LEGO Brand Retail
Dec 192012
 

Yelp Sucks

You can see here that Yelp.com is still offer a bogus deal. Don’t fall for these scams.

I finally got around to writing up several reviews for Yelp.com and while I was on the site I noticed my favorite comic shop, 1up collectibles, had a Yelp “deal”. $75 for $50 (I knew my next comic pick up would be more than that so I bought it thinking I would be saving myself $25.

Well, I fell for the old scam of if it sounds too good to be true it is. Turns out 1Up Collectibles had turned off that deal over a year ago and Yelp.com should NEVER have been selling it. Shame on Yelp for scamming folks out of their hard earned money. My only hope is that my credit card company will see fit to reverse the charges since I can’t spend it and even if I could my comic guy would never see the money from Yelp since he no longer has an account with them.

How is it that they can continue to sell these deals after the companies discontinue, expire or stop them?

Is their a Yelp.com page to review them on their site? If so I have yet to find it. Guess the world is not allowed to review them!

Speaking of not allowed to review…they apparently filter reviews (even though I found a post saying they no longer filter — bullcrap). I wrote up my honest, unsolicited review of 1Up Collectibles and they removed/filtered it. My review (my thoughts, my opinions) don’t count when it comes to Yelp.com. Guess what? Yelp.com doesn’t matter and it seems like more and more people are starting to realize that.

Maybe Yelp should require reviewers to disclose if they received anything in return for their feedback. Instead of black balling the store owner for suspected deceptive practices. We have to do it on our blogs *waves nicely to the FCC* so instead of censoring us simply require the same standards of all websites to your users. Amazon.com does, so why can’t Yelp?

So lessons learned here. Yelp will remove you if they think you were bribed to write a review even if you weren’t and NEVER, EVER buy any Yelp Deals as they are not deals they are steals (as in Yelp stealing your money and you not getting a thing in return). You won’t even be able to call and speak with someone to ensure that your issue or problem will be dealt with. Shame on you Yelp.com

 

Disclosure/Disclaimer: I was not given anything but a headache and an empty wallet from Yelp.com in exchange for this review.

Nov 292012
 

Got a text message today telling me I won a $1000 Target gift card. YAY (if it were real). First off I never entered a contest secondly I knew this had to be a scam. So first thing I did when I hit the office was Google the phone number it came from – 323-636-8891. First thing to come up is a post about it being a scam. Check out a few more to confirm and it is definitely a scam. So if you get this text message (or anything telling you that you won something and asking you to click through to a website) don’t click the links, don’t reply (only tells them they have a good number) and DELETE the message off your phone.

text message scam

I then did a search for the website it was telling me to go to — TargetWinners.com and got more info and a few additional phone numbers that are sending out this crap. I wish it was easy to block phone numbers on my cell because half the known world would be blocked by now.

Two other people at work got this same text too. Just wanted you all to be on look out and not to be taken in during this crazy time of year.

It is bad enough we get all that SPAM in our email why bother us on our cell phones? Especially when most people have limited minutes and/or no text messaging (it cost them money).

 

Oct 222012
 

I just got a chance to try out the Sticky Buddy and while I am skeptical of ALL As Seen On TV products, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

The Sticky Buddy quickly and easily removed all cat hair left by my three kitties on their favorite sleeping spots.

It was super easy to clean (just run it under warm water and rub the crud away)  and it was ready to use again after only a few quick shakes to get the water off.

No more buy adhesive hair removers to clog up landfills. Sticky Buddy does the job and comes back for more!

But wait! You also get a travel size Sticky Buddy with your purchase.

May 232012
 

OK, last night I spent all that time driving home playing with the Dragon Naturally Speaking App on my phone thinking it would help me get my ideas out of my head and onto “paper” so to speak. Well, all it did was teach me a very valuable lesson.

DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE AT ALL WHILE DRIVING. JUST DRIVE!

I “missed” nearly 20 miles of my commute because I wasn’t paying attention to the road. I could have killed myself or some one else. It is never good to not be able to figure out how you got from point A to point B on a road trip, but to know it was because you were screwing around with an app on the phone this is doubly not good!

To add even more fear into my evening I got a call that my only sister was in a pretty bad car accident that night. She was not texting or even near her phone but it drove home the fact that something bad can happen in the blink of an eye.

PLEASE DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE. This is now against the law in PA (thank goodness). But when will PA wise up and make using the phone while driving at all a crime?

More from AT&T on the Dangers of Text Messaging and Driving

May 222012
 

That’s right I gots ideas in my head and I want to get the out. Problem is they appear there while I am driving.

And I always lose the idea / thought once I reach my destination.

Sucks to be me.

So I tried Dragon Dictation for my iPhone (see the last two days).

I hate the idea of talking to myself. That’s one of the reasons I did not jump on the new iPhone with SIRI (although she does talk back).

I feel self conscientious about talking to myself (or to a dictation software app), but I think I might be able to get away from that if I used it more often. I know for darn sure making an audio memo on the phone is out. I would never listen to it and if I did I would be afraid that someone would hear it. So that leaves me with either ignoring all the ideas that pop into my head during my commute or finding a speech to text that works and that I can get comfortable using.

Dragon did not work out for me. Guess I will try a few others before I give up the ghost completely.

I used to keep my digital pen in my car, but stopping to write down notes makes the commute a lot longer than it already is, besides the folks that made it stopped making the pads so no more digital pen for me. I just won’t buy the “adult” version that came out a few years ago and you can still get at Best Buy because of that. What happens when they decide to stop supporting the pen and special papers? Also they did not have any OCR software at first and I needed to become typed text not hand written images, you know?

May 212012
 

Ok now I am really confused. I went to iTunes to leave a review and it told me I did not have the Dragon app on my phone. I just used it, or rather tried to use it, and could see it right there. So I removed it and reloaded it. It came back up with a different icon on the iPhone now it is Dragon Go and the app looks different. I will give it another try.

I figured it out. The first non-working Dragon app was Dragon Dictation the second one that works is Dragon Go. Dragon Go only searches the phone and operates apps. No note taking which is what I need. And as I said before Dragon Dictation did not work at least not in the car. I had the radio off but I guess the engine noise was too much for it??? So no Dragon note taking for me. I haz a sad now :(

May 202012
 

I just loaded Dragon Dictation on my iPhone.

First of all, I thought Dragon was supposed to be the leader in speech to text technology, so why then does their app for the iPhone suck so bad?

It would not pick up anything I said at first kept giving me an error message…try again. Again? I don’t remember what I just said! That is why I wanted to try out the app in the first place.

Finally it started picking up some words, but only after I started speaking very slowly and unnaturally. It worked best one word at a time. I had to keep looking at the phone and would have had to correct almost everything as it came up. They ONLY thing that worked in any regular fashion was the period. Every time I said period it put a period on the page.

Anyone out there know any good, as in working, apps for speech to text?

Mar 022012
 

Contributed by Milford Woods

We surprised the boys with tickets to the Monster TruckRally this past weekend. We hired a babysitter for their little sister, and told the boys we had a surprise. They were looking forward to it all day. Once we were in the car, I handed each of them a toy monster truck as a hint. They still didn’t get it, so we had to tell them. They were thrilled.

We aren’t really the Monster Truck type of family, but had seen the rallies on cable tv and knew it would be something they would enjoy. It was really, really loud in there. Luckily, my husband had the forethought to bring ear plugs for us all. It was pretty fun, I’d say.

I don’t feel like it is something we need to do again, by any means, but it was a fun experience. I was really surprised to see that there is clearly a whole subculture of Monster Truck fans that I did not know existed. Adults were cheering and yelling as if it really mattered who won.

Feb 282012
 

A friend of mine lost her house this week. She, her husband and her pets all got out safely. Fire really scares me  and this got me thinking about how quickly we could get the cats out of the house if this happened here.

We will be setting up an emergency kitty kit  and getting a plan of action in place ASAP!

I just hope in case of a fire that the fumes from all the LEGO and Star Trek toys doesn’t kill us first.

Boris’ twitter “anipals” set up a chip-in for donations to help both Sebastian and another cat, CJ, who was burnt in the fire.

If you can please consider a donation. We sent both cash through the chip-in (thanks to recent LEGO sales I made over at Bricklink.com) and boxes of cat toys to both kitties.

Boris blog post:

OMC Ma Pal Sebastian Lost His Home!

 

ATonksTail.com keeps us updated on these two families:

Thankful Thursday…message from CJ

 

May 202011
 

For the last couple of years Boris (that’s my cat) and I have been making donations and helping out our local animal shelters. When I make the donations I like to personal deliver them to the animals and take pictures of their little faces lighting up when they get a toy or a treat. Sometimes it is the first time they have been given a toy and it is so rewarding watching them finally figure out how to have fun with it.

I usally post the donation photos and adoption information of the animals over at Boris’ site — BorisKitty.com (he has more followers on his blog than I do and we won’t even get into all his followers on Twitter and friends on facebook).

Today I took over boxes and boxes of dog treats from work and a small bag of treats and toys for the kitties for the animals at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County as I have done MANY times over the past few years. When I took my first photo of a cat playing with one of the toys I gave them a staff member yelled at me for taking pictures and basically told me to leave. I had no idea what was going on as I said I have gone in and taken photos of the cats in their care on MANY occasions.

Needless to say I was very disappointed and a bit upset by being blocked from my project.  I asked to speak with the director of the ARL who tried his best to placate me with the old “it has always been our policy” bit. Oh really, then why have I been allowed before without getting special permission to photograph? It seems they had some one posting photos on facebook that showed them in a bad light and instead of fixing the issues these photos pointed out to the world at large the sweep them under the carpet by banning photography. Doing that only makes it seem like they REALLY have something to hide doesn’t it?

I half expect to see an expose on them on Action News sometime in the future.

I was assured that nothing bad is going on and that they are only trying to stop that sort of thing from happening again.

Ok, wait an minute here…

If nothing bad is going on why do you have to stop photographs from showing it?

I have never liked the ARL all that much any way, especially since they are a kill shelter, and this new issue only reinforces that dislike.

Yes, animals you take in there are usually put down within days of going there and sometimes they are put down within minutes. But they had been cleaning up their act a bit, or so I thought, by implementing a fostering program, which gives the animals a fighting chance to be adopted out instead of put to sleep.

The staff there are never friendly, yes they are trying to do their job and I am sure most, if not all of them, dislike working in a kill shelter, but if you don’t like your job or you don’t like people quit. Of all the times I have donated I have never once been thanked or helped with the boxes (and I usually take a lot of boxes in). Surprisingly this was the first time someone not only helped me with the boxes (came out and took one of the last two inside for me), but also kind of thanked me and asked if I needed a receipt. (I should have taken them up on that receipt that pile of boxes retails at over $800.)

When I raised $11oo for them online with the first SCIFIpawty I never heard one word of thanks. I guess the HSBC spoiled me by sending out a thank you letter every time I drop something off at their facility.

I know there is bad blood between the ARL and HSBC but never once have I heard HSBC speak ill of the ARL. The director of the ARL freely spoke of HSBC and of his opinions of them. Not very good form for the director is it? But he was trying to place blame for the whole Skittles issue on everyone else except the ARL where it belongs.

Guess I will stick with groups that appreciate what I do for them like One By One Cat Rescue and Humane Society of Berks County. Two very worthy animal rescue groups indeed.

If you know of some other worthy shelters or rescue groups please let me know in the comments below.

Jan 202011
 

I did not pay too much attention to the new star signs when the news first hit as I am not into astrology, but I do find it interesting that along with moving some of the dates they have added a whole new sign to the line up.

Several of my friends and family have changed signs. Wonder what they link of their new sign? Does it match their personality or will they stick with the old one?

The new 13th sign is Ophiuchus (how the heck do you pronounce that).

The new signs and dates are as follows:

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18 – May 13
Taurus: May 13 – June 21
Gemini: June 21 – July 20
Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan. 20

Maybe this is what’s wrong with the world today? No one knows where they stand or how they are supposed to act or which horoscope to read in the daily paper!

Nov 072010
 

It really isn’t just a self-aggrandizing name, it really is the World’s Best Cat Litter.

I won a bag in a contest on Twitter and tried it out on our cats and I just loved it and so did the cats.

It is almost dustless, which was so nice when filling the box. No cloud of perfumed yuck flew up in my face.

Even without all the perfumes of other clumping litters it still kept the smell down too. Cat urine was almost undetectable when cleaning out the cat box.

The worst part was that it was only available at Petco or Petsmart which are not on my regular shopping routes.

It is now at Target and for a limited time there is a $3 off coupon on the 8 lb bags. Sweet! Now I can pick it up when I stop for a regular shopping trip instead of making a special trip to a specialty store.

Head on over to the World’s Best Cat Litter’s website for more information and to enter their contest to win a year’s supply of litter & a $200 Target gift card. Good Luck!