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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Auto Dealers Take Note, Color Counts

Note all the vibrant colors?

After driving by the Lexus and BMW dealerships the other day I was once again overwhelmed by the sea of bland.  Even Mercedes, perhaps the most staid and elderly focused brand has a bright red in their color line.   I can accept that many people are willing to accept what mundane color that is in inventory but many, many people prefer something with a bit more pizzazz.  Perhaps a push to your brands could, at least, provide some color choice on special orders.   Try and listen to your potential audience not just the MBA’s who determine that there is better trade value in a non-descript vehicle.

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Attention College Students: The best apps for cost conscious students--A Guest Post

When it comes to saving money, college students need all the help they can get. There are so many expenses associated with the college experience—tuition, textbooks, housing, and living expenses—that it’s hard not to panic about the amount of money being spent at any particular point in a semester.
For college students with smartphones, I can offer a few options to help lessen spending. There are a number of apps made for college students on a budget, with each one specializes in some popular area of spending. Here are my three favorite (free) money saving apps for smartphone-carrying college students.
College bookstores are notorious for gouging students on textbook prices, in some cases charging hundreds of dollars for a few dusty hand me downs. Savvy students will turn to places like Amazon for cheaper prices, but there’s one app that offers the cheapest prices on textbooks that I’ve ever seen. That app is called Bigwords, and it’s essential for any college student looking to save money on their textbooks.
Bigwords is essentially a service that tries to optimize your search for the cheapest deals on textbooks. They do this by searching for lowest prices on books and shipping costs across a wide spectrum of booksellers. If you find a textbook on Bigwords, you can rest assured that it’s probably the cheapest in town.
This app is all about prioritizing and organizing a student’s time. Evernote has widely been reported as the best organizational app out there, enabling users to save all sorts of notes and keep track of the most minute scribbles you make throughout the day. College students can use Evernote to turn their smartphone into a mega-planner and storage device for class notes, financial records, and simple daily routines. You can share your plans with your friends, or even store them on other devices.
The thing that makes this app a cost-cutting service is that it helps students organize their time, the most valuable asset in college. With Evernote, college students can prioritize their time so they can get the most out of a college experience. Sometimes all it takes is a solid organizational tool to put a student on the right track.
Food is an everyday expense no matter who you are, but it’s a particularly complicated one for the college student who doesn’t know how to cook a decent meal without overspending at the grocery store. Enter ZipList, the app meant to help you shop for groceries and plan budget-friendly meals. The app works wonders for college students because it’s meant to help the user cook with the groceries they already have. Simply enter the contents of your kitchen into ZipList and the app pulls up recipes that you can cook that very second with them. The app also helps you prioritize a grocery list for future meals.
ZipList can be a great tool for the novice cook, and that’s good news for college students because they’ll save a ton of money cooking at home.
Aniya Wells is a freelance blogger whose primary focus is writing about online degree programs. She also enjoys investigating trends in other niches, notably technology, traditional higher education, health, and small business. Aniya welcomes reader questions and comments at aniyawells@gmail.com.

 Thank you Aniya for your excellent guest post. 

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Polaris 360 or 380 Mega All Purpose Replacement Bag fits Polaris 360 or 380

I have a Polaris pool sweep.  It does a nice job and this is the third one I have had in 32 years. I have never had an issue with the sweep but I do take issue with the consumables.   The mesh bag and the foam tip protectors wear out and from most pool supply places they are grossly priced. The mesh bag ranges from $25.00 to $45 for a mesh bag with a zipper.   This bag is 100% compatible with my sweep and costs far less at $15.98 with free shipping (must purchase $25 at Amazon).  It is the old style velcro bag instead of the newer zippered bag but it does the job for less money.  A good purchase!

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

Friday, July 20, 2012

Folks Helping Out--Cortese Auto

My ACE of the day.  Andrea, a most pleasant paper pusher.  Buying a car on the net can be cumbersome but doable if you have the right people helping you. Andrea is the right people.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Samsung SCX-3405FW Wireless Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax

This is a nice little multifunction unit that is quiet.   It installed easily but slowly.   The software installation took quite awhile but it does need to install software for faxing, printing, scanning and copying.  

On the other hand, the wireless installation went very smoothly.   My E1200n router does not have the easy button that Samsung was looking to find.  However once I opened the router software up, it had a software easy install button and once I pushed it and the button on the printer, Viola!, I had connection.  

The wireless connection was very fast.  I was also impressed with the high quality of the scan and the copy.  I didn’t even test the fax part, it is nice to have if you need it but I have only sent and received two faxes in maybe four or five years. 

I was not impressed with the screen on the unit.  It is hard to read head on and practically impossible to read from any angle.

The software installed without a skip on Win7, Vista and XP.   I test printed from all three OS without a flaw.   This unit sells for $163.28 at Amazon and appears to be a very good value.

Fast, compact Black & White Laser Multifunction Printer with easy Built-in Wireless setup.    Fast 21 ppm speeds and quick first page out time for less time waiting.    10,000 Monthly duty cycle for more reliability from your printer.

The toner is Samsung MLT-D101S/XAA Toner 1.5K Yield (ML-2165W, SCX-3405FW, SF-760P) $61.24 at Amazon and $82 at Staples.  

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

Friday, July 13, 2012

Go Low Tech to Save Money--A Guest Post

In a world that is fast paced and frantic, slowing down to save money may seem counterproductive. After all, aren’t you always trying to speed things up and do things more quickly and efficiently? But you may be making the mistake that many Americans do. We think that faster is always better when that is simply not true. Here are three ways to save money by slowing down:
1.      Hang dry – When you are doing the laundry, your first instinct is to use the ever convenient dryer. Just toss them in and forget about it, right? Wrong. If you want to save money on your electricity bill, then try hanging your clothes dry. This doesn’t mean you have to have a line going across your yard or even a yard. They have drying racks that you can purchase at the super store for just a few dollars. You can even make one if you want to. Best of all, drying clothes this way saves on your air conditioning bill in the summer. Those driers pump out a lot of heat. If you are worried about your clothes being scratchy or stiff, you can finish the drying in the machine for ten minutes. Voila, just as soft as normal. You can also use less soap, which reduces stiffness.
2.      Wash dishes by hand – The dishwasher is a big water and electricity waster. How many partial loads do you do every week? A lot, right? Why not wash your dishes by hand. If you do that a little at a time, every time you set down a dish, you will find that you actually end up doing less work. If you, like me, have to rinse the dishes before the dishwasher will even touch them, then it just takes a spot of soap and a few more seconds to get it done, dry and put away.
3.      Push mower –The thing I love about push mowers is that they will last forever if properly maintained. Think about it: with no real moving parts or a motor to oil, gas, and break down, what can really go wrong here? All you have to do is keep it rust-free and sharpened and you are good to go whenever. If you have to mow the lawn every weekend, that will add up to a lot of gas saved. Best of all, you are getting a great, relaxing workout when you mow instead of drudging behind a smog-spouting, roaring machine.
These are just a few example of how going back to the methods of the good old days can save you some money. They had some things figured out, and a lot of them are more affordable than and just as easy as what we rely on machines for today. 

Author Bio:
Roxanne Porter is a freelancer & a regular contributor for  nanny classifieds.  She helps in providing knowledge about nanny services & love writing on nanny related articles. She helps in giving a fair knowledge about nanny Jobs to the community. You can be in touch with her at “r.poter08ATgmail.com” .

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

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sapphire Radeon HD5450 Video Card--Incompatible with Windows 7

Originally posted 12/18/11 Revised and re-posted 7/4/12. After innumerable display driver has stopped responding” messages and waiting for my screen to come back up I have given up on this video card.   I have tried every solution I was able to find on the web.   NONE of them have worked.   I pulled the card and have not found any issues since I uninstalled the drivers and removed the card. 
I can NOT recommend this card for use with Windows 7.    

First off, if you are a gamer I did not test this with any games. I got it to keep my on board video card from grabbing RAM from my base memory. That feature seems to work just fine. This is a very good video card for the price. The onboard 1gb off DDR3 memory just astounds me. Keep in mind that my computer roots go back to computers that had 64k of memory, let alone video cards with 1gb of RAM.

It does include the low profile bracket.
Form Factor
Low Profile Ready
Low Profile Bracket Included
PCI Express 2.1 x16
Chipset Manufacturer
Radeon HD 5450
Core Clock
Stream Processors
80 Stream Processing Units
Effective Memory Clock
Memory Size
Memory Interface
Memory Type
DirectX 11
OpenGL 3.2
1 x HDMI
1 x D-SUB
1 x DVI
Dual-Link DVI Supported
HDCP Ready
Manufacturer Warranty
2 years limited
2 years limited

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 Money Saving Tips You Didn’t Know About Best Buy--A Guest Post

Best Buy is one of the top computer and technology retail stores. They have many commercials that boast of great prices and great service. You may spend a lot of your time in Best Buy but I bet you didn’t know these 5 things:
Negotiate: Believe it or not there are some things at Best Buy you can negotiate the price on an item. How do you know which items? Ask. Another way you can almost always negotiate on the price is on items labeled ‘Open Box’ or ‘Open Item’. These typically are on larger items like televisions and appliances. These Open Box/Items are typically displays that have never been used, returned products without the original packaging and products that were returned in general. The price you see is already knocked down. You can even go lower if you like. When buying these open box items, inspect that all the pieces are there, there are no major dents and scratches and that everything works. This is a good time to use that money you saved and put some toward the Black Tie Protection.
Black Tie Protection: If you have ever bought an expensive item from Best Buy you know that the sales clerk is trained to offer you the Black Tie Protection. The Black Tie Protection plan is there to save you money if something were to happen with your purchased item. There are plenty of customers who purchase it and are extremely grateful for it. Then there are those customers that say no thanks and then come back in the next day after dropping their lap top.  First things first, employees do not get commission, money or gifts if we sell you the Black Tie option. If you have the money, it’s better to be safe than sorry and to purchase it. If you don’t, realize that a lot of the manufacture warranties do not cover a lot of ‘accidents’ on the product.
Education: Upon being hired, employees go through many training courses on the department and products they are about to sell. Employees each month are required to read and take tests on updated products and policies. The knowledge they share is usually from personal opinion and lessons straight from the manufactures mouth. Be sure to work with an experienced sales person for the best advice and answers when purchasing a product.
Layaway:  Best Buy does offer a layaway program that many customers are unaware of. With that said not every product is covered in the layaway program. If you find yourself wanting to purchase a large item, head over to the customer service counter and ask them if your item is on the layaway list.
Discount: The Best Buy employee discount is as great as you have heard. Best Buy is very good about treating their employees to special deals and discounts throughout their employment. As with most stores, Best Buy does have regulations on whom and how these discounts can be used.

Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to summer nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.

Thank you Heather for your guest post.  I do not recommend Best Buy and this post should not be seen as my recommending it.  My personal experience has not been terribly positive as far as knowledgeable employees.  On the other hand I have had knowledgeable relatives who work there so my opinion on this post is that you should check out Best Buy yourself for the best information. 

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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Is Regal Cinema Government Owned?

I’m a bit cheesed out over taking my grandkids to see Madagascar 3 in 3D.   I know that you pay a surcharge for 3D but I still feel that Regal Cinema’s charge of $28.00 for a senior citizen and 2 under 10 kids is crazy exorbitant.  

What is even worse is that I had a free ticket but that only took off $6.00 from the original price of $34.50 for three and got us way down to $28.00.   Now giving credit where credit is due, the young lady at the snack bar did advise me to get the $8.00 bucket of popcorn which held more than two medium bags of popcorn and was cheaper than two medium bags of popcorn.   The bucket also had a free refill which we did not utilize.  

Admittedly none of my graduate degrees are an MBA but…there were 9 of us in the theater the morning we saw the movie.   So at approximately $9.00 per person that was $81.00 (approximately) of ticket income.   I will hazard a wild guess of 300 seats in the theater.   If they sold 100 seats at $1.00 they would have netted $19.00 more than selling 9 seats at $9.00 each.   So if we triple that at $3.00 per person and assume the lower ticket price would encourage more attendance, we get a $219.00 increase in profit on that showing.   Take the 8 or 10 theaters that are in the building or 15 for all I know and you can see that logic infers that a lower ticket price would fill more seats and generate more profit.

Perhaps charge $6.00 per person at peak times to push more patrons to off hours at a lower price and you generate still more profit.   So are Regal Theaters specifically and movie theaters generally owned by the government and designed to lack profitability.   Or is it just easier to clean up after 9 people than 100 and the heck with the increased profit.

I wish I knew but I know I would take my grandkids for more movies if it was $12 or $15 than $34.50. 
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.
 Money Saving Tech Tips