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since 25/06/2001


Welcome II Nextasy (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Next 10/09/2001

After this what next

Welcome II Nextasy (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Next Next are probably better known for their 2 songs Too Close and Wifey. You know how it is you like a song but have no idea who sings it well that was me that why I had to buy the album. I liked Wifey which features on their second album entitled Welcome II Nextasy. I seem to buy most of my R&B albums in reverse order so I have just purchased the first album Rated Next which has the track Too Close. Next consists of three male men RL (very attractive see inside sleeve), Tweety and T-Low. I would class them on the same par as Ideal, 112, Jagged Edge, Jodeci and even Dru Hill as they all have the same mannerisms of American all male groups. i.e. sing about love and women with hardly any clothes on while showing of extremely toned bodies. The album contains 15 songs altogether, including the intro and 1 interlude. (There are actually 16 songs but the last one doesn’t seem to appear on the cover. For some reason song 15 is in two parts which I think is shouldn’t be). The songs are mostly slow and of an intimate nature. The album has a parental advisory label which means that some of the contents are explicit quite a few of the songs are of a sexual nature and/or contain F***. When I first heard the album it reminded me of men fantasising of what they want to do with/to women but after listening to the album over and over again the connotations just go over your head. Of the 16 songs 10 have a clear sexual nature which are quite obvious just by listening to ...

Lufthansa 04/09/2001

Next time i'll go British

Lufthansa I travelled to Berlin over the last August bank holiday by Lufthansa and was dismayed by the way I was treated on the journey there. In City airport I was fine I had no problems checking in and boarding and was surprised that the plane actually left on time which is very rare for me when flying. To Berlin Firstly the air steward went through the safety procedure in German then English. The English version seemed a lot shorter which alarmed me as I managed only to catch a few words but clearly remember being told to read the instruction in the front pocket of the seat. I was a bit shocked at this and read what to do in an emergency with a bit more caution than usual. Secondly I ordered a special meal, as I am allergic to seafood and nuts. So imagine my surprise when the food arrived it consisted of over cooked vegetables, with salmon wrapped in ham and a roll with sesame seeds on top. I informed the air steward that I could not eat this meal and was told that the airline had no order for me. I was so insulted that I insisted in my best none threatening voice that she take it way. She must of thought that I was going to cause a scene as she came back later with a spare vegetarian meal (bland and tasteless), and gave me a look of death like it was out of her way. I found the staff rather rude and unhelpful during the short flight and made the decision then never to fly with Lufthansa again. All I wanted to do was arrive in Berlin and get something to eat that was ...

Ebookers 16/08/2001

Less hassle than face 2 face

Ebookers I will be going to Berlin at the end of the month. At the beginning of the month I was desperately searching through all the online travel agents for a reasonably cheap flight. I found it with and was quite surprised how much difference in price my flight was compared to The price of my holiday is under £114 including Insurance for 5 days with Lufthansa which is not that cheap but compared to Expedia which was under £200 not including insurance I have found a bargain. The Ebookers homepage is very cluttered and could on first glances seems really difficult to find what you want but is not. There are 6 sections flights, cars, hotels, insurance, holidays and cruises to choose from each section gives a different way of find your particular needs. For those of you who have never used Ebookers booking a holiday has never been easy. There is a 7-stage booking progress bar, which shows you where you are at any time. 1. Start Search 2. Check availability 3. Confirm price 4. Passenger details 5. Payment details 6. Confirm booking 7. Finish Start Search On the flight page you just fill in all your travel details from, to, dates and then you the 4 options to choose from (a) fares on available flights, (b) lowest fares, (c) direct flight only and (d) any routing of how you want to search for flights. These options can only be searched in the following combination Fares on available flights + direct flight only Fares on available flights + ...

National express 15/08/2001

Hell on Four Wheels

National express I travelled to Birmingham from London last weekend. I had the choice of booking direct from Victoria coach station or booking via the Internet. As I work near Victoria Station I decided to go to the coach station to book direct. Big mistake and something I would not advise the place was heaving with people and they only seemed to have a small number of people on the booking desks. So I went back to work on booked via the Internet. Booking You book via The home page gives you three options (a) around Britain with National Express, (b) to Europe with Euroline and (c) to and from the airport with Jetlink, Flightlink and Airbus. Using the Internet is very simple. Firstly you state your destination and dates you want to travel/return. This brings you to your journey requirements the first part is your depart details. All you have to do is select a time when you want to travel. Times start from 08.00 and leave every hour until 16.00 after this the coach leaves every half hour with the last one at 23.30. Then you select your return journey. Times start from 03.00 and leave every hour until 07.00 after this the coach leaves every half hour with the last one at 22.30. (These times are from London to Birmingham only) Next you select the passenger type and number to get the price. After you have made your selections you will get a summary of your journey, which includes the price with and without insurance, insurance costs 99p. The insurance provides cover of ...

NatWest Mortgages 10/08/2001

Pays to see an Independent Adviser

NatWest Mortgages I have had my Natwest Mortgage services since June 1999. I did the usual shopping around at all the major high street banks and a building societies looking for the best rate in the end all the information was giving a headache so I took a holiday. On my return I registered with a number of estate agents in the areas that interested me and spoke to a number of different independent mortgage financial advisers all of whom told me that they could get the best deal. I finally ended up with an independent mortgage adviser. I found a flat fairly soon put in an offer which was accepted and went to see my mortgage adviser equipped with chequebook and the necessary documents. He explained all the different kinds of mortgages and made recommendations that suited my current needs. I opted for a fixed rate. He looked through the new deals that had just come through and Nawest were offering a fixed rate for 5.49% until 30 June 2002. I chose this repaying via an endowment policy as I wanted to know exactly what my monthly repayments would be for at least a couple of years that way I could budget myself as I was first time buyer and still had to furnish my flat. I completed the necessary forms and paid the arrangement fee of £250 and waited for Natwest to send me an offer of mortgage advance. This advance confirms the terms of your new mortgage if successful. I was successful and Natwest sent me a mortgage offer folder this folder contained all the important documents relating to ...

JVC MX-J75R 02/08/2001

Bargin at under 300

JVC MX-J75R I have had my mini system for quite a while now it costs me under £300 and I am very pleased with the performance. I bought the Hi-fi because I wanted surround sound while watching television without spending huge amounts on money. The cheaper option was to buy a surround sound hi-fi that way I could have both. I bought this particular model as I had, had JVC in the past and had always liked their systems as they were not too bulky or over complicated with buttons and lights that flashed about. I wanted something simple that would play tapes, CD and the radio and looked good in my living room. The system consists of a very powerful Dolby Prologic Home Cinema sound it comes with two front speakers 120 watts each, two surround speakers 15 watts each and a centre speaker 30 watts. You can also purchase a sub woofer to enhance the bass. The machine features two ways to decode the Dolby signal. Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby 3 stereo. Dolby Pro Logic can be used when the front speakers and rear speakers are connected to the unit regardless of the centre speaker being connected. Dolby 3 stereo can be used when the left, centre and right speakers are connected but no rear speakers. As the sound from the front speakers can be quite loud I had to purchase floor stands. These have been placed at either side of the television. The surround sound speakers can be wall mounted but as I didn’t want to clutter my walls so I bought surround sound speaker stands that way when I ...

Countrywide Assured Plc 02/08/2001

Pays to shop around

Countrywide Assured Plc I joined Countrywide Assured Insurance Services back in July 1999. At the time I was a first time buyer and was looking for a competitive home contents rate to cover me for the first year. I had never heard of countrywide Assured but chose them because I had arranged my mortgage through one of their independent mortgage representatives and wanted something less complicated while I sorted myself out. Their home contents insurance is arranged by Guardian Insurance and is designed for people looking for contents cover at a competitive price, which was just what I needed. In order to get cover from Countrywide Assured you have to qualify all 6 requirements. These are: You require contents cover only for your home Your postcode area is where minimum security is required The home is self-contained The home is not lent, or sublet by you The home is your permanent place Only one home can be insured Being a first time buyer I obviously qualified. They worked out how much to insure my property by the number of bedrooms that I have. 1 bedroom is insured for £12,000, 2 beds £13,000, 3 beds £15,000, 4 beds £18,000 and 5 beds £22,000. The maximum they will insure a property for is £40,000 and accidental damage is unlimited. Nearer the renewal date I started to shop around and confirmed my worse fears that I was under insured by quite a lot. I was a bit concerned but as I saw it I was a first time buyer and had to furnish my flat, thankfully I didn’t have to make a ...

UMAX AstraNet iA101 23/07/2001

Simple Scanning

UMAX AstraNet iA101 Last year when I bought my computer I was deliberating whether to get a scanner or a 17-inch screen. After much deliberating I opted for the screen as I assumed I would have no immediate use for the scanner at the time. Then I joined an evening class at a local college within a couple of months I was shopping around looking for a basic machine that was not too expensive but had some good features. I looked in the local shops on the Internet comparing prices and specifications until one night while watching QVC I saw this scanner that looked rather interesting. It was late I was tired so I just ordered it. I thought the price was a bit expensive at the time but I could always return after 30 days if I was not happy. The bonus was that I could continue looking for a machine if I wasn’t completely pleased while still using the machine for my college work. The machine cost be about £80.00 this was at the beginning of the year so prices have probably gone down alot by now. The AstraNET iA101 is described as an internet-ready flat bed scanner, the presenter described as redefining the scanning experience. The machine has many features, which are so simple even a child could use it they include an easy set-up and a fully interactive user interface. Connection consists of an easy to use installation CD that is “plug n play” this means you just put the CD in follow the instructions and within minutes set up had been completed. The machine makes scanning ...

General: Dominica 29/06/2001

Back to Nature

General: Dominica On November 3rd, 1978 Dominica gained its independence from Great Britain and became an independent republic within the Commonwealth. Dominica is also known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean and is situated between the French speaking islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique it is the largest and most mountainous of the all the Windward Islands. Some people tend to get Dominica mixed up with the Dominican Republic, which can really makes me angry, as they are completely different places. People fail to remember that one is in the Caribbean the other is in South America, which is a good distance away. The main airport on the island is Melville Hall, which, is in the north part of the island, is about 38 miles from Roseau the capital city. There is also another airport, which is Canefield in the southwest part of the island, which is about 3 miles from Roseau. To get to the island you need to use the regional carrier, which is called Liat. You can get the Liat plane from the any of the following islands Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia. These islands are less than an hour away. Liat planes are extremely small and cramped so I advice you only carry a small hand luggage bag. The island is not that big being roughly 29 miles long and 16 miles wide. When you read about the island they usually say Volcanic in its towering green mountains covered with dense tropical forests; deep valleys and countless streams provide magnificent scenic views. This is so right. To get a good view ...

Infinity Gravity Walker 2000 26/06/2001

Walking no where can be so much fun

Infinity Gravity Walker 2000 After years of buying exercise equipment that usually end up in the cupboard in the spare room I have finally found a piece of equipment that I am pleased with. I bought the Delta Infinity Gravity Walker 2000 for £99.99 about a month ago after deliberating for ages. As I was not sure if is right for me compared to the other walkers and skiers around I asked a friend who is a fitness instructor for advise. He advised that as long as I use it regularly then the benefits would show. I now wouldn't be without it. The machine is dual and single action non-impact. This means that you can work your upper body as well your lower body without strain. The machine folds away for storage, which is useful if you don’t intend to use it very day. Due to its size it can be difficult to move around so it is best kept in the room where you will use it the most. I have mine in the living room and use it while watching TV or listening to music. The machine is very heavy and comes flat packed so be careful when unpacking. The good news is that it is 95% assembled so all you have to do it add the handles, the clock/timer and the pedals and you are ready to go. The clock/timer has 5 functions: (1) shows the total number of strides, (2) no of calories (theoretical), (3) No of strides per minute (4) shows the time and (5) scans which is a mixture of 1-4. For people who have a problem finding time to exercise it can be used while you can watch a half hour or hour programme. This ...

Tiny Computers (Shop) 26/06/2001

So far so good

Tiny Computers (Shop) I bought my Tiny computer about a year ago and to date I have only had one major problem which was my fault. When I rang they were very helpful and sent an engineer within two days he told me a new part was needed unfortunately this took about 3 weeks to arrive. When ever I needed to contact them to chase the part I did so from work as call charges are quite steep and they always kept you hanging on or the phone would ring for ages before someone answered. I watched an item on Watchdog about Tiny and could relate to the frustration of the callers as I had been there waiting for about 5-10 minutes only for them to cut you off mid way through a conversation. Tiny Online (the internet) at the beginning had caused me a lot of problems for some reason I kept losing the connection and being kept thrown out while surfing so I switched to another provider. Last month I received an email from Tiny Online thanking me for being a loyal customer and offering me free software (paying for postage and packing only) for continuing to use them. So now I use them at work that way my phone bill is less and I still get free software. To check emails you use Tiny online and click on webmail you can still send emails but they won’t be saved and this service can be used anywhere in the world. I also bought the TinyWave™ 2001 for my machine these are two mini black units which allows me to play DVDs/Music videos on the computer while watching and listening to them on a TV ...

E45 Problem Skin Cream 26/06/2001

E45 what a relief

E45 Problem Skin Cream I have been using the E45 range for some time now. I find their products safe to use on my skin and like Dove which I would also recommended they reduce water loss from skin, preventing the dryness normally associated with some skin conditions. After using their bath oil and lotions your skin feels moisturised, less dry, less itchy and more comfortable. There are 3 ranges to choose from that are very safe to use as often as necessary. Firstly we have the lipcare, creams, lotions which are applied directly to the skin after a bath or shower, the wash cream, bath oil and shower cream are used as soap substitutes. Secondly, there is the range called E45 Skin Confidence, these products hydrate, soften and protect dry & sensitive skin, leaving it feeling healthy and supple. Finally we have the sun range, which I tend to use when I go on holidays. Prices range from under £2 for a lip care stick to under £9 for a 500ml tub of cream. The sun products range in price from under £3 to under £10 but it really depends on the sun factor that you want. I would recommend these products without hesitation. ...

NTL 25/06/2001

Improving all the time

NTL I have had NTL for about a year now. I considered getting sky digital but didn’t want a dish outside my home and the additional cost of line rental. Overall the NTL service is fair/good. They offer 5 packages to suit everyone at a reasonable prices as well as premier channels and add-ons. Front Row Movies and Sky Box Office cost roughly £2.95 per movie, which is about the same price to rent a video. With NTL you have access to TV email this service is free but you only have 250 characters so emails have to be quite short. There are a number of Internet sites to choose from to suit everybody needs these include news, banking, shopping, entertainment the only problem is with some of the websites you still need a computer to access additional data. I also seem to have a problem with my set top box which continues to stick on a weekly basis which can be frustrating especially if you are changing channel as have to switch of at the mains to get it working again. I have spoken to customer services and they cant help! One advantage is that NTL has all the movie channels where as Telewest only has 3 at present. ...

Smile Accounts 25/06/2001

No more wasted lunch hours

Smile Accounts I have been using Smile for some months now and am happy with the service that it provides. You can save up to £3,000 a year - free of all UK income and capital gains tax. They offer the CAT standards, which means that you have easy access to your money and the interest rate you'll receive can't be lower than 2% below base rate. Last tax year I closed my ISA and moved to Smile. The reason I moved was the poor return Halifax was offering on my investment. In March this year just before the deadline I was reading a newspaper and they were comparing some of the Mini Cash ISAs that were around and I saw that Halifax was one of the worse along with most the high street banks. The next day I went to Halifax and gave notice to close my account. At present to qualify for 5.85% you need to have £15,000 + in your Halifax account unlike Smile who offer 6.00% whatever amount you have. Within a week I had closed my Halifax account and re invested the money into a Smile account that could actually do something with my money. Opening the account with Smile couldn’t have been easier all the functions are easy to follow and the website is really clear and uncomplicated unlike some of the other home banking sites and you get a reply within days if you are successful. Smile offers all the functions that you would expect from a high street bank offering an ISA the only differences are that its account is online and to withdraw cash you have to transfer money into your current ...
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