Adobe Photoshop 7

“The long awaited is here and it was well worth the wait! Photoshop 7.0 takes digital image editing to new heights” Well this did not seem like such a long wait. The upgrade to Photoshop 6.0 was totally transforming and it seemed like years in the making. With it Photoshop fully entered the digital world of photo-editing and took control. And now with 7.0 the best photo-editing program on the market just has improved itself again with its logo of the magnified eye focusing its gaze both on digital photography and of course, the Web. Beginning with the incidental changes, Photoshop 7.0 has a new color tool bar. The colors in the toolbar below are grey and become the individual colored icons below when you pass your mouse over them to use them. Also new it the way that you change the size of the tool you are using. Photoshop now has a slide bar that you move sideways with your mouse to change with most of the tools: One of the most useful of the changes, and certainly the most noticeable change is the addition of the Filebrowser to Photoshop.

Filebrowser constitutes a major portion of Photoshop software in a big way and is considered a leading figure in this field despite getting competition from rival brands as photoshop mac free is a modern day norm that has become a huge game changer in the photoshop field through which people can use image editing at their will. 

Right in the center of Photoshop, either docked or floating, we can now browse our pictures as thumbnails. We can rotate them, view them in different capacities, and as you will note below at the bottom left of the browser, you can view all the details you could possibly need of any given photo. Just drag the photo you wish to use or double-click on it and the photo appears on the Photoshop desktop ready to edit: It is useful to note the menu choices below for the Filebrowser. At the bottom you will see a choice called “export cache.” This allows you to save any changes you make to the browser including rotating. But more than saving any rotation, if you save the cache you will not have to wait the next time you wish to access the folder. The first time you load the files, it takes some time to load all the thumbnails, but after saving the cache, the access to the folder is immediate. Using the Filebrowser you can rename files in a folder with a number of different options on how you might rename them. This is particularly useful with folders of large amounts of numbered files that come downloaded from digital cameras.

The cameras usually give a letter followed by numbers for the name of each picture. This makes it hard to identify pictures related to a given theme. The pictures below were from a church talent show and easily renamed themselves to talentshow01, etc. Here is the finished results now in the folder: There is a new Autocolor option in the Image menu which is very nice for basically doing automatically what has been available in the levels and curves option: The Autocolor is set by default to enhancing the “Per Channel Contrast”, but you can change it to find the dark and light colors of the image or to enhance its black and white perspective: Even on the fuzzy picture below of the boy jamming out on the piano the auto color option improves the picture quite remarkably. Here is the improved picture: The next tool, called the Healing Brush and its compliment, the Patch tool. In my opinion, this new tool is worth the price of Photoshop…it is that profound an addition to the tool bar. To explain this tool, let us first take a normal picture taken with a digital flash: How often do we see pictures like this where some part of the picture is which from the flash like the forehead of the woman and the glasses of the man. What the healing brush does is take a piece of another part of the picture and allows you to drop the piece upon releasing the mouse onto the area of the picture you wish to be changed.

What the tool then does is blend or heal the whole area by matching the light and shade of the area around the area to be healed. The effect is to blend the dropped areas seamlessly into the new area. Just look at the results below. On the woman, I dropped another piece of the skin tone onto her forehead, and onto the man, I took the bottom part of the glasses that had no white flash in them and placed them on the lighted part of the glasses. All of this took about 5 seconds and you have a clear picture below with little effort. The patch tool does a similar thing with larger areas. For it, you use a lasso cursor to make a circle around the area you wish to change. I have lassoed the whole flash area of this fish tank. What you do next is drag that lassoed area to another area of the picture and it will blend the new area into the originally lassoed area, blending the color, the brightness and the texture. Below you see the results. The flash is gone and it merely looks like a brightness coming from the top of the tank rather than a flash onto the glass. Both of these tools allow for adjustments such as feathering the area to the degree you wish.

I for one used the cloning tool quite often, which tends, when you clone an area to leave a tiled look that anyone who knows of the tool will recognize the picture as doctored. You really have had to spend a good deal of time on a larger area to get it to look professional. Some of this is truly cured by the healing and patch tools. Photoshop now has a vast range of brush of brush strokes with plenty of different textures and appeals: If, for example, you use a stylus pen, there are many setting below to aid in the way the stroke goes onto the desktop pallet. The brush strokes have also gotten bigger, allowing for strokes above the 999 pixel limit in earlier versions. Here is one result with tracing around the woman below with one of the textured brush strokes: Another quite useful tool is the Pattern maker, which allows for the creation of seamless patterns. Let me show you how useful it is by showing you the two icons below. I want the one on the left to have the same gold color as the icon on the right. When I have used the clone tool before, the pattern has been far from seamless. I click on the icon at the right above in Photoshop and then access the pattern maker: When the box comes up, the icon or picture I just accessed is in the box.

To the left is a little square that when you click on it and then move your mouse to the picture, you can take a piece of the picture of and then have it tiled. After the first tiling, which places it non-seamlessly on the page, you can keep generating the tile unit it no longer has any seam in it. Then you same the seamless tile in the stamp pallet. So it now, by your own making, becomes a stamp stroke that you can access when you select a brush stroke: From there it becomes quite easy to select the stamp tool below and then make the halo the color of the stamp. The process is quite simple: Another quite nice feature is the Picture Package. You can take one picture on your Photoshop desktop, click on the picture package, and select from the layout choices below: I selected 2 4 x 5 picture and several other sizes. To have it print out nicely, I also selected a resolution of 300, and you can see below the other choices. The other thing that I can do that is so very convenient is to change any selection to another photo by double clicking on the photo. What comes up is the file access that allows me to put any picture in any of the boxes.

Then I click OK and the photos are made on my Photoshop desktop, ready for printing. Though there are many other changes as well, I will add that the new spellchecker is a very nice addition for checking spelling right in Photoshop rather than in some other word processing program. So you can see that the program is filled with new features and improvements that make upgrading an absolute pleasure.

Healing Brush to effortlessly remove artifacts such as dust, scratches, blemishes, and wrinkles while preserving shading, lighting, and texture Web output enhancements to easily apply transparency or partial transparency to Web page elements, including seamless edges that blend into any Web background Single, enhanced Rollover palette to manage Web page rollovers, animations, and image maps more easily New “selected” rollover state for creating more sophisticated Web site navigation bars without hand-coding Customizable workspace for saving the arrangement of palettes and settings for tools, and instant access to a personalized Photoshop desktop Publish hi-res, modem friendly, zoom and pan images for any Website with ease using Viewpoint ZoomView Pattern Maker plug-in to create realistic or abstract patterns such as grass, rocks, and sand simply by selecting a section of an image Enhanced Liquify (distorting) tool to allow you to view other layers, zoom, pan, and undo multiple steps — even save custom meshes and apply them to other files Photoshop 7.0 Scripting plug-in ( Mac Win ) to automate repetitive tasks and key workflows using rich scripting support for JavaScript, AppleScript, and Microsoft Visual Basic Password protection to limit access to Photoshop PDF files, helping to secure image integrity Built-in Spell Checker for search-and-replace operations and spell-check in multiple languages within the same file Enhanced Picture Packages to allow you to print multiple images on one page, choose different page sizes, and add custom labels, such as copyright notices or captions More Web Gallery templates to easily show work online by posting a gallery page of images, and include watermark and copyright information to protect images Full compatibility with Mac OS 9 and support for the newest enhancements of Mac OS X and Microsoft® Windows® XP XMP support for embedding metadata in application files to easily repurpose, archive, and automate files in a workflow Microsoft® Windows® 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT® with Service Pack 6a, Windows 2000 with Service Pack 2, or Copyright (c) 2002, GMP Services Inc., All Rights Reserved

Getting Accounting Services for the First Time!!!

The 21st century is all about startups and entrepreneurship that have taken over the world. For the stability of business, it is essential for people to keep a record of the everyday transactions of the business. 

However, it becomes a hassling task for entrepreneurs to deal with bookkeeping so to avoid hassling chartered accountant can come in handy. Those who have startups and beginning with accounting services might be going through the hassle, so consider taking a look within details mentioned below for ease. 

Hiring a chartered accountant for the first time!

The day you deal with extensive business deals is the time for you to hire services of the chartered accountant for prominent assistance. You need to accompany five regions that are secured finance services, corporate expenses, charge reasoning, motivating forces, and fiscal summaries.

When hiring the chartered for the first time, it is essential for you to look into prominent areas such as knowledge, abilities along with individual properties such as honesty and loyalty towards your business. Even if you hold general comprehension of the bookkeeping, still it is necessary for one to take the advice of the professional that would assist in making better decisions of finance for bearing proficiency of working. 

The accountant you are hearing must be familiar with the latest finance obligations that are required to fulfil government organizations. The basics of the finance board and execute alternatives for making things simpler and basics for comprehensions. 

Bookkeeping services done by the professionals assist in ideal entries in the business as the false or improper entries would end up with late finance draws in punishments along with intrigue charges that are not only loss of money but affects your business’s image in the market place.

 An expert chartered accountant would also possess knowledge of the taxes and guide you regarding them by limiting the tax collection commitments. The accountant must be willing to guide you regarding exploiting charge credits, and motivators for which you are qualified. 

For meeting with standard consistency, fiscal reports are necessary to set up for the configuration. Budgetary summaries are required to be done by the expert accountants and reports understanding of accompanying accounting report reports mentioning out organization’s assets, liabilities along with possessing value. The great accountant would assist in comprehending consumption, salary along with benefit and drawbacks in your cash flow. 

The final verdict

In the final verdict, we can conclude to an aspect that it is great for the entrepreneur to hire high profile and knowledgeable chartered accountant for bookkeeping. In addition, a chartered accountant must be familiar with different and latest finance obligations for preventing any finance drawbacks. The bookkeeper you are hiring must be proficient within all arenas including taxing, fiscal report making and several other niches. By sticking to these requirements, you can surely find a proficient chartered accountant for bookkeeping of your enterprise. It is great for people to hire FMD auditors who are experts that are great in dealing with business and limiting your tax liabilities. 

Music for the People: The Clubs that Formed the Backbone of Seattle’s Early Alternative Scene

Any underground movement, when it builds up enough momentum to break into mainstream consciousness, offers the rest of us an opportunity to peer at the inner workings of a youth community that’s working to create its own culture and values. Apparently, a music industry that prefers to package its acts and calculate its images must assume that anything else it encounters must be packaged and calculated too. But most of the surface trappings of “alternative” scenes – the clothes, hairstyles, and lingo – were never as self-conscious as the media would have us believe.

Many of the band members who gigged and recorded in Seattle during the heyday of Grunge Rock never dreamt of playing arena shows, selling millions of records, or millions of online streams through gudang lagu. They wanted to write and record the kind of music they loved and earn enough money to eat and pay the bills without having to compromise with the major record labels. Herein lies the paradox of the scene: it was a rebellion against the music industry machine that finally grew to overshadow the established musical community. And its performers, who scorned the trappings associated with rock stardom, ended up being interviewed and written about in the biggest publications of the day.

Back in 1976, however, the idea of Seattle’s music scene is the darling of the world could not have been more foreign. The youth culture had begun to take inspiration from London’s punk rock, New York’s disco scene, and the garage sound of two bands from Detroit: the MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges. But there was no outlet in town for aspiring musicians to play – no clubs, only bars with cover bands and boogie rock. Punk and new wave bands would have to content themselves with playing rental halls, and with the occasional gig at the Paramount opening for national acts like David Bowie, Blondie, and the Talking Heads.

Things had improved by the early ‘80s with the opening of the Showbox, the Gorilla Room, and WREX, whose three nights a week shows inspired other bars around town to start booking bands. The Rosco Louie, a combined art and music space, provided another haven for Seattle’s musicians. This budding scene of the first half of the ’80’s nurtured such pioneering alternative rockers as the Fastbacks, Malfunkshun, the Accused, and the Melvins.

Pioneer Square became the hub of the new music scene when the Central Tavern, which was billed as “Seattle’s Only 2nd Class Tavern” started adding alternative-rock gigs to its normal jazz and R B; fare. Other supportive establishments around Pioneer Square included the Metropolis (an all-ages space) and two galleries: Ground Zero and Graven Image.

Unfortunately, many of these clubs were plagued not only by money problems but also by the unruly behavior of many of their patrons, which ran the gamut from drug use to violence and the destruction of property. For a time, the Seattle scene seemed fated to be torn apart by the very artists that it’d set out to nurture.

A Successful Weight Loss Story

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could eat whatever we wanted and still stay thin? Well, for many of us, including myself, I would love to be able to do this, but as we all know this is only possible in our dreams. This is especially true if you are the type of person who has a tendency to gain weight very easily. People like us have to watch what we eat on a daily basis.

Many of us have grown up in households where food was always available and used for a wide variety of reasons. Our moms would give us cookies and milk when we were younger. Our families would always come up with a reason to celebrate, and food was always part of the picture. Even when there wasn’t a time to celebrate, they always found a way to incorporate food into the festivities.

Plain and simple, food is just part of our culture. It is just part of who we are.

It is part of human nature to want or actually need some type of instant gratification. We do certain tasks like drinking, smoking, and eating because it satisfies our needs right then and there and we are able to satisfy senses that need stimulation by giving our bodies what it craves. The sharing of the successful story can be there with other person after the use and check over the resurge reviews. It can also be included in the reviews for the potential purchasers of the pills. The results of the pills should be great and charge less from the budget prepared through the people.

For instance, we hate standing in line at the grocery store. We want everything fast and we want it now. This is one of the main reasons why it is so hard to lose weight. We have become so used to instant gratification that we incorporate this way of thinking throughout every aspect of our lives.

When we go on a diet we basically have to eat foods that we are sometimes not too crazy about. Often we don’t like the taste, plus we get on the scale and after a couple of days or even a week there is very little progress. So with that type of mind set we give up and go back to eating the way we were and sometimes may even gain more weight then what we had before we had tried to lose weight.

My Personal Story

I was around 25 when I had decided to lose weight the healthy way, and it wasn’t just 10 or 20 lbs., it was more closer to 75. I knew that in order to be able to accomplish this goal I was going to have to really make some serious lifestyle changes, not only physically, but mentally as well.

I did so much research on weight loss prior to attempting to lose weight the healthy way, and felt that I not only had the necessary tools to lose weight, but that I was capable of being able to do this on my own. The thing about dieting in general is that we as humans are placed at a disposition even before we begin dieting.

It’s so common for us to be creatures of habit. If we have tried to lose weight before it’s easy for us to quit within a week or so because it is just so hard to make those drastic lifestyle changes. It’s even harder having to quit those destructive eating habits that we have become so accustomed to over the years.

Stop Getting on the Scale Every Week:

While I was making these drastic lifestyle changes I steered clear of the scale and there was this inner drive that was within me that motivated me to keep at it. After about a month I was able to lose about 10 lbs. and I remember being so happy and starting to feel so good about myself.

I then made a commitment to myself to only get on the scale at the most, one time a month, that way I wouldn’t get discouraged if I didn’t see the numbers I wanted to see. The way that I was able to see if I was losing weight was by trying on clothes that didn’t fit me before I started dieting.

Introduce Changes Gradually: Make some Eating Changes

This was one of the hardest aspects of the weight loss challenge. Before I had attempted to lose weight the healthy way I had become so used to just grabbing whatever was convenient and satisfied my cravings. I never looked at the fat content or calories.

When I began dieting I remember looking at a lot of the fat content and calories of the food I was eating and realized why I was so overweight. Once I started losing weight I began eating more fruits and vegetable and a lot of grilled chicken, salads, and lean meats.

I also counted fat grams and calories. At first I started at about 2,000 calories and around 45-50 fat grams because I had learned that you can’t starve yourself. By being able to introduce changesgradually you can prevent your body from going into shock and holding onto excess weight. The reason our body does this is because it thinks it’s starving.

So I followed this program for about a month and after I had lost the 10 lbs. I started cutting back each month by about 200 calories as well as 10 fat grams. I did this until I had cut this down to around 1,500 calories per day and 30-35 fat grams a day.

Increase Your Activity Level: Exercise is a Must

I know, I wish I could say, “Hey I lost all this weight and I never did any form of exercise and ate a package of oreos everyday.” But the truth is I did, and sometimes I even exercised 2 times a day depending on how my body felt. I started out walking and taking little steps to increase my activity level.

After I got used to this routine about 4 times a week, I decided to take it up a notch, just as Emeril Lagassi says. I started doing about 30-60 minutes of exercise, which consisted of a combination of strength training and aerobics tapes.

I did these routines at least 4-5 times a week. I had also learned that combining cardiovascular exercise and weight lifting was not only a great way to lose weight, but helps get the weight of quicker. I also noticed that with time my body became somewhat dependent on the exercise, that even when I didn’t feel like doing it there was that inner motivation that pushed me to do it.

By increasing your activity level you will be able to see noticeable differences in not only how your body looks, but how you feel as well.

Hopefully, by incorporating some of these techniques in your attempt to lose weight the healthy way you will have the superior results that I did. By following these simple techniques I was able to lose 75 lbs. within a years time and I did it all without any type of diet pills or medical surgery. Let me tell you it was at the top of one of the best accomplishments I have ever achieved in my life. Once you do it you will feel the same way.

Fashion Strategies for Tough Times

Here are a few fashion strategies for tough times. Until the economy picks up a bit, it’s probably a good idea to get creative when you assemble your outfits these days. As the recession has been vamping up for awhile, I have had ample opportunity to observe the “frugalistas” around me in their efforts to maintain their fashion groove, and to employ a few of their ideas within my own wardrobe. Here’s a summary of ideas from me and from people other than me, and where the ideas are borrowed, I shall label them as such.

Thrift stores are enjoying a resurgence in popularity these days. Formerly haunted mainly by university students, artists and people of dire need, it is now cool to shop at thrift stores. Indeed, I have heard many recountings of thrift store finds of designer brand apparel and perfectly new items. As an item of note, many fashion models like to shop at thrift stores and vintage clothing stores. In fact, Kate Moss even designs clothing based on inspiration from her thrift store finds. The attraction is that most thrift store items cannot be found at either Macy’s or Neiman Marcus, so the likelihood of one producing an original outfit with them is significantly higher. And what kind of savings are we talking about? I saw a woman in a thrift store buy four pairs of pants and three blouses for about $20. Try and beat that in a regular retail store. This is definitely a great transitional strategy till things pick up a bit.

Another possibility is to mine your friends’ and relatives’ closets. Hey, go ahead and mine other people’s closets as well! Many people these days are getting together at clothing swap parties. You show up with all of your worst clothing purchases (wrong color, wrong fit, or your spouse hates it) and then trade away. If you’re unemployed, this is a great excuse to get out of the house for a bit and nibble on hors d’oeuvres and white wine. This is not my idea – I borrowed it from Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, from their wonderful book What You Wear Can Change Your Life. The great thing about this strategy is that it’s free, free, free! Trinny and Susannah are fashion goddesses in their own right, and offer sound advice on how to dress well on a budget.

You can very well check here at Trinny and Susannah’s official website or visit their showroom or branch depending on the city you are living in because they are quite a popular brand with many franchises across the globe.

As we all well know, accessories create the outfit, right? This idea costs a little money, so brace yourself – make your own fashion accessories. This is not nearly as hard as you may think, and if you get really good at it, after the economy picks up you may have a new way to augment your paycheck. Here’s an idea for you – there are a number of single-cord choker necklaces, made of woven or interlinked metal, that have clasps which are thin enough to string on a number of wide-holed beads. Two of my favorites are the omega necklace and the Pandora necklace. There are Pandora bracelets too, by the way. Pick up a bunch of pendants and/or wide-holed beads and you have a potential variety of necklaces. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, try making your own scarves. They even have patterns for this in the fabric store, along with patterns for making your own handbags.

On the off-chance that you have a few bucks to spend, there are a number of retail stores that spawn imitations of popular fashion designer pieces at cut-rate prices. My personal favorite is H  amp; M (in fact, I own quite a few H  amp; M pieces!), but there are many others as well. If H  amp; M is beyond your budget, consider some of the discount stores like Ross or Marshall’s. I love the fact that you can prowl through their racks and see numerous clones of haute couture items. Of course, the quality of these items is the sticking point – don’t expect to own them forever – but you may not want to own them forever, so who cares?

Although you may want to throw a brick at me for saying this, this is actually an opportunity in disguise. The key to maintaining your fashion groove is to truly bring all of who you are into your wardrobe. I think this is harder when you have lots of money, because your first impulse is to take the easy road and spend it – to not think about it quite as much. If you track down accessories you truly love, however you acquire them, you won’t feel as much of a compulsion to just automatically buy stuff off the rack. And your accessories will draw countless inquiries of, “Where did you buy that? Where can I get it?”

So, these fashion strategies for tough times might make your non-tough times even better, in the long run. You’ll have more to wear, and you’ll really enjoy what you wear. You will attract friends and lovers who will want to know everything about you, forever, and find you endlessly interesting. You will be hired by every employer who interviews you – in fact, they might even have bidding wars over you! So don’t fret. Good days are coming, so you might as well get ready and be dressed for them.

9 Wonderful Tech Gifts For Music Lovers

Music lovers are the ones that listen and enjoy music in every situation. They tend to calm their mind by listening to music. It has been studied that listening to music is considered a good workout for the brain, which helps to strengthen the memory. Also, it has been noticed that music lovers tend to remember things better than other people. Music lovers can’t be separated from music as their relationship with music is deep, and they can’t imagine their exciting life with it. There could be many friends or family members of yours that love music.

People often get confused when it comes to gifting something to a music lover as their choice is always different from others. They tend to love the tech gifts that include headphones, speakers, and some cool gadgets on which they can listen to music. You have come to the right place as we will know the top perfect tech gifts things to give to a music lover.

  1. Vintage Record Bottle Opener

A bottle opener is a unique gift for music lovers, and it is available in 4 kinds of genres, which are country, soul 80’s and rock and roll. This is an awesome wall-mounted vintage record bottle opener, which has a vinyl 45 repurposed in it.

  1. Wine Barrel Guitar Rack

Guitars are pure love, especially for music lovers, and are beautiful and highly-functional. The guitar can be hung on a wine barrel guitar rack, which makes it look awesome. Guitar racks are usually made from domesticated oak barrel staves, which are available in single and double designs. People who have guitar must be gifted guitar rack to keep them at an appropriate place and make it look awesome.

  1. Recycled Record Bookends

Everyone expects that music lovers must have a couple of vinyl records along with them. If your friend or known to whom you are about to gift, gift the recycled record bookends. This pair of record bookends fulfills all the expectations as they are made from reclaimed vinyl 45s.

  1. Pocket DJ Mixer

Music lovers are always in search of things that can mix their songs or sounds. It is better to give them a great means to mix up with this pocket portable DJ mixer, which can fit into a pocket. The pocket DJ mixer is quite powerful to belt the sounds from the phones.

  1. Mechanical Music Box Set

This old fashioned music box can help music lovers to create tunes of their own. This music box mechanism comes with an ole punch, three blank strips, a pre-punched strip, and some instructions. They can use their creativity to create a few tunes, and they will definitely love this music box.

  1. Cedar Thumb Pianos

Thumb Pianos are little in size and are amp-compatible with eight numbered keys. The Cedar Thumb Piano is best to teach music to kids or having an ongoing unrehearsed jamming session. If you want to give to a child or adult, then this is best as they can learn music on it.

  1. Heavy Metal Rock Band

Heavy Metal Rock Band is the mini steel sculpture that is mainly made up of found objects to represent the band members. This band is definitely heavy in personality but is light in weight. If you want to give it to band members, select them according to the number of their band members.

  1. Personalized Mixtape Doormat

There is a great success story of Mixtapes of the 80s and are also indicated as a token of love. In the market, there are amazing doormats that a mixtape is printed on, which is up to 16 characters. People who love music must be gifted this as this can be placed anywhere in the house or in-studio.

  1. Smart Lighting Panels – Canvas

Music lovers that love to decorate their room, then the smart lighting panels are best to light up the rooms. The installation of this geometric light can be configured in different ways, and a combination of around 16 million different shades can be set up.

These are some amazing tech gifts for music lovers which can melt their heart and make them feel good. You can search for more gifts online and get them in your budget.

First Impressions of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a Massively-Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) that has been out for around two years. I have been following the game since it was in the beta stage, where it gets player tested for bugs and other issues before it is commercially released, and have always thought it sounded innovative and fun. Unfortunately, when the game launched, it was plagued by performance and stability issues, gameplay imbalances between the character classes that players could choose from, unfinished or bugged questlines, and a whole host of other issues.

All of this resulted in a lot of negative press and subsequently many of the 200,000 people who purchased and subscribed to the game quit in frustration. That is why educational unblocked games, is a free alternative to this amazing game. 

Fast forward two years. I stopped playing World of Warcraft and Everquest II and began looking for a new MMORPG that could hold my attention. While browsing gaming sites, I stumbled upon Vanguard again and thought I’d give it a second look. I decided to do my homework before I subscribed since I still remembered all of the problems the game had when it launched.

After visiting the game’s official forums and browsing the various threads, I learned that a good deal of the performance and stability issues had been fixed, player classes had been largely rebalanced, and quite a bit of new content had been added to the game. Unfortunately, the game’s subscriber base never quite recovered from the rocky start, and so the server populations were greatly diminished and the several servers that the game initially had were merged into four remaining ones, with two “normal” servers, one for EU timezones, and one for player versus player (PVP) combat. The development team had also been largely reduced, and the game is apparently not really being marketed anymore.

With all of that said, the remaining developers seem to be doing an outstanding job at continuing to fix problems and still are able to add new content to the game on a fairly regular basis. In fact, they have just finished and introduced a free 14-day trial that sets you out on an island and lets you advance your character to level ten in adventuring, crafting, and diplomacy, in order to have a first-hand look at what Vanguard is all about before you shell out your $15 monthly subscription fee.

Since I had been interested in the game for so long and it now had a free trial, I figured I had nothing to lose by downloading it and checking it out. It took me about 30 minutes to download the trial, and then I was ready to go! Or so I thought. I logged in, the music started playing…and then my computer crashed to a blue screen with some sort of error message. After making much use of search engines and internet forums, I was able to find out that my particular error was not the game’s fault, but rather I simply needed to update my video drivers. It was a relatively quick and painless process to update those, and then I was off and ready to go again!

The second time was the charm with this game, and I came to the character selection screen. I was able to choose a first and last name, a race, and a class, or fighting profession, for my character. A few minutes and clicks later, and my halfling cleric was born. Then I was taken to the customization screen, where I was able to change eye color, hairstyle and color, basic clothing style and color, and a myriad of other little details, ranging from how far apart the eyes were, to what the shoulder mass of my little halfling was. These steps provide a level of customization that I haven’t really seen in any other game I’ve played, and even though some of the changes are minor ones, it really does give you a sense that you won’t run into a carbon copy of your character out in the game world, which is nice.

After the character customization comes the server choice. Being in the United States, I ruled out the EU server, and since I hadn’t heard great things about the player versus player server, I ruled that one out as well. I was left with the remaining two U.S. servers and just picked one randomly. Finally, I was ready for the actual game.

It must be said at this point that my computer is a couple of years old, and wasn’t exactly cutting edge even then, so I had to adjust some of the graphics settings down so my video card didn’t explode, but I was still able to appreciate the level of detail that has gone into this game.

From the blades of grass and trees swaying in the breeze, to the rain and ambient insect noises, it’s clear that this game was meant to be immersive, and in my opinion, it delivers. Each non-player character (NPC) you interact with has something to say, and the quests you are assigned to do have a nice flow to them, and all the while they are educating you on the game lore for the trial island. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that first night, as everywhere I looked and everyone I interacted with introduced me to some new game mechanic or advancement of the storyline. In short, I was hooked.

The other players on the island seemed to be a mixture of new people to the game, like me, and others that have played for much longer but were starting alternate characters for some of the rewards you apparently get after completing all of the quests on the island. For the most part, the in-game chat was filled with people asking game-related questions and usually getting friendly and helpful replies.

There was the occasional immaturity, but that is really to be expected since it is a game. By and large, though, the player community on Vanguard seems to be a little older and a lot more mature than most other games I’ve played, so that was a big bonus for me. I was able to join a couple of groups of players to finish up the more difficult quests, and each time everyone was polite, helpful, and patient with me as I asked questions and was still figuring out how to do certain things.

After a few days of giving this game entirely more attention than I had planned, my little halfling was at level 10 and ready to explore the rest of the world. I still had several days left on my free trial, but after weighing the pros and cons to subscribing, I found that the pros far outweighed the cons, and I figured for the price of two movie tickets (excluding popcorn and drinks) a month, I was really getting a lot of value, so I took the plunge and paid my membership fee. One huge download later, and the rest of the world was opened up. I definitely foresee a lot of fun and a lack of sleep in the weeks and months to come!

Unique Gifts for Nursing Home Resident

So, your elderly loved one is now living in a nursing home. You want to get them a gift, but you are not sure what to buy them? Try out these gift baskets Canada, which is a perfect gift for the elderly. Along with that give them a gift that reminds them of home. Choose something sentimental, unique, and functional. Choose one of these great gifts.

Picture collage

A picture collage is a great unique gift for a nursing home resident. It provides a way to celebrate family, and remind the nursing home resident of the home. Gather some of your loved one’s favorite pictures. Take them to a photo center and make those pictures into a collage.

Family Collage Blanket or Throw

Another unique gift to give your elderly loved one is a family collage blanket or a throw. Uses these fleece blankets to display your favorite family photos. The blanket will warm hearts and bodies. If you don’t want to do a blanket, you can opt to have your favorite photos made into a beautiful throw.

Digital photo frames

Digital photo frames are a wonderful way to show off sentimental photos. They display pictures as a beautiful slide show. All you have to do is upload your favorite photos and select the amount of time between each picture. Digital photo frames make great gifts, and they are guaranteed to hold your elderly one captive.

Music Boxes

Remind your favorite elderly family member of days gone by with some beautiful music. Get them a beautiful music box. Music boxes can play songs from your loved one’s childhood, their first dance, or even their wedding. Music boxes can also be used to decorate your elderly loved one’s nursing homeroom.

Anniversary Clocks

Help your elderly love turn back the hands of time. Give him or her a beautiful anniversary clock. Anniversary clocks are elegant and sentimental, and they can also be used to decorate your loved one’s nursing homeroom.

Talking watch

Let’s face it. As a person ages, telling time with a regular clock or watch can become difficult. What’s the solution? Give them a talking watch. These watches have large numbers, and they verbally announce the time.


Did your elderly loved one like gardening or working in a flower bed before they moved into the nursing home? If they did, then a plant will make a perfect gift. Plants can liven up any place. Not only are they pretty, but they require love and attention. So, they will give your elderly loved one something to take care of.

Inspirational books

Being in a nursing home can be depressing. So, give your elderly loved one some encouragement. A small book of inspirational quotes or words can be just the thing.

Are you wondering what to give your elderly loved one now that they live in a nursing home? Give them a unique and sentimental gift.

Spring Cleaning Services in Portland, Oregon

As spring approaches, it’s time to clean out the cobwebs and air out the furniture. The house can be a bit musty and dusty after a long winter indoors, and the sunlight illuminates every smudge on the walls. By tradition, it’s time for spring cleaning.

a rSpring cleaning is more than just your average weekly or monthly housecleaning. It’s real deep cleaning of the house. Usually it involves cleaning underneath furniture, washing windows and blinds, cleaning carpets, and other projects that don’t get done on a regular basis.

If you’re too busy for spring cleaning, you can hire a cleaning service for this purpose, even if you don’t use a house cleaning service on a regular basis. Here are four house cleaning services available for spring cleaning in the Portland, Oregon area.

Merry Maids is a national franchise operation that is available in Portland, Oregon. Merry Maids employees are carefully screened and trained to clean quickly and thoroughly in each home. Merry Maids house cleaners are employees of the company, so residents do not need to worry about paying employment taxes or filling out paperwork. House cleaners bring all of their supplies and equipment with them, but Merry Maids does not make any particular effort to use environmentally friendly cleaning products. For the attractive look of the house, people should found a apartment cleaning service here at online search engines. The paperwork requirements are less in the selection of the services. With the cleaning services, a positive attitude is there among the residents of the house. 

Spring cleaning rates depend on the size of the home and the cleaning services needed. One-time spring cleaning service might run anywhere from $200 to $450. Merry Maids’ Portland office can be reached at 503-262-0537.

Clean-a-Maniacs is a Portland-area, woman-owned cleaning business. It’s owned and operated by two sisters, Boni Courtright and Jean Nations. Clean-a-Maniacs offers standard house cleaning services as well as air duct cleaning, carpet cleaning, and window cleaning. House cleaners are employees of Clean-a-Maniacs and not sub-contractors. They use pH neutral, environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Spring cleaning rates depend on the size of the home and the amount and type of cleaning needed. The hourly rate for cleaning starts at $35 per hour, but the number of hours and number of employees required depends on the house. Spring cleaning service includes the standard housecleaning package plus moving and cleaning under and behind light furniture, cleaning the refrigerator and ovens, inside and outside window cleaning, and carpet cleaning. For contact information or to request a free estimate, visit

Domestica is another local company in Portland, Oregon, specializing in environmentally responsible cleaning. Domestica uses truly natural cleaning solutions. For instance, their all-purpose cleaner is made from organic essential oils, pure castile soap, vinegar and borax. The service does cost a little more, at $42 per person per hour (your total depends on the size of your home and the services needed). An initial, one-time deep cleaning (like spring cleaning service) typically starts around $275 to $325.

Domestica does not offer extras like carpet cleaning and duct cleaning. For more details and contact information, visit

NW House Cleaning is a family owned and operated cleaning service in Portland, Oregon. They offer both regular and one-time cleaning services. NW Housecleaning uses environmentally safe cleaning products, and uses washable cleaning rags to minimize waste. They do not do carpet cleaning or duct cleaning, and window cleaning (for an extra charge) is limited to the inside of windows that can be reached with a small stepladder. Customer MercuryPDX says that NW House Cleaning offers “extremely personalized service” and is “very accomodating and easy to work with.”

Rates depend on the size of the home and services required. For spring cleaning service, a team of two costs around $62 per hour; three hours of cleaning would cost $186 (but the number of hours required depends on the home). Details and contact information are available at

Easy Weight Loss Tips for Summer

Summer is the perfect time to get fit and lose weight. The days are longer, the weather is beautiful and fresh produce is bountiful. This translates to more time to schedule your exercise, especially outdoors and you can easily fill on on fresh fruits and veggies instead of the usual choices. Follow these simple tips to take advantage of the summer season and help you look great this summer.

The Best Time of Day to Exercise

Summer affords you more daylight both morning and evening which means more time to workout. This is a common question personal trainers get from clients. The answer is not black and white and lies with the client not the trainer. A good trainer will find out what time of day works best for you and when you have the most energy to put into your workout. Consider what time of day you feel the best and are more apt to comply to an exercise program. Research suggests morning exercises have great adherence and this could be because no matter what happens the rest of the day, they already got a good workout in. However, this doesn’t mean that an after work bike ride or hike isn’t beneficial. The key to losing weight is burning calories so regardless of when you workout use the additional day light hours to speed up your weight loss by burning more calories. With simple and easy steps, the purchase of the resurge pills is practical and beneficial. The burning of the calories should be there with the consumption of the pills. The weight loss is effective and meets with the requirements and specifications. The speed should be high in reducing the excessive weight.

Use Summer Weather to Get Out of Your Slump

Many people are consistent about going to the gym to workout, but never change their routine. Use the summer weather to bust out of your workout slump and try something new outdoors. By changing your workout routine your body has to become stronger and become accustom to the new activity. This can increase your cardiovascular condition and improve muscular strength. Both of these will increase your metabolism and speed weight loss. Contact your local rec center and join a hiking club or get your bike tuned up and use local bike trails to tone your legs. You can also find a 5K runs in your area and train to do one a month all summer. Focus on improving your time at each race and watch the numbers on the scale drop. Go to Runner’s World for easy training plans for all abilities.

Back to the Basics Foods for Weight Loss

Farmer’s Markets are becoming increasingly popular. These markets will have fresh local produce that will tempt your taste buds with pure flavors. Take advantage of the fresh produce to stock up each week on healthy snacks and use them to create fresh healthy meals. Sunset Magazine on-line has great recipes to use with your yummy market foods. A common weight loss strategy for weight loss is to prepare and plan meals ahead of time. Having fresh foods on hand will force you to plan how to use them and encourage you to eat the juicy fresh fruits. By the end of summer you could conceivably increased your fruit and vegetable intake and developed better life-long eating habits.

Putting it All Together for Life

Summer does make it easier to lose weight and improve your fitness, but don’t let the feeling of summer fade at Labor Day. Making time to exercise, changing your fitness routine and eating wholesome foods are habits you can continue through out the year. This way by next summer you will have new fitness goals that you want to achieve and won’t have lost any ground over the winter.