipulation, making it very versatile. Zinfandel is very fruity, with raspberry, cherry, and plum tastes.

Blush Wines- Blush wines or rosé wine, which have a lighter pink color, are made by removing the skins of red grapes early in the fermentation process. This technique also lightens the flavor of the red grapes, creating a more delicate wine. White Zinfandel is actually produced as the product of “bleeding” regular Zinfandel, or removing some of the juice to heighten certain flavors and color in the wine. The juice is then fermented separately.

Sparking Wine & Champagne- Carbon dioxide resulting from natural fermentation of the grapes makes these wines bubbly. Although often used interchangeable, laws in many countries dictate that champagne can only refer to wine produce in the Champagne region of France. The major varietals used to make French champagne include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. American producers of sparkling wine use the same nomenclature as European producers. Ironically, on a scale from driest to sweetest, sparking wine or champagne is labeled thus:

Natural (Brut Nature)- Driest

Brut

Extra Dry

Dry (Sec)

Semi-Dry (Demi-Sec)

Sweet (Doux)

Wine and Food Pairings– Traditional wisdom on pairing wine with food dictates that white wine pairs well with white meats and red wine with red meats. In recent years, more creative sommeliers (the person in charge of wines at a restaurant) have shown that this rule is not always necessary or even correct. The sauce and the preparation of the food are most important to wine pairing, and many different wines may work well with a certain dish. In general though, the best rule of thumb is to try and match more delicate flavors with lighter wine like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, hearty cream flavors with medium bodied wines like Chardonnay and Merlot, and thicker meaty or spicy flavors with fuller wines like Syrah. When reading through these suggestions of wine and food pairings, keep in mind that there are no set rules.

Zinfandel- roast beefs

Syrah- beef stews, barbecue

Cabernet Sauvignon- steak

CheeseRiesling- most cheeses

Sauvignon Blanc- earthier cheeses

Chocolate

Cabernet Sauvignon- dark chocolate

Dessert

Muscat/Moscato- sweeter desserts

Riesling- most desserts

Fish and Seafood

Pinot Grigio

Sauvignon Blanc

Chardonnay- Richer seafood dishes and most shellfish

Lamb

Cabernet Sauvignon- roast lamb

Syrah- stews

Pinot Noir- chops

Pasta

Sangiovese- great for most pasta dishes

Barberra- especially good with lasagna

Pizza

Barberra- most tomato sauces

Syrah- spiced meats and sausages on pizza

Poultry

Chardonnay- grilled chicken and cream sauce chickens

Pinot Grigio- turkey

Merlot- grilled chicken, barbecue

Syrah- Duck or other fowl

Pork

Merlot- chops

Pinot Noir- tenderloin, sausage

Zinfandel- roast pork and garlicky dishes

Salads/Vegetables

Sauvignon Blanc

White Zinfandel

Pinot Grigio- for salads and vegetables with creamy sauces or dressings

Copyright © 2006 Ampere Media LLC

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Source by Caley Walsh

RPG: Table and Computer

It’s not a secret that table RPG games are not so popular as they used to be. However a certain number of amateurs are still fond of them. What is so particular about a pasteboard box or a book with rules? It seems that all the advantages have their ” younger computer brothers”: no manual calculations, no bricks ( the number of which is from one to almost 20). In general, no additional efforts are needed- just relax, play and don’t worry. But nothing of the kind- groups of maniacs with burning eyes run to the special shop( if there is any), buy another book, and having met in some dark place in the evening, start to crunch with pens and tinkle the dice.

Why are these poor things so attracted by this desperately ancient way of entertainment?

Let’s try to answer this question by displaying the most similar and different features of table and computer RPG.

Firstly, any RPG is a Role Paying Game, which is supposed to have a character, and a system of his development. This feature is typical for both the “brothers”. The character as the player’s realization in the created RPG world is very important. Your playing capabilities depend on his features.

Secondly, any decent RPG is based on some world (sometimes, realistic but more often-fantastic one). The depth of the world ( The card details, atmosphere entirety, detailed development of the world components) and , so to say, the mood (optimistic and colorful or destructive and gloomy, funny or extremely rigid, strict),- all this taken together defines the audience of the game.

These two points have a great meaning, they allow the player to associate himself with a certain character and being in his shoes to go through the situations which are impossible in ordinary life.

All this is very good but let’s return to our muttons: to the difference between computer and table RPG.

Probably, trite comparison of books and films will be to the place here. The former make us use our brains and imagination, the latter give us everything ready-made. The peculiarity of table RPG, its strong and at the same time weak point is hope for player’s imagination.. In the classical table RPG you’ll find a text, some illustrations and… all the rest you should imagine yourself. It’s true, that during the gaming process everything depends on the leader (Dungeon Master, Game Master, etc.) and on the players. The leader explains the situation, describes the characters and the events orally (yes, he does it with the help of words!!!) and the players perceive this information judging from their abilities. What are the advantages of such a game play? They are quite evident: everyone perceives the game in his own way (with the help of his imagination), but at the same time, if the game is rather good, a special “field” of common perception and mood is formed. It’s not an allegation as the author has great experience of playing table RPG and so he knows all ins and outs. When the game has a success, the players seem to be in the same “information field” and sometimes they don’t even perceive the events in real life. It’s just like reading a thrilling book. But sometimes such beauty turns into a terrible thing. What is so horrible about it? The trouble is, the game may be a complete failure if it’s leaded by a talentless and not very experienced master, or if the players turn out to be so-so (that is less critical). In such a case the game fails no matter how beautiful the original RPG world is. Everything gets wrong when after each word the master utters: “well, eh, oh…” and it takes the players 10 minutes to think over each further act. The game reaches a deadlock, a perfect illusion is breaking into the small pieces of separate sentences.

I must admit, sometimes it’s all RPG developers ‘fault that such failures take place, especially when the rules of the game aren’t logical or overcharged with unnecessary details. May the fans forgive me, but the last time the author had to play AD&D, there was such a situation:

-Player:” I want to kill that Gobline!”

-Master: “throw the dice for marksmanship. Uph, you shoot in the darkness-that means, the fine should be taken into account. Well.. have you got the bonus? Aha…I’ll find it, wait a bit… Oh…

throw these three bricks on D-20,…Hmmm…where is that table? OK, we are going to count all the damages and take into account his armor and the spell and that’s all!”

I don’t say everything was exactly so, but on the whole-just the way I described. What absorption into fantastic world can we talk about if you have to remember 20 figures and throw the dice dozen times for each act! But not all the table games have such a disadvantage. Besides, we may ignore too “hard” rules.

Now let’s analyze what we have in computer RPG.

From the first look everyt5hing is just the same-the game system, characters, the game world. But all these things are already made, you can see the picture with your eyes. Is it good or bad?

It depends. By all means, it’s pleasant to see “visual” character, a charming landscape, fire from shots, etc. But your own brains don’t work any longer since there’s no necessity in it. Besides, we won’t see “our own world”. We perceive things as they should be from the game developers’ point of view. Their way of perception becomes ours as well. You will never be able to see the world with your own eyes and make the character really yours, no matter how hard the developers tried to improve the game. Such a situation has two consequences:

1) Tragic one: your imagination is completely blocked and you don’t like the others’ vision.( such a situation is typical for the most of projects).

2) Pleasant one: some painters and designers create real masterpieces and we can’t but admire their world vision ( here you perfectly understand the difference between your plain brains and a talented professional’s work).

But are there many games like that in the second point? Frankly speaking, I know only one-Fallout. And I appreciate not the graphics but amazing style, exact place of every button, picture, character.

Let’s also mention incontestable advantage of computer RPG. It deals with those calculations which make so many table RPG boring. Computer will calculate all the fines, bonuses and character’s features in a flash. Strange as it may seem but computer games are based just on the table systems and the developers of the former ones don’t aim to overcharge machines with numerous correlations and parameters.

At last we’ve come to a very sensitive problem of the computer RPG- opportunities provided in the game. Sometimes playing RPG on the computer you may suddenly want to act the way not offered by the plot of the game. ( to look into the hatch which is pictured on the background or to take the car you are not allowed to). I am sure that such things are familiar to every gamer. It’s great if the plot and the locations are well considered. And what if they are not ( as it happens more often)? We must admit that the developers of computer games are constantly improving the gamer’s opportunities in the installed worlds. But if the direction is not perfect, the game turns into hard work and it makes the player take advantage of all the improvements (even if he is not willing to).

Table RPG is another matter: the action there is equal to one word, no talks linearity ( you can communicate with the leader the way you like), no plot linearity ( you can do what you like until you are killed). Full freedom of the decisions and actions provided by table RPG will never be substituted by any perfect program. Here you can act as you like.

Besides, the standard of the game can be easily changed. For example, I can tell you from my own experience that once I started the game as a guard (pure RPG adventure) and finished as an emperor (RPG+tactics+strategy).

That’s it.

It’s for you to judge what is better. What and how to play is also for you. But I’d like to say (from my own experience again) that table RPG develop our brains while computer ones don’t.

A friend of mine being an active table player suddenly began reading books( he didn’t use to do it since his childhood). He started to read not classical masterpieces or since fiction. That was fantasy. But anyway he began READING, and that’s the point.

Another my friend got used to computer and became a real fan and gamer. Now I constantly see black areas under his eyes and our communication is bothered by a turned on PC.

Of course, these are separate examples and the author must admit, he is addicted to computer RPG . But nevertheless it’s table RPG which gives us the opportunity to communicate and improve. That ‘s what all the author’s life experience tells about.

P.S. I’m ready to an open discussion of the topic. You are free to write your thoughts to me.

By the way, an interesting question: does anybody see the opportunity to combine the two kinds of RPG described above? What if there is the golden mean? What if there is?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

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Source by Peter Efimov

The Style That Christofle Flatware Gives

Set up in early 1830, Christofle flatware has made its mark in the tableware with the commissioned by people like Pope Pius IX and Paris Opera. A very prestigious name in the production of china, crystal and flatware, Christofle silverware and giftware currently commands a high price in the market.

Christofle flatware offers wide variety of spoons, forks and knives. Regular products such as Teaspoon, Tablespoon, Dinner Fork, Dinner Knife, Standard Soup Spoon, Standard Fork, Standard Knife, Dessert Soup, Dessert Fork, and Dessert Knife are available in all sort of patterns.

Apart from the regular items Christofle manufacture, several other types of spoons were also manufactured by Christofle. They include Gourmet Sauce Spoon, Cream Soup Spoon, Coffee Spoon, Ice Cream Spoon, Demitasse Spoon, Large Serving Spoon, Salad Serving Spoon, Potato Spoon, and Rice Spoon. Ladles, a type of spoon that comes in primary three types – Soup Ladle, Gravy Ladle and Fat Separating Gravy Ladle was also manufactured by Christofle.

Christofle not only manufactured large variety of spoons but forks too. To list a few, Fish Fork, Salad Fork, Two Pronged Fork, Cake Fork, Oyster Fork, Large Serving Fork, Salad Serving Fork, Fish Serving Fork, and Carving Fork. Similarly, Fish Knife, Fish Serving Knife, Carving Knife, Cheese Knife and Butter Spreader. This are just some of the variety in the huge inventory of Christofle.

Other flatware items not mentioned like Cake or Ice Cream Server, Sugar Spoons and Tongs, and Chopsticks are also very popular. One of the most popular pattern in Chopsticks is the Baguettes Galet. They come in two forms, mainly Japanese and Chinese and because they are made from tropical wood, the final product are very delicately finished and is exceptionally smooth to touch.

Some of the exlusive Christofle collection comes from the sterling silver flatware. Its prices can range from $800 – $1250. Some current patterns available are Aria Gold, Commodre, Galea, Albi, Aria, Chinon, Cluny, Marly, Malmaison, Oceana, and Perles.

All the sterling patterns are also available in silver plating except Aria Gold and Commodre. The other patterns that are available in silver platting includes America, Drop, Rubans, Tenere, Vertigo, and Spatour

Christofle silverware also offers solid and elegant stainless steel. The patterns available are Hekla, Adagio, Albi II, Albi SatinII, Elementaire, Elemantaire Mat, Osiris, Perles-Mimosa, Tenere, and Urban

Christofle silverware is also available in solid and elegant stainless steel. The patterns available are Hekla, Adagio, Albi II, Albi SatinII, Elementaire, Elemantaire Mat, Osiris, Perles-Mimosa, Tenere, and Urban. Available in a price range of $100 to $200, such flatware is affordable and entails easy maintenance. Christofle offers its own range of cleaning products for its silverware.

Christofle flatware, along with its china and crystal, is immensely popular among collectors of quality silverware. With more than a century and a half of experience behind them, Christofle has become a name to be reckoned with in this industry.

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Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Rod Low

Home Decor Clocks – A Unique Gift to Give

Clocks are responsible for all our everyday tasks and have become a vital part of our life. Along with contemporary furniture home decor clocks have become a central attraction in the room. They have become popular decorative items which make them exceptional gifts that can be cherished as memorable keepsakes. There are many types of decorative clocks that can be given as gifts like tabletop pieces, contemporary wall clocks, elegant wrought iron creations and more.

There are a wide variety of ideas when you think about choosing beautiful and decorative clocks as a gift. For instance, you can choose a boutique rose wall clock that is available in antique finish, with Roman numeral face in a classic round shape, for someone who loves flowers. The beautiful bouquet of roses with an antique look can enhance and uplift the decor of your kitchen or add grace and charm to one’s sewing room. There are many contemporary designs available in various types of home decor clocks. They provide a chic and stylish look and a futuristic design providing great options to design the room with. They also make great and unique gift for teenagers or vivacious and spirited youths. Clocks can also be perfect gifts for your bar room.

When you are thinking of giving a gift of novelty, you can always go for metal wall clocks or wooden clocks that offer a different and unique appeal to the foyer or hallway. You can choose an attractive solid hardwood clock with classic walnut finish with metal casing and brass finish which makes a perfect accompaniment especially for a fireplace and adds a memorable touch to the mantle, shelf or desk. A wooden wall clock is a fantastic idea as the pendulum clock presents a fascinating display that adds unique character and charm to any room.

There is a fantastic variety of home decor clocks available in various online furniture stores. You can easily choose a formal style clock to add sense of elegance and charm for the dining room or a trendy bright colored wall clock for the play room or kitchen or a contemporary modern design to perfectly compliment any room in your office or home. They are available in metal, glass, wood and plastic and many are also available in various different themes. They are indeed fun to collect and are truly regarded as ideal home gifts to give to your friends and family.

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Source by Ginny Sandhu

Automatic Watches Versus Mechanical Watches – What is the Difference?

Watches were first invented in Switzerland many centuries ago. Mechanical watches came first. Then automatic watches were invented. Both types of watches are still in use today. It is a matter of personal preference as to which type of watch you decide to use.

How does the mechanical watch work?

Mechanical watches utilize energy from a wound spring. They keep time through a regulated release of energy through the wheel train, which is a set of gears, and an escapement. The components of the watch are all mechanical. One winding can make the watch run for forty hours. There are some designs that will last for eight to ten days on one winding. In order to keep a mechanical watch working for a long time, it needs to be serviced periodically.

What is the history of mechanical watches?

Mechanical watches go back to Peter Henlein (1480-1542). The number of parts varies, but usually it has about one hundred and thirty parts or more. Some mechanical watches record phases of the moon, keep a record of the date and record time on a daily basis.

What do they do when they service a mechanical watch and how often should you have one serviced?

They make sure that the components are well lubricated. They also make sure that it is free of any dust, dirt or moisture. The rule of thumb to go by for servicing a mechanical watch is to have the water resistance checked every year and have the watch serviced about every three to five years.

Why do people get mechanical watches?

Mechanical watches are made with fine craftsmanship, aesthetics, and tradition. This type of watch is made with wonderful precision by the craftsman who assembles the watch.

How does the automatic watch work?

In automatic watches, the movement of the wrist and body makes the rotor pivot freely. The action of the wrist, even slight action, causes the rotor to rotate back and forth in a circular motion. The mainspring is wound via the movement of the rotor. The mainspring is the coiled spring that powers the watch. This type of watch also needs to be serviced.

What is the history of the automatic watch?

The original rotor goes back to Abraham Louis-Perrelet (1729-1826). The modern rotor used in the automatic watches was developed by Rolex. Emily Borer, the chief of Rolex at the time of its invention, is the one who is given credit for it.

What do they do when they service an automatic watch and how often should you have one serviced?

They will re-lubricate the watch and check the seals on it. The seals should be checked every year. The automatic watch should be serviced every three to five years.

Why do people get automatic watches?

Just as people get mechanical watches for the tradition and craftsmanship people also get automatic watches for the same reasons.

Mechanical watches and automatic watches faded out when quartz watches came about. However, about ten years ago, both types of watches began to gain popularity especially among collectors.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Zai Zhu

Gift Giving in the Office

If your office practices giving gifts to co-workers during the holiday season, there are several things to consider. While shopping for relatives is difficult enough, shopping for co-workers you may not know very well can be quite the challenge. Here are a few ideas:

Gift Certificates:

Gift certificates may very well be the never-fail gift idea. Choose general stores, like grocery stores or department stores, or a specialty store if you know the person’s preference, hobbies or interests. Try local restaurants, butcher shops, music stores, photography studios for gift certificate ideas, or even services such as landscaping, decorating or home improvement services.

Another great choice would be a mall gift certificate. Many malls offer gift certificates that most stores inside the complex will honor. That way the recipient can choose which store they’d like and choose their own perfect gift.

A gift certificate is a great idea for a coworker that you know little about. Some inquiring may be needed if you want to go the specialty store route, but general stores and local businesses are typically a good idea for gift certificates.

Office-friendly gifts:

If you’re really stuck on an idea, try something for the person’s office, cubicle or work area. Try finding a nice plant, an inspirational items like plaques and posters, a radio, calendars or perhaps even some kind of office equipment the person might enjoy. A seat cushion or padded mouse pad could be a great idea.

Gift baskets:

Try a themed gift basket with the coworker’s interests in mind. For the coffee-drinker, there are a variety of pre-made coffee themed gift baskets, or you could make your own for a personalized touch. There are many choices for food-themed gift baskets, such as teas, crackers, cheeses, etc.

There are a few things you may want to consider before purchasing a gift. Religion is one of those.

In most cases, the employees in an office come from a variety of backgrounds and prescribe to a variety of beliefs. What may be a great gift to one person, can often be a bad idea for another, and religion is one of the things that should be considered. If you’re not sure of a person’s religion, steer clear of religious items altogether.

Along the same lines of thought, avoid alcoholic gifts such as wine if you are uncertain to whether a coworker drinks alcohol or not. Also, food allergies should be taken into consideration, as well as foods that could be taboo in another person’s culture. Again, certain types of items are best given when you know the person’s background and religious beliefs first.

Gifts given to coworkers can be a great way to maintain a friendly office environment, as well as promoting friendship among employees. There are a few considerations that should be taken when choosing a gift, but there are also some great general ideas that can be personalized and appreciated by the recipient.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Tonia Jordan

Answer 7 Questions and Save Office Equipment Costs

In recent years, the convergence of office equipment technologies has brought with it a huge choice in Multifunctional, All-in-One devices which can scan, copy, print and fax documents – either at the desktop for independent workers or via a networked standalone device for company workgroups. This latter configuration, of course, can become a “network of networks” in larger organisations, where several devices are strategically placed for maximum throughput and optimum efficiency.

Controlling Ownership Costs: The Challenge

Along with this convergence, the challenge of controlling costs has become exponentially more difficult, when ease of access to powerful print/copy devices is an encouragement to generate more hard-copy documents, and indeed, to make use of high-level facilities which may not suit the needs of the task in hand. Additionally, the reliance of a business on a reduced set of workflow devices makes it more vulnerable to the effect of equipment downtime. The attractive concept of saving capital costs by investing in one piece of All-in-One equipment, where previously several were needed is thus countered by concerns for the “Total Cost of Ownership”, which relates to the ongoing expense of maintaining and servicing the device.

What is Total Cost of Ownership?

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is the generic term which describes the accounting of the direct, visible costs and the indirect and invisible costs of equipment usage as well as initial acquisition. How the indirect costs are to be accounted for is a complex and controversial subject – and in essence, it can only be a long-term calculation based on experience and monitoring.

Measurement of the yield of consumable supplies (toner, drum, developer or cartridge) is of course the main focus of any TCO test methods. However, other aspects of TCO include equipment reliability (how much will a half-day downtime cost?), or simply the refilling of paper trays or replacing toner and cartridges. A great deal of exhaustive testing is required to arrive at true figure for any organisation.

Your Steps Towards Cost Savings

A major component of TCO, of course, is the actual production of hard copy paper documents. Much more paper is often produced than is necessary – in spite of the fact that most of us would prefer to live and work in a less cluttered environment. Hence it would seem that a simple step in the direction of reducing TCO would be to introduce a daily discipline whereby we ask ourselves:

– is it really necessary to print a hard copy?

– if it is necessary, what quality of paper is needed?

– is it necessary to have a full size hard copy?

– is it necessary to have the hard copy only single-sided?

– what will happen to the copy in – 1 day? or in 1 week? or in 1 month? or 1 year?

– where and how is it going to be stored during that time?

– how will it be disposed of when it is no longer useful?

It becomes obvious after asking these questions, that immediate and significant savings can be made by:

– reducing the number of documents output to hard copy for filing purposes

– thus reducing paper use, toner use, staff time in filing and retrieving, as well as the actual filing space,

– refusing the temptation to print out emails

– outputting any necessary draft, temporary or file copies at reduced size – 2-up on a sheet at least

– outputting any necessary draft, temporary or file copies in duplex, as double-sided documents

Such methodology will introduce savings of great significance. They require simple discipline to introduce, and in the long run they will reinforce the commercial sense of investing in powerful, Multi functional office equipment.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Jimi St. Pierre

The History of Chinese Shoes

We need to wear shoes to protect our feet every day.Do you know something interesting histories about Chinese shoes?Follow me,Let’s learn something about it.

Foot Clothing: the earliest shoes and socks

The earliest shoes in China were made by tanned animal hide. They are the ancestor of leather boots.

In the ancient script engraved on bone and tortoise shell it depicts a whole animal hide was trimmed and stretched out. This would indicate that, at the time written Chinese was being formulated, socks and shoes were both related to leather. In ancient times there was no distinction between shoes and socks. The ancients would protect their feet by cutting out pieces of animal hide, wrapping them around their feet, and securing them with leather thongs. According to archaeologists, this kind of foot wrapping first appeared in the Old Stone Age.

Straw Shoes

People in the east and south of China were making straw shoes using bamboo needles and flax thread. Archaeological finds show that as early as 7,000 years ago, ancient Chinese had learned to make articles of daily use from plant fibers.

Many kinds of grass can be used to make shoes. In ancient times, almost all people across China wore straw shoes, excepting nomadic tribes. The main difference in mode of this footwear was that people in the frigid north wore thick straw boots, while those in the hot, humid south wore straw sandals. Straw footwear was worn by all, whether they were nobles, men of letters or farmers. Even today, local farmers still weave straw shoes for daily use and export.

Wooden Sandals

Ancient Chinese also made wooden sandals by attaching straw ropes to wooden soles.

Silk Shoes

Silkworm breeding started about 5,000 years ago in China. In the Shang Dynasty, some 3,000 years ago, people learned how to weave silk cloth and color it with mineral and plant dyes. The development of sericulture greatly influenced Chinese shoe making, and colorful silk shoes gradually replaced straw shoes.

High Heel Shoes in old times

Manchu women’s high heel shoes (from 18th to 20th century) had a concave heel of 10 to 15 cm in the center of the instep. The vamp was made of silk and embroidered with designed of flowers, birds, and fruits. These shoes are inconvenient to walk in, but they encourage the swaying gait of the wearer which was regarded as beautiful and also made the wearer tower over the others.

The picture on the right shows the Empress Dowager Cixi’s splendidly decorated shoes dripping with strings of pearls.

Traditional Cotton Shoes

Traditional black cotton shoes with white cotton padded soles have been very popular since a hundred years ago and continued to be popular in rural areas of China today.

Sturdy cotton shoes (the vamp can be made of silk, velvet, or quilted cotton for winter days to keep feet warm) go with any fabric in any season, dressy or casual. They suits for teenage girls, middle age, and old ladies. They fit any type of foot because they simply take the shape of the foot they are on.

When I was a child I worn quilted cotton shoes quite often in winter. My mother made the sole, sewed with linen, stitched together with many layers of cloth. She bought the vamp from open markets and stitched it with the sole using a big needle. I miss the soft and cosy feeling of those handmade quilted cotton shoes. However, they are not suitable for rainy days due to the material used. Certainly they won’t be much of use in England’s wet winter except wearing them as indoor slippers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Schnell, zuverlässig und kompetent


Source by Jamine Shen

Tips For Women’s Clothing

The list of most adorable things in a woman’s life definitely includes her clothings. Women and fashion are complimentary to each other. This is a very desirable approach too. After all, the fashion conscious women bring color and life everywhere. Just imagine a world where no woman takes care in selecting her apparels. How lifeless the surroundings will be! But women should also think about the quality and comfort of the dresses they wear. Fashion, quality and comfort should go together. Then only the ultimate purpose of womens clothing will be fulfilled.

What to do when Buying Clothes?

When you are a little careful and are ready to spend a little more time when buying clothes, you will get quality clothings and will feel good after wearing them.

Plan before Shopping

Plan what do you want- casual wear, business apparel or a party wear. Also important is to decide what style and trend work better for you? Are you comfortable with bold types or the conservative styles? What is your budget? What are the colors that suit you the most? and what are the basic styles that suit your body type? The answers will definitely help you in finding the right stores according to your needs.

Select Quality Clothings

Its always better to have smaller better quality wardrobe than to have a large number of low quality clothings. The second option can put you in embarrassing situation anytime. So be careful while checking the quality of the clothes.

Examine the fabric: If you see the fabric in sufficient light, you can make out the flaws and pulls in its structure. Learn to differentiate between high quality and low quality fabrics. One of the ways to develop this quality is to visit high-end women’s fashion boutique. Touch the fabric on the higher end designer clothing and feel their texture. Next, visit a lower end fashion outlet and do the same exercise. You’ll soon develop an ability to determine fabric quality.

Check the finish and the accessories of the clothing: Check the stitching that should be in straight line with an average of ten stitches per inch. Check the belt, if there’s any. Cheap, thin, or flimsy belts will mean that the entire garment might be of lower quality. Zippers should mix in with the color of the garment and should not be obvious. Move the zipper up and down to ensure its proper working. High quality women’s clothing generally have smooth, finished buttonholes which fit neatly over the button. The hems should be hand sewn and invisible from the outside of the garment.

Although expensive and branded apparels are usually of high quality but if your budget does not allow to go for such kinds, you can explore ways to buy high quality clothes at cheaper rates. You can wait for the holiday sales by the brands to shop for the coming seasons. Another way is to shop online. Many internet stores offer women’s clothing at low costs so that they may save the cost of running a physical store.

So now you know what all is required to have a good wardrobe! Why wait? Start planning for your next buy!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Schnell, zuverlässig und kompetent


Source by Barbie Thomas

Fashion – Become an Alpha Male

To become an alpha male you must know how to project yourself in the best possible light. Image can be defined as a mental conception of an individual.

Our image of somebody is created by the beliefs that we have about that person. It may be the impressions we form when meeting somebody new or it may be an individual’s reputation that has developed over time. Our impression about other people may be based on how they look, speak or behave. A person’s overall image may consist of a variety of factors, including their clothing, grooming, voice tone, vocabulary, body language and social behaviours. Your image is so important because other people will make assumptions based on limited information. For example, somebody may be perceived as trustworthy because they maintain strong steady eye contact. They may be judged as capable, professional, successful, intelligent and wealthy because they are well dressed. The reverse is also true. This chapter will focus on how to create a powerful and positive image through dress sense and fashion.

In all societies throughout history, fashion has served as an indicator of social status and cultural belonging. It is true that the manner in which people dress proclaims their place in a given society.

Military uniforms provide a very obvious indication of power, status and rank. By adopting a uniform you make a clear statement of your alliances. In politics, leaders of countries will deliberately alter their appearance when dealing with foreign cultures. Eastern leaders will dress in their own style in their own country but when visiting and negotiating with a Western nation, they may abandon their traditional garb in favour of a Western-style suit. Similarly, European politicians will carefully calibrate their wardrobes to establish a link with a particular audience.

Perhaps the greatest example of the power of appearance occurred during the televised 1960 presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Kennedy looked youthful, tanned and relaxed in his slim-cut suit. Nixon had a five o’clock shadow, looked rumpled and perspired throughout the debate. After the debates, polls indicated that those who had listened on the radio overwhelmingly thought that Nixon had come out on top. But among those who saw the debates on television, the vast majority felt that Kennedy had done a far superior job. And we all know how that election turned out.

Fashion Tips 1

Many men have serious problems when it comes to fashion. It can cost so much and clothing trends and styles change so quickly. Of course, there is no simple solution to fashion. Everyday your style may change depending on a variety of different factors. This section will teach you, in depth, the best way to look your absolute best, in every situation. Once you are finished reading it, go over the main points to internalise the teachings and your fashion sense will improve dramatically.

Take Note of Stylish People

The first step of fashion excellence is to become aware of what other people are wearing. Compliment people on their styles and if you see somebody who is particularly well-dressed, don’t hesitate to stop and ask them where they bought it. You will pick up more fashion tips in this way than you could possibly realise. Most people will quite happily tell you the best stores to shop in and you will have a much better understanding of what’s in style, what to wear on certain occasions, and how to best spend your money. When you are flicking through magazines, make a mental note of the best dressed celebrities, especially if they are photographed over several days, wearing different clothes. Make note of the colours and the styles and go out and buy a mix and match of similar items. Every fashion icon started out by emulating the style of others and this is one of the best ways to get your fashion up to speed.

Make Sure your Clothes Fit

So many people overlook this vital principle. Most guys who see a designer jacket for a bargain price will buy it even if it a size too big. It’s so important that you wear fit you perfectly. If your top is too large, the extra fabric can make it seem like you’re swimming in your shirt. If you are of a slim build, only wear single or double breasted blazers and make sure to tailor them so they fit properly throughout your entire body. Make sure to avoid any loose fabric under the arms or in the shoulder area. An oversized blazer that doesn’t fit your measurements will leave you looking sloppy. There are certain fashion tactics that you can employ to hide your own flaws and accentuate your physical attributes. No matter what your body type, there is a personal style of dressing that will suit you best. With jeans, this is especially relevant. Starting out, the most dramatic improvement you can make in your style is to make sure everything fits. Sizes will vary with different brands but proper fit is crucial. Bad fit is an epidemic, cure yourself.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Who among all your friends has the best fashion sense? Going shopping with someone who has excellent taste is always a great idea. Make sure they are honest with you and are comfortable enough to tell you what doesn’t look good on you. The people who work in the store can often lead you astray by picking the most expensive item over the one that actually suits you best. Stick with your friend’s opinion and trust them enough to leave your comfort zone. If the recommend something that stands out a little, go with it and see what response you get. By standing out, you portray a lot of self confident and other people will often perceive you as interesting. If you are in a social gathering, women may open conversation with you by commenting on your attire. The next time you are shopping with your friend, try on some items you normally would shy away from. You may be surprised at how much they suit you.

Men’s Jewellery

Recently men’s jewellery has seen a renaissance. Now, a new generation of young, urban metrosexuals are apparently comfortable enough with revealing their feminine side to wear a pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings. Although men’s jewellery still represents a fraction of overall jewellery sales, the MTV bling look has helped sell diamond-faced watches as well as large diamond earrings. Mass market jewellery retailers have cottoned on to this trend and are in a race to get actors to endorse their wide range of men’s jewellery. Tiffany had quietly expanded its usual watch and cufflink collections to include silver pendants, rings and bracelets.

When photos of Brad Pitt appeared in magazines, showing the actor wearing a silver pendant and cufflinks for the movie Oceans Twelve, men were out looking to buy “Brad Pitt” pieces. Similarly, Orlando Bloom has been photographed wearing men’s jewellery on magazine covers and the actor Johnny Depp is well known for his leather bracelets. George Clooney has also been seen wearing jewellery in a very understated, confident way. It’s not surprising then that jewellery retailers will work the celebrity circuit in any possible way. At this year’s Cannes festival, there was a desperate race to dress film stars with exquisite dresses, footwear and jewellery. The jeweller Chopard hired the entire floor of the Majestic hotel devoted to a heavily guarded treasure suite in an effort to entice celebrities to borrow some of their jewels for the occasion. Also new pieces were flown in daily from Geneva for actors to borrow.

Award shows and fashion shows are becoming all important showcase arenas for jewellery retailers. Competition between jewellery makers is increasing as the market for jewellery and men’s jewellery expands with the growth of economies in Asia and the US. In fact, anything a man can put on show is the key to nifty accessorising. According to new research out by Verdict, British men now spend £1.1billion a year on accessories, one fifth of that is spent on jewellery and watches. So as far as men are concerned, men’s rings could be just as important an accessory as wearing a watch or carrying the latest mobile phone. The same trend is seen in India, where young men appear more open about revealing a more feminine side. Jewellery retailers in major Indian cities have seen a boom in sales of men’s rings, bracelets and earrings.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Schnell, zuverlässig und kompetent


Source by Stephan Nolan

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