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Thursday, May 31, 2007
New Reason: Song of the Day
I've posted these lyrics before, I know, but this time is different. They're not just for me, to help me survive and get out of pain keeping me trapped. This time the lyrics are for someone: for D, just D! :)

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
That's why I need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you (x4)

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you

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posted by Alina @ 5:40 PM   4 comments
Bucharest - Business Tourists Boost Hotel Chains' Profits
80% to 95% of Bucharest hotels' customers come from the business sector and most tourists coming to Bucharest are foreigners, with estimates in this regard pointing to 75-80% of overall arrivals in 2006.

The conference and banqueting segment, generated by the same business sector, accounts for different shares in Bucharest five-star hotels' turnovers, from 30% to 50%.

Under the circumstances, the most profitable hotels of Romania, besides having the advantage of being the biggest, are also the most luxurious, mainly targeting those who do not pay for accommodation from their own incomes. Luxury hotels, represented by the six five-star hotels (Howard Johnson, Grand Plaza, JW Marriott, Intercontinental, Athenee Palace Hilton, Casa Capsa and Crowne Plaza) have around 1,467 available rooms together of the total 6,400 rooms on the market, reads a report on the Bucharest real estate market put together by CB Richard Ellis Romania (CBRE).
Full story in ZF.

What's next? Other international chains will soon follow. Word is Kempinsky, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Sheraton or Leading Hotels of the World will soon join the party. Suprising? Not really.

The question is: do local hotels stand a chance? Probably, if they invest tons of money to offer the same service levels, if they promote themselves on the international market (online booking services might not be such a bad idea) and if they change their business model and realize returning customers are worth more than one time customers that you manage to trick.

Good luck you all!

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posted by Alina @ 11:38 AM   2 comments
I finally figured it out
Or at least I think so. I have finally found the reason behind my constantly being tired. My mind is a mess. In each free moment that I get (read moments when my brain is not busy doing something), about a thousand thoughts go through my head. Plans, tasks, wondering, ideas, all of them rush into my each and every corner of mind and they are restless. Always running, going, coming, falling, getting up, having something to add, interrupting, starting a sentence and leaving it unfinished.

I seem unable to focus on any of these. So none of these thoughts craving for my attention is given what it needs. That's why they all wait patiently and rush yelling "me, me!" whenever they get the chance.

My solution? Find some time for soul-searching and some structured and ordered thinking. Put it all on paper if needed, find some aims, goals and come up with a huge to do list that I would actually complete as planned. Maybe afterwards I'll finally find my peace and rest, but really rest.


posted by Alina @ 10:46 AM   6 comments
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
These Are a Few of My Favorite Brands
Tagged by Boyarul.

The brand you’ll see below come from different categories: brands I use, brands I love and use, brands I love but don’t really use anymore, as they are unhealthy or as I choose to fight my addictions :)
    I tag anyone interested in such a colorful project :)

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    posted by Alina @ 2:05 PM   3 comments
    PPP Direct, fresh from PayPerPost
    As some of you might now, is now available as a new and improved version. The release has been made sometime this month and announced properly on the PPP blog.

    Who is the top player of this new game? PayPerPost Direct, a new tool to make some money while blogging. The blog advertising related hot feature of PPP allows you to find your own advertiser to buy your reviews. What makes it better than other services? Price, of course. While other such services charge up to 100% of a blogger’s income (justified or not by real costs), PPP Direct charges 10%. They also disclose the fact that 5% is the actual PayPal transaction cost. Pretty good deal, in the end.

    Some have stated is a no-no for them, as advertisers ask a positive review to be posted. I agree this is somewhat weird. As a review needs to be honest, the “please make me look good” condition is not an option.

    They are not the only ones fostering such requirements though. If you look through the bids of Sponsored Reviews, you will also find bids of advertisers requiring bloggers to focus on benefits only.

    I have the same strategy for both: select only neutral offers and be honest about what I think of the reviewed blog, service or item. If they are approved, even better. If not, it’s the advertiser’s choice. That is why I will continue using and its PPP Direct service.

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    posted by Alina @ 9:55 AM   0 comments
    Monday, May 28, 2007
    Why I Feel Frustrated Lately
    1. I seem to have no time to do the things I love for satisfying periods: reading ranks first here, then seeing more of my friends, then traveling more, then seeing more movies, good ones preferably.
    2. Even when I get great ideas, even when I have entire scenes designed in my head, my novel still goes no where.
    3. I have no time to set up things on my new cool domain. But I will. Soon. I hope.
    4. My productivity is limited these days. I have too many things to do, I get caught up in prioritizing, organizing and finding a way to do them all...So I end up wasting more time than normally needed.
    5. Parts of what I feel are a total blur to me. I go from one extreme to another and I cannot decide. 6. I have 8 exams coming next month, the first one is on Friday. I have no idea how I can manage all of them and I really want to get it over with and have nothing more postponed for the end of the summer.
    7. I have had the best idea for my license paper for journalism and I still have not started working on it. True, no time, but is it only lack of time that's keeping me? Like ever?
    8. I should be doing so many things right now and I am not. I can no longer find excuses for myself...
    9. I am tired and am getting no real rest, although I sleep a lot.

    OK, enough complaining from me. Which are the reasons behind your frustration?

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    posted by Alina @ 4:19 PM   5 comments
    New CRM Software
    When I think of crm software, I do think customer relationship first. What AimPromote is suggesting is more of a sales oriented software, as it has more modules treating sales related issues, such as leads, imports, exports etc, with an interest in marketing and web integration on the side.

    What AimPromote states to be their distinguishing advantages is the price: lower total cost of ownership, doubled by significantly less time spend learning how to use the software they provide. In what they target, which is sales, reports on your invested money and sales force automation, the software seems to be really complex.

    A definition of CRM: Customer relationship management is a broad term that covers concepts used by organizations to manage their relationships with customers, including collecting, storing and analyzing customer information. (More available on Wikipedia).

    So if you are running a customer care department, AimPromote does not really seem to cover all your needs. They seem pretty good for Operational CRM (the automation or support of customer processes involving sales or service representatives) though. The Collaborative and Analytical parts of CRM are not really promoted in a way that convinces me. And they seem way to oriented on sales and less on services provided post-sales, such as support (technical or other types of assistence).

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    posted by Alina @ 1:34 PM   2 comments
    What the...?!?...
    I am really tired of drivers being pissed off because I happen to follow the rules and not treat them as optional. If there are speed limits and you feel like breaking them, be my guest! But don't you there honk or swear because I choose not to!

    I have seen plenty of crazy drivers this weekend. Crazy to the extent of taking unnecessary risks every other minute. Well, it's a free country, risk killing yourself, risk killing others, but please don't act as if you are right and I should stay off the road for driving as I should.

    Two accidents with pretty messy consequences happened on Sunday. And that on my way back to Bucharest alone. Is it really worth it? Trading your life and others lives or serious injuries for half an hour? I doubt it. So next time any of you out there thinks of giving angry looks and honking, think again. If you don't, well, then you might be crazy or an idiot...My take on this!

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    posted by Alina @ 9:29 AM   11 comments
    Friday, May 25, 2007
    Facebook and MySpace fighting over territory

    Facebook, the Internet’s second-largest social network, was originally popular on college campuses, but over the last year it has opened its dorm-room doors to all, and its membership rolls have exploded at triple-digit growth rates.

    Now Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is inviting thousands of technology companies and programmers to contribute features to its service. They can even make money from the site’s users by doing so, and, at least for now, Facebook will not take a cut.

    The move could foster some of the chaotic creativity that is more closely associated with MySpace, its larger competitor. It could also open the door to hazards like spam, and make Facebook’s identity less clear.

    More in the NY Times.

    I think I have created an account on Facebook at a certain point. I have never used it since. For some reason, Facebook and MySpace both fail in convincing me. I am surely out of their target audience. Does any of you use either one? Why/Why not? And which do you consider better?

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    posted by Alina @ 1:04 PM   7 comments
    Thursday, May 24, 2007
    2007 Tourism For Tomorrow AWARDS
    A little old, but the news is still important:

    Lisbon, Portugal - The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) last night announced the winners of the 2007 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards at the Gala Dinner for the 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit. The Awards recognize and promote the best practices in tourism development all over the world. The winners of the four categories are:

    Destination Award - Great Barrier Reef, Australia
    Conservation Award - Aspen Skiing Company, USA
    Investor in People Award - Nihiwatu Resort, Indonesia
    Global Tourism Business Award - Lindblad Expeditions, USA & Global

    The winners were selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Costas Christ, world expert in sustainable tourism. The judging process included on-site evaluation visits of all award finalists by a team of sustainable tourism experts around the world.

    More on WTTC's site. I have to confess, I pray for the day when Romania or parts of it are considered for such awards.

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    posted by Alina @ 4:58 PM   0 comments
    Sighisoara's 15th Medieval Art Festival
    There are certain things you desperately wish for when you are too young to get them: the first vacation on your own, with your friends and no parental supervision, the first all-nighter, the first concert in a different city, May 1st on the beach. And the list could go on.

    The Medieval Art Festival in Sighisoara was one of those, for me at least. Three whole days of concerts, theater plays, staying in a tent and drinking cheap and really, really bad beer. Awesome! Other than that, what’s left of the medieval fortress (yes, still inhabited), the torture chambers and the Dracula myths (for foreigners mostly).

    Photo from Wikipedia.

    I finally got there 3 summers ago, the first and only time I went. Everyone complained (read those who had been there before) it was less interesting than last year’s. To me it was perfect, I had an amazing time and I should remember to thank Mishu once again for taking me there.

    This year the Sighisoara authorities are already working on organizing the 15th edition of the Festival (July 27-29).

    According to a news release issued by the Sighisoara City Hall, the main organiser, “since this is an anniversary year, in a new European context, the 2007 Medieval Sighisoara Festival will bring together more international artists, which will enrich the event programme with European art works.”

    More in Nine o’clock.

    Hopefully, I won’t be in Romania in that period. But if you are, go give it a try, Sighisoara is amazing and the Festival has its very special flavor.

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    posted by Alina @ 1:48 PM   4 comments
    Wednesday, May 23, 2007
    Yes, I am such a show off
    Well, the name's day celebration went quite well. I got some cookies for my colleagues and it was a needed break on a crazy day. A new version launched on such an important day for me, cool! My first press release was also published on the company website and on several PR sites.

    But this is all nothing compared to what I found out the next day. First, I received a weird looking email about the domain. So I treated it with the delete button, as I of course thought it was spam. Then Trisi asked me on Yahoo IM if I had received an email from them. I said no. She of course got worried and told she and her boyfriend G had bought the domain for me, for a year!!!

    I could recover the lost email. Thank God there is no Shift+Delete in Yahoo! So I got my very own .com domain!!! Thank you so much, Trisi, it was indeed one of the greatest presents ever! Now D is supposed to help out with transferring all my data to the new domain, which comes with free hosting. I had to pick between Windows and Linux free hosting, so I chose Linux :P

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    posted by Alina @ 9:36 AM   12 comments
    Monday, May 21, 2007
    Happy Name's Day to Me :P
    I might have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again: Romanians are so crazy about celebrations that they also celebrate name days. So if you have a saint's name, on the day you celebrate that saint, you also celebrate your name. More presents, more fun!

    May 21st is the day when to saints are celebrated: Constantine and his mother Hellen (Elena). As my middle name is Elena, well, celebration on the way. I thought of going and buying some sweets for work, but it's too crazy around here. New version to be released at 6 pm etc. So I will postpone it.

    Anyway, I had completely forgotten about this. But D remembered yesterday. So he got me some really nice stuff. A new bathing suit (yeah, I have a problem, I admit, I always want more and more) and two Orhan Pamuk books. The best present on this name's day! So thanks again, D! :)

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    posted by Alina @ 3:15 PM   13 comments
    How do you know you're a geek?
    You know you're a geek when you go out with the "girls" (read female employees in your company, a handful at best), and you spend four hours eating and talking about mail servers, log levels, how the programmers see it, how the client understands it, better promotion alternatives, new tasks, future road map, etc...

    How do you know there's still hope? You girls also manage to crack a few jokes and laugh your hearts out. So, this is an official statement. Your truly has become a geek. But I can see my problem, admit it and seek treatment :p

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    posted by Alina @ 10:35 AM   7 comments
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007
    ServerWatch Awards
    The ServeWatch 2007 Product Excellence Awards voting session has started! It is open untill May 25th and the winners will be announced on June 5th.

    AXIGEN Mail Server (the sensational product yours truly is promoting) is competing within the Communications Servers category (the last one of the voting form). Do vote for us! :)

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    posted by Alina @ 6:13 PM   0 comments
    Time to Brag a Little
    Yes, showing off is not really a good habit. But this time, I just have to...Please visit this link. Check out the 10th article from the list. Then feel free to congratulate me :P. The article will soon be available as a link on my company's website. I'll keep you posted!

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    posted by Alina @ 5:25 PM   8 comments
    Tuesday, May 15, 2007
    Stories from Greece #1
    On our first night in Athens, after walking around the hotel for a short while, we eventually found a restaurant. We were all starving, so "pizza, bar, restaurant" was music to our ears. We all ordered pizza. Silvi, my mom and I took two family sized pizzas, to mix the flavor, while bf ordered another one for himself. Little did D know about how long it will actually take to get his pizza as they were kind of understaffed that night.

    What to drink, we asked? Well, a local beer, what else! We checked the menu and also asked our waiter, who was a pretty crazy and dizzy fellow, which of the beers was local. And he recommended Mythos. Silviana and I smiled at each other. Yes, we had the same character in mind, another Methos! Yes, my friends, the oldest of the immortals from the Highlander series! Mythos beer was our instant choice. Well, all except my mom, who ordered a Heineken.

    How does it taste? Well, it tastes like Romanian cheap beer...But who cared? It had to be local! I for one thought the others where to picky. I personally loved the beer, as it was kind of sweet and not that strong, so I could actually drink an entire bottle.

    The pizza was great though! My friend Cris was right when she told me about what great pizza the Greeks made! Yes, I know, not really local food, but when you are starving and you get Mythos for the local touch, does it really matter?

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    posted by Alina @ 10:04 AM   4 comments
    Monday, May 14, 2007
    Quick update
    Yes, the photos from Greece are still not uploaded. Well, at least not all of them. But here are some, although they still need some explaining: Day 1 and Day 2.
    This is the place I have selected to have my statue placed. Silviana did the same so it's still an open issue :P

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    posted by Alina @ 2:42 PM   10 comments
    Reasons to Leave Romania #1
    It seems people in the Romanian banking system have no idea how to do their job! They show no respect for all their customers and are generally never worried about time and how much it values. How did I reach this conclusion? Well, a few examples might help:

    Example 1: Most banks have their work hours proudly displayed on their doors. Most switch their sign from Closed to Open at Why is it then that if you are their first customer you go in and are asked to wait in a bitter voice, as if you are disturbing them? They come in earlier and everything is supposed to be ready by 9 am. But noooo! This just happened today at Volksbank. Was I annoyed? You bet!

    Example 2: Assigning different priorities to customers may be understandable. But when corporate customers have a higher priority at all your desks, this becomes a problem. The common customers are as important, at least to themselves...This is BRD's policy in at least one of their branches.

    Example 3: Volksbank again...Their system is returning errors for about 8 months (as far as I know), and they still have not fixed it. Besides that, when it's not working, the cashier is angry and tells customers to come back later. Apologies? Are you crazy? No way!

    I have a long term loan from Volksbank. But I swore never to work with them on anything else. I don't care if their offer is better than others. I would like to actually be able to pay what I owe while facing less problems. And I'd like them to treat me better actually...

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    posted by Alina @ 10:37 AM   8 comments
    Friday, May 11, 2007
    Service to point out the best rehab treatment is a free drug rehab referral service. What they do is find the right rehab treatment program for those calling their toll free number, 1800-nodrugs. Why is there a need for such a service? I guess realizing you have a problem, admitting it and deciding to get help takes a lot of strength. But calling different places offering treatment and comparing pros and cons is not really something you are up to in such a situation.

    Besides offering detailed information about how to locate a drug rehab program and how to decide which option is the best, also hosts generic information on different drugs and addictions. While I think it's a great initiative, I would have a personal recommendation: more hopeful colors on their site.

    Paid review.

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    posted by Alina @ 2:35 PM  
    Rise and Shine
    I do feel piled higher and deeper these days...I just love this phrase. I also happen to be a great fan of the comic. Actually, it is the only comic I have entirely read. Yes, people, their whole archive! From day one. And then registered to receive emails every time they upload something new. Why do I relate to this particular comic? Should I remind you I've kept postponing turning my paper in for...ummm...two years? True, I have a different type of job and a second University whose classes I attend, or pretend to attend, but still...Procrastination is no stranger to me.

    In other news, I love signing email with this shiny, grand looking, job title. I am actually doing that job, kind of, I have the tasks and the responsibilities. It seems a bit unreal still. But I love it. I love getting home dead tired, I love not knowing when the time flew by and it's 5 pm already. I am sure, however, I will love it more when I will actually believe I know what I am doing.

    What I love most? Keeping in touch with the press...Ironic, isn't it?

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    posted by Alina @ 10:33 AM   5 comments
    Tuesday, May 08, 2007
    Tips and tricks to help you make money online
    Reality Wired Review is a good place to start if you want to learn more on how to make money online.You can find out everything you like about Google's AdSense program and the issues that come with the territory. The ReviewMe program is also described in detail with its glitches and occasional bugs, therefore your experience won't be limited to the bright and shiny advertising messages.

    Occasionally, James Pegram aka Crazy4bass will go another way with his topics and you may see entries such as the one on the Microsoft-Yahoo business talks. In his latest post he describes his attempt at winning a contest with an interesting prize tag to it. He also describes part of this rand as sucking up :)

    While I do find Reality Wired Review a great source for those in need of information on making money while blogging, I think a blog focused on just that - making money - is a little too much for me. Most of us run AdSense or write a review or two to get extra money. Not necessarily for the money, it's more of a challenge to prove a blog is good enough to actually generate revenue. But selecting topics and posting with this goal in mind is not fun anymore.

    -Paid review-

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    posted by Alina @ 11:31 PM   5 comments
    Belated Tag - Thinking Blogger
    Three bloggers have tagged me with the Thinking Blogger Award. I cannot begin to tell you how flattered I feel! So thank you Ilya, Mig and Om Luji (in the order of their tags). I am really grateful for even considering my blog!

    So, which are the rules?
    Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. The participation rules are simple:
    1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
    2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
    3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
    As I have been tagged 3 times, I will name 15 blogs! Easier that way, as there are many great blogs to choose from. Task no.3 will be done as soon as I get more time to play with my template.

    1. Bart's Daze of our Lives - I always leave his blog with a new perspective. Sometimes it only takes him an image and a few words to make you ponder on a certain issue. And his comments have the same nature as his posts, they always make room for more thinking.

    2. DCS - a world of media, education, politics, social affairs, it is all laid down before your eyes. Her entries always spark debates. She has not been posting that much lately, hope to see her back in business soon enough.

    3. A Message from Within Haal - this historian Scorpio's blog was one of the first I've read. It's been two years since I first found it and I still read every little entry she posts. She was a gateway to a new side of the blogosphere and she is the "person to blame" for most of the Egyptian bloggers you see in my blogroll.

    4. Irene - unfortunately for some of my readers, her blog is in Romanian. She has a unique style, taking her readers in a world where fantasy replaces reality in day to day life. It is a great getaway from the numbness and routine our repetitive lives sometimes generate.

    5. LouLou's Renderings - An Arab, African, Muslim, female take on this fast-changing, ever-evolving world, as she describes it. I'd say it is genuine, loving, honest, passionate, powerful writing, and the list could go on.

    6. Mihaela Lica (Mig) - eWritings - When Dio told me I should visit Mig's blog, I had no idea she was Romanian. That was a great surprise. An even bigger surprise was her blog. Besides great posts from specific fields, interesting weekly recommendations (she is one of the most up to date blogosphere readers) and interviews with blogging gurus such as Liz Strauss and Diogenes, Mig is one of the best moderators I've seen. Although focused, her blog is never limited to a specific range of topics, and that's what I love most.

    7. From Cairo, With Love, Mohamed. - He hasn't been blogging that much in over a year. Therefore each update of his surprises me. I still recommend reading his archives. And yes, I still hope you'll one day blog again, at least on a weekly basis :)

    8. Journey to Naomi - a journey through life's sorrows and joys, a place breathing so much optimism after she has faced situations that would turn most of us into bitter, pessimistic creatures. A place where to seek refuge and hope.

    9. Om Luji's Edge of Reason - There's an interesting quote on her blog: "The world we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." Albert Einstein. And that's exactly what she's doing: trying to broaden views, to change ways of thinking when they are narrow minded. And she does that wonderfully.

    10. Omer's Over a Mile - Some take great photos. Some are good with words. Omer turns photography and words into a perfect mix. Each of these mixes tells a different story, you can never think you've seen or heard it all.

    11. Safiya's Outlines - Where should I start? Well, she describes her current status perfectly: "Mid twenties Muslim convert lady". It is only part of all that she is and all that she can be. Yes, she has to fight prejudice, lack of tolerance and down right bitter comments most of the times. She does a great job in keeping her path and trying to influence others for the best.

    12. Sarah's Mumblings - This is her third blog. She has had her blogged hacked into and taken over twice. She never gave up speaking her mind, proving to be strong and determined. She's smart and cute too and you can easily tell that from reading her blog.

    13. Shirazi's Light Within - well, this is what I call a blogging guru. First he turned his blog into a successful one, then he attracted other bloggers in this project. He updates other blogs on different themes and is an excellent travel writer. He also writes for different online magazines and keeps a full time job. I have no clue how he can handle all this! He's one of my blogging heroes really.

    14. Ryan's Debate Channel - This is a very new project of my "little brother" Ryan. And I think it's a wonderful idea, as I have said before. There's always a Q in curiosity, and Ryan is determined to find it, describe and debate it. I am sure this can turn into a wonderful experience, with a little input from all of us.

    15. Tota's Mystic Contemplations - She sees life as "a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end". That is only one small glance at her wonderful way of thinking. She is going through a very rough time right now so she needs all of our support.

    All those mentioned here can consider themselves tagged. Take your time in completing it! I am sorry I had only these few number of people to nominate.

    BTW, did you notice Mig's new cool template? :P Congrats on that

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    posted by Alina @ 11:38 AM   9 comments
    Monday, May 07, 2007
    Ryan is Back in Business
    Today's suprise: Ryan is blogging again. He rewards his readers with an update to his blog and an invitation to watch two of his new projects very closely.

    The first project is a blog called The Adult Channel. Catchy name? Yes, but it is something else than most people would expect. It is sort of a guide into adulthood, put together using a learn it by doing it method. But he describes it better than me:
    Recent events made it so I would have to start acting my age (even older, someone told me), not the sum of my age's digits (which is 4 at the moment). As this is obviously something I have no knowledge of, I thought it might be interesting to make it the theme of my shiny new blog. That way I can share my experiences, discoveries, rants and frustrations with the world, which in turn, can do the same for me (and that's about as specific as I can get about what to expect from this blog). After all, adulthood is just a chapter in our journey, isn't it?
    The second blog, The Debate Channel, a place meant to make us all think. Think of what you might ask. Well, of everything worth thinking and going on around us. Global warming, trends, wars, you name it. I bet it can all fit into this attempt to "forumize" a blog, as Ryan calls it. I have already agree to help him support this project and you are all invited to contribute with your comments, posts on your blogs, suggestions and recommendations.

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    posted by Alina @ 2:18 PM   2 comments
    Where Exactly Have I Been?
    Late replies to comments, rare updates, not exactly my style, is it? Well, I have a perfectly good explanation, but I do apologize for keeping you waiting for the Athens stories and photos. I hope to have them all uploaded this week though.

    Just before leaving for Athens I got news. The marketing and PR manager had resigned and I had been assigned to all her stuff. Press releases, contacting journalists, keeping in touch with the press mainly, writing all sorts of marketing materials for the site, newsletters, etc. Well, I had never before written a press release. That is about to change now :)

    I am happy with the new tasks. I really needed the challenge and it's all in the direction I wanted to follow from a certain point on. It also means lots of work, as I am alone for now and I still have all my technical writing tasks. I do feel everything is pilling up and soon enough I'd be practically buried in work. Help is coming though, in about a week.

    As for the weekend...Well, I was quite tired and postponed everything that could be postponed. So I spent most of my time going out, shopping and not doing anything that would need my brain to actually work. It was the first weekend entirely spent with D and it was pretty great to be honest. Things seem to be settling down somehow. And it all looks bright and shiny.

    Well, wish me luck with the new assignments! I will do my best to stop neglecting my readers, promise :)

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    posted by Alina @ 10:06 AM   9 comments
    Saturday, May 05, 2007
    To Scratch or not to Scratch, That is the Question...

    If there is one thing cats never lack, that must be personality. We all know them, saying all of us as means to provide them with food and water, suffering from something similar to a God complex, yet we all love cats for the tender moments they decide to spare once in a while, keeping us company for a few minutes.

    Those of us who have had or still have a cat know that they only do things yielding benefits. They do not play cool just to amuse you. So if they decide getting out of the room is what they need, well, then you have cats using door knobs. Otherwise, without a well designed rewards program, you may kiss training them good-bye.

    While most of us find it amusing to see a cat nicely making its way out of a room, the results of such actions are not always as pleasant. Cats do scratch everything, it’s a natural impulse. So having all your doors and door knobs showing scratches will end up being a major annoyance eventually. As explained by Lucy Atkinson, you have two solutions in this case: train your cat not to scratch or train it not to use the door. She gives a complete lists of tips and tricks to help you handle your cats using door knobs. Go ahead and take a look!

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    posted by Alina @ 1:08 AM   8 comments
    Wednesday, May 02, 2007
    What Actually Happened...
    Do you remember my list? Well, this is what I actually got done...
    • get my luggage ready in a 10 minutes race - of course I forgot stuff at home
    • pick my mom from the station - this I did, but I was late of course
    • get no sleep before going
    • shower, short shower...
    • D was kind enough to burn some audio CDs for the road
    • never searched for already burned audio CDs
    • never printed maps of Bulgaria and Greece, but Silvi had them on her laptop and also copied them on mine
    • never actually downloaded larger maps and transfer them to my laptop
    • mom brought some sandwiches for the road
    • made coffee for the road, had help
    • bought Red Bull for the road
    • Trisi Sis called me before I left
    • Did not forget my papers, but I did get them ready in about 2 minutes, so this was a miracle
    • I did pray, but it did not help much

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    posted by Alina @ 3:44 PM   6 comments
    About Me

    Name: Alina
    Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
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