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. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
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!



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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

amFilm (TM) Premium Screen Protector Film Matte Clear (Anti-Glare) for Kindle Fire

I have used this type of film protection on my Cell phones for years. This film went on easily and the bulk of the bubbles smoothed out. I have a bubble in the bottom left that would not smooth out. I used the cleaning cloth that was included to clean the screen prior to application. The bubble on the bottom is not an issue as it is on the border and not on the visible screen. I recommend the product and $3.99 was the price.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shame on You Cooler Master

Back in August 2011 I reviewed the Cooler Master Model R9-NBC-8PBK-GP NotePal U2 laptop cooler.

I still think this unit does a nice job cooling but I am grossly disappointed in Cooler Master’s customer service. Admittedly the unit does a good job but the original fans now groan like Eagle fans watching old Donovan McNabb throw a bullet to TO’s feet.

To me, a major selling feature of the unit was the “easily replaced” fans. They snap out and are readily available. Well they do snap out, they are NOT readily available and Cooler Master parts was the only place I could find them. The price is reasonable, $6.99 for a pair of fans but the shipping of $9.98 simply means that you are putting out $16.97 to replace the now very noisy fans.

What is frustrating is that you can go to Amazon, New Egg, Buy.com or E-Bay and replace the entire unit for as little as $5.00 including shipping. I found a Targus unit that was very similar for $6.99 and free shipping at Amazon. (free shipping with a $25 order) My beef is that I ship things, the shipping and handling should not be $10. Cooler Master obviously wants you to buy a new, complete unit rather than repair the old. Shame on you Cooler Master for contributing to the throw away society.

My solution is to buy the $5.00 dual fan set at Amazon and slide it under the very nice Cooler Master notebook stand that used to be a notebook cooler before the fans died. Stop back to see if the $5.00 including shipping fans work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Proud to be A Moderate

Proud to be MODERATE

When did Moderate become a spurious slur?

How has the democratic process become a choice of lesser evils?

I’m proud to be an American!

I’m not so proud of our political process.

We have allowed our nation to become polarized. Red states and blue states, conservative and liberal, zealot and fanatic seem to be terms that are used so loosely. If you live in a red state or a blue state, it is unlikely that everyone in that state agrees with your personal political convictions. Yet the pundits revel in lumping the population into trite sound bites to capture air time.

I personally, have some views that would be considered conservative in some circles and I have views that would be considered liberal in others. I like to think this makes me a moderate, someone willing to look at the facts and base my decisions on intelligent thought rather than being swayed by emotional and mostly negative stereotypes.

Our nation has spent lives, blood and money to help other nations become democratic. The zeal with which we address the “downtrodden” and our attempts to provide them with the ability to choose is diminished by our own negativity in our internal politics.

Might I be so bold as to suggest that each one of us stand and be counted, not as Republican or Democrat, not as conservative or liberal but as Americans, proud of our country and our shared values. The backwoods red neck and the flaming liberal have more in common than they have with the terrorist or third world parent that feels proud to have their child as a suicide bomber.

Our nation is not perfect but it still is a bastion of perfection compared to the bulk of the world around us. We need to insist that our politicians and media pundits start to behave civilly and (gasp) moderately. We need to insist that our elected representatives start to act like they actually represent us instead of lining their pockets with insider trading dollars and lifetime medical care. We need to have candidates we can vote for not just candidates we have to vote against.

Politics in our great nation have always been contentious, fractious and even physical but we have survived. Do not let the zealots more concerned with getting elected than in the nation’s well being turn us into bigoted, pious, knee jerking, feeble minded, Orwellian slugs.

Look at issues and problems, look at solutions and problem solvers and reject the politics of negativity.

Be proud to be moderate, someone who actually thinks before they speak and acts responsibly on their decisions.

Reject radicalism; be proud to be a Moderate American.

Friday, February 17, 2012

4 Kid Birthday Parties on a Budget

However old your child is turning, it’s another year and another dollar to celebrate. No matter what age here are a few ideas and tips to keep in mind before you send out those invites:

Park Party: A park makes a nice fun and easy setting for a birthday party. There is no cost and lots of space for the kids to run around. Bring bread to feed the ducks, blow bubbles and bring a few sports balls. The best part is there is no clean up in your home!

Super Hero Party: Little boys and girls love their superheroes! Host in your home and have everyone (including parents) dress up as their favorite superhero. Think of activities like ‘Best Costume Contest’ and superhero power contest (paint whiffle balls neon green and call it kryptonite, see who you can throw the farthest or use their super power mind to guess what object is in a box, give hints.)

Board Games and Pizza Party: Host at your home and place all board games out on the center of the table (great for a centerpiece idea). Depending on how many guests you can split into teams and have several games going on. Already using games you have will save you on spending any more money. Order some pizza and you are set.

Pool Party: Pool parties are everyone’s favorite. Most pools offer a VERY low cost for guests to come in and swim. Set up the food and presents on a picnic table and watch the kids splash around. Most pools offer all the entertainment supplies that you need like floats, squirt guns and noodles. Don’t forget the sunscreen and towel!

Tips for further savings:

· Invites: There are plenty of websites with free birthday designs, fill out online and print from home. Or if you want to make it even more personable and fun have your child help you make invites for their guests.

· D├ęcor: Depending on your theme, balloons are the way to go. Match colors to your theme that you want and instant decorations. Want to save money on the helium? Blow up balloons and place a marble inside and hang upside down. As far as the rest, skip the specialty napkins and paper plates; no one really pays attention to those. Save money and get the cheap solid colored ones.

· Food: Think pizzas, hamburgers and hotdogs or sandwiches. A few bags of chips and food is done! As far as the birthday desert, skip the fancy store bought birthday cake and make your own cupcakes. Depending on what theme you choose you can decorate the cupcakes accordingly.

· Party Favors: Keep it simple and small; think a few pieces of wrapped candy, a bottle of bubbles or stickers. Check out your local dollar store for ideas!

Keep in mind, it is ok if you don’t throw your kid a large party with all the extravagant things that other kids in the neighborhood have. Keep your guest list small and just have fun! Happy Birthday Planning!

Author Bio:

This is a guest post from Laura Backes, she enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to internet providers in my area. You can reach her at: laurabackes8 @ gmail.com.

Monday, February 13, 2012


DropBox Extends Free Storage Limit

If you're not already "in the know" about DropBox, you should be. It’s a free remote data storage service that allows you to save all of your files and documents so that you can access them from any computer—no need for a flash drive. It's exceptionally convenient and stores a pretty good amount of files too— 2GB of storage space to be exact. But for those who already have a Dropbox account and are itching for more data space, account users can earn up to a whopping 4.5GB of additional data storage space, again, for free. The catch? The file-sharing service wants your photos. No worries, it's not going to do anything with them. Rather, it's just trying to build up a new feature which is still in its beta stage that allows users to automatically upload video and photos on to his or her account. For helping the new feature take flight, those that participate get additional storage space as a reward. That said, to learn a bit more how to earn the maximum amount of free data storage space, continue reading below.

Download Latest Beta Build

The first thing you need to do is create a backup of your Dropbox folder—doesn’t matter if you create a zip file of the folder and save it on your desktop, just make sure you create a backup. You don't want to risk losing all of your files when installing the beta build. Once your backup folder is secure, go ahead and download and install the latest 1.3.4 beta build from the DropBox Experimental Forum.

Import Photos

After installation is complete, all you have to do is import your photos. There are several ways of doing this: Dropbox can scan your digital camera, smartphone, or memory card for content. Your images will then be automatically uploaded onto the site and will save it in a new folder. Note that you won't be allowed to click and choose which photos get uploaded from your device. All of the photos will go through. But you need quite a bit of photos. This is because for every 500MB worth of images you upload, that same amount of free storage space will matched and applied to your account. Granted, you cannot earn more than 4.5GB of additional space.


The beta version currently isn't available for as Mac OS X 10.4 and Linux users. In addition, Auto Play will automatically run for OS users.


This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities advice. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katherynrivas87@gmail.com.

BTW I do use DropBox and I have been pleased with it, I will be trying this new feature.


BTW I did try the new feature and when they say Beta, they mean it. I uploaded the requisite size photo files and all it did was fill my existing space. I did not get any additional space. So be aware that the photo aspect is a Beta and I did not experience it actually working.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

TCL 40” LCD Beauty

TCL L40FHDF12TA 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV with 2-Year Warranty

First this isn’t a bargain, it is a steal. I got it at Amazon for $319 including shipping. It is a measure of TCL’s confidence in their product that they have a 2 year warranty included. Some TV’s have as short as a 90 day warrantee which to me means they don’t have a whole lot of confidence in their product.

Packaging on this TV was superb. It was well protected and if I would have looked at the diagram on the box, I would have just cut the shipping straps and been able to lift the box off. Instead, I pulled the staples and lifted the TV out to discover how difficult I made it. Alas, such is life.

Setup was simple and the picture is excellent. HD is terrific with no adjustments, color calibration or skull cracking needed. I was not seeing the scores on the football game and discovered I had inadvertently zoomed in, once I zoomed out everything was perfect.

The remote has a solid feel but what appears to be a main control is not as main as you would think. That is how I inadvertently zoomed.

There are a wealth of connections on this TV, both on the side and the back.

Overall, this is the best TV for the money I have seen.

I did not get any financial compensation from anyone for writing this review.

Product Features

  • Plug-and-Play Compatibility for More Entertainment Options
  • Numerous Inputs and Outputs
  • Enhanced Picture and Sound Quality
  • Channel Labeling and Sleep Timer for Ease of Use
  • Efficient Design Saves Money and Energy

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Tcl
  • Model: L40FHDF12TA
  • Display Technology: LCD
  • Display Size: 40.0 inches
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 16:09
  • Image Contrast Ratio: 4000:1
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 60

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pay Off Your Debt With iPhone's Easy App

A Guest Post

Whether you have started your own business or put yourself through school, many of us are now faced with a sizable debt that must be re-paid. And if the majority of your debt is on one or more credit card, dealing with repayment can become even more complicated. That's what is so cool about the new iPhone app, Pay Off Debt. If you are one of the many people juggling credit card debt, Pay Off Debt is designed specifically to help with managing credit card debt and is a great tool to manage your finances 24/7.

Once you download Pay Off Debt, you can enter all your debts, and the app will help you figure out the most effective way to pay them off. You start by entering and labeling your debts and organizing them by types, such as student loan, credit card, or car loans. You will also enter the balances, interest rates, and payment information. As soon as you assign a label to each debt, the app will automatically sort them into categories. The app keeps track of what percentage of your debt you have paid and how much longer it will take to pay each debt off.

The best part about the app is the fact that it provides an easy way to actually plan and keep track of paying down your debt. There are many ways to pay off debt that includes multiple lines of credit. One of the most common is to start with the debt that has the highest interest rate and pay that off completely before moving on. Others choose to pay off the debt with the lowest balance first and then work their way up. Pay Off Debt also offers an option called Debt Tsunami that allows you to create a custom payment plan that changes over time.

Pay Off Debt doesn't come with too many bells and whistles, but that may be one of its draws. The app is a simple way to keep track of the money you owe. It's a great option for those of us who need a quick reference to debt balances and plans. And it's also a nice way to get debt issues out of your mind and into a concrete visual. Use the app to view starting and current balances, plan monthly payments, view the last recorded payment, check the estimated time left to pay off, see things broken down in graphs and tables, and track your payment history for each debt.

Try Pay Off Debt 2.0.4 for $2.99 at iTunes.


This is a guest post by Eliza Morgan who is a full time blogger. She specializes in writing about business credit cards. You can reach her at: elizamorgan856 at gmail dot com.

This is a guest post and as such I am not recommending or endorsing any of the products or links in this email but I found the post interesting therefore I ran it. I received no compensation whatsoever for running this post.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Guy’s Guide to Affordable Electronics for Your Man Cave--A Guest Post

Every guy needs a place where he can go and just be a guy. No, work and the local pub don't count. You need a room in your own home that's just yours, with your things, and where you can do the things you like to do that maybe don't interest the rest of the family. You need a man cave. Or man room. Call it whatever you like, you need one.

No room can be called a man cave if it's just a TV, a recliner, and a table to hold your snacks. That's basically the living room. No, this room needs to be decked out with gadgets and electronics to indulge your senses and your hobbies. You could easily go into debt when outfitting your man cave, choosing the latest, most expensive electronics. But that's not necessary. You can create just as enjoyable an experience while adhering to a budget. Here's what you need, and how to get it without taking out a loan.


With so many options to choose from, what TV to get will probably be the most difficult decision you make when outfitting your man cave. It's also the most important. The TV will be one of the focal points of the room. It's where you'll watch games, play games, watch movies, stream video, and maybe even surf the Internet if you hook it up and make it your monitor. With your budget in mind, you need to figure out what kind of television you want: plasma, LED or LCD; 1080p, 1080i, or 720p; stand or wall-mounted; plus every size from 19 to 65 inches, or more. The good thing is, there are TVs out there in every price range. The type of flat-screen TV you choose is going to depend on everything from where it will be located in the room and how much lighting is available, to concerns about power consumption and just personal preference.

The best, most basic piece of advice is, get the best TV you can afford, and buy at the right time. Look for sales and discounts, and consider buying from a big box store rather than a specialty electronics store where the prices will probably be inflated. The other advantage to doing that is general merchandise stores usually offer better discounts. For example, instead of Best Buy, check out Target, but look for Target coupon codes before you shop. Just don't tell your significant other you're so shopping-savvy.


It's doubtful that at this point, you're not familiar with Blu-ray. But just in case you've been living in an actual cave, Blu-ray is to DVD what VHS was to Betamax. Blu-ray devices use a blue laser to read discs rather than the red one DVD players use. Because the blue laser has a shorter wavelength than a red laser, Blu-ray discs can store more information than DVDs.

Technical stuff aside, what you really need to know is, the picture generated by a Blu-ray disc is far superior to one from a DVD. Lines are sharper, colors are brighter, resolution is greater, and it makes the movie-watching experience much better and more enjoyable. There are Blu-ray players out there that go for more than $1,000. But we're talking affordable here. You can get a good Blu-ray player for under a hundred bucks, or a little more if you want bells and whistles. Just remember—if your man cave doesn't have a Blu-ray player, it's just a den.

Gaming System

Now, the ultimate man cave would probably have one of each of the main gaming consoles available—a Playstation 3, an Xbox 360, and a Nintendo Wii so you could choose what to play depending on what mood you were in. But if you're going to outfit your man cave and stick to your budget, you'll want to choose a favorite. You can always add a second or even a third later. Each console has its pros and cons, but there's an area where the PS3 and the Xbox clearly excel over the Wii—online gaming.

Having a man cave means you'll want to have friends over to hang out, watch manly movies, and yes, play video games. But you don't want other guys in your space too often. That's where online gaming comes in. You can embark on missions together, see each others' avatars on the screen, and communicate via headsets. This feature is available on all three consoles, but the Xbox and PS3 outdo the Wii, and between those two, the Xbox seems to outperform the PS3. The decision comes down to what games you want to play, and whether they're multi-platform-compatible or platform-specific. Another feature all the consoles share is the ability to stream video from services like Netflix, so no matter which one you choose, you'll have access to a ton of great content in addition to games. Opt for that, and you may be able to save money on premium cable channels.

Home Theater System

What is the point of having a flat-screen TV, a Blu-ray player, and a top-notch gaming system if you're just going to listen to everything through your TV's built-in speakers? If you go that route, you may as well just stick with a CRT, a VCR, and your old Atari and call it a day. Sure, television speakers have come a long way, and they don't have that tinny TV sound anymore. But they're still inferior compared to a home theater stereo system with surround sound.

Installing speakers around your man cave and trying to replicate theater sound can definitely be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Home theater systems go for anywhere from 35 bucks to more than 3,000. You don't want to go the cheapest route because you do want quality, but you don't have to go broke, either. Look for a home theater system somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 to 300 dollars, from a good, reliable brand like Sony, Samsung, or Philips. That way, you'll know you're getting both quality and affordability. And by the way, the PS3 doubles as a Blu-ray player, so that may factor into your decision of what gaming console to buy because you can cover two man cave essentials with one purchase.

Universal Remote

And one remote to rule them all! Come on, you know you've made that reference before. Okay, maybe you didn't actually say it out loud, but you thought it. Ahem. Anyway, nothing will ruin the ambiance of your newly outfitted man cave more than a bunch of remotes lying around, getting lost in the couch cushions. You're not going to be able to replace your gaming controller—nor would you want to—but you can definitely consolidate the TV, Blu-ray, and home theater system remotes into one.

To really get the most out of your universal remote, you do want to spend a little more here than you normally would on a remote. You need something that's going to allow you to control three or more devices, with the ability to quickly and easily switch between them. Universal remotes with hybrid touchscreen interfaces seem to be the best for this. Even then, you can still get a high-quality remote for less than $100. Just be sure it's compatible with all your device brands.

When it comes to decorating your man cave, well, you're on your own there. You can go Mad Men with it, or make it a room no woman would want to set foot in, if that's your goal. Whether you go for comfort or style, as long as you have the right electronics, it won't really matter what you're sitting in when you use them.

Stephanie Larson is a freelance writer with diverse interests. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

This is a guest post, I do not recommend or endorse any of the links in the post. Thank You Stephanie for your interesting post and your awareness of the male psychic.
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