I've gotten over $200 in cash back from them at places I would have shopped anyway! Ebay, Staples, more! I put it at the top because they ROCK. Basically, you get a kickback from Ebates when buy.com or whoever pays them. Win-win. If you like throwing money away, don't use them!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How to find a lost cellphone on silent or vibrate

I lost my iPhone somewhere in my house the other day. I could not hear the ring. I was wandering the house using my cordless phone to try to hear it ring while calling it.

What prompted this post is that I could hear the interference from the cellphone transmission in the cordless phone as I got closer.

I could hear the interference getting louder as I got closer before I could hear the ring.

Using this technique, you can get closer to a phone you have misplaced that is on silent or vibrate. Or that your kids turned the volume down on while they play games as mine do.

Hopefully you can hear the vibration or spot the illuminated screen as you get closer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 12, 2010

How to make pie look smaller

I also asked if there was something missing on the right side.

The huge fork doesn't help either!

Well, time to put the lonely pie out if it's misery. I'm sharing so
the calories don't count. And if it looks small it IS small.

Sienna Plantation Power Failures: Get a UPS!

Here's the log from my daughter's computer:

NO. Type Time Event
1 6 07/01/2009 14:47:31 Power failure
2 6 07/04/2009 01:12:37 Power failure
3 6 08/09/2009 07:07:18 Power failure
4 6 08/09/2009 14:37:27 Power failure
5 6 09/22/2009 14:30:44 Power failure
6 6 09/28/2009 15:25:12 Power failure
7 6 09/28/2009 15:32:53 Power failure
8 6 10/06/2009 13:45:01 Power failure
9 6 10/06/2009 13:45:05 Power failure
10 6 10/06/2009 14:01:02 Power failure
11 6 10/06/2009 14:01:14 Power failure
12 6 10/20/2009 10:59:41 Power failure
13 6 11/05/2009 16:23:50 Power failure

For some reason, it's a wonky driver and the computer doesn't always log the UPS status, but you can bet it's failed since November too. Notably, most of the failures are in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, my Mac server is just using the built in UPS software, and I don't think it logs anything. But it's been up and running for 95 days now without a reboot, so that's got to be worth something.

The moral: buy a UPS for any electronics you don't want damaged or shutdown at inopportune times. They are inexpensive, and worth every penny. I have many, ranging in size from 350VA to 900VA. The higher the number, the longer it will run your equipment. Those with a USB interface can even shutdown your computer for you in an orderly fashion. My APC 900 XS will do this for my home server.

Amortize your Starbucks Expenditures into This:

I've used these Saeco machines and they are GREAT. You just put beans and water in the hoppers at the top, and it does the rest. Grind, tamp, kick the puck out, EVERYTHING. It even warms your cup.

Sure, it's expensive, but at $4 a day for your Starbucks habit, you'll have it paid off in in 8 or 9 months and you can adjust the the amount of espresso you get, the grind, pick your coffee, etc.

Make the carpoolers one instead of gas money. :)

Someday, it will be mine!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Diet Tips o' the Day

A few things I've found that you can do to make your diet easier:

1. King Arthur Flour makes a very good 'White Whole Wheat'. Click here. If you like the lighter taste of white flour like most people, this is a great compromise. It's still whole wheat. "Nothing is added, nothing is taken away." You can find it at HEB grocery stores. I use it to make the P90 Power Pancakes.

Yep, Amazon sells everything don't they?

2. Whole Fruit Jelly. Also called fruit only, or something along those lines. Typically sweetened with fruit juice. Yeah, lotta sugar, but it's all fruit. It's better than a high fructose sweetened artificial ingredient filled jelly. Goes great with PB2!

3. If you want some gooey, stringy cheese in something, microwave some fat free cottage cheese by itself. Or you could cook it on a stovetop. It will get stringy like full fat mozzarella. I add it to chili and spaghetti sauce. It tastes SUPER and you can mix it 50-50 or to taste. If you chili and spag sauce is made with turkey or lean meat and is otherwise healthy (not too much sugar!) this is a real treat. I eat it without pasta this way. It's like the inside of lasagna.

4. HEB's Creamy Creations No Sugar Added Fruit Bars. These are only about 35-40 calories in the whole bar, and it's a normal size, not some sort of mini affair. Tasty and lots of Vitamin C. Only a gram or two of sugar. Plus your body burns a few extra calories to make up for the cold food you're eating. (Ok, a small amount :) )

 5. PB2. Roasted peanuts with the oil pressed out. Simple, and tasty. It's 85% less fat than regular peanut butter. 22 calories a TBSP vs 80-90.

Deep Math

My daughter has math issues. More accurately, she's lazy, but extremely capable.

One question piqued my interest. It was a word problem something like this:

Mary mows 3 lawns at $10 each. She buys presents for her mom, sister, and brother for $6, $6, and $10. What do you have to do first?

(My answer: A. Wonder what child would mow three lawns so cheaply and use over 70% of the money to buy other people presents.)

It was multiple choice and my daughter answered that you had to add up the amount of the gifts first.

That was wrong, apparently you have to figure out how much she made first.

It takes two facts: How much did she make, and how much did she spend? There is no 'first' thing to do, really, if you consider that both are needed to solve the problem, and how is one any more important than the other? Both are independently arrived at, and solving one doesn't help you solve the other.

I guess the correct answer was that they say you have to know how much money she made first? Maybe that's a sociological perception! Interesting.

I wonder why they considered that one was more important than the other?

On a larger scale, 'out of the box' type thinking solves those really great problems. She chose to do the 'second' thing first. To me, it's equally correct.

Personally, my failing was that I didn't even think '3x$10' first, I just thought ''$30" automatically, thereby sort of skipping the first (too easy) step and not even considering it as step one. Maybe that's another revelation, if she did that.

It certainly reveals something about me: I suppose I take things as 'given' that are to other people, a math problem. I perceived the first math problem as an amount automatically, vs. a problem to be solved.

Disclaimer: I'm not defending my daughter's overall performance, she needs to do a lot more work, but her 'wrong' answer was thought provoking.

Leave a comment!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Strange Dreams

I'll subtitle this: "What Did I Eat?"

Was it chili night or hole in the wall Mexican restaurant night. They had good cactus so you know it was authentic.

I had this dream that I was participating in a bike race but somehow I had my single speed beach cruiser and everyone else had a speedy multi-gear racing bike. This is the next step up in the dream hierarchy from arriving at school in your underwear. You feel embarrassed and unprepared, but I'll take the bike race scenario thanks.

Here's the FTW part: The track was a muddy mashed potato consistency. So, whose bike TURNED OUT in the end to be the best bike for the race? Rob on the wide-tired beach cruiser or Biff on his skinny tired Eurothrasher?

Hey Mark, there's a sermon here! (He never uses any of my ideas. :P)

The next dream was something about Steve Martin and I apprehending a carjacker in the town where I went to college. I think the cactus had really kicked in by that point as I couldn't get much sense out of that one.
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