|Earliest: March 17, 2003||Latest: March 15, 2020||Total: 164|
Phantom Phone Calls
Do you have a 800 number?
Chances are you gotten some strange phone calls. Such as running water or someone in a crowd. Here are a couple of samples of calls that were left in my voicemail.
These may sound like someone "butt-dialed" your number, but in fact, there's a bit of history behind these calls. If you listen carefully they are actually looped 30-seconds clips.
The folks over Reply-All did some investigation into these calls and discovered some very interesting information about these calls and why someone is making them.
Check out this /reply-all/ podcast: #140 The Case of the Phantom Calls. They do a great job in covering these phantom calls
Outlet Safety Caps
It's that time of the year, when people are putting up Christmas lights outside. It's time to make your house the shining star of the neighborhood.
Local stores garden area are now filled with all sorts of outdoor holiday options.
It's time to put up the lights.
Don't let the rain go in the open plugs.
Protect your Outlets
One of the worst things that can happen to outdoor lights is when rainwater gets in the plugs.
We protect our plugs with Outlet Plug Covers.
These are designed to protect exposed outlets from children, but they also work well for keeping the open outlets from rain and snow.
They last very well in the icy cold conditions. They are cheap - You can get a 32-pack on Amazon.
Where to Find them
You won't find them in the holiday lights section. They are usually located in the electric section or in the Child safety isle.
Definitely worth the investment to protect the exposed plug from mother nature.
Hulu Price Increase
This week Hulu announced a price increase for all customers. This is a big deal since a previous increase only impacted new customers.
What this Means
Hulu will increase the price of its Hulu with Live TV service by 20 percent on December 18th, setting the new subscription rate at $54.99 a month, up from $44.99.
Both new and existing customers will be affected by the increase. New subscribers as of December 18th will be served the $55-a-month price tag while existing subscribers will see the changes in their following bill cycle.
Why a Hulu is Still a Good Always Investment
- Still Cheaper than Cable - Ya, Comcast is still way more expensive. If your cutting cable, you won't miss most of your live shows!
- DVR Capabilities is great - Thanks to Hulu, I am catching up to watching classic Adam-12 shows. Simply search for the shows you like and add them to your favorite. Hulu will record the shows and let you watch them on your own time.
- Lots of Good Live Options. - You can see a lot more Live TV than using a stand-alone antenna. (Sorry NESN is still not on the network - yet!) Plus with DVR you won't miss local news shows if your not at home - very convenient for those times when I want to know more about a local story and working late.
Still Going Strong for US!
We have been using Hulu since February 2018. We have been very satisfied with using Hulu. We have the "Enhanced Cloud DVR" which gives us 200 hours of DVR time and Stream recordings to unlimited devices.
Stream recordings work great when working out. I can set the shows that I want to see and don't have to worry about the limited selection at the gym. (Most Gyms offer Free WiFi)
Thought to live by
I found this piece of advice in my Evernote notebook. I am not exactly sure where I found it - I couldn't find another site online that had this.
The title of this story is "Thought to live by "
Dr. Howard Conley an Honored professor for Northern Arizona University, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."
"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. "Relax; pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!"
And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:
- Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
- Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
- Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
- Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
- If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague
- If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
- It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
- Never buy a car you can't push.
- Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
- Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
- The second mouse gets the cheese.
- When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
- Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
- You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
- Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
- We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
- A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Scotch Shipping Tape
In December 2018, I blogged about remembering things to buy before the Christmas season started. (Check out the Blog post)
One of the items was to buy some packaging tape in October - while it's cheap. According to the blog post, the Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Package Tape was $9.09. Today that same tape is $8.70.
Stock up on Scotch Shipping Tape over on Amazon.com.
Not a Huge Savings - But Still
Not a huge saving, but who knows what the price will be in a few months when demand will be high.
I checked over at Target and they have Target brand Shipping Tape single packs for $2.99.
Meanwhile, over at Walmart, it's $2.97 for a single pack.
Camel Camel Camel
The CamelCamelCamel is a great Amazon.com price tracker. According to the tracking page, the most expensive time to buy Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape, 2 x 800 was at the end of July when it reached $16.62!
The $9.09 price point is one of the lowest price points. Seems the cheapest was on September 25th.
Checking it again in December 15
I'll check the prices in December to see how much they have gone up. This year the busiest shipping day of the year will be December 16. It will be interesting to see how the prices change since then.
Massachusetts Medical Leave Act
Beginning in January of 2021 most workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to get up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave.
To get this to work a new payroll tax will be applied to all workers in Massachusetts, it's the Massachusetts Paid Family Leave (PFMLA). This is helping contribute to the Massachusetts Paid Family Leave Fund - which is what people will tap into when they need to take a leave of absence.
How Much will be Contributed to the Fund
Employers may deduct up to 40 percent of the total medical leave contribution from a covered individual?s wages and 100 percent of the total family leave contribution.
The contribution rate was 0.63 percent on the first $132,900 of an individual?s annual earnings (the maximum taxable earnings as established by the Social Security Administration). This means that if you make $100,000 you'll be contributing $6,300 annually.
You can learn more about the Massachusetts Paid Family Leave Act from the official website.
Need more information? Read the Official Law:2018 Act - Chapter 121.
Strong Caffeinated Drink
Sometimes you just need a strong drink at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks to get through a tough day. Here are the top two strongest drinks that you can get at either establishment from their regular menu.
Little known secret menus may not be available at all locations. Besides you can spike any drink by adding an additional shot.
Turns out that a cup of coffee has more Caffeine than any "specialty" drink. Most drip coffee will have 100 mg per 8oz.
The Dunkin Donuts at the new Encore Boston Harbor always has Coffee on Tap.
Caffeinated amounts is not the same in every drip coffee. For example at Starbucks their is a -30 mg difference between reports from the official site and third party sites.
You best bet is to stay with the standard beans and request it black. (Remember it's about getting the strongest coffee for your dollar.)
If your looking for a good pick-me-up coffee - the best place to go is Starbucks and ask for a Venti Blonde Roast.
- Coffee (Brewed) Extra Large - 359 mg
- Coffee (Brewed) Large - 300 mg
- Brewed Coffee Venti - 475 mg
- Brewed Coffee Grande - 310 mg
Credit Card at Air Machines
If you need air in your tires the new air machines are great. These new machines make it easy to know when your tire is properly inflated. When the tire pressure is right - you?ll get a couple of audible beeps.
Credit Card Options
Some of these machines now include the option to swipe your card to pay and enable service.
The problem is that if the machine isn?t working there?s no way to know if the charge went through. I have seen these new machines out of service at different stations.
If you swipe the card multiple times you may get charged for each swipe.
For security purposes, I would recommend just having the proper change in the car. Having $2 in quarters in your glove box would be a good idea. That way you have enough change in case you ever need it.
Nest Thermostat Power
One of the nice things about the Nest Thermostat is that it keeps the temperature in the house the same all day long.
Back in late-May, we inadvertently discovered another benefit - it will stop working if the air filter is full.
Not Enough Power
We notice that the Nest console wasn't getting enough power. We knew it couldn't be a battery issue since we connected the device to the existing thermostat - and that had power.
After some investigation, it turns out the problem was the air filter was dirty. As a result, it was slowing the flow of air through the filter.
This caused power to be reduced to the Nest, and it stopped working.
Quickly Got it Working Again
I ran down to Lowes and purchased a replacement filter, installed it. After a few minutes, the Nest was working again.
To prevent this from happening again, I set up a reminder to install a new filter in late August.
So if your Nest Thermostat suddenly stopped working, you may want to check the air filter.
Purity Supreme Circular
Recently I was going through an old bin in the basement and came across an old flyer for Purity Angelo's and Heartland. This is from July 9th, 1989.
Yes this flyer is 30-years old! Download the PDF version of the Flyer and check it out!
The flyer was for the stores on Cape Cod. I probably saved this because that's when I was working at the Purity Supreme in Dennis.
Purity Supreme was acquired by Stop & Shop in 1995.
Four Things I Learned from this Flyer
- There are lots of coupons in the flyer. It appears it was a way to get people to read the flyer.
- Sweet Bing Cherries are about a $1 more at Market Basket.
- Today's flyer's all full of color. This particular flyer appears to only use green and black.
- This flyer came out when coconut oil and palm old was considered bad. The flyer mentions how it was cut out of all the bakery products.
- One of the things I remember When I workin in the Dairy department, was that when Tropicana went on sale we would have to stock it up. On some days, Tropicana half gallons would have to get restocked more frequently than some gallons of milk. In this flyer it had Tropicana for 2 for $3, which was a good deal.
- Klondike Bars are advertised at $2.39 - about the same price today at Market Basket.