The Phantom of the Opera – Choosing a DVD or Blu-ray

Phantom of the OperaAre you a lover of The Phantom of the Opera? Do you own the DVD or Blu-ray? If not, you should. Hopefully this post will help you make a choice between the available options.

The Phantom of the Opera (French: Le Fantôme de l’Opéra) is an incredible work based on the French novel by Gaston Leroux, which was originally published in 1909. Since then, many subsequent publications, dramas, TV series, and of course musicals have been released. The musical adaption of The Phantom of the Opera did not debut until 1976 (by Ken Hill). The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical adaption, which is the most popular and the one most are familiar with, debuted in 1986. Since that debut, thousands have enjoyed the phenomenon that has come to be known as simply “Phantom.”  Fortunately for us fans, there have been DVD and Blu-ray releases of this work. This lets us enjoy all that is Phantom at any time. No need to wait until it comes to a theatre near you.  Fortunately, there are two great versions available. One option is a full set based film. The other is a stage-based live performance. Which do you choose? Well of course both! But what if you can only have one? Hopefully the following will help you decide.

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Schwinn 150 Upright Bike – the ideal quiet workout machine

Schwinn 150 Upright Exercise BikeRecently we purchased the Schwinn 150 Upright Bike and love it. It fits all of the requirements we had for a piece of exercise equipment and is fun to use.  We wanted a way to burn calories in the morning without waking up everyone in the house (we have several young children)?  We wanted an exercise machine that would not be hard on the knees like a treadmill. We wanted a piece of equipment that will easily fit in our bedroom so we can easily use it in the mornings. The Schwinn 150 Upright Bike meets all of these requirements for us.

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Compression stockings – getting a better deal

Truform 20-30 Hg Below Knee Open-Toe Compression Stockings
Truform 20-30 Hg Below Knee Open-Toe Compression Stockings

Varicose veins – yuck! They can be both painful and embarrassing. No one wants them! For me, prior to qualifying for surgery to fix my varicose veins, my insurance company required me to wear compression stockings for several months. I was not excited but jumped in anyway and bought my first pair at a local medical supply store. After spending $50 I was so disappointed to find two weeks later that they already had huge holes in the heels and balls of the feet! Are you kidding? It was going to be an expensive few months. So I started looking for other options.

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Manduka yoga mats – not all mats are created equal

Manduka BlackMatPRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat
Manduka BlackMatPRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat

I love yoga. Not only is it a great form of exercise but for me it is a way to focus, relax, and ground myself. As I started regular yoga practice, I quickly realized that I couldn’t do those things well without a good yoga mat. I started with one of those inexpensive mats you find at any Target or Walmart but it was too thin to be comfortable, not to mention slippery. So I asked my yoga instructor for a recommendation. She suggested I look at Manduka yoga mats. And I’m so glad that I did!

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Buying a bathroom scale in the 21st century

EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale w/ 400 lb. Capacity & Auto Recognition Technology
EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale w/ 400 lb. Capacity & Auto Recognition Technology

If you are thinking about buying a bathroom scale, it is a lot more complex than it was just 10 years ago. Maybe you have heard or read about some of the cool things today’s bathroom scales can do, and this is what is prompting your purchase. Or, maybe you have heard about some of the new features and feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the options that they provide. If either of these are true, read on. If you were just looking for a basic scale to measure your weight, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. This article will try to help you sort out some of the features and things to consider as you prepare to make your purchase.

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Learning a foreign language – Pimsleur courses

French, Basic: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs (Simon & Schuster's Pimsleur)
French, Basic: Learn to Speak and Understand French with Pimsleur Language Programs (Simon & Schuster's Pimsleur)

Have you ever had the need or desire to learn a foreign language on your own? If so, how did you do it? Did you take a class or get a tutor? One popular way is through a self-study course. The problem is, how do you decide which of the many available teaching packages is best for you? My answer is Pimsleur.

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Choosing a digital TV (LCD, LED, plasma)

Samsung UN19D4003 19-Inch 720p 60Hz LED HDTV (Black)The TV world has gone digital, along with most of us, but the current crop of TVs are far more than just digital. TVs provide more features than ever before to enhance the viewing experience and provide convenience. This article provides a brief, and hopefully not too technical, background on some of the things you will want to consider as you prepare to purchase a new TV.

Digital TV features

  • LCD vs. plasma – LCD TVs are available in many more screen sizes than plasma and work better in bright rooms. Plasma TVs are more prone to glare when viewed in a bright room but have wider viewing angles than LCDs. Uniformity of the picture brightness can be an issue with LED TVs. LED backlit LCD TVs are much more energy efficient (about 40 percent) than plasma TVs.

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Merrell boots – a great shoe for everyday wear

Merrell Men's Moab Mid Gore-Tex Waterproof BootA good pair of hiking boots or shoes can be hard to find. I want durability, functionality, water residence, lightness, comfort, low cost, and good looks. This might not seem so hard to find, but it has been for me, at least until I discovered Merrell boots.

In the beginning

For me, this story started about ten years ago. I needed a new pair of everyday shoes and decided I wanted a change from the regular athletic court style shoes I was wearing. I decided that I would give a hiking boot style shoe a try. I figured they look outdoors sporty, have a bit higher tops to help support my weak ankles, and hopefully would be durable. Durable is a bit deal to me. I will wear a pair of shoes until I can’t possibly wear them anymore. Generally this is about two or three years. Anyway, at the store I was shopping at, they had a nice looking pair of Salomon mid high hiking boots that I liked. I tired them on and they felt good and were on sale. Long story short, they took a bit of breaking in before they were comfortable, but they lasted over four years and still looked great. I liked them so much, I bought a second pair and wore them for another four years.

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Panasonic phones are the best and here’s why

Panasonic DECT 6.0 Link-to-Cell via Bluetooth Cordless Phone with Answering System
Panasonic DECT 6.0 Link-to-Cell via Bluetooth Cordless Phone with Answering System

Ever since the days of college, I have loved Panasonic phones. In my college apartment, we had a Panasonic phone that hung on the wall and had a really long cord attached to it. The cord was so long that we could talk from any location in the apartment – translation: cord long and apartment small. On numerous occasions, when someone was hanging up the phone, they would not quite get the phone back on the base so when they let go, the phone crashed to the floor. After seeing this happen many times and the phone surviving, I decided that next phone I purchased would be a Panasonic.

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My favorite Canon zoom camera lenses

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR CamerasI am always curious to know what camera lenses other photographers think are the best and like to use, so this post is about my favorite camera lenses.

As a professional photographer, I am very concerned about the set of camera lenses I own. I not only want the best quality lenses but the right lenses to cover my photographic needs. I need lenses that will work in a variety of situations. Because of weight and size limitations associated with travel, not to mention convenience, I don’t want to haul tons of lenses around. So, over the years, I have purchased and sold many lenses and settled on what I feel is the ideal set of lenses for my situation.

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