Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wear Your Sense of Humor on Your Sleeve

Or on your front or back... The fact of the matter is that funny t shirts are not just funny; they're trendy! Long gone are the days when t shirts were just for working out or changing the oil in the car.

Today, they're all about making a statement and maybe pushing someone's buttons while you're at it. I look forward to every political season because that seems to be when some witty entrepreneurs of the world of t shirts really shine.

It doesn't matter which side of the political fence you sit on, or even if you straddle it. But the t shirt industry is bigger and more competitive than ever because cash is tight all over. Go with a company like 2008tshirts.com; with over 400 designs, they've got something for everyone.

Yep, even your grandma... Thanks to my sponsor, 2008tshirts.com; and that's no joke!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Be Prepared for Home Fires this Winter

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It's a sad fact of life; every winter needless deaths and burned up homes happen. Why? Because we heat our homes. Heating systems that lay dormant for half to three quarters of a year don't always fire up in the same operating condition they were left in last spring.

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How many homeowners get a heating system tune-up in the fall? Not many. That's usually seen as an unwanted household expense until some malfunction rears its ugly head. So in reality, one of the best weapons in the fight against immolation is preparation.

Arm the Home with Fire Extinguishers

Believe me; fire extinguishers are cheap. Home Depot practically gives them away. There is no excuse for not having one in the kitchen in case of grease fires or electrical fires.

Be sure everyone knows where it is and how to use it. It's a good idea to buy several throw-aways and have a family practice session. Remember, aim low and sweep. That's the ticket.

Install Home Fire Sprinkler Systems

Sprinklers are most often found in commercial buildings, but they can be a life saver in homes as well. Particularly at night when the family is slumbering and when no one is at home and the odd electrical fire breaks out.

Think about installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home. Almost all insurance companies will give you a break on your homeowners insurance policy premiums.

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Have a Family Escape Plan

This is stressed when kids are in elementary school and there are just a few basic rules.
  • Go out windows as appropriate.
  • Touch doors to feel for heat before opening.
  • Stay low to avoid smoke inhalation.
  • Establish a family meeting area to run to off-property.
  • Know 911.

Keep all this in mind and you'll be the safer for it.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spreety TV Offers Free Entertainment

I recently checked out Spreety TV thinking there might be a catch but I certainly didn't find one. This is a completely legal site for watching shows; almost anything you could desire to watch.

Myself, I'm a sucker for the 50s shows. Especially the westerns and the sci-fi shows when they really had to really do their own props and stunts rather than work everything up on a computer. And it's Free TV Online!

Of course, it's a good thing I'm a stern taskmaster of myself, since I work freelance from home on my computer, which just happens to have cutting edge media features. Self discipline? You bet! I think.

Hang on, there's another episode of The Outer Limits. "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission..."

Of course, I realize that what pumps me up might leave you a bit on the deflated side. But from the exploration I've done, it looks like there's something for everybody. Go on; it's free. And addicting...

This post has been sponsored by Spreety TV.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wall Sconces Add a Classy Lighting Touch

Cookie cutter homes are rather straightforward and boring. That's the bad part. The good part is that it leaves the door open for customization. The stark white walls beg for color, the carpet's got to go, and the lighting needs to be individualized

I'm fond of wall sconces because they blend in and stand out all at the same time. Recently I was checking some at Premier Lighting and really found a lot that would look good in my home when I remodel the living room.

I was particularly taken with the Calavera Two Light Bath Bar. I know it says bath, but about four would go great in my living room plan. Since it uses two lights, it's possible to use smaller wattage bulbs but still cast light to a wide area for accent. Awesome.

The trickiest part of installing sconces is running the wiring. A lot of people work themselves to death getting the job done. So how is it done? Simple; use a fish tape to draw the wires down between the wall studs through a hole that the fixture will conceal. There you go; now you've got my secret!

Many thanks to my sponsor, shoppremier.com.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Maturing of the Age of Information

I was helping a 6th grader the other day with research methods for a school science project and presentation. Things have certainly changed since the days when I was wallowing in the education system.

Back in the day (boy, that ages me), we went to the library, used the Dewey Decimal System to locate appropriate reference material, read the information, and recorded it all on a pile of index cards. Not so today.

Fortunately, my background in IT and the research skills I've developed as a Freelance Writer have kept me up to date. It's all on the internet. And tracking sources down has nothing to do with pawing through vast card catalogs only to find that the book desperately needed is checked out by someone.

Google and other search engines made life easier by returning applicable articles, but some clever people have taken it one step further. Their search engines return links to actual scanned books, often in pdf format, so it actually looks like the original. For example, this pdf search provides a search engine that works like Google to serve up the goods.

So it's come full circle with digital research. Well, without the trip to the library which saves driving time and using gasoline. Now, can I claim carbon credits for that? I guess I'll have to email Al Gore for that answer...

Many thanks to my sponsor, www.ebook-search-queen.com.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Furniture for an Economic Downturn

It sounds odd doesn't it? It seems like a recession would be the last time to splurge for a sectional sofa, doesn't it? Ironically, no. The reason for that is that a huge part of this economic downturn is the housing crisis brought about by sub-prime loans.

Consequently, very few homeowners are spending available capital on trading up on a new domicile. Instead, they are doing things like taking staycations, remodeling, and yes, investing in new furniture.

There's a bit more to it as well. I used to be the service manager at a furniture store in Houston. I found that other than couples or singles just starting out, customers used new furniture in the same way folks use comfort food. There's just something reassuring about a new leather sectional sofa.

Now all we need is a cash for clunkers furniture program to get this economy fired up!

Thank you to my sponser, www.mynewfurniturestore.com.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Choosing Tools for Christmas Gifts

I know, I know; we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet so why talk about Christmas? Well, it's hard to fight the tide. Walmart is displaying plastic trees and decorations from China already. But why focus on tools for holiday presents?

Well, for one thing, if you have a woodworker or home repair type person to gift, pssst! Something for their hobby will earn you more gratitude than a pair of socks or soap-on-a-rope. And it's practical during this recession.

Got Power Tools?

Yesterday I posted an article on power tool gifts. There's always one more on the list. He with the most tools when he dies wins! OK, that's a bit morbid, but it's true.

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Sometimes for maximum accuracy only a certain tool will do the job easily. The Rotozip is one example. My Ryobi biscuit joiner is another. I can't tell you how many times I struggled with making dowel joints line up on complicated woodworking projects.

What if You're Looking for a Stocking Stuffer?

Yeah, we're all on tight budgets. But there's always highly useful and appreciated stocking stuffers guaranteed to delight on Christmas morning. How about a Magnogrip? I just did a Magnogrip review a few weeks ago.

I don't always do reviews on all the new products I'm approached about, but if I think they will benefit my readers here and at my main site (thanks for visiting so often and commenting, dear readers!), I'll go for it.

Another good choice in this category are the materials for making workshop woodworking jigs. What woodworker doesn't enjoy making his or her jigs?

Anyhow, now I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving. I'm smack dab in the middle of training for the Houston Marathon, so I can eat with abandon and a total lack of guilt...

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