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The Bahamas, So Near Yet So Far

The Bahamas, So Near Yet So Far

Berrouaghia - Ain El Melh البرواقية - عين الملح
Source: Flickr

Made up of about 700 islands and located just a short flight or cruise from the mainland United States, the Bahama Islands are a wonderful tropical retreat.
It is perhaps the most popular destination for cruisers, especially first time cruisers. Like its Western “cruise cousin”, the 3-day jaunts to Ensenada and points in Nortwest Mexico, a Bahamas cruise is a great choice of busy people who need a few nights away from it all.

Nassau, the capital city on the island of New Providence, is an easy to explore city with losts of history, shopping and food. A day’s excursion brings with it ample charm by exploring it’s grand architecture and getting to know its charming residents.

The architecture is mostly 18th and 19th century colonial which remind one of the city’s origins as a modern city. Be sure to see Parliament Square when you tour the city to get a real feel for the history of the islands.

Like tropical beaches? Make sure to leave time for relaxing on the Bahamas‘ warm Caribbean beach and waters. Here you’ll find sailing, snorkling and diving opportunities. Or, just kick back and enjoy the wonderful tropical sun.

And, when you’re ready to kick up your heels and party, the nightlife in Nassau is alive with great dining and casinos and nightlclubs.

Freeport, the Bahamas’ second city on Grand Bahama is a must visit. Like its name implies, Freeport offers duty free shopping in its huge internationa bazaar. Bring your credit card!

But Freeport is not just for shoppers. It’s night life is known the world over. It offers world renowned entertainment and cuisine.

The Bahamas are just a short hop away. But, even though close, offers American travelers a whole different world. Visit this tropical paradise. You won’t come away dissapointed.

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Microsoft Great Plains Multicurrency

Microsoft Great Plains Multicurrency

Source: Flickr

Microsoft Great Plains is main Microsoft Business Solutions accounting package for the US market, where multicurrency issues are rare.
However even US companies may have branches in foreign countries where they use Great Plains. Microsoft Great Plains is also in use in Spanish speaking Latin America (in Brazil both: Navision and Microsoft Great Plains are present), UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. When you first think about multicurrency – you probably have in mind the revaluation question. Currency triangulation – which was the need when European currencies were fixed to Euro is not an issue any more.
1. Sales and Purchasing multicurrency – when you are selecting accounting package with multicurrency, you need first understand if it has multicurrency on the Sales and Purchasing modules level, not just in GL. The problem behind is like this. When you have sales in foreign currency – you will probably get the payment later on when currency may potentially lose some value against your functional currency (like US Dollar or Euro – however in our days Dollar is very good candidate to do so, but this is outside of the scope). Then – even if you do have payments upfront in foreign currency – you probably don’t plan to convert this currency to functional for repatriation, you probably keep it in the local bank and so your foreign money is subject to fluctuation in comparison to functional currency
2. Unrealized and Realized Gains and Losses – gain or loss is unrealized when transaction is not yet settled (like payment is not received and not applied – but you would already like to know if you have unrealized gain or loss). When transaction is settled – then realized gain or loss might be in place – this is simply the difference of what if you would get immediate payment and got payment now.
3. Revaluation – this is when you decide to recalculate your Sales, Purchasing transaction and post realized and unrealized gains or losses. As the result you usually want GL transaction to be created
4. GL Multicurrency – is simplified version. You may have transactions entered directly in GL with foreign currency selected – in this case it is subject for possible revaluation.
5. Microsoft Great Plains Multicurrency – it is on the level of the following modules: GL, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Sales Order Processing, Purchase Order Processing, Bank Reconciliation, Project Accounting. So it is full-featured multicurrency.
Happy implementing! if you want us to do the job – give us a call 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577!

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An Overview of Asia

An Overview of Asia

guangzhou, china
Source: Flickr

Asia is the largest continent when measured by landmass and human population.
Following is an overview of Asia.

Asia is considered one of the seven continents. This continental definition, however, is far broader than many people think. Under the seven continent methodology, Asia stretches from Japan in the East through Russia in the West. It encompasses Saudi Arabia and everything above Asia. While it doesn’t always make practical sense, there is no denying this definition of Asia makes it the home of over 60 percent [4 billion] of all humans. China and India, of course, are the locations of a vast majority of these people.

In modern times, geographers recognize there really is no dividing line between Asia to the west and Europe to the East. This has resulted in the entire area being called Eurasia, but thousands of years of terminology aren’t about to pass into antiquity. Today, most people refer to Europe as a continent so far as it extends to the Ural Mountains in Russia. Everything to the east of that mountain range is considered Asia. For instance, Israel is considered a country in Western Asia!

Russia has even picked up on this theme with the two heads on the national flag. The west facing head refers to the European part of Russia while the East facing head refers to the Asian part of the country. Within Russia, it is almost as if there are two countries with Moscow and St. Petersburg having heavy European influences. Cities in the Far East, such as Vladivostok, are much more oriented to China and such.

To resolve the boundary issue, the powers that be have started defining Asia subcontinents. The areas are:

Central Asia – Kazakhstan Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

1. East Asia – China, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, North and South Korea.

2. North Asia – Russia.

3. India Subcontinent – India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.

4. Southeast Asia – Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar [Burma], Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

5. Southwest Asia – The Middle East including Turkey, Iran, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon and sometimes Egypt.

Given the problems defining the boundaries of Asia, you can imagine it is also difficult to define certain characteristics regarding the continent. After all, life in Turkey is much different than in China. Conversely, customs in India are completely different than those in China. In fact, most people living in Asia take offence when someone uses the word “Asians” to refer to them. The word implies a similarity among all people in Asia, which simply isn’t true.

Economically, things are a bit easier to categorize. The largest economy in Asia is China as a measure of gross domestic product. Officially known as the People’s Republic of China, this country remains communist in name only when it comes to economic issues. With massive economic growth over the last 10 years, China is the second largest economy in the world after the United States. Another heavily populated area, India, is now the fourth biggest economy in the world, while relatively small Japan is the third. Put in practical terms, Asia is home to three of the four biggest economies on Earth. The three dominant financial centers are Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

With so many countries, it is hardly surprising to find a wide variety of religious practices in Asia. There are a wide variety of belief systems, but Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam have the largest number of adherents.

Figuring out exactly what constitutes Asia is largely a matter of opinion. Among many assertions about Asia, the undisputable one is it is the home to the largest percentage of humans on the planet.

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Recipe: tex-mex chili gravy

Source: Flickr

Tex-Mex Chili Gravy
4 dried red New Mexico chiles*
8 dried red ancho chiles*
1 pound ground beef
4 cups beef stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons bacon drippings (optional)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Masa Harina®

* To shortcut, use about 1/2 cup Gebhardt® chili powder and reduce the cumin and oregano by half.

If using the shortcut, skip this step. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Break off the stems of the chile pods and discard the seeds. Place the pods in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them for about 5 minutes. Watch the pods closely so that they do not scorch. Break each chile into several pieces. In a blender, purée the pods with the stock. You should be able to see tiny pieces of chile pulp, but they should be bound in a smooth, thick liquid. Set the purée aside.

In a medium saucepan, brown the meat with the onion and garlic. Drain the grease. Add bacon drippings, if desired, and return the pan to the heat. When the bacon drippings have melted, add the cumin, oregano, salt and puréed chiles or chili powder and beef stock. Simmer the mixture for about 50 minutes, until the meat is tender and the liquid has thickened slightly.

In a small bowl, mix the Masa Harina® with 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and stir the mixture back into the gravy. Simmer the gravy for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with Tex-Mex enchiladas, tamales or other dishes.

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There are other options now days for anxious couple who cannot have children

There are other options now days for anxious couple who cannot have children

I first learned about adoption from china when I took a “Chinese Cinema” course in college. This would have been in 2004. My professor was a Caucasian woman, but very much into the Chinese culture. Sure, this is to be expected from someone who teaches such a subject. She has a wonderful knowledge of Chinese culture and film. The class was definitely an enlightening one to say the least. Anyway, one day she began speaking on the topic of adoption from china. I thought this was nothing out of the ordinary and assumed it was going to be related to a specific film. However, it is actually related to her own personal life. She decided a few years back to go with adoption from china. She had not yet had children of her own and she wasn’t married, so she figured that she had better make a decision. Folks tend to do this after the age of 40. So she basically adopted two baby girls from China. She went on and on about how wonderful they are. She also discussed the conditions regarding reproduction in China. You cannot have more children than the government deems acceptable. Girls are basically killed off if there are too many born to a family. This is horrible. I assume this is one of the main reasons she chose adoption from china over the USA.

If you are also interested in adoption from china, you can easily get online and check out what’s involved. With any adoption, there is a certain process to go through. After all, adopting a child is a very large commitment and responsibility.