Once upon a time, if you wanted to get a message from one end of the country to the other, you would have to write it down and give it to some guy on a horse. The process took weeks. Then came the telegraph, which required you to be within striking distance of a telegraph office. Next up was the phone, but you were still tethered to a line. In fact, you were tethered to an operator who had to place every call. When wireless radio transmission came along, folks thought, “Well, that’s it then. All our communication problems are solved.” Not so fast! Things got better. Way better. In fact, today we can place a call from our cell to anywhere in the world, and it will go through in a flash. Then there are all the Smartphone perks. We’re talking apps. Specifically, the iPoll app. This is an app you can literally use anywhere on the planet, 24/7/365. Translation: you can earn money 24/7/365.
One of my favorite times of day is lunchtime. It’s that bridge between a dreary morning (blah) and the end of the work day (woo-hoo!). I try to make myself take at least an hour for lunch, which usually includes an amazing sandwich and an episode of The People’s Court. If I venture out, then I make it a habit to try at least one new bistro/pub/cafe a month. Sadly, the “lunch hour” appears to be dwindling for many people. Too many workers are opting for working right through lunch. Not on my watch.
While lunch is typically the time to “grab and go,” dinner allows us to take the time to indulge. However, unless you follow that “new restaurant a month” rule, you could quickly find yourself in a culinary rut. No matter what town you call home, there are some truly original restaurant experiences waiting for you. All you have to do is make a reservation. Here are some unique restaurants to put on your must-try list.
Do you consider yourself a culinary Indiana Jones of sorts? Will you go anywhere to try something exotic? When dining at your favorite restaurant, do you ever veer away from your “go-to” meal to sample a new dish? When was the last time you ate something really different? There is a vast array of culinary adventures to embark on. All you need to bring is your palate and a willingness to try the “un-tasted.” What’s the worst that can happen? Sure you may taste something you don’t like. Treat those indents like the Christmas Fruitcake Scenario: you’ll get over it. To help aid you in your quest for new cuisine, we proudly present a foodie bucket list. Some of these items are site specific. Others require you to step out of your comfort zone and into a world of epicurean delights. (Sidebar: Apologies in advance if it seems like this is a cheese-centric list. That’s just how I roll). Get your appetites ready:
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and many people are still scrambling for ideas on what to do for their sweetie-pies. Here are some Valentine’s Day facts: Each year we spend over $13 billion on this day of love. That breaks down to around $130 per person who has been struck by Cupid’s arrow. Of that spending, 47% is candy related, while 34% goes towards roses. In fact, 224 million roses are grown just for February 14th! There are over 145 million Valentine’s Day cards purchased.
I’m sure candy, cards, and flowers would all be appreciated by your significant other. However, when it comes to planning a date on V-Day you might want to opt for something a bit more unique. Anyone can go out for a romantic dinner any night of the year. Why face the crowds or battle for a reservation like every other couple will be doing? Instead, consider these awesome Valentine’s Day date ideas:
Head Into The Kitchen
This one is for the guys (mostly). If you’re the one who does more of the eating as opposed to the cooking in your relationship, then it’s time to switch things up. You might not rank up there with Emeril or Mario, but you can still pull together a decent dinner. Start with a visit to Food Network, where you’ll find simple recipes and handy tips. Make sure you put out the good china and time the meal perfectly. You’ll be amazed at how much your effort will be rewarded. And have a back up plan: keep a good restaurant that delivers on speed dial. If the meal goes south, you can still order up dinner and get an “A” for effort.
Just how smart is your smartphone? Is it the smartest phone in school? Are you getting the most out of it at work? Are you using your iPoll survey app? (We’ll come back to that one in a bit.) Even veterans of smartphone use mainly stick to the “plug and go” approach. They know the basics and a couple of silly apps, but for the most part, they are embracing the ease of use and letting the rest go. This is not really making the most of your mobile device. Here are some tips to make your smartphone even smarter.
1. Educate Siri
She’s there waiting for you to ask a question. The more you use Siri, the more she will become accustomed to the way you pronounce things. However, that doesn’t mean Siri can’t get a little schooling. If she says a word wrong, simple say, “Siri, that’s not how you pronounce that.” She will then request that you say the word again so she can get it right. Note: I call Siri a “her” instead of an “it”; it just sounds more polite.
By an overwhelming majority, it has been established that dads are cool. They especially get to show off their coolness around Christmas time. These are the dudes that tie the tree to the top of the car and make sure it fits into the stand. They get the Christmas lights hung (even though it might take them several weeks after New Years to bring them down). And when Santa’s elves have fallen behind, it will be dad up late on Christmas Eve building a bike. It’s time for pop to get his due. Let’s dispense with the “practical” gifts like ties, socks and tools. Instead, consider these great Christmas gifts for dad:
Did you survive the great feeding feast that was Thanksgiving? Did you avoid getting stampeded on Black Friday? Are you ready to get serious about your holiday shopping? If the answers to the questions are, “Yes, yes and yes” then iPoll is standing by to help. After you’ve answered another round of online surveys, you’re rewards account will no doubt increase exponentially. That means it’s going up and that’s very good news indeed. Now, it the time of year when cashing in those rewards are going to be a big boost for your shopping list. Here’s how:
As any junior accountant will tell you, to be “in the black” is to be profitable. Thus, “Black Friday” is the day when retail stores begin to make some serious bank. Despite the Christmas lights going up at Costco in August, the day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas shopping season. As it turns out, it has always been this way. The term “Black Friday” was coined by the taxi and bus drivers in Philly as far back as 1961. Back then, those cabbies and drivers were freaking out because of all the added traffic. It really didn’t have anything to do with camping outside a store. Believe it or not, those stores had regular hours. This spending the night on the sidewalk only started within the last several years with the introduction of “door buster” deals to entice shoppers. They really do bring out the best in humanity, don’t they? (snark intended). If you want to get the most out of your Black Friday shopping pay heed to these insightful tips from iPoll:
First of all, let me get this out of the way. “Boo!” Whew. I feel better. Now let’s talk strange superstitions. These are the little things we do to bring us luck and ward off evil. Show of hands: how many people knock on wood? Pick up a penny? Run screaming in terror when they see a black cat cross their path? Your intrepid correspondent is guilty of all three, especially the black cat thing (shivers!). You can add to the list of all things wacky these bizarre rituals. It’s not always clear where these superstitions come from. They could have started out as a joke that lasted for hundreds of years. “Watch this, Igor, I’m gonna make someone avoid stepping on cracks so they won’t break their mother’s back.” iPoll would like to know what strange superstitions do you follow? You get extra credit if you can name ones that aren’t on this list:
As the song goes, when you head out to the ballgame you should purchase peanuts and Cracker Jack. Technically, there are peanuts in Cracker Jack so that is just being redundant. When it comes to chowing down at stadiums there is no need for redundancy. Yes, you’ll have your favorite snacks you can only get at the game but there is so much to choose from how can you be satisfied with just the same? Enter the “all-you-can-eat” ticket. This started at Dodger’s Stadium in Los Angeles, health conscious center of the country. With a special ticket you can sit in a section with other foodies and gorge to your heart’s content. When you add up the cost of a hot dog, nachos and popcorn the ticket pays for itself by the 3rd inning. Around the 7th inning stretch you’ll be able to slide into some ice cream and pretzels. The mouth waters and the eyes tear up at the prospect. Here then are some truly amazing stadium snacks you can find at parks across the country.