Thursday, July 28, 2016

UnLock The Box, Break the Cableopoly!

Sick and tired of equipment fees from your Cable/FIOS company?
Go to the Consumer Report Link and let the FCC and your elected representatives know you are unhappy with high equipment fees from your TV and Internet providers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

DYI Freezer Alarm

For those of you who are away from home occasionally there is always the possibility that your power will go out.   You can usually tell by the blinking lights on your gadgets.  It used to be the blinking VCR but those days are gone.   What you may have difficulty determining is  how long was your power out, it could be days, and is the food in your freezer safe to eat. 

I looked online at freezer alarms and most were exorbitant in price, cheaper than replacing a freezer full of food but still pricy.  Here is a simple solution.

marble on ice
I happen to have a goodly supply of used pill bottles. (the joys of aging)   The ones I used held approximately 4oz of water.   I filled the bottle to approximately 3/4" of their capacity and froze them.   Then I placed a marble on top of the ice and put the bottles in the freezer.   I use four bottles, one on the door and the rest through out the freezer.   In my tests it took approximately 2.5 hours of 76 degree heat for the water to thaw and the marble to drop to the bottom of the bottle.   That is certainly enough heat to ruin your food in the freezer. 

So you go away, you come back and you look at the bottles in your freezer.  If the marbles are on the bottom of the bottles then I would err on the side of caution and abandon that food.  (One battle with food poisoning was more than enough for me.)

It isn't elegant but it does work and it is FREE.  

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Buzz Bee Toys Water Warriors Stingray Water Blaster

This is a familiar design for water blasters.  You fill it up, tighten the water tank lid and pump the handle.   The pumping action provides the push for the water.   If you continue to pump while you squirt it continues to squirt.   If you don't continue to pump it squirts until the air pressure bleeds off.   It worked fine but the maximum distance I was able to achieve with vigorous pumping was 35'.   Not a deal breaker but it didn't approach 42 feet under my testing conditions.  The packaging left something to be desired.  It was wired into it's box with industrial strength twist ties.   Someone with a tool or fingers substantially stronger than mine twisted the ties closed.  It took wire cutters for me to get it out of the box.  Gross overkill on the packaging from my perspective.  Otherwise it should be fun toy for the pool.


·                        Air pressure water blaster
·                        Long distance nozzle
·                        Soak a target up to 42 feet away
·                        Includes a 16.5in. long, 48oz. water blaster
·                        Recommended for children 5 years of age and older

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ortho Hornet and Wasp Killer, 16 oz

Ortho products have been reliable over the years.  This spray is no exception.  I like the foam as it covers the area, in this case, a ground wasp nest.  Then they have to crawl through it to get out or get back in.   A word of caution, give a test spray before you need to use it.  My initial spray was more like 4 feet than 20 feet.   However after the first spray it did reach a distance, more like 15 feet horizontally than 20 though.   Still that keeps you well away from the nest and if they get the foam on them, they don't fly more than a foot before crashing.  

Kills wasps; yellow jackets; mud daubers and hornets
Entrapping foam stops wasps instantly and kills insects that return to the nest
Jet spray reaches nests up to 20 feet above ground

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bank of America Customer Service is a Joke and not a Funny One.

Bank of America has a toll free number on the back of their card and I have to wonder why as they apparently do not have a human being anywhere in their phone tree.   I have called multiple times and when I hit the thirty minute wait time, I give up.   There is only so long I can stand being on hold.  My calls were probably going to benefit them as I was looking for information on adding a card or finding out how to check an existing card.   The result of multiple calls and no human beings is that I will not be using their card.   Discover is the only credit card company I have found to actually have a person on their phones.   So Bank America you have successfully driven another customer away from your services.  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Samsung S4 Replacement Battery

RAVPower 2800mah Samsung Galaxy S4 Replacement Battery for I9500, I9505, Sgh-m919 (T-mobile), Sch-i545 (Verizon), Sgh-i337 (At&t), Sph-l720 (Sprint), with NFC [Not for Galaxy S4 Active or S4 Mini]

This battery is charging well and is a great replacement for the faulty batteries that came in the Samsung S4.   After my phone shut down and I opened the case to see the severely bulged battery, I googled the issue and discovered that the bulging battery was a known Samsung issue.   After considering a OEM replacement battery, I decided it made no sense to get a battery identical to the one that failed.   I searched the compatible batteries on Amazon and this battery had significantly more positive reviews than most other batteries.

The price was attractive although with Amazon's new $49.00 minimum for free shipping, I was forced to use an alternative vendor and pay for shipping.   Frankly I almost made the purchase on  eBay since there was free shipping on several batteries but this battery seemed better.

I am happy with the battery and the pop in replacement factor.  I have not seen any increase in longevity with the battery even after multiple recharges.   Even with expedited shipping this battery cost me approximately $20.  I called several local wireless stores and the cheapest replacement battery was $40.00.   It mystifies me why so many mortar and brick stores lose so much business by grossly overpricing their goods.   Even if they paid the same for the battery as I did without the expedited shipping they would make a hefty 100% profit.   Instead they don't sell a battery and keep fueling the expansion of Internet business.  Having had a brick and mortar location when I was in the computer business, it pains me to see such a lack of foresight. 

I recommend this battery based on my experience.


·                        Tested under strict quality control standards. CE and RoHS certified.
·                        Top-rate A+ battery cells, over 500 repeated charging cycles.
·                        Over-Heating, Short-Circuit, Over-Charging & Over-Discharging Protection
·                        Voltage: 3.8V Capacity: 2800mAh
·                        Contains: 1 x cell phone battery

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.
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