3 Benefits You Can Get From RAID Repair

bfrrFor people who handle important and large amount of data, having a safe storage system with several back ups is very important. RAID or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is often the best solution. This system uses several disks to store data. If one disk malfunctions, the data can still be retrieved from the other disks.

However, when the system malfunctions, you need to know how RAID repair can be done. To make it convenient for users of this system, there is software that can rebuild your damaged RAID for you. There are several benefits in using this software. One is that you can use it to find out what is wrong with your storage system and thus, find the best way to remedy the problem. Another benefit is that by using software, the RAID repair can be done automatically. With a click of a button, you can have your data back. This is fast and convenient way of retrieving your data.

In the event that the software cannot conduct instant RAID repair, you can use it to fix it manually. Manual repair could take time and your patience in monitoring how the work is going is needed. It might take a few hours to several days but you are sure to get back your data, which is the most important thing for you.

Does Recover Promise RAID Violate Any Privacy Concern?

According to most customers, recover promise RAID is good for recovering hidden folders since after you recover these hidden files, there is no possibility that they will be recovered or remain corrupted. If they are recovered, these hidden folders will still be hidden. This is what frustrates other non-RAID users: the way the hidden folders can be exposed. For backing up hidden folders, there is no alternative way how you can back it up and recovering it without having to expose the files in the hidden folder. Right now, they are trying to develop a RAID system that will do better maintenance.

According to the most RAID system users, even though this kind of feature is not needed, some people with really confidential jobs may need this kind of feature since people need privacy and hard drive storing is one of people’s way of keeping files other than storing it in their laptop or hard drive’s memories. Why do people choose to store it in RAID hard drives? The reason is they can keep it anywhere and access it only when they need to. Unlike the hard drives in laptop or desktop, they can randomly accessed by anyone at any time.

Some Concepts That Are Similar To RAID 5 Recovery

There are so many things that people want to build and one of them would be a RAID 5 recovery that is especially made for the RAID 5 system. Why do we need RAID 5 recovery if we have a RAID 5 hard drive? It is because the RAID 5’s system is not perfect yet. That explains why there were previous versions like RAID zero to the current one. There are a lot of experiments or programs that were built to recover any lost files from the hard drive and there are some applications that are similar to RAID 5’s recovery plan except it is not officially recognized by the makers of RAID 5.

A concept of a recovery system could be saving a small part of the hard drive’s memory as a compressed file, where all back up are in there and this part of the memory can’t be harmed or corrupted in many ways. Even viruses can’t harm this file since albeit its small compact memory consumption, it is heavily protected by an anti-virus that will prevent any kind of virus from corrupting the file. This is only a concept wherein people or inventors can create to make the recovery possible for RAID 5 hard drives. This will be guaranteed helpful for many people.

Are You Wondering How To Set Up A Blog?

htsabCreating your own first blog is fairly easy since many websites that offer you to create your own blog will have tutorials on how to set up a blog. First, if you want to create your own blog, you should check out what websites actually offer free blog making. Once you have it all figured out, the next step is to follow the directions if you’re new or if you’re already an experienced blog maker, just do what you know how to do.

Once you know what you want your blog to be about, you should start blogging. Making a blog can let you do some creative thinking whether you’re writing a fiction story or writing about other things you think of. Blogging is a great way to show some creative thinking. New blogs can have trouble attracting readers since they are in fact new but some blogging experts let you ask them how to get your audience.

Starting out fresh can be a little difficult to attract viewers but once you’ve been around for a few months, you will surely get a lot of viewers by then. Getting viewers actually depend on if your writing is interesting, if it’s not interesting, many people wouldn’t be attracted to your blog.

How To Start Your Own Blog With Nothing But HTML Code Knowledge

If you do not know anything about article writing but you want to learn how to start your own blog, you will not encounter any problem, as long as you know what and how HTML codes work. Why? Although the highlights in blogging are skills in article writing (which includes above average English communication and written skills) and HTML code knowledge (may not be required for some sites that use advanced blog making tools), the main thing that you will always need to make blogs is the knowledge and skills to create or compose pages using HTML codes.

We can all admit that English communication and written skills are a bit easy to learn for blogging, but HTML codes are never easy to learn—even the basics! There may be other sites that do not need HTML coeds to make blogs (they most often use templates that are already designed and you can just click on your desired background or maybe you can compose your own just by mixing colors) but there are still more blog hosts that require HTML codes more than the sites that use advanced blogging tools. That is why, before you learn how to start your own blog, you need to be geared with HTML code knowledge heavier than English communication skills.

Are Anti Wrinkle Creams Safe To Use?

stuarcIs it safe to use anti wrinkle creams? It is actually safe to use OTC anti wrinkle creams even if people claim that it hasn’t been tested before putting the products in stores. The best wrinkle creams are more reliable to work because that means people tend to buy that brand more than other brands. If it was unsafe to use the products, I don’t think that the company would manufacture many of them and make stores sell them. If they did that, many people would sue their company.

Best wrinkle creams have the same effects as the cheap wrinkle creams. The companies sell their products lower so that people who have a budget can try out their product if they’re interested in looking young. Just because they’re cheap doesn’t mean they won’t work. To be able to pick the right anti wrinkle cream for yourself, you would have to find out which one will be compatible for your skin. Many people have different skin issues whether it’s oily skin, dry skin, or sensitive skin. There are a lot of best wrinkle creams that you can try out and see which one turns out better for you. It is bad to apply a lot of different anti wrinkle cream on your face so it’s better to use one at a time.

How To Look Young Again

If you want to look young again then it’s time to look at what the best anti aging product can do for your skin. You’d be surprised at the positive results and will get compliments how radiant your skin appears. Usually on anti wrinkle product, it shows on the label that it helps collagen production. It also helps oxygen microcirculation so that your skin will be healthy and smooth. There are quite a few creams to read about at this site.

Are the best anti aging products safe? Researchers say that most of the OTC anti wrinkle products haven’t been scientific proven and that they manufacture it even without testing it. Some even say that the product contains very scary laboratory chemicals. The anti wrinkle product has the ability to remove wrinkles, make your skin smooth, and hydrated.

Companies have created different types of best anti aging product for those that have different skin. It’s important to know what type of skin you have. You can have either dry skin or oily skin. There are different products that function the same way. Not all products have positive effects, so if you encounter a negative effect, don’t be surprised. The ones that will work for sure are the ones that doctors prescribe to you. Anti wrinkle products were made to satisfy the needs of those women who want to look young again.

Salzburg Sizzles!

WHEN IT RAINS IN SALZBURG, IT pours. Schnurlregen–rain not in sheets but in strings–is what the locals call those chill, soggy trials by precipitation, falling straight down for days at a time. Then the clouds break, the sun streams down on the newly whitewashed mountaintop citadel, on me twisting saints of the baroque cathedral facade, on the bustle of the tourists filing past the house where Mozart was born on Getreidegasse, and suddenly, you’re in heaven.

ssFor eight decades now, to be in Salzburg from late July to the end of August has been the dream of music lovers around the world. The reason is not the sheer beauty of the town and environs–so ravishingly featured in the film The Sound of Music that “Sound of Music” tours have outstripped Mozart as the region’s most profitable attraction–but the Salzburg Festival. For the happy few with the means and the pull to land tickets to the top-echelon operas and concerts, it has become a habit, even a cult.

“The Salzburg Festival is high-octane,” says (Gilbert E. Kaplan, the founder of Institutional Investor, who has built a flourishing second career as a globe-circling conductor of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, the only piece of music he has ever conducted–including once in 1996 for the opening of the Salzburg Festival. (It’s as if an actor were to play a single role in his life, and that role was Hamlet.) “The ambitious opera productions and the riveting performances, spiced with daily reports of backstage intrigues, lure the most discerning music lover,” Kaplan continues. “It may be the glittery social scene that gets the media’s attention, but Salzburg is much more a cauldron bubbling with nonstop–and remarkably well-informed– discussions, or should I say battles, about the music.”

But don’t forget the parties. Last summer, after a gripping concert performance of Mussorgsky’s political chronicle Khovanshchina by the visiting Kirov Opera of St. Petersburg, the company’s charismatic conductor Valery Gergiev (always last out the theater door) motored out to the country with family and friends to join Bianca Jagger, Eliette yon Karajan (widow of Herbert), and their sparkling ilk at a midnight banquet.

The Salzburg Festival’s lineage is distinguished, to say the least. The theatrical genius Max Reinhardt, the composer Richard Strauss and the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Strauss’ librettist for Der Rosenkavalier and most of the best of his other operas, top the list of its founding fathers. In the mid-1930s, the conductors Arturo Toscanini and Wilhelm Furtwangler, antithetical titans, set the tone. Festivities virtually ceased, of course, for the war years. The colossus of the postwar period, until a year before his death in 1989, was the aristocratic (not to mention autocratic) Salzburg native Herbert von Karajan, a maestro whose appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, and whose opera productions (some of which he also staged) and recordings (always in state-of-the-art technology), set his stamp on the age. On his watch, the perfectionist aesthetic was the Salzburg hallmark. Salzburg was simply the top of the mountain. Riccardo Muti, Jessye Norman, Placido Domingo and Anne-Sophie Mutter hung out there, idolized by an audience that knew music, had titles to burn and dressed to the nines, dripping jewels.

“Karajan told me, `I feel like the director of a museum,’” George Sgalitzer of Seattle recalls. Sgalitzer, a native of Vienna, has been attending the festival steadily since its inaugural performance in 1920, when he was a boy of eight. In his measured view, Karajan’s successor, the Belgian Gerard Mortier, has done well in his decade at the helm (to end in 2001). A baker’s son from Ghent, trained in the law, Mortier has made his entire career as an impresario. Under his aegis, the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, in Brussels, became a hot spot for opera lovers all over Europe and beyond. Then Salzburg called. No musician, Mortier was unequipped to take up Karajan’s multitasking baton. But then, says Sgalitzer, it was definitely time for a change.

“Mortier is trying to bring new ideas and give everybody a chance. It would have been impossible to get Messiaen’s opera St. Francois d’Assise under Karajan; it was too recent. But Mortier had Peter Sellars stage it, which was wonderful. Karajan was a tremendous conductor, a great man. Sold-out performances were guaranteed every time he conducted. He insisted on good casts. But Mortier has brought many young singers we had never heard of and given them a chance to show the public what they can do.”

Inevitably, Mortier soon found himself under attack by factions of festival regulars and a press politicized to the point of hysteria. But he loves a good fight; polemics are part and parcel of his agenda. Last summer’s big dustups revolved around a marathon adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays, briefly banned to minors for violence and nudity, and the reactionary rumblings of Thomas Klestil, the president of Austria, no fan of Mortier’s spicier fare.

As Karajan did, Mortier stands for excellence, indeed for elitism. But Karajan the “museum director” viewed art through the prism of a fixed canon. His realm was the eternal. Mortier’s arena is the here and now–tradition counting for nothing unless rekindled by the flame of present passion. There were fears initially that the established Salzburg audience would stay away in droves (and that no one would replace them), but Mortier’s media savvy and showmanship prevailed. Mortier has expanded from the festival’s traditional venues–three halls within the Festspielhaus, plus historic sites around the city–into many new ones.

He put epic-scale drama into a former salt factory an hour outside town, on an island in Salzach River. Last summer, a convention hall was drafted into service for a sold-out, big-ticket transfer of Achim Freyer’s carnival-style mounting of The Magic Flute. There is more to choose from than ever before, and attendance is soaring. Mortier’s shock tactics have attracted a lot of new, young faces. The habitues in jewels now jostle kids in jeans and leather. Remember the lyric from 42nd Street, “Where the underworld can meet the elite”? Salzburg can feel that way now.

If fluff is what you’re after, look elsewhere. In line with his convictions, Mortier has championed the least compromising composers of this century (Janacek, Messiaen, Berio, Saariaho, Boulez) and conductors dedicated to those composers’ visions (Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kent Nagano, not to mention Boulez himself). He has subjected the classics to the rigorous reappraisal of such scholar-performers as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Maurizio Pollini. He has thrown open the gates to a whole new generation. Last summer, a contemporary music cycle called Zeitfluss (“The Flow of Time”) amounted to an avant-garde festival within a festival. Film and popular entertainment (not always at popular prices) have gained a toehold, too. Mortier’s programming has cast a long shadow. Carnegie Hall’s ambitious “Perspectives” series of recent seasons –risky business–often seem carbon copies of Salzburg attractions.

“Salzburg is the richest venue I know of anywhere in the world,” says Alberto Vilar, founder and president of Amerindo Investment Advisors (whose Amerindo Technology was ranked the No. 1 mutual fund of 1999), and the single patron every serious music institution most hopes to attract. “I also think it’s the best. Their budget for the summer is on a par with Carnegie Hall’s for a year. Every opera has two or three worldranked singers. Salzburg gets the names! Every summer they have five, six, seven, eight world-class conductors.” Vilar, a great Mortier champion, puts his own money where his mouth is. Last summer, each program at the festival carried an insert announcing his gift of more than $6 million.

Now that the world has accustomed itself to Mortier’s formula, Mortier himself is making ready to leave, citing frustration at the lack of official support. In truth, he announced from the start that his tenure would last no more than ten years. His successor, named in December, is the Composer Peter Ruzicka, who comes to Salzburg from the Munich Biennale (a festival of contemporary music). Neither Ruzicka’s prior experience–a decade running the Hamburg State Opera–nor his Munich appointment suggests the mix of toughness and charisma the position requires. But a fellow festival director in Germany who has worked closely with Ruzicka says privately to be of good cheer: “Peter knows exactly what is needed. He’ll cater to the old guard with stars and big productions, which will support the untested things that excite the real connoisseurs.”

Under the circumstances, nostalgia for the best of what Mortier hath wrought may well be in play, but with respect to opera, the brochure for the summer of 2000 looks to be his finest ever. Karita Mattila, a Finnish diva who combines lustrous singing and incandescent involvement with supermodel glamour, leads an all-star lineup in a new production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Still with Mozart, the newly cast revival of last year’s inert Don Giovanni features the remarkable American soprano Renee Fleming as Donna Anna and the peerless German bass Rene Pape as the hero’s long-suffering sidekick Leporello. Tristan und Isolde, Wagner’s rhapsody of love too consuming for this world, receives a deluxe new staging starring Waltraud Meier and Ben Heppner, with Claudio Abbado leading the glorious Vienna Philharmonic.

Most exciting of all is the prismatic cluster of four new productions of operas based on legends of Troy, one of the richest chronicles in Western civilization: Gluck’s noble Iphigenie en Tauride; Mozart’s Idomeneo, ablaze with the ardor of youth; Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens, which could anchor a festival all by itself; and Offenbach’s cheeky operetta La belle Helene. From tragedy to satire, this selection encompasses a universe. Whether each and every production will be to the individual viewer’s liking is doubtful, since Mortier’s chosen directors are a highly individualistic crew. But audiences will have lots to dress up for and fight about. Not to mention all those stars–onstage and out front.

Rebuilding After Breast Cancer: Options

WHEN SHERRI LANDRIEU WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER last spring, she knew she was in for the fight of her life. Like many mastectomy patients, the forty-seven-year-old New Orleans businesswoman believed that reconstruction would be a vital part of her psychological recovery. So she did some investigating of her own and was surprised to learn she had more reconstruction options than she originally thought.

Of course, no single method of reconstruction is right for every woman or, for that matter, is risk-free. Indeed, many women prefer simply to wear a prosthesis and bypass the additional surgery and its residual effects, which can include a loss of sensation to the breast and substantial scarring. As Landrieu discovered, evaluating all the options, from implants to tissue transfers, is essential.

IMPLANTS

PROCEDURE: Saline implants

WHAT’S INVOLVED: The insertion of implants requires two separate surgical procedures. First, a tissue expander, which looks like a deflated plastic bag, is implanted under the pectoral muscle (the mastectomy incision site is usually reopened to insert the implant). Over a period of time, the doctor fills the “bag” with saline from a needle, stretching the skin gradually to accommodate the implant. The expander is later replaced surgically with a more permanent implant.

WHO: Most women are candidates, although large-breasted women may choose to undergo a reduction on the other breast to achieve symmetry. Very small-breasted women can sometimes skip the expander step and simply have an implant inserted under the chest wall. Saline implants are ideal for women undergoing a double mastectomy but may not be appropriate for women who have received or will undergo radiation therapy, as they reduce the skin’s elasticity.

PROS: The surgeon can adjust the implant’s volume according to the size of a woman’s breast and the amount of skin and muscle available.

CONS: “These are not lifetime devices. They have to be replaced,” notes V. Leroy Young, M.D., professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. On average, an implant lasts from ten to fifteen years. But a replacement could be needed much sooner than that because implants can occasionally leak, rupture or cause the surrounding tissue to harden.

WHAT ABOUT SILICONE? Silicone implants, which look and feel more natural than their saline counterparts, were taken off the U.S. market as of 1991. But they are still available to reconstruction patients involved in clinical trials. An Institute of Medicine study has since concluded that silicone implants do not appear to cause autoimmune disorders. New, sturdier silicone implants are currently available in Europe and may be on the market here within the next few years.

MAMMOGRAMS FOR WOMEN WITH IMPLANTS: Since both saline and silicone implants may cause difficulties with mammogram readings, the American Cancer Society recommends seeking out accredited facilities with technicians who are trained in manipulating an implant to get the best possible images of the breast.

TISSUE TRANSFERS

Women who are not good candidates for implants or who are put off by the downsides may be interested in reconstruction using tissue from another part of their own body. Though tissue can be taken from the back or buttocks, the most common source is the lower abdomen. These procedures involve abdominal and breast scarring.

PROCEDURE: TRAM (transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous) flap

WHAT’S INVOLVED: During a four-hour operation that can sometimes be performed at the same time as the mastectomy, excess skin, tissue, blood vessels, fat and at least one abdominal muscle are tunneled up from the abdomen to the chest by loosening an abdominal muscle (to which the tissue remains attached). The muscle’s blood vessels nourish the transferred skin and fat.

IDEAL CANDIDATES: Women with some abdominal fat. This procedure poses a greater risk of failure (as does any surgery) for women who smoke, are obese or have such medical conditions as diabetes or vascular disease, which can impair blood circulation.

PROS: This procedure goes hand in hand with a skin-sparing mastectomy technique that allows the breast surgeon to remove malignant tissue through an opening around the areola. The nipple, which may harbor cancer cells in the milk ducts, is removed and disposed of. (Later, a new nipple can be crafted from tissue taken from a donor site and repigmented during an in-office tattooing procedure.) The skin left behind serves as a kind of envelope for the tissue transferred from the abdomen.

CONS: The surgery and the recovery period are both lengthy. According to Jay Meisner, M.D., assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Mt. Sinai and Beth Israel hospitals in New York City, up to 20 percent of patients experience some minor hardening of the transferred tissue, which may resolve over time or require additional surgery. About 5 to 10 percent may develop abdominal weakness, a bulge or herniation. In very rare instances, the blood supply fails and the flap does not heal successfully.

PROCEDURE: Free TRAM flap, a variation of the TRAM flap

WHAT’S INVOLVED: During a lengthy surgery, a small chunk of muscle roughly the size and shape of a Saltine cracker, along with the surrounding fat and skin, is removed from the abdomen and reattached microsurgically in the chest.

IDEAL CANDIDATES: Serious athletes who don’t want to risk the potential for abdominal weakness associated with the TRAM flap. Women with circulation concerns (smokers, women who are obese or have conditions such as diabetes), because this procedure involves less damage to the blood vessels, so circulation is less impaired.

PROS: The procedure has the same advantages as the traditional TRAM flap, with the additional advantage that only a small part of the muscle is used, reducing the risk of abdominal weakness.

rbabcCONS: The surgery is complicated and the failure rate–as much as 5 percent at the finest breast centers–is higher than it is with the garden-variety TRAM flap. “It’s tragic when a patient who comes to the hospital hoping for a new breast ends up with a wound and has lost a portion of her own tissue,” notes Sumner Slavin, M.D., chief of plastic surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

PROCEDURE: Perforator flap

WHAT’S INVOLVED: With this new microsurgical technique, abdominal fat and tissue connected to a blood vessel are dissected from the abdominal muscle, leaving that muscle intact, then transferred to the chest. Known as a perforator flap for the tiny perforator blood vessels that nourish the transferred tissue, this surgery takes longer than the free TRAM flap procedure, depending on the size of the surgical team and its experience.

IDEAL CANDIDATES: According to Robert J. Allen, M.D., chief of plastic surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, almost all reconstruction patients are candidates.

PROS: The abdominal muscle remains intact, eliminating concerns about abdominal weakness or herniation.

CONS: New and technically challenging, this procedure is not widely available yet or universally embraced. As a result, its failure rate is likely to be higher than it is for other techniques.

In the end, Landrieu opted for the perforator flap procedure, and likens the level of discomfort to what she experienced during her recovery after the C-sections she had to deliver her children. She is thrilled, however, with the result: “As far as I’m concerned, I still have my breast, and it’s very natural.” And not having to mourn the loss of her breast, she says, leaves her with more emotional energy to grapple with the disease that claimed it and move on with the rest of her life.

In most states, insurance coverage for post-mastectomy reconstruction is mandated by law, but this coverage extends only to the affected breast.

The Art Of Collecting Art

Asian art enthusiasts look to E & J Frankel Ltd. for their treasures. This gallery, located at the corner of Madison Avenue and 79th Street in New York, features Chinese and Japanese art and antiques from the Neolithic period through the present. Highlights include Chinese North Qi (550-577) sculpture of exquisite white marble. To ring in the year 2000, Frankel presents a stunning exhibition “High Elevation: Himalayan Art 1400-1890,” on view until March 4.

taocaDiscover a wealth of museum-quality Classical, Egyptian and Near Eastern antiquities at Antiquarium, Ltd. on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The gallery features a diverse collection of glass vessels, marble statuary, bronze figures, Greek red-figure and black-figure vases, terra-cotta figurines, mosaics and jewelry. Among the exciting treasures is a selection of stunning ancient Hellenistic and Roman iridescent glass vessels, dating from 6th century B.C. to 4th century A.D., and an extraordinary collection of ancient gold jewelry spanning from 9th century B.C. through 12th century A.D.

Doris Leslie Blau, a Fifth Avenue dealer in 17th- to 20th-century European and Asian carpets, features exceptional floor coverings, including French and English 18th-century pieces, as well as Arts & Crafts, Art Deco and Art Nouveau rugs. With two spacious rooms–one with only natural light; the other with interior lighting–the gallery permits easy viewing of its specialty: oversize carpets with unique palettes and patterns including early-19th-century flatwoven Bessarabians. Individually chosen by Blau, each rug is a visual delight.

Wallace Silversmiths is providing a golden glow to the dawn of the new millennium with the introduction of an 18-karat gold millennium sleigh bell. Commemorating the thirtieth consecutive year of its annual Christmas sleigh bell, Wallace presents the millennium bell in a limited edition of twenty-five. With a sophisticated design in which a border of mistletoe surrounds the year 2000, the bell is destined to be a cherished heirloom to be passed from one generation to the next. For over 150 years, Wallace has led the industry in offering the finest sculptured sterling and gold to Americans of impeccable taste.

Klavierhaus is the international source for 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century custom concert-quality pianos. A passion for instruments beautiful to the eye and ear inspires the work of owners Sujatri and Gabor Reisinger, virtuoso craftsmen who specialize in the restoration of art-case pianos and vintage New York and Hamburg Steinways, Bechsteins, Pleyels, Erards and Broadwoods. Art collectors and opera aficionados must see “Impromptus and Fugues,” John Diebboll’s new series of custom art-case piano designs for the Metropolitan Opera Guild on exhibition through April 20. Signed limited edition prints are available.

Dream of owning a masterpiece? Prestige Fine Art offers museum-quality re-creations of premier artworks hand-painted by master artisans to such detail that they closely resemble the originals. The paintings of Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and many others whose works grace the walls of national galleries around the world are now available for the choosing. Prestige utilizes the finest linen canvas, hand-carved museum-style frames and a unique antique craqueled aging process. Make the fantasy a reality: contact Prestige Fine Art whenever you can.

A Garden Built On Memories

Teresa Heinz is sitting on the living room sofa of her house in Georgetown, one foot tucked beneath her, remembering the prerequisites she had for turning the Washington backyard visible out the window into her own special garden. “I wanted the mystery of a secret place, with softness and shade and mosses in the middle of the city,” she says, seemingly with instant recall. “I wanted roses and my favorite flowers. And I needed to tent part of the garden occasionally for parties–though I already had what I call my utilitarian terrace for that.” Heinz is casually sophisticated in a navy blue Ralph Lauren suit, almost girlish without makeup. Digressing for a moment, she teases Cim, her German shepherd, about his inability to catch their favorite garden pest, “Georgia the Squirrel,” before Georgia eats absolutely all the aforementioned moss off the garden bricks.

wphHeinz bought the Federal town house in 1972 with her first husband, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania and Heinz family scion H. John Heinz III, soon after he was elected to the Senate. They raised three sons there, and she began her fund-raising work for early childhood education, human rights and arms control. When John Heinz died in a plane crash in 1991, Teresa inherited his $675 million fortune–and took her husband’s place as chairman of a group of foundations that are now known as the Heinz Family Philanthropies, administering some $1.8 billion in assets. Remarried in 1995 to U.S. Senator from Massachusetts John Kerry, Heinz is a seasoned survivor in Washington’s political hothouse.

Soon after moving to Georgetown in the early Seventies, Heinz rearranged the half-acre garden at the side and rear of the house, which had been formally sectioned into boxwood parterres with a fountain in the middle.

“I wanted a lawn for my three boys to play ball and ride bicycles,” she says now. “I had a small corner for roses, and I told them, `You guys can do anything you want, but don’t break my roses!’ For twenty years I lived like that, and then the boys weren’t home anymore. Five years ago I decided I’d grown up, too, and wanted to have my own garden.”

Her exotic accent is Portuguese, as is her memory of `Mr. Lincoln’, a voluptuous red rose in her garden that her mother also grew at Heinz’s childhood home above the sea in Maputo, in a then-Portuguese colony in Mozambique. “My mother used to tour her gardens with the African groundskeeper every morning,” she reminisces. “I’d “walk behind them and pinch pretty flowers until my mother caught me.” Like so many scented flowers she’s worked hard to find, `Mr. Lincoln’ is a heady reminder of the distance that Heinz, born Maria Teresa (pronounced Tayr-AI-za) Thierstein Simoes Ferreira, has traveled from doctor’s daughter in Africa to philanthropist and the wife of two senators at the heart of the American power structure.

But the larger perception of Teresa Heinz as a somewhat unpredictable public figure (she maintains her resolutely Republican status while married to a Democratic senator) with a bountiful philanthropic wallet doesn’t encompass this down-to-earth woman who likes to stop and smell the roses. In the garden, she’s as knowledgeable about flowers as many landscape designers, and as possessed by the power of green places to add mystery to life.

Despite her hectic routine of award ceremonies, board meetings, speeches, working dinners for good causes and appearances with Senator Kerry, Heinz still manages to maintain five distinctly different gardens. There is Rosemont Farm, the ninety-acre Heinz family estate outside Pittsburgh, which she came to when she was first married, in 1966. Then there is the garden in Washington, the city in which she usually spends the week. On weekends, Heinz tends a rooftop garden at the town house she and Kerry bought on Boston’s historic Louisburg Square in 1995–”with no schedule, no phone ringing, no CNN, no nothing,” she says. Even her vacation retreats encompass plots of green. At the Sun Valley ski house she and her late husband constructed out of the timber of a 15th-century English barn, Heinz reshaped a meadow with trees, and seeded fragrant herbs on the stone terrace. In Nantucket, where she spends the month of August, she planted “roses and a lawn that doesn’t look like a carpet” at the seaside cottage she and Heinz built in 1984. The island has been growing in her affections since she first visited in the early ’70s: just this past fall she donated $2 million toward the restoration of the Whaling Museum of Historic Nantucket. In fact, on January 20, Heinz will be the honorary cochairman–along with Kenneth Chenault of American Express –of the Winter Antiques Show, held annually at New York’s Seventh Regiment Armory, and the special loan exhibition that accompanies the show will highlight the Whaling Museum’s collection of Americana.

Five gardens would seem to be enough for anyone, and these five reflect the many moods of Teresa Heinz. But none has quite as much personal appeal as the tiny backyard oasis at her longtime Georgetown house, a place burgeoning with the scented flowers, exotic plants, and tangled shrubs and grasses that evoke Heinz’s childhood memories. In making it, Washington, D.C., garden designer Jane MacLeish drew deeply on the subtleties and nostalgia of her client’s horticultural taste.

“I wanted to grasp the finesse of a personal style that is at once earthy, sophisticated and adventurous,” says MacLeish of Heinz, to whom she was recommended by a mutual friend. The British-born MacLeish has been designing gardens and country estates for twenty-five years, and her reputation reaches well beyond Washington. Among other projects, she’s done Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky’s New York estate; a D.C. garden for Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig; a Pleasantville, New York, property for writers Ben Cheever and Janet Maslin; and an oil magnate’s pink floral fantasy in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington–for which, she later learned, she’d been recommended by Pamela Harriman.

Her plan for the Georgetown property was not complex. It satisfied Heinz’s threefold desire–for roses, a wild secret place and a site for entertaining–by sectioning the half-acre side- and backyard into three distinct “gardens within a garden,” as MacLeish describes it. Early on, however, she was concerned that such diversity also be cohesive. Recalling her client’s request for a “soft, ethereal, old look,” she kept that romantic vision in mind as she chose every plant and building material. As a result, says MacLeish, “the three gardens are distinctly different, but together they create a wonderful mood.

“As you leave the street gate and descend stairs into the garden, you meet different visual experiences,” she continues, describing a long view, down to a shaded flagstone area that can be tented for parties, to a brick terrace, where beds of roses and herbs flourish in the sunshine. To the right and just visible around the corner of the house is a pergola nestled under Katsura trees. Ranging across the back of the property is a lower-level woodland, looking quite secret and tangled despite being in the midst of Washington, D.C.

Articulating the “softness” concept came slowly and through constant dialogue. “I saw the workmen starting the brick terrace, and they were laying the bricks too close together,” recalls Heinz. “I showed them how I wanted space for moss and herbs between them, but they said, `That far apart, the bricks will come loose!’” She directed the Portuguese mason, in his native tongue, to redo it. MacLeish regarded this successful change and a subsequent one–chipping the wall coping to make the edges look old and worn –with amazement. When she suggested boxwood for the corner of the house, Heinz said, “No, we need a big tree to play down the huge wall. Go find me a big tree!” The Amelanchier canadensis MacLeish located in Connecticut was so striking against the wall that she realized Heinz had been right. “We eventually brought in seven big trees, natives mostly, to give the garden and especially the woodland an indigenous sense of spirit and wildness in the city,” says MacLeish.

They spent the most time choosing flowers for the garden. “Mrs. Heinz had input on every single variety that went in,” says MacLeish of a process that was distinctly not a breeze. “At first I wanted to use flowers that were in the early Dutch still lifes she and John Heinz had bought for the house. I had the idea of extending the warmth and elegance of those paintings into the garden.” Using one of the world’s best private collections of 16th- and 17th-century Northern European still-life paintings as source material was an inspired idea. “But it didn’t work,” says MacLeish, “because those flowers were too garish and hard-edged.” Heinz told her so: “No tulips,” she said. “I don’t like tulips popping out from under the rose bushes like a jack-in-the-box!”

Getting the look right meant tuning in to Heinz’s childhood garden memories, then proposing varieties that might engender some of the same looseness and profusion. “She isn’t rigid and tight, and doesn’t want to see that in the garden,” says MacLeish. The designer also installed flowers Heinz had known in her mother’s garden: Scabiosa caucasica (saudade, in Portuguese) in its open, sky-blue `Fama’ variety; Lavandula angustifolia `Hidcote’ for its scent and compact habit; a profusion of thymes; Agapanthus africanus; and roses, always roses–’Helen Traubel’, `Crimson Glory’, `Sea Foam’, `Tiffany’, sweetbrier. “We’d sit for three hours at a stretch reviewing books and catalogs of roses. Mrs. Heinz would notate pages,” MacLeish remembers, “and we came up with a list of fifty. Beside a photograph of `Gloire de Dijon’, she’d write, `If not purply, OK.’” The final decision on what roses to plant was based on what thrives in the Washington climate with just a monthly dose of mildew and black spot preventive (Heinz is no fan of herbicides).

One morning last May, Heinz and MacLeish strolled through the Georgetown garden, taking stock of spring’s tender arrivals. They passed full-blown white peonies bobbing like swans on dense green foliage, and exclaimed over a tiny Potentilla alba emerging from a crack in the wall. Beside beds of roses underplanted with petticoats of creeping thyme, Heinz bent to smell a big red tea rose. “Oh, this is `Mr. Lincoln’! Everybody smelled it yesterday,” she said, referring to the current and former members of Senator Kerry’s Washington staff, who had been to the house for a reception.

MacLeish turned Heinz’s attention past `Mr. Lincoln’ to a voluptuous orange-red rose on the next bush. “Look! Dolly’s coming out,” she announced, momentarily forgetting her proper British poise. “Wouldn’t you love a nightdress that looks like that?” The two began talking at once, professional boundaries dissolving in their eagerness to describe the flower’s charms. Heinz inhaled its scent and with droll wit fixed its allure for them both. “When I first heard its name was `Dolly Parton’, I said, `Yeah, right.’ Then I smelled `Dolly Parton’”–she’s laughing now. “And I said, `Yeah! Right!’”

MacLeish says she still searches long and hard “for what Mrs. Heinz might like. And sometimes I send over a note so she won’t miss the appearance of a new bloom.”

Teresa Heinz doesn’t miss a thing. In the tradition of her mother, she very much enjoys monitoring the garden’s progress. Often she eats outside among the flowers and, early in the morning, she looks out her bedroom window to the woodland. “That’s where, if I ever have any grandchildren, they’ll play,” she says of the space.

Have You Considered Namibia?

Family and friends asked the question when I told them that three longtime travel buddies and I would spend a week of our sixteen-day African vacation exploring one of the continent’s newest nations, still mostly undiscovered. The four of us are part of a larger adventure-travel group of old pals who’ve known each other for fifteen years or more. We plan a yearly trip, and those who can make it do. Over the years, we’ve climbed Kilimanjaro and trekked in the Annapurnas.

We’d traveled to Africa before, but this contingent was ready for a different kind of trip. We didn’t want the usual week of game viewing, although we wanted that to be part of our experience. Namibia promised something unique. It offered mysterious landscapes and deserts, beaches and mountain trails, ominous-sounding spots like the Skeleton Coast, and one of the great world-class game parks, Etosha Pan. And although we couldn’t find anyone who’d been there, one of our group, Andie, had done enough research to know it would offer the best of Africa and some surprises.

namibiaOne of the last African nations to shed its colonial status, Namibia lurched into independence in 1990 and has grown into a democratic and safe nation. (Sporadic civil unrest in neighboring Angola has made travel to Namibia’s entire northern border, including the Caprivi and Kavango regions–not part of our itinerary–somewhat risky. See information box.) Formerly called SouthWest Africa and governed by South Africa, it is situated just northwest of South Africa, bordered by (besides Angola) Botswana and Zambia, with a 994-mile Atlantic coastline. Though four times the size of the U.K., Namibia has only 1.6 million residents, leaving hundreds of miles of unspoiled land. “I hope there’s enough to do and see,” mused my friend Frank, a TV producer used to daily deadlines. “Something tells me you’re about to be seduced,” I replied.

Flying on a six-seat Cessna within the country seemed the best way to avoid hours of driving. It also would give me, as a private pilot, the chance to take the controls of our plane. Although we lined up our pilot, plane and itinerary with Abercrombie & Kent prior to leaving the U.S., it’s possible to arrange for a private plane upon arrival in Windhoek, the capital city.

The quickest way to get to Windhoek is either by the Air Namibia or Lufthansa flights that leave from Frankfurt three times a week or by way of Johannesburg (our route), where there is frequent service on a number of carriers for the two-hour flight. Within minutes of landing, we’re loaded onto our modern, air-conditioned van and en route to the city.

Windhoek sits smack in the middle of the country. Its architecture, food and customs still resonate with the influence of its 1890s German settlers. In fact, although English is the official language, one can hear German spoken by many locals in shops and restaurants.

The Hotel Heinitzburg, our charming and comfortable castle atop a hill overlooking the city, features fourposter beds and other gracious furnishings. The restaurant, on a wide terrace beside the pool area, offers a lunch menu that includes schnitzel and a selection of German beers as well as springbok, continental fare, South African wines, local beers and maybe a warm breeze to break the noonhour heat.

Our plan is to fly to four distinct regions of the country: two days in the Namib Desert, one of the oldest in the world; a day on the legendary Skeleton Coast; two days in Damaraland; and two at Etosha. We’re met at Eros Airfield, the smaller regional airport, by our twenty-eight-year-old pilot, Anthony Allan. He will travel with us for the week, also acting as our guide, alongside the local guides, answering questions and tending to our various travel needs.

Seventy minutes from Windhoek, we begin our bumpy descent into a vast, 11,000-acre scrubby flat plain. In the distance, we spy a short airstrip with a Land Rover parked on it. We’ll drive a few miles to the Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp, run by Wilderness Safaris, a first-rate Namibian-based outfitter. The desertscape below is sprinkled with shepherd bushes and the famous quiver, a spiky and almost prehistoric-looking tree indigenous to Namibia. After deplaning, we’re driven to the camp, with nine huts built 2,500 feet above the desert, resting in a granite formation.

At the central dining/living-room hut we’re greeted with hot face towels and fresh fruit juice. The guest huts feature mahogany and cane furniture, sisal carpeting, tiled bathrooms, a private plunge pool and, best of all, spectacular views of the desert below.

From this campsite, we drive to the Sesriem and Sossusvlei areas in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Because the nearest village is 112 miles away, our accommodations come with a paramedic and a helicopter. Yet out in the middle of nowhere, we’re content, with solar-heated rooms, drinkable water, a stock of fine wines and well-prepared foods, from hearty stews to homemade creme caramel. Over our two days here, we make forays in search of oryx, springbok and the Tok Tokkie beetle. And we close each day with a drive–gin and tonics in hand–stopping to watch the brilliant African sun descend into the neighboring foothills.

The park, massive even by African standards, covers more than 19,216 square miles and is one of the continent’s largest. Running along the Atlantic Coast, it offers some of the most haunting and sensuous scenery anywhere. Here, at the main jump-off point for Sesriem, are curving and swerving dunes some 1,148 feet high.

We set off to climb “Big Daddy,” a dune that surrounds Deadvlei, an old salt pan with dead acacia trees–some more than 500 years old. At first, the climb looks like a fifteen-minute scamper. We soon learn what an intense workout it really is as we sink at least eight inches with each step. An hour later, we’re at the top, triumphant though exhausted and awash in dissolving layers of SPF 15. “I feel like the English Patient,” says my friend Tom, his head wrapped in his T-shirt, turbanstyle. Fortunately, there are smaller dunes that can be hiked–and you can still catch the view across the desert.

The next morning, on day three, we proceed north toward the Skeleton Coast, named for the treacherous seas that have created more than their share of shipwrecks over the centuries. The coastline’s ancient hulls resemble steel corpses in the desert sand. Descending to get a better look, we come across abandoned diamond camps and saltworks. Wild flamingos glide below us, and every minute or so, we fly over seal colonies on the rocks along the coast.

The final fifty minutes of our flight take us over Brandberg, the highest mountain in Namibia and a destination in itself. On this leg, I get to test my flying skills, taking the controls and keeping us on our steady northward course. Unlike the crowded skies of America’s Northeast, there are no sounds over the radio here. (In fact, during our week we saw only one other plane in the sky. This was our own private Namibia!) As we approach Damaraland, I happily cede the controls to Anthony for the landing on a dirt runway.

Our destination is D-Camp, a safari camp made up of nine step-in tents with en suite bathrooms that have stone floors. The amenities include soaps, lotions and crisp linens. The camp is a co-op venture between its operators and local residents. After a delicious dinner that begins with a menu recitation in the native language–rife with clacking and clicking sounds–we assemble in the main tent, which looks fresh out of colonial Africa in its sumptuous yet practical decor. There our local guide, Rhyan Brislin, tells us about the next day’s excursion, a search for elephants adapted to desert life.

Rising early, we take to the sands, past the poisonous milk bushes that dot the landscape. Rhyan, considered one of the best guides in these parts, does an excellent job of tracking. In just over an hour, we find an elephant amid the bushes and stay with it for an hour.

D-Camp is a beautiful spot to stay for a couple of days, while you hike in the neighboring hills or search for Welwitschia, a species of plant found only in Namibia that lives for more than a thousand years but produces just two leaves.

Often called the Place of Mirages, Etosha, our next stop, offers the spectacular scenery and animals you’d find in most African parks, but without the usual crowds. We encounter giraffe, zebra, cheetah, lion and rhino, along with black-faced impala and the Damara dik-dik. As with most parks of this kind, the best time of year to see game is during the dry season, July through October at Etosha.

Our group settles into the private Ongava Lodge, with its own landing strip and game reserve. We’re driven from the strip to the lodge, which has a private game-viewing deck and ten simple but stylish chalets that we all find completely comfortable. On a more traditional safari here, Douw Stein, a fourth-generation Namibian, finds us plenty of game to observe and photograph during our two-day stay.

On the flight back to Windhoek, we realize that our second week in Africa could easily have been spent exploring such places as the Fish River Canyon, second in size only to the Grand Canyon; the Waterberg Plateau Park area, with its dinosaur footprints; or Bushman-land, a conservancy where small groups can take hunting trips into the bush. We arrive at dusk, all of us quiet but instinctively knowing what we’re feeling. As we descend into our Eros landing pattern, we’re nearly overwhelmed by the fresh memories of the dunes and the desert and the friendliness of the people. We’ve sampled Namibia’s magic–and hope not too many others will. At least until we’ve had a chance to be entranced by it once more.

Settling Your Tax Through IRS Tax Help

syttirsOne of the reasons why IRS tax help exist is to settle the tax issues of taxpayers. If you are one of the many people who have tax debt, tax disputes or delinquent tax payments, you have to seek IRS tax help right away in order to identify your concern. There is a corresponding IRS agent who is responsible for guiding and helping you know why you are faced with such consequences. This agent will provide the necessary data so that you can trace the tax payments you made and the due amount you are not settling. If you think that the IRS agent is wrong, you have to bring all the papers that serve as a proof for your tax deductions or payments.

As much as you want to settle the tax issues, so with the agent as well. He/she will give you advice on the actions that you have to do after the appointment. If there are any questions, you have to make sure that you ask it so that issues are resolved.  If you need to settle your tax easily, you can ask for an attorney to assist you with it. Just make sure that you ask for IRS tax help before anything else.

Real Tax Relief Services

Confronting the IRS after the debt is not easy, and in some situations, it is better to be supported by professionals. The IRS tax relief services have enough knowledge and will to help anyone in trouble, and bring his perfect life back. However, even the taxpayers should learn enough about those services and about work, they provide.

Most of companies of this kind employ CPAs, enrolled agents or attorneys, and their fee depends on the type of a service and its seriousness. In some situations, the taxpayer must give a deposit, but it is not a good idea since no one can guarantee results. The best thing about these companies is that they usually give free consultations, mostly because they believe they would provide further services. They should listen about a problem and give some solutions, and the best companies can also tell how much it can cost. Every company has its own strategy of working, but usually the taxpayer gives permission to an attorney to speak on taxpayer’s behalf. Either way, the taxpayer must be involved in this situation, because he is the one who needs the IRS tax relief desperately. However, it is important to be involved with the professional who will respect the client’s opinion.

Ex-Spouse Tax Relief

Taxes are usually hard to handle, but when they are someone else’s responsibility, a person must find the right way to get help. Married couples usually share taxes, and when they get separated or divorced, they should find out more about their rights and how to go separate ways for good. After gathering all information, a spouse that ends up with greater responsibility can always file for IRS tax relief.

Spouses usually have a choice to file for taxes jointly or separately, but this is something that everyone should think about ten times before making any decisions. If the marriage ends up with the ugly divorce, usually one person stays hurt not only emotionally, but financially as well. However, the good thing is that one can always rely on innocent spouse status where he can get different kinds of help. Nonetheless, in order to get the proper IRS tax relief, one must meet some requirements. For start, the spouse must prove that he was not aware tax situation, or that putting the burden on that spouse would be unfair. When the process is over, the IRS can switch all taxes on one spouse, or it can make split taxes in equal parts.