Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Twitter - Am I missing something?

Twitter seems to be the new craze, but I'm just not getting into it. Sure, I've signed up for an account, but I haven't posted anything there.

Now, as a disclaimer, I have a tendency to get into trends late. For instance, although I have had a Gmail account since the time when Gmail came out, I only realized in the last few months that Gmail was better than Yahoo mail. And now I'm in the slow process of phasing out my Yahoo account.

But still, I don't get the value of Twitter. But it seems that the point of Twitter is to take Facebook's status messages and just amplify it manifold it. The reason that I don't get Twitter is that most of the time the status updates are pointless and I don't care to read them. Once in a while, someone says something of value on their status message, but the rest of the time, it's something I don't care about like 'I had a sandwich for lunch'. Well great. You didn't need to announce that to the world. Yes, I use status messages on Facebook, but I try to use it sparingly so I don't overwhelm all my friends and annoy them.

So there you have it. I don't use Twitter and don't plan to unless I have totally overlooked some really cool feature. But I don't think I have.

Monday, April 13, 2009

And it's finally live!

A few weeks ago, after months of development, HealthCare Volunteer went live with its new website. The web development was done by Visual Sparks, a firm in Dubai. We are all very pleased with the new website. Check it out and let me know what you think! We're always looking for feedback to make the website better. If you're interested, you can sign up for a volunteering profile and network with other volunteers.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Ode to Trader Joe's

For most of my life, I have not been a fan of Trader Joe's. The store seemed strange and I didn't recognize any of the brands there. When I moved here to Philadelphia, I had only two grocery options: Trader Joe's (at 21st and Market) and Rite Aid (corner of 23rd and Walnut). Rite Aid has groceries? Well not really. Just some cereals, milk, junk food, etc. So I went to Trader Joe's.

Initially, I was frustrated by the long lines and lack of familiar items. But over time, I have become Trader Joe's biggest fan. Here's why:

  1. It's Cheap. I think that comparable items are, on average, 5-10% cheaper at Trader Joes than they are at traditional grocery stores like Safeway.
  2. It's Healthy. You won't find a lot of junk food, but that's not to say that everything is 0 Calories and 0 Fat. You will get less healthy food, but it's not as bad as other places. Also, Trader Joes products are as close to 'all natural', so you can avoid potentially unhealthy chemicals. I've noticed that after a few weeks of eating Trader Joes' food, I have more energy and feel lighter on my feet. There is something to be said for natural indgredients - maybe it's just easier for the body to metabolize.
  3. Variety. You can get some pretty different things over here. Trader Joes' goes all over the world to find interesting concotions to put in their stores.
  4. Good music. Trader Joes plays good music in its stores - or at least it does in the Philadelphia one. Usually I get to listen to classic rock.
  5. Free samples. There are always free samples at one of the booths, and they are really good.
  6. Taste. By making their products 'all natural' and being very selective, Trader Joes has succeeded in making their food taste distinctively better than competitors' foods. This took me a while to realize, but it is true. From the bread to the frozen food, there is a difference in taste.
So there you have it. I think I need to make a Trader Joes run this weekend.
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