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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pfister 133-10SS Pfirst Series Single Handle 1 or 3-Hole Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet

I needed to replace my kitchen faucet.   I looked on-line at Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon and a couple of specialty places.  The specialty places were through the roof on pricing.   I found one with appealing looks at a very competitive price at Amazon.   It included all the parts necessary for installation with the exception of the reinforced flexible tubing to tie it to your plumbing.   It installed easily and works great.   Keep an eye on price though, it fluctuates even on Amazon.

The pull out sprayer works very well and eliminates the need for the second hole and handle.  I recommend this product.  I received no compensation for this post and did not get the product free for evaluation.

Ceramic disc valving for a reliable, leak-free operation
Single-control faucet with pull-out sprayer
Swivel spout
ADA compliant
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Proud to be Moderate

Somehow the willingness to hear both sides of a story, the tolerance to see someone else’s viewpoint and not vilify them has disappeared from our society.  There truly are very few things that are totally black and white.   However if you listen to the bombardment of political nonsense, all candidates have horns, forked tails and tongues and deserve to be confined to a fiery Hell.

On the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election I implore the apparently few who have still retained their sanity to look at solutions and plans not demagogy.   I would also like someday to see open primaries(gasp) where the voters could decide on candidates based on their merit not their political affiliation.  

Conservative seems to have become the moniker of the Republican Party.   Sadly the current definition of Conservative seems to be one who is in lockstep with the status quo, who feels women should be barefoot and pregnant, who derides civility in favor of bombastic outrage and who feels we should vote for the party no matter how bad the candidate.

A Liberal now seems to be characterized as Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.   Liberals are apparently opposed to capitalism and self determination.   The government should be responsible for our well being and the dole should be our way of life.

What the heck happen to the ability to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal?   What happen to political give and take instead of political take, take and more take?

In my opinion our nation is going to be stalled in a quagmire until we can recover our ability to think clearly and recognize that fanatics of any stripe, Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, pro-life or pro-choice are still fanatics.   Fanatics who refuse to believe that someone else has the right and sometimes the responsibility to politely disagree with them.   The politics of fanaticism must be marginalized before we as a nation can move ahead.

Vote tomorrow but if there is any choice that supports our right to be moderate, please vote for them. 

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chapin SureSpray 2-Gallon Select Sprayer 27020

This appears to be the same sprayer as the 20020 model but this one includes the brass fan tip, the measuring cup and the spray shield.   The spray shield is next to useless.   You can’t see the stream of liquid with the shield on so it makes it harder to be precise with your spray.   I am also not impressed with the brass fan spray tip.  I would have preferred a general purpose brass tip as opposed to the plastic tip.  The fan spray is useless for precise spraying in spot control of weeds.   It would work for doing along a fence but it thinned out the spray so much that any kind of wind would give you drifting spray.   I prefer more of a stream which is not prone to a lot of drift unless it is really windy and then you really wouldn’t be spraying anyway.  

The measuring cup is fine but I’m not sure it has much value as most of the chemicals come with measuring caps.   There seems to be a $10 difference between the 20020 model and this one.   As far as I can tell the brass fan tip is the only worthwhile difference and I don’t like it.  So unless you need the brass tip, measuring cup and spray shield save the $10.00 and apply that to your weed killer price.  

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Epson Work Force 7010

Be warned this is a large printer, that is to be expected when you see that it can print large format paper but it was still a bit surprising to get it out of the box and see how big it really is.
22 x 16.3 x 10.4 inches ; 27.1 pounds

Installation on my network through Ethernet went well.  My only caution on that is that the first screen that identifies the printer shows the printer greyed out.   I discovered that you just push through, hitting next and finally it all installs and lets you print a test page.   The first test page took several minutes.   After that the test pages from the other two computers were quite prompt.

I installed the software on an Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP machines.  All worked fine, saw the printer and printed out beautifully.  I printed out some photos on glossy paper and they were also beautiful.  I know from past experience that Epson printers actually do print out better on Epson brand paper but I was more than happy with the results from the Canon brand paper I already have.

I have had the Epson multi-cartridge printers before and it is cheaper to use.   When you run out of magenta, you replace the magenta cartridge rather than an entire multi-colored cartridge.   The cost of operation is definitely better with this printer. 

Overall it is a nice printer, the two trays and network ability mean it would function quite well in an office setting.  The price and the operating costs mean it is a good value for the money.

I recommend it. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How the internet has changed the way we should buy insurance.

How the internet has changed the way we should buy insurance.

The internet has got a lot to answer for, and the way we communicate with each other, even in the same house has been changed by our ease of access to technology. Rarely do families now sit around the lounge actually talking to each other, instead communicating with each other and the outside world through a range of devices including smart phones, tablets and laptop computers. 

The way in which we do our shopping has also changed quite substantially, although many, apart from the shop based retailers, will agree for the better as we can now do our shopping online, or reserve products in a store before visiting ourselves to collect the items we need. We can also compared the price of different products before visiting the shop that sells it the cheapest, something we may have had to do on foot, or over the phone previously.

The biggest difference the online world has made to shopping online comes in the financial market, where the purchasing of insurance products has been totally revolutionized. 

No longer will customers be happy to trust their auto insurer that their renewal quote is good value, simply logging onto an insurance comparison site before comparing the cost of auto insurance from over 100 different providers in one place, thanks to one thirty second search after typing their details in once.

To get the same information 15 years ago would have required a customer to make over 100 different phone calls, giving their details 100 different times and spending so long, and so much on their phone bill that it’s actually no surprise most people chose to stick to the same insurer year after year.
Life insurance has also changed substantially, and in the UK at Life Insurance Quotes we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of customers now using our comparison service to find the cheapest life insurance from a number of the leading life insurance providers, instead of paying a mortgage advisor or financial advisors commission through the price they paid for their life insurance in the first place.

The internet means things will never be the same again, but the whole world has become more accessible, and those who sell the best products, at the right price will inevitably prosper as more and more reviews and recommendations point customers in the direction of their website, and their products.

This is a guest post, I'm guessing from the publicist for the owners of the links.  I checked out the links and they appear harmless.  I accept guest posts that are interesting or make sense.   This makes sense for me as this is how I now shop.   Posting this is not, in any way, an endorsement of the links or the companies they represent.  

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Don’t Take Granite For Granted

If you are shopping for a new home in 2012, granite is a big buzz word.   The realtor ads may not mention that the home has an outhouse but they will mention if it has granite counter tops.    Granite is claimed to be the swing vote when comparing new homes.  Yea if it has it and nay if it doesn’t.   

A family member who is a realtor states stoutly (she’s not) that granite will help you get your asking price or help your house sell more quickly.  That is subjective and I can not quantify it but there does seem to be a lot of substantiating collaboration. 

After a little research it is easy to say that there are no easy answers in granite.   One company advertises that their granite is 95% granite and 5% polymer.   They state that it is stronger than slab granite and they can put it right over your old countertops.   Since it is obviously made of left over granite chunks ground up and glued together (think particle board) it should be cheaper than slab granite.  Wrong!

Try $1600.00 more than slab granite for the same number of square feet and the same features. 

The big box home improvement stores do granite.   The sales man at one, said, “I’m not on commission, so I don’t care what you buy but I wouldn’t buy what we have on sale.”   

The price differential between the same number of square feet and the same features using the same type of material can be significant. 

The same admonishment I mentioned on replacement windows holds true here as well.   If possible use a small business, check their work and compare prices.  You may be shocked to discover that there are many small firms wherever you are, doing quality work at better prices than the national chains.  

Don’t take granite for granted, shop locally and save some money and aggravation.  

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

Friday, April 6, 2012

Replacement Window Buyers Be Aware!

 Note, be aware not beware.   Replacement windows can be a very positive thing for your older home.   Depending on your builder, your home doesn’t have to be that old to have leaky and rattling windows.   If you have plans to resell in the near future or even a piece down the road you may want to consider replacement windows if your windows leak and rattle.  

If you are planning a near time sale, you may even get the cost of the windows out of your sale.  Note, MAY!  What new windows may also do is get your property sold before the next one that still has leaky, rattling windows. 

If your sale plans are further ahead, you may reap the benefits of new windows through lower energy costs.  You have probably noted the overuse of MAY in this post.   May is used because no one, especially realtors and window sales people can guarantee you that replacement windows will make your house sell faster, for more money or even save you money in energy.   They may verbally praise the benefits but don’t hold your breath waiting for a guarantee.   They can guarantee the glass, the frame, the installation ad nauseam.   They can’t guarantee the purchase will actually be worthwhile.

In addition, the be aware part is to be aware that the replacement window game is fraught with peril.   Google replacement windows, any manufacturer and you will find hundreds of complaints.   Doesn’t appear to matter whose name you input, you will find complaints.   

Then there is the pricing issue.   A highly advertised Window Renewal company quoted one neighbor $36,000.00 to replace 20 windows but if they signed on the salesman’s first visit, they would drop the price to $30,000.00.   That works out to $1500.00 per window.   On the other end of the spectrum, a local contractor quoted $330.00 per window installed.  Visually the windows looked identical from 10 feet away.   I am not qualified to tell you they were or were not similar.   I can tell you they looked similar.  

How does the happy home owner make a decision?  I have mentioned in this forum in prior posts I have owned several small businesses.   I believe in small businesses.   My recommendation is that you get quotes from local, small businesses if you need replacement windows.   Preferably you can find small businesses with some longevity behind them.   Ask your neighbors and friends if they had their windows done and were they satisfied.  

My very unscientific survey of replacement window complaints seemed to indicate the bulk of the complaints were regarding poor installation.  That would seem to indicate that you want a local small business that you can check on their work and find them afterward if you are not happy.

I know this seems like common sense but when quotes on similar products range from $1500.00 per window to $330.00 per window, as a buyer you better BE AWARE!

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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let’s Get Stoned! Pshaw Not What You Are Thinking!

Polished stones are a treasure for many folks, particularly those of diminutive statue.   No, I’m not talking about dwarves and their love of stone, I’m referring to kids.   Kids like cool things they can carry around.  They particularly like cool things that don’t break easily and can go through the wash and not be destroyed.   Oddly enough, stones fit the bill.  

I was shopping for stones for a diminutive family member and was surprised the local toy store did not have any.   I turned to the web and found a wealth of choices on eBay and Amazon.   I finally settled on Redwood Treasures.  If you read my blog at all, you know I am very fond of patronizing small businesses.   I had two and know the trials of being a small business owner.   I had questions on the stones and was able to get the owner on the phone and get my questions answered.   If you read how they describe themselves, I think you too will see they have the “right stuff” to be put in your favored places to buy book.  
About Redwood Treasures, LLC
We are family owned and operated. We have been in business for 3.5 years and hope to be for many years to come. We carry an eclectic array of items in our store and thought we'd share it online. We believe in the old fashioned customer service saying "The customer is ALWAYS right!" Some people have taken advantage of this but for the most part have been as honest with us as we with them. The way we see it is, it is the customer who keeps us going, and if we don't have you, we don't have a store. Welcome to our family, and enjoy your shopping experience!

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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