LEGO Brand Retail
Jun 202008

What the hell is wrong with Microsoft? Why in the world would they change the default file type of one of the world’s most used office programs?

Microsoft Excel 2007 (as well as Word and Power Point) now have an XML based file format. The new Excel file extension is .xlsx, which of course cannot be opened with any of the older versions of the program.

Thank god I remembered we had one computer in our office that was new enough to have the latest version of the software on it. (I forgot because I never use the Microsoft Office 2007 products because I simply don’t like them.) At first I wasn’t sure that it would even be able to save it as the old version as the company that sent me the file could not figure it out and told me that was the only available file format.

I really hate the new tabbed browsing with in the new office programs and where the heck did they go with the good old fashion text menus?!? They hid them is what they did. I finally figured out how to find their help file (tiny little question mark was eluding me). The text menu where you have the option to choose SAVE AS is now hidden behind the little office logo at the top of the screen on the left-hand side. Who would have thought to look there? Not me. Can you make it any harder folks?

For those of us that do not have access to a brand spanking new version of Excel Microsoft has kindly [insert sarcasm here] created a tool (not sure if this is available for Word or Power Point) for us backward people who cannot upgrade every time they release a new, improved [insert said sarcasm again] version.

You can download this lovely little Excel 2007 to 97-2003 conversion tool at Even though it is free it does come with a cost. You will have to install all the updates for your version of windows before installing the converter. Which can take you a few hours, if like me, you are a little behind on your XP updates (who know they were up to XP Service Pack 3, not me).

For those of us with little time there is also an online converter, but this might not be an option if you too have a confidential file you need to convert like I did. However, unlike the Microsoft compatibility pack you do not need to have Microsoft Office installed on your PC to convert the file.

I am pretty sure that if I am going to have to continue to use the newer versions I am going to have to pick up a copy of the book Office 2007 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

May 172008

Well, as you can tell by my post yesterday things at work are not the best and haven’t been for quite sometime. Besides all the personal issues I have there I am also struggling financially. The cost of me just going to work has almost tripled over the past year! The commute is eventually going to kill me. I am not exaggerating here every time I get in my car on that highway my blood pressure shoots to over 160/100! (I am afraid I will have a stroke or heart attack behind the wheel someday.)

My bills are piling up because I have to set more money aside to pay to go to work and less is going to the bills I already have. This is not a good position to be in that’s for sure. I am pretty much trapped by my job. So how do I get out of this mess? I am not exactly sure, but I am looking into personal loans as a possible solution before my credit gets any worse. I have been doing some research online and offers loans to even people like me with less than perfect credit scores. So there might be a light at the end of this dark tunnel after all.

This brighter future is made possible by

May 162008

I had the world’s worst day at work. I haven’t felt this bad in a very, very long time. Perhaps it is simply the compounded issues of my emotional and physical state since the accident along with the long held in stress from everything at work. I just want to scream but all I do is cry.

I honestly did not know I could cry this much in one day.

May 092008

Employers are looking for ways to reward good work other than a monetary bonus. While many of us certainly don’t mind the money it can seem like a thoughtless gesture to some. There are many alternative ways to reward your employees one of the more exciting of the different corporate incentives is travel rewards from Bellwether Rewards.

The thought of getting away from it all could certainly motivate even the most lethargic of employees to improve their performance. There is no better way to put a spark back into an employee than the promise of time away from work, especially when they don’t have to pay for the vacation. Heck, I’d even do a better job if I were told there was a real reward in it for me.

So reward your employees by telling them to go away (by using their earned travel reward from Bellwether).

May 092008

No one should be without health insurance but if your job does not offer health insurance or you are only working part time what are you supposed to do? The cost of healthcare is too high to be without insurance, but the high cost of individual plans keeps people from being insured.

Thank goodness there are places like who can offer affordable health insurance Arizona plans include Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Coventry, and Blue Cross Blue Shield among others.

Whether you are a small business owner looking for an affordable service to offer your employees or an individual who is self employed you may be able to find just what you need at a price you can afford so you, your family or your employees don’t have to worry about coverage any more.

Jan 182008

Sometimes email just isn’t good enough and you need to resort to snail mail (also known as the United Postal Service). Believe it or not it is just more reliable sometimes. What am I talking about, you might ask. Well, I had some friends move and I never got their email. If they had followed it up with nice little postcards with their new address I would have had something to stick right in my address book, but they did not so I did not. So my Christmas card I sent to them came back to me making me a sad little Santa thinking I lost touch with a good friend. Lucky for me I have a back up friend who gave me the address. But if she had simply gone to and made some cool and funky postcards and sent them out this could have all been avoided.

But VistaPrint offers so much more than postcard printing. You can make business cards, magnets (both of which I have made for my website), notepads, invitations and loads more. They are great for not just business but also personal uses too. You could use their postcards for announcements, invitations, business marketing and so much more. The cost is very reasonable too. So my question is why didn’t my friend go there and print out some postcards with her new address?

Made possible by They have free stuff there too.

Oct 262007

I first stumbled on PayPerPost about six months ago. At the time I had a new blog without a lot of posts. But I felt payperpost was a great opportunity not just to make money but also to help my blog grow so I worked really hard to get accepted into their program.

It wasn’t easy at first to get their approval, but it was worth all that effort I had to put into my blog to get their approval. All the hoops I jumped through just let me know they were in fact the real deal that I would get quality topics and not have to worry about getting paid for my posts either.

What really drew me to PayPerPost was the fact that you, the writer, get to choose your own writing opportunities unlike some of their competition that tell you what to write. Plus they really want you to succeed. They have a blog of their own that helps you with updates and tips on how PayPerPost works.

I have not checked it out, but they also have a message board with a very helpful community, which I hope to join very soon. As my blog grows I know my opportunities with PPP will grow as well. I can’t say that the money does appeal to me as well, because it certainly does. I hope to make enough to pay for the upkeep of my website after that who knows.

If you like to write and want to make a little money from your writing check out you won’t be disappointed. I wasn’t.

Sep 282007

Ever need to send a large file to someone only to find out it is too big to go through email? I have.

Most email services not only cap the size of the file but they also restrict or automatically remove certain file types too.

If you do not have access to ftp or a web server you could be fresh out of luck or making you resort to snail mail to send out your files. Until now that is. I just discovered a great service called Driveway.

Driveway is a free online service that lets you upload and share the files you want with anyone you want. It really couldn’t be simpler either. You can store and share up to 2 GB of files with each file topping out at 500 MB each, which should be more than adequate for the average user.

Files you upload to Driveway do expire, so this is not a permanent storage solution mind you. You do have 90 days from the last time they were accessed before the files do expired. Some similar services expire after only 14 days, which can make it hard to retrieve the files and may even require another upload if the person you sent them to does not regularly check their email or was on vacation.

Driveway is a great alternative to emailing them when trying to send large files like photos or video to clients, friends or family. Give it a try and start file sharing. It is free after all.

Sep 032007

Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000I just picked up the Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 and I rather like it. Although I cannot seem to figure out exactly what makes it a notebook mouse over any other mouse. Maybe it is a little smaller than the other ones, which I like. Seems as if most of the Microsoft Mice are too big and feel weird in my hand.

Easy enough to operate. Especially since I had it up and running in a few minutes without ever even taking instructions out of the package. [Although the battery was a little hard to find in the mouse but I found it.]micosoftmouse.jpg

Smooth operation and compact. I was asked why I wanted a mouse with my laptop. Well the biggest reason is I hated using both hands to run the touch pad. Plus the touch pad is too sensitive and causes an auto scrollbar with the slightest touch. This does not happen with the mouse. And they say it is a high definition optical mouse better precision. All in all I think it was worth the $25 I gave to Wal-Mart for it. I really like the little receiver that snaps into the mouse. Doing this turns off the mouse and saves the battery. I will have to see if I can get one for work then that darned mouse tail won’t bother me any more.

Aug 182007

This is part two of my article on making money from your blog or website. In the first part we focused on writing. And not everyone likes to write or wants to write. For these people their are alternatives to the standard blog.

You can try your hand at video blogs. Tape yourself and your friends [get their permission to post it first though] talking about your favorite shows, movies, books, games, toys…whatever. Then upload these to Once you have the video ready simply post that in your blog and your done. But if you want to make some money for your efforts add affiliate links to the related items in that same post.

Buy or Create Hilarious T-shirts and more Another creative way of making money is to sign up for and create and sell items from your designs right from your site. So dig out those great photos from your trip and make a calendar then offer it to the world via your blog which talks all about that trip. The possibilities are endless.

Aug 172007

People don’t realize they can make money [or at least try] with their personal sites and blogs.

First step is to sign up for quality affiliate programs with companies like Commission Junction, but don’t stop there you’ll find almost any store has an affiliate program if you look hard enough. But is a great place to start and your few pennies from different vendors start to add up and you will actually see check sooner than individually paid out programs.

Once you have joined get to writing on that site or posting on that blog about what interests you or do product reviews. Then simply combine the two with the links from the affiliate program. Once that is done. Sit back and watch the click thrus and cash come in. [WARNING: This is a very simplified look at making money from affiliate programs and your results will vary from merchant to merchant and program to program.]

Another way of making cash off those blogs are companies that offer payment for linking in a post on your blog. There are quite a few of them cropping up these days and some of the best will payout big money for your well written articles. Top of the heap is PayPerPost. They are hard to get accepted into but once you are you can pick and choose the writting opportunities that are right for you.  The better your blog the better the opportunities for you to make money on them. 

Another way to make money from your writing abilities is to sign up for Helium. This is a writing community were you post your articles and reap the benefits of their advertising. This is not a new model [as I was part of something like this way back in the dark ages [1998] called The Vine], but a nice one.

So your writing skills are not up to the level you would like them to be? Or you just hate writing because it reminds you too much of being in school? No worries you have other outlets for your creativity and we will discuss them at length in another post.

Aug 012007

I knew it wasn’t going to be a very good day when I got up this morning. Guess I am still feeling the affects of the full moon on Monday. My car’s odometer was 66601. I passed 3 trucks hauling burial vaults on my morning commute.

Then everything at work seemed to go awry. Slow computer, having to reboot, missing paperwork, just to name a few things.

Then my tooth that I had a root canal in starts to ache making my commute home horrible. I get cut off by an aggressive driver, twice.

I tried to place an order online at and first the jeans I wanted couldn’t be found [found them finally]. Then when I added them to the cart they were the wrong ones and something else was in the cart too. Not sure how it got there but I cleared everything out and started over. So got the right jeans total plush shipping was 78.95 but for some reason the check out kept showing 83 something. What gives? Then when I back up to check the price my giftcard gets added to the check out again [would have been nice if it had stayed in there but when I completed the sale it showed the right amount off].

When I get home there’s a message on the machine telling me they did not get the giftcard number and I have to call them back. Guess what? I will have to dig that darned thing out of the trash when I get back to work tomorrow. So here goes another lunch spent with Yeah.

 Oh, and the lady at the toll booth short changed me. Okay, so it was only five cents but if she did that all day long she wouldn’t be able to walk with all her nickels shoved down her pants!

I am glad to be home. Maybe.

May 102007

I have been trying to fiddle with OScommerce for a website and while it is working and all that. It is just plain ugly. And changing the overall look is not all that easy.

Yes, you can change the very basics quickly but we wanted a whole new look and without paying an arm and a leg to get it.

I did find a free template site on the forums but can no longer find it. They forums are very helpful for most things but as soon as you ask for help with a template they all clam up and point you to the contributions. The template contributions really are crappy [don’t want to tell them that though].

 And everytime I do a google search for free templates I get nothing but the pay sites [google should try to figure a better way of filtering those results].

 Any who if you know any good free templates post them in the comments and I will do the same as I finally find some.