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!

Amazon

Monday, October 29, 2012

Travel Site Absurdity


An expression of dismay!
I was just on Orbitz, Expedia, Travel-Ticker and several others whose names have slipped into obscurity.   I was doing a search for an extended family vacation.  The sites provide spots to put in how many kids, how many adults and how many rooms.  Then when you do a search you get an error message saying they can’t book more than 6 or 7 or whatever freaking arbitrary number that tickles their collective funny bone.   Why do they provide spots for data input if they can’t handle it?    It is astounding that these giant, sophisticated web sites are incapable of handling reservations at resorts for no more than 6 or 7 people.   Bottom line is that the idiots that limited the web sites have also limited the business for the resorts that use them.   I’m calling my travel agent and going old school, in spite of how difficult it is for me to admit it, this time the Internet sucked.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

N-STRIKE ELITE HAIL-FIRE


This is cool technology, not a recommendation but just recognition that this is very neat tech.  

See the October issue of Wired Magazine for a great article on how this was developed and some hacks for current Nerf guns.

Hail-Fire
It’s the highest capacity NERF blaster ever. The N-STRIKE ELITE HAIL-FIRE tops out at an astounding 144-dart capacity (with the purchase of additional clips and darts). It holds up to 8 clips, and delivers a semi-auto barrage of darts as fast as you can pull the trigger. When you’ve got the HAIL-FIRE, you’ve got the ultimate in high-capacity blasting!
Join the N-STRIKE team
N-STRIKE ELITE blasters are the ultimate in blaster performance. Featuring upgraded distance and the revolutionary Elite Dart, this is the final word in today's blaster technology. The HAIL-FIRE blaster puts elite dart capacity under your control with a unique rotating ammo rack that can carry more darts than any other NERF blaster! Plus, motorized semi-auto lets you unload on your target at high speed! Massive capacity and supreme speed combine to make this blaster the ultimate upgrade to any arsenal. Load up and dominate with the ultra-high-capacity HAIL-FIRE blaster!
Highest-capacity NERF blaster ever
You can load up to 8 clips and 144 darts (with the purchase of additional clips and darts) into this big, powerful blaster. The unique rotating ammo rack holds your incredible payload. When it comes time to unload on a target, pull the Acceleration Trigger to spin the motor up to launching speed, then blast a semi-auto swarm of darts as fast as you can pull the Launch Trigger. Plus, the power of N-STRIKE ELITE means you can blast darts as far as 75 feet!
Semi-auto blasting!
The rotating ammo rack holds up to 8 clips (additional clips sold separately), giving you incredible dart capacity. Power up for semi-auto blasting by holding down the Acceleration Trigger, then blast darts as fast as you can pull the Launch Trigger. When one clip is empty, pull back on the advanced handle to rotate to the next clip and keep on blasting.

Includes: HAILFIRE blaster body, ammo rack cover (2 pieces), advance handle (2 pieces), 4 Quick Reload Clips, 24 Elite Darts, and instructions.
Features: • Rotating Ammo Rack
• Holds up to 8 clips and 144 darts (with purchase of additional clips and darts).
• Pull the Advance Handle to advance the Rotating Ammo Rack to the next clip.
• Pull the Acceleration Trigger to power up for semi-auto blasting!
• Upgrade with any Tactical Rail accessory (sold separately).
• N-STRIKE ELITE Power
• Up to a 75-foot range!

Ages 8 and up.

This is copied directly from the Hasbro site, I did not get any compensation for this post, I just think it is darn cool tech. 
 
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

3D Printing Re-visited





The replicator is not far away.   I’m talking about buying it for a Christmas gift, it is that close.   MakerBot is selling the Replicator 2 right this minute.  This is the beginning of the newest industrial revolution.   Watch this video and be amazed.   There is nothing more exciting than seeing science fiction I read as a kid becoming my reality.  


I have no connection to MakerBot and I did not receive any compensation for this post.


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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Some Good Parenting Info



This blog post is simply a link to a good article on kids.    The title of the other post is 30 Blogs for Helping To Teach Kids to be Thankful.    

No matter how you cut it, kids are just fun!
I read some of it and it does seem to have a lot of good stuff on kids.   I do not recommend the blog or the organization that sent me the link.  I don't use them nor do I know anyone that uses them.  However the link does provide some good info for kids.  

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jamie Sadock’s Designer Golf Apparel Has NO Customer Support


 
In the age of email, instant messaging and instant gratification it is shocking for a company such as  Jamie Sadock’s Designer Golf Apparel  to have such abysmal response to customer concerns.   My wife is an avid golfer who delights in the colorful clothes offered by Jamie Sadock’s Designer Golf Apparel.   She purchased an outfit at the proshop of our club in Naples Florida.   The outfit is cute and colorful and disturbingly poor quality.  It has silver looking accent trim that is glued on, apparently with a child’s glue stick for the apparent lack of adhesiveness.   The first time she wore it several of the circles fell off.   She glued them back on rather than returning it.   We returned home from Florida and the weather was not conducive to golf for several months upon returning home.  When she wore the outfit again, again she lost silver trim through normal wear.   She tried washing it by hand and even had trim come off when washing by hand.   So obviously there is a design flaw and you would think a reputable company would be concerned about their reputation when dealing with a design flaw let alone customer satisfaction.

Calling the company was an exercise in futility.  Apparently they have so many complaints that they will only take them through email and then they ignore the emails.    While not being a seamstress or clothes designer, it seems pretty clear that sewing on a button would make much more sense than gluing something on apparel that is meant to be used in a sport.  Note, golf is not a contact sport so the mere action of wearing the defective garment causes the trim to fall off.  

This missive’s purpose is to warn other na├»ve purchasers that assume that high price would indicate good quality is certainly not true with this garment.   Furthermore one would hope that an expensive garment would have at least a smidgen of concern regarding customer satisfaction, alas with Jamie Sadock’s Designer Golf Apparel that is a forlorn hope.  

UPDATE 10/16/12  This was originally posted 8/27/12 Sadock's golf apparel has not responded to my wife's email.  Considering the overblown pricing of sub-par clothes you would think they would at least be able to afford some/any customer service.   I find this brand equivalent to a shank, absolutely abysmal! None of us try and shank the ball but we can avoid buying from a company that has such little regard for their customers.  

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

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An Excellent Metaphor On LIfe




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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Seagate Expansion 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive (STBX1000101)




1 TB drive
Keep in mind that I am a dinosaur as far as computers go.   I have clear memories of the Ti-99/a, the trs-80 and my favorites the Atari and C64.   I sold CPM computers before DOS even existed.    When I got my first 10mb hard drive, I wondered how I would ever fill it up.  The drive I got and tested today is barely larger than one of my 230mb Bernoulli cartridges or a couple of 3.5” floppies and yet, it is 1TB!  I am sure that the younger folks reading this are going, so?   Well when you remember that I started with 8” floppies holding a whopping 80Kb then you must stand in awe of a 1TB drive that is 3.25”x4.75”x.5” in size and is USB powered.  

I pulled this out of the box, plugged in the USB cable and plugged it into my Vista laptop.   It was immediately recognized, I set up a subdirectory and copied some files.   I then moved it to my Win7 desktop and did the same and finally  moved it to an XP box and it was seen quickly and with no hassles on all three OS.   This is on slick little drive and with this size it is easy to just carry along and always have a safe backup.   I know the Cloud is there for back up too but there really are some places where you don’t have Internet access and still want to back up your data.    This drive will give you an extremely convenient backup and I have never had a drive interface as quickly and easily.  The drive is $89.99 at Amazon and they provided it for my review.  

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hardy Belch & The Bully




This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chuggington Over and Under Starter Set With Clock Tower





This is a Thomas The Tank Engine competitor.   My grandchildren have made me aware of many things and Thomas and Chuggington are two of them.   This is a high quality wooden railway system that is compatible with the Thomas track.   That is very important as kids end up with parts from multiple sets and they always want to combine them.   I’m a bit cheesed at the die-cast Thomas as I did not realize it was a different scale than the wooden Thomas.   That is beside the point in this review except I want to point out that this track is compatible with the standard wooden Thomas set.  

The set includes two engines named Koko and Wilson.   A Vee, a clock tower tunnel, a bridge tunnel and 17 pieces of track are included in the set.   It sells for $39.99 at Amazon.   As disturbingly high as that seems, that seems to be what the market will bear in these wooden train sets.  They are ALL high in price.   In all fairness, they are also very, very durable and do generate hours and hours of play.   This is a good quality toy with television show tie ins that will generate excitement with your child.   This set is fine but you will want to buy substantially more track for the most fun.  Part of the name is Starter Set. 

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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to Reduce Your Car Insurance Bill



Every car owner must purchase auto insurance as required by state laws. Start by getting auto insurance quotes from several companies. You may be surprised at the savings you can achieve simply by shopping around for affordable car insurance. And only take the insurance coverages that you are required to take by state law and by the lending or leasing company you used to purchase your vehicle.

One of the best ways to save money is to take an approved defensive driving class. They are usually six hours and many states allow you to take them online. They give you valuable information to improve your ability to drive safely and they ask you to answer questions so that you can learn. you submit your course completion certificate to your car insurance company, you will receive a substantial reduction on your rates.


Another important way to save money on your auto insurance is to manage your deductibles in a way that makes sense to you. Your automobile financer will require that you take out collision insurance. This protects you if your car is hit and there is no one to go after. It also allows you to be paid by your insurance company for repairs while you are waiting for the other driver's insurance company to settle the claim. Most finance companies require a maximum of $1,000 deductible. This means that you are responsible for the first $1,000 in repairs and that your carrier will pay the rest. If you opt for $500 deductible, you will pay substantially higher premiums but you will only be responsible for the first $500 in damages. The bottom line is to select the highest deductible that you are allowed and that makes you comfortable.


You can minimize your premiums by being a good and lawful driver. Convictions can add penalties to your premiums as the insurance company will perceive you as a higher risk. And lastly, try to manage your credit so that you remain in the top tier.


This was a guest post with links, all links have been removed. 
 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

William Bentrim Featured on Story Plant Blog



Check it out! I’m featured on Story Plant blog today.






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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sands of the Solar Empire FREE BOOK Oct 1 & 2/2012 No Trick Just Treat





Sands of the Solar Empire - New from author, Ren Garcia, the creator of the League of Elder Universe

FREE 10/1/12 & 10/2/12

FREE


Sands of the Solar Empire, the first book in The Belmont Saga, begins a new adventure in the universe of the League of Elder. Can a masked Paymaster, a thief, a coward and a once great warbird face the unknown gulf of the Sands of the Solar Empire?




Title: Sands of the Solar Empire
Author: Ren Garcia
ISBN#: 978-0-9850817-6-8
Retail Price: $14.95 Paperback, 300 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publishing Date: August 2012
Publisher: Loconeal Publishing, Amherst, OH
Contact:  James O. Barnes, (216)772-8380 james@loconeal.com www.loconeal.com
About the book:
Sands of the Solar Empire, the first book in The Belmont Saga, begins a new adventure in the universe of the League of Elder.
GET THE BRANDY TO BAZZ . . .
That’s all Paymaster Stenstrom, the Lord of Belmont-South Tyrol, has to do and the old warbird Seeker is his. He has dreamed of captaining a Fleet ship his entire life.
Little does Paymaster Stenstrom realize that he is in the grip of an old Vendetta and the short trip to Bazz might very well be his last.
Faced with a dead ship and a lost crew, Paymaster Stenstrom finds help in the strangest places: the thief Marine and the milquetoast young man from the Admiral’s office, and, though he just became acquainted with these two strangers, he discovers they have been influencing each other’s lives for a very long time.
Something sinister hovers over Paymaster Stenstrom and his two new friends, something they are only now becoming aware of. The SANDS OF THE SOLAR EMPIRE stretch out before them in an endless gulf brimming with the unknown. Can a masked Paymaster, a thief, a coward and a once great warbird face what awaits them?
About the author:
Ren Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature. Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood, he also has a passion for caving, urban archaeology and architecture. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and their four dogs.



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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

Weebly Web Sites Rock




Weebly provides free websites for little more than a note on the bottom that the web site is a Weebly site.   I recently made a change to one page on my site and it took less than one minute.  I used Front Page when it first came out and used it through multiple renditions.   I used Dream Weaver and other “big” name products and they all worked and all were really powerful and most were really expensive.  In addition there was frequently a learning curve that was simply gruesome.  

Weebly is none of those and it is not for developers.  However if you want to do a web site yourself and maintain it yourself, I have found nothing better.   Check it out!
 

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