Showing posts with label Commission Earned. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commission Earned. Show all posts

Monday, November 04, 2019

So, you moved from a cushy climate to a region with significant snow and this is your first real winter?


Moving from a climate where it never snows to a climate with a lot of snow can be daunting, particularly for your first year of home ownership in such a region.  Snow isn't bad.  It just requires a certain level of awareness and skill to deal with it.  This article isn't meant for someone who's lived in snowy areas for a while.  It is meant for snow first-timers (and even second-timers too).  This article is just a starting point.  The following suggestions are just opinion.  Each person is response to make sure they are always acting in a safe manner regardless to any opinions expressed in this or any article.

Owning a home, where you have manage snow on your own, presents a list of problems that need solutions.  For example, if you have a driveway and sidewalks, you are responsible for keeping those clear of snow, no matter how often it falls or how much accumulates.  These problems require various tools for their solutions.  Not all of us can have our own personal "Mr. Plow".

As someone who moved from the West Coast to New England, I quickly learned what was needed.  New England is particularly rough in Winter.  I researched the potential problems and solutions.  I will share my experiences by suggesting tools that I found to be helpful for dealing with snow seasons.  I will focus on what I found to be successful, and not dwell too much on failed or ineffective methods.  (Please see my FTC 16 CRF Part 255 notice in the right pane in reference to any affiliate links found this article. All affiliate links are incidental and were not used to determine the main content of this article.)

Snow Removal - Ground Level

There are various tiers of equipment that can move snow around, from a snow blower to a simple shovel.  However, a snow blower is typically overkill for most snowy days, and useless for the worse of days.  Also, it wouldn't be a good idea to use snow blowers on certain surfaces, such as a wood deck.  Snow blowers are most efficient for a particular amount of snow accumulation, or if you have a particularly large property.  For homes that I've owned, I never found snow blowers to be necessary.  To clear driveways and sidewalks, a shovel with a little elbow grease is typically the most versatile solution.  There are a lot of options for shovels.

First, don't use a shovel that isn't specifically designed for snow shovelling.  Using the wrong type of shovel will make your job a lot harder than it needs to be.  Second, I don't recommend using a metal snow shovel.  You may be tempted to think that metal is more reliable, but it's actually the less effective option in my experience.

Instead, get a non-metal snow shovel with a metal wear strip.  In fact, get two.  Two?  Yes.  One shovel with a wide "combo" or "shovel/pusher" blade and one shovel with a narrower blade.  The wide-bladed shovel will allow you to push and scoop a significant amount of snow very quickly and with much less effort; kind of like a bulldozer. This wide-blade shovel is your primary tool.  The shovel with a narrower blade will be useful when you need to move piles of snow but still need to do a little bulldozing too.


Snow Removal - Roof

Some regions with a lot of snow, such as Denver, don't keep the snow around very long.  So, although you may need to shovel throughout the season, that's about it.  However, New England is different.  Snow hangs around all Winter.  That's a problem for roofs.  As snow sits on your roof, the heat from your home will partially melt it from the bottom, and that melted snow freezes back into hard ice.  This forms something called ice dams.

Exterior signs of ice dams are icicles.  Interior signs of ice dams are leaks from the roof onto your ceiling and into your home.  To avoid the formation of ice dams, snow should be removed from the lowest 3 to 6 feet of your roof, above the gutter.  This is where ice dams will typically form, so removal of snow from this area is important.  The tool I used to remove rooftop snow was the roof rake.  The roof rake I used was the 21-foot Garelick.  However, newer products may be better.  Be sure to check customer reviews for current products that may be better.

There are powered or chemical options too.  Every circumstance is different, so these passive options may be necessary for various reasons.


Ice on the ground

To remove ice on the ground or not?  That's a question you'll have to answer for yourself.  Arguments can be made as the necessity of ice removal, or not.  For me, safety is a concern.  Removal of ice from paths and driveways creates the safest scenario.  Slipping on ice is dangerous and very unpleasant.  If you quickly remove snow, you can avoid most ice accumulation on walkable/drivable areas.  However, sometimes ice will just form on your paved areas regardless to the preventative actions you take.

There are a lot of options to chemically remove ice on the ground. The most basic is rock salt.  Other chemicals claim to work better.  Others claim to be environmentally-friendly.  There are even supposed pet-safe products.  Any product you choose should work well enough when the ice is thin.  However, don't rely on chemicals if you have an inch of ice.  In that event, you'll need to hack at the ice.  I don't really have advice as to the best ice-hacking tool because no tool seemed particularly efficient to me.  You just have to hack at the ice until you can pry it off.

Oh, don't be tempted to take shortcuts, like hot water.  Hot water doesn't stay hot for long when poured onto frozen ground.  You'll likely just end up making more ice.

Can you preemptively apply salt or other chemicals before snowfall?  Sure.  In light to moderate conditions, this will work well.  However, if 3 feet of snow falls overnight, don't expect a clear walkway when you wake up.  Expect 3 feet deep snow with a crusty layer at the bottom.


Your Car

Even if you park your car in a garage or carport, you'll still likely need to drive it at some point during a snowy day.

You'll need methods to remove snow and ice from your car's windows, hood and roof.  Window scrapers are necessary, even if you have a fancy windshield cover.  Keep at least one window scraper in your car at all times during late fall to early spring.

Driving in bad conditions

Now, when it comes to actually driving in bad conditions, different cars have different requirements.

If you have a front wheel drive (FWD) car, your car is not well-balanced between front and back, but your car's heaviest point (the engine) is solidly over your drive wheels.  This means you'll be less likely to lose traction in bad conditions *IF* you know how to handle your car in those conditions.  The problem is that many FWD drivers operate their car in the same fashion as if it was a rear wheel drive car.  This means the car can get squirrely, even when driving fairly straight.  I'm not going to go into driving basics, but do your research and learn as much as you can about the correct way to drive with a FWD car in bad conditions.

If you have a rear wheel drive (RWD) car, your car is also not well-balanced between the front and back.  However, the heaviest point (the engine) is not over your drive wheels.  This means you may have trouble getting traction on your drive wheels.  You may not be "squirrely", but you may spin your tires when trying to get up a gentle snow-covered hill.  To mitigate this limitation, use bags of sand or other well distributed weight over your rear tires within your trunk.  Bags of sand are good because they won't shift around a lot.  Even something as little as 50 pounds over each tire can help.  200 pounds over each tire would be ideal, particularly if you have a big engine.  With weight over my rear wheels, I found my car to be very stable and reliable.

I remember several occasions in bad conditions where other cars (both rear and front wheel drive) spun-out around me while I was able to drive without any significant trouble.

All wheel drive (AWD) is better.  AWD cars don't have the limitations of RWD and FWD cars.  However, that doesn't mean you don't have to be careful.  If you hit ice (particularly when going downhill or at the wrong speed), your car's wheel configuration won't matter that much.  Always use caution when driving in bad conditions.  Better yet, don't drive in bad conditions, if possible.


Snow Tires

Regardless to your car's drive type, consider getting a full set of snow tires if you live in New England or similar climates.  I found Blizzak snow tires to be very reliable for my needs. For ease of use, I purchased a whole separate set of rims just for my snow tires.  Since I had my snow tires mounted on their own rims, tire shops or the dealer usually switched out my tires from all-season to snow tires (and back again) for free as part of routine checks or tire rotations.

In Denver, snow tires don't seem necessary since snow doesn't hang around for very long.  Research to see if snow tires are recommended for your area before making the investment.

Snow Boots

Yup, just like your car, you'll need something to make you more stable in the snow.  Get one or more pairs of snow boots.  Just having waterproof shoes or hightops will not be enough. You'll need full-fledged snow boots.

Snow boots will allow you to do all the stuff previously mentioned in this article, like shovelling snow.  Seriously, don't try to shovel snow with your street shoes.

Anything else?

Yup, I can go on about such things like clothes to consider, or what to do when the power goes out.  However, there's already enough here to make you think twice about moving to a snowy climate.  So, perhaps I'll cover those things another time.  Overall, where you can prevent issues, do so. Always use caution when outside in bad weather, even if you are just walking your dog.  Good luck!

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips, Part 2: Screenshots

As with most devices these days, you can take screenshots on the Kindle Oasis.  It's not something I actually expected to be possible until I discovered someone else posting about it.  With every Android or iPhone device, I always have to find and remember the special button combination.

Depending on the device, the button combinations aren't reliable for 100% of the time, due to various reasons.  Sometimes the button combination is difficult to press because of the awkward position of the buttons to each other.  Sometimes the combination is just unusual and super easy to forget.

Kindle Oasis 2017 is none of that.  It's super easy.  You simply touch the upper right and lower left of the screen at the same time.  The screen will quickly flicker.  No other immediate indication occurs.

The screenshots are saved to the main folder on the Kindle Oasis as png with the date and time as the file name, such as "screenshot_2019_02_06-0700.png".  When you plug your USB into Kindle Oasis and a computer, you'll see the png files interlaced between similarly named .txt that describe the png file.  I'm not the value of these extra txt files.

The png files can be copied/moved from the Kindle Oasis to the computer with normal Windows File Manager interaction.  My previous tip was possible due to this functionality.



Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips
Making the Home Screen More Homey
Screenshots

Monday, February 04, 2019

Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips, Part 1: Making the Home Screen More Homey

I own an original Kindle.  It is an awkward, yet suprizingly powerful beast.  It didn't take much to form it into a tool of self-expression.  I've not used that device in a long time.  This isn't because I grew tired of it.  Rather, it got put into storage somewhere and I only have a vague idea of where it's at.  In the time its been in storage, it has become an archaic device.  The interface and shape was always very clumsy, even by 2008 standards.

So, I jumped on the Kindle Oasis bandwagon, finally.

The design of the Kindle Oasis 2017 (or is that Kindle Oasis 2, or II or 7", or 9th Generation)...   ...you know, I'm going interrupt myself right here to mention that the Kindle Oasis edition from 2017 has an Amazon page name that reads like a bad Craigslist ad.  The official name for the specific edition I purchased is supposedly just "Kindle Oasis".  The Amazon page is titled "Kindle Oasis E-reader – Champagne Gold, 7" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Waterproof, Built-In Audible, 32 GB, Wi-Fi - with Special Offers".

However, the problem with that is you cannot differentiate my Kindle Oasis from the first "Kindle Oasis" of the 8th Generation, which is also just called "Kindle Oasis".  Also, if the generation is such an important factor, why isn't that included in the name?  Very confusion in a very unnecessary way.

Anyway, back to the design of the 7", 9th Generation Kindle Oasis 2017 2/II (whatever it's called).  The design is mostly streamlined.  It is odd in one way.  It has two thicknesses, which makes it easier to hold in your right hand, but makes it a bit awkward for some accessories, such as cases.

OK, enough of the unintentional review.  On to the tip.

Changing your home screen

The original Kindle didn't have ads.  It didn't try to sell me anything directly.  It was easy to buy stuff, but it wasn't in your face.  The Kindle Oasis is constantly trying to sell you books.  The lock screen is an ad.  The home screen has several ads of various subtleties.

Well, there's a way to change your home screen so that it is not ad focused.  Instead, your library is the center, and the ads are mostly out of the way.

It is important to note that Kindle Oasis menus have changed a bit.  Some other online guides for this have never been updated.  This is why I've made this guide.  My guide is current up to January 2019.

My original home:


Touch the vertical ellipsis button (the three vertical dots icon) in the upper right corner of the screen to bring up your More Options menu:


Select Settings.  This brings up the Settings page:


Select Device Options.  This brings up the Device Options page:


Select Advanced Options.  This brings up the Advanced Options page:


Select Home & Library.  This brings up the Home & Library page:


Select Home Screen View to turn off the setting:


Select home button in upper left.  This will bring you to your newly minted home page.  The new home page just displays your library...with a small ad at the bottom.  I'll cover more about that little ad in a future article.


Note to self, "apparently, Amazon really really wants me to read that Shadows of the Stone Benders series."

Kindle Oasis 2017 Tips
Making the Home Screen More Homey
Screenshots

Friday, January 10, 2014

Beeper Codes list

As a matter of posterity, I've compiled this list of old Beeper Codes.  These are just one type of Pager Codes that I previously wrote about.  This list is different from other lists online.  There are common codes that didn't appear in other lists; and I've removed entries that are redundant to Number Look-Alikes.  Number Look-Alikes are terms spelt out in pager code, such as "43770" for "HELLO", rather than being shorthand Beeper Code.

Beeper Codes
Code Definition Reference
0*0 Roh-Roh!
0*10*0 Im tired
0*17*8*1*2 Oh you ate one too OU812
0*7*1 I need a favor
00 Airhead
000 Call whenever you can
000 Time; What time is it?
000*0000 I'm online/I will be online
0000000 Bronx cheer
0001000 I'm alone right now
001 Please
001122 I don't know
0049 Accident; Something wrong
007 I've got a secret James Bond
00-88-00 Call me later
009 Going to a movie, wanna come?
0099 Going out, wanna come?
01*01*01 Don't have a cow! Term popularized by The Simpsons
010 Plans changed; I'm tired/flaking
0101 I'm tired
011 Monday
01210 I'm confused
016 Plans changed
020 Plans changed
020202 Just thinking of you
022 Tuesday
024 Going to the beach
0242 Hey lover!
033 Wednesday
04*04*04 Happy Holidays
0404 I will always love you
044 Thursday
05*05 Margaritas
055 Friday
060 You are fine
064 Don't call me
066 Saturday
06644 Don't call me
07 Just kidding
074 I need a favor
0741 I need a favor
0747 I need a favor
077 Sunday
07700 Ha ha ha!
080808 Kisses and hugs X and O's
09 Why dont you get a cordless
phone like regular people?
09*09*09 Let's talk
0909 It's off, canceled
099 I've got something to tell you
0990 Too late to call
0998 I have a question
1 You're the one; You the man
1*00 Im on the phone with my
significant other
1*8 I ate
1*800 I'm free - no plans tonight
10 You're perfect
10*2 You've got 10 minutes
10*2*1 Slim chance
10*20 Where are you?
10*4 Is everything OK?
10*400 Thank you
100 Come back
100*200*
300
I can't see you anymore
10000 Lets go for a swim 10,000 Leagues
Under the Sea
10000001 Miss you
1001 Prove it
1004 From your angel
101 I've got an easy question
1023 It's over
104 Come over
1040 You owe me big-time
105 Cancel
1052 LOVE!!!
107 Come back
108 Come over
11 Maybe
11 You're perfect
11111111 Congratulations! Resembles a
series of
exclamation marks
112233 At the club
116 I'm in trouble
1182 Come here fast
119 I'm in trouble
12*25 Merry Christmas
120 Leave
121 I need to talk to you alone
121212 Happy Birthday!
122 I want/need you?
123 I miss you
124 I'm dreaming of you
125 I'm bored
1250 Me too
1259 Me too
13 I'm having a bad day
13*30 It's getting old
1300 Going out
133 Don't forget
135 You wish
13579 This is weird
141 I'm with you
1423 I want to die
143 I love you
1432222222 I love you so much
1443 I don't Love you
146 Good morning
1492 Let's go sailing
15 Whatever
15 Hugs
15*11 OK
151-  Want to join me?
15243 Be With Me
15243 I want to be with you
153 I hate you
1543 I still love you
155 Just kidding
155 I wanna go to sleep
16 Kisses
1692 I want to
17 No; No way
1701 Live long and prosper Spock, Star Trek
171 Mad
177117 Minutes Usually preceding
a number to
indicate how long
you will be.
1776 You're sickening
178 I'll call you back later
18 Yes
180 Yesterday
180 I love you
183 I'm busy
187 You're dead
19 Hug
19 Yes
1925 Let's go out
193 Miss Me?
193 Do you miss me?
195 See you tonight
197 I'm pissed off
2 Me too
2*2 Let's dance
2*4*6 I'm pissed off
20 Pick me up
200 Tonight
2001 You're way out there
201 Cancel previous page
2010 Later
202 Don't meet me
20-20-20 Sorry
203 And
203 Get off the phone
204 I'm/Everything OK
205 I'm on my way home
209 On my way
21 Maybe
21 Let's have a drink
210 Got your page...I understand
213 Miss me?
214 Happy Valentine's Day
214 Received your message
215 Running late
22 Be good
220 Why haven't you called
221 Where are you?
222 Your busted!; Are you busted?
2222 I'm sleepy
224 2 good 4 you
23 Te Amo I love you in
Spanish and Portuguese
23 Whatever
230 Oh yeah!
234 Just for today
235 Problem has been handled
237 Are you alone?
24 I'm Home
24*7 24 hours, 7 days a week
240 Tomorrow
243 We love you
244 My baby
245 I'm/everything is ok
2468 Your terrific
25 Sorry
25 Sorry
255 I'm at a payphone, hurry
26 Te Quiero I love you in
Spanish
260 It's late, please hurry
265 Check your e-mail
27 Need you
270 Cancel previous page
280 My Sexy Baby
280 Today
285 Stay away for awhile
288 Today
288 But
288 When will I see you again?
29 You suck
290 I'm without my pager today
3 Wussup
30 This is getting old
300 Guess who?
301 Is this a bad time to call?
3011 Be careful
303 Stop playing
304 Ho Ho Ho
305 I love you back
310 I'm thinking about you
315 But
315 I miss you
32 Eat Me
320-  Wish you were here
321 Please reply
323 Let Me Hit
324 C-U-Soon
325 Hope you're feeling better
3293 Can't wait
330 You are incredible
332211 Movies
333 Whats up?; How are you?
335 Your crazy
340 I owe you one
341 I like you
342 See you later
343 Call back now
345 Thank you
345987 I'm horny
346 Come back please
350 Sorry about that
36 You're cool
360 I love you back
3620 Sorry I lied
365 I'm blowing you a kiss
370 Congratulations
375 Don't ever change
380 Your last page has me smiling
3838 Hey bebe
385 Hi Cutie/Handsome
390 Best of luck to you today
395 Please be careful out there
3999 You hurt me
400 Wanna hear something stupid?
4040 I hate you
405 I've got a secret, hehe
406 Hugs and kisses
41 Call me
410 You owe me big time
411 Call for info
411 I need info
414141 Sorry to bother you
415 Get an attitude adjustment
41526 Let's talk
41633 Merry Xmas
419 I don't understand
42 Fuck Me
420 It's that time!
420 You're in trouble, buddy!
423 Call me now
425 Call me later
426 Call me tonight
428 Call me whenever
428 Call me tomorrow
43 Fuck You
43 You freak
430 You did it....bravo
433 Call me now
434 Feel Better
434 Hope you feel better
436 Hugs and kisses
438 Going to the beach
440 Hey clown, cheer up
444 I Want Love
444 Thinking of you
445 Ditto to your last page
45 Good night
450 Who pulled you chain?
455 Don't make me come get you
46 Hug
46*73 Goodnight, sweet dreams
460 Mind your own buisness
4678 Let's stay home
47 Good morning
470 I'm with you thru thick and thin
475 Long time no harass, hehe
477 Best friends forever
478 Just you and me
480 Let me know
485 A quick howdy to you
49 Good afternoon
490 You're in loony land
495 Go for it!
5 Hi
5*0 Are you booked?
50*50 It doesn't matter to me
500 Beep me
5020 So what
505 SOS
5150 Crazy
52 Hurry
522 Think of me
525 Going to the party
53 Thank You
533 Where are you?
54 Never mind
54321 I'm ready to explode
55 You are a sweetheart
555 I want your sex
555 Call me
56 Sweet dreams
58 Happy birthday
5900 I'm sick
5971 I feel better
6 Always
6*9999999-  Get in line
60*017 Go online
60*60 I'm very happy
6000*6 Good luck
601 Happy birthday/anniversary
603 Hope your feeling better
606 Bitch
607 I miss you
609 I'm mad at you
611 I'm sorry
612 Thinking about you
6167 I am going to lunch
620 I dont know
62180 I'm grounded
629 Calling from payphone
630 Calling from cellphone
637 Always and forever
66 I'm mad
66 Let's hit the road Route 66
660 You better be ready
666 Can't go out
668 Not
67 Always and Forever
6771 Good friend/friends
69 Both ways
69 Lets get together
7 Forever; You will be in my heart
forever
70 I'm sad/depressed
700*600 Happy anniversary
7007 You're a joke
707-  LOL
710 I'm out of gas
7179 Best bud/friend
722 Don't beep me
747 Let's fly
757 I miss my baby
77 Friends forever
7735 Sell out
789 Going to the mall
7942 From your friend
7979 Cheer up
8000 Goodbye
801 I'm going over
8081 I had a bad time
811 Not a emergency, but important
815 I'll be good
8198 How about dinner?
82 Freak Me
82 Hurry
823 Thinking of you
825 Anytime
8255 Get your butt over here now
8282 Hurry up
831 I love you 8 letters, 3 words,
1 meaning
838 I know it's you
8431 I can't wait to see you
844 Can you handle me
8498 Forget it
8558 Waiting for your call
86 You're finished
86*0 Are you mad?
864 I'm home
8642 I'm gonna get even with you
87 You're late; I'm late
8800 I'll call you later
881 I forgive you
883 Beep me now
890 Leave me alone
9*09 I have good news
9*2*9 Forgive me
9*4*4*4 Are you thinking of me
9*5 It's quitting time
9*52 I screwed up
9*9*9 Only us
90 You're beautiful
90*90*90 No, no, no
90*91*92 I had a great time
9000 Repeat message
90210 Watta snob
9043 Relax
906 I'm on my way
909 I am at work
9090-  Go! Go!; Get a move on!
910 Sorry I hurt you
9103 I will try
911 Emergency
911 This is big!; This is an emergency,
call me now
9143 Do you love me?
920 Cheer up
921 I do care
922 Let's try something new
9229 Big problem
93 Grow up
9339 Some other time
9341 Do you like me?
937 Never
9428 What do you want to do?
943 Where are you?
9437 Liar
9438 Where?
9444 Are you thinking of me?
9449 Please be good
949 Why?
9500 Friends
95507 Your loss
961 Let's try again
966 Bad news
968 I'm all yours
971 I had to go…
972 I'm ready
9779 Mmmmmm
98*6 Hope you're feeling better
9810 I'm bored
9876 I'm serious
9890 Forever
99 Nighty Night
99*44*100 I'm almost totally completely
bored
9908 Can't talk now
9922 You don't care
9955 Don't do it again
9993 I'm OK

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Predictions of Evolution of Alien Life

Evolution of life on other worlds is seeming more likely as human knowledge of the Universe expands. David Zeigler has recently proposed eleven Evolution Predictions of what abilities or traits will evolve on other worlds, conditions allowing. The predictions are that some lifeforms will be the following:
  • Water dependent and carbon based.
  • Chemosynthetic (chemical based energy synthesis) or photosynthetic (light energy synthesis).
  • Heterotrophic and predators of heterotrophs (food chain of lifeforms).
  • Passively or actively mobile to seek out optimum conditions. As such, body plans will evolve something similar to what we would identify as a head, with arrays of sensory organs.
  • Sessile (non-mobile or anchored in place).
  • Powered flight (birds, some insects, bats, pterosaurs), or at least directed gliding (flying squirrel, flying fish).
  • Parasites, which on Earth account for over 65% of the total number of species.
  • Genes will be selfish, and natural selection will spawn adaption to the environment.
  • Will have senses, especially sight, sound, touch, heat detection, etc.
  • Motile, organisms will have natural attraction and repulsion to stimuli.
  • Large bodies of water will foster a wide variety of lifeforms, which may independently evolution similar adaptions.
The list seems a little incomplete and maybe not well organized. It is a good starting point in the discussion of what we can expect to find on other worlds. It can help us in knowing where to look, as well. Perhaps this list is formed from human prejudice. However, with only Earth as our example, this (at least for the time being) seems to be a fair set of predictions.

Source: Skeptic Vol. 14 No. 2, 2008 - Predicting Evolution


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