Monday, October 10, 2011

7 Year Old Zoe Plays "Sweet Child Of Mine"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Delete cookies / cache in Internet Explorer 8

It used to be in the good old days (before Internet Explorer 8), to delete my cookies and temporary files, I would right click on my email icon in the start menu and choose "internet properties". In the general tab and I could delete my temp files, cookies, saved passwords and browsing history with one click. Well I can still do it this way, but in Internet Explorer 8, this does not delete your web "cache".

Your web cache is another set of temporary files that helps regularly visited web pages load faster. However, it also will store files to web pages that you may never visit again. The cache folder can contain images, shockwave files, flash banners and other files that can be large and eventually take up needed space if not deleted.

I stumbled on to this when I noticed a few things odd on my computer. I sometimes work on websites and it is handy to right click on a web page and choose "view source" to see the html code. All of a sudden one day, this would no longer work. Then when I would defragment, I would look at the files that were being moved, and some were shockwave and flash files that I knew I had not recently added. Some files had Google in the file name- so I knew it was advertising of some sort. And having deleted my cookies and temporary files in the way I always did in the past, these files should be gone. Also, the last time Norton's did a full system scan, it took like 3 hours and I had 1.5 million files scanned, no malware or viruses, but 63 tracking cookies that were deleted. Norton's spent a lot of that time on the "web cache" area, so a light went on in my head. (on a sidenote: I also noticed that when Norton's did an idle (full system) scan, it would never make it all the way through).

I did a Google search on "how to delete web cache" and found the answer. Here is how to do it in Internet Explorer 8:

1. From the Safety menu in the upper right, click Delete Browsing History.
2. Deselect Preserve Favorites website data, and select Temporary Internet files, Cookies, and History.
3. Click Delete.

At first, I was a bit concerned as this took over 5 hours, but it finally did clear and I was good to go. This must have been all the "cached" files since I upgraded to IE8. This did the trick, and I am surprised that there is not more information on the subject. I m not a brainiac, but I am not completely stupid on the computer either. I just want to pass on this information so that it may help people that were in the same boat that I was in. I would recommend to delete your "web cache" at least every month. Yes you will have to re-login to your Facebook, Twitter and other login pages, but trust me, my computer runs like new again...

NOTE: I ran a Norton's full system scan again today (after 2 days surfing) and there were 871,000 files scanned. So deleting the web cache dropped around 700,000 files! This scan took about 30 minutes.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Don Ross - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley)

Don Ross does an amzing acoustic solo guitar version of Crazy done originally by Gnarls Barkley

And just so you can enjoy the original again:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cuisinart Denies Lifetime Warranty Claim On Teflon Non-Stick Pans

I bought a set of Cuisinart teflon non-stick pans due to the fact that there was supposed to be a lifetime warranty on the cookware. Well when the teflon coating started peeling, I contacted customer service 1-800-726-0190 and was assured that if I sent them back they would warranty the pans. I stressed that they were several years old and the girl said that was ok. I spent $30 to FedEx the pans (sent back all pans in the set) and was also required to enclose a check for $10 to cover return shipping.

After about a month, I had not heard anything, so I called and Cuisinart had no record of receiving our pans, even though on the FedEx website it said "signed by Eechebarria". I related the FedEx confirmation and they said to give it another week to update my file. I called back in a week and the girl said that they received the pans and that there was a note in the file saying "customer abuse". I asked what that meant and she said she didn't know. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was referred to "Daniel". Daniel said that he would look into it and it was up to "corporate" and he had no input in whether the pans would be under warranty or not. He said he would call me back within 24 hours.

Daniel did not call back in 24 hours, so in 48 hours I called Cuisinart back and asked for him. He still said that it was up to corporate - I said that was not good enough; I have $40 more dollars invested in the pans. I told him that I have never seen any teflon coated pan that did not eventually have some peeling and wearing off of the teflon and a "lifetime warranty" should be honored. I also asked for a supervisor higher up.

A day later I got a call from "Dena". Dena (clanging pans sound as she was looking at the pans "right now") said the the customer abuse was using too high of heat which caused the teflon to fail - she also said that it was evident that metal utensils were used. Neither of which are true, the pans were just old and wearing out, but we bought them initially because of the lifetime warranty. Dena obviously had her mind made up already and she stated that if they just replaced pans for everybody, that they would go broke replacing pans with peeling teflon and they were NOT going to warranty my pans.

Due to my constant whining, she did agree to ship back the pans (received but damaged with dings on the edges from apparent mishandling in the warehouse), refund my $30 shipping and the $10 check (have not received yet). My response was since she was going to ship my pans back at a cost of $20 (probably their cost to ship) and write a check for $40, wouldn't it be wiser to invest that $60 and send us a new set of pans that have a (Cuisinart cost) of $60. She said "Look, we generally don't refund the original shipping, so NO". I also told Dena that I would post a positive blog post review as well as a negative blog post review on my experience with Cuisinart pans whichever was needed. She said that was my right. So here I am with the negative - I will never buy Cuisinart again and their warranty is not worth the paper it is printed on.

On a sidenote, I DO realize that all teflon pans eventually peel, but to be accused of abusing my Cuisinart pans just to get out of a warranty claim put a bad taste in my mouth (pardon the pun). Why would I invest $40 in sending back the pans back to Cuisinart, when I could add $20, go to WalMart and get another crappy set and avoid the hassle? It is also my opinion that a "lifetime warranty" is a lifetime warranty - if the warranty doesn't cover the peeling teflon on the Cuisinart pan, what does it cover? What else goes wrong with a teflon coated pan? And CBSTL wrote an Amazon review that states that "Cuisinart advertises the cookware set as being able to use metal utensils". You can read his Amazon review HERE.

I doubt if many consumers took Cuisinart to task as far as I did, and it is my opinion that with the time and money they spent dealing with me, it would have taken less than 5 minutes to make me a happy customer, but I guess those days are gone. So I do not recommend buying Cuisinart pans, and I won't be buying ANY Cuisinart products any time soon.

ATTENTION CUISINART: I am still a red-blooded American consumer and I do not consider this matter resolved. Send me a nice set of non-stick cookware and I would consider removing this post (and my negative Amazon.com reviews.) The longer you wait, the more Google is my friend...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maddi Jane - Rolling in the Deep (Adele)

Here is 11 year old Maddi Jane covering Adele's Rolling in the deep

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Punctuation Police - Apostrophe Division

I have made it my duty throughout the years to help society in my own little way. When I go into a retail establishment that has a sign that that has a blatant misuse of an apostrophe, I feel the need to point it out to the proprietor the mistake. After all, there are easy cut and dry rules when to use an apostrophe; either a contraction or to show possession. I am surprised at (even when approached friendly and discreetly) how many people are actually offended and get defensive.

My goal here would be to help the business display a more professional front - similar to obvious spelling errors, the apostrophe is an important part on how I view a business as a whole. I would think that my help would be appreciated as I can clear up a confusing gray area in their lives. I do my best not to belittle the sign maker, but to try to educate them in a professional manner. From that day forward, they would not have to waste time trying to decide when to use an apostrophe or not. Does it show possession or is it a contraction? I had to study in the 4th grade, and missed many an episode of Brady Bunch and Partridge Family because my father felt I did not have a good enough grasp on the English language (and times tables, but that is a different story).

A good example is I went into a north side hot dog establishment (to remain nameless) and they have two signs with the "Special's". I casually pointed it out to the waitress (I had been there many times and she knows me well by now) that the apostrophe was not needed, that Specials was just a plural. She just said "It doesn't matter". Well to my little anal world, and I suppose to a bigger group of intelligent yet not outspoken patrons, it IS important. I use this misuse of an apostrophe in my overall judgement of a business. If this simple error can slip by the owner / manager, what other type of small mishaps are being overlooked? Could I be in danger? Did they pay their insurance? My head is filled with hundreds of dreadful scenarios.

Another great example is a north side Toyota dealer (again to be unnamed) ran a large newspaper ad several years ago that had in big bold print "Tercel's, Corolla's and Camry's" with special prices. My first step here was to call the newspaper's (note the apostrophe in newspaper's) advertising department. I finally connected with a younger gentleman that for one insisted that they print the ad exactly as sent by the business, with no proofreading or editing, or even an obligation to contact the business when errors are found. I can live with that, but when I quizzed him further on how that policy reflects on the newspaper's reputation, he defended the apostrophes' placement. So I asked him if there was an ad about dogs and cats, would it be dog's and cat's? He (seriously) replied it would depend on the breed. I asked if he was making more than $8 an hour and if he was, the newspaper was getting ripped off. I also asked him what he was so busy doing in the 4th grade?

Well, I could not let sleeping dogs and cats lie, so I called the Toyota dealer. I finally got the advertising executive on the line. When I pointed out that Tercels, Corollas and Camrys did not need apostrophes, and that he actually paid for 3 typeset places he didn't need, he too got defensive. Mind you, I am doing this as a courtesy from one professional to another, trying to boost the reputation of the Toyota dealer and keep them from being the laughing stock of the car dealer world. His response was "Who cares? It is only punctuation". My reply was "How about I come down there and write you a check for a new Camry for $22.79599? After all it is only punctuation." He hung up on me. But will I ever buy a Toyota from that dealer? No. Have they ever ran that ad again? No.

Another attempt at me trying to fix the World as when Parade magazine ran an ad for a collectible plate. On the plate in big print was "McDonald's", which is fine, but they also had "Hamburger's" right below it. You can imagine how hard it was to contact someone from Corporate McDonald's that actually had anything to do with that plate. After several transfers and about an hour on the phone, I finally talked to a nice lady that said she would look into it. She took my name and address and sent me coupons for 2 free cheeseburgers.

Now I don't claim to be a brainiac, and I am sure that even this article is full of grammatical errors. But I am open for criticism and welcome the opportunity to broaden my horizons by being educated by my fellow man who can point out my pitfalls in a professional manner. I don't try as hard to cure the apostrophe problem, and I threw away my Punctuation Police" business cards, but Holy Cow people....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why Bigfoot Does Not Exist

I will offer a common sense approach to explain why Bigfoot does not exist. The first assumption I am forced to make when weighing the existence of Bigfoot (or Yeti), is that he must be really stupid. Even the cavemen had fire, so if bigfoot was as smart as a Neanderthal, he would have fire too. And since he is living in the Pacific Northwest, it gets really REALLY cold, so not having fire would prove him completely stupid. And if he did have fire, Bigfoot would be spotted from the air as every Bigfoot family would have a campfire every night. Stupidity argument #2 would be that even the lowest of intelligent humanoids enjoy the value of clothing. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that if you are freezing, to cover up - especially your feet. Yet all supposed sightings of Bigfoot are of naked Bigfeet.

Ok, so we have established that Bigfoot is stupid. That being said, we can assume that he would make mistakes, and stumble into campsites by accident. He would also probably hang out on the side of the highway inspecting roadkill and occasionally become roadkill himself. With no intelligence, there is no way that Bigfoot could be so remote to retain a clandestine existence.

Also a low intelligent being would not bury (or burn) dead bodies. So therefore, if there was a viable breeding population, a dead Bigfoot body would eventually be found. You cannot use the excuse that animals would scatter the remains, because I assume the leading cause of death would be freezing to death (see paragraph 1). So a frozen body would be covered with snow and at some point would be discovered. I mean, we found that little missing link guy and he had been around intact for thousands of years.

The only concession I will make is that he could be an alien and not spend much time on the surface at all. After all, the theory is that aliens manipulated our DNA to create Homo-Sapiens, well Bigfeet could be the rebellious hippie alien proto-types that just come the surface to land in the middle of nowhere to grunt.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Website Compliments Any Business Venture

It used to be a few years ago, that the cost of hosing a website put it out of the reach of the average person. The only people that could afford a website, were people that were already successful in their business. Also the difficulty in designing a web page made it frustrating for the beginner. Well times have really changed in the 8 years I have been in the free website business.

You can now purchase a domain name and web hosting at Go-Daddy for under $60 for the entire year! So now people like you and me can get their website going at the launch of a business venture to enhance the probability of success. My sister, for example recently became a Zija distributor (health, diet and fitness supplements), and within a day or two of her launching her business, she can have a professional website up and running that can be viewed from anywhere in the planet 24 hours a day!


There are no other forms of advertising that are as versatile and far reaching as a website for less than $60! Most web hosts are now also catering to beginners and have web page designing programs that are easy to use and turn out professional looking web pages. So no more paying a web designer $2000, and a web host another $1000. There really is no longer an excuse, check out Go-Daddy now!

Domain Names And Web Hosting

We get emails from a lot of people that are contemplating building or hosting their own website and are confused about web hosting and domain names. I will try to help clear up that confusion in this article.

When you purchase a domain name, you are securing just the name used to point to your website; there are no additional features. A domain name from Go-Daddy is around $8.95 a year (depending if you want .com, .org, .net or many of the other new extensions) and usually can be used with both free and paid hosting. Domain nameservers are used to "point" your domain name to your hosting account. Nameservers are found within your domain name administration account DNS settings, and normally if you purchase your domain name and web hosting at the same place, (Go-Daddy for example) you do not have to make any changes to your nameservers. Your domain name will automatically point to your hosted website. You only need to change your nameservers in your domain name account if your actual hosting account is with a different company, such as a free web hosting account. The new nameservers will be provided by your web host. Changes may take around 24 hours to take affect.

Free web hosting is generally supported by a banner ad or text link somewhere on your website pages. If you choose not to purchase a domain name, you are provided with a free sub-domain name. It will usually be like something.something.com and is considered a 2nd level domain name. Sub-domains are not favored as highly by search engines and you have no control over the name if the free web hosting company goes out of business. You also cannot move your sub-domain to a different web host. Paid web hosting will remove ads and links, increase your bandwidth and web traffic limits and usually entitles you to a variety of other features.

Paid web hosting may be bought in 3 month increments or by the year - the more you buy at a time the more you save. You can view recommended hosting plans HERE. Often people use domain names and professional (paid) hosting together, and this is where it gets confusing. They are two separate services that compliment each other, but don't necessarily need each other to work. Renewing your hosting does not renew a domain name and vice versa. The two don't always expire at the same time either. It is important to note the expiry date for both of these features to make sure they are renewed on time. Forgetting to renew a domain name can result in losing that domain name forever. Make sure to pay attention to your email reminders, such as, domain expiry notifications.


I hope these helps clear things up for everyone. Happy site building!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tom Jones and Muammar Gaddifi

Is it just me, or does Muammar Gadaffi look like Tom Jones on a bender?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Should Feel A Lot Safer Now

I was surfing the internet looking for my dirt cheap internet deals when I stumbled across something I find a bit disturbing. It is a knife disguised as a pen. It is technically described as "Survival Defensive Tactical Hidden Knife Ball Pen" and is available for $4.00. The link for this item is http://www.dealextreme.com/p/survival-defensive-tactical-hidden-knife-ball-pen-56695, or if you don't like the serrated edge, you can get a plain edge for $6.40 HERE, but I would hope the items would be taken down and no longer be available for sale. If the links no longer work, I have done my job.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against knives, guns or weapons of any type when used in a responsible manner, but a knife is a knife is a knife. There is no need to disguise it as something else, especially a common ball point pen. In today's era of fear of air travel and invasive searches, why do we need to add items that are just going to make the system even worse. I am sure it is not made in the USA, so maybe that is the plan?

I had planned a longer post on how I reported this knife to Homeland Security, but their emails have a tagline that say disclosing their content is strictly prohibited. So if you want to report the knife yourself, you can go to http://www.tsa.gov/contact/index.shtm and choose "Security Issues".

NOTE: I find it kind of ironic that my Google ads are now going to display ads for knives...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jim Mohr - Original Song - Young Girl (Do What You Wanna Do)

It only took some 49 odd years to post a video of an original song.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Is Beezid Or Skoreit a Scam?

When I first heard of Beezid, and people buying items like big screen tv's for pennies on the dollar, I thought "this has got to be a scam". But let me me be the first to say that there ARE actually people buying brand new quality merchandise for up to 99% off. But before you run off and think you hit the mother lode, let me explain to you how it works.


First of all, unlike Ebay, it costs money to place a bid. So when you first enroll, there is usually an incentive to give you 10 free bids (I used the word ENTER). When an item goes up for bid, the auction will last for a set amount of time and it starts at 1 penny. Theoretically, if you were the only bidder at 1 penny, you would win the item. Each new bid increases the bid cost of the item by 1 cent, so you cannot just bid $80 for an item that might retail at $100. You have to wait until the auction is near the end and watch as the bids go up penny by penny and bid when you think the item has reached it's top price.

It's not as easy as it sounds. There are hundreds of other people that would love that same item at 99% off retail, although it may say that a Kindle 3G+WiFi sold in a prior auction for $11.97, there is no guarantee that the next auction will be anywhere near that price. So it is a gamble to use your bids, $11.97 would be a great price for that item, but then again $12.97 would be too. That is 100 penny bids later, so your 10 free bids could be swallowed up and the price just keeps going up. Or you could wait it out, then miss the auction end completely if the item sells at a lower price.

So when I first created my account, I thought I had an advantage, since I have been doing Ebay for years and I am good with numbers. I am also a salesman myself from wayback and can recognize trends and develop strategies. So the first thing I did was just observe without bidding or even intending to bid. I watched many hours different auctions to see how they panned out. The biggest thing I realized is that you need bids, lots of bids. And you can buy bid packs in groups of 30, 50, 100, 200, 350 and 500. The retail price of a 30 bid pack is $27 which works out to 90 cents a bid. A 500 back of bids retails for $300 which works out to 60 cents a bid. But you can also bid on bid packs, but with your free bids at the beginning, you can only bid on "cherry packs" which are usually a smaller amount of bids.

So you can see where this gets interesting and how the website (and vendors) make their money. You could buy a 50 bid back for $40, then use those bids to bid on a larger bid pack of 100, 500 or even 1000 bids. If you got the new bid packs at a huge discount, you could theoretically lower your cost per bid to a really low level. But if you fail to win the new bid pack auction, you have just wasted some or all of your bids.

So let's just say you used your 50 purchased bids ($40) to bid on an item. Like any auction, it is exciting and hard to be patient. You have to remember that you only have 50 bids and an auction only moves up 1 penny at a time. So an item that sells for $188 at a Beezid auction like a front load washer and dryer that I saw actually had a total of 18,800 bids. And (again theoretically) if each bid cost 60 cents, that would be $11,280. Now with the bidding on bid packs and promos and discounts, the average bid price is considerably less and is broken down in the results of all auctions on Beezid. So if you won that item, you scored big. But if you didn't, and used most or all of your 50 bids, you are just out the money.

What throws a wrench in the gears for people like me is Beezid has what is called "autobeezid". You can set a dollar amount price range that you think an item will sell for, and set how many bids you want to invest and Beezid will automatically place the bids for you to be the highest bidder in that price range. But guess wrong, and it is a quick way to burn up a bunch of bids. And to make matters worse, if 2 or more people use autobeezid in an overlapping price range, every body's bids will be for the most part wasted and the auction price will quickly be driven up until every one's autobeezid bids are gone.

Let me also say that there are also bid pack auctions that are free to bid on. So you can bid on a 50 bid pack and not use any of your bids. If you win, then you buy the bids at a discount. If you lose, you are not out anything. These auctions go a bit higher but are the way to go if you are wanting to start out and not pay retail (your 10 free bids are not going to cut it). They also have "Early Bird Auctions" that if you win, you get all your bids back. Which generally makes the auction go a bit higher, because if you have a lot of bids invested, you are committed, along with everyone else.

So I will end with saying that (at least) Beezid is a very well designed and laid out website that has a great idea. The excitement and interaction is great entertainment and if you are patient and dedicated, you can pick up brand new items at a deep discount. It just may not be as deep of a discount as what it looks like. After you blast a couple hundred dollars on bids, spend hours learning and watching and then pay the $188 delivery charge on the frontload washer and dryer, you may or may not come out ahead. Beezid (and other like sites) and their vendors are making money - good money.

Beezid is NOT an auction site that vendors just dump discontinued, scratch and dent or junk just to get rid of it. But don't think you can walk away with an LG 46 inch flatscreen for $8.50 with little or no effort. So the good news is, auction websites like this are here to stay and are the trendsetters for retail sales. An appliance store does not have to pay the overhead of running a 50,000 square foot retail warehouse. The bad news is, as more and more people join Beezid and participate, it will become harder and more expensive for people like me to keep up. I will probably just go to Best Buy.

UPDATE: While doing research for this post, I stumbled across a Beezid phenomenon that needs mentioning. It seems that Beezid has been accused of unethical and possibly illegal bid counting. The problem appears at the very end of an auction and you get the "Going" sign that the auction is getting ready to end, several people click the bid button at the same time. As a bidder, when you click the bid button, you are legally only authorizing Beezid to count your bid at the exact dollar amount shown as you click. So if 8 people click the bid button within a millisecond, the auction does not jump up 8 cents, only the first person to get in at the next penny level will be the highest. However, according to the accusers, the other 7 are still charged with the bid. This is hard to verify in the frenzy and excitement of the auction, but I have personally been relieved of 2 bids near the very end of an auction and never saw my user name as top bidder.

In the short term this update may seem like a whiny rant, but if you add up all the auctions, this amounts to a buttload of money that is virtually unaccountable at our expense. Beezid blames the snafu on the bidding algorithm and the speed of individual internet browsers.