Thursday, July 24, 2014

Product Recalls from IKEA, PetSmart and More

Product Recalls from Consumer Bits

Check out the latest batch of recalls from companies like IKEA, PetSmart, and others.

IKEA Reannounces and Expands Recall of Children’s Wall-Mounted Lamps Due to Strangulation Hazard; Children can get entangled in the electrical cord that hangs from the children’s wall-mounted lamps.

Visit and click on the Recall link at the top of the page for more information.

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PetSmart Recalls Fish Bowls Due to Laceration Hazard : The glass fish bowls can crack, shatter or break during normal handling, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

Visit and click on About PetSmart at the bottom of the page, then click on Product Notices & Recalls for more information.

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Ariens Recalls Snow Throwers and Power Brushes Due to Amputation and Laceration Hazards, A drive pulley can crack while in use and cause the auger/impeller or brush to continue to rotate after the clutch lever is disengaged.

Visit click on Recall Information for more information.


Big Lots Recalls Ottomans Due to Fall Hazard; The center of the ottoman can collapse during normal use.

Big Lots toll-free at (866) 244-5687 or online at and click on “Recalls” at the bottom for more information.


Bollinger Fitness Recalls Resistance Bands Due to Injury Hazard because A black plastic ball attached to the resistance band’s door anchor can unexpectedly release and strike the user.

Contact Bollinger at (800) 255-6061 or online at and click on Important News at the bottom right corner of the page for more information.


DGL Group Recalls Vibe USB Mobile Power Bars Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Five Below; The power bar can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Visit online at and click on “Safety Recall” for more information.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Google Disbands Another Service, ORKUT

Google cuts Orkut
Over the last few years Google has been discontinuing services left and right.  Some obscure, some very popular.  They've smite things like Google Answers (2006), Google Page Creator ('08), Google Wave ('10), Labs ('11), Buzz ('11), iGoogle ('13) and most recently and most popular, was Google Reader. That one shocked millions of folks. But some of us suspect its all part of a bigger plan on Google's part.

Many folks are expecting Google to drop other existent services some day, like the popular Blogger platform while they continue to focus on other up and coming technologies, like their Facebook competitor, Google Plus.  (They've pu a lot into getting folks "attracted" to Google Plus, aka, G+)

But be it as it may, you can count one more service out of action.

Google will be turning off the lights to ORKUT on September 30, 2014.  To me that seems to be an obscure service that I've never used and some may not have heard of, but for those who do, this will strike a devastating blow.

Check out the Google press release:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

2014 Fireworks Around the Bay Area

Here's a quick list of where some fireworks shows are being held in and around the Bay Area.

Fireworks near the USS HORNET Museum
Start time: 9:15 p.m.

Contra Costa Fairgrounds. Parking $5.
Fireworks: Start time: 9:15 p.m.

Fireworks: On the waterfront. Start time: 9 p.m.

Fireworks 9:30 p.m. at the end of Berkeley Pier.

Fire works 9 p.m., at Mt. Diablo High School.

Fireworks display shot off a barge anchored off Mandeville Tip on the north side of the Deepwater Channel in the Delta between Stockton and Antioch. 8-10 p.m. .

Fireworks: From the Parking Garage in downtown Livermore (on Railroad Avenue, between Livermore Avenue and Maple). and

Parade: 11:30 a.m. down Santa Cruz Avenue. Food, music and games, Noon-2:30 p.m. Burgess Park.

Entertainment and fireworks: Music begins at 6 p.m. at Morgan Hill Community Park. Fireworks display after sunset.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Product Recalls: Sony, Fireworks, Knobs and more

Product Recalls: Sony, Fireworks, Knobs

Check out these product recalls for a few Sony VAIO batteries, exploding (before launch) fireworks, infant monitor battery issues and more.


Sony Recalls VAIO Flip PC Laptops Due to Fire and Burn Hazards, because the batteries can get pretty hot and pose a hazard.

The recall includes Sony’s VAIO Flip PC laptops with model number (product name) SVF11N13CXS

Sony toll-free at (866)702-7669 anytime or online at and click on the Support tab, then on Electronics and then on Product Support. Once on the Product Support site, click on the Computers & Tablets tab, then on VAIO Laptops & Desktops and scroll down to Product Alerts for more information.


Fireworks Recall

Winco Recalls Contraband 24 Canister Shell Fireworks Kit Due to Impact, Burn Hazards...  most fireworks pose a burn hazard, but this one issue says that the shell can blow up in the tube during firing.

Call Winco toll-free at (888) 697-2217 or go online at then click on the News tab at the top of the page, then click on Contraband 24 Artillery Recall.


Summer Infant Expands Recall to Replace Video Monitor Rechargeable Batteries Due to Burn Hazard because the battery in the handheld video monitor can overheat and rupture.

There have been over 20 reports of the incident.

Contact: Summer Infant at (800) 426-8627 or go online at for information on battery replacement.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

SECURITY Alert For The Peninsula, Bay Area Residents

SECURITY Alert For The Peninsula

When we live in a nice neighborhood, we can sometimes get very comfortable with our environment, and stop doing some simple things, like lock our doors and windows and other things.  But sometimes our comfort levels can lull us and betray us. Case in point, is this San Mateo County alert that was sent out from the Sheriff's Office today in my inbox.  You might want to take heed:

"The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is alerting the community to a marked increase in the number of burglaries occurring throughout the Peninsula, south of Highway 92. The crimes are occurring in all Cities and Unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. The individuals are entering through unlocked doors, windows and garages. They also use the tactic of knocking on the front door to see if anyone is home, before breaking into the residence. The Sheriff's Office is also asking the community to be vigilant with locking their residences and reporting any suspicious persons, vehicles or circumstances to 911, especially any unknown individuals knocking on their front door. The Sheriff's Office is taking measures to protect the community and ask for its assistance in stopping these crimes."

It's never too late to start practicing good security practices!

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Saturday, June 28, 2014


Happy Donuts reopens

Remember when the folks running Happy Donuts in Palo Alto closed down because they could not renew their lease? The folks at the location had found themselves a new location.

But I drove by the location today and discovered that the donut shop has reopened.  (In fact, it seems to have opened a week after it closed.)

The signs on the store say under new management.

Upon doing some reearch, I found some interesting information.

Turns out that our Happy Donuts folks who could not renegotiate their contract, lost their shop to the owner of the shop itself.

And then the owner of the building was the one that reopened the shop.

It turns out he used to run the Donut shop with his kids, but when they went to college, he leased the location and business out to a couple of former employees.

But with his renters out of the way, the owner stepped back in and started the popular business back up.

That's good news for fans of the shop who have come to depend on the 24-hr shop.

To me it sounds like a fishy situation for the previous renters. But then again, this is donuts, not fish.

source: paloaltoonline

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Friday, June 27, 2014


Caltrain on the Peninsula

I ride the Caltrain system quite often these days, as do many folks do on a daily basis for their commute to and from work.

Of late I have found myself using the Caltrain system at inconsistent or random hours throughout the day, here and there, so I have not been sure of the schedule at the various times of day I have needed it.

So I've been pulling up my web browser and have been hitting up their schedule web page, then zooming in and out and panning left and right on their web page to see station stop times from the location I'm at.

It can be a bit troublesome trying to find a train that's stopping at your station and also stopping at your destination.

Today while I was walking to the train station I thought I would take a look in my Google Play (app) Store and see if there was an app for the Caltrain system.

Sure enough, there was an app. And a snazzy, handy app at that.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Why You Miss 80% of FACEBOOK Page Posts

facebook logo

Do You Want To Hear FACEBOOK's Reasoning behind Why You Don't Get All the content you expect?

Facebook recently had a public conversation with some folks and during that conversation, they bullsh...  explained why we only see a certain percentage of the content we sign up for to see, or why we don't see our even our friends content sometimes.

They said,

"There is simply too much content being produced that is competing for showing up on your timeline. So Facebook needs to make decisions on what you see and do not see."

If that's the case, then I'm seriously impressed with how Twitter can feed us 100% of all of the content we sign up for! Kudos to Twitter!

It turns out that if you were to sign up to follow or be friends with around 1,500 entities on Facebook, you'd only see updates from around 300 of them, because of what they say are "factors relative to each person."

Friday, June 6, 2014

HAPPY DONUTS Closing: Another Victim Of Greed?

Happy Donuts in Palo Alto is Closing
(Google street view image)

For those of you who might love hitting up the Happy Donuts shop in Palo Alto at 3916 El Camino Real, brace yourselves.  Happy Donuts will be closing its doors on Friday night, June 6th, 2014, at 10pm for the final time at that location.

And that's a shame.  I've never been there and not seen a crowded dining area, or at least 3, 4 or 5 customers enjoying the ambiance.

So why is the 24-hr shop closing up?  Because the landlord won't renew their contract.  One local paper put it that the "landlord turned down their request for a lease renewal." Maybe it's me, but I see that as wanting a new tenant they can charge more.

The Happy Donuts owner said they have a new location at 1062 S. De Anza Blvd in San Jose, but that does not help anyone in or around that soon-to-be-closed present location.

The next closest Happy Donuts is off in Redwood City on El Camino Real.

Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness at the County Fair, The Bay Area

County Fair and Emergency Preparedness (CPR) information

Hey gang, this upcoming weekend will see the San Mateo County Fair kick in gear on Saturday, June 7th, at 1346 Saratoga Ave., in San Mateo.

But also in conjunction with the fair, the '10th Annual San Mateo County Disaster Preparedness Day' will also be taking place there, from 10am to 2pm.

During the 'Disaster Day' event you'll see or learn things like important emergency preparedness information, demonstrations and Friends and Family CPR classes.

Food for thought:

Think about those CPR classes for a second. 

If you're in the middle of an emergency and your loved one has a problem and can't breathe, the absolute worse part of the entire process is not being able to do anything and waiting for the EMTs to arrive after you call 911.  And that means standing around, watching and waiting for what, 2, 5 or even 10 minutes while your loved one is suffering or heaven forbid, even dying?

But if you had some form of knowledge of CPR at your disposal, maybe, just maybe, that can make the difference at the end of the day.


Plus, if you're an early arrival, AKA, get there before 11am, parking and fair admission is FREE.

This seems like a win-win situation.

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