Thursday, April 29, 2010

UPDATE: My Ebay Account Now Closed! Again..

Just several hours after I posted my experience on solving the problem of temporary closure of account in Ebay, and when I thought it was solved and back to normal, I, again, received the same notifications from Ebay. I do not understand how this thing happened when I just fixed this thing several hours ago?!

I use again the live chat to deal this problem, thinking that like the first one, my Ebay account will be restored in no time, but I am wrong! At this very moment, I am not a member of Ebay, sort of. Since I decided to let go my account and still thinking whether I'll make a new one or just not use Ebay at all.


This time, damage was done in my account. The details in my Ebay account was tampered. The customer service representative told me to fax documents that will prove my identification. However, how can I prove it when the data in my account was altered and will not be the same as what my documents will show. So it's useless to fax them the documents. The lady just told me to make a new account, that means goodbye to the rate and feedback I had in my account.

Well, so to speak, I am just a victim of theft identity in Ebay. I have a suspect that this happen when I posted item listing in Ebay for selling. I do not know if it is just my bad luck because I was not actually paying attention to my Ebay account but just recently when I decided selling things. As mentioned in my previous post, I took a deal with a supplier and I will post the items in my Ebay. Well, this supplier did not reply to me ever since he sent me the documents for product list. That was the last communication I had with him and that was two days ago. I now realized that the description of the product he gave me in html form has a code in phishing my account because I checked my Yahoo id I used in my ebay account and it is safe, I can still access that email id, as well as my Paypal account. My passwords are not the same too so I think that saves my other emails and Paypal.

I could not believe I am a victim of theft identity! But I am! So for now, I am halting the Ebay selling thing, I think I am going to focus on writing for now. Sob!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ebay Account Temporary Closed

I am not a frequent user of Ebay, an online auction and shopping website where people buy and sell wide variety of goods and services worldwide. I only use it whenever there is an occasion that I would need to buy presents for my kids but no time to do so. In other words, I just visit Ebay to buy or bid once in a while.

Recently, I thought of expanding my choices of earning online, and one of my preferences is selling on Ebay. I do not have in mind on what to sell, so I login in Freelancer, a freelance job website, to search for some project requiring Ebay sellers. I know that it would not be easy for me to find a provider who will trust his product to someone like me who does not have seller profile however, I still try my luck. Fortunately, I found one invitation asking me to bid as Ebay seller. To cut the long story short, he agreed to let me post his items on my Ebay selling page and sent me the necessary documents, pictures, and instructions.

Upon receiving these, I immediately opened my Ebay page and posted the items. I was happy that it was not that hard at all since my items provider gave me all the necessary descriptions in html format, and I just copied it and pasted on the Ebay editor. After posting the items, I hurriedly emailed my provider of the item numbers so that he will be able to see them. And there they were… that was what I thought!

After an hour or so, I received three emails from Ebay. The first one was stating that they removed my listings.

 

The second one is notifying me that my account has been temporarily locked.



The third one is about temporarily disabling the automatic payment of selling fees. It is the one of the required part if you are selling. Your account must be linked to a checking account or credit/debit card, so that Ebay will have the means to automatically collect selling fees from your bank every time you list items to sell.



My first reaction upon reading these emails was doubt to my product provider. Did he try to hack my account? Was it just a scam? So, I immediately emailed him about my situation. I did not blame him or accused him of anything since I have not proved anything bad on him. After that, I made some researches on Ebay Scams and read some posts and forums related to Ebay account cancellation and closure. I have read so many same experiences as I have. I also found out that Ebay provides chat support which I immediately contacted.

The representative was good. She reviewed my case and asked me if I can receive call from my registered number, and since that number is with my mom, it is not possible to do verification through phone, she just sent me the verification code through email. This is the step where you have to prove your identity. I opened my email and put the code in the chat box. She also asked me if I was the one who posted the listings and I said it was me. That was all that she needed to restore my account and item lists. Afterwards she told me to login and change my password.

She explained to me that since April 2008, any irregularities in the activity of the Ebay account are being reviewed. The cookies and unique code of the computer being used by the account holder are saved in the database to determine whether it is really the owner of the account who is using it. This is to prevent cases of stealing Ebay accounts.

I lauded Ebay for doing this even though I panicked upon receiving those notifications. With the proliferation of scams and phishing, it is necessary that Ebay administration do something that will protect their buyers, bidders, and sellers from people who have bad intentions. So when you receive these kinds of mails from Ebay, all you need to do is contact their chat support. They are very much willing to help you. I have proven it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Sizzling Hot Dinner with an Indian Friend

Last Saturday, Anu, my friend who is from India and currently in my country to go sightseeing, has visited me. She has become my friend through her sister-in-law, who was my former classmate and a friend. Her brother has been living here in the Philippines since he got married with my friend, Hilda. It is Anu’s third time to visit my country. And last night, she treated me to the authentic Indian cuisine.

Indian food is known for having rich spices which are not common here. She introduced me to fenugreek, coriander, jeera, turmeric, mustard seeds (I know sauce, but not the seeds), asafetida, cumin, cardamom, clove, and a lot more which are quite difficult to memorize. Here, foods are normally cooked with basic spices like onion, garlic, black pepper, chili, salt, ginger and sometimes lemon grass and anise seeds.

In her second visit, I cooked for her our famous pork sinigang, Bicol express, pinakbet, ginisang bagoong with pork, and bought a kilo of lechon. She liked the lechon specially the cripy skin but not the flesh. She thought that it was quite bland. Aside from lechon, Bicol express and pinakbet were also her favorite. She quipped that Pork sinigang was too sour and ginisang bagoong was too smelly. I cannot blame her for her comment with the sinigang and the bagoong as she did not have the palate that us, Pinoys, have.

Well, in her third visit, she promised to return the favor, so she brought those spices direct from India. She gave some for me and taught me how to use them. Aside from the basic spices that we already use, she said that cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom are the spices that are must-haves in the kitchen, and of course, do not forget chili powder and dried whole chili. She said that those spices can be used in meat, fish, and vegetables.

After the spices lecture, I helped her prepare the ingredients. She had five courses in mind but ended cooking six since the last one was quite simple. I found Indian food interesting, though they seem complicated to cook but actually, not that difficult as one may think.

The first one she cooked, as I watched and gave little help too, was pork vindaloo. It was of course made of pork! There was nothing in it but pork and spices only. One thing I have noticed in Indian food is that they do not mix everything in one dish unlike Filipino food. When we were preparing the ingredients for this, I thought that it was hard to cook as there were so many spices in it but actually, it was quite easy. There were three steps in cooking this dish. The first one was to marinate, then sauté, and lastly simmer. It is a slow cook process.

The second dish was fish curry. We bought tilapia in the market and she thought that it was perfect for the curry. I found the Pinoy curry and Indian curry so different, it was like north and south difference. As usual, the fish was cleaned and marinated in some spices and calamansi. In India, they use lime or lemon but we used calamansi since lemon is not available, she said they do not have calamansi in India. After 15 minutes or so, the fish was fried, then she made curry with spices again and put the fried fish in it and simmer for several minutes, then it was ready.

The third dish was a curry again. This time it was potato curry. The dish was so simple but it was with spices again. It was sort of sautéing but with the spices then in with the potato, and then water till the potato is soft. That’s it!

The fourth dish was a barbecue, yeah, a spicy grilled chicken. Well, there was a little difference with our barbecue with this one since Indian version does not require brushing. It was just marinated for several hours, and then grilled. No dipping too.

The fifth one was bread. This one was my favorite. I mean it was my favorite to cook as it was my dream to eat and make flat bread. The bread was not made of regular white flour. It was made of wheat flour. She told me that in India, flat bread (roti or chapati) is normally made of wheat. I told her that it would be very expensive then. She said that in her place, wheat is quite cheap and healthy that regular white flour. I have been dying to know how to make this since every time I eat shawarma, I always thought how to they make those delicious circle wraps which are shaped like plate. I was surprised with the ingredients of this bread. It was like basically nothing, just flour, little salt, very less butter, and water. It was easy to cook too. The only challenge was the rolling and flattening of the dough. This also must be prepared just few minutes before serving time.

The last one was actually a last minute addition. My son brought okra or ladyfinger from the neighbor’s farm. She said that it would be a great appetizer, and she was right. It was a hit among the kids and adults alike.

It was quite tiring to prepare and cook but it was worth it. Though not all were the favorites, the chapatti, chicken vindaloo, fried okra were the ones that were gone just after few minutes. The kids loved dipping the chapatti in the gravy of the vindaloo. The okra was the first one to disappear from the table. It was like a French fries. I think it is one of the dishes that I will cook again and again. The grilled chicken was good too but it was quite dry since there was no dipping, though the spices’ flavors sank inside the meat. The fish curry was too spicy. M husband and oldest son liked it. I think my friend got carried away while mixing the chili powder in the curry or maybe not. I guess it was just the way it supposed to be.

It was quite a meal. I really burped aloud after that, well, she liked it :-P . I thanked her for sharing the Indian cuisine with us. It was the first time I used so many spices in cooking. I am still learning how to mix them up. I will share the recipes of the dishes we cooked in my next posts, and also some tips on using Indian spices. You never know, they may be available soon in Philippine market.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Start Your E-learning School

More and more people are having computers at home. Students who usually go to the library to do research just open their computers to access to the unlimited source of information. However, there are still some things that require teacher’s attention and guidance. In this case, school is still needed for education. This is where online school business comes in, and the number is getting higher and higher. Competition is strong however it is possible to break through, clients are vast, and it is worldwide.


If you are planning to start an online school business, you must know the ins and outs of this field. It has no difference from putting up a regular school although your school is almost like a virtual reality. It needs proper planning, enough resources, dedicated personnel, and most of all students.

Starting up an online school is costlier than any online business however it is profitable also if managed properly. Proper computers, reliable internet connection, good working place, excellent marketing strategy, outstanding supervision, and veteran and skilled teachers are the key on making this kind of business successful.

Courses offered in online schools vary from usual degree courses, languages, and skill-developing courses. It is important to define the type of course to be offered. It must be able to live up to the needs of the market.

People always want to learn something and many provide. It is a tough competition for online schools but many excel and gain so much profit.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ways to Loss Weight


In our society today, it would not be surprising if 6 out of 10 people has problem on their weight. Others have even worse problem on their weight. Being over-weight or obese is a big problem that one must not ignore. This can cause health problems like heart attack, short of breath, and other weight-related illness. It also prevents obese people to perform simple tasks like running, climbing up the stairs, picking up things from the floor, and walking long distance.

There are a lot of reasons why a person becomes fat that leads to obesity. Eating fatty food, not involving in physical activities, emotional and mental stress, and heredity. Eating is the major contributor. When someone is in the state of depression, he tends to feed himself with foods that neither healthy nor wholesome. Chocolates, cakes, ice cream, chips, sodas, sweets are the common food that give instant yet temporary satisfaction in exchange to tons of fat stored under the skin. However, most of these overweight people if not all of them, do want to shred off those fats.

There are a lot of ways to burn those fats. Many researchers have created pills to instantly reduced fat in no time. Hundreds of exercise machines have been invented to replace those fats with toned muscles. Several famous diets such as South Beach Diet, Atkins Diet, and Mediterranean Diet have been promoted with promises of achieving the waistline you desire in weeks or months only. However, there are only few that prove that their ways or techniques which are really helpful or effective.

For a quick weight loss diet, there is really no need for such names. Proper food, exercise, and healthy lifestyle are the keys to achieve the ideal weight. Eating is the main reason of being fat, so eat right and eat well. There are so many kinds of food that are healthy yet tasty. Other people eat junk food because of the taste; they cannot just resist the tangy taste these chips are giving to them. However, one can eat delicious food without sacrificing the nutrient contents of it. Eating fruits and drinking fresh juices are one of them. These give vitamins and minerals that clean the body from wastes. Enzymes and fibers found in fruits are really helpful in burning unwanted fats. Aside from fruits, there are other food that aid in calorie-burning such as garlic, soy, yogurt, vegetables, wheat bread, fish, and white meat.

Aside from food, perform in physical activities. Climb the stairs instead of using a lift. Walk instead of using a car. Clean the house and lift furniture out of the house and put those back again. Do not just lie down. As much as possible, avoid just sitting and watching TV and working several hours in front of computer. These activities do not involve physical strength so they do not burn fats and calories. Instead, jog in place while watching your favorite show. When the weather is good, put those pairs of rubber shoes and run outside. Be active. Do regular exercise.

Sweets and desserts are always the temptation in every meal or snacks. We always think that we can shed of some calories by doing some little exercise in exchange of a second serving of dessert. Mental conditioning is very important. Think and always think that pounds and pounds of fats are already stored in the body and they need to be burned not to be added. Always count calories. Just always have a bite not a feast. Control your hunger by conditioning your mind that you are full. Eating apples and drinking water before meal are proven helpful to suppress hunger.

Quick weight loss diets are always effective if they are followed properly and with proper exercise and healthy lifestyles. Burning those extra fats away is just easy and quick as long as there is discipline in food intake and physical activities. Being healthy is not so hard to achieve.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pope's Tearful Response to Priests Scandal

As a Catholic, I am sad with the prolific news and issues that the church is haunted now. There are many cases dated since several decades ago until now on the sexual abuse made by the priests to the young men and women. The world is racked by the huge numbers of these cases and by previous responses and actions made by the Vatican to answer these cases.



According to Associated Press on the recent visit of the Pope to VALLETTA, Malta, With tears in his eyes, Pope Benedict XVI made his most personal gesture yet to respond to the clerical sex abuse scandal Sunday, telling victims the church will do everything possible to protect children and bring abusive priests to justice, the Vatican  said.

The emotional moment carried no new admissions from the Vatican, which has strongly rejected accusations that efforts to cover up for abusive priests were directed by the church hierarchy for decades. But the pontiff told the men that the church would "implement effective measures" to protect children, the Vatican said, without offering details.

Benedict met for more than a half-hour with eight Maltese men who say they were abused by four priests when they were boys living at a Catholic orphanage. During the meeting in the chapel at the Vatican's embassy here, Benedict expressed his "shame and sorrow" at the pain the men and their families suffered, the Vatican said.

"Everybody was crying," one of the men, Joseph Magro, 38, told Associated Press Television News after the meeting. "I told him my name was Joseph, and he had tears in his eyes."

The visit — which came on the second day of Benedict's two-day trip to this largely Roman Catholic island — marked the first time Benedict had met with abuse victims since the worldwide clerical abuse scandal engulfed the Vatican earlier this year.

"He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future," the Vatican statement said.

Victims' advocacy groups have demanded that the Vatican take concrete steps to protect children and remove abusive priests and the bishops who protected them, saying the pope's expressions to date of solidarity and shame were meaningless unless actual action is taken.

The main U.S. victims group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said it was easy for Benedict to make promises about taking action to protect children.

"Not a single adult should feel relieved until strong steps are actually taken, not promised, that will prevent future child sex crimes and cover-ups," said Peter Isely, the group's Midwest director.

Magro said the men, in their 30s and 40s, received a call Sunday morning to come to the embassy and that the pope spent a few minutes with each of them. He said the overall encounter, which lasted about 35 minutes, was "fantastic."

Lawrence Grech, who led efforts to arrange the encounter, said the pope told each of the men: "I am very proud of you for having come forward to tell your story."

Grech said he told the pontiff: "This a one-time opportunity in life ... you have the power to fill the emptiness that I had, someone else took my innocence and my faith."

At the end, they prayed together and the pope gave his blessing, the Vatican said.

"The climate was intense but very serene," said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

The private meeting was confirmed only after it had occurred — as was the case when Benedict met with abuse victims in the United States and Australia in 2008. He returned to Rome late Sunday.

Benedict's overnight trip to Malta — originally scheduled to commemorate the 1,950th anniversary of St. Paul's shipwreck — had been overshadowed by expectations that he would make a strong gesture to repair the damage of the scandal.

Benedict has been accused by victims groups and their lawyers of being part of systematic practice of cover-up by church hierarchy for pedophile priests, in his earlier roles as an archbishop in Germany and later at the helm of the Vatican morals office.

BishopAccountability.org, a U.S.-based website that tracks abuse, called on Benedict to follow up his words with actions.

"The pope must follow the meeting in Malta by accounting fully for his own role in the crisis and by disciplining complicit officials," the group said in a statement. "Otherwise, it will be evident that he was exploiting the goodwill of the survivors in Malta to improve his image."

Benedict made no direct reference to the scandals during a Mass Sunday morning. He told Maltese to cling to their faith despite the temptations of modern society.

"Many voices try to persuade us to put aside our faith in God and his church," he warned.


Resources: 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_malta_pope
Photo: AFP









Teaching Kids How to Save

When I was young, my mom thought me how to spend and save money. She would usually give me a week's allowance and would tell me to spend half of it and put the half on my piggy bank or coin bank. That time, I didn't understand why I should save as I can always get money from her. But later on, I understood the importance of saving. As I become a mom and a grandma, I also tried to teach this saving value to my little ones.

I believe, that only parents are in the best position to teach these children on the significance of saving money. Parents should talk to their children at a young age till they are grown up on how to handle money matters. There is no right time to start educating them on spending and saving values than at the earlier age. The younger, the better.

However, teaching them to handle money and saving them is not easy. We need the right approach so that children can understand this. So, here are some tips on how to teach your kids on saving money:

1. Teach the value of money as early as possible. The right age is when they are learning to count. Explain the basic terms as to why it is important to save. Tell stories related to saving money like the story of The Ant and the Grasshopper.

2. Never use complicated words in explaining why saving is important. Always answer their questions instantly and emphasize the value of money and it's impact to life.


3. Give their allowances in small bills. Teach them to save half of the bills and spend half of it on important things only. Tell them that if they want to buy an expensive toy, they must save for it as you will not buy it for them.

4. Start teaching them how to earn money. Ask them to help do some chores at the cost of some cents. As they grow older, they can also ask neighbors if they have some errands for them at a small cost. They will realize the value of money as they earn it.

5. Give them piggy banks. Open them when they are full so that they will know how much they saved. Bring them to the bank and open their savings account in their name. Showing the bank book with the amount of money in their names will give a sense of accomplishment. In this case, they will feel that they are taken seriously in adult world. This will keep them more motivated in saving.

Kids will not immediately learn the importance of saving. Parents must be patient enough in teaching them. Emphasizing this value will help them inhibit the habit of spending wisely and saving money that will be useful they they grow old.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some Help with English


Today, my daughter asked me to help her with her English subject homework. I usually helped my kids doing their homework but that was when they were younger. After they reached high school, they just dejected the idea of having the parent beside them while they are doing their school work. So today, I was quite surprised what it was about. My daughter showed me her homework and it was easy when I first look at it.

So, with the thought that I can help her in no time, we immediately sat and discussed her homework. Well, I never thought that it was quite hard that what I expected. It was some error identification and grammar explanation at the same time. During my time, I really didn't pay attention with the technical words used in Grammar.

Now, I am thinking of hitting the books again. I was left out and I was really not a big help to my daughter's. I feel disappointed. I feel ashamed of myself not knowing those which I should. Though I was able to give her the correct answer to error identification in the text, I was not able to explain to my daughter why they were wrong. Well, they say that you should be grammarian before you would be know those, but I think otherwise.

So, early morning, I immediately searched for grammar books in the net to start re-educating myself. Now I know, it is not only important to know the answer, also know why it is the answer. After an hour of searching, I found some download links of some good books.

Here are the links for those who are interested:

I will spend some of my time reviewing these so I would not have myself embarrassed again in front of my daughter. I think it is the pride of not knowing the why that bothered me most. And as the saying goes, never too late for something!

*Disclaimer: Downloads are not hosted here. Copyrights of the books are owned by their respected owners.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Choosing Free Blog Host For Beginners

For several months, I was searching for a free blog host that can I start with. I definitely spent my nights burning my eyebrows and literally my eyes! (That one really hurts!) I have been wanting to have my own site blog site. At first I thought that I don't have the knowledge and skills to put up one. It took me so long before I finally have one. And alas! here I am.

Of course, since I am really a beginner, it was quite hard for me to determine which one is for me. So now that I have my own, and still on the process of making it better, I thought of making some list of blog host for people who wanted to have their own site but are afraid or have no idea where to start.  Most of the beginners do not want to spend bucks for a site that they do not know how to operate, like me! So first thing is to look for free blog host. That means, FREE, no credit cards required! Here are the list of free blog hosts where you can choose from. I only included hosts that are quite popular.

1. Blogger.com - a blog publishing tool from Google. They say that this is so simple, however, there are lots of widget you can add to make your page unique. It is one of the most popular blogging program as this has been for long time and people are familiar with this. It is also Adsense (a Google-based ad programme) friendly, a plus point for people who want to earn extra bucks while blogging.

2. Weebly.com -users said that it is so easy, with the use of drag-and-drop interface, and allows to use customized domain name, however, it is so simple that you cannot do so many things. This is good for basic use.

3.WordPress.com - this one I found quite complicated, but it will be a good use for someone who has some knowledge on codes. This one is well-known for having an organize platform and rich features. But, unlike Blogger, WordPress does not allow Adsense.

4. Livejournal.com - this is a favorite for people who are interested in community blogging since it has good community oriented support. Livejournal however put ads in your site which you do not have benefits, that is quite a turn off.

In choosing your blog host, you must identify what are your purpose and capacity. Well, as a beginner, it is not bad to do some trial-and-error, right? Right!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome to My World

Hello Everyone!

In the next few days, I will be posting about anything and everything that I can think of. It may be some personal thoughts or it may also be something that you can use of, or maybe something that is just to pass time.

Anyways, I will be coming back with more and for more... See yah!

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