Incredible Shrinking Product – Barbasol Shaving Cream

I’m not sure if anyone cares about this, I’m not sure if I even care about this however I guess I find it worth mentioning. I have been using Barbasol shaving cream since I hit puberty and it does the job its supposed to do. In fact my father used Barbasol shaving cream too. I would say he passed it on to me when I was learning how to shave so many years ago.

Welcome to corporate America, where profits are important and the incredible shrinking product is a reality of life.  I have seen this before where the toilet paper roll becomes thinner, or the NET Weight of a product is shaved down by 1/2 and ounce or so and the price stays the same. I understand its all economics. Reduce the amount of product in the box and increase your profits.

Barbasol  – 10oz vs 7oz

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WTF – Is Amazon Selling Nazi Magnets?

Like most of the world I use Amazon to buy everything from electronics to dog food. I needed some magnets to complete a project and stumbled across this image. The $10 – 200pcs magnet set. Which normally would be innocent enough, except when the magnets are placed to reference a swastika.

What is going on here? Amazon Nazi Magnet Set?

Seems inappropriate if you ask me. Click here to see for yourself

Unless they took it down already, then click here to see a local copy

Nazi Magnets?

I wonder how much more inappropriate stuff is floating around on Amazon. If you find something let me know.

Thanks for reading my blog,
Joe

 

Fun Desk Clock From Recycled iPhone 5

Technology changes so fast, and we all want the latest gadget, but what is the cost of consuming so much? Big business wants us to keep buying devices, even if the old ones are still good. We wind up with millions of abandoned iPhones, Androids and tablets. Some are recycled responsibly while tens of thousands are just tossed in the trash or the back of your desk draw never to be seen again.   Here is a super simple way to recycle your old iPhone into a great retro looking desk clock.

Recycle Your iPhone into a clock – WHAT YOU NEED

 

I needed a stand for my clock and since my objective was to keep this project as simple and low cost as possible. I started with two 3×5 acrylic photo frames.

 

3×5 acrylic frame. Very low cost, about $5.00 at Amazon

 

You will also need 8 flat rare earth magnets (Neodymium) The stronger the magnets the better. Keep them small and flat, the actual shape round or square does not matter. $14.00 at Amazon

 

A little glue to hold it all together. I tend to like GOOP, but any strong adhesive should do. Goop at Amazon $ 11.00

 

 

The last two items you probably have around the house.

  • A colored spay paint for tinting the acrylic frames, I used black.
  • Some type of counter weight for the back of the stand to give it stability, I used a pair of hard drive spindle motors.
Putting it together

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Battery Replacement – Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

It seems like everyone on this planet likes the latest shinny new gadget, and I’m no exception. However, there are times when one of those gadgets has everything you want in it and does a good job. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S is one of them.

Its OEM battery is running on fumes and basically it needs to be tethered to the wall almost all the time. Rather than toss it in the trash or take it to the kiosk in the mall I figured I would make a run at changing the battery myself. This replacement was MUCH easier than expected. I have changed a number of iPhone batteries over the years and they are a pain to do (because of all the glue). The Galaxy was easy and only took about 15 minutes to complete.

TOOLS AND PARTS

First stop was to Amazon to check out the replacement battery choices. There was a number of different  units on sale from $17 to about $55. While scrolling through they all seem to be the same Chinese replacement so I simply picked the lowest cost kit

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Who Holds Amazon Accountable For Screw-ups?

I may just letting my misguided anger write this post. Let me first say I am a HUGE fan of Amazon and have spent over $6,500 on “stuff” in the last year. In the Amazon balance sheet that’s like finding a penny on the floor for you and I, however to me $6k is a good chunk of change.

How often does the giant make mistakes? And what recourse do we have as consumers? The simple answer is don’t shop at Amazon, but I would expect that to be hard to do. Even my parents who are terrified of someone getting their credit card number online shop Amazon.

Lost.. Where did you go?
What happened?

The beast know as Amazon loves to promise insanely fast shipping times. If anyone is going to invent a Star Trek like transporter its going to be Amazon. Recently I purchased a Blink camera system which was expected to arrive the next day. Great! I didn’t need it for two days, but early is good.

On the day of arrival everything was going great:

      • 2:13 AM – Package arrived at carrier facility
      • 8:08 AM – Out for delivery

Then pooof a delay was posted

      • 4:14pm – A carrier delay has occurred

Ok, what does that mean? Did the truck break down? Did the driver get sick? Maybe a flat tire? Who knows, the good news was that Amazon said they were going to get my shipment back on track and have it delivered tomorrow.

Wait, I just checked in with the tracking before I went to bed and a new message appeared.

      • 11:28 PM – Lost by carrier – undeliverables

Wow, another vague message. Was it stolen off the truck? Did it ever make it on the truck? Continue reading “Who Holds Amazon Accountable For Screw-ups?”

Stand Up Desk Craze – Varidesk Pro Plus 30 – Review

There have been numerous studies that sitting behind a desk all day is bad for your health. This must be true because my Apple Watch reminds me to stand up and walk around every hour like clock work. Therefore the Varidesk Pro Plus must be a good thing.

Seriously, I’m not sure if we need a study to tell us that sitting around all day like a couch potato is not good for you, just like we don’t need a study to tell us vaping and smoking is bad for your health too. With that said lately the trend in the office is to convert our conventional office space into standing office space as cost effective as possible. At first we were deploying these to staff that had back issues and doctors notes, but now we are pretty much giving them to anyone that asks.

Meet The Varidesk Pro Plus 30

We did a bit of research before purchasing our first stand up desk and found some cheap junk all the way up to very expensive electric desks with electric drive motors.

The desk we chose was the Varidesk Pro Plus 30. Its not the cheapest running about $325.00 on Amazon but I can say you do get a really nice sturdy desk for your money.

The desk arrives in an oversized box. You really should have a helper on hand to assist with the unboxing and setup.

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Making a great home network!

Moving into a new home or simply switching Internet providers can be a daunting task. Cable companies offer so many TV, Internet and Phone packages and combination of packages it could be hard to decide. How much bandwidth do I really need? How do I protect my network from hackers? What is the best WiFi access point and how do I maximize my range?

These are a few questions I will try to answer in this blog posting and maybe save you some money in the process.

How much bandwidth do I really need?

There was a period of time during 2017 the cable companies were having their marketing departments spin how fast their internet connections could be and they would compete for your business. 50/50 MB not enough were offering 100mb.. no were offering 900mb etc and so forth. If you’re not sure how much speed you need READ THIS. Personally I have 75/75 at home and my family is your typical Netflix / Amazon / Fortnite ECT and we are doing just fine.


How do I protect my network from hackers?

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Help – My 2003 – 2007 Honda Accord Trunk Won’t Open

My 18 year old son is driving a 2007 hand-me-down Honda Accord coupe and last week he came home and said, DAD – HELP! My trunk wont open. I immediately said did you overload the trunk with your hockey equipment and one of the bag straps get caught in the striker? He said no way, it opened at the hockey rink when I put my bag in the back, but now its stuck.

HOW TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE TRUNK

I initially tried pulling up on the trunk lid, even slid a crowbar in between the lid and the bumper (yes I know dumb move, but hey its a 12 year old car so its already scratched). I could here the electric solenoid trying to pull the lock open and we even pulled the manual release from up front. NO JOY. Its a good thing the back seats fold down in this car because we were able to gain access to the trunk and remove most of the contents. Finally my son was able to hit the emergency release on the latch and POP the trunk opened.


WHY DID IT FAIL?
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2014 – Dodge Charger Steering Wheel Heater & Rear Seat Heater DEAD!

Here we are in mid January and my wife informed me during a drive the other day her steering wheel heater was dead on her 2014 Dodge Charger. The car has software buttons on the touch screen to activate the heater and when pressed, it goes on and within 2 seconds turns off.

I began doing research for causes and typical issues are the clock spring in the steering column, computer control module among other items. A day later we were out with the kids and i was bummed the steering wheel heater was broken and from the back seat the kids said hey.. our rear seat heaters are dead too. It immediately dawned on me to check the fuse box!

Where are the fuses?

Like many modern cars there are multiple fuse boxes in and around the vehicle. Some are under the dash board, some in the engine bay, and in our case the seat / steering wheel heater are in the trunk.

To access the fuse box you need to remove everything from the trunk and lift the trunk floor (as if you were accessing the spare tire). Under the trunk floor you will find the spare tire, battery and a small black box next to the battery.

2014 Charger Trunk Fuse Box
Arrow indicates rear seat / steering wheel heater fuse.
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Modern twist on a retro cassette tape

Customized 16GB USB Drive – Looks Like A Cassette – Size Of A Credit Card – With Pouch!

Growing up in the 1980’s I was exposed to various types of analog media. I did have a record player, but they were not “cool” at that moment and I only owned a few LP’s. I even had a chance to dabble with my parents  8 track tapes, however they were on the decline when I discovered music. The medium of choice for my generation was the cassette tape. (until the compact disk came out)

Remember the old days

I can remember heading over to the local mall to shop Sam Goody’s huge assortment of cassettes, and then stopping by my local Radio Shack to purchase blanks to make copies for my friends. That was another life, when we all had high speed dubbing Dolby tape decks and “piracy” was still on the seas!

 

I was reminiscing the other day about how far we have come with digital media and was wondering how I could combine my love for cassette tapes into a digital format. I started taking apart my old tapes and trying to merge a USB drive into them, but didn’t have much luck. Then I had an ah-ha moment and decided rather than convert a cassette into a USB drive, why not make a USB drive that looks like a cassette.

The USB Cassette Was Born!

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