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THE POWER TO SUCCEED IS YOURS ALONE

Posted by 104Inc.com on February 23, 2009

Street in Pompeii {{sv|En lugn gata i Pompeji}}
Image via Wikipedia

The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that’s the day you start moving down the road to success. No one else can do it for you. Only you can make it happen. You’re the only one that has to live your life. Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility. It’s up to you to choose the thoughts and actions that will lead you to success. Your life will be what you make of it. Nothing will ever happen by itself. Success will come your way once you realize that you have to make it come your way by your own actions. You have the power to live your dreams.

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Posted by 104Inc.com on December 12, 2008

While you’re unlikely to get an all-expenses-paid trip unless you win a game show, you can still get portions your trip for free if you book certain promotions or take advantage of some alternative modes of travel. Here are my picks for top limited-time and long-term “free” travel deals worth checking out.

1. Kids Fly Free to French Polynesia

Never considered French Polynesia for family vacation? Maybe Air Tahiti Nui’s kids-fly-free deal will persuade you. When you book two adult Air Tahiti Nui fares from Los Angeles to French Polynesia from January 12 to May 31, 2009, you’ll get two free fares for kids ages 11 or younger. The deal is valid for flights to Papeete, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, and Fakarava. Adult fares start at $1,428, including all taxes. You’ll still be responsible for paying taxes on the free children’s fares.

2. Organize a Group Tour, Travel for Free

If you organize a group of people to book a package tour together, many tour companies will allow you, the group leader, to travel for free. You can choose to accept the freebie or spread some savings out to everyone in your group. Either way, it’s a good deal. Each tour operator’s group tour policy varies a bit, but most require you to put together a group with at least 10 paying individuals before you’ll get a free spot.

For example, Grand Circle Tours, a company that runs trips geared towards mature travelers on six continents, lets a group leader travel for free with 10 paid travelers on river cruises or 16 paid travelers on land tours. Go Ahead Tours, a similar operator, gives two free spots for every group of 12 or more paying guests. Be sure to ask your tour company if they offer similar deals.

3. Pay for Three Nights, Get Seven at Club Med

Club Med’s recurring “Seven-Day Weekend” package is back, promising seven nights for the price of three at eight of its all-inclusive resorts. The deal is valid at family-friendly Club Meds in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Cancun and Ixtapa, Mexico; Sandpiper, Fla.; Caravelle, Guadeloupe; and Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique; as well as adult-only Clubs Meds on Columbus Isle, Bahamas, and on Turks and Caicos. You must book by December 15 and travel by February 13 to take advantage of the promotion. Seven-Day Weekend prices range from $793 per person (normally $1,190) at the Sandpiper, Florida Club Med to $1,065 per person (normally $1,610) at the Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinque Club Med.

4. Free Weekend Rental Days From Hertz

Hertz knows the only the thing better than a weekend away is a three-day weekend away. The company makes it easier for renters to take longer weekend trips by offering the first day free when you rent a car for three or more weekend days, including a Saturday overnight. The deal applies to economy- through premium-class cars rented through March 31, 2009, in the U.S. and Canada, excluding Hawaii

5. Kids-Fly-and-Ski-Free Packages

For the past several winters, United and American Airlines have partnered with popular Western ski resorts to offer kids-fly-and-ski-free vacation packages. Generally, these promotions allow children 12 and under to fly and ski for free when an adult pays for an air-hotel-ski package at a participating resort. While not all fly-and-ski-free promotions have been announced yet for the 2008-2009 ski season, Steamboat Ski Resort in Colorado is already advertising its package, which requires a two-night minimum stay at a ResortQuest Steamboat vacation rental. Valid travel dates and blackout periods apply. Be sure to check the American Vacations and United Vacations websites in the days to come to see if other resorts join the promotion.

6. Swap Homes, Stay Free

Why not swap your apartment in New York for a cottage in the English countryside? Or maybe my Utah ski condo for your second home in Costa Rica?

By participating in a home exchange, you can get free use of another person’s house if you’re willing to let them stay in yours. It’s a common practice for a certain segment of travelers who prefer staying in vacation homes over hotels and are a bit flexible with where and when they travel. Essentially, two home owners in different places agree to switch places for vacation, using one another’s homes for no charge. Home exchange websites make it easy to find and make arrangements with other home owners, with the website usually charging a membership fee in order for you to make contact with potential exchange partners. HomeExchange.com is one of the largest of such sites, including more than 24,000 listings in destinations across the globe. A one-year membership costs $100.

7. Free Universal Orlando Theme Park Passes

This coming fall and winter, Universal Orlando is giving kids ages 3 to 9 free Unlimited Admission theme park passes when parents book four or more nights at a participating hotel and buy adult Unlimited Admission tickets. Unlimited Admission passes grant the holder seven days of access to both Universal parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Passes cost $95 each for both kids and adults, so the free child’s ticket is a big savings.

To get the free passes, you must book a stay of four or more nights at one of six local hotels, including the onsite Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Valid travel dates and blackout periods vary by hotel, but all require bookings to be made by the end of December.

8. Free Airfare for Crystal Cruises Panama Canal Sailings

When you book one of three Crystal Cruises‘ Panama Canal sailings, you’ll receive free airfare between Los Angeles and Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or Palm Beach, Fla. The cruises, which range from 14 to 16 days, sail between Miami and Los Angeles, so Crystal is essentially promising a free flight home from the final port. Departures include January 6, February 16, and May 7, 2009. Cruise fares start at $3,595 per person, not including taxes and fees.

9. Skip the Hostel, Couch Surf for Free

For young budget travelers, sometimes hostels just aren’t cheap enough. In that case, why not crash for free with one of the nearly 800,000 members of the Couch Surfing Project, a worldwide network that helps travelers link up with hosts offering free accommodations. The mission of the network is to promote cultural exchange through free hosted overnight stays. Travelers can find and request stays with potential hosts on the CouchSurfing website. Hosts offer a free place to sleep and oftentimes show guests around or share advice on places to visit nearby. As a member, you can request places to stay and host guests as you please. The site has some checks in place to help ensure the safety and trustworthiness of hosts and surfers.

10. Free Meals and Attractions for Kids in Hawaii

Families staying at ResortQuest Hawaii hotels can take advantage of free meals and free attractions admissions for kids year round. There are 26 participating hotels and condo resorts located on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.

 Upon checking into a ResortQuest property, children ages 12 and under receive a special ID card good for the length of your stay. With the ID, kids get free meals and admissions at dozens of island restaurants and attractions when accompanied by a paying adult. For example, on Oahu, kids get in free to the Polynesian Cultural Center and Honolulu Zoo with an adult admission. On Maui, children eat free with the purchase of an adult entree at the Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and the Beach Club Restaurant.

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George, we’ve got just the job for you (Funny)!

Posted by 104Inc.com on November 5, 2008

He’s had a crack at being president – but a man of George W Bush’s talents will now surely be looking for his next big challenge. I have some ideas!

As of today, George W Bush has exactly 77 days left to put his resume in order, a difficult task complicated by the fact that whatever he’s done as president, he hasn’t done much of it lately. There aren’t many positions out there suited to a former world leader and professional lame duck, but a few high-profile vacancies have presented themselves in recent weeks, and more are bound to arise as the year draws to a close. There must be some job the man can do competently. He still has so much to give.

Leader, North Korea

It’s just possible that this position will open up soon – if it hasn’t already. Bush would no doubt enjoy the constant sabre-rattling that comes with being a key player in the axis of evil (though he should bear in mind they don’t call it that), but he might have trouble adjusting to the unstinting adulation.

Tour guide, presidential library

Yes, it’s a tradition in America to establish commemorative repositories in the home state of every former commander-in-chief, regardless of reading age or standing in the worst-presidents-of-all-time table. Since this particular library is liable to be little more than a collection of cowboy hats and signed baseballs, Bush should have no trouble showing people around. It would be highly irregular for him to walk up to the front desk and say, “Hello, my name is George Bush, this is my library, and I would like an application form,” but what are they gonna do? Say no?

Star, W: the Musical

This seemingly insane scenario is predicated on the twin suppositions that the Oliver Stone biopic will translate readily to the stage and that Bush can sing. But lots of unlikely films have been turned into musicals, and if Bush turns out to be tone deaf he can always rap his way through like Rex Harrison did in My Fair Lady. Still, it would be weird. A bit like getting Jerry Springer to star in Jerry Springer: The Opera. Actually, that isn’t such a bad idea either. Or maybe Bush could play Springer. Think of the protests.

Host, MTV Awards

There are two positions to be filled here – Russell Brand already looks doubtful for next year, and Lindsay Lohan has just been fired from hosting the MTV World Music Awards, a slightly less glamorous appointment which doesn’t require much more than the ability to read from an autocue in a hesitant and uncomprehending manner. He’s a shoo-in.

Interior minister, Iran

In the old days, the only qualification for the post was a fake degree from a made-up British institution – the previous incumbent, Ali Kordan, possessed a forged certificate for an honorary degree from “London Oxford University” – but Bush has two real degrees, a BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School (I know – he wears it lightly, doesn’t he?). In fact this may be the first time Bush has gone for a job for which he is supremely overqualified, but he still has some hearts and minds to win in Tehran.

Paris Hilton’s new best friend

This has never been considered a job for life, or even long-term employment, but Paris is currently in the market for someone who is “hot, who can keep up with me, and most of all, who is real, and won’t be a backstabber”. She’s also looking in London, unfortunately. But if he can do the accent well enough to fool Paris Hilton (and how hard will that be, do you think?), he might also be able to convince her that he is both hot and real. And he’s the former president of the United States of America, so it’s not as if she’ll recognise him.

Sarah Palin’s running mate, 2012

A Palin-Bush partnership could provide the Republicans with the ultimate “maverick-anti-maverick” ticket four years from now. The 22nd amendment constitution prevents a two-term president from seeking the office again, but does the US constitution say anything about him becoming vice president and then acceding to the office through the sudden incapacitation of a phenomenally unpopular president? Actually it does – the 12th amendment states that “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States” – but does Sarah Palin know that? No. Is she going to read about it in the Times? No.

Biographer, George Bush Sr

A thorough trashing of his father’s legacy could one day see Dubya become widely regarded as only the second-worst president of the US, but he’ll need someone to check his spelling.

104politics.com

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A Hard Worker Knows That He Has Much To Be Grateful For

Posted by 104Inc.com on November 5, 2008

A Hard worker knows that he has much to be grateful for.

He was helped in his struggle by the angels; celestial forces placed each thing in its place, thus allowing him to give of his best.  His companions say: ‘He’s so lucky!’ And the hard worker does sometimes achieve things far beyond his capabilities.  That is why, at sunset, he kneels and gives thanks for the Protective Cloak surrounding him.

His gratitude, however, is not limited to the spiritual world; he never forgets his friends, for their blood mingled with his on the battlefield.  A hard worker does not need to be reminded of the help given him by others; he is the first to remember and he makes sure to share with them any rewards he receives.

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Why did a Indian railway hire a ‘monkey-man’ to protect passengers?

Posted by 104Inc.com on October 3, 2008

42-year-old man walks around on all fours to prevent animals snatching food from travellers
Walking round on all fours, with a tail sticking out of his red shorts and a brown face mask, Acchan Miyan scares the monkeys at Lucknow station, northern India. Railway bosses insist their “monkey-man” is an effective way to protect their passengers from the mischievous animals, which are prone to snatch food from travellers and tear seat covers from trains. The 42-year-old says he has been driven to the unusual profession by poverty, but is convinced that his efforts are helping passengers. But it is hard to tell who is the more bemused, the passengers, or the remaining monkeys sitting around on roof rafters, munching on bunches of bananas, watching the show below.

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