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, June 27, 2012

AMD and Windows 7; Shame on Both of You!

I have a Acer desktop and I wanted to speed up my graphics over the onboard video controller.  I purchased a  SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card ( 100292DDR3L) from New Egg.  

After one of the ubiquitous Windows upgrades I started getting the error message: display driver stopped responding and has recovered”.   Being curious and annoyed I researched the issue and discovered many, many comments and suggested solutions online.     I tried every solution I could find on the net to no avail.  Contrary to what AMD suggests it was not generated in a game(don't play them) nor was it any particular program.  I was unable to find any common thread.  I pulled the card and "gasp" the problem disappeared. 

It is a shame to have to trash a nice video card.  I spent 25 years in the small computer arena so I don't give up easily, I GIVE UP!

My suggestion is to avoid the ATI/AMD chip set if you are running Windows 7.   

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

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Honeywell RCWL105A Wireless Chime and Push Button

This unit is a replacement for one I purchased on eBay that crapped out with great rapidity.   Since it was $6.00 on eBay I wasn’t overly concerned but was annoyed.   This unit is $14.19 and may also be too cheap but as of yet that remains to be seen.  

I like the doorbells that have a plug in chime.   That just seems so much more practical than a set of battery chimes.   Sending the signal does not dramatically impact a battery but chiming does have a more significant draw, battery wise.  

This is a pretty simple unit.  It has 16 channels for signal transmission so if your neighbor acquires the same unit, you will be able to change channels.  (A side note when one of my neighbors got the same brand garage door opener that I had, I went to my book and changed my remote back to factory default.   I randomly raised and lowered his dooer for awhile until he saw me doubled over in laughter on my lawn. Lesson to be learned is always change from the factory default, whatever your product might be.)

There are only three chime tones, ding, dong and Westminster.   The cheap unit had 10 or 15 but since it stopped working that really isn’t a feature to brag about.

This setup easily and sounds good.   I bought two identical units to have identical chimes in different areas in the house.  It also gives me a spare transmitter and battery.   So far so good, I will return in 6 months to rate reliability.   
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wireless Wendy The Weather Wizard

This product actually sounds like is should be reviewed as a children’s book on one of my book blogs.   It is a wireless remote thermometer.   It was less than $15.00 and had more positive reviews on Amazon than any others I found for twice the price.

One note if you do buy it is that they should bold print that you install the battery in the remote thermometer before you install it on your remote display.  Luckily I did that but since my hands often work faster than my brain,  it was pure serendipity that I did it in the correct order.  The manufacturer predicts dire results if you do it out of order.  I suspect a rain of locust or a red sea. 

The set up was easy.  I tested it by putting it in the fridge.   The display gives you time,  date, inside and outside temperature in fahrenheit or centigrade, your choice.   The cutsy part comes in with the graphic that has Wendy changing attire based on the temperature. 

It works fine and I will come back in a few months to report on how it held up.    

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

Friday, June 15, 2012

The 5 Best Self-Publishing Companies

Writing books may be the best form of self-expression and the communication of ideas. Writers have plenty to say and the buying public waits anxiously for the next engaging body of work. The old way to write and make a name for yourself was hinged on a Madison Avenue publishing house that agreed with your artistic vision. However, today things are looking up for new and established writers with a wealth of self-publishing outlets that get your book to market with one click of the mouse.

Choose your self-publishing company using the guidelines that are the most important to you. Some authors select a self-publishing venue for the price points charged for a book cover, the expansiveness of the buying market, or for the name recognition that publisher has earned. Whether you are a new or experienced author, there is a self-publishing company waiting to represent your next novel or self-help manuscript.

1. Lulu
Publish your e-books for free with Lulu and enjoy a suite of tools to help get you started. Lulu has been recognized as one of the fastest growing self-publishing sites and applauded by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and a host of other prestigious names. Get your work up and running on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Nook and more with the easy to navigate Lulu.com.

2. Amazon Kindle
The Amazon Kindle venue is ideal for authors who want immediate and powerful exposure on Amazon.com. Writing a kindle book requires that the text be formatted in HTML and software systems are available to help new authors with this writing transition. Submit your manuscripts to Kindle Singles for immediate consideration on almost any topic.

3. WingSpan Press
Touted as the lowest cost self-publishing packaged plans around, Wingspan Press takes care of everything. New books are issued an ISBN number, bar code, copyright protection and more while enjoying maximum exposure to the best book markets around the world. WingSpan Press clearly lays out their prices with no hidden surprises or last minute fees to pay. Retain all of your rights to your book and get published today.

4. Cafe Press
Print on demand at Cafe Press with no set-up fees or contracts to sign. Book graphics may be color or black and white and Cafe Press offers five book sizes and three binding options to ensure quality and style of your photographs. In addition to self-publishing tools, transfer your designs to stickers, stationery and T-shirts and manufacture your products with one stop shopping at Cafe Press.

5. Xlibris
Start writing and get published with worldwide exposure at Xlibris.com. For nearly two decades, Xlibris has helped over 35,000 new authors get published using the company's marketing department, editing services and book selling expertise.

Knowledge is power, and the first step to becoming inspired to write is knowing where to market your book. Once you have the publishing solution to meet your budget and publishing requirements, your mind is free to concentrate on the creative elements of your book. Work a little each day on your manuscript and before you know it, the work is done.

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of nanny babysitter.
She welcomes your comments at her email Id: - jdebra84 @ gmail.com.

Thank you for Debra for your guest post on self publishing.  I personally use CreateSpace a subsidiary of Amazon and have been quite happy with them. 

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

Monday, June 11, 2012

IHOP at Home Omlet Crisper Sausage and Cheese

Surprise! It didn't really look like this.
I’m a huge fan of breakfast, of course, I’m also a huge fan of lunch, dinner and snacks which explains my svelte figure. LOL

I tried these this week.  I must say that this product is not anything to rave about.  It is mediocre at best.   It might best be described as a egg related pop-tart.  Related as in an egg may have passed near it in production.   I nuked it at the low end of their instructions and it came out gooey in the middle and way beyond crispy at the edges.

It was edible.  That is the extent to which I can commend it.   If you are choosing a fast food type breakfast, I would recommend the Jimmy Dean De-Light breakfast bowls.  They have been uniformly good, not great but certainly not at the level of this. 

 IHOPed it would be a better breakfast. 

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

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Breathe Clear Nasal Strips Not A Breathe Right Substitute

 My wife says I snore.  I’m not sure that she is correct but to maintain marital bliss, I use Breathe Right strips as she feels that decreases my noise level.   Frankly the whole concept that I snore is preposterous but nevertheless I use them and she claims they work.  

Considering what you get, I think the strips are grossly overpriced.  I purchased the Breathe Clear Nasal Strips to see if they worked equally as well.  They are considerably less expensive than Breathe Right Strips.  Breathe Clear advertises on their box that their product has no stiff plastic band across the nose which they claim provides more comfort.  Sadly the lack of the stiff plastic strip seemed to dramatically decrease their ability to open the nasal passages.   I didn’t notice any more air flow than with a bandaid. 

In addition, they make my nose itchy to the point that I have had to take it off.  I have used 8 out of 10 of the strips to try and give them a good test. 

The strip wasn’t hard to get off, in fact, when I got up it was adhered to my ear and cheek rather than my nose.   Sadly I had hoped for more success as I feel a little good competition would result in a better price on the Breathe Right Strips.  I don’t think it will be happening with this product. 

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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ravensburger Puzzle Balls Rock

People At Work 40 Piece Children's Puzzle Ball

The People At Work 40 Piece Children's Puzzle Ball is a hit with my 3 year old grandson.  He loves puzzles and this one is more challenging than most.  I realized that when after putting a flat puzzle together recently for the first time, he turned it over and put it together on the grey side.  I asked him why and he told me the colorful side was too easy.   If you are not familiar with the round or puzzle ball concept, it is very cool.  The pieces are shaped to put on a round form.  You then put the two halves together to make a puzzle ball.  It is fun to play with an really excellent in development of fine motor control and spatial concepts.   An added plus is that Ravensburger puts together a quality product.  They are very durable and with this grandchild that is a real necessity.

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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