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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Default Password Warning

Ok scary serious stuff, if you have Comcast Xfinity and use their router most likely the Default password is active. I made the erroneous assumption when the Comcast tech set it up that he changed the Default password. Oops, my bad! ALWAYS change the default password on any of your devices. Here is the link that explains how to do it.
Hyperlink for address above.
If you want to read the story as to why I am hyper sensitive to default passwords read on.

Once upon a time a client of ours had their phone system hacked late one Friday.   There were over 800 calls made to Yemen over that weekend.  The FBI got involved and we discovered that the client had not changed the DEFAULT password on their phone system.   A disgruntled employee at the phone system factory sold the default password and a client list on the web.   The bad guys just called each client and tried the DEFAULT password.  If they couldn't get in, they just moved to the next client.  Our client went through some major hassles to clean up the mess.  Worse who knows if those 800 calls were terrorist or criminal related, considering the country that received the calls is a hot bed of terrorism one can only speculate.  However....

That incident branded my mind with the need to NEVER assume the DEFAULT password is safe.  Always, always change your default passwords.  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Progresso Foods Promote Obesity

Progresso makes some good soup, many of the flavors in a light variety.  What is interesting is that they often run promotions that allow the $2.29 (where I shop) price to go on sale for $1.00!  That is less than half!  What a great promotion! 

BUT none of the light varieties are ever, EVER included in the promotions. (That I have seen.)

What is one to conclude?  People who are weight and fitness conscious will pay the extra money or buy the Campbell's light which is usually as tasty and always cheaper. (Again at my store.)  Now it is widely recognized that financial wherewithal has a bearing on obesity.  Not that those with less income want to be unhealthy but they frequently can not afford the higher prices on the "healthier" foods. 

Does Progresso take that into consideration?  NO!  

I challenge you Progresso, provide incentives equally across your soups, both the healthier and the higher calorie varieties. 

Fat Soup
Thin Soup

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

Stanley 36504 PowerCord Grounded 14-Gauge Outdoor Extension Cord, 50-Feet, Orange

This is a funny thing to review.  Either it works or it doesn't.  I tested it and it works.  The color is perfect for outdoors as it is easily seen.  It is surprisingly flexible for as heavy duty as indicated by the 14/3 wire.   Frankly it is the only 50 footer I have that doesn't have a splice somewhere on the line.  I feel much more comfortable with a good, heavily insulated line running across a damp lawn. 

Bottom of Form
  • 50-Foot extension cord
  • Heavy duty
  • General outdoor use
  • Gauge: AWG 14/3 SPT
  • Can be used indoors as well

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

T-fal RK705851 10-In-1 Rice and Multicooker with 10 Automatic Functions and Delayed Timer, 10-Cup, White

I am not a rice cooker.  Call me plebian but I am not all that fond of rice.  So I can not comment on the rice cooker aspect.   Slow cooker and soup, I have tested and they work great.  You do have to stop and start if you want to add time, at least I did.   The slow cooker part allows me to dump stuff in and go play golf and come home to sweet aromas!  The soup, I started with the slow cooker feature and ended with the soup feature.   I googled some recipes as the ones that came with the cooker seemed overly complicated to me.   Check out the photos of my split pea soup.   Flat out delicious!  Plus it was easy to clean which gives it high marks in my book.  I received this item free of charge for an honest review.

From the vendor.
10 pre-set programs include: rice, risotto, reheat, oatmeal, slow cook, steam/soup, yogurt, baking, browning, and automatic keep warm
Fuzzy Logic technology adjusts cooking as needed for perfect results
Push-button digital control panel
Adjustable cook time; 24-hour delay start; Micro pressure valve helps maintain the natural aroma and flavor of food
Removable 2mm thick nonstick inner pot with ceramic coating ensures effortless food release and is dishwasher safe; 10 cup capacity

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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

ALEX Toys ALEX Jr. Tots Art Gallery

This an art set for the little ones.  It has interesting shaped crayons that should be easier to hold.  There are a wealth of pieces for the child to make their projects.  I should note this is probably the kind of thing grandparents cheerfully buy knowing they won't have to clean up and of the small pieces.   Art work for toddlers is not for the faint of heart but the joy in their achievements is well worth the trouble.   The folio is heavy enough paper that it should stand up to use by a toddler.   The projects appear to be age appropriate.   This should be a good gift for your favorite toddler.

·                        12 individually packaged art projects and an art portfolio
·                        Make 3 collages by shape, 3 sticker activities, 4 sticky collage boards and 2 crayon activities
·                        Hang up your finished art or store it in the portfolio
·                        Includes portfolio, crayons, doilies, buttons, fringe paper, tissue paper, google eyes, crinkly paper, stickers, paper shapes and activity sheets
·                        Recommended for children 18 months of age and older

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Creativity For Kids Spark!Lab Smithsonian "Invent Super Shoes" Coloring Kit

I just got this today, it is a very cool kit.  I have a grandchild who is quite creative and this will resonate very well with a kid who always wears two different color socks just because he can.  The ability to customize his sneakers will be a treat.  Anything that encourages creativity is great in my book.

·                        PERFECT FOR STEM: (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Integrates concepts usually taught as separate subjects and emphasizes the application of knowledge to real-life situations
·                        EXPLORE IT: Research new shoe trends to gather ideas. Learn the difference between form and function in fashion, and think of ways to incorporate both in your design. Watch your ideas come to life!
·                        SKETCH IT: Use the Spark!lab invention guide to draw out your designs. This helps inventors visualize what they are about to create. Problem solving and creativity in a fun open-ended way!
·                        CREATE IT: Start your journey with over 130 style components. We include canvas shapes, canvas shoe swatches, fabric paint, stencils, reflective stickers and a bonus mini shoe key chain to decorate!
·                        TRY IT: An exciting part of the process! Did your vision comes to life? Are your new and improved kicks exactly what you want? if yes, congratulations! You now know the process of invention

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

Organic Maple Extract 4 oz by OliveNation Making Maple Glazed Donuts

This is not my donut but mine
looked like this,  frankly I ate all of
mine before it occurred to me to take
a photo.  Photo is from

Finally got around to using this.  I live in an area that is not prone to maple flavored anything and I am particularly fond of maple glazed donuts.   The recipe is 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of butter.  I did this the first time and was not thrilled with how "maply" the result was.  Melt the butter in the syrup on a low heat and then whisk in the powered sugar and extract.  Let the resultant mixture set and then dip your donuts.  Let them set and dip them again.  The second time I did the same and added a 1/2 teaspoon of this maple extract.  Viola! Delicious and very maple centric.  I used plain sour cream donuts and got accolades from grandkids and wife.  

About the Product
  • OliveNation pure maple extract is made by distilling the pure maple essence, aroma and flavor into a concentrated form, which is then dissolved in an alcohol base.
  • This gives you a more concentrated maple flavor than using maple syrup.
  • Maple Extract is especially delicious in desserts like Bourbon Pecan Pie, sugar cookies, and in homemade maple ice cream.
  • You can also use it to add flavor to oatmeal, baked beans, Butternut Squash Wedges with Maple Butter, as well as in candy, beverages or anywhere you want to add a hint of maple flavor.
  • Try using maple extract instead of vanilla extract to enhance your favorite recipes with a rich maple flavor and aroma.

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

ATHREN Exercise Ball with Foot Pump

Exercise Ball with Foot Pump (GYM QUALITY FITNESS BALL) - 2000lbs Anti-burst - Also Known as: Fitness Ball - Yoga Ball - Swiss Ball - Multiple Colors and Sizes
by Athren

This is an extremely durable ball.  It is good for fun as well as exercise.   It provided a wealth of fun in the pool yesterday.   Not only was it fun to toss around, it was highly entertaining when the kids tried to float on it, let alone when they jumped off the diving board with it.   So for the exercise folks this is a good ball but for the folks who just want a fun ball for people, not just kids, to play with, this is a great ball. 

The pump that came with the ball was a nice touch but it sprung a leak before the ball was even one quarter inflated.  Since the review is on the ball not the pump, I will stay with five stars but a more durable pump would be a nice feature.

I received this ball at no charge with the understanding I would do an honest product review.

PROFESSIONAL GRADE - Our exercise balls are used by gyms and medical centers around the world. Made from the highest quality durable materials on the market, it is no wonder why we are trusted by the best. Read on about our Athren guarantee.
ANTI-BURST TESTED - We hand test each ball before sending it out to you to make sure they are able to withstand the toughest workout conditions. You won't be disappointed..
TRUSTED BY THE BEST - The Athren exercise balls are endorsed by physical therapists, athletes and bodybuilders.
RATED UP TO 2000lbs - Your ball can withstand up to 200lbs. That's one hell of a tough ball. You can rely on it. Suitable for kids, men and women.

ATHREN GUARANTEE - If your ball happens to burst by miracle, we'll replace it. If you are not satisfied, we will refund you and pay for your return shipping. If you change your mind, we'' understand and will refund you with no questions asked. Our iron-clad guarantee is a matter of brand integrity.

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

Thursday, October 6, 2016

StarTech.com DVIVGAFM DVI to VGA Cable Adapter - F/M

If purchasing this make sure you have a cable and a monitor that is appropriate

to the connections on the adapter.

Frankly I don't know if this works or not.  I have 7 DVI cables and a monitor with a DVI connector.  I could not get anything on the monitor with any of the cables after putting this adapter in the VGA port on two different computers.   The adapter is a DVI I-dual link.  The monitor is a DVI D-dual link.  I had cables that fit but still got no image.   I do not have another monitor with DVI  input of any type to test with this.   It seems like a good idea but it is unknown as far as testing.  I have had very positive experiences with StarTech gear so I suspect that it is a DVI issue.  Since there seems to be multiple DVI connectors, I see now why my other three monitors are all HDMI.   

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

Sunday, October 2, 2016

StarTech.com 1-Feet Lightning to USB Cable 0.3m, White (USBCLT30CMW)

I personally have no (NO) Apple products.  I am a PC/Android fan but my kids and grandkids have lots of  Apple gear.   Somebody is always complaining that they can't find their charger.  Now I have one which is clearly tagged as being mine.   I will then be the hero for having one when they "have" to get on line. 
$16.00 at Amazon

·                        Charge your iPad or iPhone inside its car mount
·                        1 ft USB to Lightning Cable
·                        1ft Coiled USB to Lightning Cable
·                        0.3m Coiled Lightning Cable
·                        30cm Charge and Sync Cable
·                        White USB to Lightning Cable
·                        Compact design fits nicely inside any carrying case

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

Garden Hose Nozzle Hand Sprayer Heavy Duty Metal Construction , High Pressure Pistol Grip with 8 Water Spray Patterns

This is a very nice hose nozzle.  I have several hose nozzles some even old enough to actually be metal.  This nozzle has 8 different spray patterns.  Frankly I don't see a lot of use for that many but I do like the flexibility.  The spray head seems well constructed and has a solid feel.  I like the mist feature as that allows a very soft spray.  I haven't had a pet to wash for awhile but this is soft enough to keep from freaking out the dog.  With my experience with several cats, I don't know of any water spray that would keep cats (at least the four we had.) from freaking out.  The jet spray is tight and with the right water pressure should allow hitting 2nd floor windows and ridding them of the dreaded bird droppings.  Jet also is strong enough to use cleaning the patio.   They provide 5 extra washers which is nice but seems excessive.  This unit should provide a very satisfactory experience for years.  I did receive this hose nozzle at no charge in exchange for an honest review.   This was $13.99 at Amazon. 

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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