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since 11/07/2000


Pledge Wood Polishing Wipes with Orange Oil 18/04/2004

They're Orangey!

Pledge Wood Polishing Wipes with Orange Oil A while back we received a number of money-off coupons in the mail, one of which was for a buck off Pledge™ Wipes w/ Natural Orange Oil. Now if your house is anything like ours, it contains lots of wood surfaces that seem to attract dust at regular intervals. So whilst shopping at our local Target Superstore (in Washington, Pa., just under 60 miles away, but ‘local’ over here is different), we decided to check out this new item. >>> INTRODUCTION <<< First impression was that they were quite expensive, at USD 3.99 (GBP 2.95) for a sachet of 18 pre-moistened wipes, but we did have our $1.00 coupon, so that made it more tempting (down to GBP 2.22). Now we have traditionally used spray polish to dust our furniture, but we wanted to see if using wipes was the way forward and lots of cleaning products in the U.S. are starting to include orange oil in them. Anyway, we thought we’d give them a whirl and promptly placed a packet in our shopping trolley (or cart, as they’re known over here – a trolley is a cable-car!) and continue with the rest of our shopping. >>> PACKAGING <<< The 6 inch by 10¼ inch (15cm X 26cm) packet is very eye-catching in its bright orange, foil container. It has a picture of an orange on the front, with an orange drop dripping from the word Wipes, making it very mouth-watering! It also advertises that the wipes contain Pledge Cleansing Conditioners too. The right hand long-side of the sachet has the dotted lines marked about ¼ inch (65mm) in, where you ...

The Passion Of The Christ (Subtitled) (DVD) 30/03/2004

Hypocritical But Holy

The Passion Of The Christ (Subtitled) (DVD) The movie starts off in the garden of Gethsemane and has a mild cliff-hanger of an ending on Easter Sunday. It is unique in that the dialogue is mostly in Aramaic, the language spoken in Roman-dominated Palestine 2000 years ago, with English subtitles. However, the decision to cast James (Jim) Caviezel as Jesus perhaps was not the best which could have been made. True, at 35 he is about the right age, but he had to be altered with a prosthetic nose and digitally darkened eyes to hide his European heritage. Perhaps a better choice may have been the older Antonio Banderas (43) or Benjamin Bratt (40). Furthermore, the movie was filmed in Italy, the origin of most of the little-known-about actors and you’ll also notice one other factor as the plot unfolds – the distinct absence of black actors or those of a Middle-Eastern appearance. *** THE STORY *** I shall not go into great detail here as I do not wish to spoil the plot for those who have yet to see the film. The first scenes are of Jesus (Yeshua) in the garden, praying, pleading and trying to find an alternative to what he knows must be – his ultimate demise. Those of us who know the story realize that an androgynous-looking female character nearby is Satan, who is trying to tempt Jesus and perhaps even prevent him from carrying out his destiny. The story progresses rather rapidly, through well-documented scenes from all four of the gospels (Peter’s cutting off the ear of a guard sent to arrest Jesus, for example), the ...

Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) 19/07/2003

The Airport That’s Bigger Than a City

Pittsburgh Airport (PIT) 18 months ago it was London Heathrow. That changed, however, when I immigrated to Morgantown, W.Va., when Pittsburgh International Airport or PIT became my local airport. LHR was just 15 minutes or 8 miles from where I lived in Ruislip, whereas PIT is nearly two hours, nearly 80 miles away and in the next state! ** Location ** Situated 16 miles northwest of downtown Pittsburgh in Findley Township, PIT is on the far west side of the state of Pennsylvania. It is made up of four areas, occupies 12,900 acres of ground and is twice the size of the city of Pittsburgh. It’s the fourth largest airport in the United States, behind Miami, Fla., (MIA), Los Angeles International, Calif., (LAX) and John F. Kennedy (JFK) in New York. ** History ** PIT is one of the most modern airport terminal complexes in the world. Opened in October 1992, it services more than 20 million passengers on 450,000 aircraft operations per year. Nearly 590 non-stop flights connect Pittsburgh to 119 cities each day (70% of North America’s cities are less than 90 minutes away). It serves as the hub for USAirways and services all other major U.S. airlines, including American, United, Delta and Northwest. Frequent Flyer magazine singled out Pittsburgh International as one of the top three airports to provide the widest variety of healthy menu choices and Pittsburgh’s airport was the first in the United States to have a fitness centre for employees and passengers. The airport is managed by the Allegheny ... 10/03/2003

Look up Your Childhood Friends When I moved to the States I gained a lot. Later on I discovered I’d not kept in touch with my school friends from 25 years before. I hadn’t even realized until I found this great website: A close colleague from a previous job had sent me an eMail to ask how things were going, and in passing had mentioned the website. I decided to give it a go! >>> PURPOSE <<< The site allows you to search primary schools, secondary schools, colleges & universities for former classmates, completely free-of-charge. There is even a section where you can lookup former colleagues at various work places, with whom you may have lost touch. Should you wish to get in contact there is a nominal registration fee of just GBP 5.00, which is renewable each year (excellent value!), which lets you send unlimited eMails or voice messages throughout the period of your membership to others listed. >>> THE LAYOUT <<< It’s very easy to understand and not too busy. In the top left corner of the homepage you’ll notice a drop-down box, below the national flags of the UK and Irish Republic. This will say UK & Ireland as a default, but you could select other countries from a selection if you ever went to school or university in Australia, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand or South Africa. Below this, you’ll see a link allowing you to Register/Login. It’s a simple process of entering as much information as you desire, former name (for ladies who have changed their surname through ...

Member Advice on Living Abroad 05/03/2003

Legal Alien not a UFO

Member Advice on Living Abroad Just as a bird leaves the nest to find its own way in the world, I have left England to find my way in the “New World”. I am now in my 13th month of living in Morgantown, W.Va., and loving every minute of it! Although I miss my “home” & my family and various aspects of village life in rural Sussex, I prefer the way things are now to the way they were before. >>> THE REASON <<< As with a lot of things, your motive for doing something is ultimately going to determine the success or failure of any move. This is true whether it be a move to the next village down the road, to the campus at University in the next county or to a country 5,000 miles away. The more time you spend thinking about why you want to do something, will improve your chances of making the “right” decision. In my case my motive for moving across the ocean was to be with the woman I couldn’t live without, who was going to change my way of life forever. Sound slushy? Well, maybe it is – but unless you’ve been struck by lightning, you cannot know that feeling of being totally helpless yet completely in control and clear in your thinking. Believe me, when the dream is big enough – the “facts” don’t count! >>> THE PREPARATION <<< Moving to another country permanently is a big step, and one not to be taken lightly. When discussing the possibility of emigrating from England with my then fiancée, there were a number of issues which came up; these needed to be addressed before the move could take place. The ...

Clairol Daily Defense 1 Shampoo 30/08/2002

Protects from Everyday Stresses

Clairol Daily Defense 1 Shampoo I was looking for a shampoo that would clean my hair and also let me wash it daily without making it too oily. Do you know how difficult that was? Well, it meant I had to do the “investigation research” thing, look at all the labels and find one that would suit my hair type: normal to oily. INTRODUCTION As I’m getting older, I’m finding that I have to be a bit more particular in which shampoo I use. I’ve also discovered that my hair gets used to a certain brand and I have to change shampoos every month or so, or my hair ends up looking lifeless and dull. I happened to be in the “Dollar General” store, where most items are priced at USD 1.00 (funny that…), looking for kitchen roll and washing-up liquid. I hadn’t really investigated what hair products they had, because I guess in my own mind, I had been a little bit prejudiced as their prices (and usually their quality) tend to be much lower than elsewhere. So I looked in their haircare section and saw that they had quite an extensive range, with many well-known brand names. This store overall, is quite good in that it mixes cheapo items with better quality items and you can pick up a bargain and be surprised. Well I certainly was that day, I can tell you. On the end of the aisle facing towards the back of the store, they had a special on Clairol products – a name I’d heard of before and used. “Let me see what they have,” I thought to myself, and the investigation began… DESCRIPTION It claims that everyday ...

Dunhill Edition Eau de Toilette for Him 29/08/2002

Cigarettes to Sex Appeal

Dunhill Edition Eau de Toilette for Him To a man, his aftershave says what sort of personality he portrays and what he thinks about himself. There are numerous brands and varieties on the market today and we’re definitely spoilt for choice, so how does a man choose which fragrance he will use? INTRODUCTION When Bernie and I returned to the U.S. back in February of this year, we came to the part of the flight when the flight attendants (we’re not supposed to call them stewardesses anymore) come around with the trolley asking passengers if they wanted any duty-free goods. We were looking at the various catalogues and I remember thinking that I hadn’t packed any aftershave. So we turned quickly to the men’s fragrances with men’s aftershaves and EDTs (eaux de toilette). We noticed the lovely packaging & excellent price of the Dunhill 100 ml (3.4 fl.oz) EDT Vaporisateur (spray). DESCRIPTION It claims that D by Dunhill is a refined man's fragrance and is a blend of fresh lemon and jasmine with vanilla, cedar wood, sandalwood and sexy musk. That really caught our attention – so we asked if we could smell a sample which they were happy to do. It smelt really fresh and had that touch of class about it. Just the one for me! THE PACKAGING It comes in a beautiful silver box with an elongated lower-case “d”, after the name of the fragrance. Very sturdy, it makes you wonder that they couldn’t reduce the selling price if they didn’t spend so much money on the packaging! APPLICATION I didn’t put ...

Avon Anew Instant Eye Smoother 28/08/2002

Lose Your Lines

Avon Anew Instant Eye Smoother If you’re approaching the age where you look into the mirror and see little bags appearing under your eyes or crow’s feet, then this is the product for you. INTRODUCTION I’m going through a period of my life where, after having passed the dreaded “40 year barrier” I’m starting to notice the signs of impending aging and I’m trying to slow down this process anyway I can! Bernie is being really sympathetic and after I asked her what I could use to help stop or even just to lessen the appearance of these dreaded symptoms, she turned to her trusted Avon catalogue for guidance. She looked in the Anew range, which has been going around for a number of years now (good, tried and trusted!), and chanced upon “Instant Eye Smoother”. This title rang alarm bells, until I discovered the price, a whopping USD 16.50 (GBP 11.52), and then I thought perhaps it might be the right product to choose. DESCRIPTION It claims to smooth away the years with micro-refined silica beads that gently diffuse light to reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles. It adds that: • This revitalizing blend contains a unique skin elasticity complex with vitamin E that provides all-day moisturization to the delicate skin around the eye area for hours of essential hydration. • SPF 15 helps block damaging UVB rays. • Non greasy. • Hypo-allergenic. • Ophthalmologist- & dermatologist-tested THE PACKAGING It comes in a neat little green tube. (Ignore the picture on this page – ...

Nivea Exfoliating Face Scrub for Men 26/08/2002

Sandpaper Your Skin

Nivea Exfoliating Face Scrub for Men Always on the look-out for new products for my face, I came across this product in our local supermarket whilst getting a packet of women’s razor blades for my wife. The thing that drew me to it, was the “NEW” emblazoned on the front of the tube. I never like paying full-price for anything and another reason for me giving this another glance was the “Cardholders save…” on the price ticket below it. That was it; my attention was now fully-focused on what it was they were trying to sell me! DESCRIPTION It claims that this exfoliating face scrub is specially formulated to gently purify the skin and help clear away built-up dirt, dry rough skin and help prevent clogged pores. It adds that your skin is left feeling smooth and invigorated. I liked the sound of that and had noticed that my face was feeling just a little rough that morning, probably because I had gone out of the house without shaving. THE PACKAGING Comes in a very cool-looking blue tube, 2¼ inches by 4½ inches (5.7x11.4 cm) and contains 2.6 oz (75g). NIVEA for MEN is prominent at the top (base) of the tube with FACE CLEANSING just underneath, immediately drawing one’s eye to the fact that this product is aimed specifically at the male population. It also claims that it is VITAMIN ENRICHED, which is a big plus, I have read that vitamins and especially Vitamin E are good for the skin. The tube has a nice, sturdy, flat flip-top cap allowing it to be placed pointing downwards (so that product ...

Avon Sea Exfoliating Shower Gel 25/08/2002

Sea Scrubs Your Skin

Avon Sea Exfoliating Shower Gel The summer sun has been taking its toll on my sweet European skin and up to now not much has worked that well. That is until my mother-in-law (Mary) got to hear about it third hand and I got a surprise present! Mary has a friend who sells Avon products and every now and again, she’ll ask Bernie and me if there’s anything that we need. We get things from time-to-time and have been very happy with the quality and price. So yesterday, what happens? Mary pops down with our order and quite casually says: “Hey Luigi, try this out – it’s meant to be good.” \\\\\ DESCRIPTION ///// • Well it claims that the reverberation of waves, the tangy salty mist – the Sea calls out to you. • Contains real sea sand to gently exfoliate skin. • Cleanses and leaves skin lightly scented. • Lovely sea-blue colour. \\\\\ THE PACKAGING ///// The gel comes in a beautiful container, 9 inches long by 2 inches wide, with a neat hook which is just right for hanging on a shower shelf. The lid is easy-to-open flip-top, just right to get at with wet hands, and because it’s inverted, there’s always product there with little wastage. There’s a nice picture of a seashell, a starfish and seaweed on the front of the bottle. It has “Naturals” alongside the picture as this product is part of the Naturals range. The instructions and description are written in French & English. \\\\\ DIRECTIONS ///// Whilst showering: • Pour a small amount (about a tablespoon) onto a washcloth (flannel), sponge or ...

Toyota Camry 2.2 19/08/2002

Luxury With Value

Toyota Camry 2.2 When I started my job at the end of June, I was put on a shift at the opposite end of the day to Bernie. This meant we could no longer share one car and needed to get another one. Which car should we buy? I was completely at a loss – all the cars I knew anything about were made by European manufacturers like Renault, Fiat and Citroën. >>> WHICH CAR? <<< We phoned up our local car dealership, University Motors, in Morgantown, W.Va., and they told us to come down and have a look at the 300 various vehicles they had available, take a test-drive or two and then drive one home! We thought that was a good idea, so down we went: the car park outside the dealership was packed with different models from such manufacturers like Chevrolet (Chevvie), Ford, Lincoln, Pontiac and GMAC, in every size and colour you can imagine. We then came upon some Japanese cars: Honda & Toyota; now these I recognized, and felt as if I could understand how reliable they were. Before leaving England, I had bought my mum a Toyota Corolla for her birthday with some of my redundancy money, and knew they were good, so we thought we’d make a start there. They didn’t have many Corollas, but they did have one car, also made by Toyota, called a Camry, which looked very big compared to anything I’d been used to, had a nice sporty look to it, but still not too pretentious. >>> DESCRIPTION <<< Our salesman, Michael Lee, took us around the car describing the various features of it with such knowledge and ...

Aussie Hair Insurance Leave in Conditioner 18/08/2002

G'Day Hair

Aussie Hair Insurance Leave in Conditioner With Autumn nearly upon us and the hottest month of the year not quite over, I wanted to get something that would help put life back into my hair. Whilst I was out shopping for my face masque the other day, I looked for something that I could use which would condition but also detangle. \\\\\ DESCRIPTION ///// I saw this one marked “New Item” amongst the numerous other brands in the HBA (Health & Beauty Aids) section of Wal*Mart, in the Mountaineer Mall, in Morgantown, W.Va., and was impressed with its claims that it would “condition and enhance the shine of your hair.” It contains Tea Tree Oil which functions as a glossing agent and an emollient. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but after looking it up in a dictionary in the books section (softening or soothing, especially to the skin), I decided that it might be worth the extra $1.00 over the next brand, and it was on special too! The fact that it can be used on all hair types was a bonus, as Bernie has dry hair to my oily. \\\\\ THE PACKAGING ///// Comes in a white plastic bottle, 7 inches by 2 inches, 8 fl.oz/236mL, with an ozone-friendly pump action, rather than aerosol. I liked the little kangaroos embossed around the top of the bottle, Aussie’s trademark on all its products, it added a nice touch! The ingredients are clearly and prominently marked on the front of the bottle, and I liked the fact that it is a “leave in” conditioner, rather than one of those which you apply to your hair and then wash out ...

St Ives Peel-Off Hydroxy Masque 12/08/2002

Peel-Off Your Troubles

St Ives Peel-Off Hydroxy Masque It’s the height of summer and I’m feeling the effects of more wind, more sun and more humidity – especially on my face! West Virginia (W.Va.) is well known (apparently) for being a state where the inhabitants suffer from allergies, and I’m no exception! I used to suffer from mild rhinitis (hayfever), but that was about it. Since moving, I have not, up until about three or four weeks ago, noticed that much of a change. However, recently my sinus has been getting worse and I’m finding it difficult to sleep without waking up with a blocked nose or worse – a blocked nose and a sinus headache! As I was off this weekend, I decided that maybe I should go look around the shops and see if I could find something that might help me with my battle against time. I went into our local hypermarket (Wal*Mart) and checked out the Health & Beauty section. So many products! But hey, this is important and I didn’t want to buy the first thing that I laid eyes on, so it was pick everything up, look at the labels and don’t select the cheapest! After about an hour (no exaggeration, there were many products and much to read) I came back to one of the earlier items that I’d put on my “possible list”: Peel-Off Hydroxy Masque, by St Ives. I’d used other items by this brand and was impressed with the claims on the front of the container: Removes impurities and gently exfoliates with an Alpha & Beta Hydroxy complex to leave skin soft, smooth and rejuvenated. That last word really got my attention. ...

Signs (DVD) 08/08/2002

It's Not Like They Didn't Warn Us

Signs (DVD) In the mid 1970’s I remember many hoaxes with crop circles, which had a lot of people fooled for some time. This film puts another slant on that theme, suggesting that maybe the signs are there and that something sinister is about to begin. This is an above average performance by Mel Gibson, who plays the part of (Father) Graham Hess, a widowed Pennsylvania farmer, bringing up two young children, with the help of his baseball-burnout brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix), since the tragic death of his wife six months earlier. So affected was he by the accident (which we later discover was the result of being run over by the town’s vet, played by M. Night Shyamalan, falling asleep at the wheel) that he decides he cannot continue as their reverend. The townsfolk, however, still address him as “father”. Strange circles start appearing in Bucks County, Pa., 45 miles outside of Philadelphia, which continue to occur throughout the world over the next few weeks. Either this is an elaborate and highly organized hoax by thousands of individuals, or something else is afoot. Maybe aliens? Story starts off quite slowly, as we gradually get introduced to the family members, including their two Alsatian (German Shepherd) dogs. The first appearance of the crop circles in their fields is initially believed to be pranksters; after the local sheriff visits and confirms that the suspects have iron-clad alibis, we begin to feel the hairs rise up at the back of our necks as other ...

Do you believe in life after death? 04/08/2002

Someone Watching Over Me

Do you believe in life after death? Is there life after death? Who knows, but some pretty freaky things have happened that can’t just be explained away. If you’ve an open mind – read on, if not, read anyway, you may discover something you never knew! Introduction First I’d really like to thank Mel (Cheekychicken) for inspiring me to write this, as after reading her review and seeing the similarities which exist, I knew that I just had to let you all know about this. I’m one of those fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you view it) people who can “sense” things. I cannot control when this happens, nor switch it on like clicking a switch, but when it happens, it is very real and not ghostly at all. Some people may find this bizarre and difficult to believe – others may have had similar experiences. To all I say, this is not a dream, it is not made up and it is certainly not meant to distress nor horrify. Please read on: Some of you I have come to know quite well, and many know my story (my change not only in circumstances, but I have emigrated to the USA, and married the love of my life Bernie [Caprina1], and everything just keeps getting better), which is well discussed elsewhere. A few weeks ago, I decided that I was quite bored being at home all the time: I had come over to West Virginia (W.Va.) for good on 9 February of this year, then married a few weeks later on 23 March. So I thought it might not be so bad an idea to look into the possibility of searching out paid employment. I was doing ...
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