Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Facebooks "Most Used Words" And Other Apps Are Privacy Nightmares

Facebook Apps Are Privacy Nightmares

When you see a cool, new feature, function of toy on Facebook pop up, do you head right on over and try it? Have you given it any thought as to why they make apps for you on FB? Or why they want access to your account?  Have you wondered what happens when you give those apps permissions to access your account, what really happens?

Maybe you should.

Every time you give an app permission to access your account, you are also giving permission for that app to not only peruse your account, but they also ping off your account into your friends accounts, regardless of their own set of permissions.

And now there's news on the street that the "Most used Words" Facebook app is causing what is called a "privacy nightmare."

17 million users have started the app and and folks are realizing as they take these dumb ass tests that they are so inclined to enjoy, that they are giving up a ton of personal information to an unknown third party, like their name, sex, friends list, and everything you have ever liked on Facebook. And don't forget, with you having given them permission, they can also access your photos.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Turning Off "Your Memories on Facebook"

Turning Off "Your Memories on Facebook"

See updates below:

In this post I tackle the issue of "turning off" my Facebook Memory reminders that we keep getting shoved in our faces. Whether we want them to or not. It's not so much a 'turn off' as it is a filter the hell out of my feed mode. You'll see. If you want to read my total experience, keep reading, so see how I got to turning off Facebook Memories fix. If you don't have a ton of time, skip past the page break to the headline in mid-secion....


A while ago I started getting these bullshit messages that "We care about you" from Facebook showing me images from the past. At first, since they were showing up every few days at best, I didn't care.

But I made the fatal mistake of clicking in the upper right corner of one of them and chose "Show me fewer of these posts." Now I'm getting them every day.

Other reports say when you click the 'X' a new one replaces it.

WTF Facebook?

Then I went in and turned off "On This Day," and by all reviews of my account, it is off. But my reminders keep coming.

To be honest Facebook, if you CARED, you would actually turn this shit off instead of showing us outdated crap we already forgot about. My favorite is having my memorial to my dead dog getting shoved in my face.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Recalls From "Family Dollar,' GE, PNY, 'Shark Ninja' and more

- - -

Family Dollar Recalls Wax Warmers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

The wax warmers can produce high flames, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.

Contact: Family Dollar stores at 800-547-0359 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at, then click on Product Recalls in the Help section at the bottom of the page.

- - -

Fireworks Over America Recalls Space Monkey Multi-effect Fireworks Due to Burn, Fire, Impact Hazards

Contact: Fireworks Over America at 800-345-3957 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT or online at and click on Important Safety Recall for more information.

- - -

GE Recalls 'GE Zoneline® Air Conditioners and Heating Units' Due to Risk of Fire

Contact:  GE toll free at 866-723-2697 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, online at or and click the Recall Information tab for more information.

- - -

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Samsung GALAXY S6: I Figured Out How To Turn Off Select Blinking LED Indicators

SAMSUNG Galazy S6 - figured out the LEDs

I have had my Samsung Galaxy S6 for a few weeks now, after having divested myself of a huge POS Motorola phone. But as I became acclimated with my Galaxy S6, I started wanting to customize it to my own liking. In this case, I wanted to kill the flashing LED lights. I don't need them.

But as I cruised the web it seemed that everyone was saying that you can either turn all the LED lights off or none, and that there was no selective service to pick and choose which LED notification to smite on the S6.

But I think I figured out how to block certain LEDs from winking at me.

I went to

'Settings,' then

'Sound and notification.'

Under there, I opened up 'App notifications.'

Monday, November 16, 2015

15 Things I Hate About My 'Ford F-150'

Last year, after driving the same truck for 20 years, I bought a new Ford F-150. Boy have things changed over the years. And some of those are fairly frustrating.

DISCLAIMER: I love my Ford F-150. Always will. But here are some constructive observations to be aware of if you're going to find yourself buying a new vehicle, for whatever reason.

SO remember, these observations are from a base-package truck.

#1: When going to buy a vehicle from a dealership be prepared ahead of time in knowing exactly what you want and what you don't need or want. It's too easy to get talked into wanting more stuff on the list of things you're getting. But one thing leads to another and another... etc. 

#2: When you buy the minimum package, it almost feels like some of the products in the truck, radio, dash, other functions, HAD to have cost more to dumb down than to leave them with all the bells and whistles. Sheesh. 

#3: The '911 Assist' annoyance: When I first had my truck, I'd turn it on and then the radio. About 15 to 30 seconds later whatever was playing on the radio would get interrupted with my truck telling me I have not set up the '911 assist' yet. Would you like to do it now? Apparently it can't read my middle finger.

But then I figured out how to disable this alert. But my definition of disable is VERY different from Ford's.

Using GOOGLE MAPS To Check Tomorrow's Traffic Conditions

I don't know if you knew this but you can check on Google Maps (on the desktop) to predict the traffic of where ever you are going for the next day and what time on that day.

TO be honest, I don't use this feature that often, but here's what I do if I happen to need to know what the traffic might be like on a Monday morning, at 7am, from where I live to a destination:

Google Maps directions for Next Day

-Bring up Google Maps (On the desktop);

-Type in your destination in the standard search window;

-Click on 'Directions;'

-Put in your starting location in the ensuing search window;

-Hit enter and you'll see the present driving time.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Recalls: Dishwashers, Build A Bear, Cribs, High Chairs, Riding Toys and more

Today's recalls involve Deadly Bed Handles, Cribs, Tree Stands, Dishwashers, Build a Bear, High Chairs, Adhesive Removers, & Ride-On Toys.


Bed Handles Inc. Reannounces Recall of Adult Portable Bed Handles Following Report of Fourth Entrapment Death; Less Than 1% Response Rate to Recall

Name of Product: Portable bed handles

When attached to an adult’s bed without the use of safety retention straps, the handle can shift out of place, creating a dangerous gap between the bed handle and the side of the mattress. This poses a serious risk of entrapment, strangulation and death.

Contact: Bed Handles Inc. at 800-725-6903 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online at and click on Recall Information at the bottom of the page for more information.

- - -

Bexco Expands Recall of DaVinci Brand Cribs Due to Entrapment, Fall and Laceration Hazards

{A metal bracket that connects the mattress support to the crib can break, creating an uneven sleeping surface or a gap. If this occurs, a baby can become entrapped in the crib, fall or suffer lacerations from the broken metal bracket.

Consumer Contact: DaVinci toll-free at 888-673-6652 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. Consumers can also visit or and click on “Safety Recall” for more information.}

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veteran's Day 2015 Freebies and Discounts

Check out what military veterans can look forward to on Veteran's Day.  Some offers include active, retired and families of, so make sure your about the details of the offer at your local location: - 20% off of select apparel (Amazon's Home Page )



Bed, Bath & Beyond - 20% off

California Pizza Kitchen

Chili’s Free Meal

Claim Jumper Free Meal

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Dell - 15% off

Denny’s All You Can Eat Pancakes

Golden Corral

Great Clips Free Haircut

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Recalls: Ikea, Pacifiers, Rite Aid, Merck, Philips Halogen Bulbs and More...

Here's a shocking recall:

IKEA Recalls Children’s Nightlight Due to Electrical Shock Hazard

PATRULL Nightlight

Hazard: The nightlight’s plastic covering can detach and expose electrical components, posing an electrical shock hazard.

Remedy: Refund

Consumers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled product and contact IKEA for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: IKEA toll-free at 888-966-4532 anytime or online at and click on Press Room at the bottom of the page then Product Recalls at the top of the page for more information.

- -

This sucks:

Chewbeads Recalls Pacifier Clips Due to Choking Hazard

The “D” ring on the pacifier clip can break, allowing beads to detach, posing a choking hazard.

Remedy: Replace, Refund

Consumers should immediately take these recalled pacifier clips away from young children and contact Chewbeads for a free replacement pacifier clip or a refund of the purchase price.

Contact Chewbeads Inc. toll-free at 888-786-7790 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at or online at and click on the Product Recall link at the bottom of the page for more information. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

PEEPLE Isn't A Bad Idea, But It Will Have Horrible Implications

What do you think of this new PEEPLE review app?

This PEEPLE app is getting a lot of attention even though it is not due out for another month. Folks are freaking out that it's bad enough how you get treated in real life, but to suddenly find yourself reduced to a mere five-star scale entity seems heartless.

But hey, either the creators are heartless or think they have a great idea. Though I'm not sure how being rated by an app can outdo a resume and great references.

But here is what I see, will be the flaws of this priceless app:


For one, any website that has a rating system will always be plagued by shills and trolls who have nothing better to do with their sorry-ass lives than bash and down-vote things on the slightest whim.

I've seen websites kill their rating systems just because of that. One website I used to visit even had vanity-laced admins who would down-vote your posts if you came anywhere near close to criticizing them or their own posts.

So ratings are at the whim of the users moods.



Speaking of "ratings at the whim," how do you think this will go for people when they are part of a group that has its distinct clicks. And if one click has a powerful influence, how these reviews or ratings will go?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

When Using Facebook Please Read The Entire Post! (Or Any Other Online Media)

Facebook: Why can't people read the print?

The term post will be in reference to emails, blog comments, Facebook posts, and FB comments, and pretty much any article on the web. But I'll be focusing a bit on posts that take place on Facebook and thought it was a great logo to put up.


I have to hand it to some of you. When you "spot" a post and respond or share it, it's amazing how little of the post you actually read sometimes. Then the rest of us fall into that hole!!!

I get the enthusiasm involved in the actions I see out there, but to be honest, a few more seconds would save everyone a lot more time. Let me expound on this for a moment.

One of my favorite blunders is when an email is sent to a group and in that email, it reads, "This event, on This date." And then you see replies asking when the event will be.  Seriously?

Or on Facebook a user puts out a post asking for something but insists that anyone who can do this to PM them.  Twenty comments later, I'm just having a tizzy screaming, READ THE REQUEST you idjits!!!

Speaking of Facebook...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Recalls: Tablets, Flourescent Lights, Children's Toys and a Few More

Product Recalls: Tablets, Flourescent Lights, Children's Toys
Below are a few more product recalls of computer tablets, fluorescent lighting, and a few products designed for children that you should be aware of.

Remember,  most products on a recall should stop being used immediately and then contact the distributor for directions on what to do. Even if it seems fine, well, it seemed fine for whoever the item malfunctioned on too, until it didn't. I myself don't like being part of the statistics.


Bexco Recalls DaVinci Brand Cribs Due to Entrapment, Fall and Laceration Hazards where a metal bracket that connects the mattress support to the crib can break, creating an uneven sleeping surface or a gap. If this occurs, a baby can become entrapped in the crib, fall or suffer lacerations from the broken metal bracket.

Contact Bexco for a replacement by calling Davinci at  (888) 673-6652 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. Consumers can also visit or and click on “Safety Recall” for more information.

- - -

NVIDIA Recalls Tablet Computers Due to Fire Hazard

It seems that the lithium-ion battery in the tablets can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Contact NVIDIA toll free at (888) 943-4196 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at and click on “NVIDIA Tablet Recall Program” at the bottom center of the page in green letters.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Best Junk Email Filter Practice Ever!

How to keep your personal email inbox clear of clutter

This is a quickie note on how to prepare your email inbox for potential and anticipated spam.

So every now and then I find myself entering contests or supplying an email address to various entities for whatever BS excuse they have whether it be via Craigslist or what not. I've been loathe to provide my real email address, that's for sure. I like my personal inbox to be as clean as possible.


What I have done is something I am pretty proud of and happy with.

Now I don't know how it is in Yahoo email, since it's a fairly limited and clunky interface compared to Google's Gmail, so I've set up a spare email on Gmail to create this new or second email address with.

Choose a reasonable email address so it does not stand out as fishy, especially with online bb's you might interact with. So try to avoid "MySpamBoxForYou" or "BiteMeDipShits" and such, because believe it or not, every now and then you will use it for a real purpose, making this new email address an additional buffer at first.

Plus don't use any part of your real email address that someone might be able to figure out. Then this might be all for naught. So something neutral but not too crazy. You really want it to appear real enough. Because you never know. And trust me, I thought I did.

When Will Facebook Ever Get Their Shit Together?

Will Facebook ever get it together with Video Volume and Page Posting?

When I ask about Facebook ever getting it together, I refer to the Video Volume controls And Page Posting?


How many times have you started a video in Facebook and found the volume blasting at you while being set at 100%? Yep, me too. Over and over and over.

No matter how many times I turn down the video volume to what I prefer, when I later start another video, I am blasted by the volume yet again because it is set to maximum.

You would think in this day and age, FB would be able to see what a user wants when they repeatedly take the same action, and say, hey, this user wants his video volume at 50%, we should deliver that option set that way every time he starts a video.

Well, at least you would think so.

Monday, September 14, 2015

PRODUCT RECALLS From IKEA, Teavana, Husqvarna, Whirlpool...

PRODUCT RECALLS From IKEA, Teavana, Husqvarna, Whirlpool.

I thought I'd toss out a few more recent recalls that have come out over the last month or so, focusing on purely the products with a large distribution or ones that impact the safety of children"

- - -

- IKEA Offers Free Wall Anchoring Repair Kit for Chests and Dressers Due to Tip-over Hazard After Two Children Died

Children's and adult chests and dressers can tip over if not attached to the wall, posing an entrapment hazard.

About 7 million MALM chests and 20 million other IKEA chests and dressers are part of the nationwide repair program.

The Remedy is a Repair

Contact  IKEA toll-free at (888) 966-4532 anytime or online at for more information on how to receive a free wall anchoring kit.

- - -

Teavana Recalls Glass Pitchers Due to Laceration and Burn Hazards, where the glass pitchers can break or leak, posing laceration and/or burn hazards to consumers if filled with hot tea.

Contact: Teavana toll free at (888) 665-0463 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at and click on "Tristan Glass Pitcher Recall" for more information.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fixing My DSLR Single Point Focus Problem

A few weeks ago I noticed that my Canon EOS 7D camera started using only a single focus point and not the 19-point averaging system that my auto-focusing system should have been using. Below is how I fixed it, albeit temporarily.


The other day my Canon D7 auto-focus function started to act up a wee bit. Sadly I discovered this after the fact while I was on a journalistic photo.

The problem was that it was using a single, center point of the image and not averaging out the focus in the image with its infamous 19-point auto-focus function.

Grr. (That was not my first verbal reaction, but this was my first printable reaction.)

Whether it be race cars or disc dogs, I had issues. (Did you know that race cars spelled backwards... well, you'll see.)

At least with the disc dog event, I was traveling with the target and was able to post some "artsy" images. LOL...  not. But my NASCAR shooting assignment scrapped about a third of my pictures, or, right after my camera's focusing system started "acting up" for the rest of that weekend.

Double Grr.

My Acceptable Experience Trying To Use Vimeo Video Service

Vimeo is another in a long line of online video hosting providers. It has various options for the product user that ranges from the limited freebie mode to a nice and serviceable pricey mode. Either way, Vimeo does meet your video hosting needs, to a point. But one thing is for sure, and that is that Vimeo Ain't No YouTube. If you're looking for a freebie hosting, it is a free video platform that has limitations designed to push you to either upgrade to an annual fee account, or back to YouTube. What you do, is up to you.

To be honest I get the impression that Vimeo does not like freeloaders.

Approximately 10 days ago I requested help from Vimeo regarding an account I had set up some time ago. Their policy is that if you have a free account, they will respond to your help requests in no less than three days time. That three days seems to be their default buffer for those with free accounts.

Having a free (Basic) Vimeo account means several things... it means that

    500MB per week of upload space
    Up to 720p HD
    No Priority Video Conversion (More on that later)
    No HD embedding
    No Domain level privacy
    No 4-Hour priority support
    The ability/limit to upload 10 videos per day
    The ability/limit to create 1 Channel, 1 Group, and 3 Albums
    The ability to download converted video files
    Basic-yet-robust privacy controls
    Basic embedding features


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

YAHOO Acting Like A Virus or Malware

Is Yahoo Acting Like Malware?

Today I started noticing a few odd things about my interactions with Yahoo. And keep in mind my online existence is purely Google-based. My search engines, some blogs, image hosting... well you get it. The only interaction I have with Yahoo is because I am forced to use it with a specific club I interact with and they use Yahoo Groups from yesteryear. It's not horrible but it's a bit rough or non-intuitive to use.


With that said,

First up was that I could not download any attachments in an email I had in Yahoo. I HAD TO FORWARD IT to a good working email system like Google's Gmail to be able to download the attachments. (Yes, they were from a trusted source.)

Then I noticed that when I opened my Chrome browser, rather than opening to my pre-designated home page, I was getting two tabs now, which included my home page and the Yahoo Search engine page.

Yahoo... you are getting on my nerves.

But wait, I am not done.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Hilarious And Sad Aspects Of The Ashley Madison Breach

If you did not know, the Ashley Madison customer database was broken into a while back. Then threats came from the cyber intruders saying they need to shut down their service or they will expose all of their clients. Some folks were publicly pissed that this was going to happen, which kind of outed them. Others were funny about it, saying, hey, I didn't know my spouse was on here with me too! And some felt it was a violation of their trust. SERIOUSLY? Think that one through.

In case you don't know, Ashley Madison (AM) is a website where cheating spouses can go and make hookups with other people. In other words it's a cheaters site. Or at least they want you to think that they are a popular/successful cheaters site.

And according to estimates they had almost 40 million accounts of data.

But now that the perpetrators released their goods, unleashing the database on the world for all to see who the cheating people are in the world, it turns out that the only good way to cheat is the old fashion way, what ever that is. But it is not via Ashley Madison.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Programming Your DISH Universal Remote For Your TV

Programming Your DISH Universal Remote

I was given a TV from a family member but it did not come with a remote. But I knew that my DISH remote can figure it out, once you put the right universal remote code in.

I went online and found the directions for setting my code.  They went as follows:

1. Press and hold the TV Mode button until all four mode buttons flash, let go. The TV mode button will continue to flash.

2. Enter one of these 3 digit codes:

(I tried about 80 different codes)

3. Press # (pound)

4. Press the power button to see if it will turn off your TV. If not, go through again and try the next number.

WHAT a waste of time!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Facebook: What Happened To My 'Recent Activity' Screen Section?

What Happened To My Facebook 'Recent Activity' Section?

Basically put, I started wondering Where My Facebook Recent Activity Section went to? It was there and now it is gone. But to be more accurate, it and some of its functionality was moved around on you but it is still there. And now we need to find how to get back to it or edit things in it again.

It's like when you put a log in the fire. The wood is still around. But instead of wood, it is now smoke in the air! (How's that for a Facebook option analogy?)


So the other day (like, months ago) I had modified a setting in my Facebook account that now BLOCKS updates that show when I like something new. Which is really nice because when a guy likes something like "Hooters" on Facebook, he can find himself at the center of attention and mocking and what not from the moral majority or women who are friends of his wife and what not.

Plus, if you have competitors who happen to be your friends, well, it's a good tactical advantage to be able to block specific news sources or such that you may end up liking on Facebook.

So this Facebook post addresses two issues.

WTF (W = Where) did my Facebook "Recent Activity" section go to?


How Can I block What I like from my Facebook Feed?

- - -

Initially I had made a settings change under my 'Recent Activity' menu that blocked the updates that reported when I liked a page. That menu used to reside on the left side of my profile screen.

To be honest I am not sure why I did it, except to maybe experiment with the setting. Well, it does work.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sirius-XM Channels Changing in Early August

Sirius-XM Channels Changing

I thought I'd toss you a heads up in case you did not know, but Sirius-XM is changing up their channel line-up. Again. The change will kick in on August 13th, and I suspect, will dole out slowly over some period of time from user to user.

The change is introducing new channels to the lineup as well as moving some other channels about, Just to keep you guessing! The new channels include:

Velvet Ch. 13

Contemporary Pop vocalists such as Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Diana Krall, Celine Dion, Susan Boyle, Harry Connick, Jr., Il Divo, Adele, and the cast of Glee.


SiriusXM Fly Ch. 47

Connecting Hip-Hop and R&B from the '90s and 2000s, from Mary J. Blige & Outkast to Aaliyah & Jay-Z.
Road Trip Radio Limited Edition Ch. 18

Now playing on this new home for exclusive limited run channels is Road Trip Radio, featuring a mix of music from The Rolling Stones to Pharrell Williams, Kenny Loggins to Florida Georgia Line, Janet Jackson to The Beach Boys, and many more.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blogger Specific SEO Tips

Google Blogger SEO Hints

I keep finding myself looking up one thing or another to modify or adjust values in relation to SEO rules in my Blogger (formerly Blogspot) platform. And sometimes I keep having to look something up multiple times.

Therefore, I believe I will start making a list here and updating as I find necessary.

Before we get started, I want to make something perfectly clear... if you are nervous about making changes, then don't. I ain't no expert and if I break my site, I am somewhat capable of restoring it.  Or starting over.

If you're not that nervous, but still, have concerns, you can use the template back up routine to save your good working template while you are ready to make your changes. (Blog - Template - "Backup/Restore" button."

Or, make a fake new test blog, go to settings, and under the "Basic" section select to edit the "Privacy" option, and choose not listed on Blogger and Not Visible to Search engines.

Then below that, under "Blog Readers" set it to "Private -  Only blog authors."

Now you can play to your heart's content, BRAVELY going where you would not go before.

Blogger Modification "Hot To" Tips

Font: Changing your fonts to be more readable. AKA, slightly larger:

Curious Things Happen When You Don't Update Your Phone Apps

Things That Happen When You Don't Update Your Apps

If you follow this site much you may have taken note that I've had issues with my Motorola RAZR M smartphone. The camera on the phone takes 5 to 20 seconds to snap a picture, almost half the time it can't focus, automatic screen brightness is DOG SLOW, etc., etc..

One of my grumblings about my phone is how antiquated it became after a year of owning it. My experience has been so bad with this product that I've sworn off buying anything with the Motorola name on it. Period. I did that with Samsung 10 years ago. I'm lifting my Samsung embargo and swapping it over to Motorola.

But while my poor, old phone gets older every day, one thing that I have started NOT doing is updating my apps.

On my phone, under Google Play, there's an option to turn off automatic updates. And I have turned them off for a number of reasons:


-Having improved ads served to me is NOT something I want.

-Bigger and faster is NOT better on an older phone.

-Updates have horrible timing sometimes, like right when you go to use an app, it is busy.

A List of Chromebook Shortcuts

A List of Chromebook shortcut keys
- - -
I keep finding myself needing to look up keyboard shortcuts for my Acer Chromebook. So I've decided to start building my list here under Consumer Bits. My ONLY real complaint about this beast is that it won't let you install anything, It has to be a Google app... or "cloud" app or whatever you want to call the internet:

Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts:

Go to Beginning of Document = Ctrl Search ‘left arrow’

BOOKMARK All Pages = Ctrl Shift D
BOOKMARKS Bar, Focus = ALt Shift B (Use arrows to select)
BOOKMARKS Bar, Toggle = Ctrl Shift B

Turning on CAPS Lock = ALT Search

Open the Chrome Menu (UR corner menu) = Alt E or Alt F
Close Current TAB = Ctrl W
Close Current WINDOW = Ctrl Shift W
Copy = Ctrl C
Cut = Ctrl X

DELETE key emulation = Alt Backspace
DELETE forward = Alt Backspace
Delete Next Letter = Alt Backspace
Delete Previous Word = Ctrl Backspace

Monday, July 27, 2015

2014 Ford Focus Recalls, A Consumer Alert

Ford Focus recall

Last year a friend of mine was looking to buy a car and they ended up with a 2014 Ford Focus. Now, a year later, they are driving on eggshells, worried that their transmission is going to quit/fail on them during any drive they make. And that's no way to live your life!

What they did not know about when searching for cars to buy, is that the 2014, 2013 Ford Focus models have some kind of issue with their transmissions. What I CAN'T believe is that they bought it from a Ford dealership!!!

I started looking around for reports about this transmission issues and sure enough, there they are (all info or quotes can be found at the source links at the bottom of this piece):

"It was fine for the first 7,500 miles but soon after it started to shutter, rumble, and vibrate at stops and jump while going into second gear. I haven't noticed any problems on the highway but in reading the other reviews, I'm scared. "

I love this Edmunds review title: "Found on Road Dead ...Comfy to wait for help in?" This reviewer said their car rolls backward on hills.


Over on Consumer Affairs, the top complaints are,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tracking Runners in the San Francisco Marathon

This is my quickie update on my semi-failed attempt at tracking a few runners in the 2015 San Francisco Marathon. Runner tracking, provided by FitBit! Just saying.

So I had some family members running in the 2015 San Francisco marathon and I wanted to track my runners. Some events have texting updates and the SF Marathon has a live app they've been using for the last few years. The reference is Live Runner Tracking.

When you are not in touch with your runners via any in-person updates, you will be victim to the update process of what ever app or process the run event provides. Last year Wipro was the name sponsor on the tracking app and this year, the tracking is provided by FitBit.

When you find the pitch for the runner tracker on the San Francisco Marathon website, it talks about a live app. I went directly into the Google Play store on my phone to snag it, but my search did not even pretend to find it for my Motorola.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Getting Rid Of Mosquito Bite Dark Marks

Mosquito bites and dark spots

For some of us, when you get a mosquito bite, it gets red and itchy. And annoying. For a subset of those who get bitten, we sometimes find our bites turn into this dark spots or skin discoloration that will haunt you for the rest of your life.

It sort of sucks but I think I found out how to prevent these skin dark spots. (The links in this article lead to Amazon product pages. If for nothing else, to show you the product I am talking about.)


I've recently moved to a place where all mosquitoes spawn from. Or at least it feels like it sometimes. And being one of those folks where you are the only one in a crowd that gets bitten by our blood sucking friends, I start to take this battle with the species personal. As in, 'I want a flame thrower' kind of personal.

But since flaming up for a mere bug is probably illegal, not to mention I live in a dry tinder box zone here in Morgan Hill, CA, I guess I should defer to other, less ubiquitous methods of deterring or dealing with mosquitoes.

One mosquito deterrent I performed was to cut the tallish grass around my house. This stuff was a few inches tall and when I cut it back instead of letting it grow wild, I found the ground at the base of the grass very moist and mosquito rich! Cutting this grass back and letting the CA sun fry the now exposed ground killed off about 90% of the swarm around the house.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Curious thing about my Motorola Smartphone Data usage.

Smarthphone apps that use up data, whlie not being used

It's bad enough when f*ing streaming ads shove videos down your throat, using up bandwidth that YOU pay for. (They should pay, shouldn't they?). But when apps use up bandwidth when you don't even use them seems, well, to avoid using terrible words, I'm going to say "curious."

I was looking over my smartphone's data usage, and found some interesting and not so interesting stats.

1) Obviously my biggest user is Chrome... I use it often enough.Not often enough for it to rank as #1, but still...

2) Chrome is followed by Facebook. OK, I'm good with that considering how often I am on FB. Though to be honest, I'm on FB more than I am on Chrome.

3) Yahoo Mail is third. WTF is that about? I hardly ever use it, but apparently it's using me.

4) The most curious stat is that Google Play Services is my fourth most busy app. For many folks, this would probably fly under the radar if they use their store app or games in it.  But I NEVER use my Google Play app. I have older apps I never update and don't do games. Man, Google Play store must be buzy!

5) Google Maps is right behind Play, and that makes sense, considering I use it on a weekly basis for most of my drives.

6) Gmail must be super efficient. It is way down here on the list and that's impressive, considering I am on it hourly.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Facebook: What Is Wrong With Post Previews?

Facebook: Fixing Broken Post Previews

Over the last month of more, I've been finding that when I post article links to my website's Facebook page, Facebook is no longer showing thumbnail previews of the image that is associated with the post.

Now when you paste your link into an update window, the space flickers but shows a blank spot. You have to trust the blank white square that what you want for an image is coming over.

No longer do you have an option to pick an image. No longer do you have a test visual of what's coming. It's just blind faith.

And from what I can tell, this problem has been quietly growing amongst users over the last year or so, now finally hitting my own pages.

After looking around, I've seen multiple suggestions for fixes.

One was adding {   } somewhere on your post's page, but I did not have any success with that.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

FOOD RECALL: Bell & Evans Chicken Breast Nuggets

Food recall of Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

News on the street is reporting a product recall of the 12-oz. boxes of Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets.

The gluten-free nuggets have tested positive for Staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. And this bacteria, at times, can be a fast-acting evil, causing issues in as little as 30 minutes.

It can be prevented by proper care and preparation of your work space and hygeine, like keeping the kitchen sanitized, keeping foods hotter than 140 degrees or colder than 40 degrees, and crazy, vigorous hand washing (especially under the fingernails) before preparing food.

The 12-oz boxes that have a "best by" date of March 25, 2016 are the boxes of concern.

If you have this product in your possession, take it back to where you bought them.

[ .nbcconnecticut. ]

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Monday, July 13, 2015

My JIFFY LUBE Failed Consumer Experience

My JIFFY LUBE Failed Consumer Experience

My 2014 Ford F-150 has been badgering me (as if I am an idiot who does not remember) about my upcoming 10,000 mile oil change. But that's for another post.  Right now I thought, due to my circumstances, that I would take my truck to a Jiffy Lube!

First I started looking up reviews of any Jiffy Lubes around me, but the reviews I was seeing were making me nervous. The Morgan Hill, CA location had one review and it was a weird review. One San Jose location near me had a 2.1/5 review score.  After 11 reviews, this one in San Jose has a 3.4 rating.

But the location I used to go to all the time had good reviews so I went there a week ago. This Jiffy Lube is located at 4195 El Camino Real in Palo Alto, CA.

One week ago I went there on a Friday around 11:45 and there was no waiting. But I was told that they were short-staffed and that if I wanted to wait around at least 30 minutes for them to take a lunch break, they could take care of me.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Barbara's Snackimals Cookies - A Possible Concern

The following is hearsay, but I felt it is warranted to put this out there for anyone who might see this. IF in doubt, call the company to confirm or deny. This is in no way a report stating such, but rather, a curious observation being passed on by Consumer Bits.


Today I saw a post on a group on FaceBook about a user's experience with some cookies. It's a good group with great people, so I am giving the concern a warranted bit of attention.

With that said, here's what I saw:

A user typed out to not eat Barbara's Snackimals cookies for a while. According to the posting user, their son ate some and said they did not taste right and started to feel "dizzy." Then the user's mother tried one and had the same experience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Rohnert Park MOTEL 6 Review

I guess the first thing is that it is Motel 6. It's about $80 a night. But I was sort of expecting a few things out of my experience.

BOTTOM LINE, no matter what else I say, is that Motel 6 is probably your best economical option when it comes to hotel stays. It served its purpose good enough and I would probably stay there again. Regardless.

With that said though, below are the shortcomings, or perceived shortcomings, if you have become acclimated to other hotel chains.


The biggest and BEST aspect of staying at this Motel 6 in Rohnert Park, CA, is that it is located amongst some great services. They share the parking lot with Walgreen's and Black Bear Diner, and wow, was Black Bear Diner GOOD! And you can walk there.

There's also a Starbucks in the lot too, along with a few other things.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Product Recalls: Deadly Kids Furniture, Apple Beats Pill, Plus More...

Today's recalls include kids furniture with suffocation worries, Apple recalls a Beats Pill that overheats, plus other recalls from Big Lots, Gerber, Kenmore, PetSmart and others.

Most of the recalls can be further reviewed or resolution actions can be found at either the distributors websites or at CPSC site, ( CPSC Recalls page ) and search for the recall noted below.


Pali Design Recalls Children's Furniture Due to Tip-Over, Impact, Suffocation Hazards

The plastic restraint strap used to attach armories, combos, dressers and hutches to a wall can break and allow the unit to tip over.  Falling furniture can result in a wide range of injuries to young children, from soft tissue bruising to broken bones, head injuries and death by suffocation when a child is pinned under a heavy piece of furniture.


Apple Recalls Beats Pill XL

Apple Recalls Beats Pill XL Portable Wireless Speakers Due to Fire Hazard
Name of Product: Beats Pill XL speaker
The battery can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy: Refund
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact Apple for a $325 Apple Store credit or electronic payment. Apple will provide a postage paid box for consumers to send their Pill XL speaker to Apple. Apple Recalls Beats Pill XL


Big Lots Recalls Hanging Chairs Due to Fall Hazard
The hanging chairs can tip over when they face sideways and swing beyond the base, posing a fall hazard.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Latest in Product Recalls: LENOVO, TREK, SHARK, HOMELITE, IKEA, HUSKY and KALDI'S

The Latest in Product Recalls that you need to know about include recalls from LENOVO, TREK, SHARK, HOMELITE, IKEA, HUSKY and KALDI'S.


Today's list of recalls include battery packs, bicycles, vacuums,

Lenovo Expands Recall of Battery Packs for ThinkPad Notebook Computers Due to Fire Hazard.
The battery packs can overheat, posing a fire hazard.


Trek Recalls Bicycles Equipped with Front Disc Brakes to Replace Quick Release Lever Due to Crash Hazard.
An open quick release lever on the bicycle’s front wheel hub can come into contact with the front disc brake assembly, causing the front wheel to come to a sudden stop or separate from the bicycle, posing a risk of injury to the rider.


Shark Vacuum Cleaners Recalled by Euro-Pro Due to Shock Hazard
The aluminum wand can disconnect from the vacuum cleaner’s handle and remain energized with electricity, posing a risk of electric shock.


Homelite Electric Blower Vacuums Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
The blower vacuum can overheat, spark and catch on fire posing fire and burn hazards.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NoScript For Chrome, No, But I Did Find Something Else

Jeeze, how many ads can a website put on a Post!!!

I just loaded up on my unprotected browser and was shocked what I was pummeled with.

  • First, there was a giant header banner that popped into my window. I stopped and "closed" that.
  • Then a new video window popped up that I closed.
  • Then a video in the lower left corner of my screen popped up, so I closed that.
  • Then it dawned on me why YouTube videos are embedded in websites, as I had to pull an ad that popped up over the YouTube vid.
  • And then there was an ad IN the YT video.

AND this was all in the first 22 seconds of the 2-min video.

WTF, does everyone out there always put up with this bullshit?

The above was part of my browsing experience with my Chrome browser. Normally I use FireFox with the addons NoScript and AdBlock active.

Friday, January 30, 2015

What's Up With This "GLOBAL WARMING" Thing?

Despite the scientific nature of the beast, global warming is a seemingly silly contest of opinions and can be filed away with conversations about politics and religion. Go figure. Be it as it may, in recent times I was in a quick conversation with a peer of mine about the issue. He is a fervent believer that global warming is a myth. (As you will see later, despite statistical evidence.)

This is my quickie experience in trying to understand his side of the situation. He kept quoting a website that seems looked upon as a debunking site with some credibility among those who disbelieve.


The other day I followed a friend's link to a site he believes in. He supports or references the site often because he doesn't believe that global warming exists.  Now I know we all have our own perspectives on this issue, each one, personal in nature or motivated by whatever premise or resource has inspired your perspectives the most.

So I decided to follow a link or two to this website of my buddy's to find out what they have to say.  The site's all the rage among the nay-sayers of global warming.

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I landed on the site and it sure looked intelligent and appeared to be well put together throughout and presented pretty intelligent looking articles.  I get why folks like it.  I also noticed how they reference their information via a multitude of links quoting NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NCDC (National Climatic Data Center) site pages and charts as often as possible.  The site is very focused as they support their own perspectives by picking out small data sets to prove a point.

A lot of their links go off to specific charts and such that are placed in the middle of various reports.  Funny thing was that that in one of their debunking pieces, of the 13 links they provided to supply supportive evidence to their point, six of the links actually had statements buried in the text that state that global warming exists.  But in each instance, only singular charts or paragraphs are called out in the references, ignoring the rest.

Because you know, they are making their point as they only linked to things they found supporting the argument in that particular moment. It's like referencing police car issues, ignoring that they're Fords. (Or what ever brand is used in your city.)

But this isn't a big shock that fervent believers tend to grasp onto the obvious and miss other details. It happens and it happens quite often, even in the corporate world where statistics are quoted that support the flow of whatever talk is being given.

A great example would be when the lowest paid employee in a work group is told they get the largest percentage pay raise. (If you don't get it, ask in the comments, I'll explain it.)

Then there are the scientists I work with who are unfettered by outside influence and quite in touch with the data and they say that all numbers they see support that the planet is getting warmer, but on a sad note, they also say that it's too late to do anything about it except deal with it as best we can.