Friday, March 22, 2013

Busy Set of Recalls: Toy Scooters, Airsoft, Child Walkers, LED lights and more

This is a Busy Set of Product Recalls today that range from Toy Scooters, Airsoft rifles, Child Walkers, LED lights, snorkel goggles a PAMPERED CHEF hazard (besides me being in the kitchen that is) and more!

Here's the list and I expound on a few of them below.

  • Ryobi Cordless Tool Battery Pack [Fire Hazard]
  • Hello Kitty City Motor Scooters [Fall Hazard] (Toys R Us)
  • Monster High City Motor Scooters [Fall Hazard] (Walmart)
  • Jerdon Style Recalls One-Cup Coffeemakers [Hazard]
  • Liberty Mountain Recalls Mountain Climbing Lanyards [Risk of Serious Injury]
  • Regency Seating Recalls Oakmont Fabric Stackable Chair [Fall Hazard] (the leg welds can break)
  • Disco Lights Recalled by Tween Brands [Electrical Shock Hazard]
  • The Pampered Chef Recalls Garlic Slicers [Laceration Hazard]
  • U.S. Divers Recalls Youth Snorkeling Mask Sets [Laceration Hazard]; Sold Exclusively at Costco (Lens can break under pressure)
  • U.S. Divers and Aqua Lung Sport Brand Youth Snorkeling Masks Recalled [Laceration Hazard] (Lens can break under pressure)
  • Soft Air USA Recalls Swiss Arms Air Rifle [Injury Hazard] (The safety isn't working)
  • White House | Black Market Women's Shoes Recalled by Impo International [Fall Hazard]
  • Toys R Us Recalls Imaginarium Activity Walker [Choking Hazard]
  • BrightLight Blankets Recalled by IdeaVillage [Burn Hazard] (overheating issue)
  • Stuart Weitzman Girls' Cha Cha Boots Recalled by Synclaire Brands [Fall Hazard] (The zippers can tangle with each other, and down you go!)
  • LED Light Bulbs Recalled by Lighting Science Group [Fire Hazard]... wait.. what?  LED, fire?
  • Yuba Bicycles Recalls Mundo Cargo Bikes [Injury Hazard] (Feet getting caught in rear wheel)
  • Aqua Lung Recalls Buoyancy Compensators [Drowning Hazard]
  • Magura USA Recalls Bicycle Hydraulic Disc Brakes [Collision Hazard]
  • tc electronic Recalls Bass Guitar Amplifier [Electrical Shock Hazard]

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The Hello Kitty City Motor Scooters has an issue where they can accelerate suddenly, tipping the rider off.  (Um, did Toyota make these?)

Stop using the Scooter, disconnect the battery and take it back to Toys R Us for a refund or store credit.

A few bloody noses have been reported.

Alternately, you can also contact the distributor:
Dynacraft; at (800) 551-0032, or at www.dynacraftbike.com, and click on Owners, then select Warnings/Recalls.

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The Monster High City Motor Scooters have the same issue, as they're also from Dynacraft.

You can return the scooters that were sold at Walmart, or contact the distributor.  (See item directly above.)

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The Liberty Mountain Lanyard Recall involves the Easy Go XP Lock Via Ferrata Lanyards, and the elastic webbing can deteriorate over time and hence, can break.

You can contact Liberty Mountain for a refund or replacement, toll-free at (800) 366-2666, or at www.libertymountain.com. Click on "Contact Us" for more information.

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The Pampered Chef Garlic Slicers has a blade that can come off while in use.

You can contact contact The Pampered Chef for a replacement product.

Consumer Contact: The Pampered Chef at productalert@pamperedchef.com or tollfree  at (877) 917-2433.  Or visit www.pamperedchef.com and click on the "Product Alert" tab for more information.

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The Toys R Us Recall of their Imaginarium Activity Walker involves the  Imaginarium Activity Walkers.  There's a small bolt that keeps the front wheels attached, that can come out, and this is deemed as a choking hazard.

You can return it to a Toys R Us store for a refund or store credit or contact them at (800) 869-7787.  Or you can visit www.toysrus.com and click on Safety Information and Recalls for more information.

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The LED Light Bulbs being Recalled by Lighting Science Group have an overheating issue, and are posing a fire hazard.

There have been 68 SIXTY-EIGHT incidents of failure.

For more detailed info, contact Lighting Science Group toll free at (855) 574-2533 or at www.lsgc.com/recall

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The Aqua Lung buoyancy compensators with SureLock II weight pocket handles have issues where the rubber handles can come off as you remove your weights under water, during an emergency.

There have been over 200 incidents.  (No injuries thank god.)

You can Contact: Aqua Lung at (855) 355-7170 or at www.aqualung.com and click on Recall Notice for more information.

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Details (if you want more) on all recalls can be located at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov).
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Some SEO Advice and Sales SPAM Fun For Newbie Website Owners

So you need to know more about SEO advice for your website?  Don't we all.  Google has been keeping everyone dancing on what's needed to have any kind of rank on the web, and my suspicions are they're squeezing out the little guys.  But if you're bold enough to want to try, more power to you!

Once you've decided you would like to run a blog of some sort, and it's not for just you and a few people, you probably will start wondering why you only get a few visits at best.  You'll find out that internet or web SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the first basic step towards snagging website traffic for the edification of your creative mind! (Code for blog posts.)

If you have someone in your life you can tap for a resource in this field of SEO, you're one step ahead of the crowd.  I've had a wonderful mentor of sorts by the name of Vic, and I have appreciated every bit of insight he's provided me.  (I've probably have outstayed my welcome, so I don't pester him too much any more these days.)

SEO is a tricky thing but there are a few things you can do to help yourself in this category if you don't have a knowledgeable peer in your pocket.

Do your research.  Find popular websites and look them over.  Google even has great insights to creating content that could get you more website traffic.  (This is a great insight to getting SEO help, from Google itself)

But one thing I'd suggest is to rely heavily on your own research first, before falling for any traps that want money [Review of GoDaddy's Search Engine Visibility Tool] from you.

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As you start to develop your skills a bit, you'll start figuring out what to weed out of the noise out there.  Don't jump on the first thing or two that sounds good or great.  Remember, sales pitches are designed to make sales.  I laugh now at what I used to jump at when I tried my hand at real estate.  Wow...  and I fell for the pitches because I desperately wanted to succeed.  Now.  (And therein lies the issue...  wanting it now rather than working at it.)

If you find something great looking, back out, and research that product or company and see what folks are saying.

There is one resource that's pretty cool, and that's SCRIBE, but that's a product for a self-hosted wordpress blog and it depends on how much money you might already be making off your site, since it's not a cheap service.  (But it is a good service).  What SCRIBE does is guide you along the lines of what is good or better for specific posts. (If it looks tempting, you have a 30-day free trial I believe, or find a site that reviewed it and sometimes, they might provide discount codes for using their affiliate sales link.)

The one thing you want to do is play above board with Google.  If you try tricky stunts, Google will find you, smack you, and your site will get dinged for it.

For example... at one point I had a linking practice that was netting me good traffic, but I wanted to hide the links so my fans (those are the competitors of mine that constantly steal my ideas for their own posts or practices) wouldn't see what I was doing.  BUT Google doesn't like it when you hide links in your text.  Even though I fixed it, that hurt for about 6 months as my traffic source recovered much more slowly than it had dipped.

So with time and a smart approach, I think you'll get the hang of things.

OH, BTW, if you have started monetizing your site, you might notice the amount of income is directly proportional to traffic flow.  But if you're sharp, and focus your content to who you want and then get an Amazon associates account, you can actually make decent bucks from targeted writing/content.

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But as you get going and your site starts getting noticed, it's going to get noticed by the scum ad and service sellers that will reach out to you to tease you about what golden opportunities there are for your site out there and how much they can help you.

Hold yer britches.  Let's look at the latest sales pitch I've received.

My policy is this:  I do my research.  Then I contact who I have deemed worthy enough for me to consider trusting.  Unsolicited ads usually aren't worth much since they have the time to hunt little 'ol you down, and aren't working with those #1 Google found sites!  Example:  Does Coke or Budweiser email you to try their stuff?

Have fun... my running commentary is in {} brackets and this was in relation to the parent site of this site.

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Brusimm.com Team, {OK, so they got my email address but didn't bother actually reading the content around it or they would know my name.  BOT!!!}

I thought you might like to know some of the reasons why you are not getting enough Social Media and Organic search engine traffic for Brusimm.com  {Because I'm not Fandango, CNN, ESPN... I'm a tiny site that won't get that big.}

1.Your website Brusimm.com is not ranking top in Google organic search for many competitive keyword phrases.
{Duh... and a new site will never be able to compete for the most popular search terms because the top 5,000 blogs are already trouncing me on those terms.  (You have to generate some good, unique content... that DOES work.)}

2. Your website profile is not available in most of the Social Media Websites.
{I assume they means besides Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Technorati, Alexa, YouTube and the other half dozen sites Brusimm does participate in.  Web BOT!!!  Incredibly STUPID web bot at that.}

3. Your site has 8 Google back links, this can be improved further.
{I guess they missed the other several hundred.  SPAMMER BOT!!!}

There are many additional improvements that could be made to your website, and if you would like to learn about them, and are curious to know what our working together would involve, then I would be glad to provide you with a detailed analysis in the form of a WEBSITE AUDIT REPORT for FREE. 
{OK... then just send it already.  Oh, wait, BOT!}

Our clients consistently tell us that their customers find them because they are at the top of the Google search rankings. Being at the top acleft of Google (#1- #3 organic positions) is the best thing you can do for your company's website traffic and online reputation. 
{I don't know what an acleft is.  But I seriously doubt this ragtag pitch source did that.  Or we'd all have heard about it via other channels.}

I found your site in the Google search and after having a look over your website I think you should go for an SEO campaign to boost your marketing strategy. 
{OK, wait!  I don't rank in Google, but you found me in Google?  Got it... bot.}

Sounds interesting? Feel free to email us or alternatively you can provide me with your phone number and the best time to call you. 
{Sure!  Try 123-456-7890, midnight, your timezone bitch!}

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Best Regards,
Diana {some made up last name}
SEO Consultant  {Technically, that's probably correct.  She just did consult.}
dumbass phone # I'll never call.

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PS1: This is onetime email and you may ask us to "REMOVE" you from our mailing list.  {That I have received for the umpteenth time already}

PS2: I found your site from online advertising but did not click. {I don't advertise online... nice try.}

PS3: We operate 24 x7. I will be happy to send you links to price list,refund policy, client rankings, client testimonials, "How we are different from others?", and "Why should you choose us?" on receiving a response from you  {Hold. Your. Breath.}

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Update:4/4/13:  I got my third "onetime" email from Diana...  cool!!!

Bruce again...  so that's my fun with their noise and I get these wonderful emails all the time now.  If you actually read to this part of the article, here's some bonus bits.  Below are two resource links to get you thinking along the lines of how to look at this thing called SEO and trying to eek out a small corner of the web for yourself.  Have fun and link up with me sometime!

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Update: 4/18/13:  Diana has become Mark Peterson (I guess in case am gender biased) and they're no longer threatening me with the "one time deal" option.  They must have read this piece because they've cleaned up their act on the wording...  it no longer says I don't rank in Google, and then late say, they found me on Google.  The stupid spammers are getting smarter!

Google's Webmaster Guidelines,
Google on Getting SEO Help Suggestions,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How Far Would You Go For Your "Pet?" (LETS HELP HER FIND MADDOX)

That's the question, and one raised by a Yahoo article about a woman and her missing mini Pincher.  How far would you go to find your animal companion?  (If you're in a hurry, just skip to the last paragraph, and how you can help find Maddox.)

If you live in or around OK City, please share, RT, '+' or what have you.  And if you don't, what the heck, maybe you know someone that does.

If you're of the mind that a "pet" is just an animal, you can move along, because this article is not for you.  It's not that I dislike you or your mindset, I just don't understand it.  I don't understand how a creature that obviously has feelings and intelligence, laced with a bit of primal emotions, can be looked down upon as "just an animal."  Just because they don't talk doesn't make them less of a living entity than you or I.

Our "pets," or furry family members (FFMs?) are much like the children of a family.  Even though they can't speak, they show things in other ways.

Sure, some animals aren't that bright.  I have a cat that would probably walk into a burning building to see what's up.  But then again, I've watched people evacuate a building because of a bomb scare and then stand around outside the front lobby door.  So there's no difference there.

And I find it amazing that my ACD can watch something and learn how it works with one viewing.  Or that he has associated words and deeds without training him.  He's learned things faster than some people I know.

And the emotions they have aren't random.  My ACD knows when he's done something wrong.  He knows when someone gets injured.  He knows what to do in each situation, or at least what he thinks he can do.  All without being trained for it.

But this woman in the Yahoo article says it all.
She was worried about leaving her FFM with someone.  Folks mean well, but not all animal owners have the same regard for precaution as others.

I am hyper careful when it comes to how I do things around my dog.  I can't see any general pet-sitter being the same way.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "He just got out!" While leaving out the catch phrase, while I stood there with the door open.  (Last week I returned a lost dog to its owner.  I rescued him from the middle of a very busy street.  When I got him home, the owner called him over to him and left him to sit in the front yard.  When I asked if he should put his adventurous puppy inside, he said, "No, he'll be fine."  Are you f*ing kidding me?  I just saved him from playing in traffic over a mile away, but the moron says "he'll be fine.")

In this woman's case, she did choose to leave her pet with a friend.  She went against her own instincts and now she's paying the price no "pet owner" should ever have to deal with.  Never mind that animal's personal, harrowing experience right now.

She left her mini pincher, Maddox, with a neighbor and within the day, Maddox escaped.  The woman cancelled her vacation and has gone on leave from her job to find her life-long friend.  She's taken several extraordinary measures, and yet, 80+ days later, she's still without her FFM.

On the bright side, she's helped locate several other mini pinchers and the Maddox is microchipped!  (If he can be caught.)

This is a horribly sad event. I helped search for a dog in the foothills of my local region a few years ago, spending whole days in the countryside hiking and trying to track down a lost dog, but to no avail.  It's frustrating for me, and for how his humans must be feeling.  I can't imagine how I'd feel if my buddy got out.

Here's how we can help...

"For now, she's relying on determination and the help of strangers to bring Maddox home. If you'd like to help, check out his Facebook and Twitter accounts or his website Bring Maddox Home. Best of luck!"
PS:

I'm going to add a real crazy thought... folks between OKC and his home in CA should keep a look out.  There have been stories of dogs that have traveled great distances to get home.  My grandmother forgot her cat one summer when she headed to her summer vacation house.  The cat traversed the land from Providence Rhode Island and found its way to Leeds, ME.  My jaw dropped when I saw this cat come limping up the driveway a few weeks into the summer season.  So nothing is improbable!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ASICS 'Support Your Marathoner' Site Was A Great Premise, But..

When ASICS put up the Support Your Marathoner website and joined it with electronic support for the runners during the LA Marathon, it was a well received idea and I thought it was awesome.  A way for me to support my wife and her sister remotely.

It was a great idea.  But OMG, the execution of the site killed me and now, rather than warm fuzzies about the site, I have nothing but emotions of frustration when I think if the site.

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When my wife sent me a link to Support my Runners, I jumped on it.  But registering for the site was a challenge.

The site seems slapped together and very non-intuitive.  Once I did figure it out, it would not let me register.  It just stared blankly back at me.

The next day I tried again, and bam!, I got to register.  Now, I wanted to go support my wife and her sister.  I first uploaded two pictures for them to see somewhere along the route. And so I registered to support them.

Getting the pics uploaded was painful at best.  It kept cropping what I provided, no matter what I provided in whatever cropped format.  But finally, Whoo hoo!  I'm done.  Or so I thought. 

Remember now, I registered as a supporter.  Or at least, I followed links that indicated for supporters to register as.

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During the run, my wife's sister saw her picture that I uploaded for her but my wife did not see hers.

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I thought I'd go see what happened.  Once I figured out that to see my profile was to click on "My Marathon," things didn't seem right.  Wha???

So after having gone back in to the "http://www.supportyourmarathoner.com/" all I can find are options to fill in my run time and to leave thanks for my supporters.  That alone, seems contradictory to the website name/link.

And later, it seems that even though I signed up for supporting my wife and her sister, they had no supporters.

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I think this idea was brilliant.  The execution needed a huge amount of work to make it intuitive, fun and friendly.

ASICS, premise:  Awesome
Execution: Epic Fail!

Hey marathoners from Los Angeles:  INCREDIBLY WELL DONE... no matter what the time.
Here, check this video out... you might be able to relate and it's damn funny!