Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Have You Got Something to Sell?

I've been doing some research on online shopping carts and putting together or maintaining an online store.  Even though I've done some websites in the past, that is one thing that I've never had occasion to learn about or do anything with.

From the research I've done, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.  There are quite a few services out there, so the hard part is choosing between them.  Thankfully most of them offer a free trial, so it would be easy to try them out before making any kind of commitment or paying any fees.

It looks like, besides offering the shopping cart software, they provide a complete online store builder with everything from professional templates to make your store look great to customer registration and login.  And if you don't know anything about technology, they have experts to help you get everything set up and ready to go - so you can start selling whatever it is you're selling in no time.  What that means to me is that I wouldn't have to figure it all out for myself.  I could do what I know how to do and leave the details about how an online store works to the experts.

If you've got something to sell, what that means for you is that you can concentrate on your products and services while your online store brings in the customers and sales. There are different packages to choose from, so you can choose the right one for your products and needs, and upgrading is simple if or when your needs change.  And somebody is always there to answer your questions or help you out with the details.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Counting Words

Sometimes I need to know how many words I've typed into one of my posts.  There's a site that I usually use - Word Count Tool - but occasionally it won't load, like tonight.  So this is a list of alternatives.
  • Words Counter
  • Javascript Kit Cut & Paste Word Count
    This one even gives you the code to embed your own word count box on your website:

    This free script provided by JavaScript Kit
  • Word Counter
  • WordCounterTool - this one can also be used to test your typing speed
They all work in the same way - simply type into the box or copy and paste your post, or whatever else you need to count, and it counts your words for you.  All of them are free to use.

And, of course, you're free to use the word count box I've put into this post.  I just tested it, and it works perfectly!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Best Music of 2012

Amazon has compiled the Best Music of 2012.  I've really enjoyed looking through it.  Some of my favorite music made the list (Some Nights by fun.).   The list also reminded me that I should be listening to some of the MP3 CDs that I bought because they were such a good deal I couldn't resist (My Head Is an Animal), and it's also a good way to discover new music and see what I missed.

The list is divided into Best Albums, Best Songs - both Amazon picked and Customer picked, and Outstanding Albums You Might Have Missed.  Browse the best music of the year by genre, or just browse the lists.

How many of the songs that made the lists are in your collection?  While there are obviously a lot that I don't have, I was surprised by how many of the albums on the list I do have.

What was your favorite song of 2012?  For my answer, see previous post.  (I love that whole album, which did make the list of Best Albums)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just Give Me a Reason

I listen to this song over and over.  Love this!  OK, this whole VH1 Storytellers episode is great.  But this.


You're welcome.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Check the Facts Before You Forward Those Photos

Back in March I wrote a post about a picture supposedly taken of a tornado in Georgia.  The photo was being passed around Facebook, and it was an awesome photo.  However, it was not of a tornado in Georgia the previous evening.  It was a very cool phenomenon caused by an erupting volcano.

Today I saw this photo on Facebook:

This is supposedly Hurricane Sandy bearing down on New York City and Liberty Island.
Well, guess what?  Yep, you guessed it - it's NOT Hurricane Sandy.  It's not even a 'real' picture - it's a Photoshop image combining a photo of  the Statue of Liberty and another photo of a  supercell thunderstorm from 2004.  It looks really cool, but it's not the real thing.

I haven't seen all the others floating around, but here's a list of 11 Viral Photos That AREN'T Hurricane Sandy.  What can we learn from this?  What should we have already learned regarding practically everything that we find on the internet, and that definitely includes Facebook?  Check the facts before you forward or share those photos.  Or emails.  Or anything else.

Maybe you think it doesn't really matter, but it's so easy for something to take on a life of its own.  If you don't believe me, be sure to check out this explanation of How a Fake Photo Goes Viral.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Vote Oregon!
Vote Oregon! (Photo credit: jugbo)
The election is coming up.  Soon.  By now most people have a pretty clear idea of who they will be voting for.  Some have already voted.  However, according to the media, there are quite a few people out there who are still undecided.

If you're one of those undecided voters - and even if you already think you know who you're voting for - be sure to take the Presidential Election Quiz at ISidewith.com.  The quiz will ask you questions about the issues to determine where you stand.  Be sure to click on the 'Choose another stance' option for more options, because most of these issues are not simply black and white or Yes or No questions.  You might end up choosing Yes or No, but it's good to at least read all the options.

There's at least one question where I forgot to do that, and at least one of those other options would have been more in line with my beliefs.

Anyway, once you answer all the questions, ISidewith.com will analyze your responses, compare them to the candidates' stands on each of the issues, and let you know which candidates you most agree with on those issues.  It might just help voters make up their minds or at least help to educate them on where the candidates stand on the issues.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Save Money with DealDash

I've been seeing posts about DealDash on Facebook recently. People are getting some really good deals on things like cameras, computers, and sewing machines - just to name a few of the deals I've seen. 

The way it works is you sign up for a free account and purchase what they call Bid Packs.  These are sold in packs of 60, 100, or more and usually cost 60¢ per bid, but there are often Bid Sales where you can get them for as little as 15¢ per bid.  Currently they're going for 17¢.

Once you have your free DealDash account and have purchased some bids, you can start looking for deals and start bidding.  All auctions start at $0, and each bid raises the price by one penny.  Highest bidder wins the auction, and that is the price they pay.  I've been watching the front page, and there are lots of items available.  The final prices are pretty good.  Of course, I can't really tell how many times people are bidding on these items, and the cost of the bids would have to be factored into the cost.  Even with that, I think people are getting items for significantly less than they could buy them elsewhere. 

It's risk free to try Deal Dash.  Here's why:
  • If you’re a first time bidder on DealDash and use all your bids without winning a single auction, DealDash will return all the bids from your first bid pack purchase, for free, to give you a second chance!
  • Bidding on DealDash is also risk free thanks to the Buy it Now option. If you don’t win the auction, you can buy the item you were bidding on for its regular price and get back all the bids you used in that auction for free. This way you not only get the desired item, you don't lose the bids and can use them again to try and win another auction.
  • DealDash offers a no questions asked 100% money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied for any reason, DealDash will refund your entire first purchase – no questions asked!
If you're looking for some good deals, be sure to check out DealDash.  If you've already tried it, let me know what you think. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Try This

I occasionally get emails that are obviously intended for someone else.  I usually just disregard them, since I don't know the people sending them.  For some reason, I opened this one.  It was an email with the subject line Try This.

So I tried it.  I clicked the link and followed the instructions.  For a bit of fun, be sure to try it, too.

Here's the link: Try This

And here are your instructions:  When the guy stops running, place your cursor about an inch above his head.

Just do it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So Much Link Love

I've been using Zemanta for a while.  It's a great way to find related content when I'm writing posts, and it makes it super easy to share that related content.  Simply click to add images and related articles!

Mostly I add things that I'm interested in, but I never thought about it too much beyond that.  Here's a video from Zemanta showing how linking out (super easily using Zemanta) leads to so much blogger love.

Link Love - Why is linking out good for you (by Zemanta - social blogging) from zemanta on Vimeo.

I guess I'll have to think about all those links a little differently now.  I wonder if it will really make a difference?
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Try Nopalea for Free

Right now you can try Nopalea for free. Just pay $9.95 for shipping.

Do you (or someone you know) suffer from inflammation and related health problems such as:
  • Muscles, joint and body inflammation – causing joint, muscle and body pain 
  • Respiratory inflammation – causing allergies and breathing difficulties 
  • Arterial inflammation – causing heart health problems 
  • Digestive tract inflammation – causing bloating, cramps and burning 
  • Widespread body cell inflammation – causing overall fatigue 
Judging from that list, inflammation is a huge cause of all kinds of health issues.

Nopalea (No-pah lay’uh) is a tasty wellness drink made from the fruit of the Nopal cactus (Opuntia Ficus Indica).   The healing properties of this cactus have been relied on for centuries by native peoples, and now they’re available to the rest of us in Nopalea.  Each 32–ounce bottle brims with the health benefits of the Nopal fruit.

Nopalea contains rare and potent antioxidants called bioflavonoids. These bioflavonoids are scientifically proven to help the body reduce inflammation, which is a leading cause of pain.  Drinking Nopalea daily helps the body to reduce inflammation and cleanse itself of daily toxins and thereby promotes optimal health.

If this sounds like something you'd like to try, be sure to take the Nopalea Wellness Challenge.  Simply call 1-800-203-7063 to request your free 32-oz. bottle.  You pay just the $9.95 shipping.  Then drink 3-6 ounces daily until the bottle is empty while tracking your progress with the included Nopalea Challenge Form.  They'll also include a short and informative booklet about the dangers of inflammation and how Nopalea can help.

It's definitely a good way to try it and see how it works for you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sooner or Later

Love me some Matt Kearney and some PS22 Chorus!

This makes me smile.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Play This

I really enjoy Spotify.  It lets me listen to all kinds of music, see what my friends are listening to, and share what I'm listening to. For instance, I really like this CD:

I just had to try this, because I didn't realize until today that I could add music from Spotify to my blog or a web page.  I knew it was shareable through Facebook, but...  I just had to see how this works.  Do you have to have Spotify installed to play the music?  Let me know, OK?

I am still using the free version of Spotify.  Most of the time I use it to listen to albums I'm thinking of buying from Amazon.  It's so much nicer to be able to listen to the whole songs instead of the little snippets available on the Amazon website.  The ads on Spotify don't bother me much, and if I really want something available for offline use, I buy it from Amazon.  Sometimes I might spend $9.99 on music in a month (the cost of Spotify Premium), but I definitely don't do it every month, and I don't really want to.  I just don't see that I'd use it enough or get enough out of it to justify the paid service.  I know other people listen to music a lot more than I do, and $10/month isn't really that much for unlimited (legal) music.

How about you?  Are you using Spotify?  Free or paid?

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Be Fit - Free Workouts on YouTube

I am really enjoying these work-out videos on YouTube.  I've been doing several of the videos from the BeFit in 90 workout system.  I walk 2 miles every day, so I'm just using them as additional exercise and toning - picking different muscle groups to concentrate on each day - not following the whole 90-day system.

I do this one quite often:

and I did this one today:

I think I need to do this one more often, because I was having a hard time jumping by the end there! 

If you're looking for a good workout challenge, be sure to check out the 90-day Workout System from BeFit in 90.  It's available exclusively on YouTube for FREE and includes strength, cardio, flexibility, yoga and high intensity drills.  There are playlists for each day, and all you have to do is start with the playlist for Day 1 and continue through the workout playlists for 90 days.  And then?  Then you'll probably be addicted to exercise, and you'll keep doing it!

Besides the BeFit in 90 system, Lionsgate BeFit has many other exercise videos available - again, for FREE on YouTube.  There are some Dirty Dancing workouts and some Dancing with the Stars workouts that really look like fun.  I think I'll try some of those next.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fill Your MP3 Player with Free Audio Books this Summer

SYNC is offering 2 Free Audiobook Downloads Each Week  June 14 - August 22, 2012 

Each week from June 14 - August 22, 2012, SYNC will offer two free audiobook downloads. The audiobook pairings will include a popular YA title and a classic that connects with the YA title's theme and is likely to show up on a student's summer reading lists. For example, Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the first book in a new series about a girl who opens a door to two otherworldly cities at war, will be paired with Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities.

To find out when you can download titles to listen to on the run this summer, visit www.AudiobookSync.com or text syncya to 25827. 

This week's books are The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  Be sure to grab them by Wednesday June 20, because they'll only be available for one week.  Once you've downloaded them, you can listen to them any time - they do not expire.

Here's a list of the upcoming titles:
  • 06/21/12-06/27/12
    Irises by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media) 
  •  06/28/12-07/04/12
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones (Listening Library)
    Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens (Naxos AudioBooks) 
  • 07/05/12-07/11/12
    Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Read by August Ross (AudioGO)
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Read by Ian Holm (AudioGO) 
  •  07/12/12-07/18/12
    Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka [Ed.] et al., Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot (Harper Audio)
    The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories by Mark Twain, Read by Norman Dietz (Recorded Books) 
  • 07/19/12-07/25/12
    Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter, Read by Kirsten Potter (Oasis Audio)
    Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, Read by a Full Cast (AudioGO) 
  • 07/26/12-08/01/12
    Pinned by Alfred C. Martino, Read by Mark Shanahan (Listen & Live Audio)
    Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (Brilliance Audio) 
  • 08/02/12-08/08/12
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Read by Khristine Hvam (Hachette Audio)
    A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Read by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio) 
  • 08/09/12-08/15/12
    Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
    Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast (Galaxy Press) 
  • 08/16/12-08/22/12
    The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga'aia (Bolinda Audio)
    The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks) 
What a great way to keep young people 'reading' over the summer!

I may be all grown up, but I enjoy reading/listening to YA literature, too.  I'm actually looking forward to listening to several of the classics on this list, because I've never read them.  They were not on my school reading lists, and I never read them on my own.  I guess it's about time....  Which ones are you looking forward to?

I would strongly suggest you sign up to get the alerts, via text message or email, so you don't miss any of these downloads.  I did, because I just know I'll forget if somebody doesn't remind me.  All downloads are in MP3 format and you'll need the FREE Overdrive Media Console to download them.  They'll only be available for that one week, but once you've downloaded them, you can listen any time.

If none of these titles spark your interest, be sure to visit your local library to find out if they offer the Overdrive service where you can browse and downloads hundreds (thousands?  probably thousands) of audio books and ebooks from the comfort of your own home.  Those are free, too.  However, they do come with an expiration date, just like all library checkouts.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Save Your Tabblos Today

I haven't really used it in a while, but tabblo was a lot of fun.  It was a great site that allowed users to upload photos and arrange them into artful and interesting pages.  There is quite a community of users, and people have put together some amazing things!

Thankfully one of my tabblo contacts shared her final tabblo yesterday, and when I visited I found the following notice:


Dear Tabblo Users,
We regret to inform you the Tabblo service and website will not be available after May 30, 2012. Please visit HP.com to explore other HP products and services.
Thank you.
That's today!

So I've been busy saving all my tabblos.  I may not have used the site in a while, but I've got several that I'd hate to lose - whether I ever do anything with them or not.  If you've got some you'd like to save - even if you haven't been there or done anything with them in a while, do it today.

The process is simple - view your tabblos, and next to the thumbnails of each tabblo you'll see several options.  Select 'print' - this opens the tabblo as a PDF in Adobe Reader.  It will also open your printer dialog, but just hit cancel, unless you want an actual printed copy.  Look over the PDF to be sure all your photos loaded - what you see is what you'll have, so if they don't load the first time, close your PDF and try again.  I had to load a few of mine 2 or 3 times.  Once you get the whole thing, choose 'Save a Copy' from the file menu in Adobe Reader and choose where to save it.   Repeat for each tabblo you want to save.

My way only saves a PDF version.  I just found this Tabblo Lifeboat Downloader which sounds like it saves them in the same format as they appear on the site, which might be nice.  Maybe I'll do that too....

Whatever you do - save them today if you're going to do it, because they won't be available tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Free Kindle Books

I'm never going to find the time to read them all, but I certainly do love collecting free kindle books!  There are a couple sites I visit - and Like on facebook so I know what they're posting - to find them.  Today I got an email about a site I hadn't visited before, and I'm really liking it.  It's a nice, visual site with just the covers and titles of the books.  I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I do tend to pick books with interesting covers, so this page is kind of like browsing the shelves in the library or bookstore - and being able to grab the ones that look good.  All you have to do is click on the ones that look interesting, and the site takes you directly to Amazon to 'purchase' them. 

Of course, since I haven't read any of them yet, I don't know if the insides of the books are as interesting as their covers.  The ones I grabbed all had pretty good reviews, though.  And since they're free kindle books, they'll be worth at least as much as I paid for them - and they won't take up any room on my shelves.  I'm not sure how often the site is updated with free books, but I'll be checking back to see what's listed.

As always, be sure to double-check the price before you buy - because prices can change.  Don't have a Kindle?  You can get your Kindle here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Find a Common Connection Through DNA with ConnectMyDNA™

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ConnectMyDNA.com for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Here's an interesting service.  It's called ConnectMyDNA™.  They analyze your DNA, not to look at your ancestry or your past, but to find connections today.  They combine your numeric DNA test results into graphical data and apply it to a circular pattern of 13 rings - called the Gene Ring™.  It's like your own personal fingerprint where the green markers and their position around each ring represent the unique values found in your DNA.  You get an eye-catching symbolization of your unique genetic makeup, which is also a scientifically accurate tool that allows you to visually compare your DNA profile to friends, families and population groups around the world - to find connections with other people you probably had no idea you were connected with!

I don't really know my ancestry or genealogy - mainly because it just doesn't seem all that relevant to me, so I've never paid that much attention.  But this in not an ancestry test, but a way of finding similarities to today’s populations and people around the world.  Finding out who I'm connected with now could be fun.  Maybe I've got a lot in common with people who live somewhere tropical near a beach!  I really have no idea, but  it  would be interesting to find out, wouldn't it?  ConnectMyDNA™ compares your personal genetic markers to a massive world-wide database of DNA profiles to determine which population group you most closely resemble.  In some cases, it might be what you expect, but it could also be very surprising.
The process is fairly simple:
  1. Collect your DNA sample using the DNA Collection Kit they send you - a simple swab of the cheeks - and mail it back in the postage-paid envelope.
  2. Their secure lab extracts the DNA from the swab and converts it into scientific data.  They use one of the world’s leading DNA testing facilities, providing the highest level of quality and accuracy of results.
  3. Get your results online by logging into the Members area.  You'll get access to online tools that allow you to share and compare your results with friends, family, and people around the world.
Serial numbers are used to track your order, not your name, and there is no sensitive information provided by the ring  - so it's up to you use and share your results as you wish.

If you're interested in finding out what your DNA says about you and the people you're connected with in this world, be sure to check out ConnectMyDNA™.  They're offering a really great deal right now.  Use coupon code IZEA290512 to get the reduced price of $29.00 - regularly $89.95, so that's a huge savings.  Who knows - maybe we'll find out we're connected!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Fast Do You Read?

This is fun.  Take a quick test to see how fast you read and how your speed compares to other people.  Then you'll get to see how long it would take you to read popular and classic books at that speed.

Click the image to start your test.  You can use the little Options Cog to pick the book you'd like to read from and the length of the sample.  The say a longer sample is more accurate.

Be sure to come back and let me know how you did!  I got 367 words per minute - 47% faster than the national average.  My son got 900 and some words per minute.  I'm jealous.  I wish I could read as fast as he does!  (of course, he was reading at a 7th grade level at the end of 2nd grade, and he's been reading voraciously ever since)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What Were You Doing Last Year?

Timehop (Photo credit: dklimke)
If you're like me, you don't know.  Hey, sometimes I can't even remember what I did last week.  Or yesterday.  Or earlier this morning...

OK, maybe it's not that bad, but sometimes I do have to stop and really think about it, and I definitely do not remember what I was doing last year.  So, I just signed up for Timehop.  It's a FREE service that searches your Facebook status, Twitter updates, and other online services and sends a daily email letting you know what you were talking about and doing a year ago. 

Timehop turns your web services into a time capsule. Everything you post today becomes a note for the future!
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It Looks Like a Baby Dragon!

I just saw this picture on Facebook.  The description says that it's a Glaucus Atlanticus sea slug, but it looks like a baby dragon - or some kind of fake.  Doesn't it?

So I looked up Glaucus Atlanticus sea slug - and it's real. There is lots of info out there on this little slug, also known as sea swallow, blue glaucus, blue sea slug and blue ocean slug.  Found off of South Africa, Mozambique or Australia, this little creature floats upside down riding the surface tension of the water.  It feeds on Portuguese man o’ wars, consuming the toxic nematocyst cells that the man o’ war uses to immobilize fish.

The slug is immune to the toxins and collects them in special sacs within the cerata—the finger-like branches at the end of its appendages—to deploy later on.  So, while these creatures may be tiny and incredible-looking, they can pack a powerful sting! 

Look, but don't touch - and marvel at the amazing creatures in our world!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Francis Chan eBooks - 48 Hours Only

Cover of "Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tr...
Cover via Amazon
I just got this email:
Crazy Love eBook: FREE.
Forgotten God eBook: FREE.
Erasing Hell eBook: FREE.
Every once in a while, we hear about an offer so incredible that we just have to tell you about it, even if it doesn't happen to be for audiobooks. This is definitely one of those offers!
Thanks to the generosity of the ministry of David C. Cook, these three Francis Chan eBooks are absolutely FREE on our partner site eChristian, for 48 hours only: Crazy Love, Forgotten God, and Erasing Hell.
To get your free eBooks, visit the eChristian special offer page, login (your christianaudio username and password work at eChristian!) and download your free eBooks.
HURRY! This offer WILL end tomorrow (Saturday, April 7, 2012) at 11:59pm PT.
I've read Crazy Love but not the other two, so I grabbed them.  If you don't already have a christianaudio or eChristian account, you can sign up for FREE.  Christianaudio gives away a free audio book every month, so it's a good account to have.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Add Photos from Your Phone

Lately I've noticed that Blogger gives the option to add a photo from your phone, so I thought I'd test it to see how it works.

Well, never mind.  It's part of the Google+ for Android app - which I would get, but my phone is stupid and doesn't have room for any more apps.  In fact, it tells me every day that I'm low on space, and the apps that I do have need updated - but there's not enough space to update them.  I am seriously going to need to get a new phone soon!  I don't even have very many apps.  The phone just barely has enough internal space for the apps that came on it - the ones I can't delete or move to the SD card.  It's frustrating.

If I could actually add the app, not only would it be handy to be able to use my phone pics for blogging, but all my pics would automatically be added to Google+ (in a private folder) - so I'd never lose any pictures - no matter what, which would be great.
Who has Google+ for Android?  Are you liking it?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bad Grammar Just Makes You Look Dumb

Anybody who knows me knows that stupid grammar mistakes drive me crazy - and those mistakes are everywhere.  No matter how smart you might be, making these mistakes can make you look dumb.

Take a little time to read through these tips and refer to them as often as you need to:

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more copywriting tips from Copyblogger.

No need to look silly or dumb any longer!
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not a Doctored Photo?

I saw this photo on Facebook tonight.
The caption read: "Taken in Rome, GA last night... I got this off fox fives website go look...to me that doesn't look like a tornado, more like Hell..."
and my friend shared it with the comment, "Not a doctored up photo. Have you ever seen such a sight in your LIFE!!!"

Not one to believe everything I read, I went searching for Fox Five in Georgia, and I did find this photo on their site.  But when I clicked on it, I found a comment that said it was an old photo, not of a tornado from last night's storms, but of a volcano erupting.  The commenter said that he had used the same picture in a video more than a year ago.  I don't know if this is the video he was referring to, but I did find a video that uses this photo, and it was posted in November.

So, maybe it's not a doctored photo - except that it was cropped - but it's also not a photo of a tornado in Georgia last night.

Still a very cool photo! And did you know that volcanic eruptions are accompanied by lightning?  I didn't.  Then again, I've never seen a volcano erupt.  I did, however, watch this video while I was on YouTube:

How cool is that?

As I was writing this post, I went back to the Fox Five news website, and I could no longer find the photo - so it looks like it's been removed.  There are enough photos of the weather and storm damage.  Why someone felt the need to post this particular photo and claim that it's something it's not is beyond me.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

What Men Like

I was just noticing the other day that my new favorite addiction, Pinterest, is mostly for the ladies.  Sure, there are guys on there, but the overwhelming majority of my followers and the ones I'm following are ladies.  Not surprising, really, because it seems like Pinterest is full of things like recipes, craft ideas, home decorating ideas, fashion and style choices, ideas for raising children, and so many more 'girly' things.  No wonder the men are hiding!  (it would be interesting if there was a way to find out the male/female ratio of Pinterest members, but I haven't figured out how to do it)

I'm not the only one who noticed that Pinterest isn't exactly man-friendly.  I heard on the news this morning that there's a new site just for the guys - MANteresting!  A quick glance at the site shows it's definitely full of manly likes - meat, fire, cars, tools, electronics, motorcycles, eye candy.  Manteresting calls itself:
A site where you:
  1. Get inspired by awesome content
  2. Share manly things with the community
  3. View what other members are posting
What do you think?  Is it important for the guys to have their own site for saving and sharing the things they find 'manteresting'?  Sure the men could post things to Pinterest, and we'd have a nice mix of the girly and the manly stuff - and we always have a choice about which people and/or boards we follow, so they wouldn't have to see the girly stuff unless they wanted to and the ladies could see and follow only the manly things they're interested in.  Then again, Pinterest seems like the fancy living room or the kitchen, and the big burly manly men aren't going to feel comfortable there - not when they have the Man Cave of MANteresting  to join.

Like Pinterest, MANteresting is free to join - and there are no invites to wait for.
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Clear Your Google Web History

On March 1st, Google's new unified privacy policy goes into effect, and your web history will be shared across all Google products and sites that you use. Here's a quick video from cnet that shows how to clear your Google web history before that happens:

It may be easier to follow the steps with them listed this way:
  1. Go to the google homepage and sign into your account.
  2. Click the dropdown menu next to your name in the upper-right hand corner of your screen. 
  3. Click accounts settings 
  4. Find the "Services section" 
  5. Under "Services" there is a sub-section that reads "View, enable, disable web history." Click the link next to it that reads: "Go to Web History."
    : When you click "Go to Web History" you may be taken to a page which gives you the options "Turn Web History On"/"No Thanks": Click "Turn Web History On" and you will finally be taken to step 6 below) 
  6. Click on "Remove all Web History"
    When you click on "Remove all Web History," a message appears that says " Web History is Paused." What this means is that while Google will continue gathering and storing information about your web history it will make all data anonymous, that is, Google will not associate your Web History information with your online accounts and will therefore be unable to send you customized search results. Google's ability to gather personalized information about you by assigning data to your Gmail and YouTube accounts will remain "Paused" till you click "Resume."

Looks pretty easy, and I know a lot of people will be following these steps!  I'm personally not sure what the advantages or disadvantages are of having Google use my history to send me customized search results.  What do you think?

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Royalty Free Stock Photos from fotolia

Just because photos and images are on the Internet, does not mean they are free to use for whatever you want them for.  Some people get quite upset if/when you use their images without permission - even if you give them linkage and credit - so it's always a good idea to check the licensing before using.

The people at fotolia gave me a free 30-day trial subscription (5 images per day) to their site so I could try it out.  The site offers thousands, no millions of royalty free images.  The royalty-free license allows you to use images in your projects without limitations on time, the number of copies printed, or geographical location of use.

They offer two types of plans - Pay-As-You-Go and Subscription.  Anyone can sign up for a free account and begin searching for images.  They have a really great search function, and you can search for images by keyword, concept and category, color, and more - to find just the right image.  Fotolia will also suggest similar images or items in the same series, which would be especially helpful if you're doing a project and want the images to coordinate.  Save any images you like to your 'Lightbox' and organize them any way you like - perfect for finding the images you like again!

Once you're ready to buy images, decide what kind of plan you want.  The per-image cost is higher with the Pay-As-You-Go plan, but I think it's better, unless you need a lot of images.  The subscription I had was for 5 images a day, and that meant I had to go back every single day and download those 5 images, and then I had to wait until my time re-set to the next day - and go back again to download another 5 images.  I found that I did not really need that many images, and some days - even though I meant to go and download my 5 images - I just didn't get there.  They have a new monthly subscription plan that might solve that problem since they give you the whole month to download the files you want (you choose the number), and if you don't download them, they roll over to the next month. 

I did download several images during my month's subscription.  I just haven't used many of them.  I am going to keep adding images to my lightbox - because there are some great images there - and if/when I have a real need for a great royalty free image, I'll just buy some credits and do the Pay-As-You-Go thing.

If you're looking for images, be sure to check out fotolia.  If you'd like to sell some images, you can do that too.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Read Your Personal Documents on Kindle

This is such a great idea - send your personal documents to your registered Kindle device (or supported Kindle app) and read them on the Kindle.  If you're like me and really hate printing things (unless absolutely necessary) and don't really like to read documents on the computer, this is a great alternative.  Save paper, save ink, and still take your documents with you!

Kindle Personal Documents Service supports multiple file types, including:
  • Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
  • HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
  • RTF (.RTF)
  • JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
  • Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW)
  • GIF (.GIF)
  • PNG (.PNG)
  • BMP (.BMP)
  • PDF (.PDF) 
There are a couple ways to add documents to your Kindle.  The Send to Kindle application for PC lets you right-click on files in Windows Explorer and select Send to Kindle or, from any Windows application that can print, select Print and choose Send to Kindle (documents are delivered in PDF format). You can also email personal documents to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address. If you want other people to be able to send you files, add them to your approved contacts and give them your Send-to-Kindle email address.

The Kindle Personal Documents Service is available for Kindle Keyboard (with the latest software update, version 3.3), Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (running Kindle app version 2.9 or greater). Kindle Personal Documents Service is currently not supported on other free Kindle reading applications - which makes me very sad, because I'm using Kindle for Android.  I downloaded the Send to Kindle PC app and tried sending a Word file to my Kindle Library in the Amazon Cloud, but that wouldn't work either.  I guess I'm just going to have to be patient... or buy a Kindle!  *grin*

Friday, February 10, 2012

See It, Save It, with Clipix

I spend a lot of time online, and I'm always finding interesting stuff.  The main reason I started this blog is to keep track of and share all the cool stuff I find.  Unfortunately, that hasn't happened quite the way I imagined.  Oh, I still find plenty of interesting things, but I don't always get around to actually sharing those things, and lots of times I find interesting things one day, but I forget to save them or mention them - and then I either forget or can't find them again.  Anybody else have that problem?
Well, I just found this new site called clipix, and I think it's going to be a big help.  Basically, clipix makes it really simple to save anything you see so you can find it and go back to it later.  Start by signing up for a free account - I used my facebook account, so it was just a matter of connecting and authorizing the app.  Then add the Clip button to your Bookmarks bar, and you're good to go.  Start clipping all the fabulous content you find every day.  They start you off with some basic boards - Books I'd Like to Read, Vacation Ideas, Gifts for the Family, Interesting Articles - just to get you started.  You can rename those if you want and create your own as you find things to save.  You can have as many clipboards as you like and organize them any way you like.I know I'm going to be using that Interesting Articles board a lot!  I'm always finding things I want to read but just don't have time to read right then.  I've added a few already, but I'm sure there will be many more added:
Interesting Articles
I like that clipix lets you choose from the images on whatever page you're saving, so it's a bit easier to remember why you clipped it in the first place, but if there are no images, simply type your own words in and give the clip a relevant title.  The web page and title are added automatically to the description, so you don't even have to type that in.  Of course, you can change it or add to it as you want.
Clipix also makes it really easy to share all the fun stuff you're finding - send an email, share on facebook or twitter.  Or, if you want to keep something to yourself, you can keep all your clipboards (or just some of them) completely private.  Working on a project with someone else?  You can set up what they call a Syncboard and everybody can add to it together and see everyone else's updates in real time.
I can see how this can be really handy and really addictive.  I wonder who's going to clip and organize the whole Internet first!  OK, maybe not, but at least we can all clip and keep track of the stuff we're interested in.  Visit clipix, sign up for your free account and start clipping!  And let me know how you're going to use clipix.  I think the possibilities are endless.
Just in case I've forgotten something important, check out this video explaining it all:

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Sprint 4-Day Sale

This post brought to you by Sprint. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you're thinking about changing your cell phone plan and getting a new phone, there's still time to take advantage of this limited time Sprint sale.  Through February 8, 2012, you can get a free or discounted phone when you open a new line of service or add to your Sprint account.
Choose the Nexus S™ 4G which features Android 2.3 , comes with built-in Google apps, integrated Google Voice™ service, 4G speed and a super fast processor.  You'll get full web browsing, internet calling and true multi-tasking with the mobile hotspot capability.  This phone is specifically designed to fit perfectly and comfortably in the palm of your hand.  Regular price is $549.99 - but with a 2-year agreement and new line savings (or eligible upgrade), it's free
Facebook_EVO 3D.jpg
If you're an entertainment junkie, you'll want the HTC EVO™ 3D - only $49.99 if you order it online - with a 2-year agreement and new line savings (or eligible upgrade).  It also runs on Android 2.3, features an oversized screen and lets users take, share and view 3D pics and flicks all at lightning-fast 4G speeds - no 3D glasses required.
These deals are only available online and for a very limited time.  You'll get free shipping, and they're even waiving the activation fee (normally $36) on new lines.
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Save on the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.
The cost of prescription drugs can really add up, especially if your medical insurance does not include drug coverage.  Walgreens offers an option for those people who do not have drug coverage - their Prescription Savings Club.  Benefits of the Club include:
  • Savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and generic medications
  • Discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers, and diabetic supplies
  • and bonuses on the purchase of Walgreens brand products and photofinishing services
Right now Walgreens is offering a special discount on a Walgreens Prescription Savings Club membership. A family membership that covers everyone in your immediate family, including spouse, dependents 22 and younger, and pets is only $35 a year.  An individual membership is only $20 for a year.
Joining is risk free.  If you don't save more than the cost of your membership during the course of the year, they'll refund the difference.  Considering the cost of most prescription drugs, it probably won't take more than a couple prescriptions or refills to cover the cost of your membership - not to mention the other savings.  But it's good to know you'll get that money back if you don't.

Be sure to Like Walgreens on Facebook and follow Walgreens on Twitter to stay updated and learn about even more special discounts and savings opportunities.
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Emote Your Vote

This is kinda fun.  Visit affectiva and click on the Watch Demo link.  It will take you to a page where you can turn on your webcam, watch Super Bowl ads, and they'll read your expressions to see how you respond to the ads.  You can share your results and ask your friends to do it too so you can compare, or you can keep them private.

How does it work?
Affdex tracks facial and head gestures in real-time using key points on the viewer's face to recognize a rich array of emotional and cognitive states, such as enjoyment, attention and confusion. Individual emotional responses are then aggregated, analyzed and presented in an interactive dashboard that provides moment-by-moment analysis of the emotional track with dynamic segmentation by emotion metric and survey responses.
Yeah, I don't understand it either!  Basically, they just watch your facial expressions and reactions and analyze them.  I think in the end they'll tally up all the results and share them with the advertisers.  It might just mean better commercials because, let's face it, some of them are really really dumb.  Of course the Super Bowl ads are usually pretty good.  I know I don't watch the Super Bowl for the football!

Anyway, check it out - Emote your Vote.
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Keep on Dreamin'

I'm really loving this song right now. I'm not sure exactly why, but it's just kinda perfect. 

Eli Young Band - Even If It Breaks Your Heart

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Fun with Google

Apparently this was going around in November, but I missed it.  So, in case you missed it too:
  1. Go to Google
  2. Type "do a barrel roll" into the search
  3. Wait for it!
Not as much fun as the gravity thing, but still a bit of fun.  Anybody else feeling a bit dizzy?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Walgreens no Longer Part of Express Scripts Network

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.
Many people who have come to rely on their local neighborhood pharmacist at Walgreens are having to scramble to find a new pharmacy.  Why? Walgreens is no longer part of Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1, 2012.   This includes many of our military service men and women because their health and prescription drug program, Tricare is one of Express Scripts’ clients.  If you think you might be affected, be sure to check the back of your prescription card to see if it says Express Scripts, or check with your local Walgreens pharmacist.
Walgreens negotiated with Express Scripts for an entire year in an effort to remain part of their pharmacy provider network, but those negotiations fell through.  As a result, patients are having to drive further to get prescriptions filled, at pharmacies with less convenient hours.  Walgreens has more 24-hour and drive-through pharmacies than any other pharmacy in the country - making them very convenient for busy people.  Throughout the negotiations, Walgreens did not seek an increase in rates, and Express Scripts itself admitted that clients will not see any significant savings from excluding Walgreens from the network, but still patients will not be given the choice of staying with Walgreens and Express Scripts.
In an effort to help the people who are affected by this situation between Walgreens and Express Script Walgreens is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club. Individuals can join during a special January promotion for only $5, or $10 for a family membership.  (Regular annual membership is $20 for an individual and $35 for a family.)  The Walgreens Prescription Savings Club offers savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications. More than 400 generics are available with a three-month supply for less than $1 a week.  Other benefits include discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers and diabetic supplies and bonuses for purchasing Walgreens brand products and photofinishing services.
You can stay updated on this situation and everything else involving Walgreens by liking Walgreens on Facebook and following Walgreens on Twitter.
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Be a Book Giver

I love books and reading, and I love anything that encourages reading and love of books.  That's why I love this idea - World Book Night.

On April 23, 2012 a million free paperback books will be given away all across America - and you can help.  They need 50,000 book-loving volunteers to fan out across America and give away 20 free copies of a book in their communities.  The goal is to give books to new readers, to encourage reading, and to share your passion for a great book.

Sounds great, doesn't it?  To learn more about World Book Night - the books being given away, the sponsors, and how you can get involved, be sure to visit the World Book Night site.  

Volunteer to be a book giver, and you just might change someone's life.