Thursday, March 29, 2007

Distributor for Obsolete Electronics Components

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Are you into electronics? What about repairing older electronics? If so, you'll likely need to get your hands on components and parts for those devices. Luckily for you, there are discontinued electronics distributors that specialize in precisely this field. 4-Star Electronics happens to be one of those distributors.

The concept of 4-Star is really quite simple. They market discontinued and obsolete semiconductors, diodes, military components, and other electronics parts. While this may seem like an odd business model, it actually makes perfect sense.

As I mentioned above, people with electronics often need parts to make older things work. 4-Star is your source for those needs.

Based on their website, they have a pretty extensive line of inventory. The odds are high that if you need a discontinued electronic component, they will have it ready to ship out to you.

With all of the desire in today's world to have the latest and greatest gadget, it's good to know that some companies still try to help out people who use other technology. It's doesn't have to be cutting edge to get the job done.

Be sure to check out 4-Star Electronics for your obsolete electronics components. I'll bet they have what you need.

Find Alternate Sources for Goods to Save Money

I'm always on the lookout for easy ways to save money. One handy way to save is to find the cheapest place to buy something. Here's a great example:

I'm addicted to Lipton's bottled sweetened ice tea. A bottle of the stuff costs $1.59 at our local grocer. But I found out that our school bookstore sells it for $1.25. Isn't that a steal?

The ironic thing is that you'd normally assume goods to be cheaper at the grocery store. In this case, that's not true.

The moral of the story is clear: shop around for the lowest price.

PayDay Loan Site Also Helps with Student Loans

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I just ran across a great site for a Payday Loan. This can be a decent way to get yourself through a money crunch, although personal finance bloggers might kill me for saying that. These kind of loans aren't necessarily ideal, but it's better than getting evicted from your house.

This site can help you get a Maryland payday loan as well as a Washington cash advance. The company can also help with student loan consolidation, mortgage refinancing, and other credit needs. It's kind-of a one-stop loan shop.

Smart Start Bars Provide a Healthy Snack

Our modern lives demand that we be on the go for much of the day. This makes it hard to get adequate nutrition. If you're like me, you end up eating really unhealthy food, especially for quick snacks.

One thing I've found to help change that are Smart Start Healthy Heart Bars from Kellogg's. My favorite flavor is strawberry vanilla, but the cinnamon ones are pretty good too.

These bars are sort-of like a bowl of cereal in a handy package. They satisfy your sweet tooth, and also provide some good nutrition. They even have some carbs and protein to help give your body fuel.

I'm lovin' them. In fact, I just ate one. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Show Off Art, Meet People, and Share Places

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With all the socially oriented sites out there, you'd think the market would be flooded. I guess not.

There's a new site now that allows Artists Set Up a Portfolio of Your Work. It's called The Whole 9, and it's based on the idea that existing sites are too impersonal and not inter-connected enough.

The Whole 9 is divided into three areas that all mingle together: people, profiles, and places. This lets members get to know each other, highlight their portfolios & experience, and share recommendations for bars & restaurants.

While this site might not take off for the mainstream internet user, it's aimed toward a more selective demographic in the first place. It's got a neat design, and I'll bet a lot of people will like it. Go check it out!

Windows Vista Automatically Switches From Aero

I stumbled across an interesting Vista "feature" today. If you're working along and the OS can't handle showing the flashy Aero interface with the programs you're running, Vista will automatically switch to a less system-intensive theme.

The first time this happened, I thought my computer was massively wigging out on me. But after it happened a couple times, I realized it's the way it's "supposed" to work.

The ironic thing is that a website caused this mess. I was browsing along in Firefox, it froze, and Vista changed the theme. Once I closed Firefox, everything popped back to normal. Odd.

I guess I'd much rather have Vista switch up the way the computer looks than crash altogether. I can sacrifice flashy graphics for a few minutes, if it means I don't have to restart or something.

Find Answers to Questions About Home Mortgages

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Have you ever tried to get a mortgage? The mere thought is daunting. Luckily, there's a handy site with information on Home Loan Mortgages.

This site provides information, statistics, rates, and help for your mortgage search process. You can find information on Connecticut mortgages, New Jersey mortgages, and even mortgages in Virginia.

Right now I'm trying to sort out all the ins and outs of mortgages, and I might find some helpful information on this site. If you're in a similar boat, check it out.

Getting Back to Basics with Shaving

Shaving is the bane of my existence. Men are expected to be cleanly shaven in public, but it's such a pain.

For a while I've been looking at getting a fancy electric razor (a step up from my disposable ones), but I might go the opposite direction. I'm now looking at classic shaving.

That's right, I'm looking to buy a quality, old fashioned, safety razor. Just one double-sided blade. I might go the whole nine yards and get a cool shaving brush too.

I'm still reading up on this and seeing what it will cost. But I'm about ready to take the plunge (or cut). We'll see what I end up getting.

Find a Car with this Neat Classifieds Site

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Are you in the market for a used car? If so, you should check out these Used Car Dealerships.

AutoCity101 is a new online car classifieds directory that aims to make the world a better place. The owners of the site are devoting their profits to help start a network of orphanages, beginning with one in Mexico City.

You've got to admire ambition like this! If you're already looking for a car, why not give them a quick peek?

Save Your Notes Online with Stikkit

Yesterday I talked about Twitter, which is a newly popular web 2.0 service.

Today's topic is Stikkit. While Twitter focuses on communication, Stikkit is all about housing your information. It does this with digital post-it notes called "stikkits."

When you register for a free account, you can post stikkits to your page. Stikkit can recognize things you're typing, adding events to your calendar, to-do list, bookmarks, and contacts on the fly. It does this by "thinking" for you; that is, it recognizes key words and symbols such as knowing that "Bob Smith" is a new contact.

If you're looking for a new way to manage information online, you should give Stikkit a try. It's fun!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Check Out These Verizon Phones

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Are you in the market for a new cell phone or carrier? I know that I am. Actually, I don't have a cell phone right now, so I'm hoping to get one in the near future.

You should check out these Verizon cell phone deals. If you sign up for a new plan with Verizon, you can get a free phone. These aren't any old cheapo phones either; you can get the LG Chocolate or even a RAZR. That's definitely a really sweet deal.

Some of these deals come with a spiffy phone, along with a bluetooth headset. You'll be fully ready for mobile communication, once you get a great Verizon cellular plan, a nice phone, and hands free headset. You can keep up with friends, colleagues, and clients, anywhere you go.

The only caveat here is that Verizon must obviously offer service in your area. Sadly, they don't in my neck of the woods. But that doesn't mean that you'll be out of luck. Just go to the page linked above, enter your zip code next to the phone you want, and you'll immediately see what options you have. Easy, right?

Now, maybe I'll do some phone shopping myself...

Are You a Twitter?

I've finally gotten into the Twitter scene. Do you tweet?

So far, I've found two decent uses for this service. First, it's been a handy way to get more connected with other bloggers. Instead of just emailing and blogging back and forth, we can now tweet ocassionally, and keep up more with each other's lives.

Second, Twitter has been a handy way to ask a quick question of people. I haven't had a ton of luck with this one, but I'm hoping it will be better as I get more friends.

Have you found Twitter useful? Or is it just extra noise in your already busy life?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Portable, Reliable Home Security System

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Does your current house or apartment have a built in security system? If not, you can still have a reliable security system.

LaserShield produces an alarm system that consists of a simple base unit combined with any number of transceiver units. The units plug into a standard wall outlet and telephone jack. You get all this for only $199.99.

The system also comes with a keychain remote that has a panic button. This could be very useful if you came home to find intruders in your house.

Finally, you can easily expand the system by adding extra sensors around your home or office. This should make it possible to use LaserShield for your entire space. That's quite handy.

Initial Impressions of Windows Vista - Slick

I've now been running Windows Vista for about 48 hours. While the upgrade took a while to complete, my initial feeling is that I love Vista.

I'm running this puppy on my Dell Inspiron E1405, so it's got the juice and power to run the Aero interface. Several things are changed, but I'm adjusting well.

With that said, one thing that does bug me is the sidebar. I just don't get how it can be useful. Maybe I'm missing something, but the gadgets are little more than eye candy. They look spiffy, but they just take up space. Is there a way to make them smaller? If they were half the size, I might like it. Otherwise, I won't be using this thing long.

Interesting Website for Handcrafted Jewelry and Gifts

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There's a really neat website I just ran across for buying artisan jewelry and other handmade gifts. They have lots of earrings, necklaces, and the like. The prices are very reasonable as well.

This site provides a great way for artisans to market their work. Artisans even keep 80% of the sale price. That's not a bad deal at all. The site does the work of marketing and selling goods, while the artisans get to keep most of the profits.

Finally, the market has some neat gift ideas arranged by occasion and recipient. I just checked out the gift ideas page, and I saw a neat votive candle holder.

If you're looking for some handcrafted art, you should definitely check out this site.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Use AVG for Free Anti-Virus Protection

Do you have a good anti-virus program on your computer? Perhaps you're paying a monthly or yearly fee subscription. If so, you're getting ripped off.

You should check out the free version of AVG anti-virus. This program is completely free to download, install, and get automatic software & virus updates. Definitely a good deal.

But is it effective? I've been using AVG for 5-6 months, and I haven't had a single virus. It's been incredibly effective. And it doesn't get better than being FREE, right?

Learn the Secrets Behind Magic Tricks

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Have you ever wanted to know the secrets behind magic tricks? I'm personally a fan of illusions and the like. They're definitely fascinating.

There's a great site where you can see David Copperfield magic revealed, along with other secrets behind magic tricks. You do have to make a "small donation" to access the members only area. However, if you're really interested in illusions, this isn't much.

So go check it out and see if this site is for you. It might be a good deal, if you're into magic.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Increase Online Security With a PayPal Security Key

If you're not cautious regarding your online security, you're practically asking for identity theft. I'm always on the lookout for better ways to keep confidential info safe.

That's why I got a PayPal security key. This little gizmo fits on your key chain, and it adds an extra level of protection to your PayPal account.

When you get your key ($5 each), simply activate it on your account. Whenever you login, you will enter your email address and password. But then you'll be prompted to enter the six digit number that shows up on your key.

Basically, this gadget generates a new six digit number every 30 seconds. The number only works to open your PayPal account during those 30 seconds. So even if a thief got your email and password, they'd still need the key to get into your account. Cool, right?

Indian Version of YouTube

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I'm definitely a fan of online television. Why pay for TV, when you can view videos and TV shows online for free?

I just ran across a South Asian (INDIAN) Video Distribution Website that seems to be similar to YouTube. You can upload videos, view others have uploaded, etc.

The neat thing about Konkan TV is that you can also view videos on your cell phone. This definitely takes online video to a new level.

I'm honestly not sure how an American audience will like the content at Konkan, but it does provide an alternative to other video sites. If you're looking for some different online video, you might give it a try.

Consider Buying Generic Substitutes

When it's time to buy groceries, don't overlook generics. Buying the "off-brand" item can save you significant money, without really sacrificing quality.

One great example is canned goods. What's the difference between "Old El Paso" refried beans and the store brand? Price. I'm willing to bet that you couldn't tell the difference between the two in a blind taste test. If there is some noticeable taste difference, you can probably remedy that by adding a little spice (or salsa) of your own. Why pay $1.25 for a can of beans, when you get basically the same thing for 70 cents?!

Another critical time to think about generics is with medicine. Prescriptions will likely be dispensed with generics, since they are FDA-proven to be the same as the name brand pill. Your insurance company wants to save money, so they'll make you get the generic version, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.

You can definitely control which over-the-counter medicine you buy. Don't opt for Robitussin cough syrup, when you can save several dollars by getting the store brand. If you read the labels, they have exactly the same active ingredients, which is what you really care about.

Do yourself and your wallet a favor: think generic.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Secret PayPerPost Announcement on the Horizon

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The good fellas over at PayPerPost (PPP) have something up their sleeve. Unfortunately, they're not telling anyone for a few weeks.

If you're unfamiliar with this company, it provides a novel way for website owners to increase site traffic by purchasing paid reviews of their site. Bloggers sign up to write these reviews, and the advertisers decide how much they're willing to pay and what types of sites they want reviewing them.

The last big change PPP made was to offer segmented advertising. In the beginning, advertisers just set the price for reviews, and bloggers could pick anything they wanted to write about. Now advertisers can set the PageRank and Alexa ranking for their target blogs, as well as specific categories the blogs should fit within.

Now the question is what big news PPP is going to announce. I think they'll have some new features to entice advertisers. I'm not sure what this would entail, but maybe they've come up with something interesting.

On a related note, I'm hoping they'll come up with an affiliate program for bloggers to bring in advertisers. Currently, bloggers only get money for bringing in other bloggers (to my knowledge). The PPP market would grow if bloggers had a direct incentive to bring in advertisers.

Only time will tell what the news really is. Stay tuned right here, and I'll let you know.

Dole Fruit Cups Rock

And now, for something completely different...

I just finished having a Dole fruit cup with my lunch. These little things are a great way to have some nutritious food, even while on-the-go.

If you're unfamiliar with this product, go to your local supermarket. Find the canned fruit section. You'll see packs of little cups with diced fruit in them. They will have all sorts of varieties, from tropical fruit to peaches to pears (my favorite!).

Stick these cups in the fridge, then you have instant, healthy snacks at hand. It just doesn't get much easier than this.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Find Your New Sunglasses at Optics Planet

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I just ran across a nifty site for sunglasses. It's called Optics Planet, and they have just about any kind of sunglasses you could ever want.

For the astronomers out there, they also have a page of Telescopes. As you can see, this place carries all things optical-related. Very cool.

Optics Planet also has a directory full of prescription sunglasses. Some are made to accept your current glasses or a prescription add-on; others are made with lenses for your prescription. These are really cool.

Finally, Optics Planet offers free UPS shipping for any order over $29.95. Thus, most decent pairs of sunglasses will ship to your door for free. Handy, right?

Vista Is On The Way!!

I just got an email today that my upgrade to Windows Vista is on the way. It should be here in a day or two.

Upgrading to a new operating system definitely brings about mixed feelings. I'm excited about the features that Vista offers, particularly the nifty new GUI, but also some things that should help with productivity.

But at the same time, I'm worried that the upgrade won't go smoothly. I'm fairly dependent on a number of programs, so I've got to make sure they are all Vista compatible. Most importantly, all my hardware and drivers have to work.

Fortunately, I got my new laptop in January, and it bears the happy "Windows Vista Compatible" sticker. I'll definitely backup my data and do some research before I attempt the upgrade. But it should be fairly smooth sailing. Hopefully...

More People are Buying Smart Phones These Days

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I think I'm the only person in my law school that doesn't own a cell phone. According to a recent press release, a lot of people are now moving past regular cell phones to smart phones.

That's right, smartphone sales (according to Wirefly) have increased 70% from 2006 to the first quarter of 2007. That's a pretty big jump.

As the article explains, these phones aren't just for nerds these days. In fact, I know several people who I wouldn't consider very tech-savvy, but they've opted for the smart phone route.

One reason might be that this gives people easy access to email, internet, and other rudimentary applications. If you're a light tech user, you might be able to forgo a computer and internet at home. That's not for me, but it might work for some of you.

Social Security Statement

My social security statement arrived today's mail. I've been working since age 16, paying taxes all the while. But the government finally saw fit to send me a nice little statement, detailing how much money I'll have when I retire:

$625 a month!

My wife wasn't quite as excited as I was. True, $625 won't buy much. Plus, I'll have to continually work until I'm 67 to even get that much. And I'm only 24 now.

Then there's the fact that social security will most likely be completely bankrupt in the next few years, unless there's a massive overall.

That gets me back to my retirement savings without social security: $0. Man, I've got to start saving.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Good Site for Hotel Reservations

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It's already the middle of March. While most people are focusing on Spring Break trips, it's time to start planning your summer vacation too!

If you're looking for a good site to book your hotels, check out Hotel Reservations. As advertised by the site's header, you can save up to 70% off on your vacation accommodations. That definitely makes the site worth checking out.

One cool thing about this site is that it has all sort of different lodging options. You can book a regular hotel, get a vacation rental, or even find a vacation package. This makes a one-stop travel agent for your next vacation.

In addition to lodging, you can also find flights and car rentals through this site. What more can a person need?!

The prices from Hotel Reservations are also pretty competitive with prices you might find elsewhere. I did a quick search for hotels in my town, and the prices looked pretty good. I definitely don't stay in hotels here much, but from what I can tell, they're at least on a nice competitive level with other sites.

If you're interested in traveling overseas, Hotel Reservations also has some good deals on world wide travel. I did a quick search for hotels in Milan, and I found several nice listings for about $90 a night. That's cheaper than many hotels here in the U.S.!

There are also some good looking deals on vacation packages, as I mentioned above. I found a seven day trip to St. Lucia for $1400/person. That includes airfare and accommodations. I'm honestly not up on current prices for this kind of trip, but that sounds like a really good deal to me. I just might book something like this.

What are you waiting for, check out Hotel Reservations today!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Standard iPod Earphones Are Missing a Lot

I'm definitely not a fan of the standard white iPod earphones. Perhaps my ears are oddly shaped, but the earbuds hurt when I put them in. They just don't fit nicely at all.

Moreover, I have to crank my iPod up all the way to hear my music when I'm riding on the bus. Talk about damaging hearing.

The only good thing about the standard-issue earphones is that they're small and lightweight. I do commend Apple for that. But I just don't see how anyone can use them for long-term listening.

Get Help Selecting a Cell Phone Plan from Wirefly

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Ever since I first stumbled upon Wirefly, I've been increasingly amazed at the services and deals it offers. You can get great deals on cell phone plans, phones, and accessories. But their service doesn't stop there.

If you want to save money off your current cellular plan, Wirefly can help you out with their plan wizard. It's a really simple concept. First, enter your zip code. Then enter your current carrier, phone number, and typical usage information.

Wirefly will then tell you what other plan or carrier might save you money. Their advertising claims that you can actually save up to 40% off your current phone plan. To me, that's some serious money. It's even bigger money, when you realize that a lot of people are paying $75-100 monthly for their cell phone service.

The concept behind this service really makes sense. It's in your best interest to have a cellular plan tailored to your actual calling needs. Wirefly is using their database of calling plans and a simple computer program to determine if they can do better for you. That's pretty cool.

The difficult part, in my opinion, is that most people's cell phone usage varies over time. Thus, one plan might be great for you this month, but it might be really bad for you two months from now. Since we all know you can't just switch carriers every two months, you really have to stick with a plan for a while.

In the end, I suppose you could see calling trends over a few months and then use Wirefly's plan wizard. This would give you a better view of your needs and hopefully save yourself some money.

I don't know about you, but when it's time for my next cell phone, I'm probably heading to Wirefly. It's at least a great place to research plans and prices.

Great Plugin to Leverage Digg on WordPress

I like Digg, but I don't want a Digg badge on every post on my blogs. My articles just don't get dugg enough to warrant that.

However, I promote some articles, and others get dugg on their own. So it's nice to add a Digg button to these posts. Now I've found the perfect method to do that, on WordPress.

There's a handy Digg button plugin that you can install in WordPress. To show the Digg button, all you do is click a special button on your post editor. Once an article is dugg, you can easily associate the badge with the article's Digg page. It's really simple, and quite handy.

I've only been using this plugin for a short time, but it's already paying off. Hopefully you'll have good results too.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Personal Time Management Software from Effexis

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I just ran across a new piece of software that might help your daily life. This is some cool time management software that can help organize your life and your time.

The program is called Achieve Planner. You can get the Standard version for $49 version, or go Pro for $79.

Achieve Planner gives you the ability to track to do's, prioritize, and schedule tasks. It looks like a pretty complete time management program.

Finally, there's a neat "weekly planning wizard" that helps you plan out your week. This might be handy for your weekly review, if you're a GTD follower.

I haven't used Achieve Planner myself, but if you're looking for a good time management program, you might give it a try. If you have experience with it, drop a comment here to let us know.

Find Inspiration in The Merlin Show

If you haven't heard of Merlin Mann, you should check out his site. He's definitely a productivity guru, but also a guy with a unique look on life.

If you're looking for a bit of inspiration, you should definitely subscribe to Merlin's new video podcast. It's called "The Merlin Show." As he explains in the intro episode, the only thing that's set is that he's in it.

I'm definitely going to find some good kernels for writing in this podcast. I guarantee it's going to be good.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Great Site for Light Fixtures

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When you're thinking about building a house, you've got to plan on lots of things that we take for granted most days. For example, light fixtures are usually just there. But when you're building, you've got to put them there.

If you're in search of light fixtures, you should check out Premier Lighting. They have a large assortment of lamps and light fixtures for all budgets and decorating tastes. Check them out, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Good Study Program for the MPRE

If you're planning to be a lawyer, you'll need to take the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). Since this is a test that determines if you will be a lawyer, you've got to study.

Fortunately, BAR/BRI has a good study program for this test. If you're already enrolled in their bar review program, you get the MPRE materials for free. You get a video lecture, an outline, practice tests, and a program called "Study Smart."

The software is the coolest part. It contains a mini-outline version, practice tests, and sample questions. It can even tell you which areas are your strengths and which you need to work on.

If you're trying to study for the MPRE, I highly recommend BAR/BRI's program.

Mammoth Collection of Online Coupons

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Are you up for some online coupon codes? If so, you've got to head on over to Coupon Chief. This site contains a massive directory of online coupons. It's a shopper's paradise!

In just two seconds, I pulled up a list of Dell coupons. They've got coupons for everything from digital cameras to headphones to MP3 players. If only I'd known about this site when I bought my new digital camera.

The listings show the coupon value, when it expires, and even simple instructions to use it. Handy, right? Even cooler, you can search the entire site for the product you want. Thus, you can compare coupons from different manufacturers. That's a real time saver.

Significant Changes for Microsoft Office 2007

I finally received my upgrade for Microsoft Office 2007. It's now installed and running just fine on Vista.

The biggest change that I immediately noticed is the interface and menu bar. I couldn't even find the "File" command. Instead, there's a nifty "Office button" that does the standard "File" commands.

The toolbars are redesigned, and it looks like they might be a little more useful. I'm not sure these changes will enhance utility, but they definitely are different.

I honestly haven't gotten much time to check out the many features of Office 2007. They will definitely provide a lot of fodder for future writing, tips, and techniques.

AGLOCO Pays You to Surf the Web

If you want to earn money online, check out AGLOCO. This is a new service that will pay you to surf the internet. Cool, right?

Basically, you just display a "viewbar" of ads at the bottom of your browser while surfing. Advertisers pay AGLOCO to show up in the viewbar. You get paid to be shown ads.

The coolest part is that you also get paid for referring people to the service. Plus, you get paid for their referrals, and so on.

If you're curious, go check it out. The viewbar is still in beta, but you can start building your network now. If you want to help me out, here's my referral link.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Alcoholism Treatment Center

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If you are looking for an alcoholism treatment center, Stone Hawk might be a good choice. They have an extensive alcoholism treatment program and a comprehensive website with lots of information.

The facility itself is located in south central Michigan, and boasts a +76% success rate for drug rehabilitation. It's even on a lake stocked with fish; the perfect place to have a serene start to a brand new life.

There are actually two different programs at two separate facilities. One is a 3-6 month program, while the other is only 28 days. These are intended to cater to the specific individual needs of each person. Very cool.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Whole Foods Was Full of Holes

I made my first solo trip to Whole Foods today. I've been a couple times before, but with other people. Today I embarked on my first trip alone.

I set out to buy two simple things: Illy coffee and nutritional yeast. I knew Whole Foods carried both of these things. It should've been in & out.

I looked around for the nutritional yeast and wasn't finding it. That's my own problem, so I asked for some help. An associate took me to the bulk bins where we discovered that they were out of exactly what I needed. But she ended up finding a big can in another section of the store. I only need 1/2 cup, and the can was 16 oz. for $12.99.

So then I went to get coffee. I found the coffee section with ease, and then I found the Illy shelf pretty quickly. But then I saw a starkly empty spot right where my kind should've been. Poop!

In the end, I wasn't impressed with Whole Foods. In fact, I will probably never go there again. They donate money to Planned Parenthood, so I'm definitely not a supporter there. But I'm never happy when a store is out of the 1 or 2 things I go to buy.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Great Site for Free Images

Do you do any web design work? If you're a blogger, you might design your own templates. Perhaps you design websites for other people.

Whatever the reason for designing, you'll need images. That's where Bittbox helps out.

This is a great site full of image-related goodies. The coolest part is that they're free, along with advice and tips on how to do vector-based web design. Very cool stuff.

Honestly, these freebies are so cool that I'm thinking of redesigning some of my blogs.

Get a Keyboard Cover to Preserve Your Investment

I've been using my spiffy Inspiron E1405 for several weeks now. I LOVE this machine. To protect my investment, I purchased a keyboard cover for it.

If you haven't thought of a keyboard cover, you're overlooking an important piece of equipment. Here are just a few benefits:

  • safeguard your keyboard from liquids and crumbs
  • prevent keyboard marks on your screen
  • make keyboard cleanup a snap
Before I bought my cover, I was worried that it would interfere with my typing or be a nuisance. However, I've been using it for about a week now with great success. It took about a day to get used to it. Now I'm typing at my usual speed, and I don't even really notice the cover any longer. The only thing I really notice now is a quieter keyboard. Nifty, right?

View a DVD for Free!

I'm definitely a fan of free things. That's why I love redbox.

Surely you've seen the big red machines in grocery stores, drug stores, and some McDonald's locations. They vend DVDs. You can get just about any new release for $1 per day.

Pick your title, swipe a credit card, and get your DVD. Keep it as long as you want and then return it to any redbox. That's handy, right?

So how are they free? Promo codes! Redbox gives out promo codes good for a day's rental when you enter your email address on their website. Thanks to awesome community sites like Inside Redbox, we can ALL benefit from these codes. Users input their codes, along with their success or failure and location. Then it's a piece of cake to view the latest valid promo codes for your region.

I think I might go "rent" a movie this afternoon. You can't beat a free DVD.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Awesome Headphones - Shure E2c

I'm the proud owner of a pair of Shure E2c sound isolating earphones. You might laugh when I tell you that I paid $108.24 for these puppies ($99.99 + tax), but they're worth every penny.

Instead of the cheapo Apple earbuds that came with my iPod, I use my Shure earphones all the time. Since they isolate sound, I don't have to crank the volume over ambient noise around me. Instead, the Shure earphones literally block out the sound.

Sound isolating headphones work kind-of like an earplug with a headphone attached. Even without music playing, you can't hear much of anything that's going on around you. This means that you only have to turn your volume up a little bit to hear the music. This saves your hearing from unneeded stress.

Be sure not to confuse these earphones with the type that use an electronic device to neutralize sound. Those type produce a whitenoisey sound that tries to deaden ambient noise. It never makes sense to battle noise with ... more noise!

Unfortunately, my earphones have a short in the cord. Sound in the right ear is fuzzy and it comes in and out. Luckily, I discovered that Shure has a 2-year warranty on these puppies. With any luck, I'll have a fixed pair in my hands in a couple weeks. That's a great investment in my book!