Adventure Travel Holidays – Lunar Vacations on Earth!

Iceland has always fascinated me. The recent eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano only reinforced my fascination. Whenever I travel between San Francisco and Europe, and after many hours of flying, suddenly the shimmering dots of light from Reykjavik appear as if out of nowhere, in the midst of the all-encompassing darkness. Iceland is here to remind us that Nature still takes charge – the recent volcanic eruption certainly proves this to be true!A country of fantastic natural beauty and surprises – there’s nothing quite like it anywhere – Iceland’s stark, pristine scenery is shaped by otherworldly landscapes – a tapestry of colorful flower-filled valleys contrasted by desolate lunar deserts pitted with volcanic wonders; its jagged lava fields and monstrous icecaps, its hot springs and geysers, its multitude of clear blue fjords have all carved a bizarre setting not seen anywhere else on earth. Over 200 volcanoes and numerous glaciers form the country’s backdrop, with nearly 80% of the land being lava deserts, glaciers or lakes.That being said, Iceland is an adventurer’s paradise – whale watching, rock climbing, horse riding, white water rafting and kayaking, glacier hiking, biking, bird-watching and swimming in geothermal heated pools are just some of the activities on offer. Due to its violent volcanic heritage the countryside is gorgeous and interesting from every angle. Cliffs, waterfalls, geysers, mountains, glaciers, fjords, hot water springs, lava beds, rapids, extensive nature preserves and parks – it’s all there!Reykjavik (meaning “smoky bay” after the steam which rises everywhere from the many hot springs) is the gateway to the country and the only “large” city. The clear air, the bluest sky and the multi-colored buildings are so vivid that they remind me of an impressionist painting. For a city its size (150,000 inhabitants), it’s surprisingly active, with a thriving cultural and social life, including museums, exhibits and festivals throughout the year.The south of Iceland offers some of the best sights in the country. The Great Geysir, after which all the world’s spouting hot springs are named is found here. The Geysir began erupting in the early 14th century and stopped at the beginning of the 20th Century. Today Strokkur, its little brother, spouts to over 100 ft. every few minutes. Walking around this natural wonder, one really senses the intensity of the forces of nature.Icelandic waterfalls are legion. Wherever one turns, it seems one is more beautiful than the next. Suffused with beautiful warm lights, the most dramatic of these is the Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall). Here the Hvita River tumbles with tremendous force in double cascades into a deep gorge. When the sun shines, the waterfall’s massive spray forms colorful rainbows in the afternoon light. Here also are two of Iceland’s most active volcanoes- Mt. Hekla and Mt. Katta, and towards the east, one can view large colonies of puffins off the coast.In the mountainous and uninhabited interior there are barren deserts every bit as beautiful as the central Sahara. And the North Coast has some of the most diverse scenery in Iceland. The magnificent Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier, is a stark contrast to the lunar terrain of the area, where Neil Armstrong and his colleagues trained prior to landing on the moon. Boiling mud pools, lava parks with naturally formed sculptures and steaming craters such as the Viti Crater, which erupted in 1984 and is steaming to this day, are found here. In contrast, lovely Lake Myvatn is a birdwatchers paradise, with its multitude of fowls and birds roaming this area.The North Coast is also home to Iceland’s longest fjord, where on can enjoy boating among the blue-veined lagoons. Whale watching excursions are part and parcel of this area as well. During summer solstice, these northern latitudes boast the extraordinary spectacle of the Midnight Sun, which sinks down to touch the horizon before rising again in breathtaking tones of red and gold. Among the myriad of thermal hot springs, the Blue Lagoon, known for its healing properties, is the ultimate indulgence to the end of an adventure-packed day – to soak up the thermal waters, to relax and re-energize.This young-at-heart yet ancient land, with its geologically diverse, volcanically active boundaries, offers up possibly one of the most fascinating of world family travel adventures. No words match the pictures – the utterly amazing vivid colors it presents seem taken straight out of a great storybook illustration.

Precautions to Take While Handling Electronic Items

Electronic items are loved by all. However, do you know about the precautions that you need to take while using electronics? Well, not many do know a lot about the precautions that need to be taken. Electronic items can be delicate and it is necessary that the proper precautions are taken to protect the device.Understanding the basicsElectronics and electrical equipments are a very important and inevitable part of day to day lives. However, one needs to know how to handle and use these electronic items as well.Precautions while handling electronicsAll the electrical appliances and electronics are semiconducting devices and have circuit designs. So it is very important to handle them properly so as to minimize damage and malfunction. Circuits can malfunction under different circumstances. One of the most common causes of damage to these electronics is the application of stress like variation is temperature, the rate of current flow and the voltage applied. These variables should always be kept within the limits which are permissible by the manufacturer.Protection of the pinsPins are those minute things that connect the semiconductor devices present in the electronic appliances to the power supply or the input and output sources. When the pins are connected to the high output sources, care should be taken to prevent shortening of the circuit. This could lead to damage of the appliance and may decrease the life of the appliance. Also, the unconnected pins should never be connected to currents of high impedance as it can also lead to damage of the electronic appliance.Precautions while using electronicsMost electronic devices come with some instructions which should be kept in mind while using them. The manufacturers as well as users should keep these instructions in mind and take precautions. For instance, if you buy a hand held game console, the precautions state that you should not expose the device to water and should take regular breaks while playing.Precautions while storing and transporting electronicsStoring the electronic devices properly is also very important. Since all semiconductor electronics are made up of very minute and delicate electronic circuits, they should be stored with proper care. They should be kept away from moisture, extreme changes in temperature and heat. To avoid damage during transportation, these electronics are stored in big aluminum containers with silicon coating to prevent damage during storage as well as transporting the electronics.Also, one other important thing which should be kept in mind is that electronic items made up of plastic bodies are highly susceptible to fire. Also, in case of an emergency, one should always call in for help and be cautious not to go near the appliances. Electronic items should be properly charged as well, like in the case of computers and mobile phones. At the end of the day, you need to understand that electronic items and electronic devices should be kept and stored properly in order to use them for long.Understanding the world of electronicsStatistically, the number of electronic goods sold has gone up phenomenally in the last few years. With the industrialization of the world, it is simple to assume that the sale of electronic goods and items will just double or even treble in the coming years. Given this fact, it is absolutely essential that people know how to handle the electronic goods, especially electronic gadgets that need to be handled with utmost care. Not knowing how to take proper care of your electronic gadget can be costly and can lead to health problems as well as damaging the electronic device itself.

Five Steps to a Successful Commercial Loan Workout

Obtaining a commercial loan workout can be a very labor-intensive process. Having all of your “ducks in a row” is key to a successful workout. For property owners who can’t refinance, have a balloon payment coming due, defaulted on their mortgage or facing foreclosure, a commercial loan workout can accomplish one or more of the following:1. Reduce interest and/or principal amount
2. Extend reset period or maturity date to delay balloon payment
3. Defer payments
4. Temporary interest-only payments
5. Avoid foreclosurePlease review the following five steps:1) Required Paperwork
The required paperwork is gathered from property owners. Documents needed: Rent roll, copies of expenses within the past year, rental agreements, copies of the mortgage note, etc. Not having all of the required documents could delay the whole process.2) Research Analysis
Before a commercial loan workout is submitted to the lender, a financial snapshot of your situation is needed. The lender is mostly concerned with your ability to pay each month if your loan was restructured to more favorable terms. Determining the current market value, rental rates and recent comparable sales are also important factors to consider. After a review of the note is complete, a workout package is generated.3) Lend Submittal
Once a confirmation of delivery is received from the lender, the submission package is forwarded to a workout specialist. Not confirming receipt of the workout package by the lender could mean having your file stuck somewhere in the mail room for weeks or “lost in neverland.”4) Negotiation Process
The workout specialist reviews the package and presents a loan modification offer. Sometimes the property owner or third party workout firm will make counter offers until an agreement is excepted with favorable loan terms. The whole process from start to finish could take between 2 or 3 months to complete. Keep in regular contact with the workout specialist at the lender until a proposal is received.5) Final Approval
Once the lender approves the newly restructured mortgage loan, a proposal is presented to the property owner for review. The owner can expect the following options: Deferment of payments, lower interest rate, extended maturity date, greater cash flow or reduction of principal. The lender can propose any combination of options. Lastly, the modified loan documents are signed by both parties to make the changes official.Because so many commercial property owners are not able to meet their mortgage obligations, commercial lenders are now willing to modify their existing mortgage loans to prevent avoid foreclosure. The key to preventing a default is to be proactive by contacting your lender or seek the assistance of a third-party, professional commercial loan workout firm.Commercial mortgage loans are much more complex than residential mortgage loans. Hiring a professional commercial loan workout firm can help you navigate through the negotiation process with your lender.