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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WELCOME

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Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
or visit my web site

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!



In spite of the economy, we all need to be optimistic about the future. If you expect the bird of paradise to crap on your head, more than likely it will. If you anticipate being rejected, most likely you will. However if you approach the New Year with anticipation, with hope and with courage, you will probably find yourself having a good year.

It may simply mean that you are impacting the world around you rather than just letting the world impact you. Our world is frequently how we see it. My name is not Pollyandy! I truly believe that perseverance, hard work, optimism and for want of a better description, positive thinking make a difference. I was the first person in my family to get a college education. My high school counselor told me that I was never going to get into college. Hmm, with a master’s degree and most of a doctorate, I wonder what happen. I had an accountant tell me one time to close the doors on my business and declare bankruptcy. Instead I just worked harder and 20 plus years later sold the business to retire. My point here is not how good am I but how good do you think you are.

Do not accept doom saying. Do not roll over just because someone says the sky is falling. Appreciate what you have, who you are and make your own luck. We have a new year ahead of us. This New Year means new opportunities, new friends and new successes. Don’t just hope for a happy New Year, make a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Need A Battery?

My 12 volt air compressor died recently. It uses a lead acid sealed battery similar to what is in a UPS. I pulled the battery and got the info off of it and went battery hunting. From the original equipment manufacturer it was $30 plus shipping. I compared prices for a new unit similar to mine and was looking at roughly $60 so I figured replacing the battery was more cost effective. I shopped around and the best price I found was at Battery Mart. They had a good price on the battery and weren’t trying to recoup it on the shipping. Total cost with shipping was $25 and change. They shipped immediately and I had the battery in a couple of days. I will use them again and I suggest you look at them for your battery needs. This is not a paid blog and I have no relationship whatsoever with Battery Mart except as a customer.

A caveat for when battery shopping, when the battery has those spade connectors, pull the leads off and measure, do not measure from the base. Apparently F1 is 3/16” and F2 is ¼” and they are not interchangeable. Since I measured the base of the spade without taking off the leads, I ordered a battery with F2 spades and my leads wouldn’t fit. Of course in the wealth of parts I have there were no F2 connectors so off to radio shack and picked up a mixed bag of 3 male and 3 female connectors for $2.11 including tax. A couple of crimps and a little solder and I was up and running. If you want to avoid that extra step, make sure you measure your spades with the leads off.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Help, I’m Melting!


Well not melting but definitely perplexed, this blog has fallen off the Google Page Rank radar. I was all the way up to a Page Rank of 2 (I know big woop!) and when I checked the other day, I have zip, zero, no page rank. I actually get more hits on this blog than I get on my book blog, Pick of the Literate and it has a page rank of three. I don’t know if I am not getting enough comments, links or whatever. I have read scads of blogs on how to improve page rank but none of them have dealt with a disappearing page rank. I try and link to stuff I find that is appropriate to the blog or what ever I am discussing but outside of that I am stumped. If you have any ideas and want to comment, do so!

Really, Really, Last Minute Gift Help

If you are feeling frenzied, here is a solution. Blue Nile has free overnight shipping up until 6:00 P.M. EST. Blue Nile sells jewelry and their prices are very competitive. I researched them before I bought there and they came out with a very positive rating from Reseller Ratings. My order came promptly, it was priced competitively and the piece is beautiful. I have no financial connection to Blue Nile nor is this a paid blog, it is merely a life line for those of us, often male who find that time is short and ideas are sparse. Jewelry always trumps just about anything. And fellow men, remember lingerie for your significant other is really a gift from you to you, and they know it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Price Spider


It is the season to spend money, falala lala la la. I have always researched my purchases but since I have retired I have moved to the obsessive research category. I use a lot of different sites and find deals in a lot of places. I have used PriceGrabber for years and it is generally pretty good. I read that PriceSpider was suppose to be good. I registered at the site and did a search on LCD TVs. It shows lots of prices and has a little spinning in progress wheel that infers it is doing a current update. I did a search on the Sylvania HD/LCD TV, 32”, pn# LC320SS9. $399.00 was the best price on the search not including shipping. Amazon was at $699.00 with free shipping.

Since it was fat paper day, I pulled out the Kmart circular and found the Sylvania for $429.00, no shipping and no handling but since I am a PA resident, 6% sales tax for a total of $454.00. Price Spider showed Kmart but showed their base price at $549.00 plus tax. If you click the shop now button and go to the Kmart site, you find the $429.00 price that was in the circular. Price Spider says it updated the Kmart price 12 hours ago and as I mentioned the little spinning checking price wheel was spinning. So I wasn’t particularly impressed with the accuracy.

I checked a couple of other things and didn’t find anything quite so obviously wrong. I would suggest that you should not depend on any single pricing site for your best deal but overall though Price Spider seemed to do a pretty good job.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Admittedly I am a cynic about the emails that request sending some ill person a card because they are trying to get into the Guinness book of records or some sort of thing. I got this email and checked Snopes because I assumed it was another hoax. Snopes stated that it was true. Since it is too sad for words, I will just insert the email as I received it. Please check other hoax sites if you have doubts about it’s authenticity but I don’t and I sent a card to a very sick little girl who wants to get a lot of Christmas cards.

Hannah's Christmas Wish

This is the true story of my 5-yr old 2nd cousin, Hannah Garman, who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and incurable brain tumor. She was going to be the flower girl in our wedding in May, but was diagnosed a week after we asked her to be the flower girl. This is especially sad because her mother died 2 yrs ago from breast cancer.

Right now she has lost most of her motor skills. She is confined to bed and cannot really do anything or play with the gifts she is getting from people, but she LOVES getting cards - she has gotten so many from people she does not know and just loves to have grandma read about the people who send them and see their pictures and is so proud of all her cards. Her room is just filled with cards.

When asked what she wants for Christmas she said she wants to see how many Christmas cards she can get. Many people have passed this wish along to their churches, prayer groups, friends and family. There are school groups where children are making her cards. People are including pictures so she can see who it is that is sending her the card.

If you would like to help with her wish, you can send a card to her at:
Hannah Garman
704 Orchard Rd
Lititz, PA 17543



Thanks! Let’s see if we can have the cards coming in big postal bags for her this Christmas.

Thank You

Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rescue Money Bonuses and the Financial Gluttons


Once upon a time in a land, not far from here, the evil financial Gluttons scammed the public to their hearts content with a constant plucking of the golden goose. One day they realized that they had plucked every feather from the golden goose and there were no more feathers to be had. Oh, what would they do? How could they fuel their private jets? What would become of professional sports if they couldn’t buy their privileged boxes? The economy would fail without their gluttonous spending.

One bright ogre suggested they go to the King and ask him to give them money from the treasury to enable them to continue their gluttony. The others scoffed, who would be that stupid, to give us gold without controlling how we spend it. The bright ogre said, “our parliament is that stupid.” The evil financial Gluttons looked at each other and said, “He’s right, they are that stupid, they will give us the money and not restrict our continued gluttony”.

And that Virginia, is why Santa Claus is bankrupt, people are losing their homes, the shirts off of their backs and the jobless rate is soaring. The evil financial Gluttons continue lining their golden pockets, reveling in their gluttony while feasting on the carcass of our main street economy.

Perhaps we can change the ending of this sordid tale if we all click our heels together and scream to our elected representatives, “prosecute every single soulless miscreant that uses taxpayer money to fund the bonuses of the economic Gluttons that put us in the financial toilet in the first place.”

A fitting punishment would be to strip them of their private jets, limousine and multiple homes and make them actually earn a living. Now that would be a fairy tale.

Please take the time to scream to your congressman or senator and continue to scream until they rein in the irresponsible use of our tax dollars.
This link will take you to a page with all of the email addresses. Congressional Email Addresses.

If you are too busy to write original ranting, please feel free to cut n paste what I sent to my congressional representatives.

It is incredibly irresponsible for our government to allow the “rescued” financial institutions to utilize taxpayer money for bonuses. This is particularly onerous with the unemployment rate rising and the average tax payer struggling to make ends meet. Please do something to restrict these financial gluttons.

Again, if enough of us shout out our disgust with our money being used to fuel gluttony, our government will hear us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bakugan Revisted and It’s Worse


Hosing kids is just wrong. That is what I feel is occurring with the Bakugan toys. Kids watch the TV show and they want them. In an economic climate of despair, a toy of limited “real” value with an exorbitant price just seems wrong. If you got some kind of value for your money perhaps I wouldn’t be so outraged but these things look to be worth a buck and they sell for way more. I researched one by request of my grandson and the best price I could find was $35.00. This is for a toy that looks like it should be found in Crackerjack boxes, remember the free toys in Crackerjack?

I am aware that you can just say NO to the purchase of the product and in a free economy the manufacturer is justified in selling their product for what ever exorbitant price they can get. It just frosts me that they can use these preteen infomercials to create a market, promote an erroneous perception of value by alluding to the collector value of the toy (yeah right) and instigate conflict over the purchase of these questionable toys. If you refuse to succumb to the pleas to purchase, you are a horrible parent and obviously don’t love your kid. In spite of some of these insidious toys being on my grandson’s Christmas list, he won’t be getting them from me. Lego’s are also expensive but at least you can justify the creative aspects and that fact that whatever your age, you can’t have too many Legos.

Short of banning TV, I don’t know what a parent can do to protect their kids against insidious marketing. All too many of the “cartoons” are simply infomercials. Somehow we have to teach the kids to recognize they’re being scammed. I don’t think the concept or the toy here is inherently bad, it is the method of selling and the outrageous pricing policies that disappoints me. Even toy manufacturers should take a look at the overall economy and price their products accordingly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Elegant Fire Extinguisher

Are you looking for a Christmas gift that is unlikely to be duplicated? Give a fire extinguisher and be reasonably sure no one else will have give that gift. Fire extinguishers have traditionally been hidden in closets or mounted out of the way due to their bulky size and bright red color. Due to their inaccessibility fire extinguishers often aren’t used when needed. Home Hero has designed an elegant looking extinguisher that can sit unobtrusively on your kitchen counter. This is one of those things you hope to never need but having one close at hand could save you a world of grief. This was not a paid blog.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Digital Photo Frames Make Great Gifts!

Gear Head DPF100 Digital Photo Frame - 8-4DPF100

I love these digital frames. This is the best bang for the buck I have seen on one this season, $44.95 with free shipping. I put one up by the kitchen sink and I love seeing my kids and grandkids photos. The grandkids love to sit at the counter and point out themselves, Daddy and Mommy. If you are looking for a gift, this is a winner. This is not a paid blog and I have no financial relationship with buy.com except as a customer.

Manufacturer: Gear Head
Mfg Part#: 8-4DPF100
UPC: 00878260001132
Buy.com Sku: 206209157
Item#: E32VGL

Photos stored on PCs or on memory cards can now be shared with loved ones on this flawless Gear Head 8.4" digital photo frame. Memories are the greatest gifts.

The Gear Head 8.4" Digital Photo Frame Includes:
USB 2.0 Card Reader: This photo frame works as a USB 2.0 card reader when you plug it into your computer's USB port with a maximum transmission speed of 480Mbps.

Slideshow Photo Viewing: The Gear Head 8.4" photo frame is an innovative photo frame which allows you to display a constant scan of the photos on your memory card, providing a snapshot view of multiple images for hours of interest and enjoyment.

Computer Free Image Viewing: You no longer need a computer to view your digital images, simply insert your SD, MMC, MS, or CF flash media card to begin enjoying your photos or a friend's.
Features
Slideshow Photo Viewing
Computer Free Image Viewing
USB 2.0 Card Reader
Horizontal or Vertical Positioning
Convenient Remote Control

Package Contents:

Digital Photo Frame 8.4" LCD
Remote Control
AC Power Adapter
USB Cable
User's Manual
Warranty Information
Tech Specs
Screen Dimensions 8.4 inches
Resolution 480x234
Brightness 300 cd/m2
Contrast 350:1
Photo File Format JPEG
Memory Card Formats SD, MMC, MS, or CF
Usage Options Manual, Remote Control, or Slideshow
Power Supply AC 100~240V DC12V
Operating Temperature -5c to +50c
Max Power Consumption 12w
Supported Operating Systems Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS 10.3 or above

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Space Is Not Infinite

Space is definitely not infinite in my computer. If nature abhors a vacuum, it also seems to abhor empty hard drives. Seems like hard drives fill up just like empty closets acquire hangers. There are many, many solutions to this problem. An obvious solution is to delete some of the crap on your hard drive. As elegant as that sounds, you would be amazed at how many folks brought their non-functioning computers in for service after they were just deleting some unnecessary files. Just a tip, if you aren’t familiar with the name of the file doesn’t mean your computer doesn’t need it.

Linksys has a pretty cool tool that can help the space crisis. It is the NAS200 network attached storage drive. It is an enclosure which will hold two SATA hard drives with two USB 2.0 ports for adding two more drive. It connects via Ethernet so you can hang it off your router and have it accessible to any of the computers on your net. Those of you without a network, it will be accessible through your computer’s Ethernet card or through the Ethernet port on your wide band router. It also includes backup software and can be used to store all those videos you have downloaded. I did a quick search on the web and found if for as low as $89.00. It is reputed to interface easily but I haven’t tried it myself. If you need accessible storage you may want to check this out. This was not a paid blog.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The T-Rex of Mail Boxes

If you by chance live in a rural area, you may find your mail box in a tangled heap on occasion. This is due to the retro habit of mail box baseball where the perpetrator leans out a window and waffles your mail box with a baseball bat. In our area we have had idiots with soda bottle bombs destroying mail boxes. The sad truth is that every generation has it’s idiots, one often wonders if there is an idiot gene, but I digress.

I don’t know if this mail box will defeat idiots but it will definitely help to decrease the idiocy. The thing is built like a tank. I particularly like the video on their web site (http://www.mailboss.net/) that shows a truck rolling over the mail boss box with out destroying it. So if you need the Fort Knox of mail boxes, this baby may be what you should get. I have no financial connection with Mail Boss and this was not a paid blog. This may or may not fit into tech tips but I thought it was a pretty darn cool mail box.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Free Audio Books

Exercise, you love it or hate it, there is so little middle of the road feelings on it. I like sports but at my age, my knees are not so fond of anything that involves running, jumping or going sideways. That limits my options somewhat. I play gold and no matter what your opinion my be, it is too a sport. I lift weights and I do Pilates to stay flexible. Frankly a big part of my motivation to exercise is I like to eat. Matter of fact, I love to eat. Thusly exercise is necessary to keep from turning into a blimp. What the heck does this have to do with free audio books?

I walk and I ride the exercise bike. I find both boring. Audio books are the saving grace. If I can keep my mind occupied, I can exercise. The library has lots of audio books but it isn’t close. I have found some sites where I can download audio books for FREE. I put them on my Clip (Samsung’s answer to the Ipod Nano. I can walk, ride the bike and still prevent screaming boredom. Audio books also keep me awake, with out them, put me on a freeway and I immediately go comatose. So here are a few links for free audio books.
http://www.audiobooksforfree.com/screen_main.asp
http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:The_Audio_Books_Project
http://www.simplyaudiobooks.com/Free_Audiobooks/dp/202/
http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/

Monday, December 1, 2008

World Aids Day, December 1, 2008

HIV is more dangerous than DDT or TNT. What makes those three initials so deadly. DDT has been banned and is pretty much an historic problem. TNT is available but not for the average person. Drugs, alcohol and unprotected sex is everywhere, anytime, anyplace you want to find it. Working with addicts in the 70’s was not as depressing as looking at the problem today. In the 70’s most every STD was curable. Getting stoned and stupid didn’t necessarily lead to a life of fear and medical treatment. Today you can change your life with one incident of stupidity. YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!, and NOT in a good way either!

Preaching seldom reaches teens or young adults. Surprising to many adults, rational explanations and a discussion of consequences will be more successful in deterring life threatening behavior. If you are too drunk or wrecked to make rational decisions there is a strong likelihood that you may become prey. Yes Virginia, there are predators out there. They may not look like thugs or monsters but if they give you AIDS does it matter what their appearance might be.

Be aware, your behavior has consequences. Those consequence can go far beyond unwanted pregnancies or next day regrets, they can change the rest of your life and not in a good way. Think before you drink! (or smoke, or shoot up or pop or sniff, or snort or lick or what ever you do) I’ve seen too many people ruin their life while in an altered mental state, PLEASE don’t be another one.

Watch the video, it is thought provoking. Just because it was put out by NIDA doesn’t mean it is propaganda or bad. Even the government gets some things right. This video is put out by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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