Saturday, January 2, 2016

Where You Can Find Me

I will be moving this blog sometime in early 2016, but before I do I wanted to share with you some of the social websites and networks that I have accounts on. This way you will be able to still follow me and see the types of stories and news that I keep track of and share.

I am pretty active with several different social sites, and I share many popular news stories that I find insightful and interesting.

Where You Can Find Me

My Delicious profile contains the latest trending delicious topics that I find humorous.
My Digg profile is connected through my Twitter account and you can use it as a list of my favorite retweets.
I am also a member of, a website that is very similar to Reddit, but isn't nearly as big or full of SJW.
On my Ycombinator profile I submit news on Data breaches and other news concerning security and technology.

I will continue to update this list as I join and participate in more social websites. Please leave me a comment if you think there is one worthy of joining that I haven't mentioned yet.

I usually go by different usernames for each website, I am a little bit of a scatterbrain and it makes it challenging trying to remember all my different usernames and passwords. If you do recognize me don't be shy and give me a follow or friend me. I will be sure to do the same. :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Back from A Long Hiatus

yellow stick it note says hiatusI am back after a yearish long hiatus from blogging. I originally started this blog as a way to express my feelings about shopping, using credit cards, and as a way to feed my main website traffic and links. After my main website took a nosedive in revenue and traffic I had to take a break from everything and reassess what I was doing.

After spending a couple months readying my resume and looking for a full-time position with a digital marketing ad agency I realized how competitive the current job market is, and how difficult it is for me to articulate all the work and skills I use to create my websites and traffic. It doesn't help that employers seem a little hesitant to hire someone who has been working for themselves for over the last 12 years. I don't blame them, I understand how weird an applicant like myself must appear to them and the higher-ups.

While I am still searching for a full-time position I know that even if I don't find one in the digital marketing field I want to continue with this blog and my other website ventures. To get back into the swing of things I began by reading and following other financial bloggers. This gives me a good idea of what topics they are posting about and where they are getting their links and followers from.

One of the first things I did for this blog was read over my previous posts and edit them accordingly. While I was rereading some posts I noticed many times I was a bit sloppy with my grammar, spelling, and I saw an overall lack of effort in my writing. Building my main website will take a lot more time and effort than simply creating a few blog posts every week/month, but I look forward to the challenge.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Laptop Hard Drive Broke

generic laptopA few weeks ago I accidentally broke my Lenovo laptop's hard drive. Let me start off by saying this was totally my fault. I had placed a couple of heavy objects on my desk's shelves and one of my daughters asked for an item. While I was grabbing for it one of the heavy items fell off the shelf and landed squarely on my laptop which was on at the time. Immediately it started making a weird noise so I tried to go to Windows and shut it down, but the mouse cursor was unresponsive so I manually pressed the button to turn it off.

When I tried booting up my computer again it seemed to load correctly and reached the windows screen. It didn't make the weird noise anymore, but unfortunately when I tried to use the mouse or open any program the laptop stuttered and wasn't responsive. I tried running a memory scan, but this did little to help the situation.

I called up my brother since he is the computer wiz in my family, and he told me to try to load an Ubuntu disk to retrieve my saved work and files. I went over to his apartment and picked up an Ubuntu CD, and successfully loaded the CD and was able to run Ubuntu. I then proceeded to transfer my files over to a USB stick.

My next step was to buy a new hard drive at Best Buy. I was able to get the same amount of space for about $30.
Lenovo logo

I then called Lenovo support to ask them for recovery disks. I had to talk to two different people and their phone support was terrible. I could barely hear them, because the line was fuzzy and scratchy. The first thing they did was check and see if my laptop was still under warranty, and after giving two different people the same information; they concluded that it wasn't. I was fine with this I knew my laptop was over a year old, I just wanted my installation disks to fix my computer! They then asked me what model I had, and I told them it was an Ideapad Y560. After 30 minutes of being on the phone I was able to get them to send me the disks, but it would cost me $50! I ponied up the money with my credit card.

After two weeks my disks arrived in the mail, but to my dismay they were for the Y460 model, and not the Y560 model that I told them several times! I was livid, but I ran the disks and it installed most of the software correctly. The only problem was the disks didn't have the correct graphics card drivers. I went to the Lenovo website and with the help of my brother we were able to find the right drivers and install them.

Two Lessons Learned From This Incident

  • Never overload and place heavy items on my desk shelf area again.
  • I will not be purchasing a Lenovo brand laptop again.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shopping for Sister's Birthday

birthday gift box with a green bowMy sister's birthday is coming up so I decide to send her a text message and see what kind of birthday gift she wants this year. I was out getting my haircut at the mall and was hoping she would reply quickly enough so I wouldn't have to make two trips.

Alas she doesn't text me back until the following day. She tells me that she is planning on purchasing some new pairs of jeans and offers me two of her desired stores that I could get her a gift card from.

I immediately think of my local Kroger store to purchase the gift cards, because they offer quadruple points on all gift card purchases. The next day I head over to Kroger and peruse their gift card kiosk, and quickly find one of the stores she messaged me. I pick out a $50 one and then head over to the holiday/birthday card aisle.

It's amazing how sometimes I take a long time to find the right birthday card and other times I find it within the first or second one I look at. This time I found the perfect card on the second one I picked up. It said something about how as siblings growing up we didn't agree all the time on the front cover, and inside it said there is one thing we can agree on, she is getting old. I know I am going to get it next year for my card.

gasoline pump dripping gas
I head over to the self-checkout and proceed to complete my purchase. I check my receipt and I received 200 fuel points for the $50 gift card. After I get back to my car I head over to Kroger's gas station to immediately use up my fuel points. I end up getting 40 cents off per gallon bringing the price down to $3.05. I really prefer using their gas pump as opposed to my local Exxon Mobil station even though I have the ExxonMobil Smart card I haven't been using it that much.

I think this was the best way to purchase my sister's birthday present although next year I will do some more research to see if I can find a better deal than just getting fuel points, but at least I used the points and didn't let them go to waste.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Hubpages Challenge

hubpages logoThis month I am setting a goal of writing two new Hubs a week for Hubpages. I have been a member of their website for well over 4 years, and in the beginning I was pretty gun-ho about writing and publishing articles through them.

After a few months though my enthusiasm died down after I saw how little traffic and revenue I was receiving to my Hubs, and I thought I had moved on. I am also a member of Squidoo a similar website with the same concept, and at the time I was getting much more traffic to that site and a little bit more revenue, but nothing that would blow anyone away.

Over time though Hubpages really turned things around with quality control. It seemed like 4 years ago you could write just about anything, and they would publish it that has since changed dramatically for better. Now it is more difficult to get any substandard writing approved, and they have actual moderators that must approve any new material. A fair Hubpages review I found online.

The reason for my personal challenge is I have found that Hubpages is a good way to get Youtube views and people interested in your website. Plus I still am making a couple dollars a month from the Hubs that I wrote all those years ago. I know it isn't much money, but I like to look at this as an extremely long-tail venture.

For me their isn't much work involved in writing. I can complete an article in 2 to 3 hours depending on how much research I need to do on the topic. Most of the topics I write about are video games and personal finance related. I will keep this updated and let you know if I complete my challenge!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Took Car for It's Oil Change

greasy guy filling oil into a car filter
A Minor Update

I would like to include a minor update to this original blog post that I made a couple years ago. After continuing to use Grismer for my vehicle needs I have since applied for a Grismer Tire credit card after they improved their rewards, and I noticed that the interest rate is actually quit a few points lower than other auto repair cards offered.

The Original Post 

It was time to get my 2008 Nissan Versa's oil changed again. I'm told I should take it every three months, but that is not normally the case. This time I waited a little bit longer than I should have. I was due for an oil change back in December 2012, but I didn't go till this week.

I like to schedule my appointment a day or two ahead of time that way I have things planned out. I called my local Grismer Tire shop and made an appointment for the following day in the afternoon.

I was very pleased with the service I've received at the East Dayton Yellow Springs Rd. Grismer Tire location. I have used them for all my car repair and needs, and they have done a great job every time! I was especially happy this time, because I used a $25 coupon I received in the mail and one of my four free oil changes for purchasing new tires through them. I was able to get the premium oil change for only $12.98. The normal price runs $55 and you get all your liquids drained and refilled, tires rotated, car checked for problems, and a new filter.

I only had to wait 40 minutes this time, which is great. Normally it can take up to an hour to get my oil changed, but this time there wasn't any surprises that my car needed fixed so I was in and out pretty quickly.

I think it's kind of funny that a small local auto repair shop like Grismer that only has 22 locations offers a credit card. I know both Goodyear and Firestone offer credit cards, but those are both national brands. I surmise that Grismer must do enough business to constitute their own card. Credit First National Association (CFNA) issues both the Firestone and the Grismer cards.

smiley face with hands and fingers crossedNext time I will probably go with the regular oil change, and I will make sure I don't wait too long in-between services, which is why I went with the premium to make sure my car is in good shape I want it to last a long time. It hasn't had any major problems yet! (keeps fingers crossed)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Best Shopping Reward Sites

Listed below are the best shopping reward sites that I have found and participate in over the years. Each one has it's own way of rewarding it's members for shopping through their portals some offer points for each dollar you spend while others give you a percent back of the total purchase price excluding shipping costs.

Cashcrate -is my favorite site to use. It began as a paid for offers website, but has expanded to include shopping rewards. They have a limited number of places you can receive a percent back from, but they payout the most of any site I have found. Using Cashcrate will give you 3% cashback on purchases made at Wal-mart, 0.5-5% at Office Depot, 3-4% at Apple iTunes, and 2-3% at Microsoft Store.

MyPoints - is more of a coupon site, but they also have a section that lets you earn points for shopping. You receive a set amount of points for each dollar spent. They have all the major brands including; Kohl's, Best Buy, Disney, and many more. Most of the time you will only get 2 points per dollar spent, but sometimes they run specials that gives you a boost in points earned.

Swagbucks - started out as a way to win points for Internet searches. It has slowly grown over the years and now incorporates points for shopping as well. You can shop at all the name brand stores including; Wal-mart, Old Navy, Lowes, Macy's, and many more. Swagbucks gives you 2 to 6 points per dollar spent. You can redeem your points for gift cards or receive money through PayPal. It takes 2,500 points for $25 deposited into your PayPal account.

Those are my three favorite sites to use, but there are others with similar features. Look around and find one that fits your shopping habits.