Friday, July 29, 2011

See The Light With Net10

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Net10 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The price of cell phone calling packages are out of control these days. What's worse is that most companies will do everything they can to bind you to a long-term contract. Thanks to Net10 and their Unlimited deal, people are starting to see the Light

Whether you're looking for pre-paid cell phone plans for personal or business purposes, Net10 Unlimited is a great deal. There are no contracts to worry about and there are no surprise bills or redit checks. With Net10 you get great nationwide coverage with excellent reception/connectivity. And you don't need to worry about getting bound to some second-rate cell phone because Net10 only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.

One of the best parts about Net10 plans is that you can switch between them from month to month. Are you going to do a lot of communicating this month? Activate the Net10 Unlimited plan with text and web for $50. Are you on a tight budget this month? Go with the Easy Minutes plan and get 200 minutes for $15. There's no penalty for switching  between plans.This is a great feature for people or businesses who have changing communication needs.

You don't have to just take my word for it. Do some investigating yourself and read about the 10 Good Reasons to use Net10. Or hear what a real NET10 customer has to say.

Here's what Rob has to say

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Beeramid

Jason and I attended a small outdoor music festival recently anchored by some minimally famous band as the main act with some local cover band featured as the opening act. The beer was being served in 8oz plastic cups. Early on in the night, revelers dutifully threw out each plastic cup before returning to the beer stand for another serving. I knew, however, that it would not be long before other uses were found for the empty cups.  The conditions were exactly right for the creation of a drunken wonder.

The beer pyramid, or "beeramid", is a staple of any large affair where beer is being served. Perhaps it's because drinking beer makes us harken back to a simpler time, a time where basic yet impressively sized structures were built to honor the harvest gods. Beer dates back to the very founding of civilization when ancient Neolithic cultures malted a number of cereal grains into a palatable, preservable beverage that, thanks to a number of fermented carbohydrates, happened to contain alcohol. The alcohol contained within beer breaks down our inhibitions allowing our creative drive to push forward freely. I wouldn't be surprised if civilization itself was founded when a bunch of Mesopotamian gatherers drank the liquid contents of a barrel of grain that had been left out in the weather, and decided, in their alcohol-fueled euphoria, to build a ziggurat.   

The ancient Egyptians eventually found out about beer and improved upon the recipe. They too gave into their desire to build and gave went with the more classical pyramid which is easier to construct than a ziggurat. Perhaps this was because the Egyptian version of beer was much more potent than the Mesopotamian version.

Jason and I did eventually see a beer-a-mid get constructed at the festival. We were very impressed with the ladies who initiated its construction, although its structural integrity left a lot to be desired. They weren't able to complete the last three rows before the entire structure collapsed in upon itself. Then it began to rain, which was an obvious indication that the gods of grain and revelry were not pleased with the results of their drunken effort.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fallout: New Vegas: Old World Blues

I've only just started playing Fallout: New Vegas about a month ago. I haven't even gotten to the point yet where I would need to download any of the DLC packs either to enhance the story or raise the level cap. Yet, I had heard so many good things about Old World Blues that I just had to download it and give it a try. After playing it for a few days, I was itching to do a Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues review. And you know what? Old World Blues is probably the best Fallout DLC pack that I have ever played.

Our hero is made the subject of a crazy science experiment gone awry. This particular DLC is dominated by a group of quirky characters which include wacky floating brains, talking appliances and robot scorpions. Old World Blues had me laughing out loud several times because of its goofy humor and its off-the-wall storyline. The gameplay is, of course, the same as it has always been, but that's to be expected and that's what makes Fallout New Vegas great.

My verdict is that Old World Blues is well worth the asking price of $10. For that minimal cash outlay, you're getting a new large area to explore, new perks, new technology and a great storyline.

My Mojave Wasteland Courier: TommyMac And His Dog, Rex

Friday, July 22, 2011

How I Fixed My A/C Without Killing Myself

My central air unit blew out recently. With heat indexes well above 100, I was feeling miserably hot almost the second the unit died. I went outside to check the unit and could hear the fan humming as if it wanted to start. A swift hit to the blades started the fan running for a bit, but it soon stopped again. A quick Google search indicated that the problem could very well be the capacitor

A Bad Start Capacitor
Start capacitors are used to give the the air conditioning motor a boost of electricity to help with the starting cycle. When a start capacitor will fails, the fan motor will simply hum as power is sent to it. The motor will eventually trip an overload protection circuit built into the system and then no power will be sent to the motor and the start capacitor will have to be replaced. The start capacitor is usually round and cylindrical with a number of prongs on top. The run capacitor will be an oblong shape.


I opened up my a/c unit and located the start capacitor. It was immediately obvious that it had gone bad. I wasn't too pleased with this as I had the exact same problem last Summer and was charged $100 for a replacement. A capacitor can fail for a number of reasons and can be indicative of a larger problem with the air conditioner. Whatever the reason why this particular capacitor failed, I resolved to fix it myself and avoid being charged two arms, two legs and my first born for the service. The failed capacitor has a lot grime on it, but I was still able to read the part number and order a replacement via a heating/cooling supply store for only $15 including shipping.

When it came time to actually replace the start capacitor, I made sure to shut all the power off to the unit via the circuit breaker. I was careful to document exactly how all the wires were attached to the old capacitor so I could replace it properly. After that, it was just a matter of connecting the wires to the new capacitor, closing up the access panel on the unit and restoring power to it.

It took about 10 minutes for the fan to kick on, but once it did, I screamed like a giddy school girl at a Justin Bieber concert. I had replaced my air conditioner capacitor without electrocuting myself and without suffering any collateral damage in the form of lacerations on my hands.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cock Flavored Soup Mix

My old friend Leigh sent this one in. She was shopping at a grocery store that specializes in various African and African-themed cuisines and happened across this little gem from the Grace food company in Jamaica. By "Cock Flavored Soup Mix", they obviously meant "chicken flavored" and something got lost in the translation.

If the fine folks at Grace are trying to get this soup to break into the American market with their cock flavored soup, they shouldn't even consider changing the name. The marketing practically writes itself:

"Folks, if you like the taste of spicy cock, then Grace's Cock Flavored Soup Mix will taste so good going down your throat!".

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunburn

I got severely sunburned recently. Again. With my fair Irish skin, I can expect at least one sunburn per Summer, but my most recent one was easily the worst I have ever had to deal with. I had spent a few hours at the community pool with the kiddo and, even though I remembered to put waterproof sunblock on, it must have washed off at some point because, by the time we got home, I started to look like Dr. Zoidberg. The pain crept up upon me so slowly that I hardly noticed it. My body felt like it was radiating more and more heat. My stomach was so hot to the touch that I felt like I could fry an egg on it. I was later informed that this was my body losing its ability to regulate its own temperature. My fever began to approach 104 as I frantically tried to cool myself down.

I spent the next several hours alternately throwing up and writing in extreme pain as the blisters that had formed all over my swollen back began to pop and ooze. Cold baths didn't help, neither did Aloe, vinegar, praying to God, sacrificing animals to Baal or Solarcane sprays. By morning, I was dragged out of my house by a group of concerned friends and driven to the hospital where a cocktail of painkillers finally granted me some relief by knocking me out.

After waking up and having my fever down to a more manageable temperature, I had assumed that the worst was over. Then the itching came. I wanted to flay my skin off with a rusty knife. Scratching only made it worse. Eventually, a friend hit upon the idea of laying a shower curtain down on the couch, soaking large teabags in cold water and sticking them all over me while I watched Netflix movies on the television. Neosporin helped take care of the scabby blisters and constant infusions of aloe were an absolute necessity.

So, what have I learned? With skin like mine, prevention is the key to avoiding a sunburn.

How do you prevent a sunburn?
  • Apply a high HPF sunblock and do so often. If you're swimming in a pool, re-apply the sunblock often, even if it claims to be waterproof. Don't forget to run a little through your hair in order to avoid burning your scalp.
  • Stay out of the sun during peak hours. If you have fair skin, you'll probably want to stay indoors between the hours of 10:00am and 3:00pm. 
  • Cover Up. Wear floppy hats and long sleeved linen shirts.
  • Wear sunglasses. The skin around your eyes is particularly delicate and is very susceptible to burning.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Earn Free Runescape Stuff

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Bone Lick

This shot was snapped while cruising through Boone County, Kentucky recently. Big Bone Lick State Park has got to be the most hilariously named state park in the entire country. Finding out that this place was located on Beaver Road made me laugh even harder. Whoever named the landmarks and roads in the area had to have a perverted mind, right? Maybe not.

Big Bone Lick gets its name from the surrounding unincorporated community of Big Bone, KY. Big Bone was so-named because of the extraordinarily large mastodon and mammoth bones fossils found in the area. Big Bone Lick refers to a salt lick in the area where animals congregate to supplement their nutrient-poor diets with essential minerals.

Due to the fact that the Lewis and Clark expedition stopped there in 1803 and collected fossil specimens, Big Bone Lick bills itself as "the birthplace of American paleontology". President Jefferson was so impressed with the specimens that he sent Clark back in 1807 for the first organized vertebra paleontology expedition in the United States. Big Bone Lick was designated a National Natural Landmark in February 2009.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I Sing To J.G. Wentworth

The folks at J. G. Wentworth are relentless. After ducking several calls per day from them, I finally answered and decided it was time to get the number pulled off of their list. I told the rep how much I liked the J.G. Wentworth opera commercial and sang a few bars to him. I then went on to tell the rep that I had been harassed by a number of different companies, including a Ukranian "happy ending" massage parlor.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Found Nearly All The Fallout 3 Teddy Bears

There are 92 teddy bears in Fallout 3 strewn about the Capitol Wasteland, The Pitt and Point Lookout. And I have found them all. There's no trophy and no perk for finding all of them. All I got was the satisfaction that I had tracked them all down. What are the teddy bears for in Fallout 3? Aside from selling them for merchants or collecting them, I don't think there is much of a purpose.

Of course, it has to be mentioned that that teddy bears can also be looted off of feral ghouls and trogs and can be purchased from various Wasteland dealers. So, considering those factors, there are an infinite number of teddy bears in Fallout 3.

Gotta catch 'em all!
Fallout 3 Teddy Bears by The Virtual Sink
I Just Can't BEAR To Sleep On This Bed With All  These Fallout 3 Teddy Bears

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tarps Plus

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tarps Plus. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you're in the market to purchase any kind of tarp, then Tarps Plus is the site for you. Tarps Plus is your wholesale connection for high quality tarps like poly tarps, truck tarps, canvas tarps, mesh tarps, boat tarps and more. They've even got shade covers, machinery tarps, roof tarps, athletic field covers and tarpaulin hurricane covers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mad About Hattery

I don't have a lot of memories involving my father's grandfather, but one thing I do remember is that the man looked epic in his hat. He had a certain playful wit and intellectual charm about him, traits that would seem to be amplified exponentially when he put on his teardrop-brimmed Fedora. And this was no ordinary Fedora. I was too young to appreciate it at the time, but he explained to me how he put the crease in the front himself back when that was the thing to do; back before manufacturing equipment put in the crease automatically. Although I didn't understand much of what he was saying, I could tell that the Fedora held a degree of importance with him and seemed to imbue him with wisdom and character. Naturally, I gave in to curiosity and tried it on for myself.

"When you're older", my great-grandfather said to me. I took this as an indication that hats such as these were reserved for gentlemen who had reached a certain age or station in life. It would take a certain amount of discipline to obtain the right to wear it.

As I'm advancing in years and starting to feel indications of my own mortality, I feel that, looking back at my life, I've earned the right to wear some sort of iconic hat. My first thought was to emulate my great-grandfather and adopt the Fedora. Unfortunately, the young hipsters of the current generation have seized the Fedora as their own (more on that in a future post) leaving me with few options to discuss with my local haberdasher.

Jason and Gene and I hit upon an idea while passing through one of the nearby Amish townships. We stopped in the Amish-owned hardware store to buy some kerosene lamps for camping when Gene discovered a stock of knit stocking caps that we'd often seen the Amish wearing in Winter. This was it. I'm starting a new fashion trend. Screw the young hipsters and their appeal to retro-culture. I'm taking a stand. I'm making a statement. The Amish knit cap is a bold new fashion statement, one that says "Respect me. I'm stoic. I'm self-sufficient. I'm a barn-raiser!".

Monday, July 4, 2011

Heat Stroke!

I've heard of beating the heat, but the heat beating itself? I found this little gem in the Friday-Monday edition of last week's USA Today. It looks to me like either the Sun has been hitting the bong or it's about to rub out a coronal mass ejection. It's always fun to see what kind of perverse innuendo a graphic designer can slip into his/her work, but I'm thinking that the person behind this particular image might just be nuts. He's going to get sacked. 

And what's with this tendency that artists have to draw the Sun wearing sunglasses? Why would the Sun need sunglasses? What light source is the Sun trying to block its eyes from? And don't go telling me that the Sun's future is so bright, it just has to wear shades.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crapo Insurance Agency

"Crapo Insurance Agency: Because Shit Happens"
As a former systems engineer for the Insurance industry, I've dealt with a lot of crapo insurance agencies in my time. Despite the craptacular nature of some of these agencies, I never thought I'd actually run into an insurance agency that blatantly admitted its crappiness by putting it in its name. But, that's exactly what happened recently as I was driving through the Midwest and discovered Crapo Insurance Agency.

The font usage on this sign makes my brain hurt. I think Mr. Crapo is trying to rise above his name by employing an Old English font for the "CiA" portion. Also note the odd lack of capitalization on the "i". I guess that was done just to make sure that you don't confuse Crapo Insurance Agency with the real CIA. Just a note here, Crapo: Old English fonts are best used with gothic themes, religious publications and 90's era rap albums.

I've blocked out the phone number to Crapo Insurance Agency so that my fans and others who stumble onto this post won't be tempted to prank the poor employees. That's MY job.