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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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lookout Mobile Security Ap


I recently read about Lookout Mobile Security and decided to check it out.   I went to their web site and read all their features.   I then went to Android Market Place and downloaded it.

It installed quickly and easily.   I get a truly lousy Verizon signal at my home.  Verizon, please note, it is truly a lousy, lousy, abysmally weak signal.   If my phone didn’t have WiFi I would never download anything.   Setting up the Ap was very easy.   I did a back up and then went to the web site and verified my contacts had been backed up.   If you upgrade to Premium you can back up your pictures and music too.   ($2.99/month)

In addition to backup you have antivirus protection.   Another feature available in the free version is the ability to find your phone from your computer.   You need to have your GPS turned on for this feature to work.   Initially it found my phone within 2550 meters.    That is pretty basically useless.   I stopped GPS and restarted and then it found the phone within 75 meters.   Again, that seems pretty useless until you add the Scream feature.   Scream sends a signal to your phone that activates your camera flash and provides a loud audible siren.    Combine Scream with location and you can find your phone if you forget where you left it or lost it.   Premium adds the ability to lock and or wipe your phone’s data.   I turned off GPS and Scream still worked.   However due to my lousy Verizon signal, it took several minutes before I got a tiny little bar and then my phone started screaming.  

All in all, I recommend you check out the application for your phone.  It works and it is FREE.  



Sunday, June 26, 2011

3D TV Explained


Kids love 3D TV
I recently watched Blu-Ray “Tangled” on a 3D television.   It was pretty darn cool.   I got an email from Diamond Case’s Steve Hartfelder that provides a very good and informative overview of 3D TV.   Steve is one of the two most knowledge people in the home theater industry.  Amusingly enough his brother Dave is the other one.   Rather than rehash it here, I have linked to Steve’s Simple answers to the 14 most commonly asked questions about 3D HDTV.  

Diamond Case sold a 3D TV and the furniture to display it to one of my family.  The TV and the cabinet are beautiful and he is a very satisfied customer.   

BTW I do NOT have any financial relationship to Diamond Case and I receive no compensation for linking to them  or mentioning them on my blogs.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Terrific Solar Panel Deal But Not In Pennsylvania


Google recently provided a $280 million dollar grant to SolarCity to provide residential solar panels.   SolarCity can determine if your roof is properly situated and feasible for solar panels.    They will install the panels at no charge and the homeowner signs a lease for the panels.   The home owner pays the lease, the solar panels cut the homeowner’s electric bill by up to 60% (average) and we (nation) decrease our dependency on foreign energy sources.   

Wow, what a great idea, except in Pennsylvania where the utility companies have successfully prevented SolarCity from providing the zero down lease for installation.   Perhaps in other states there is also a strong enough utility lobby to prevent this too, I don’t know about other states but since I live in Pennsylvania I am a bit peeved.   

SolarCity can do the installation for $10,000.00 up front as a fully prepaid lease.   This is about one third of the cost but rebates, grants etc. make up the difference.  They do the paperwork, the homeowner just ponies up the $10k.    That is what they can offer in Pennsylvania.  

Now most of us aren’t keeping $10k under our bed or have that much walking around money. (Unless we are a sleazy politician)   So that is why I am peeved.   I live in a state that has allowed the “public” utility companies to extend our dependence on foreign oil and penalize the residential customer. 

In this economy and with the world turmoil surrounding energy independence, it is a darn shame that Pennsylvania is contributing to the problem and not helping to solve it.  

If this peeves you, call your state representative and tell them your concerns.   If you live in a more enlightened state I would recommend looking into SolarCity’s solar panels.   It could save you big buck$!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Speidel Watch Bands


Ok, perhaps I am nitpicking again but why put a contact email on a website and then ignore contacts?

I emailed Etonic multiple times about their defective golf shoes and got no response.   This time the email to Speidel was to tell them that the watchband I purchased would not fit the watch.   Considering I bought the exact same watch band as last time in the exact same size for the exact same watch, I just assumed it would fit.   Wrong!

The pin was too large and I had to take the pin out of the old band to use with the new band.   I had to tear the leather on both of them to get the pins out.   No big deal and on a $9.99 item I wasn’t particularly bothered.   However having been in business for 35 years I know I would want to know if I was selling a defective product.   I emailed them the details with the appropriate stock numbers for their edification.   I didn’t expect anything but a thank you for your concern response would certainly affirm that they have customer interest in mind.

So I have added Speidel to the list of zero customer support companies which includes Augen and  Etonic.   Please take note when I find a company that does have good response, I blog about them too.  

Visitor Count Soars!

My Thanks to Microsoft Clip Art for the above.  My apologies if any of it says something besides Thank You!
Thank you, who ever you are.   For some reason my visitor count is up dramatically on all three of my blogs.   More important is that quite a few of you are return visitors.     Please note, I do not try and capture any info or place any cookies, I just get attendance numbers not ip addresses.  
Thanks for visiting and please comment when you visit.  Feedback is crucial to know what I am doing right or wrong as far as posts.   As far as my life, well that boat has sailed, critiquing that is probably futile.
Thank you again!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

5 Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for Summer Driving--A Guest Post


Many of you are probably familiar with that email forward that's been going around regarding refueling tips to help consumers get the most out of their gas money. While Snopes found that a mixture of that advice is both false and true, there's still something to be said about the importance of being conscious about your gasoline consumption and how the maintenance of your vehicle will affect your fuel efficiency, and ultimately, your savings.

Twice a year, before summer and winter, I try to do a routine checkup of my car; I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to do this on my own without having to pay a lot of money to some mechanic. Here's my summer vehicle checkup routine; hopefully, these five tips will be just as useful to you as they were to me in making sure my car is in the best fuel-saving shape possible for the summer heat.

Check Your Radiator and Coolant Level

In the summer, perhaps the most important part of your car's engine is the radiator, which is responsible for cooling your engine while it runs in the heat. When your car engine is still cool, check the coolant levels in your radiator. There should be a coolant fluid reservoir within easy reach under the hood; check to make sure the fluid level is between the 'cool' and 'warm' lines. If it's beneath the 'cool' line, then you'll need to add some more engine coolant. Check your manual for specifics!

Check Your Tires

You may not realize this, but air temperatures outside can drastically affect the air pressure within your car tires. That's why tires have a recommended pressure when cold, because the friction of the tire on the road warms the air inside it, causing the air to expand and increase the pressure within the tire. When the outside air is already warm, the air in your tires is already expanded a bit, which means a properly filled tire could actually gain too much pressure once it's warmed up on the road. Make sure you check your tire pressures in the morning before you start driving to make sure the cold pressure is within the recommended range. Otherwise, you risk running an improperly inflated tire, which could lead to unusual wear and even damage to your tire, as well as altered fuel efficiency.

Change Dirty Filters

Air filters and oil filters keep your engine running smoothly. The air filter scrubs the air and keeps foreign particles from entering your engine's combustion system while an oil filter keeps metal shavings and gunk from cycling through the engine, which would increase friction and heat in the system. It's a good idea to change your air filter each season; refer to your car's maintenance history and manual to see if you're due for an oil and oil filter change.

Check Hoses and Belts for Wear and Tear

Hoses and belts connect the various parts of your engine together. Hoses run coolant into the engine block, while belts operate the various peripheral devices on your engine, such as your air compressor for your A/C and your alternator for your car's electrical system. These hoses and belts can fail in extreme heat, especially if they're old, so you should check them to make sure they aren't cracked. Look at areas where stress would make them susceptible to cracks, such as angles in the hoses or the channels on the underside of the belt.

Recharge Your A/C System

Finally, you should check your A/C system. While it's probably not the most important system for your car, it is important for your safety. Staying cool and comfortable in your car will keep you alert and driving safely. Ideally, you're A/C should hold a steady temperature when the car engine is idling; once you see a rise in temperature when idling, it's probably time to get a mechanic to take a look at your system. You might need anything from a Freon recharge to a new compressor, depending on the issue. This is really the only system that you'd want an expert to work on; it's worth the money, believe me!

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online school about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Family Tree Maker 2011 Deluxe


This is an excellent software package for the amateur genealogist.  I started with the 2005 of this software package due to the fact that the keeper of my family tree was using it.   She sent me the data and I was able to easily import it into my copy of the program. 

Yesterday I was able to import the data from the 2005 version into the new program very easily.   It is nice when new versions accept the old versions data seamlessly.  Sadly that is not always the case.  

If you are into genealogy, this is a great program and relatively inexpensive.    I won’t bore you with all the details, if you are interested just go to this link for the program and read all the details you want.  

This product was provided by Amazon for evaluation. 


Friday, June 10, 2011

Safer Brand 5102 End All 32-Ounce Ready-to-Use Insect Killer


Spring time brings allergies and little ants to my home.   I am no entomologist so I have no clue what kind of ants they are but I can clearly state they are annoying.   I have young grandchildren so I am not really comfortable spraying a lot of the over the counter insecticides.    They work but they are not good for anyone to have contact with and especially not good for kids. 

Although this spray does not say it is specifically for ants, it works quite well.   I liked the idea that is not using harmful chemicals.   It is allowed for use in organic gardening and to me that indicates that it is about as benign as I can get for an insecticide.   I have also found that it works with stink bugs as they have been among the carcasses that I have vacuumed up.   

We are all concerned about safer food, this spray should allow some insect control and still remain organic.  

Here is a link to their site if you want all the technical details on the product.   http://www.saferbrand.com/store/garden-care/5102

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ie9, Microsoft Stumbles Again


I opted into ie9 the other day.  When, oh when will I learn?   I installed it.  It has a slightly different interface which I can live with but don’t much like.   What I can’t deal with it the fact that it periodically blanks the screen.   I don’t know why and frankly I don’t care why.   My screen wasn’t doing that in ie8 so why would it in ie9.   It doesn’t do it in any other program.

I booted up FireFox and SURPRISE,  it runs smoothly and no screen blanking out.   Somehow I suspect that Microsoft’s pockets are a bit deeper than Mozillas.   Why, oh why can’t I ever upgrade a MS product without wondering why I ever used it in the first place?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Campbell Hausfeld Inflator



I have had this product for more than 5 years.   I will pull the battery when it dies and replace the battery because I really love this inflator.  In addition to blowing up toys, I use it to keep the proper inflation in my tires.  It also has a cigarette lighter function that lets me bring my hands free cell phone unit in and charge it over night.   I am impressed with the durability and the usefulness.   I have used both the Ryobi and Black and Decker equivalents and this is superior.   It is advertised here as the Kwik Goal Portable Inflator for soccer enthusiasts but it is way more useful than that.

Product Features

    Inflates up to 180 balls with one charge
    Cordless with rechargeable 12-volt power pack
    Plugs into cigarette lighter or household socket
    Includes pressure gauge, hose and air fitting adaptor
    Weighs 10 lbs

Product Description
Product Description
Inflates up to 180 balls with one charge. Cordless with rechargeable 12-volt power pack. Plugs into cigarette lighter or household socket. Includes pressure gauge, hose and air fitting adaptor
Product Details
Product Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 5 inches ; 5 pounds
Shipping Weight: 9.8 pounds

Friday, June 3, 2011

Support Our Troops/Our Children



After my post regarding recognizing our young people in the armed services every day and not just on Memorial Day, I got several posts on my Facebook page thanking me for my post.  

Today I got this from a retired Navy Lt. Commander.   I think it is worth passing on to all.   It really doesn’t matter if you agree with where and why our troops are being sent, what matters is that they are all our children and they are going in harm’s way.   They deserve our support and our respect. 
 

The Sack Lunch

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time...

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.'
His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'
'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.
'This is your thanks..'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, 'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.
I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base.. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'

Prayer for our soldiers:
Prayer:
'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

Prayer Request: After you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Show Some Respect for Our Military Beyond Memorial Day

Graphic attributed to http://tinyurl.com/3eadgj3

I recently played golf on a military base.  Before you express your outrage at taxpayer money paying for golf course on a military base, there is no tax payer money involved in military base golf courses.  After golf we went to the base exchange got some gas and then had dinner. The prices at the exchange and at the gas station were not any better in some cases were worse than outside the base.  Frankly that is really disturbing.  Members of our military services do not get paid commensurate with the duty or the dangers they face.  If we can't get the government to pay them what they deserve at least we should give them more bang for their buck on their bases.

As I write this I am watching the news.   There was just a feature on the difficulties military people face with their many moves and the fact that they have mortgages.

Military people have very little say as to where they are posted.  We expect them to pick up and go wherever the government orders them to be deployed.  Once again it seems like the least we could do is to make those moves as painless as possible. 


It really does not matter whether you agree with the government and where they send our troops.  What matters is that we have a military force that is willing to do what the government says and go to where the government sends them.  Many nations are not fortunate enough to have such a professional military service.

Somehow we have to get the politicians to realize how lucky we are to have young men and young women so willing to sacrifice all for the good of our nation.  

I remember seeing a bumper sticker that said if you can read this bumper sticker thank a teacher.  I would like to add if you have the freedom to read a bumper sticker thank someone in the armed services.

 Money Saving Tech Tips