Are You Looking to Buy Orlando Homes


United States of Florida, Orlando is one of the major cities in the central region of the country. This city ranked as a third most visited American city among travelers. It is the home for various amusements attractions like Walt Disney World resort and Aquatica whimsical Water Park. Orlando is home for various companies in central Florida. All this make the city hot among buyers of Orlando foreclosures.

If you are considering buying or selling property, planning to relocate, looking for Orlando homes for sale, or looking for any other information about real estate in it, or the surrounding areas, you have come to the right place. This complete orlando real estate resource for offers everything you will need: access to property listings with photographs and virtual tours, home valuation tools, and real estate articles to help guide you through the home buying or selling process. You can also find a real estate agent, Realtor or real estate broker to help you with you buy or sell a home, and find information about Orlando communities, schools, real estate market conditions, recreation and much more!

With such promising economic outlook, buyers and investors are looking to these Orlando bank foreclosures for sale for potential investments. Right now, the market is clearly favoring buyers especially with the low home prices and reasonable interest rates. Sellers are trying to offer more discounts as well as other incentives like shouldering closing costs, in order to reduce the number of foreclosed properties they have in their inventories.

Today some home buyer has more financing options than have ever been available before. From traditional mortgages to adjustable rate and hybrid loans, there are financing packages designed to meet the needs of virtually anyone.While the different choices may seem overwhelming at first, the overall goal is really quite simple: you want to find a loan that fits both your current financial situation and your future plans.

However, before you close a deal on foreclosures for sale, be sure to check the property first. You need to find out if the property sits on a decent neighborhood because this will affect its resale value.You should also check if the property is in good condition and does not need major repair or renovations.It is not good to buy cheap foreclosure homes only to find out that you may have to spend a big sum for repairs.You may never recover the expenses of renovation costs. So it is always best to make a thorough research on foreclosures for sale before deciding to buy them.

Now a days lot of real estate organizations are providing the necessary information through their own website to their esteemed customers.


Find Deckhand Opportunities All Over the World


Deckhands on luxury yachts get to travel all over the world. Moreover, when not working, they get to enjoy the pleasures of exciting and often exotic ports of call. But if you're just starting out looking for deckhand job opportunities, where do you go?

The easy answer is: Anywhere the big yachts go. You may find mega- and superyachts almost anywhere there is coastline and good port facilities. If you're in the United States, for example, you may well encounter some billionaire's luxury vessel at the moorings in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York or Miami, just to name a few.

To stand the best chance of finding deckhand opportunities, you must go to where the big yachts congregate in large numbers. That means, first of all, the ports of the Mediterranean, and secondarily, the ports of the Caribbean. These are also the ports that will have active firing agencies that are dedicated to filling crew jobs on those big boats.

The great thing about the yacht ports of the Mediterranean is that many of them are close to one another. Even if you're traveling on a shoestring budget and a tight schedule, you will not find it difficult to check out a few of them within a short time period. My favorite place to start: St. Tropez in France. This is the practice of the world headquarters for the superyacht set. Other great yacht ports include Nice, Cannes, Barcelona and Ibiza, just to scratch the surface in the western Mediterranean. The eastern Mediterranean has its share of fabulous yacht ports, too.

The Caribbean will be more accessible to North Americans. Traveling from port to port will be slightly more difficult here than in the Mediterranean – you can not take a train or a bus from one island to the next – but that just means you'll be spending more time aboard one boat or another, which is one of your objectives anyway (the other being to land a job on a boat).

If you can not get to the Mediterranean or Caribbean, though, do not despair. If you live anywhere near any ocean coast, you can find a deckhand opportunity. It will not necessarily be on a superyacht, but the variety of boats that need crew members is huge. Getting your feet wet aboard a boat (so to speak), whatever the vessel type, can serve as the gateway to an temporary job aboard the yacht of your dreams.


The History of St. Valentine’s Day


Across the world on February 14th, many flowers, cards and gifts will be exchanged between loved ones, as St. Valentine’s day is celebrated.

However, the story of why we celebrate this day is a bit of a mystery.

The tradition of St. Valentine’s Day mixes elements of both ancient Roman rites and Christian tradition. Just to confuse matters further, three different saints called Valentine are recognised by the Catholic Church.

One legend is that Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. Emperor Claudius II decreed that marriage was to be outlawed for young men, as he thought that single men made better soldiers than those who were married with families.

Valentine, felt the decree was unjust and unfair, and defied the Emperor by performing secret marriages for young lovers. When his actions for undercover lovers was discovered, Claudius ordered valentine be executed. Variations on this legend say that Valentine was put to death for trying to help fellow Christians escape from harsh Roman prisons where they were often tortured.

According to another legend, Valentine may have actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself in 270 AD the day before he was to be executed for refusing to renounce his Christian beliefs. Allegedly he sent note of appreciation to his jailer’s blind daughter for bringing him food and delivering messages while he was imprisoned, signed “from your Valentine.

While we can never be certain as to the true origin of the St. Valentine legend, one thing is for certain, it must have been an appealing and enduring story because by the Middle Ages, Valentine had become one of the most popular saints in France and Britain.

The timing observance of his saint’s day may have been driven by the common place practice of trying to integrate previous pagan festivals into the Christian calendar. in this case, the Lupercalia festival.

In ancient Rome, February was seen as the beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and wheat throughout the interiors (we still refer to Spring Cleaning to this day).

Lupercalia, which began on the ‘ides (15th) of February’, was a fertility festival dedicated to the agricultural god Lupercus and to the Goddess of Love, Juno, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. Roman maidens placed their names into an urn set up in the public squares and young single men drew from it to get a ‘blind date’ for the coming year. More often than not, these annual matches often ended in marriage.

St. Valentine’s Day was set at February 14th by Pope Gelasius, at around 500 AD. By this time, the ‘lottery’ system for romantic dating was deemed un-Christian and had been outlawed. During the Middle Ages, the practice of love lotteries carried on as ‘Chance Boxes’. In France , drawings from the boxes allotted couples one year to get married or part company. In England, it was a common practice for men to wear the name of the girl they drew from the chance boxes on their sleeve, encircled with a heart.

Also at this time, it was commonly believed in parts of England and France that February 14 marked the beginning of birds’ mating season, which increased the notion that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentines messages started to appear around the beginning of the Fifteenth century, and even in these formative times they were often given anonymously, perhaps harking back to the unknown recipients of the Roman lotteries.

The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London.

In the United Kingdom, St. Valentine’s Day became a popular celebration around the 1600’s. It continued to take hold, with the familiar “roses are red, violets are blue” verses making their debut sometime in the seventeenth century. By the 1850’s, it was common for lovers from all social standings to give their adored ones small gifts or handwritten letters. At the same time, in France, people began to decorate their valentines with ribbons and lace.

By the start of the twentieth century, the handwritten letters gave way to cards as advances in printing technology had improved the quality of printed cards. At the time, it was culturally discouraged for people to show their emotions in such a direct way as a letter, so a printed card was a more acceptable method. More affordable postage costs and increasing use of the postal system probably contributed to the rise in popularity of the Valentine’s card.

Americans probably first began exchanging handmade valentines with verses in the early 1700s. In the mid nineteenth century, the first mass-produced valentines began to go on sale in America. Miss Esther Howland, an artist and entrepreneur, became the first regular publisher of valentines in the USA. Often referred to as ‘the Mother of the Valentine’, Miss Howland designed many elaborate creations using lace, ribbons and colourful pictures known as “scrap”. Her cards usually cost between $5 – $10 each, with some as much as $35, astonishingly expensive for the time.

The Greeting Card Association estimates that if we include children’s classroom valentines, over one billion valentine cards will be opened this year. St. Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-sending time of the year, accounting for 25% of all seasonal card sales (Christmas accounts for 60%).

It is estimated that women purchase 80 percent of all valentine’s cards, which means that a large proportion of men either forget, or aren’t very romantic when it comes to reciprocating! Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the USA, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, and Australia, and is increasing in popularity in many other parts of the world.

Facts about Valentine’s day cards (from the Greeting Card Association)

Approximately 25% of individual valentine cards are humorous, with adults aged 35-and-under being the most likely to send humorous cards. Valentines Day is the largest e-card sending occasion of the year. An estimated 14 million e-valentines will be sent in 2008. Greeting cards are traditionally the most popular Valentines Day gift in the U.S., ranking ahead of chocolates, flowers or dinner out. American men may be more serious about Valentines Day than women. In a national survey for GCA in 2007, 45% of women said they were likely to give a humorous valentine to their sweetheart, compared to only 34% of men. The percentage of individual valentines exchanged through the mail in comparison to hand delivery is approximately 50-50. Red is the most popular color choice for valentine cards, follow by pink and then white. Hearts, roses, Cupid and lace are traditional valentine card icons.


Photo Reviews – "Jazz – A History of America's Music" – Geoffrey C Ward & Ken Burns


Chapter 1: America claims to be a melting pot, but part of what makes cooking taste good are the morsels that have kept their flavor, texture and shape. America is diversity in places such as the French Quarter of New Orleans on page 3 of chapter one. We see this morsel clinging in the pot, holding its taste, its flavor-truly French, yet significantly what we claim to be America.

In the scene, we can see both Paris and the Midwest. A beat down main street feel, with horse drawn wagons and bearded men in dusters. Yet in the wrought-iron spires we see Paris. The mood is summed up with the hybrid of Paris and the West in a blacksmith sign proclaiming "Bouchoux."

Chapter 2: It is important to see landmarks such as Louis Armstrong's birthplace (p. 38). This shows how often great hearts and minds come from humble beginnings. Out of poverty comes greatness. It makes one pause and think of what the segregated South he was born into was like in 1901.

The picture, taken in 1963, remind us that time marches on. The "Jax" cola sign shows the era of the corner store, which was a convenience in the 1960's, yet is long gone in the world of today. The fact that the building Armstrong was born in is torn down reminds us to appreciate greatness in its fleeting pass- the pass of greatness such as Armstrong himself. Nothing is permanent.

Chapter 3: In chapter three's picture, we see Louis Armstrong and King Oliver in 1922. It is quite significant to see Armstrong at the age of twenty-one after seeing him in the previous chapter at the age of nineteen. He had been a boy with his mom and sister in chapter two, and now, two years later, he looks significantly more like a man at the right hand of jazz legend King Oliver.

It is also significant to see Oliver and Armstrong in a photo together. Many of us know of Armstrong and how he has inspired so much of the music of today. It is a treat to glimpse upon the shoulders that that giant stand. This generation's teacher stands at the source of his wisdom.

Chapter 4: It is quite a sight to see Atlantic City in 1928 with the Ben Pollack Band. This shows us that jazz has made its way out of the clubs of the south and the ghettos into one of America's most popular resorts at the time. The site of sunbathers and lavish hotels is quite a change from places such as Louis Armstrong's birthplace.

It is also quite impressive to see so many jazz legends together in one place. We have all heard of Benny Goodman. To see him in his twenties is quite significant. I had not even heard of greats such as Jack Teagarden, who, once again, show that the legends I know, such as Goodman, standing upon the shoulders of those of their time.

Chapter 5: I like the caricature of Chick Webb on his bass drum head. While flipping through the book, it caught my eye, which, I imagine, was the drum's purpose on stage. The crown on Webb's head in the caricature gives him a regal look. Webb atop his drums crowns this regal look.

Chick Webb was an important drummer. This picture carries that off. This almost comical brashness of his presence seems to broadcast this importance. The composition of the loud portrait, his toothy grin, and his mean set of drums, speaks of Webb's position as an iconic drummer.

Chapter 6: The façade of the Stanley theater in the 1930's shows how lavish and ornate the palaces of the day were. There has been a move to restore this type of theater and its architecture. It is grand, however, to imagine being when that was the norm. The advertisement of "Scientific air-conditioning" really makes one time travel. We travel to the era of Benny Goodman.

It is significant to see that in the 1930's, Goodman has now broken through as a premier headliner. His name is listed first on the bill of the palace. Again, like Armstrong, I had just seen him in a previous chapter as a twenty-year old. It is funny to call this scene a moment of progress in an age where everything advertised is so by gone. Time marches on.

Chapter 7: It is a very touching picture of the service men sitting around the record player in the field of duty. The soldiers are holding letters. The music must enhance the mood for them imagining their loved ones. A little bit of blues likely stirs their soul.

This scene shows how jazz is and was music for the people. The soldiers' grins show that they refer to the music. Jazz plays both in Atlantic City and in the trenches, not just in the ghettos and clubs. Time has moved onward.

Chapter 8: The picture of Ella Fitzgerald signing in Manhattan is captivating. The light in this picture plays well through. There is a gleaming diamond under her chin, and the spotlight over the audience captures the smoky halo of an intimate club. Just enough light shines on the art on the walls for it to be captivating, yet the art does not upstage Ellington, in the audience, who does not upstage Fitzgerald.

Such an intimate nightclub makes one wish they could be there. I would want to see Fitzgerald, Ellington, or Goodman perform, let alone be with all three of them in the confines of a period nightclub. Imagine sharing a Coke with Duke Ellington while listening to Ella Fitzgerald. Wow. Duke sure looks happy.

Chapter 9: There is a picture of Donald Byrd practicing on the subway. Someone who does something like this is clearly dedicated to his or her craft. I can see he is not concerned with the people around himself. He is one with his instrument.

I often go to McDonald's and sit, meditate and study. This picture reminds me of that. An artist's life is often very lonely. We often want to see and feel what the public's reaction is, even if it is for no pay. Often we take great risks, such as playing trumpet on the subway. This picture makes feel connected to Byrd.

Chapter 10: It comes full circle to see Louis Armstrong playing trumpet with the children in Queens. Now he is the giant upon who shoulders the children stand. It is great to see a man of this stature have time for children. We could only hope that greats could all teach their craft.

At his stage, Armstrong had achieved his fame. We can see that it is in the children that he enjoys life. And the children send this joy back. It is great to see the range of ages of children captivated by music in this picture.


Delta Force to New Orleans


If you are wondering why the United States can send troops around the world, but failed to respond to a domestic emergency in a timely manner, you are not alone. Expect the lack of planning for emergency relief, in the aftermath and destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina, to be the subject of a federal investigation.

The National Guard arrived in large numbers on Friday, September 2nd, but how is it possible that the poor people of New Orleans were left four days to fend for themselves? Does not the United States have a rapid deployment force? Yes, we do, and many large military installations are within an hour of the Gulf Coast, when traveling by air. Many more military bases are within two hours of the destruction.

On Sunday, August 28th – one day before Hurricane Katrina landed on the Gulf Coast it was labeled a category 5 hurricane. So, what was the emergency rescue plan? Was anyone planning any rescue efforts on Sunday night?

As luck would have it, Katrina turned out to be a category 4 Hurricane. Can you imagine the destruction, if this storm had been worse? Some parts of New Orleans are 10 feet below sea level and a system of levees, normally, keeps the surrounding water out.

Referring to the Federal response for relief help, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said, "They do not have a clue what's going on down here." Mayor Nagin's comments are an understatement. Logistically speaking, this is not as complicated as a relief effort to Somalia.

President Bush said, "A lot of people are working hard to help those who have been affected." The results are not acceptable. " He is not kidding; if we can airlift food and weapons to Afghanistan, why is delivery to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans a problem?


The Best Restaurants in New Orleans


The best restaurants in New Orleans are famous for a lot of the area's unique specialties. That is probably because New Orleans city is world-famous for its food! The indigenous cuisine is unduly distinct and influential to many people.

The most famous New Orleans cuisine are it's Beignets, a square-shaped fried pastry that could also be called "French Donuts" where it is popularly served with café au lait. Other than that, the other unique specialties include Po'boy and Italian Muffuletta sandwiches, which is a sandwich made from a type of round Sicilian sesame bread. Then there are also their famous oyster dishes in many preparations and other seafood. Another New Orleans specialty is their Praline, made from all the finest sugar with cream and butter for that rich aroma and pecans for a nutty flavor. All of this one of a kind specialty can of course be found in all the best restaurants in New Orleans.

In a town synonymous with eating, it's always hard to know where to begin. Therefore, below is a meal-by-meal primer of the best restaurants in New Orleans where you can serve your tummy all the scrumptious food the Crescent City has to offer! Only a few blocks away, on the edge of Central Business District, there lies the cafeteria-style restaurant named Mother's to serve you a selectable breakfast that consist of dishes such as red-bean omelettes with baked ham and biscuits to start your day. Moving on to lunch, head on to Casamento's for its restructured oyster loaf. Made by layering fried oysters in between two slices of house-made buttery white bread, this sandwich is a sure shot your tongue totally can not resist! And if dining under sparkling chandeliers in a four-storey French-Creole Warehouse is your thing, hop on over to August which serves salad with heirloom beets, cherrywood bacon, mustard greens and quail eggs for a mouth-watering dinner. This meal is a sin I guarantee you would not regret committing!

Apart from those that have been mentioned, the best restaurants in New Orleans are still aplenty! With the region's legendary cuisine all over, it's hard not to understand why. Starting from Antoine's, which is a classic Creole restaurant in the French Quarter since 1840's; following with Arnaud's, where it's the home of Shrimp Remoulade; and Commander's Place where the service and ambience match the excellence of the cuisine; to the beautiful location in an old home where Bayona is located; to neighborhood restaurant where Clancy's upscale and classic faces no match. These are the top 5 most famous restaurants in New Orleans!

Looking for your next food destination? Why not head on over to New Orleans! Be sure to also visit the best restaurants in New Orleans to leave your tummy craving for more!