FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't whether I got it free or NOT!

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Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wireless N Router

TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Wired: IEEE 802.3 (10Base-T), IEEE 802.3u (100Base-TX) Wireless: IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n (draft) Wireless N-Draft Firewall Router – Retail $79.99. www.newegg.com has it for $69.99 with a $30 rebate and free shipping. Consumer search ranked it as #3 in best routers for the money and it has a 3 year warranty to boot. I’ve used TRENDnet products and found them as good as any other company. This price is very good for a “N” wireless router. The following overview is from the newegg website.

TRENDnet TEW-631BRP wireless router lets you create a secure wireless network using the latest Draft 802.11n wireless technologies offering greater range and data speeds than the older 802.11b/g standards, (when used with compatible Draft 802.11n wireless adapters) while still being fully backwards compatible with them—perfect for mixed-mode environments.

The router's MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology also makes it a natural choice for multimedia fanatics, minimizing errors and optimizing data speed through the use of multiple antennas for both sending and receiving.

Need to give voice, gaming, or media streaming priority over other data? This router's Stream Engine QoS (quality of service) technology by Ubicom does just that. The TEW-631BRP analyzes traffic and separates it into multiple data streams. These streams are prioritized by sensitivity to delay, so applications like VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), video and music streaming and online gaming are given priority over Web browsing. If nothing but a wired connection to the Internet will do, the TEW-631BRP also has a built-in four-port 10/100 Ethernet switch.

I recommended this router to one of my son’s so I am convinced it is a good deal. If he gets it and his rebate and is happy, I will comment later. Obviously, if he gets screwed on the rebate and the product stinks I will also let you know.

$39.99 for a wireless n router that is well reviewed is a deal!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

My dad was born on this date. RIP
Happy Birthday Dad!
We miss you!

Buying Books On the Cheap

I received a hard back book today from Elizabeth Brown Books and Collectibles in San Diego, CA. She is a member of the www.abebooks.com group of independent seller. I mention her because the book I got today was in pristine condition and packed extremely professionally. You may ask, "why is that unusual?" If you ask that, you probably don't buy a lot of books online. I buy a lot of books, I generally buy them from either abebooks.com or half.com. I attempt to avoid the usury shipping charges by going over the complete inventory of a seller after I find the book I am looking to buy. Generally the 2nd and ensuing books are less expensive to ship than the first. When you buy a book for a dollar, you usually end up paying a couple of bucks for shipping which is a not so sneaky way of getting more money out of you since media mail is never as expensive as what is charged. But I digress, reasonably priced books are to be had at either site. What is unusual is this seller obviously takes a great deal of pride in what she does as demonstrated by the exceptional care in packaging. So to her and to people like her, please continue to take pride in what you do. Some of us care and probably a great many more who never think to express their thanks. THANKS Elizabeth Brown!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Car Rental Discount Myth

Renting a car seems so similar to playing the slot machine. You are hoping to hit the ultimate combination and be a winner. Your odds of success on car rental may be similar to your slot machine odds.

Wanting to rent a car I went to Expedia and did a search. I input the airport, the dates and followed the prompts. I got several companies that ranged widely and wildly in price.

I went to Priceline and Advantage had the best price. I went to epinons.com and found a wealth of opinions suggesting you would be a complete idiot to rent from Advantage. Since Advantage was on Pricelines list I felt that if I tried their name your own price I would get stuck with Advantage since they were already substantially lower than everyone else. (I have successfully used Pricelines’ the name your own price before but Advantage was not available in that location so I didn’t have to worry about getting them.)

I went to AARP’s site and their best price with their AARP discount was from Alamo. Then I went to the Alamo site and got the same price for the rental without anyone’s discount.

Finding myself perplexed as to how Alamo and AARP can claim they are giving me a discount when I can go to the Alamo site and get the same price without my “membership privileges”. In other words, who’s scamming whom?

I am not fond of snow in the precipitation state and am perhaps less fond of it in the verb state. Snow jobs are annoying. Why pretend a discount exists when it doesn’t? My guess is that most of us “assume” that if we are told a discount exists that it really does exist. The gullibility factor is alive and well.

Membership has it’s privileges.
Discounts are available to (name your group).
Platinum card holders receive preferential treatment.
There’s gold in them there hills.
Arrgghh! What has happened to truth in advertising?(talk about an oxymoron)

Another fantasy shot down, the only discount is to the buyer/client who is willing to do their due diligence and then discover the only discount is for a group they don’t belong to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Suicide Is Not an Answer

Recently an acquaintance of mine committed suicide. The despair and lack of hope that lead to suicide must be overwhelming. Alcoholism was a contributing factor to the suicide. A perceived monumental personal life disappointment combined with a final DUI seems to be what triggered the suicide. Facing the loss of freedom and probable loss of employment seemed insurmountable and that appears to be the cause of death.

It all seems so unnecessary. There were people who would have responded to a cry for help. There are institutions who would have intervened. Sadly neither happened.

A lack of hope and a disconnection from any type of support system is a terrible, terrible thing. It’s easy to say, “I would have done something if I had known.” It is much harder to actually do things. I guess the bottom line is that you must accept the responsibility to ask for help and much as you have to accept the responsibility for your actions.

I have to contrast this with a close friend who is dying of cancer. His wife’s email this week said that they are now involved with hospice. That seems to be the end of the line for him. He did not go quietly into the night. He has been fighting the good fight for years. Not once did he give up or give in. Even as kids, he never gave up. He never lost hope. What a contrast to suicide.

I applaud his courage and I lament the suicide.

Despair and alcohol are a deadly combination.

Hope and support can still be deadly but it gave my friend and his loved ones several years more and who knows, we can still hope for one more miracle.

Ponder for a moment, do you have the courage to hope?

Look around you, there will be someone who will help. You may have to ask, but there absolutely positively is someone who will help.

Choose hope even when disappointed it is far better than despair.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Medical Industry’s Lack of Concern for My Time

My guess is that you, too, have found that the medical community has a lack of concern for your time. I am sure the medical community in general does not like the idea of being lumped with the insurance industry but face it if we are lucky enough to have medical insurance we are almost guaranteed to hate the way we are treated.

My insurance company will bill me for a 60 day supply of meds and send me a 90 day supply if I use their mail order pharmacy. That is what they say. What they do is erratically and loosely follow that theoretical policy. The excuses for not fulfilling their obligation vary, generally they blame it on the Doctor’s office. Of course the Doctor’s office feels the insurance company is the root of all evil. Which, on most days, I am inclined to agree.

So not only does this cost me money, it sucks up enormous amounts of time trying to get what I have paid for in my insurance premiums, which are astronomical anyway. My time appears to be their time to waste.

Simplistically, if each and every person we deal with on a daily basis treated us as they would like to be treated, what a different world we would have. Of course, I would have a lot less to bitch about, I mean blog about.

Home At Last

I am cognizant that broadband access is not necessary for life. Nevertheless it certainly missed when you don’t have it. An admitted information junkie, I found my self twitching when I was unable to jump online and verify something I heard on the news or look up further information on something I found while reading. In addition the daily nature of email and instant messaging left me feeling surrealistically disconnected.

Anyway, now home with broadband I feel complete, a bit nerdish but complete. Reconnecting should increase the productivity of my blog. Should?!
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