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Archive for June, 2008


My good friend Garth will soon be walking down the aisle, and over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to observe all his preparations – trips to the tailor, talking with different caterers, etc. What I’ve also observed the amount to spending he has done already – and the wedding is still over a month away. He says nothing, but I believe he never anticipated that a wedding could cost so much money and it’s beginning to stress him out.

Soon Liuda and I will be going down the marriage road, but unlike my friend Garth – we’re aware that happiness and hopefulness of any wedding can also be stricken with the jitterness from bridal budget. Too many times I’ve seen here in Dominica, brides and grooms create elaborate plans that don’t truly reflect the real cost of wedding and that the end causes stress.

Here are five tips I believe anyone who is getting married on a limited budget to avoid getting bridal budget jitters – whether the wedding in two day, two weeks or two months away.

Balance your bridal budget. If you already have a budget in place, go back and start cutting out expenses to give yourself a 25 percent cushion for unexpected costs. This will eliminate the stress that comes with aiming too high with your budget. You will also erase future stress in you knowing that you have planned for unexpected costs. Also you can get friend or family members whose great at finance (and married) to help.

Let Others Help With wedding Expenses. If you don’t have the money you thought you would have for your wedding, delegate one of those items on your budget to a friend or family member. Brides are always being asked, “What do you want for a wedding gift?” But remember: Don’t assign an item on your budget list (flowers, cake, etc.) unless you are asked first. Please don’t ask your friends to help with finances for you wedding – thats just not good manners – wait to be asked.

What are your real budget goals? Is your budget designed to impress friends, family members and co-workers? This is your wedding, and an over-stressed bride can ruin a happy occasion – erase those peer pressure expenses and focus on being relaxed to look your best, without the worry lines and sleep deprivation that comes with bridal budget jitters.

Simplify. Having too much on your planning plate can increase the stress levels of any bride and groom. Reception buffets are less expensive and stressful than formal sit-down luncheons or dinners. Just keep it simple, and watch those bridal jitters disappear.

Finally, stay on track. Now that you’re in smart budget mode for your wedding, every time you revisit your bridal budget is a new opportunity to find a fast way to eliminate an unnecessary financial expense. If you can manage to do this, you won’t start this new chapter in your life suffering from bridal budget stress. Relax. Enjoy your marry life. 🙂 Celebrate.

Photo by:kamele.com – A Maui Wedding Hawaiian Style.

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This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner of dan-ruth-tanner.com

There has been a lot of debate between scientists and people with a misplaced sense of ethnic pride for the most part, about the origin of this horrible disease. That is history, and should only be of importance to medical researchers who seek to prevent the rise of new diseases. That is because, AIDS probably had an inter-species origin, and like dreaded Ebola or monkey-pox, may have first arisen in people in Africa who because of drought and/or poverty were forced to eat “bush meat”.

Another inter-species danger: all influenzas. They arise in birds, and only some evolve to attack humans. Today’s “bird flu” is a danger to those with prolonged and close contact with infected birds, usually with chickens or ducks in mostly poor countries. But the last bad “bird flu” in 1919 killed about 50 million people worldwide. It is said to have first transferred from chicken to human in the US Midwest, where a soldier from the farm family then spread it at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

But for those of us who aren’t researchers, the important thing is to prevent the spread of diseases that are already in the general population. The New York Times article shows that the rise of AIDS is not tied to any ethnic group, but rather to the disgusting and perverted practices of male homosexuals. But once a man has the virus, he can easily spread it to women he may have sex with, and women thus infected can thus spread it to other male partners. And, of course, any contact with any bodily fluid from an infected person poses a danger to the healthy.

In a recent article published on nytimes.com – titled: H.I.V Diagnosis Rates Continue to Rise among Young Men, African-Americans – speakers about how H.I.V. and AIDS in men who’re having sex with men rose significantly between 2001 and 2006 while the was a decline in other demographic groups.

The increase in diagnoses was especially high among males between the ages of 13 and 24, with an annual increase of 12.4 percent, compared to 1.5 percent for men overall. The annual increase was still higher among young African-American men who have sex with men, nearly 15 percent.

Fortunately, Dominica is not under the sway of the powerful pro-homosexual lobby, as is the US and most of Europe. I will be very happy to move from a place where one must be “politically correct” when speaking about homosexuality, and from where so-called “same-sex marriage” is allowed to Dominica, where I don’t expect such an abomination to ever be tolerated. (At least, I believe, not in my lifetime!) I believe that Dominica will wisely continue to proscribe homosexual acts in law as a way of safeguarding public health.

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hybrid-car Photo by:Solarnu

In the pass months the price of oil has been rising steadily throughout the Caribbean and the world to a greater extent – reaching record breaking prices. Just this week the Dominica government announced yet another increase in fuel cost. One gallon of gas in Dominica is now stands roughly at ECD$15.00.

Though we can’t control the price of fuel on the world market, but we think of ways on how we can conservation fuel. This will not only be helpful to the environment, but also on your wallet.
I’ve mapped out some helpful ideas which can help drivers conserve fuel and get better fuel mileage.

One thing that most drivers on a whole are not aware of is, great fuel conservation starts before you even get on the road:

  • Service your vehicle regularly, and you will observe a 5 to 25 percent increase in gas mileage.
  • You should check you tire pressure once a month, also keep them aligned and inflated properly – because having tires with low pressure can increase your use of fuel by 5%.
  • Replacing your air filter every now and then is also a helpful.
  • If you are not using your roof-racks, take them off! They add to drag. Unnecessary weight in your car can also take away from good gas mileage (this does not mean that you can throw your sister out of the car to conserve fuel… although, it would help! 😆 )
  • Another way to start good fuel conservation is to plan ahead. Combine your errands into one trip. Think about riding your bike, walking, or riding the bus when possible and reasonable.

Fuel conservation can greatly be improved while you are driving or at the pump:

  • Slow down! There is a reason why you be racing to a gas station when your vehicle is on empty – you are not going to get to a gas station faster by driving faster when the faster you drive the more gas you use! In simpler terms, your fuel usage will greatly decrease when you are driving at speeds above 55 mph. Besides, you will have a safer drive when you slow down, too.
  • Avoid rapid accelerating. In fact, you ought to let up on that accelerator (by driving slower), and when you use the accelerator, use it gently. Maybe that’s why it is called “stepping on the gas.” The harder you step on the gas, the faster you use up your gas. Relax your driving style. Don’t drive aggressively. Accelerate slowly. Driving aggressively can lessen your fuel conservation by 30-40 percent…yep it true.
  • Do not idle. Most cars nowadays no longer need to warm up to run.
  • Turn off your car when you are waiting for someone.
  • Fill up your tank early in the morning and on cooler days. The colder the gasoline is – the more compact it is… you will therefore end up getting more fuel mileage for your money.

Fuel conservation may seem like a long road, but even just doing a few of these things can really help improve your gas mileage. You could possible improve your fuel conservation by 40% or so by following some of these tips.

All of the tips on fuel conservation that we have given you so far have to do with the vehicle that you already have. But if you are planning on going out and buying a new vehicle, consider a vehicle that conserves fuel by design.

If possible and you can afford it, check out the hybrids or smaller cars. A hybrid vehicle may cost more at the onset, but you will surely save money in the end, especially if gas prices continue to rise. If you’re looking for a simple car and don’t need a ton of horsepower – you will get better gas mileage.

Now go out there and start conserving fuel! Or if you’ve some of your own fuel conservation tips, please share them in the comments.

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