February 01, 2009
I have no particular interest in the first thing and I really kind of hate the second thing, but far be it from me to tell you how to live your life. Check out Austin real estate on Homecity!
The site has more annoying features than just some lady who pops up and starts talking to you as well. I ran a search to compare the value of my real estate dollar in Austin, TX to that of NYC. I was only allowed to preview three properties before the lady came back and I was prevented from proceeding without being obliged to register on the site.
As a person who has spent a little bit of time in the dark underworld of real estate websites, I have found that the best sites are the ones that allow you to preview as many properties as you like, see all or some of the listing photos, and the key selling points without registering. Registration on these sites will give you a more specific address and other critical information for moving forward with making the purchase. Sadly, Homecity, is not like that.
But, hey! It's an option if you're shopping for real estate -- especially in Austin, Texas.
January 31, 2009
BuySkateShoes.com was apparently built and designed by the same people who did that snow boarding site I reviewed the other day. It has the same strengths and weaknesses in terms of design and usability because it's almost exactly the same design.
Looking over their selection of shoes, skate shoes look like wide, flat sneakers, which makes sense because it would make balancing on a skateboard a little easier. The shell of these shoes also appears to be made of more durable material, which also makes sense since skateboarders drag their shoes over coarse surfaces a lot.
So, there you have it. Skate shoes. Who knew?
January 30, 2009
Actually, these are just vans that are wheelchair accessible. Some of them have ramps and some seem to have little elevators.
The selection of products there at mobility sales doesn't seem very extensive, but considering the fact that "handicapped vans" are a somewhat rarefied niche product, I find myself actually impressed that they have a selection of both new and used vehicles. In addition to the vans, they also sell driving aids such as hand controls so that people who can't use their feet can still drive. And they offer financing options as well!
I am not very clear about why there is an entire section of the site dedicated to Honda products, but there is. If you're familiar with the market for this sort of thing, perhaps you can explain this to me.
So, there you have it! Mobility Sales sells handicapped vans. Enjoy!
January 29, 2009
The beds look like they're really high up off of the ground, but they do have lots of drawers. I gotta say, though: they're hideous. I mean, you need a step stool to get into bed!
Furniture from Home does offer a lot of other furniture, though. You can find options for bedrooms, dining rooms, and even living rooms. It's not all traditional, country styled stuff, either. They have some modern items, so give it a look and see what you think.
I'd never heard of a walk-in tub before, but they look like pretty clever inventions. In a normal tub, you have to step way up over the edge and then sit down in the water in order to take a bath. If you aren't as spry as you used to be or you have some other mobility problem, a walk-in tub allows you to just open a little door, stroll into the tub, seal it up behind you, and then run your bath. These tubs are deeper and narrower so that you stay more upright while bathing, which makes it easier for you to get in and out.
You can download a free brochure from the website http://www.remainactive.com as well.
In addition to walk-in tubs, Remain Active also sells other safety products that are designed to make life easier, safer, and more comfortable for those who have trouble getting around.
January 27, 2009
Surely you've seen these commercials on television.
Here's another one made to look like a newscast.
Gold prices really are very high right now, particularly if you're looking at it in terms of US dollars which are worth a lot less than they should be. I would link over to a graph or something for you, but this is a sponsored post and all links have to go to Cash4Gold.com. But as of the time of writing this post, gold closed at a smidge over $900 an ounce.
Cash4Gold takes your gold, silver, or platinum jewelry and pays you for it. They then melt it down and sell the gold. They will even pay all the postage for shipping it.
Of course, if I were to consider using Cash4Gold, I would review the terms and conditions carefully so that I know how everything works. In particular, I would check to see how the value of the jewelry is established and paid.
Cash4Gold's liability is and shall be expressly and specifically limited to the LEAST of the following sums:
1. The liquidation value placed on the total contents by Cash4Gold in Cash4Gold's sole discretion.
2. One-third (1/3) of the appraised value of the contents according to an appraisal submitted by a customer/seller to Cash4Gold, which appraisal was issued prior to the shipment of the item to Cash4Gold; and,
3. The sum of One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars.
The customer/seller expressly acknowledges and agrees that if there is no appraisal which was issued prior to the contents begin submitted to Cash4Gold, Cash4Gold's liquidated value shall be conclusive and binding and further, that in no event shall Cash4Gold's Liability exceed One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars.
But they asked me to review their site.
The design of the site is basic. You've seen this site a thousand times. I think they do waste some valuable real estate on larger images. And there's a big block of keywords at the bottom of the home page that, along with the slathering of banner ads, makes it look a bit amateurish.
Back pages on the site have similar issues with large banners at the top that cause the user to scroll more to see the merchandise.
I do have to give them some props, though, for making the navigation easy to use and presenting the phone number at the top of every page.
Viewing the merchandise requires a click more than necessary plus some more scrolling. The horizontal subnav doesn't help with any of this, but what bugs me the most about the merchandise is that it starts with a "brand selector," which requires the user to select their preference from a row of logos. Again, I would accuse the designer of favoring pictures over usability.
We see this again with the girls section. It's cool that they have a girls section, but with every product category squeezed in there it looks slapped on.
It's an OK site, but nothing particularly special.
January 26, 2009
Working in technology is fascinating and fun. You can be both creative and analytical at the same time. Since people are constantly coming up with innovations there is always some new challenge right around the corner.
RealMatch.com has lots of IT jobs listed.
I'd never heard of RealMatch until this opportunity came my way and the name sort of sounds like it should be a dating site, but it's really what looks like a fresh new job site.
They have more than just IT jobs as well, so you should check it out. It's at least worth a look around!
January 24, 2009
Even though you might think they only sell flowers, they actually sell a lot more. They have candy and gifts as well.
This "Be Mine" Spa and chocolates package comes with chocolates, cheeses, truffles as well as lotion, bath gel, and soap all in a basket. Not a flower in sight!
They have stuffed animals (I'm not a fan of stuffed animals, though, so if any secret admirers are reading this, please take note. I will throw those things away when you're not looking.), balloons (Another thing I don't find especially appealing), home decorations, and even spa gift certificates! (I wouldn't have even guessed that they have those.)
But don't let's forget that they do also sell very nice bouquets and flower arrangements. They have the classic roses along with other types of flowers.
FTD, which stands for Florists' Transworld Delivery, by the way, is one of the world's largest floral companies. Check with your local florist to see if they work with FTD to deliver high-quality flowers and specialty gifts this Valentine's Day!
January 22, 2009
I am most fascinated by the idea of explosion-proof lights. I'm pretty sure none of the lights in my apartment are explosion-proof, but I am forced to contemplate the possibility that they may actually be explosion-prone and no one bothered to tell me at the point of sale.
According to Magnalight.com, explosion proof lights
(also known as hazardous location lighting and intrinsically safe lights) pass UL safety standards proving they will not explode when used in areas where flammable petrochemical vapors and/or pulverized dust exist or have the potential to exist in the atmosphere.So, if you have, say, large containers of gasoline or perhaps you're standing around sanding sheetrock (Did you know sheetrock dust is combustible?) these lights won't blow you up. Cool!
High Intensity Discharge Golights are, apparently, REALLY bright lights with remote controls such as you might install on a boat or some other vehicle. Pretty neat, huh?
That's just two of the types of lights they sell over at Magnalight.com. The selection on the site looks really impressive even if the design of the site is a bit dated. Navigation on the site is straight-forward and I didn't experience any pesky pop-ups or anything other browser-jinxes, so what it lacks in elegance it makes up for in solid, ease-of-use.
And can we talk about the selection again? I was clicking through all the lights and I found some that even come in camouflage!
Lighting is obviously important and while I have no particular need for the sort of heavy-duty lighting tools that they sell on Magnalight.com the options do make me think about all the situations in which I might need a light while sailing in a sea of petrochemicals peering through a fog of combustible pulverized dust!
January 20, 2009
I've never purchased any North Face clothing, so I can't really tell whether or not the prices are good. My experience in purchasing performance clothing is limited to running clothes, but with that I paid sometimes nearly $30 for a pair of shorts that barely keep my bits and pieces out of sight. The prices here seem high, but they are discounted and North Face is high quality cold weather gear, though, right? So, I think these prices seem in line with what I, as a very casual sportsman, would be willing to pay for this stuff.
In looking through their products, the selection doesn't seem to be very big. I'm not sure if these are overstock or last season's clothes, or what, but there just doesn't seem to be much of it.
As for the design of the site, it's easy to navigate and reasonably well designed in terms of layout. I kind of don't like the rough, fadey parts and dark background, but I get that they're going for an outdoorsy feel.
It seems like a decent site. They have fair deals. The site is easy to navigate. It seems to be run by people who actually need and wear this clothing in Breckenridge, Co. When I looked at their site, it noted that it was just 13 degrees there.
Check it out!
Enter iBackup Online.
They offer backups for all kinds of services for both PC and Mac. For more advanced folks, they'll back up Exchange, MS SQL, Oracle, Linux/Unix, and all kinds of stuff! It sounds like it's pretty robust to me.
It looks like it functions by using a downloadable app that gives you drag-and-drop access to your files like an FTP program. You can even specify the security and encryption used on your file transfers. These screenshots give the impression that the app is pretty easy to use:
At the worst, it has a pretty website and the interface looks attractive as well!
I haven't done any comparison shopping around this sort of service but for a little less than $10 a month, you get 10GB of storage, which seems pretty reasonable. Pricing plans go up to 300 GB for less than $300 a month. I am somewhat surprised to see that there isn't really any pricing benefit given to subscribing for greater allotments of memory, but those are the economy plans. More robust plans do seem to give a few breaks for larger accounts.
Check it out next time you're shopping for an online backup service.
January 10, 2009
Well, if my mom wanted to live in Phoenix, I am sure that North Valley and Desert Comfort Assisted Living facilities would be among the assisted living communities I would consider.
I've learned from them that:
• Over 15 years of skilled nursing careOf course, I would need to see the place and ask more questions. That bulleted list seems pretty standard to me.
• State licensed and county certified assisted living homes
• Specializing in all levels of care (Alzheimer’s Care, Dementia & Memory Care, Parkinson’s, Diabetic, Hospice Care, Short/Long Term Care)
• Affordable assisted living, at half the cost compared to Nursing Homes
• Delicious home cooked meals served fresh daily
• Highly experienced manager and staff
If I were choosing a place for my mother, I would certainly prefer that it be a place that's relatively close to me or, for her, close to people she wants to be around. I'd want to make sure that there are lots of communal areas and places where she could socialize with other residents. I have a cousin who has been a nurse for geriatric patients for years, so I would want to consult with her on other items of consideration as well.
You may not be aware, but you can use credit cards to improve your credit score -- to an extent. It definitely takes a little patience and diligence, though. I did this myself last year.
To use a credit card in this way, you have to open a credit card account and use it. Carry a small balance now and then and then pay it off in order to demonstrate that you can handle debt. ALWAYS make your payments on time. Wash, rinse, repeat.
You have to be cautious, though.
First, make sure you ALWAYS make the payments. Opening a credit card is not a license to go on a spending spree. If you get carried away, you'll be in a worse situation than you were to begin with.
Second, requests for credit have a negative effect on your credit score. When I prequalified for my mortgage for my house in Georgia, my credit report had a couple of line items saying, "Excessive requests for credit." It was due to opening a couple of new credit card accounts and also because of my car loan a year or so earlier. So, gauge the decision carefully.
Knowing that I want to buy an apartment, I've been on a quest to drive my credit score up. With that in mind, I opened some new credit card accounts last year. I'd like to open one or two more in the new accounts within the next two to three months as well. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that I want to minimize requests for credit as I approach (within a year or so) the time I intend to apply for a mortgage.
So, you definitely have to keep your long-range goals in mind and time these decisions carefully.
ZeroRate.net allows you to search credit card offers, compare them, and even apply online. There is even a page of resources for information on credit and credit cards.
I should also note that I have not used this site to apply for any credit cards. I've only given the site a rather cursory review. Before you apply for credit or loans on any site, you should carefully review all the terms and conditions and take full stock of your own financial situation, goals, and objectives.
I hate to sound like the fine print on a television commercial, but I'm not a financial advisor, banker, credit expert, or anything like that. You should research everything and draw your own conclusions.
January 08, 2009
So, be safe!
Well, if you happen to live in Southern California, a group of former prosecutors sponsored this post to provide you with this link: Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorneys | California Drunk Driving Lawyers
And here are a couple of the guys in the firm:
There's no shortage of beds out there, but where to begin?
Time4Sleep.com has lots of beds to look at! And the site is easy to navigate. There are beds for children and beds for adults. Modern beds and old fashioned beds. They have bed frames and mattresses as well.
Time4Sleep.com wants to know if it's important for a bed to look good. What do you think?
Personally, I think it is important because a bed is a furniture like anything else and my main concern right after functionality is design. As long as I can sleep well on it, which simply requires a good mattress and bed clothes, I want it to look good in my bedroom.
I like this leather-covered "Tuscany" bed and it's on sale! Or this Madison bed, although it's a little thin along the horizontal axis. I also like this one. I like the sort of modern, darker, heavier beds.
I'm impressed with the prices on this site. It's too bad I'm not in the market for a bed, though.
So, check out Time4Sleep.com for a good selection and decent prices on beds.
January 07, 2009
Not only can I find Realtors in Austin, I can find realtors, contractors, massage therapists, and other service people on the site.
I've never used it before, but ClickSmart also marks some of the vendors as "certified experts," which seems like it might be useful if one were looking for these services.
January 06, 2009
I've never really done big birthday party events. Here in New York, many of my friends plan dinners at restaurants or reserve rooms in bars. I did try to plan a party once in Georgia and no one showed up. Actually I had RSVP's for six people, so I cooked a delicious dinner and then only three actually showed up. I was conflicted about that birthday because the dinner was delicious and I had a pretty good time with my three friends, but it kind of hurt my feelings that none of my other friends showed up. Of course, I didn't tell them it was my birthday; I just invited them to a party, my first party at my house, actually.
Thinking back over birthdays, I think my favorite was my 30th birthday in which I went to Miami with a couple of my friends and my boyfriend at the time. We had a nice, relaxing weekend, spending time at the pool and beach. I wish it could have lasted longer!
But I always have a hard time coming up with something I'd like to do for my birthday. And here comes celebrations.com! This is a party planning website. It's full of party ideas for every event from Christmas to Halloween to your 50th birthday party. It even has an online invitation tool where you can announce to people that you're having a party and when and where.
I don't know if I would use this site, because there is another, competing website out there that everyone is familiar with AND it has all of my accounts and information already set up. But I might consult celebrations.com if I were looking for party planning ideas.
January 05, 2009
I think toys these days are entirely too safe. When I was a kid, everything came with sharp corners and small, moving pieces. But these days everything is made of inflated plastic.
My favorite toy when I was a kid was this metal Tonka dump truck. It was so big, I remember sitting on it and scooting around on the floor, although most of the time it was used in our sandbox. In fairness, I think I was a little older than 13 months before I was given that toy.
I also loved Transformers. I had a few Go-Bots, but no one really took those seriously. They were like the Transformers that smoked pot in an after school special. Smoked pot, but also joined the Drama Club.
Perhaps I'm a little unfair toward today's toys. There are some cool things, especially in older kids' toys.
MEGA Brands is a toy website that has tons of toys and you can shop by age so that you don't accidentally buy die-cast swords for a couple of two year olds.
I was looking over their website and I found these cool magnetic dinosaur toys. I loved dinosaurs as a kid and I still love them.
In a similar vein, I also loved my Tinker Toys as a kid, but today they have magnet-based building sets. Check out this roller coaster kit by Magnext! Awesome. Tinker Toys would break or they wouldn't fit into the little slots, but with these magnets, things are sure to stick. And the plastic parts are more durable and properly sized. I might have to buy this for my office, actually.
So, if you have kids or know kids for whom you buy toys, consider the MEGA brands site!
January 03, 2009
Florblanca, which means "white flower," is located in Santa Teresa/Mal Pais near the southwestern most point of the Nicoya Peninsula.
When I was in Costa Rica, we didn't spend a lot of time on the peninsula, opting instead to drive further north, but what I saw of it was nice. It's very warm and dry there with beautiful beaches. On the eastern side and further north, there's a bridge that covers an inlet with salt water crocodiles!
Judging from the pictures on their website, Florblanca is a gorgeous resort with the amenities of a four star hotel -- and then some. The prices are reasonable, although you may think them a bit high if you've experienced the economy of Central America in less developed countries before. Costa Rica is -- in my limited experience -- far more developed and novice traveler-friendly, so it's worth the expense.
If I were taking a luxury vacation to Costa Rica, there are a number of resorts worth trying, but for the Nicoya Peninsula region, Florblanca is on my list of places to remember the next time I make a trip!
January 02, 2009
I just wanted to alert you to the fact that my advertising policy has updated.
In particular, I wanted to call your attention to two notable changes:
1) Sponsored posts will continue to be identified for you, but it may not be as clear as it has been in the past. In the past, I've made the title of the post contain the phrase "Sponsored Post" so that it's very clear to you. Unfortunately, many of the most profitable opportunities stipulate that I can't do that. They say that I should use a site-wide disclosure like my advertising policy linked to above. However, if you aren't sure about whether or not I was paid to write a particular post, you can always check the Sponsored Posts category where I will list all the posts for which I received payment.
2) Conflicts of interest. I've never given much thought in the past to conflicts of interest, but in updating my policy, I think some disclosure is necessary.
As you know, I work in marketing. Specifically, I work for a marketing agency, which means that I serve a number of different companies either in a consultative capacity or in the role of actually executing campaigns. Notably, I have provided particular support to companies such as FedEx, Sprint-Nextel, E*Trade, Consumers Union, BMG, and the British Airway Authority. In the coming year, I will be working with General Motors.
In the event that I write something -- either within a sponsored post or not -- that presents some sort of conflict of interest, I will do my best to remember to let you know.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Enter bestonlinecoupons.com. They have thousands of coupons and discount codes for lots of computer and electronics sites, including discounts on iPods and Mac computers at their Apple Store page. The Best Buy page has a link to their sale on laptops.
BestOnlineCoupons.com also has coupons for books websites, like Amazon, audible.com, and Barnes and Noble.
The Amazon coupons page is kind of weird. It doesn't look like it has any deals on Amazon exactly, but advertises discounts on other sites based on Amazon. That seems strange to me.
I've never used this site before, but in looking it over, it looks like a site that I will have to check out when the time comes to shop for things. Enjoy!
November 18, 2008
To be frank, this site looks like a scam site. It does promote lots of actual commercial diet products and programs, though. This isn't to say that they're really the most effective plans and diets or that they're particularly special.
All the plans I saw encourage improved diet combined with exercise. The Slim In 6 plan is a prime example. It does make a promise that you'll lose 6 pounds within the first week, which doesn't seem hard to me, especially if you're very overweight. Some of the plans combined chemical supplements to the plan as well. (I'm not a fan of putting mystery compounds into my body.)
I didn't see anything on the site like the Primitive Plan, however, which is a holistic change in diet intended to be adopted for life, not as a quick fix for weight loss, so this site isn't useful for me.
On the bright side, the site contains rather extensive summaries and reviews of these plans. I had never heard of most of them because most of them are focused on weight loss. The reviews appear to be biased toward the optimistic, but if you're in a bad way in terms of your health and body weight, almost anything will help and I suppose this site is a reasonable place to start because it does compile a lot of information in one place and could help a person identify a short-term program that will work for them.
December 18, 2007
If you didn't read my previous post, this site is really just a big, searchable directory of website hosting companies. Their advanced search feature lets you look for hosts that offer particular features like PHP, MySQL, Perl but within a particular price range.
The site is clean and super easy to use, and -- better still -- it's free!
I did a search for a host just now that offers PHP and 5000 MB of space for $5 a month or more and it came up with 5 possible hosts. Incredible!
Of course, the problem I see with this is that you really don't have a way to compare the host's customer service, reliability, or stuff like that. But if you get the name of host, I guess you could Google them and find out what other customers are saying, if anything.
Anyway, it's a cool site. Check it out some time.
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