Home Business Concepts: August 2011
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Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times: 250+ Ways to Buy Smarter, Spend Smarter, and Save Money

Posted by Linda | 3:03 PM

OK, we have all seen those books full of money-saving and penny pinching tips. This is yet another in that genre. But it's the newest, freshest and most up to date book in this genre, and many of the "same-old same-old" tips have been updated for our current financial hard times. Not only that, but there's a scattering of unique tips by "the worlds cheapest man".

If you are newly into penny-pinching this is an excellent book to get you started. If you are an experienced saver, you will still pick up some new tips and plenty of updates on the old stand-byes. Don't get me wrong- if you just bought one of his competitors books, you probably don't have to rush out and buy this one- but it couldn't hurt to take a look at Clark's book anyway.

There's 250 tips, some of which are "well sure" but many of which are "Why didn't I think of that!". Clark Howard covers insurance, prescriptions, utility savings, mortgages, cell phones, and even consumer fraud and identity theft. These last are part of what sets this book apart- sure those security tips are available elsewhere, but it's nice having them all in one easy to read book.

I do note that one idea- that of getting your MD to prescribe larger doses of your daily meds then cutting the pills in half is something my MD isn't crazy about. But Howard has several other ideas that could save you a nice chunk of change every month.

Note also that Clark Howard has a rather interesting and useful website, with synopsis of his radio & TV shows and appearances, consumer tips, and even monthly bargain topics.

The book is written in a friendly and easy to read manner.

In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir

Posted by Linda | 2:59 PM

Before September 11, VP Cheney, our public employee, met in the White House (our public building) with some influential gentlemen from the private sector.

Despite using our facilities, our employee declined to name those participants, who sat on our furniture.
And the media? You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie! This is something you can not find out for us? Too busy being spoonfed?

I'd prefer to hear Colin Powell's commentary, as he did last weekend, saying he was sent into the United Nations with bad information.

We can still recall Adlai Stevenson going to the UN to warn of the missile installations in Cuba. At that time, he brought out huge photographs of the actual equipment and locations. You will recall Powell showed up, how many decades later?, with nice computer-generated graphics. Hunh?

And the media, about that? Zzzzzzzzzzzz. Too busy being spoon-fed, or spoofed, at best. If you can believe what Cheney says and does, find out who visited him. If he's so innocent, what does he have to fear?

Good luck, Mr. Phelps!

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

Posted by Linda | 6:09 AM

Most of Richard Paul Evans books are sweet stories that teach values and are a couple of tissues at the end. I have all his books, and have read them all. However this book is different. Fresh and filled with action that is far from his past style.

Action packed, thriller, science fiction elements, young romance, humour, youthful.... you name it, this book has it for everyone. I am thrilled with this book, and may even let my grandchild that is a science freak borrow it. I can only hope that Richard makes a series out of this. And that the movie will be coming out soon. This book makes reading fun for everyone. Young and old can discuss this book, so it bridges the age gap like few other books do.

I can recommend it for a book to tuck into your bag to savour like a good piece of chocolate. And share it if you like, or not!!

My Weekend Reading List

Posted by Linda | 6:00 AM

I'm reading Michael Holroyd's excellent A Book of Secrets at the moment. It's rather making me want to read Violet Trefusis, who figures greatly in the book, but who is also (almost?) entirely out of print. (Paging Persephone. Paging NYRB. Paging Neversink.)

But I also had a bit of a geek out moment when he casually mentions his wife, Margaret Drabble. I just read some Margaret Drabble! And loved it! Is it weird to be happy that two authors you enjoy reading are married? Like when I learned Susie Orbach and Jeanette Winterson are a couple.

Gossipy and probably stupid, but still.
But another reason I like A Book of Secrets so much is that he tells the history of these figures through the "women of no importance": the mistresses, the discarded fiancees, the dead wives. Here he is talking in the Guardian a few years back about why he likes writing about women. "I like extraordinary characters, I like irregularity, extreme things happening.

6 New Rules to Reinvent Your Brand and Reignite Your Business

Posted by Linda | 12:35 PM

From the moment I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. It was fast and fun as well as well as interesting and completely through.

Not only that, I found it helpful for my company and chock full of ideas.

This book helped me to re-focus on our core brand. It stimulated me to get back to the office and concentrate my energies on all of the new ideas the book contained. I believe that "The Old Rules of Marketing are Dead" can be a springboard for us to continue the changes we need to make in this tough economic environment for a communications and media company to survive and prosper.

 This is something that everyone that owns or would like to own a business should read. Very informative!! Highly recommend.

Free 3G + Wi-Fi Kindle with New E Ink Pearl Technology

Posted by Linda | 5:09 AM

I love this reader. I was able to adjust the font size such that I can easily read even without my glasses. I am allergic to dust. I don't have itchy fingers as I often get when reading traditional paper books. I no longer have a runny nose as I would have when I'd read with a book too close to my face. I often did this as I prefer to read without glasses.

I enjoy being able to see the highlights other readers have made when reading. This gave me an unexpected interactive component to the book. It seems silly but I find joy knowing that others found a phrase, sentence, or paragraph exciting or profound.

I also like how it syncs with other devices. I can pick up my phone, laptop, and desktop and continue where I left off on my kindle. The built-in dictionary has greatly increased my vocabulary. My scrabble friends should beware!

Topeak Explorer Bike Rack

Posted by Linda | 2:30 PM

This rack is a really sturdy rack and has plenty of surface area to mount medium gym bag with no issues. I got it because it has the strip down the middle to use as a small fender and the accessories that Topeak has for it. It has a mount for a light for which I mounted a Blackburn MARS nicely. For days when i had to take something with more bulk to work I would bungee a milk crate to it. Make sure it is on tight or it will slide off the side. Unfortunately the MTX rails in the middle would eat into the crate. Topeak has a MTX folding crate that will roll behind. I recommend it.

I picked up this rack from the LBS some months ago and mounted it on my Mens Schwinn High Timber 26 inch. This rack is a great fit for this bike. I ran into the same issue as another reviewer with this bike concerning the mounting screws for the bottom of the rack. The bike has bigger holes than the screws so I too went to Lowes to pick up some new bolts. The instructions listed sizes of the hardware so I picked up the same size of bolts but longer to use a lock nut on them (I didn't want to have to drill out the holes).

I mounted them bolt head on the inside and nut on the outside. Worked great until I realized that the bolt head would rub the chain in the lowest gear. Taking a file to the bolt head to trim it down some did the trick.

Schwinn 17-Function Bike Computer

Posted by Linda | 12:17 PM

I honestly can't believe this cost me only $10. And for me it was free because I used some of my
Amazon credit
The little thing works just fine. I've had it for about a month now, and I've never been frustrated with it. Although the instructions were a bit hard to understand sometimes, installation was no hassle. It took me 10 minutes to set up the whole thing. You can just run to your bike and install it, since it comes with the plastic ties you need for holding the things in place, and also with a battery.

I usually use the speedometer, odometer, and clock, but I just set it on scan so it goes through the whole thing. To be honest I didn't need all 17 functions, but it doesn't hurt to have it.
The thing turns off after 5 minutes of non-use, and you can take the computer off when you're done riding (which I love, because people steal things around here if they're just hanging). The computer was smaller than I thought, but that was a plus for me because it doesn't take up space.

Overall, I just am so happy I got this. For the price I think I got a great deal. It could be $20 or $25 if you ask me, considering how much it does and how easy it is to use. I don't know much about technology so I can't be sure that it could be that much, but I really think it could fly for a higher price.

If you're a daily biker just looking for a practical little computer that does the basics for you (I never understand why they have the calories and fat-burning functions), I would recommend this. Oh and shipping was prompt, as usual.

HTC HD2 T8585 Unlocked Phone with Touch Screen

Posted by Linda | 12:09 PM

The HTC HD2 T8585 Unlocked Phone with Touch Screen, 5MP Camera, GPS, Wi-Fi and Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional - International Warranty - Black (Wireless Phone Accessory)

I received the phone 9 days ago, the battery last for one day, it's branded T-mobile. In the box: 512mb sd memory, USB charger, USB cable, battery, phone, small user guide. Good touch screen response. Two days after I received the phone the volume down button regularly stuck, so it was impossible use the phone.

I sent it to amazon and waiting for a refund. I I'm looking for another one but, I think this phone is great, so I will buy it again. Works in Honduras Tigo network.

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