Birthday Present Ideas for the Trickiest of Customers

I couldn’t tell you what we got him for his 50th birthday, or his 40th for that matter. There was probably a spirit level thrown in there somewhere. Perhaps a new drill. Some quality gardening gloves maybe. All instantly forgettable, and the reason we wanted to get this one right. So there we were. My brother went in first, carrying the guitar by its neck. I followed with the amp. It was our Dad’s 60th and we were determined that this time round we’d buy him a birthday present to remember. I think we did alright – he certainly seemed pretty chuffed. And I’m fairly sure that in the years to come, we’ll all be able to recall what we bought him when he hit six-and-o.

Mind you, our efforts – certainly on a financial level – pale into insignificance when compared to today’s celebs. Take Katy Perry, for example, who spent $200,000 on a birthday present for her beau. In exchange for this serious wedge, our Russ is booked onboard a Virgin Galactic flight into space. We’ve no idea when Mr Brand will be heading into the mesosphere, but as birthday present ideas go, it’s definitely memorable. Or how about husband and wife, Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles? With earnings to make Perry and Brand look like Twist and Fagin, the R&B star forked out $2.6-million on a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport for her rap-star hubby’s 41st. Yikes! It wasn’t even his 40th!

Okay, so it’d be a little ‘naive’ of us to assume you’ve got a spare few million down the back of the sofa. But that doesn’t mean to say you can’t buy friends and family some fantastic personalised birthday presents – I certainly remember getting a couple of things for my 18th that had been engraved on my behalf. So if you’ve found yourself wracking your brains for birthday present ideas, take a look through these suggestions. It might just give you that little spark you need…

For 18th and 21st birthday ideas, how about personalising a bottle of Champagne or vodka? You’ve got lots of label designs to pick from, all of which can be customised with their name and a message. It might be a gift that disappears rather sharpish, but keeping the bottle still makes for a great memento. Footie fans, meanwhile, provide no end of possibilities, with everything from personalised football books to spoof footie magazine covers. And as for the girls, you’ll find personalised charm bracelets, handbag mirrors, pampering days and everything in between.

Fast forward two or three decades, and both 40th and 50th birthday ideas are in no short supply either. If some gentle ribbing seems appropriate, you can’t go wrong with a spoof newspaper cover, whether you have them sweeping into Downing Street, being knighted or simply throwing the mother of all parties. And because they’re all produced in association with The Mirror, they really do look like the real McCoy. Failing that, other big hitters also tend to revolve around newspapers – only this time, real ones. There’s the option of buying an original newspaper from the day they were born, or buying one of the brilliant newspaper books that feature reprints from your chosen date, or dates. Trinkets, gift days and any number of other fun ideas complete the line-up.

And it doesn’t stop there. If you’re after inspiration for a 60th, 70th, 80th or any other birthday for that matter, simply get online and have a look round. Remember, everything can be personalised for that extra special touch.

Happiness! Future Or Present?

Are you living your life on the deferred plan? Some people are waiting for that special moment to be happy. Waiting for the perfect mate, waiting for the right job, waiting for the house to be paid off, waiting for the kids to finish college. If you keep waiting for the perfect moment to be happy, you will never be happy.

You have to be happy right now, in the present, then you will be happy in the future. Happiness is a mental habit, a mental attitude, and if it is not learned and practiced in the present, it will never be experienced.

Happiness cannot be waited upon until all problems are solved. Every time a problem is solved another one comes along. Life is a series of problems. If you are to be happy at all, you must be happy now, not because of.

Abraham Lincoln quoted: “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

We have let the little things make us unhappy for so long, it has become a habit to have frustrations, dissatisfaction and irritability. Things that make us that way are a blow to our self esteem, so we react as being unhappy.

You need to stop letting circumstances and other people dictate how you feel. Change your attitude, change your out look and change your feelings. Form the habit of reacting positively toward problems. Practice keeping a positive attitude. Continue to do this and you will be happy in the present and in the future.

PowerPoint Tip – Turn Off Pop-Ups When Presenting

In a given day, or week, or month, how many messages pop up on your computer to:

* Update Java, RealPlayer, or Windows?

* Connect to a wireless network?

* Remind you of an upcoming meeting or birthday?

* Keep you up to date on your subscribed RSS feeds?

Warning: Some of these pop-ups may appear while you’re presenting in slide show view! Not a pretty picture!

After a few minutes of inactivity (let’s say you’re answering questions), does your screen saver kick in, or does your computer go into hibernation mode?

Before you get into such a situation, right now, start making a list of the pop-ups that you see, and research how to turn them off. It’s not always easy to find the answer, because the software companies want you to see those pop-ups!

One possible solution may be to disconnect from the Internet, or disable your wireless connection, if you don’t need it during the presentation. Remember that many meeting venues have wireless networks, so your computer may try to connect during your presentation. And disconnecting may disable many other pop-ups. The method depends on your operating system.

In Windows XP, you would probably choose Start> Control Panel> Network Connections. In Windows Vista, try Start> Control Panel> Network and Sharing Center.

You can configure Windows updates by choosing Start> Control Panel> System and clicking the Automatic Updates tab. In Windows Vista, choose Start> Control Panel> Security or Security Center> Windows Update. If you turn them off during your presentation, remember to turn them back on afterwards!

However, some pop-ups don’t depend on an Internet connection or may still pop up a message asking you to connect! For example, Outlook reminders may use your computer’s internal clock. Therefore, you should try disconnecting from the Internet and see whether or not you still get some pop-ups. Of course, you can’t do that for several times just to make sure – that would probably be going too far! But the more planning and testing you do, the less likely that embarrassing pop-up will show its ugly face during your presentation!