National 24 Hour Locksmiths

Human beings make mistakes. It’s completely natural, and one of the most common mistakes we make is to lose or leave behind our keys, meaning that we get locked out of our homes and cars.

Fortunately, help is at hand – there is a white knight ready to rescue you in your hour of need, a man with a quick mind and a box of gadgets, prepared to answer your call any hour of the day or night. He is the 24 hour locksmith, and this article is all about what he can do for you.

As well as lock-outs, there are several other situations where you might be in need of an emergency locksmith. The latest figures suggest burglaries are up an average of 15% in the UK. The recession is beginning to bite, and unfortunately this means that more people are turning to crime. Everyone hopes it will never happen to them, but many of us are unlucky enough to find one day that their house has been burgled.

Should this happen, there are clear steps that need to be taken – you will need to phone the police to report the incident, and then call an emergency locksmith to repair the locks. Getting your front door fixed so you won’t have to worry about another break-in should be a main priority in this situation.

Of course, given that emergency locksmiths have such an important role to fulfil, you will want to know you are getting someone trustworthy, professional and reputable. A good thing to look at when deciding between emergency locksmith providers is the size of the operation, and the kind of area it covers. For example, if it is a lone operator who claims to cover a whole county, then this might be cause for some suspicion. Why does he need to do so much travelling to get work?

If, on the other hand, it is a national locksmith company which employs a whole team of locksmiths in one area, then it is likely to offer a far more professional and efficient service. Given that they have a national reputation to uphold, large companies have tough vetting procedures to ensure that every locksmith they employ knows what he is doing and will be an acceptable face for their company.

Surprisingly, using a national locksmith service can also work out cheaper than a smaller local one, as their large network means they have economies of scale. In the same way that supermarkets can afford to sell products cheaper than independent corner shops, national locksmith networks will often be able to offer emergency locksmith services without charging any call out fees – something which a lone operator may be very reluctant to do.

In summary, 24 hour emergency locksmiths have a crucial job to do – they install, repair or pick locks whenever they are most needed, even if it is the middle of the night. They are hard-working and dedicated professionals, and as long as you ensure you use a reputable provider, you can’t fail to be impressed by the service they provide.

Top Coffee Shops in America With Wi-Fi Access

What is it about college students and telecommuters? If you follow them they most assuredly will lead the way to a local coffee shop with Wi-Fi access, which is usually free. There seems to be something about coffee shops that make one’s mobile experience just that much better. Could it be that coffee and computer work goes hand in hand?

Before we go any further, I do want to point out the fact that there IS a distinct difference between free and paid Wi-Fi services. You know the adage, “you get what you paid for?”

Well, the same is true for wireless internet services. Free usually means weak signal and slow pathetically upload and download times. Going the paid route is an excellent option. You can pay as you go or subscribe to hot-spot service providers to use as needed.

Thousands of establishments utilize AT&T as their hotspot provider. As of 2009 AT&T offered customers Wi-Fi access through any one of it’s over 20,000 hotspots. That’s a lot of hotspots!

Combined with the number of coffee shops, pancake houses, book stores and printing shops offering Wi-Fi, whether free or paid, is in the hundreds of thousands. Amazing, especially considering the relatively young age of the technology. Did you know that wireless internet service was invented in 1992 by Australian scientists?

But wait; do you know who America’s largest provider of Wi-Fi is? McDonald’s – and they offer it for free! McDonald’s offers 11,000 locations. Want to venture to guess the service provider? Yep, you guessed it: AT&T.

Recently, Starbucks took a note from the pages of McDonald’s success and started offering their Wi-Fi access for free. Not only that, but they also took off the 2-hour time limit users balked at for quite some time. Other coffee shops quickly followed suit. The following is a list of a few national coffee shops offering free Wi-Fi services, with the customary minimal purchase, of course. (Even if you do not need anything, making a customary purchase is just polite, considering the space and resources you are taking. Purchasing a bottle of water and taking it with you is just one suggestion.)

McDonald’s
Cost: Free
Provider: AT&T
Setup: No Account Needed

Starbucks
Cost: Free
Provider: AT&T
Setup: No Account Needed

Barnes and Noble
Cost: Free
Provider: AT&T
Setup: No Account Needed

Borders
Cost: Free
Provider: Verizon
Setup: Account Needed

Panera Bread
Cost: Free
Provider: Unsure
Setup: Unsure

Shopping In Egypt – A Rough Survival Guide

If you hate shopping… you’re really going to hate shopping in Egypt. Forget window browsing, because it doesn’t exist there. The hard sell is one way of looking at it; a fully interactive shopping experience is another.

That bazaar magic is of course, the art of haggling, and depending on what type of person you are it will either send you to orgasmic heights of shopping or scare your wallet so far down your trousers that you’ll find it hard to use that wad of notes as currency again.

I for one am far too genial to haggle effectively, but my wife has no such qualms and would happily barter, procrastinate and emotionally manipulate sellers until we walked away with a treasure trove of bargains for the price other people were paying for a postcard. This may sound awful, but I swear, they love to haggle in Egypt. An Egyptian street vendor who doesn’t haggle is like the American shop assistant who doesn’t say ‘have a nice day’ or the British clerk who forgets to scowl. Am I being stereotypical? Sure I am. But where do stereotypes come from? Well, in the case of haggling, they come from Egypt. And who better to haggle with than the ruthless capitalist tourists of the west?

A vast range of goods are available from Egypt, the most important of these being; trinkets based upon ancient monuments, spices (although these are not always what they appear to be), gold and cotton. All of these items are available at a price that is never entirely clear to you. You will not find a price tag and if you ask how much it is you will generally be given a price that is twice what you will end up paying for it… if you haggle that is. Shopping in Egypt is an art, a delicate multistage process that can culminate in extreme shopping satisfaction or a brain malfunction.

The first thing you must do when you enter a shop or approach a vendor in Egypt is to not act surprised when they correctly guess your nationality. You stick out like a sore thumb and there have been countless droves before you who’ve been drawn into parting with a small fortune based on innocent conversational starters like, ‘lovely people… (insert nationality)… not like the (insert nationality that is not your own)… I no like them.’ Now, I’m not suggesting that you clam up and don’t communicate… far from it. The Egyptian people are warm and welcoming and I would strongly recommend that you enjoy these conversations. Just be aware that your custom is wooed like a gentleman of court would a lady of fashion; the most charming, can often be the most persuasive. You must constantly remind yourself that you are not the best of friends… you are engaged in a preamble to a sale.

One of the nice things about shopping in Egypt is that you will be offered a cup of Hibiscus tea almost everywhere you go. This thoroughly refreshing blend is an acquired taste but you will at least be able to tell everyone back home that you ‘made like the locals’ and had tea with a nice Egyptian man. The tea is doubly pleasant considering that temperatures further south in Egypt regularly top 40 degrees centigrade. Just remember… all that tea must go somewhere. If you plan to make a toilet stop whilst shopping in Egypt, be sure that you have some tissues to hand or a few notes of the local currency to pay for toilet roll from another enterprising native. Is nothing free in this world?

Back to shopping… and if you are interested in an item, don’t make out that you are. This may sound obvious, but pulling off indifference is harder than it sounds. Once you’ve mastered sounding indifferent, you’re halfway to being a successful haggler. A successfully indifferent face will lead to a cascade of price drops… but when to stop?

When you hear them say ‘I have kids to feed’ you know you’re getting a reasonably good deal. It’s like a game of poker in many respects, don’t show your hand too early or you’ll lose out. Which brings me to another important point… don’t produce a wallet ripe with notes. Not only is it a risk (pickpockets are common in busy markets) you risk insulting the vendor you’ve haggled down to the bone.

It’s well worth noting that in the tourist hot spots along the Nile, particularly in the official government shops, goods are generally a lot more expensive than in Red Sea resorts. If you’re planning a trip to the Red Sea coast, many if not all of the goods (including those associated with ancient Egypt) are available in outlets there. In El Gouna for instance you will find things such as jewelry and perfumes are available at a fraction of the cost you might pay in Luxor or Cairo.

At the end of the day though, a good purchase is something that you want at a price that you believe is fair. Haggle politely, haggle responsibly and you may find shopping in Egypt an experience money can’t buy. You can’t haggle for that.