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    Japanese Technology Is Still Unbeaten

    Last summer I decided to take a break and bring my family somewhere we’ve never been before. I only had one place in mind: Japan.

    Japan is one of the most fascinating countries for me. We went there at the time cherry blossoms were blooming so we got to see the beauty of the pink flowers that we only could see on TV or computer screen. I’ve always wanted to visit the temples and shrines and I was not disappointed. We went to Kyoto Prefecture, the home of traditional Japanese culture, including temples. Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple, was my favorite one.

    But the thing that fascinated me the most was the incredible technology the Japanese boasts of. From trains to robots, they never fail to surprise. (more…)

  • work at home

    4 Growing Work-from-Home Jobs

    Surprisingly, an increasing number of people are now inclined towards working from home. The benefits are numerous, and it is for these benefits that people now prefer a cubicle free life. To name a few, Gen X’ers who choose to fulfill their responsibility of looking after their elderly or infants prefer working from home since it allows them to multitask and be flexible with their domestic duties as well as professional responsibilities. Moreover, work from home jobs cut down the additional cost of travelling, unproductive time spent at the office in the middle of coworkers, work related politics and many other relevant issues. Technology has made lives easier and work from home practical. Let’s take a look at 4 growing work-from-home jobs that have the potential of some good financial returns.

    Sales Jobs

    There are many online websites that hire sales executives for marketing their products/services. This may involve personal initiatives in planning and executing sales plans for meeting targets, or following a lead based system for conversions. Online sales jobs have increased since a huge influx of online buyers has developed over the years. To tap into this lucrative market, many businesses hire sales professionals who have the ability of increasing revenues for them. These jobs are largely commission based, only a few large corporations offer a base pay along with commissions to its sales staff hired online.

    Medical Professional Jobs

    The kind of jobs that are offered under this umbrella, are specifically relevant to the degree holders and specialists in the field. Holding experience and on-going certification programs are a plus to be employed at higher than average pay rates. Medical professional jobs have a wide variety of roles that can be performed on a work from home basis, some of the highly demanded roles include medical transcription and editing jobs, medical billing and coding jobs, research and development jobs and mobile nurse support jobs. Check out FlexJobs for the most recent input of required personnel in this job category.

    Writing Jobs

    This is one of the highest recruiting group in the work from home category. Those who have excellent writing and grammatical skills can easily qualify for working as bloggers, content marketers, social media managers, creative writers, ghostwriters and several other job roles. The pay scale of writers is also generally higher than sales jobs or other research and development jobs. Many writers take up multiple assignments to increase the annual income generated through it. Writing jobs are offered by businesses who hire directly, or are offered by agencies who outsource work to global employees. Odesk.com, Freelancer.com and Demand Studios are a few websites that offer some great working opportunities to work from home writers.

    Education Based Jobs

    Virtual schools, colleges and universities have opened doors to several education based jobs that can be done from home. Online tutors who are specialized in their fields or subjects get the chance of teaching a number of students irrespective of geographical location or other barriers. However, from the various work from home jobs, education based can be rated as the most difficult one. For teaching and conveying concepts, it is a challenge for virtual teachers to be able to engage their students and motivate them to study effectively in order to reach educational goals.

  • linux

    5 Commands That Should Never Be Run on Linux

    It is common for people to experience trolls on the internet suggesting Linux commands to be run for the purpose of fun. The thing is Linux commands are quite powerful, and they have the tendency to run automatically provided that it does not lead to system crash. Simple understanding of Linux commands would not only increase the knowledge, but will also clarify which commands should be avoided and not run at all. Here’s an easy to understand guide of the 5 commands that should never be run on Linux. (more…)


Japanese Technology Is Still Unbeaten

Last summer I decided to take a break and bring my family somewhere we’ve never been before. I only had one place in mind: Japan.

Japan is one of the most fascinating countries for me. We went there at the time cherry blossoms were blooming so we got to see the beauty of the pink flowers that we only could see on TV or computer screen. I’ve always wanted to visit the temples and shrines and I was not disappointed. We went to Kyoto Prefecture, the home of traditional Japanese culture, including temples. Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple, was my favorite one.

But the thing that fascinated me the most was the incredible technology the Japanese boasts of. From trains to robots, they never fail to surprise. (more…)


5 Commands That Should Never Be Run on Linux

It is common for people to experience trolls on the internet suggesting Linux commands to be run for the purpose of fun. The thing is Linux commands are quite powerful, and they have the tendency to run automatically provided that it does not lead to system crash. Simple understanding of Linux commands would not only increase the knowledge, but will also clarify which commands should be avoided and not run at all. Here’s an easy to understand guide of the 5 commands that should never be run on Linux. (more…)

The Use of Computers and the Internet in Various Areas

Without a doubt, the computer and the Internet are two of the most important discoveries of all time. Millions of people all over the world use them each day for various reasons including communication, entertainment, work and studies. These two are used in different areas including health and medicine, education, banking and more.

Health and Medicine

With the development of technology, software that are installed on computers are now used in analyzing and diagnosing various kinds of diseases. Moreover, patients and hospital records are saved on the system, which can be easily organized and accessed when needed.


Teachers use computers in creating their presentations and lessons, which they share in the class. Students on the other hand use this in researching, as well as in making their projects and assignments.


Customer accounts are saved on computers, which are updated in every transaction. There are also banks that offer online banking that let clients check their accounts, as well as transact online. For instance, if your bank offers this feature, you don’t have to go to your local bank to check your balance, make some payments or money transfers, as these can be done on a computer that has an Internet connection.


People in the entertainment industry like musicians, artists and producers use the computer in creating their songs, movies and various projects. They also do their promotion online and connect with their fans. Anyone who has a computer and Internet connection may also play games, listen to music and watch videos like the ones played on sites like YouTube.


Most businesses nowadays use computers, which are often used for record keeping, file sharing and more. Some companies have even adopted a paperless system. Well, it’s not entirely paperless as some papers may still be used for other areas, though not very often. Files are saved online or on the computer instead of the traditional printed documents that are kept on filing folders and cabinet.

These are just some of the areas in which computers and the Internet are used. Users also purchase products and services online including insurance. For instance, if you need working visa health cover that would help pay for hospitalization, you may get a quote online. This is convenient as you can make your comparison at the time that’s convenient for you and anywhere with Internet connectivity.

Even Geeks Need Clean Houses

When you’re an IT professional and a wife and mother, there’s only so much that you can do in a 24-hour day. Between work, kids and making sure that everyone gets at least three square meals a day, managing a household can be a daunting task. I wish house chores were as easy to manage as my six monitor computer set up, but that is farthest from the truth.

My reality is take away food on some nights, pizza delivery on others and a treat of a tasty home-cooked meal whenever my schedule permits. Laundry is delivered to the cleaners or a friendly corner laundromat that’s open 24 hours a day. I don’t do this run without a laptop in my hands and my mobile phone which I use to check emails. I appreciate the fact that laundry comes back folded and sorted and all I have to do is put them back in their respective cabinets.

At the end of the day, I put away toys and straighten the sofa and I can make the beds in the morning. However, this is as far as my cleaning powers can go. When it comes to cleaning the entire house, vacuuming, dusting, wiping kitchen counters and scrubbing tubs and toilets, I would rather leave those in the hands of professionals from companies offering house cleaning services. It was a fellow Mom who referred me to the wonders of professional cleaning. There came a point when the house was so disorganized and cluttered and I nearly broke down crying from sheer exhaustion.

Geeks need clean houses too. It’s comforting to come home after a long day and see your house clean and with no dirty dishes at the sink. I was pleasantly surprised that it did not cost an arm and a leg to have my house cleaned inside out. I went online to check house cleaning rates and thought to myself that they weren’t so bad. In fact, they’re pretty affordable, all things considered. They come in quietly and leave after everything is clean. I have given them strict instructions though not to touch anything on the computer table just in case there are uploads or downloads on going.

Tips on Being a Computer Literate Parent

In the past, when the older generation would view computers as something that would corrupt the minds of young ones, nobody really wanted to point out that their general fear towards new technology was born out of their lack of capacity to change with a world that was just beginning to technologically evolve. However, with computer technology advancing at such a fast pace nowadays, this fear has gradually eroded because suddenly everyone is adapting to it by learning a new set of skills to use it – young or old. So with this new and vast world to explore in the realm of computers, how can parents today help their children out in utilizing an invention that is constantly moving forward?

The answer, of course, is being a technologically-savvy and computer literate parent. As a married mother and a Linux geek, you might think that it is an easy job for me to relate to my children because of my interest and knowledge in computers. However, it goes beyond relating to them in terms of knowing how to start a computer and the parts of the computer. You also need to know how to comfortably, productively, and efficiently use a computer so that you can guide, assist, or show your children what it means to harness the power of this technology as they use it in home or at school. Here are a few basics that I think will help you relate to your child's rapidly expanding digital world as a parent:

Know How to Use Computer Applications

Among all of the computer applications, the most practical to learn how to use is word processing and spreadsheets because both can be used for work, personal, or school purposes. Word processing is one of the oldest uses of computers since the 1990s, and it is useful because it allows for spell checking, text and image customization, and lay-outing of documents among other things. On the other hand, spreadsheets became popular since the 1980s because it allows you to analyze quantitative data on screen because of the many formulas, references, and macros it has. Knowing how to use these applications is a life skill that you and your children can use everywhere.

Use Search Engines Effectively

As a powerful research tool, it goes beyond providing information for a project at school or an assignment at work. You can easily learn the basics of searching words, images, articles, literature, maps, etc. with this using its special search functions. For example, if your daughter needs a curling iron for a special occasion and you are interested in finding the best curling iron, you can end up here with the help of a search engine. Or if you want to take it further and want to know the difference between a curling wand vs. curling iron, this site would probably end up on your screen in a matter of minutes. The results are endless, and you can connect to your children by sharing what you know about search engines while having tons of information at the tip of your fingertips.

Good Working Habits for People with Technical Jobs

It is said that in order to have a successful career, a person should study very well for his chosen field. Technical jobs are one of the most in-demand positions these days, which resulted in the increasing number of technical institutions that offer study programs and short courses. Computers are always associated with technical jobs. Computers serve as aids to technical workers in doing their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Everyone has their own working habit. There are some that prefer working while their favorite music is playing, some prefer working at night and some people want a quiet environment. These habits are more likely preferred by home-based employees. Since they are working in the comfort of their home, they have all the control in terms of working environment, workstation, and sometimes even working hours. Working habits may sound silly for some people, but in reality, they are used in setting a productive mood.

If there are positive working habits, of course there are also some that give negative effects. Here are some good working habits that are recommended for technical workers:

  • Use music to set up your mood. But right after inspiration strikes, often it is time to shut the music off to gain your focus. In case that you are working together with other people in one room and you have no control of the music they play, purchasing ear plugs is recommended. Check this website to see a selection of great ear plugs that come in different shapes, sizes and colours.
  • Caffeine may help for keeping yourself awake, but too much caffeine is not that helpful. It will only make your insulin levels spike, crash and produce fats. The best thing that will keep your energy up is a balanced meal.
  • Eating lunch while working on your tasks may sound like multi-tasking, but actually it is not. Your focus is getting divided on your food and your work, which leads to less productivity.
  • If you are working at home, do not work in bed. Reserve your bed as a comfortable space where you can relax after working hours. Working in bed may result to sudden change of mood, inviting you to rest even if there are still a lot of tasks still to be done.

Most technical jobs require concentration, which is why eliminating things that could possibly distract you is necessary. The working habits mentioned above are based on research, but of course, your working preference is much more important than these suggestions.

My Wedding Day Experience

My Wedding Experience

My wedding day was absolutely magical. I will describe it in as much detail as possible, so that my experience can hopefully provide insight on such a special event. It was seventy-two degrees outside, breezy and wonderfully warm. The sun shone brightly in the sky like a yellow diamond, and a few butterflies did a beautiful winged danced that brought a smile to the face of my guests. Speaking of guests, me and my groom, decided to invite exactly one hundred and one people of both friends/family. The wedding was to take place outside, beneath the light blue and white sky. I was excited and nervous (common feelings for a bride on her wedding day). Our wedding was the day I have been looking forward to my entire life. As a toddler, I had dreams of walking down the aisle and giving my vows for eternal commitment to the one that I love dearly.

As I walked down the aisle I thought my mind would be racing, but it was calm. I smiled showing all my teeth, and it made me flutter inside anticipating the happiness in store for me as a soon to be wedded woman. My husband and I dated for 4 years before we both knew deep in our hearts that our companionship was officially meant to be. I remember walking by Aunt Sue, who was dressed in a lovely gray silk suit. She winked at me, and without missing a beat, I winked back. My arm was wrapped around my father’s arm, and he whispered, “A good day to get married,” which I agreed with. My husband kissed my hand when we got to the end of the aisle, and we exchanged our vows. It was beautiful, and it felt like my dreams came true as everything was unfolding in real time.

During the dinner portion of our ceremony, it was time to eat my favorite dessert in the world: wedding cake. We had brought a white strawberry four- tier wedding cake decorated with strawberry buttercream. Eatable roses decorated the sides of the wedding cake, and at the top. I and my husband needed simple wedding cake ideas, so we scoured the internet, read books, and read wedding cake magazines to generate ideas. We eventually bought the wedding cake online because the one we found was a favorite of both of ours. It was a strawberry cake. We chose strawberry as a cake, because not only taste good, but it’s very pretty as well. I would definitely recommend visiting weddingcakesite.com for ideas such as: western wedding cakes pictures, real tree camo cake, zombie wedding cake ideas, etsy rustic wedding; it’s all there. In terms of the budget, the cake turned out to be about $100 more dollars than other cakes we have considered, but since the design was so carefully crafted, we felt that the cake was worth the $550 price tag.

The wedding was fun and I would not change a thing. We had a band with a lead female singer that sung songs from all the greats like Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Rosemary Clooney, Blossom Dearie, and Ella Fitzgerald. We had a choice between steak, chicken, and shrimp and lobster with mashed potatoes and vegetables at the wedding reception. My dress was divine. It was a mermaid style white wedding dress with lace edgings and adorable embellishments. The groom was handsome and very much in love with the bride. It was a day I would never forget for as long as I live.

Choosing an IT Service Management Partner

If you are running a business where a lot of computers are being used, you must look for trusted people to take care of your computer system. It is understandable how managing a business requires a lot of hard work. Therefore, business owners should lessen the weight of their daily duties by hiring professionals to deal with other tasks.

Computers are too complicated to understand by a regular person. Understanding all the aspects of computers takes a lot of time, which is why computer courses are very in-demand these days. There are also plenty of computer-related jobs available today such as IT and Computer Engineers. As far as your business is concerned, hiring an IT service consultant is the best way to keep a safe and effective working environment.

A lot of business owners find it difficult to choose which IT service management they should hire. This company is a perfect example of a good IT service provider. While people have their own preferences regarding the most suitable IT service provider for their needs, here are some ideas that might help:

  • Choose a company that is available anytime. There are instances wherein their services are needed as soon as possible to avoid inconveniencing the staff as well your customers.
  • Choose a company that is known to be responsive. The main reason why you are hiring an IT service management company is to lessen the burdens that you might encounter. Therefore, they should be able to respond in the quickest time possible.
  • The technical expertise of the company is also important. The industry has a lot of accepted certifications that will prove the credibility and reliability of the company. Most companies include their certifications in their portfolios, but in case they don’t have any portfolio, do not hesitate to ask for their certification papers.
  • The nearer, the better. It will save a lot of travel time from their business office to your establishment.
  • As for the costs, the contract should be in an hourly rate. Do not agree with the fixed rate because it will cost you more money.

You can also ask your fellow businessmen about their recommendations as far as IT services are concerned. It is still better to hire a recommended company rather than risk working with a group you do not know.

How to Save Money When Buying a Gazebo

When you have a gazebo at home, it will surely make you feel relaxed. Aside from it is visually appealing, it is also a perfect place to just be quiet and feel relaxed. When you are so tired from work, you can get a book and sit inside the gazebo and be left undisturbed.

Despite the fact that gazebos are perfect investments for your home, you might not afford the price tag that comes with it. Yet, if you are really determine to bring one home, here are some of the tips to avoid spending too much for a gazebo:

• Compare and contrast the options available. Get quotations first from various companies so you can choose the most affordable one. Check if the design is the same and find out which brand is cheaper and which company offers a better deal. However, don’t sacrifice quality just because you prefer the cheaper brand.

• Don’t go for a huge gazebo. First of all, you need to consider the space you have at home. If your yard is not that big, there is no reason to splurge on a huge gazebo. A smaller one will suffice. As long as the decorations are stunning and the location is perfect, you will definitely love it.

• Don’t be afraid to go for customized gazebos. Just because they are customized does not mean they have to be very expensive. Depending on your choices, you can actually have a customized gazebo at a very low price. Just find ways to gather the best pieces at reasonable prices.

• Check out for online companies. You will be surprised that there are a lot of companies over the web that can provide cheap prices. Though you have to pay for the delivery fee, it will still be worth it if you can save at least 20% compared with the companies that offer gazebos in your local area.

Hopefully, you can bring home the best gazebo at the most affordable price. If you wish to check out gazebo designs, visit http://www.patioliving.com.au/.

Starting Your Own Photo Copying Business

Copying documents using photo copies might be a thing of the past, but the truth is that it is still popular until now. A lot of people prefer copying documents rather than printing them due to the overall cost.
There are also those who prefer to copy documents right away rather than typing them for printing purposes. Some others don’t have any soft copy of the document and the only way to reproduce the said document is by using photo copiers. Therefore, if you want to make the most out of the seemingly endless demand, then start your own photo copying business.

What You Need to Begin

The first thing that you need to make sure when you start this business is that you have a good location. Find a place where you could easily target potential clients. Go for schools, universities, commercial establishments or offices. By then, you are assured that you will have people to get your services every now and then.

You also need to hire people to do the job. This might not necessarily be a glamorous job, but if you can throw in more money due to the high demand for your services, you can surely get a lot of people to do the job.

You should also determine what other services you need. Aside from photo copying, you might also go for sending messages via fax machine, document scanning, printing and the like. Most photo copying machine these days come with these devices. Therefore, it provides you with more opportunities to earn.

Different Types of Photo Copying Machines

You need to see to it that you have various copying machines to cater to different needs. There are black and white copying machines. There are also colored copy machines. Digital machines are also available. Machines with scanners and fax can also be bought.

If you are starting a business and you are not certain whether it will really soar or not, then you can just rent these machines. If you don’t succeed, you can just cut your rental agreement. However, if you want to get cheaper rates, you can just buy these machines. After all, if you decide to go for another business, you can still use these machines.

If you wish to order a photo copy machine now, check out Copy Machines Direct at http://www.copymachinesdirect.com/.

My Trip to The Largest State of America

Have you ever had that one travel experience that you literally didn’t worry about where to go next or how to get there or where to stay? I am among the fortunate ones who had this thrilling experience, and it was in one of the world’s most beautiful places.

 I’ve always been thrilled with Alaska’s long stretches of snow-capped mountains, green fields, and crystal clear lakes. Because of my dream to visit the land, I looked for agencies that provided North America tours and found Adventure World. I thought it was another agency that would give you a list of possible itineraries and then leave you on your own, but this was not the case.

The agency offered opportunities to visit many famous tourist spots around the world except Russia. When you click on the place or country that you want to visit, you’ll see important information about the place such as attractions, costs of accommodation, transportation mode, climate, currency, etc.

They have a long list of available tours in Alaska. All sounds really good that I had a hard time to decide what to choose. In the end I chose to visit Denali National Park, one of the most loved tourist attractions in the state. It is situated in Mt McKinley, the tallest mountain in the whole region of North America. The tour was by coach and we had a long but fun ride in the interior roads of the mountain. I got to try horseback riding and rock and ice climbing. We also went to Wrangell St-Elias National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Kachemak Bay.

The scenery was truly breathtaking – something you wouldn’t see in most other states. The snowcapped mountains were delightful, the green fields seemed endless, and the animals were huge! I wanted to see huge mammals so I explored what they call the Inner Passage. This passage allows tourists to see bears, wild sheep, goats, falcons, eagles, and more. Plus we saw sea lions, whales, porpoise, seals, and orcas during the trip to Glacier Bay.

The trip was refreshing and invigorating, a welcome break from a lifestyle filled with stress. It’s so gorgeous that I’m actually fantasizing about moving there, but that is a different story. Overall I would grade this trip a big A+. 

Ways of Business Advertising via Internet

Computer plays a very huge part in our everyday lives, in both business and personal use. Ever since the computer has been invented, it has been upgraded thousands of time, resulting to more personal and smaller computing devices such laptops, tablets, and even smartphones.  Then there is the Internet, which when combined with the smart functions of computers, definitely made everything more convenient for users.

While the Internet is very popular among all computer users, it is a great tool for companies and savvy marketing persons. There are so many things that can be done today via the Internet, including company and product marketing and promotion. When it comes to online marketing, there are different strategies that we can choose from, but the most in-demand is the SEO or search engine optimization.

To provide a better explanation, let us use this simple scenario. You are starting a locksmith company in your town and you want to promote your services via the Internet. Aside from having a specific business website, you also like to appear at the top of search engine results whenever a potential client uses Google, Yahoo! or Bing. In a case like this, an SEO specialist can help you.

Search engine optimization

In SEO, several methodologies could be employed depending on the client’s needs and preferences. Web content articles for example, written by web content writers, could be posted in some relevant websites that receive a lot of viewer traffic. These articles contain specific keywords, which when clicked, will redirect the viewer to the client's business website. The chances of getting at the top of the search results page depends on how much traffic your website gets. SEO specialists are found in a search engine optimization agency. Click here to learn more about the services they provide.

Social media usage

Social media is another good gateway to promote services and products. Using the same scenario, you can use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others, to reach your target market. Most businessmen do not have time to use the Internet for their product advertising on their own and this is where a social media agency becomes handy. A social media agency is responsible for posting advertisements to social media sites that your potential clients are using. If Facebook will be used, they can also create a Facebook page for your business. The Facebook page will be administered by the social media agency, serving as your virtual assistant for client inquiries and other concerns. To understand more about social media agencies and the services they offer, visit this website.

The Internet is indeed very helpful in all aspects of life today. Though some people highlight the disadvantages of the Internet, its advantages far outweigh the negative. In reality, the Internet is not bad at all. It is never harmful to anyone unless it will be used indiscriminately. As for the people who use the Internet for committing crimes such as impersonation, hacking, spreading viruses, and many more, the government now implements the cyber crime law. This is to protect all Internet users, as well as their online transactions.

Tech is Everywhere: From Watches to Glasses to Clothes

As everyone knows, I’m pretty in to new technology. I’ve been programming for years and was a Linux early adopter. So, I’m always looking for ways tech can make me and my family’s lives better. I’ve recently been looking at some new gadgets and thinking of ways I could use all their cool features.

Here are some ideas I’ve had but would welcome and other suggestions:

1) Google Glasses

Google glasses are the most exciting piece of new tech on the market right now. While they’re not officially for sale to the public they will be soon and I’ve got to say I’m pretty excited. While I don’t fully understand how distracting it will be to have video playing right in your glasses I think all the features they offer make it a pretty amazing device. For example, whenever my kids are doing something cute the camera is always too far away. Well, how great would it be to have the camera built in to my glasses so all I had to do was activate it with my retina and I could capture all their moments? Amazing, right?

The glasses also have built in maps and GPS which is great for when you’re on the run but don’t know exactly where you’re going. Now you can figure it out while you’re moving!

2) High Tech Military Grade Watches

I’ve always been a watch wearer, even though I have a cell phone. I just like having quick access to the time which is helpful while driving and trying to figure out how fast we have to move to make it to our next appointment on-time. I took an interest in military watches like these found here because they’re packed full of useful features.

Besides telling you the time there are some models that can predict the weather, let you know your altitude, or even your gps coordinates. And they all have multiple built in alarms which is a lifesaver given the number of appointmenta the kids and I have. I just wait for that beep to tell me when it’s time to get back on the road to our next stop.

3) Clothing Technology

You thought clothes were just made of fabric? Well, nowadays you can get a nice blazer or pair of trousers loaded with cool technology. My favorite are shirts that have built in UV protectors to minimize sunburn. A lot of people don’t realize that it’s actually possible to get burned through your clothes. This new type of fabric looks normal, can be run through the wash, and will keep your skin healthy. Great for the whole family!

I’m also excited about a high-tech running suit developed by Rafael Rozenkranz which generates electricity while you jog and can actually charge your cell phone or i-pod! While this is a fairly niche product right now, I’m sure it will be developed to work with all our clothes. Running out of battery is always a problem in my house and the idea of just being able to plug it in to my pants everyday is amazing.

Geeks Want To Look Good Too − My Hair Straightening Experiment

A short while ago, I found that I was always that one minute behind time every morning when  getting my kids ready for school in between a couple of calls and a few texts from colleagues. I’d leave home in a rush, my hair somewhat untidy and my face and skin a tad underdone. I knew that getting back home from work would not allow me to put my feet up and relax, not with my workload. I hate to admit it, but I am aging −Father Time’s symptoms of dotage are not far from lining my face and hair.

I’m fussy about my hair and try to keep it fresh and alluring through the day. In my salad days, my hair was curly and if I didn’t take due care, it would become dry and entangled, with the odd knot or two. But then geeks want to look good too! I was told that I should get my hair straightened, so I gave that experiment a shot. It turned out to become quite some story. I’m wearing my second crop of hair now, after a tragic session at a frightfully expensive hair salon where chattering assistants misread my hair’s texture, selected the wrong temperature and time and set my top a sizzle. And they didn’t give me a rebate either!

It took some time to regain my composure and get my hair in order. I was now bent on straightening my hair. No better way than to do it yourself, I was told, what with millions of American women doing so daily. That resolution made, I buried my self in beauty magazines and my favorite blogs like The Beauty Herald written by Michelle Evans - whose best acne treatment reviews I referred to extensively previously. Anyway, after countless hours of research  (and a welcome break from my usual techy pursuits), I concluded that there were two major techniques:

  • Using a straightening iron
  • Blow drying my hair with a hair dryer

Using a Straightening Iron

I first found was that I would need a blow dryer to dry my hair after a bath or shower. This meant that I would be combining both processes, a double blessing of sorts, if only for a short period. I would also need shampoo and other hair conditioning products specific to my type of hair. Thick, tightly curled hair would need a smoothening shampoo along with a conditioner, whereas for fine flattish hair, volumizing products were recommended. Having washed my hair, I was to tap it dry using a quick moisture-absorbing towel, followed by a blow-dry. This way, my hair would be pre-straightened, reducing the workload on my straightening iron. Thereafter, I would need to follow a fixed procedure to get my hair straight, calling for broad-toothed combs, paddle brushes and butterfly clips. I would also need a good spray for heat protection. This spray would capture some of the moisture, preventing my hair from drying fully and ending up frazzled.

The entire process was a series of sequential procedures, starting with dividing my hair into layers− three or more−depending on hair thickness. The straightening iron temperature setting was easily found online. The Total Beauty Media guide stated that:

  • Thin/damaged hair required a temperature setting within the rather wide range of 200 to 300 °F, with a caveat: the finer or more damaged the hair, the lower the temperature setting.
  • Well maintained hair of typical thickness required a temperature setting ranging from 300 and 350 °F.
  • Bulky or coarse hair required a temperature setting ranging from 350 to 400 °F.

Blow Drying My Hair With a Hair Dryer

Funnily enough, I found that I’d need virtually all the ancillaries listed for a flattening iron, except for the iron. The differences were that the conditioner was not to be applied to my hair’s roots, on pain of making it appear flat and oily. The wide-toothed comb was to be used with the conditioner still in my hair to keep hair breakage to the minimum. Post-wash, my hair was to be towel dried, without any rubbing. The wide-tooth comb/ paddle brush was to be used to both part and gently comb my hair, since damp hair was prone to damage. Brushing was to be done starting ends upwards. A straightening serum with heat protection properties would enhance the look of my hair. I’d need a good hair dryer, preferably one with controls to permit use at power settings of 1000-2000 watts with 200 watt intervals.

The Decision

In my case, I found that a flat iron was the way to go to straighten my hair. Besides researching the best hair straighteners reviewed at www.thebeautyherald.com/flat-iron-review, I also asked around for recommendations and shortlisted a few known brands. I then went to a store where the owner knew me and tested five brands, a different one every day, and finally settled for one that gave me the best result. The instruction booklet was comprehensive. I started straightening my hair by the book. It suggested I work on my hair evenings. My first attempt took me a full hour, ending with the application of a finishing hair spray. The time spent was worth the effort, as my hair was now getting the gloss I’d always wanted. Every following morning, I’d brush my hair gently for five minutes before applying a serum using silicon to add the layer of shine that I’d partly lost while asleep. Finally, I used a hair spray that kept my hair straight. I stayed with the book for a fortnight, when I felt that I could go it alone. I quite liked what I saw in the mirror and am now a pro! I straighten my hair every alternate day, or three times a week. You can’t have too much of every good thing− it will finally tell on you.

You could become a pro yourself. You only need the time and patience. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Stay away from any water-based solution or mousse. They will wet your hair and it will turn wavy.
  • Always use a recommended technique and avoid short cuts.
  • Go for a quality hair dryer; blow the cost.
  • Don’t put any oily product into your hair prior to straightening it. It will always fry your precious mane.