April, 2010


30
Apr 10

Cool Gadget Of The Week

hddtoaster

Meet the Thermaltake BlackX eSATA USB hard drive docking station. (AKA Hard Drive Toaster.) Do you ever find yourself running out of hard drive space? Do you wish there was a better alternative to a stack of external hard drives? Do you ever wish you could easily access your old hard drives from any computer? Well now you can. Simply slide any SATA hard drive into the slot on the hard drive toaster, plug in the power adapter and the USB or eSATA cable, and voila, instant access to your drive on any Windows 7, Vista, or XP computer.

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The device is incredibly easy to use, and can be purchased at Amazon.com for less than $40. It’s an incredibly value for what it does.


29
Apr 10

My Cell Phone Dilemma

cellphone

This is my cell phone. It’s a Kyocera Strobe that I acquired from Alltel in June 2007. I use a prepaid package that costs 75 cents a day and 10 cents a minute for talk time, and features unlimited texting.

I rarely talk on the phone, so this package works out great. However, I do send anywhere from 100 to 300 texts on any given day, so being able to send that many texts for a mere 75 cents is a great deal. Unfortunately that package is no longer available.

Verizon Wireless acquired Alltel last year so I became a de facto Verizon customer. They were kind enough to grandfather my plan in for as long as I own that phone. So as of right now, I’m still paying 75 cents a day.

However, if I want a new phone, Verizon’s prepaid options aren’t nearly as affordable. Their cheapest prepaid plan is 99 cents a day. While that doesn’t sound so bad, they also charge 10 cents per text.  They have another plan that’s $3.99 per day, but even that one still charges a penny per text.

Sadly, my phone is falling apart. Many of the buttons no longer work and the battery isn’t holding a full charge. While I could replace the battery, that wouldn’t solve the button problem.

I need to find a good texting phone with an affordable wireless package. Unfortunately, it seems like most cell phone contracts require the purchase of at least 450 minutes a month and then another fee on top of that for unlimited texting. That’s really not a good fit for me.

Eh, maybe I should just take the plunge and get a smartphone. Sure, I’d end up paying a lot more but at least I’d have mobile web and access to Facebook everywhere I go.


28
Apr 10

Midweek Thoughts – Part 17

midweekthoughts

Welcome to the 17th Edition of Midweek Thoughts! Personally, the way I’m feeling right now, I wish I was doing a midweek nap. I used to hate naps when I was a kid and would refuse to take them. What the heck was wrong with me?

I also hated taking baths but enjoyed going “swimming.” Children can be so illogical. Heh heh.

So I was thinking about watching Avatar until I read a plot summary. Frankly it sounds pretty stupid. I’m sure the special effects are amazing, and the blu-ray would probably look great on my big screen hi-def TV. But I just can’t get over how stupid the plot sounds. Plus, I kinda like not watching James Cameron’s blockbusters. I still haven’t seen Titanic.

I’ve never made cupcakes in my life. Maybe I should try it sometime. It’s probably not that difficult and we all know that cupcakes are delicious. But then again, there was that time I tried to make a steak and ended up setting off the smoke detector. Maybe I shouldn’t risk it.

I tried regular Cheerios the other day. Over the years I’ve had many different varieties of Cheerios – Honey Nut, Frosted, Mulitgrain, Fruity, Banana, Chocolate, and so on. I had never had regular Cheerios though. Let’s just say it was a shocking experience. Wow, regular Cheerios taste horrible. Maybe they’d be better if I added sugar, but if I’m gonna do that I might as well just eat Honey Nut Cheerios instead.


27
Apr 10

Visited States Map

visited_states_04272010_edited-1

It had been a while since I’d updated my visited states map, so yesterday I started working on a new one. It turned out pretty well. Photoshop Elements made the task fairly easy.

It’s one of my lifelong goals to visit every state. I imagine I could probably finish off the Continental United States in just a few road trips.


26
Apr 10

My Lemon Cookie Quest

I’m happy to report that my quest to obtain Archway Frosty Lemon cookies was a success. Acting on a tip from my sister Becky, I was able to obtain two packages of the delicious cookies at our local Piggly Wiggly Supermarket.

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These were the last two packs of the delicious cookies they had on the shelf. And to top it all off, they were on sale, 2 packs for $5!

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Mmmmm. I love these cookies.

I would just like to take a moment and thank Lance Inc. for rescuing Archway Cookies. As it turns out, the Archway Cookies brand has had seven different owners since 1936. Let’s hope Lance Inc. holds on to them for a while and continues to provide us with these tasty treats!


25
Apr 10

I Miss You, Lemon Cookies!

You know what I wish I had right now? Some Frosty Lemon Archway cookies. They were absolutely fantastic. I had heard a couple years ago that Archway Cookies were going out of business. I guess at the time it was true, but a company bought the brand in a bankruptcy auction and started making the cookies again. Unfortunately, I can’t find them anywhere around here.

 frostylemoncookies

As I stare at that photo of a cookie package I found on the Internet, I’m filled with desire and longing for the soft, sweet, lemony cookie I loved as a child. Perhaps I should go on a cookie quest until I find them. It’s really been too long since I’ve had a good quest.

*le sigh* I miss you, lemon cookies. :(


24
Apr 10

Drugs!

I made a shocking discovery tonight. Apparently there are several drugs in my apartment! What sort of drugs you ask? Well let’s see…

drug1

Rubbing Alcohol (And apparently it’s a flammable drug! Ack.)

drug2

Mouthwash

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Liquid Hand Soap

drug4

Hydrogen Peroxide

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And my personal drug of choice, deodorant!

I really had no idea that there were so many drugs in my apartment. I hope my readers won’t think less of me. I promise I’m not an addict. I could quit any time! Well except for that deodorant one. I’ll never give that up!


23
Apr 10

A Quiescently Frozen Confection

So a couple months ago I noticed a shortage of my favorite banana popsicles at Piggly Wiggly. At first I had to dig way in the back of the cooler to find a box. On subsequent visits I couldn’t find them at all.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to report that the banana pops are back at Piggly Wiggly!

bananapops

Personally, I like these banana pops better than other brands. Plus there’s a monkey on the box. I think the implication is that monkeys approve of and endorse the product. And if these banana pops are good enough for monkeys, they’re certainly good enough for me!

bananapops1

Oh by the way, these banana pops are a “quiescently frozen confection.”

bananapops2 

Those are some mighty fancy words for a popsicle box!


22
Apr 10

Keebler Cookie Crunch Cereal

cookiecrunch

One of the newest cereals from Kellogg’s is Keebler Cookie Crunch Cereal. Personally I think it’s fantastic that they’re making more cookie-like cereals these days. Sure there’s Cookie Crisp from General Mills, but when I want to eat a bowl of fake cookies for breakfast it’s nice to have variety.

cookiecrunch1

The cereal is a mix of pieces that are supposed to taste like either Fudge Stripes or Chips Deluxe chocolate chip cookies. In reality the cereal tastes like neither, but the flavor isn’t too bad. The cereal has a sort of weird texture and seems to get soggy rather quick, however.

All in all it’s not bad. It’s not great either, and with so many other great cereals out there, it might not be worth buying. But who knows, it could be your new favorite.


21
Apr 10

Midweek Thoughts – Part 16

midweekthoughts

It’s Wednesday, that means it’s time for another installment of Midweek Thoughts.

I love beef jerky. It’s a favorite guy snack that’s high in protein and low in fat and carbs. So what’s the biggest problem with beef jerky? It gets stuck in my teeth! I think jerky makers should start including a free disposable flosser with every package.

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Come to think of it, maybe they should put one in every bag of popcorn too. Nobody likes having hulls in their teeth!

I’ve been researching hotels online the last few days. It’s kind of annoying, because a hotel can have bright, shiny, sparkling reviews about how great the place is, but then there’s always at least one review that claims it’s the worst hotel on the planet. I’m not that picky though. All I want is a clean room with good Internet access and no prostitutes lurking about. But yeah, Internet is the most important thing ‘cause otherwise I wouldn’t be able to update my blog or check Facebook!

I am looking forward to getting back on the open road. I feel like I’m a little wiser after my last trip. One of the things I’ve learned is that as often as possible, I should stay on the Interstate. The few times I did get off the Interstate last time resulted in one annoyance after another. (Slow windy roads in the mountains may be cool to look at but not fun to drive through!)

Anyway, I’ll be driving through Ohio next time. I’m excited about that as it will be another state I can add to my growing “visited states” list. I want to visit every state eventually. I have a feeling I won’t be driving to Hawaii or Alaska though. Heh.