A cute mother and daughter set of aprons

Guest post written by Samantha Marion

My daughter is always trying to get me to let her help out in the kitchen. But I was also the same way with my mom when I was younger. So I like to let her help me mix some things and crack eggs and things like that. She loves it and for her upcoming birthday I thought I would give her something for her to use in the kitchen to make her feel like she’s helping out even more.

Out of all the stuff that I could think of, I settled on making us some matching aprons. I love sewing and thought it would be such a cute idea. While I was looking up apron patterns I ran across some stuff on debt counseling and was glad that I did. I really wanted to handle our debt situation and I think that I’m going to use counseling services in order to do that.

I found an adorable pattern for a DIY ruffled apron and decided to make one for each of us in matching fabric. It will make our time together in the kitchen that much more fun!

Wedding Decorations

One of my goals for this year is to do some serious de-cluttering and organizing. I also hope to do a bit of redecorating. My office is on my loft. I have three desks put together in an L shape. They don’t match and it’s kind of cluttered. I’m going to buy one L-shaped desk to neaten things up. Walmart has a glass and metal L-shaped desk for $99 that I am thinking about buying.
Things really aren’t that cluttered. I just tend to keep a lot of papers that I never look at again. The main disaster is all of the boy’s toys. They have way too many toys.
Amazon had a couple of free de-cluttering books for the Kindle that I downloaded. I learned a lot of pretty useful tips. De-cluttering is a pretty good winter project.
One of the things I came across while de-cluttering my loft was a folder detailing all of the steps necessary when planning a wedding. That is one of the life events I have not reached yet. Reading through all the preparation tips sounded a little overwhelming and very expensive.
Fortunately, the internet is a great resource for helping you find the perfect wedding decorations at reasonable prices. There are wedding websites where you can get ideas. Wedding blogs offer tips and tricks to help with planning your wedding. Wedding websites also offer advice and ideas on wedding favors. Favors are always the part I like the best. Gone are the days of matchbooks. These days you can buy unique favors or even make your own. There are tons of different wedding favors available. Wedding websites offer favors for just about every theme or color scheme imaginable.
A wedding is a special event, so making sure the wedding decorations are perfect is important to making sure the day is a success.

Android 6250 Text Message VZWNM

At the end of November I bought my Samsung Stratosphere Android phone. It’s been working great. Over the weekend, I started getting a bunch of weird text messages from a 6250 number with a message of VZWNM:1;1. After a day of getting them all day long, I did some searching on the internet. The only useful thing I found was a thread in an android forum. Apparently, it is Verizon sending these messages every time your default email account receives a message. My phone came with a default email app, but I also installed K-9 mail. I have 3 email accounts added to both apps. My gmail account was set as the default account in the default app. K-9 is the app I mainly use for email though. I deleted my gmail account from the default app and the VZWNM messages stopped.
A couple of alternatives: I can re-add the gmail account to the default app, only use the other option rather than the add gmail account option.
There is a text messaging app called Handcent. It has a setting where you can block the 6250 number. That seemed to be a popular choice in the android forum.
According to the thread, calling Verizon is useless. They have no clue.
No one knows why the messages start either. It just suddenly starts happening. Some speculated the installation of an app may have triggered it. I did install Amazon’s MP3 app the day before. I don’t know if that triggered something, but it would be really strange if it did, since it has nothing to do with Verizon or text messages.
It is good to know there is a solution to making the 6250 VZWNM text messages stop though.

More Android Phones

Credit Card Processing

I’ve finally made the move to upgrade the source files of my magazine back issues website to be more dynamic. Before, the pages used only HTML and CSS. All issues were hard coded into each web page. I would have to manually edit the HTML page in order to add a new issue. For the 2012 issues, the issue data is now being stored in a MySQL database. It’s then displayed using PHP. I have an admin piece where I can login and enter the info for each new issue to store in the database. The upside to that is I can use any computer with an internet connection to add a new issue, rather than being tied to the computer storing the source data.
I use PayPal to handle all payment transactions. It makes things much easier. I don’t have to worry about bounced checks, counterfeit money, invalid credit cards, etc. I am thinking of looking into alternative credit card processing services though. PayPal takes out a lot of fees for each transaction. It’s not much, but it does add up over time. A seamless, no fee system where I don’t have to do any manual processing would be great.
Credit card processing seems to be able to be done from anywhere. A salesman from Southwestern Advantage stopped last summer and convinced me to buy a set of kids reference books. I put the books on my credit card. The salesman didn’t have any POS systems with him. He just called a number, gave them my credit card information, and the transaction was completed. I was kind of skeptical it was legitimate, but it was. Southwestern Advantage turned out to be a company that hires college kids who would like to run their own business for the summer. They go to another state and sell books all summer. The guy who stopped at my house was from Minnesota and had been selling books all over the valley. He mentioned names of people I actually knew. He was very friendly, but a real smooth talker. Before I knew it, I was signing a paper and buying the books, while wondering to myself, why am I buying these. lol. They were nice books, but expensive, although he somehow convinced me otherwise.

Middle Eastern Search Engine Marketing Firm Levant Digital

Online marketing has become a really hot area. Just about every business has a website. Marketing that website, so that it shows up in search results and people can find it, takes a lot of know how. Technology and online marketing techniques are constantly changing. Many businesses hire an employee whose sole purpose is to market the company website. Businesses also hire outside firms to help market their website.
People in countries outside of the United States are taking advantage of the technological revolution, particularly in developing countries with younger generations. The internet provides business opportunities that are not available in the real world. You can market an idea, skill or business to potentially everyone in the world. It’s amazing how you can talk to someone on the opposite side of the world with just a click of a button.
The middle east is one particular area taking advantage of technology and the opportunities it offers. Middle eastern ppc management is one area of opportunity. Knowing the ins and outs of pay per click is a must for any business trying to succeed. One Middle Eastern search engine marketing firm is called Levant Digital. They are the #1 full-service digital marketing agency in the Middle East and North Africa. They offer services such as pay per click management, search engine optimization, social media advertising, conversion optimization, media buying and immediate crisis handling.
Middle Eastern search engine optimization firms like Levant Digital can provide short-term and long-term results for your business. They use many tools such as analytic systems and webmaster tools, use of effective keywords and placement, SEO-friendly titles and Meta descriptions, link building, social media and social bookmarking to help your site rise to the top of search engine results.
Learning how to market your website can be time consuming, so if you don’t have a lot of time to learn the ropes of search engine optimization and website promotion, hiring an experienced professional might be a good idea.

O-rings and Custom Seals Parco

I have a Doulton countertop water filter to filter out coliform bacteria. It attaches to the faucet and has a switch to redirect the waterflow to come out the filter instead of the faucet. When I want the water to come out of the faucet, I just change the switch back. Every few years I have to buy a new filter, which needs cleaning every so often. A few years ago, the switch attached to the faucet started leaking. The switch piece had never been cleaned and as a result the o-ring rotted. Just a simple little thing, but I had to buy a whole new switch costing $40 in order to get things fixed.
O-rings are pretty important little objects. If they go bad, leakage occurs and things break. There is a company called Parco that specializes in producing o-rings. They produce high performance seals for six different industries.
The first industry is the Oil Field Machinery industry. A faulty seal can cost more than $100,000 a day in downtime alone. Parco develops o-rings, back-up rings, packing elements, compensators, T-seals, rubber-to-metal bonded parts and other custom seals that can withstand caustic, high-temperature environments in wells as deep as five miles.
The second industry is the Aerospace & Defense industry. Parco produces o-rings and custom molded seals to meet various military and aerospace specifications. They are one of the few companies approved to supply Qualified Products List o-rings.
The third industry is the Water Filtration industry. Parco produces o-rings and custom molded parts resistant to swelling in chloramine-treated drinking water. They also have low compression set to ensure an extended life.
The fourth industry is the Motor Vehicle industry. Parco produces o-rings and custom molded seals for engines, transmissions and steering systems.
The fifth industry is the Farm & Construction industry. Parco produces o-rings, back-up rings, and T-seals that stand up to even the toughest of jobs.
The sixth industry is the Fuel-Dispensing industry. Parco produces o-rings, rubber-to-metal bonded parts and other custom seals for pumps that are resistant to gasoline. The seals have low compression set to help extend their life.
If you need help finding a seal, Parco offers a tool called the Compound Wizard. You enter information such as elastomer, durometer, color and key properties, and the Compound Wizard will provide you with a list of seals with those qualifications.
Parco has been in business since 1941. They were the first manufacturer to specialize in o-rings. They are based in Ontario, California.

EasyTether Review Laptop Cell Phone Share Data

I finally upgraded my cell phone to a smartphone. I went with Verizon’s Samsung Stratosphere because it has a physical keyboard and is 4G. Nice phone.
The only problem is I don’t really use it for anything that requires large amounts of data. Having the internet with me at all times is great, but I prefer using my laptop to access the internet. It has a larger screen & keyboard.
My new cell phone contract includes 4GB of data per month. My home internet uses Verizon’s mobile broadband mifi device and includes 3GB of data per month. Most months I stay under 3GB, but once in a while I do go over. I thought, it would be great if I could connect my laptop to my cell phone and use it’s data plan if needed. Doing that through Verizon would cost an extra $20 per month. I would have to add a data plan that includes mobile hotspot. Apparently you can root your phone and then there are apps you can use to access the cell phone’s data plan. Rooting your phone will void the warranty and may make your phone unusable if something goes wrong. Not really the route I wanted to go.
I came across an app in the Amazon app store called EasyTether. It does just what I want. It’s normally $9.99, but I bought it for $4.99. You download it to your phone. Go to the EasyTether website and download software for your laptop. Hook your cell phone up to your laptop via USB. Right click on the easy tether icon on your laptop and click connect. Your laptop can then surf the internet using your cell phone’s data plan. Pretty cool!
I have no idea if it is legal, but I did not find any reviews saying Verizon suspended anyone’s account. The IP address on the laptop is the same as the IP address on the cell phone, so I don’t know how Verizon would be able to know what you’re doing. I don’t know anything about networking though.
One thing to note is my cell phone seemed to get hot pretty quickly. Although, I guess it wasn’t any hotter than my mifi device gets. The connection does time out quite frequently when it’s cloudy outside. When it worked, it seemed fairly quick, but slower than my mifi connection. I can only get 3G at my house. When 4G comes, the connection will probably be pretty good.
EasyTether is an awesome app! No rooting, no extra $20 per month. It’s a great, quick and easy way to connect your laptop to your cell phone’s data plan. Now if there was a way to get my Amazon Kindle Fire to tether to my cell phone…

More Tethering

Technology Lawyer

Since being laid off by a top defense company, who shall remain nameless, I’ve been working part-time as a contractor. I started off doing a month of work for a small, local computer vision company. After that, I started doing some web development work for a small, local web development company. For both companies, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, also known as a confidentiality agreement. Software companies are in a pretty competitive field, so they have to be careful that employees don’t divulge all their secrets. I’m sure they have to be even more careful with someone they don’t know who is just a contractor. The computer vision company even had their own lawyer draw up the paperwork. It was pretty official.
I never realized it, but there are lawyers who specialize in representing technology companies. Technology lawyers provide services in areas such as technology, internet, ecommerce and media law; media, technology and intellectual property transactions; technology and ecommerce start-up;, copyright issues; and trademark registration and disputes. One such company is called the Neff Law Firm. They are based in Manhattan Beach, CA.
For 12 1/2 years they were known as Neff Law Group LLP. Since 2004, they have been known as Neff Law Firm. Their practice consists of three attorneys: Richard Neff, Amanda Laura Nye and Daniel S. Latter. They also work with other lawyers to handle patent registrations and various kinds of issues and international requirements.
Neff Law Firm has handled cases for companies such as Informatica Corp., PriceGrabber.com, glu mobile, Logitech Inc., and Symantec Corp.
They have handled cases involving copyright disputes. Richard Neff headed an antipiracy cause in Latin America, which led to the reform of many national copyright laws. He has also helped studios, publishers and authors with the copyright do’s and don’ts of film and video making.
Neff Law Firm can handle ecommerce issues and has helped a top Internet price comparison website.
They can help with trademark issues, such as selection, usage and registering of a trademark. They can also help protect your domain name from being stolen.
Everybody is on the internet these days. The majority of businesses have websites. Some people start businesses that are strictly online. I have a website where I sell back issues of magazines. My first website was focused on ways to earn money online. One time when I was reviewing it’s stats, I discovered another website out there under a totally different domain name, but the same exact content as my website. It was really strange. I’m still not sure if I should have done something about it, or what I should have done. Cyberspace is a tough area to patrol as the whole world has access. There are no boundaries. People often don’t even use their real names. The internet is still fairly new, so there are a lot of gray areas. If you have a website and want to protect yourself, in addition to making sure you are setting your business up properly and not infringing on anyone else’s rights, it might be a good idea to hire a technology lawyer.

Genuine Ink Cartridges

I have an HP Photosmart 2610 all in one printer. It prints photos/text, faxes, scans and copies. I love it! I bought it about seven years ago, so it’s probably time for an upgrade soon. A couple of aspects I hope to improve upon are to get a printer that supports wireless connections. The other improvement would be to find a great printer with cheap ink cartridges.
I hate buying ink. One time I almost ordered ink from Amazon because they had a great price. After reading reviews I realized they were not genuine ink cartridges. I only buy original ink cartridges manufactured by HP. Every time I buy new ink cartridges, it costs me $70 for both the colored and black and white cartridges. They come as a set, which is cheaper than buying them separate. Genuine toner cartridges are also expensive. You definitely have to be careful when buying ink online if you are only interested in original ink cartridges. RetailBlue.com is an online retailer that sells only genuine ink cartridges.
I recently read an article in the newspaper by Al Fasoldt, who writes for The Post-Standard in Syracuse, NY, about printer recommendations. He offered a few tips to save on ink prices.
The first tip is to buy a cheap laser printer, if you are only going to print in black and white.
The second tip is to get an ink jet printer designed to use less ink than other printers, if you need a color printer. Apparently, Kodak ink costs about half the price as Epson or HP.
The third tip involves getting an ink efficient printer with Air Print capability, if you need to print from an iPad or iPhone.
Top brand printers include HP, Epson, Kodak and Canon. I may have to look into the second tip and check out the printers offered by Kodak. My brother has a Kodak and my mother has an Epson, both of which work good.

Watching tv online

I appreciate the guest post, Emerson Moses

It is amazing what we have access to online. I am seriously considering canceling our cable service because all of the shows that I want to watch can be seen online for free. Many of the channels show most or all of their shows online, and for only a few dollars a month, we can have access to movies as well. With our internet provided through CLEARtvbundle.com, and with a membership to a website that shows movies, it would cost half of what we pay in cable alone. The truth is that my husband and I rarely watch television, and we spend most of our time together outside camping, hiking, etc. We both work full time, and his job is very stressful. My husband’s stress release is to go do something active, such as a bike ride. We have discussed for months the possibility of canceling our cable because we just never use it. The only thing that would be a problem would be major sporting events, such as the World Series, Super Bowl, and the major college bowl games. My husband is unwilling to miss these sporting events. However, I am going to try to convince him that we do not need cable television.